The Salah (Part-1)

Selections of the ahadith below are from Muwatta’ of Imam Malik, translated by Prof. Muhammad Rahimuddin, those in the brackets and notes are by author, numbers at end of the hadith are those in the original.

1] ‘Ata’ b. Yasar reported: A man came to the Messenger of Allah – peace be upon him – and enquired of him the time of the morning Prayer. The Prophet remained silent. Next morning the Prophet said his Prayer immediately at early dawn, when it was still dark1. The morning after that, the Prophet said his Prayer in the light of daybreak and asked: Where is he who enquired the time of Prayer? The man said, I’m here, O Messenger of Allah. (Then) the Prophet said: the time for Fajr extends between these two. [2]


1. So dark as that, ‘A’ishah reported: As the Prophet said his morning Prayer, the ladies, after offering their Prayers, returned wrapped up in their garments and could not be recognised in darkness. [3]

2] Abu Hurayrah reported: The Prophet said, “He who performed even one rak’ah of the morning Prayer, before the rising of the sun, got the whole of it, and he who performed even one rak’ah of ‘Asr Prayer before sunset got the whole of it.” [4]


Prayers are valid even if there happens to be just a minute for sunrise (in case of Fajr) and sunset (in case of ‘Asr), after making ablution or so.

Performing Salah is one of the pillars of Islam, and it is the link between Islam and Muslims (i.e., the difference between Muslims and non-Muslims is Salah).

Islam is a religion of mercy, but not so flexible either. An ignorant worshipper tends to abandon the Salah, for the simple reason that there remains just a minute or so for sunrise (or sunset), because of his arising late or being busy (which results in being oblivious), and thus lose the reward. The above hadith comes to his rescue.

But attempts must be made to perform Salah punctually and comfortably because, ‘Abd Allah b. ‘Umar reported, the Apostle of Allah declared that none of you should perform your Prayer at the time when the sun is rising (dawn) or when it is setting (dusk). [509]

3] ‘Urwah b. Zubair reported: The Prophet said: When the edge of the sun appears, wait until the whole sun appears before you pray, and when the edge of the sun sets, wait until the whole sun disappears before you pray. [507]

4] ‘Ala’ b. ‘Abd al-Rahman reported, we went to Anas b. Malik after Zuhr and he was standing for the ‘Asr Prayer. After he finished his Prayer, we or he spoke of the early saying of Prayer, and Anas said, I heard the Prophet saying that the Prayer of the hypocrites is that one of these waits until the sun gets pale and then they rise and peck four times1 and so remember the Lord but little. (Abridged and re-worded)[508]


1. That is, prostrating like the pecking of woodpecker.

5] ‘Abd Allah b. ‘Umar stated, “If your ruku’ is lost, your prostration (sajdah) is also lost.” [15]


That is, a rak’ah (or cycle) of the Prayer is lost.

Prayers should be performed in a state of peace and calmness. To avoid losing a rak’ah of a Prayer, worshippers should not perform ablution in haste and join the Prayer behind the Imam, beginning from ruku’ posture, while the Imam is standing erect after he had performed the ruku’.

If ablution is faulty, then the Prayer performed with that ablution is also faulty.

6] It reached Malik that the Messenger of Allah said, “Be on the right path, and the good (occurring) from it would be beyond all count; the best of your action is Prayer and none but the believers will safeguard the ablution.” [64]

7] Abu Hurayrah reported the Prophet said, “When the takbir of Prayer is said, do not come running, but come with ease, join in whatever Prayer becomes available, and what does not, complete it by yourself, for he who makes an intention for Prayer is in a state1 of Prayer.” [146]


1) That is, “every deeds are judged by intention.”

8] Sa’id b. al Musayyab reported that the Prophet said, “He who ate of that plant – the garlic – let him not approach the mosque, so as to trouble us with its odour.” [29]


These include onion, (flavourised & odourised) tobacco (and betel nuts), smoking and the like.

When the time for Prayer is approaching near one should avoid eating raw pungent foods, smoking, etc. If such vegetables are boiled, the result of which it loses its pungency, then we can consume it and perform our Prayers.

Smoking is a bad quality with a Muslim.

9] Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet said, “When any one of you wakes up after sleep he should, first, wash his hands1 before putting them in water, for one does not know where one’s palm had been during sleep.” [36]


1) He should take a mug of water with his left hand and wash his right hand first and then the left and then wash the mug. If it’s a tap, then wash your hands and then the tap.

10] Abu Hurayrah reported the Prophet having said, “If people knew of the virtues of adhan and the “First Row” (in Prayer), they would have sought to cast lots, and if they knew the virtue of performing Prayer at an early hour, they would hasten towards it, and if they knew the virtue of saying ‘Isha’ and morning (Fajr) Prayers in congregation, they would go there dragging themselves by the knees.” [145]

11] Nafi’ reported: ‘Abd Allah b. ‘Umar called out the adhan for Prayer during a night of fierce wind and intense cold1 and said to the people: Say your Prayers in houses. He then said: On a cold night when it would also be raining, the Prophet would ask the mu’adhdhin to announce to the people to say their Prayers at their homes. [152]


These include situations like one’s life would be in danger if he goes out, or he is fractured (and unable to walk) or sick, in such situation believers are exempt from going to mosque. Congregation can be held at home, with an able elder of the family as the Imam.

12] ‘Ali b. Abi Talib reported, the Messenger of Allah prohibited the wearing of silk clothes and gold rings1 and the recitation of the Holy Qur’an in ruku’. [171]


1) Prohibition of wearing silk clothes and gold rings (and other ornaments like bracelets, etc) is for men. Silk cloth is allowed for that man who is suffering from itching as long as it persists.

Although silk clothes and gold jewelry are not prohibited to women (because of their natural liking), they being modest in the use of those articles in this world promises them abundant of such articles of the similar kind in quantities and qualities unimaginable in the Hereafter.

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