Solat – What’s in it for me?
Ramadan approaches and with it comes the promise of blessings, mercy and forgiveness for those who have hope in reward from Allah. Ramadan is like a great amplifier: it takes something that would have otherwise been common or ordinary and makes something grand and extraordinary out of it.
Ramadan is the respite all Muslims so desperately need: a time to turn back to Allah and please Him by obeying His command to observe the fasting. In Ramadan, Muslims around the world experience a wake-up call from this religion and as a result increase in good deeds and acts of worship- one of those acts being the salah.
There are many benefits in praying the Sunnah salat in Ramadan, but here are listed just a few mentioned in the Qur’an:
Lack of Fear and Grief on the Day of Judgment
[quote]“Those who believe, and do deeds of righteousness, and establish regular prayers and give Zakat, will have their reward with their: on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.” [Al-Baqarah:277][/quote]
The word khawf in the Arabic language means fear, but is used to describe a specific fear of something to come or something that will happen in the future. The word hazn, meaning grief, is used to describe grief and extreme regret over what has happened in the past. For those who pray salah and establish it perfectly, Allah has promised a lack of fear and regret on the Day of Judgment, when all of humanity will fear the Reckoning and the Judgment and the Fire, and will greatly regret their heedlessness when they were living on earth. This lack of fear and regret is a mercy from Allah and a blessing because part of the punishment on the Day of Judgment are these feelings of turmoil and anguish over what has passed and what is yet to come.
[quote]“Nay, seek (Allah’s) help with patient perseverance and prayer: it is indeed hard, except to those who are humble. Who bear in mind the certainty that they are to meet their Lord, and that they are to return to Him.” [Al-Baqarah:45-46][/quote]
This ayah gives great insight on who exactly is able to do good deeds easily: the humble and submissive slaves of Allah. The word khushoo’ from which the word khashi’een (meaning humble ones) is derived means humility, or fear. In particular it is such a genuine fear that it affects the body. Khashi’een are those whose focus is on Allah’s greatness when they pray, and they are humble before Him and submit to Him completely. They are humble not only in their hearts, but in their postures as well. These are the people that Allah blesses and makes good deeds easy for, and this humility is something gained from Allah through salah.
Expiation of Sins
[quote]“And establish regular prayers at the two ends of the day and at the approaches of the night: for those things that are good remove those that are evil: that is a reminder for the mindful.” [Hud:114][/quote]
This ayah refers to the five daily prayers and the fact that they erase the sins of the believer. The Prophet of Allah (SAW) told us, “The five daily salat (prayers) are like a great river running by your door in which you take a bath five times a day.” [Muslim] Someone taking a bath five times a day could never be covered in filth, and similar to that is the condition of the believer who prays five times a day, that he will be washed of his minor sins.
Likewise, good deeds overcome the bad deeds, which is why when we commit a sin and repent to Allah, our next goal should always be to hasten to do good deeds to overcome and expiate the sin. This definitely applies to giving charity -as we know from the famous hadith that giving charity expiates sins as water extinguishes fire- and also applies to the Sunnah prayers as well, such as the night prayer and the taraweeh prayer in Ramadan. These good deeds performed in Ramadan are expedient to obtain forgiveness for sins, and this is a great mercy from Allah (SWT).
Reward from Allah
[quote]“They forsake their beds of sleep, the while they call on their Lord, in Fear and Hope: and they spend (in charity) out of the sustenance which We have bestowed on them. Now no person knows what delights of the eye are kept hidden (in reserve) for them- as a reward for their (good) deeds.” [Sajdah:16-17][/quote]
In this ayah Allah describes the believers and their standing for the night prayer. He (SWT) describes their mental and emotional state -one of adulation and fear- and the reward Allah will bless them with- one so special and high in status that no one could ever try to even imagine it. Think about the high status that Allah raises the believers to, how He will bless them and please them on the Day of Judgment. As a reward for what?- yes, for the prayer.
Most definitely there is much to gain from salah in general, but in Ramadan the reward and the blessings found in the prayer are multiplied and augmented by the mercy of Allah. Ramadan is the month of forgiveness, mercy and expiation of sins, and the best way to achieve these, is by calling upon Allah, in fear and in hope during the nightly salah. May Allah (SWT) grant us thetawfeeq (opportunity) to achieve many good deeds this month. Ameen.[divider]
Halla is an avid reader with a passion for justice, writing and Islam who believes that all the bad in the world is countered by great people with great minds and stupendously great actions. She lives in Toronto, Canada where she hopes to change the world around her by starting with herself.
**This post first appeared on Ramadan.sg.