SALAAT – THE TREACHERY OF THE UMMAH
“Salaat is the (central) pillar of Deen.”
“Whoever neglects Salaat intentionally, has committed kufr.”
(Rasulullah – sallallahu alayhi wasallam)
AFTER IMAAN, THE first and foremost fundamental and practical obligation on all Muslims – males and females – is the regular and punctual performance of Salaat. The importance of Salaat is borne out by the fact that its imposition on the population by force is the first duty of the Islamic state. Thus, the Qur’aan-e-Hakeem states:
“Most certainly Allah will aid those who aid Him (His Deen). Verily Allah is powerful and mighty. They are those – if We establish them on earth (to rule), they establish regular Salaat, pay Zakaat, command righteousness and prohibit evil. And, the ultimate decree of all affairs is for Allah. ” (Surah Al-Hajj)
This gracious aayat of the Qur’aan Majeed sets out the first and primary obligations of the Islamic state. The very first command imposed on the Islamic rulers is the enforcement of Salaat.
There is nothing as demanding and as important as Salaat in the life of the Mu’min. The act which tilts the Mu’min to Kufr is abandonment of Salaat, as the aforementioned Hadith states with emphasis.
There cannever be any measure of success if Salaat is abandoned. The entire Structure of Imaan caves in and collapses when Salaat is abandoned. A Mu’min who abandons Salaat or who is not a regular performer of the Five Fardh Salaat is a baaghi (rebel/traitor) unto Allah Ta’ala. He becomes the enemy of Allah Ta’ala and the Islamic state is ordered to imprison, and finally execute him if he persists in his abandonment.
The Shariah commands that Salaat be performed with Jama’ah even on the battlefield. Qadha of Salaat even while facing the enemy is intolerable.
Yet, despite this great and vital importance and the fact that without steadfast adherence to regular performance of Salaat there is no practical Islam, over 90% of the Ummah all over the world, have abandoned Salaat. The humiliation and misfortunes which have overtaken the Ummah should now not be surprising.
A survey of Musjid attendance for Fajr and Isha when almost all Muslims are at home, will reveal that between 2% and at the maximum, 10%, of the males in a community perform Salaat. And, of this hopelessly negligible number, half join the Salaat after its commencement, many missing even the first raka’t. This is the putrid state of the regular musallis, even of the Ulama and Imaams of Musjids. This 2% – 10% figure is the current norm all over the world.
No one should be deceived by the abundance of musallis during Zuhr and Asr in business areas, and in Muslim countries. Relative to the population, the packed Musjid reflects the same lamentable percentage of musallis. In a business area, the musallis are from the entire city. They are not residents of the locality, hence the false perception conveyed by a full Musjid in such areas. The barometer is the Musjid in the residential area at the time of Fajr and Isha.
This evil condition of the Ummah is more lamentable even on Hajj and Umrah journeys. The vast majority of those proceeding for Hajj and Umrah abstain from Salaat on the plane. In terms of their ‘math-hab’ of the nafs, safar (journey) abolishes Salaat. When the Jihaad Battlefield does not permit laxity, how is it possible that a journey of comfort absolves one of Salaat?
The very first step in the sojourn of Islaah (moral reformation) of the Ummah of this age is observance of Salaat. Without rectifying this Pillar, everything else is futile.
The question of reforming moral character does not remotely develop for a person in whose life regular Salaat is not the primary practice of ibaadat. There is no difference between such a person and a kaafir.
The issue of Islaah-e-Nafs concerns those who regularly perform Salaat, but whose moral life and character are absolutely disgraceful. Their family, social and business life in general is no better than the lifestyle and character of the kuffaar. Even regular musallis are bereft of Islamic morality.
No one should therefore be in any quandary regarding the avalanche of miseries and misfortunes which have become our lot. The cause is no mystery.[By Hazrat Maulana Ahmad Sadeq Desai]