His Attention to Prayer


What is attention to prayer of prophet muhammad?

Allah’s Apostle (pbuh) made ritual prayer, which he called “the light of his eyes,” the essence of his life. He performed supererogatory prayers, whenever he had the chance. For instance he performed prayers, when he was happy; or when he wanted to show his gratitude to Allah; or when something made him sad, he would go to prayer to find consolation. (Abu Dawud, Tatawwu, 22; Jihad, 162) He never made concessions about prayer. He also did not allow the new converts to be negligent about their prayers and told them that there was no Islam without prayer. In this respect, the following report attracts our attention:

“When the deputation of Thaqif came to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), he made them stay in the mosque, so that it might soften their hearts. They stipulated to him that they would not be called to participate in Jihad, to pay zakat and to offer prayer. The Apostle of Allah (pbuh) said: You may have the concession that you will not be called to participate in jihad and pay zakat, but there is no good in a religion which has no bowing (i.e. prayer).” (Abu Dawud, Haraj, 25-26)

In other words, whatever the circumstances are, believers should not postpone their prayers; they should even perform it in congregation. Believers should also be attentive to their prayers when they have the power. This is stated in the following verse:

“(They are) those who, if We establish them in the land, keep up prayer and pay the poor-due, enjoin the right and forbid the wrong: With Allah rests the end (And decision) of (all) affairs.” (al-Hajj 22; 41)

In this way Allah the Almighty reminds us that struggle in the way of Allah and having power to rule are just means, but prayer is the believers’ main object in this world. In order to achieve this divine object, a believer must face all kinds of troubles. Abu’d Darda (r.a.) narrates:

My friend (pbuh) gave me the following advices:

“Even if you were torn into pieces or burn in fires, never attribute partners to Allah. Do not leave any of your prayers. Whoever intentionally ceases to perform his/her prayer, he/she will be away from Allah’s protection …” (Ibn Majah, Fitan, 23)

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) was not content with only performing obligatory prayers during a battle; he would stay up all night praying in the divine presence. In fact, Ali (r.a.) said in describing the battle of Badr that:

“On the day of Badr, there was no cavalry among us except Miqdad. I know it well that all of us slept that night except the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). He stayed awake all night and shed tears and prayed under a tree.” (Ibn Ḥuzaymah, II, 52)

Allah’s Apostle’s love and loyalty to Allah the Almighty reached such a level that he was finding peace and tranquility only through worshipping Him. When he was distressed by the matters of this world, he asked Bilal to recite the adhan and found comfort in the adhan and prayer. When the prayer time came, he would leave everything and go to perform prayer.[1] All his life, he always performed his prayers at their earliest time. As a matter of fact, the Prophet loved to pray wherever the time for the prayer was due even at sheepfolds (Bukhari, Salat, 48), because Allah the Almighty counts the quality of postponing prayers among the attributes of hypocrites and states that:

“The hypocrites they think they are over reaching Allah, but He will over reach them: when they stand up to prayer, they stand without earnestness, to be seen of men, but little do they hold Allah in remembrance.” (al-Nisa 4; 142)

“So woe to the worshippers who are neglectful of their prayers.” (al-Maun 107; 4-5)

Turkish exegete Elmalılı Hamdi Yazır makes the following commentary about these verses:

“They are unaware of the significance of the prayer, so they do not perform it like a serious duty.

They do not care if the prayer was performed or not.

They do not pay attention to its time; they postpone it and do not check if its time has already passed.

They do not become sad for not performing it.

When they perform their prayers, they do not perform it for the sake of Allah but they do it for worldly objects.

They perform their prayers openly but do not perform it secretly; they do not perform it reverently like they are in the presence of their Lord, but they perform it to show-off to other people.” (Hak Dîni Kur’ân Dili, IX, 6168) If our Lord says “woe” to those who recklessly perform their prayers, think about what He would say to those who do not perform it!

This is why Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) did not like to postpone the prayers to later times and said that:

“There exists contentment of Allah in the early times of the prayer and His forgiveness in its later times.” (Tirmidhi, Salat, 13) In other words, Allah the Almighty is content with His servants who perform their prayers as soon as possible, and will forgive those who make the mistake of postponing it to its later times.

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) did not let his prayers pass even at the worst stages of his sickness. Even though his sickness was very severe and he did not have any strength left in his body, he went to the mosque to perform noon and afternoon prayers in congregation with the help of two of his companions. After the prayer, he did not refrain from reminding his companions the matters that were beneficial to them. His last words were “Prayer, prayer; fear Allah about those whom your right hands possess.” (Abu Dawud, Adab, 123-124/5156)

Anas (r.a.) narrates:

“We were with the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) when he was dying. He told us three times:

“Fear Allah about your prayers.” And he continued:

“Fear Allah about the people who work for you; Fear Allah about two weak people, i.e. widow and orphan child. Fear Allah about your prayers…”

Then the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) began saying repeatedly “prayer, prayer …” until his blessed soul ascended to the Almighty Friend.” (Bayhaqi, Shuab, VII, 477. See also Ahmad, VI, 290, 315; Ibn Majah, Waṣaya, 1)

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) also wanted that every believer should perform their prayers in the best way. Once Abdullah b. Rawaha was getting ready for the expedition to Mu’tah and he went to the Prophet (pbuh) to say his farewell. He said:

“O Messenger of Allah! Advise me something that I can memorize and never forget.” Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) told him:

“You will go to a country where people prostrate very little to Allah the Almighty. Increase their prayer and prostration …” (Waqidi, II, 758)

The Prophet (pbuh) was also very sensitive about getting children accustomed to prayer starting at a very young age. He asked his followers to advice their seven year old children to pray; and to be very serious about prayers when they reach ten; because Allah the Almighty enjoined that:

“Enjoin prayer on your people, and be constant therein. We ask you not to provide Sustenance: we provide it for you. But the (fruit of) the Hereafter is for Righteousness.” (Taha 20; 132)

Throughout Islamic history, the believers who comprehended the Prophet’s sensitivity about prayers have given a special importance to prayer. Ottoman Sultan Mehmet Resad VI’s first order to Lady Safiyah, the teacher of children in the palace was that:

“I want the lady teacher to tell the young prince and princesses that I do not forgive those who do not pay appropriate attention to their prayers and fasting.” (Safiye Ünüvar, Saray Hatıralarım, p. 21)

[1] “Once Allah’s Apostle was eating a piece of meat from the shoulder of a sheep and he was called for the prayer. He stood up, put down the knife and prayed but did not perform ablution.’’ (Bukhari, Adhan, 43) This incident shows us that the Prophet (pbuh) left his meal and went to perform his prayer; even though he had the option to postpone it for a later time, he did not postpone it and performed it as soon as its time was due.