Islamiat Notes Islamic Practices Lecture No. 8

 Lecture No. 8

TOPIC: ISLAMIC PRACTICES


Different Branches of the Worship

1.     Namaz
2.     Roza
3.     Zakat
4.     Hajj

            After this general discussion on faith, we will talk at some length, on the four obligatory modes of worship, Namaz, Roza, Zakat and Hajj: These items are included among the basic fundamentals of Islam and are of exceptional importance to the religion.
These are the pillars on which the whole edifice of faith is raised.

Namaz



            Salah, (Namaz) is a particular way of worshipping Allah and offering devotions to Him which Allah and His Prophet (S.A.W) have taught us.

            Among them the most outstanding is the Namaz, The value of an article depends on the need it serves. The price of a motor car is judged not by its color or shape but by the capacity to fulfill the purpose for which it is meants,nor  is a buffalo sheep or deer according to the way it walks --- it is the milk it yields that decides .So is Namaz pre –eminent because it plays the most effective role in the realization of the objectives associated with worship .This will also explain the numerous conditions that are attached to it e.g., the cleanliness of body , the cleanliness of dress, the cleanliness of the ground on which it is offered and Wazu.


            Further some forms of worship are representative in particular of the Sovereignty and the Omnipotent Power of God. By carrying them out the worshipper pays tribute to these qualities of the Divine, making at the same time a confession of his own surrender and servility. Zakat is a classical instance.
            And then there are other forms that are related more specially to the lovable adorable aspect of divinity .They serve to symbolize the deep love and devotion of the adorer for the Adored, his earnest yearning from Him, that He is his heart, soul and everything. The fasts offer an excellent expression to this side of relationship between man and his Creator by calling upon him to shun food and drink in the style of a dejected love ,and so is the Haj a true symbol of love’s frenzy __ the strange dress , the curious rituals ,the walking round the House of Ka, aba with someone’s thought delightfully embedded in the heart and the frantic kissing of a slab of stone fixed in a corner of that beloved building, the wandering out into the wilderness and staying there for days and nights __ all these things are there but to portray the divine ecstasy, the sweet madness of love which in truth, constitutes the real spirit of this unique pilgrimage.
            But , Namaz is comprehensive of both of these aspects .The dignified, yet respectful , presence before the Almighty ,the disciplined falling in line of the devotes , like lowly slaves ,and the carrying out by them of fixed monuments in an orderly , systematic manner demonstrate exquisitely the Over lordship ,the Power the sovereignty of God and man’s total helplessness ,while the state of the heart , the feelings of expectancy , of ardent hope and sublime devotion that work themselves up within it during the prayers ,is typical of the tender emotion of love for the Divine ,The Prophet words ‘ In Namaz lies the coolness of my eyes “ are richly expressive of the later aspect of the Namaz Often ,when the prayer time came the Prophet would address his Muezzin Bilal in this loving manner : O Bilal ! Bring comfort to my heart s soothe the agony that is rising with in is by giving the call to prayer, It has been remarked by Hazrat Mujaddid Alf-Sani in one of his letters that , Namaz is the balm for the aching beards . Bring me comfort O Bilal! Conveys this truth and, the coolness of my eyes lies in Namaz, imparts this secret.

            It is reported that one day Hazrat Abdul Wahid Lahori,a Khilafah , of Hazrat Mujaddid asked, Will there be Namaz in the heaven ,The heaven is not the house of action , said someone ,It is the house of recompense , Why should Namaz be there then ,On hearing it the Hazrat b\observed with great anguish , How will it then be possible to live in the heaven .
 The tranquility and joy which people whose Name is a real ,genuine one derive from it can further be imagined from the following utterance of Hazrat Mujaddid , what Royat is in the Hereafter Namaz is here in this world:  there is great nearness unto the Beloved in the world in Namaz as there is in the Royat in the Hereafter.
            The distinctive merit of the Namaz, hence lies in this that it reflects fully the Sovereignty and Over lordship of God as well as His lovability and Elegance, In its form it portrays the complete submission of man to his Master, in its spirit it is filled altogether with the essence of the joy, the tenderness and the rich melancholy of love .It is Namaz alone which unites in itself so successfully the two seemingly apposite aspects. And this fact, on its won should be enough t lift is above the other modes of worship.
 

Zakat


           
            Zakat is the name given in Islam to that portion of money or wealth which, as per Allah’s command is given to the poor and the needy so that they become the owners of it. In other words, fasting and prayers are forms of bodily worship while Zakat is a form of worship which is pecuniary in nature.

            After the Namaz, the next in order of preference among the fundamentals comes the Zakat. The basic function of Zakat is the same as the of any other form of worship It is the seeking of God, s pleasure and the cleansing and purification of the self. It is a patent fact that , more frequently than not , sins and crimes have their origin in the lust for wealth and the lust for power __ and between the tow  ,the former is a more common malady .Zakat is a means for breaking the force an the malignancy of the malady of lust for wealth , In the Quran Zakat is often mentioned simultaneously with Namaz which shows that it is almost equal to the latter in importance in the Islamic organic station of worship , When after the death of the Prophet some of the Arab tribes refused to pay the Zakat, the Caliph ,Hazrat.
·        The Namaz consist of a number of cyclic parts each ending with two sajdas (touching of the ground with the forehead) these parts is known as Rakatas- Translator.
·        The middle hour between sunrise and the meridian- translator.
·        Tirmizi
·        Ibid
·        Abubakar, felt compelled to declare war upon them and in taking that extreme step, he had the full support of the holy companions. Sueh, in the word, is the importance of Zakat in Islam.
·              The financial demands of the faith from its followers do not end with Zakat, they extend further and assume many other forms, it is clearly stated in a tradition that “Besides Zakat there are some other claims too, on wealth” these other claims have been thoroughly enumerated by the theological doctors at their proper place.

            The manner in which the virtues of spending in the way of god are extolled in the Quran and the various styles of expressions that have been employed for the purpose go to confirm that it is an indispensable constituent of faith. Yet universal as the indifference of Muslims to their religion has come to be no where it is more evident than in this particular sphere. people have become so selfish these days and the love of money has grown so enormously among them that the practice of sharing one’s wealth with a needy an indigent brother is disappearing fast from their midst and even these who do so, a majority of them are guilty of gross carelessness with respect to eth laws and regulations Divinely laid down for it, with the consequence that they do not drive the full benefit from it as promised in the Quran.
            When Zakat is a fundamental obligation like the Namaz, the desire should, naturally, be to discharge it with equal care and ardency. A Zakat that is paid in an off-hand manner, without the urge to make the most of it by paying scrupulous regard to all the relevant rules and requirements, is akin to Namaz which is  offered up in haste and without proper attention lacking in both ,life and luster. Some of the ways of vesting the Zakat with a greater inner content can be:
            First, to get to know all the rules and principles of Zakat and cultivate sincerity of purpose.
            Second, to take good care to spend it on what seem to be the most deserving and legitimate parties and objects, that is, parties and objects in spending on which there is the hope of the greatest reward from God.
            Third, to hate the idea of having bestowed any favour on the person to whom it is given away, nor to look down upon him in any way on that account, but on the other hand, to feel genuinely obliged to him because it was through his agency that one was enabled to acquit oneself of the duty properly and well, and to acknowledge it ungrudgingly by word and deed.
            Fourth, to call up the convictions to the mind, while giving away the Zakat, as in the case of Namaz, that God is present here, there and everywhere, seeing all and observing everything: He is watching this act of mine, as well as the intent that is operating behind it, and it is in His presence and by His command that I am doing this little service to a servant of His.
            If the Zakat begins to be paid in the manner and spirit indicated above, its beneficial results can be experienced in this very existence; such abundance and prosperity will be witnessed in trade and agriculture that men will be astounded.

Roza

           
            Fasting means willing abstention from eating, drinking and satisfaction of certain demands of the flash, from predawn to sunset.
Arabic equivalents for fasting are Saum and Siam. The breaking of the fast is known as If tar.

            The third practical plank is the Roza (or the fast). It is a most excellent means for the development of the celestial element in our nature. It purges the self and is especially beneficial for cultivating Divine virtues like contentment, alms endurance, and piety. During the fast a person forges a special link with the Celestial World by crushing down the animal appetites. but these results can be achieved only when it is undertaken with all the solemnity of an aot of worship, the instruction laid down in its context are sincerely obeyed and nothing is done that may militate against the sanctity  of the deed. The first thing in this regard is to leave all sinful conduct strictly alone, more particularly that which operation to the mouth and the tongue. if this is not done, the fast will be bereft of all the spiritual consequences. we say 5this on the authority of the tradition that “if a person does not abstain from falsehood, deceit and perfidy while fasting, it is immaterial to God that he goes without food and drink, and does hunger and thirst” another tradition to the same effect reads, “Many are there among those who keep the fasts that gain nothing from them except hunger and thirst”.
            It follows, therefore, that our ambition should be to obtain the maximum advantage from the fasts as from Namaz and Zakat, in terms of our spiritual progress and evolution. What is required for this, first and foremost, is to refrain from every thing that is forbidden, including the Makroohat. The sins emanations from the mouth are particularly to be guarded against, so much so that it is prohibited in the Tradition even to shout or to talk in a loud voice during a fast. Conversely, the endeavor ought to be to practice greater goodness and pay more attention to the deeds of virtue during the period of fasting, especially to those that are associated with the mouth. E.g. Zikr and Tilawat.

Hajj



There exists a special relationship, a peculiar affinity, between the Prophet—and, through him, between His Ummah—and Hazrat Abraham. The Hajj, in truth, constitutes both in its form and essence, the symbolization of the latter’s supreme devoutness and matchless submission to the Will of God.
 And the idea underlying its ordainment is that every Muslim who can afford to undertake the pilgrimage should, at least, once in his life, betake himself to the place where the most glorious episode of Hazrat Abraham’s life of utter dedication to his Creator had taken place, and cast himself, for the time being, in the role of that superbly self—effacing, all—sacrificing Friend of the Lord. He should give a practical proof of his attachment to the path of that true friend, slave and devotee of the Devine, and of his respectful devotion to the distinctive practices the Lord has ordained for the occasion and create within himself the sincere urge to dye his entire existence, inwardly as well as outwardly, in the hue of that august patriarch and give his soul a chance to take in its share of the magnificent spiritual glories of the place.
            I shall dwell no further on the essential beauty and richness of the Hajj because these can be understood properly only when one experiences them personally during the course of the pilgrimage. This much, however, I will certainly say that when, by the Grace of God, you may decide to undertake the pilgrimage concentrate more on preparing yourself inwardly and spiritually for it than on anything else. Sadly enough, people bestow the greatest thought on the material comforts of the journey, they even want to take with them such trivial articles as salt, pepper and pickles and equip themselves with as many as ten suits of clothes—; they get occupied with these preparations for months in advance but do nothing by way of making themselves fit spiritually for the great occasion. The result is that they gain nothing from it, and come back as they had gone. It is not that a pilgrim is not allowed to furnish himself with material necessities before he sets out for the pilgrimage—within a proper limit it is essential to do so—, but these things do not make the real equipment for the Hajj. The real equipment lies in getting oneself ready with all the information needed for the carrying out of the duty and in the acquirement of that inner fitness which enable one to receive the rich spiritual benefits accruing from it. An important part of the endeavor to establish Hajj must be to create in the people’s minds an awareness of this fact, without it, the Hajj will remain a soulless form and an empty ceremony.  

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