In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, Most Merciful

A letter about Salah: (prayers)

 Talking about Salah is an old new topic, for Muslims offer Salah, however every one of them (including me) should take his Salah to a better level, by moving from offering it formally to offering it as Allah the Almighty decreed for it to be offered.
 A letter was written by a notable scholar named: Al Izz Ibn Abdussalam about Salah, and this letter is deemed important not because it mentioned the rulings of Salah as we know them, but because it pointed out the purpose behind Salah.
 Al Zaher Papirs once said: “By Allah, my rule has never been settled until the death of Al Izz Ibn Abdussalam”.
 Al Izz was one of his kind among scholars, for he was a scholar who applied what he said, he was courageous and he was a struggler Muslim who never feared people’s blames in religious matters. He wrote a short letter not more than a few pages, its original manuscript is reserved in the Escorial Library in Spain and is copied and edited, and I found in it something we all are in dire need for.

All acts of worship aim at drawing man close to Allah:

 This scholar said: “The purpose of all acts of worship is to draw close to The Almighty Allah”. Allah has ordained upon you Salah, Zakat, Sawm and Hajj, and He sets up the purpose of all the ritualistic and transactional acts of worship to bring the human being close to Him.
 I used to say: Hajj, Sawm, Zakat and Salah are offered for the sake of Salah in the sense of communicating with Allah, namely, being close to Him.
Imam Al Shafe’e, May Allah have mercy on his soul, said:
 “All acts of worship are accounted for the benefit of mankind, and there isn’t any greater benefit than drawing close to Allah the Almighty, the creator of heavens and earth”.
In a while, we will tackle closeness and the meaning of it.
 First of all: All acts of worship are accounted for the real benefits of mankind, for there are fake, illusive and worldly oriented benefits like money and being wealthy. Hence, the real benefit is to reach the peaceful adobe peacefully, to enter paradise, to gain Allah’s consent and to be in an adobe wherein you move from peace to another peace, for Allah guides all those who seek His Good Pleasure to ways of peace.
 In order to prevent this religion from turning into mere rituals that are offered formally, in order not to turn it into meaningless moves and postures, in order not to turn it into what so called in foreign languages “folklore” (Unfortunately some Quran reauthorrs and other Inshad [Islamic singing] groups went to Paris and participated in a famous performance which was seen by French spectators under the title “Eastern Folklore”, in which our Islam was introduced to them and the Quran and Allah’s words were reauthord in Paris not as the words of Allah but as an eastern folklore), in order not to turn it into rituals, in order not to void it from its gist, in order not to turn it into ambiguous behavior, in order not to turn it into a title without a content and in order not to turn the Quran into mere Calligraphy, we need to improve the way through which we offer our Salah, and this humble written letter includes unconventional definition of Salah which is different from other Islamical known definitions.

The obedient to Allah will taste the sweetness of faith:

 Let me explain to you the three levels of this fact.
 The Islamic laws resemble the blueprints of a palace that is architected by the most famous architectures and were owned by a person who has no place to dwell in.
 Accordingly, some scholars said: “there is a person who is professional in Islamic laws (Alem Al Shari’a), and another person who is professional in the method (Alem Al Tareeqa) and a third one who is professional in the truth (Alem Al Haqiqa)”.
 The first person (Alem Al Shari’a) shows you the moves, actions and sayings of Salah, he shows you how to start it with Takbeer (a proclamation of the greatness of Allah) and end it with Tasleem (salutation at the end of prayer), how to stand, how to bow down, how to prostrate, how to stay still in every move, what to reauthor and the like of Salah’s Fiqh which you all know despite the differences amongst you, however if you apply all these rulings, you are still not offering Salah in the way meant by Allah
The problem lies in separating the personal life from the mosque life where people offer their Salah, as if the mosque where people offer their Salah is in one place and their life with all its details is in another place without any link between the two.
 Hence, Alem Al Shari’a provides you with the Islamic definitions.
 Now to explain the role of Alem Al Tareeqa, consider the example of a young man who went abroad to study, and he married a woman according to Islamic contract with the attendance of two witnesses and after paying the dower, so apparently, his marriage is one hundred percent Islamic according to Alem Al Shari’a, however if he has the intention to divorce her after he finishes his study in that country, he will be severely punished in the hereafter according to Alem Al Tareeqa, because this young man never meant for this marriage to be eternal which is a demandable condition (according to Imam Al Awza’ee) to make the marriage contract Islamically right.
 Hence, Alem Al Shari’a is keen on the outward conditions of the marriage contract (for example) and he doesn’t interfere with intentions, however Alem Al Tareeqa is keen on other things, for if he talks with you about Salah, he advices you to be upright before offering it, to lower your gaze, to watch what you say with your tongue and to pure your heart in order to receive Allah’s help, luminance, manifestation and tranquility.
 As if Alem Al Shari’a gives you the blueprints of the palace, whereas Alem Al Tareeqa shows you the way to that palace which was built according to those blueprints, better yet, he takes you from your hand to enter that palace in order to enjoy living in it.
 Therefore, there is a big difference between owning blueprints of a palace and between living in it.
 It was mentioned in the Sahih Hadith:

(("There are three qualities whoever has them, will taste the sweetness of Iman: To love Allah and His Messenger (PBUH) more than anyone else; to love a slave (of Allah) only for (the sake of) Allah; and to abhor returning to infidelity after Allah has saved him from it as he would abhor to be thrown into the fire (of Hell)".))

[Agreed upon by Anas Ibn Malek]

 When there is conflict of interest (between your interests and Islam), you will not taste the sweetness of faith unless you choose obeying Allah over your worldly interests, but it is much easier when your interests go along with obeying Allah, like when you are in a beautiful garden with your Muslim brother, and you both offer ablution and Salah when Zuhr time arrives.
 When there is conflict of interests and you leave your worldly interests and step on them for the sake of obeying Allah’s orders, you will taste the sweetness of faith.
Hence, in order to enter that palace (in our example) and dwell in it, you should give sacrifice, but owning blueprints only and looking at them don’t need any sacrifice at all, and it is all in all mere papers, but in order to own the palace which is built according to these blueprints you should strive and sacrifice the worthy and the cheap and the soul and the precious (that you own).

The meaning of being close to Allah and its types:

 This letter is based on the following concept: The purpose of all acts of worship is to draw close to The Almighty Allah, but what does being close to Allah mean ?
 Does Allah occupy a place? God forbids “no”! Allah does not occupy any place nor can any place or time contain Him, for He is the creator of places and time, so what does being close to Allah means?
 The writer of the letter (Al Izz Ibn Abdussalam) said:
 “Closeness to Allah is to be close to His Bounty and Benevolence”
 Meaning, Allah is the source of benevolence, rejoice, security, tranquility and luminance, and thus being close to Him is not closeness to His Entity, for no place contains Him, but it is closeness to His benevolence and bounty which are subjected to his believer slaves.
 Moreover, The Almighty considers being close to Him only the one who draws close to Him through his submissiveness, glorification, obedience and exaltation, for drawing close to His Entity is impossible.
 He said: “Closeness, which Allah bestows upon his slaves, is of two types: the first type, which involves all mankind, is closeness of Divine knowledge, Divine observation and Divine inclusive ruling, and the second type of closeness, which is exclusive, is bestowing bounty and benevolence” This fact is very important.
 Hence, the purpose of all acts of worship is to draw close to the Almighty Allah, what does that mean?
 Allah says:

((And He is with you (by His Knowledge) wheresoever you may be. And Allah is the All-Seer of what you do.))

[Al-Hadid, 4]

 It means that Allah is close to you and with you, but the question to be asked is: Is He with you by His Entity? Absolutely not and Gods forbids, yet it means that He is with you by His Divine knowledge, and that applies even on the Kafer (infidel), the Mulhed (atheist), the adulterer, the thief, the believer, the worshipper and the Mohsen (charitable) all alike, so it is the inclusive kind of closeness.
 But when Allah says:

((And know that Allah is with those who are the Al-Muttaqun (the pious).))

[At-Taubah, 123]

 This is also a type of closeness but it is allocated to the Muttaqeen (the pious), namely, Allah is exclusively close to them.

The pious is supported and protected by Allah:

 The closeness of the divine knowledge (the inclusive one) is that Allah is with all his slaves, aware of them, listens to their words (whether stated openly or secretly), observes their movements, aware of every heart shiver and knows every thought that crosses their minds, however the other type of closeness, which is exclusive, is mentioned in the following Ayah:

((And verily, Allah is with the believers.))

[Al-Anfal, 19]

 Allah also says:

((And know that Allah is with those who are the Al-Muttaqun (the pious). ))

[At-Taubah, 123]

 Al Izz said: “ ‘With them’ does not mean through His Entity but through his help, triumph, prosperity and protection”
 This means that when you draw close to Allah you are closer to His protection, support and triumph. He is with you through His divine knowledge, and you are close to Him and to His Mercy when you are a (true) believer, Allay says:

((Surely, Allah's Mercy is (ever) near unto the good-doers.))

[Al-A’raf, 56]

 You are close to His Mercy, His Clemency, His Benevolence, His support, His triumph and his prosperity, whereas the first type of closeness is that He is with us through His divine knowledge, Allah says:

((There is no Najwa (secret counsel) of three, but He is their fourth (with His Knowledge, while He Himself is over the Throne, over the seventh heaven), nor of five but He is their sixth (with His Knowledge), not of less than that or more, but He is with them (with His Knowledge) wheresoever they may be; and afterwards on the Day of Resurrection, He will inform them of what they did. Verily, Allah is the All-Knower of everything.))

[Al-Mujadilah, 7]

 The second type of closeness is mentioned also in the following Ayah:

(( Fall prostrate and draw near to Allah!))

[Al-Alaq, 19]

 And Allah also says:

(( A spring whereof drink those nearest to Allah.))

[Al-Mutaffifin, 28]

 Allah also says:

((Then, if he (the dying person) be of the Muqarrabun (those brought near to Allah), (There is for him) rest and provision, and a Garden of delights (Paradise).))

[Al-Waqi’ah, 88-89]

Knowing Allah is the head of all acts of worship:

 Hence, the purpose of the acts of worship is to draw close to the Almighty Allah.
 The closeness is of two types: inclusive and exclusive.
 The inclusive type is that Allah is with us and close to us through his divine Knowledge, and the exclusive type is that we are close to his Mercy, Support, Triumph and Prosperity.
 The most important concept in this letter is that it puts the acts of worship in special order, how?
 Al Izz said: “The acts of worship are categorized according to their benefits”
 How can we categorize Salah, Sawm, Hajj, Zakat, Dhikr, Istighfar and Quran reciting, and according to which measure?
 Al Izz said: “These acts of worship are categorized according to their benefits, and the greatest beneficial act of worship is the best amongst them”.
 Hence the act of worship with the greater benefit ranks over the rest of acts of worship.
 Imam Al Izz Ibn Abdussalam, May Allah have mercy on his soul, also showed (in his letter) that the greatest act of worship is to know the Almighty Allah which makes the head of all acts of worship.
 Accordingly, this is the reason why one third of Quran’s Ayahs indicate the greatness of the Almighty Allah.
One of the books that is taught in the university of Islamic Shari’a caught my attention when I read it long time ago, for it mentions, in the first page of it, that the acts of worship are categorized according to their importance, and the author considered “contemplating” in the highest rank of all acts of worship and the foremost amongst them, because if you know Allah, you will draw close to Him and thus the greatest among the acts of worship is the one with the maximum benefit which is knowing Allah.
 Knowing Allah is the gist of Islam, and the problem the Islamic world is suffering from is that Muslims are aware of commandments and prohibitions, buy how can we explain the reason why they are not applying them, abiding by them and why they are not devoted to obeying Allah?
 The explanation lies in knowing the Islamic laws without knowing the law-giver (Allah), and thus they are skillfully trying to avoid applying those laws, however in case of knowing the law-giver then knowing the laws, they will be fully devoted in obeying the Almighty Allah.

Worship should be based on a strong faith:

 The second point is: since the purpose of all acts of worship is to draw close to Allah, and since closeness is two types, either Allah is close to us through His Divine knowledge, or we are close to His Mercy, protection, support, triumph and prosperity through being devoted, through loving Allah and through worshiping Him as we should be, the acts of worship are meaningless and unacceptable in case of lacking faith, Allah says:

((And nothing prevents their contributions from being accepted from them except that they disbelieved in Allah and in His Messenger (Muhammad); and that they came not to As-Salat (the prayer) except in a lazy state ; and that they offer not contributions but unwillingly.))

[At-Taubah, 54]

 Though they offered Salah and donated, yet Allah prevents the previous acts from being accepted because they disbelieved in Him, hence, pay attention to this very important point: Any act or worship at all should be based on sound faith in Allah the Almighty, or else this act of worship is meaningless. Allah says:

((Verily, Allah accepts only from those who are Al-Muttaqun (the pious)."))

[Al-Ma’idah’, 27]

 Allah also says:

((Except that they disbelieved in Allah and in His Messenger (Muhammad); and that they came not to As-Salat (the prayer) except in a lazy state ; and that they offer not contributions but unwillingly.))

[At-Taubah, 54]

The act of worship that involves more people is greater:

 According to the aforementioned categorizing, the best amongst all acts of worship is knowing the Almighty Allah, which is given, by one of the contemporary scholars, the term “the contemplating act of worship”, and this act of worship is supported by many Ayahs in Quran.
 According to the second kind of categorizing, the best amongst all acts of worship is the most beneficial to mankind. Sadaqat (alms-giving) and Kaffarat (expiations) for example are the acts of worship which involve a lot of people.
 Let me ask the following question: which is better? Is it better to offer Nafilah (An optional, supererogatory Salah) or to seek knowledge? If you go into a mosque and you found a religious session is held in it, is it better to join them or to take an isolated place in the mosque to offer Nafilah Salah?
 Though Nafilah is an act of worship just like seeking knowledge but which one of them involves more people? That will be seeking knowledge.
 When a man complained to the prophet PBUH about his partner saying that he is not working as he should be because of seeking knowledge, the prophet PBUH said: “ your means of subsistence may be because of him”.
 Therefore, spending on knowledge seekers is a way of offering Zakat, for when we let the knowledge seeker be totally engaged in studying by providing him with all his needs and supplies, this will give him comfort from that burden, and he will study harder, and knowledge seeking is an act of worship yet it is one of the highest ranked acts of worship because it involves lot of people. Verify, Abed (the worshipper) acts are for him only, whereas the Alem (knowledge seeker) acts are for other people.
 As for the man who was asked: Who spends on you (for he was not working and entirely devoted to worshipping)? He said: “My brother”, so they said: Your brother is a better worshiper than you.
 The companions, May Allah be pleased with them all, once praised a man, who was entirely engaged in worshiping, in front of the prophet PBUH who said to them: “Who is spending on him? They said: “All of us are” to which the prophet said: “All of you are better than him”.
 Hence, the most ranked act of worship is the one that involves more people.

Who is the successful?

 Calling to Allah the Almighty is the greatest deed ever, Allah says:

((And who is better in speech than he who [says: "My Lord is Allah (believes in His Oneness)," and then stands straight (acts upon His Order), and] invites (men) to Allah's (Islamic Monotheism), and does righteous deeds, and says: "I am one of the Muslims."))

[Fussilat, 33]

 This means that there isn’t a person on earth more successful, more prosperous and closer to Allah the Almighty than the one who invites to Allah and does righteous deeds.

Issues related to Salah:

 Why is Salah the best ritualistic act of worship? That is because Salah embraces the objective of Hajj by directing oneself towards Mecca (the sacred House of Allah).
Salah also embraces the objectives of Zakat, how? Because the person (who is offering Salah) cuts down on the time he spends in earning money in order to offer Salah, and this is considered as an indirect donation, for this time is originally spent by him in earning money, but he prefers to spend it in offering Salah, and thus Salah embraces the objective of Zakat.
 Salah includes Al Shahada as well because one says in the sitting position in every Salah: Ashhado An Lailaha Illa Allah Wa Ashhado Anna Mohamadan Rasoolol Allah (I bear witness that there is no God but Allah and that Mohammad is His messenger).
 Salah also embraces the objective of Sawm because in Sawm we are prevented from eating, drinking and all actions which breaks Sawm, whereas in Salah, one can’t eat, drink, move nor can he talk.

Salah is the head of all acts of worship:

 Hence, Salah tops all acts of worship, it is the Master of all acts of obedience, it is the head of all acts of worship and it is the believer’s journey to the Lord of heaven and earth.
 What is the connection between Salah and the one who offers it? Al Izz said: “In Salah there is a prompt and a postponed benefit to the one who offers it, and the greatest honor he gets is to do Munajat (secretly talking with Allah) to Allah the Almighty”.
 When you offer Salah, you are given the permission to do Munajat to Allah, for you say to Him as Allah says in Quran:

((You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything). Guide us to the Straight Way, The Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, not (the way) of those who earned Your Anger (such as the Jews), nor of those who went astray (such as the Christians).))

[Al-Fatihah, 5-7]

 You reauthor this Ayah as if you are listening to it from Allah the Almighty, Allah says:

((Say: "O 'Ibadi (My slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah, verily Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.))

[Az-Zumar, 53]

 Pay attention to Al Fatihah, for you start it by praising Allah, Allah says:

(( In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful. All the praises and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of the 'Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists). The Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful. The Only Owner (and the Only Ruling Judge) of the Day of Recompense (i.e. the Day of Resurrection) You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything). Guide us to the Straight Way The Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, not (the way) of those who earned Your Anger (such as the Jews), nor of those who went astray (such as the Christians).))

[Al-Fatihah, 1-7]

 Allah also says:

((Say: "O 'Ibadi (My slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah, verily Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.))

[Az-Zumar, 53]

 You bow down in submissiveness, and you prostrate while drawing strength from Allah the Almighty to help you carry out the command that you have already reauthord in your Rukat. The prophet PBUH said:

((Give every Surat you reauthor what it fully deserves of Ruku' and Sujud))

[Ahmad by Abi Al Aliyah]

 This means that any Ayah you reauthor in your Ruku (bowing down in Salah) or Sujud (prostrating) has its own Ruku and Sujud. Take for example reciting the following Ayah:

(( Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.). That is purer for them. Verily, Allah is All-Aware of what they do.))

[An-Nur, 30]

 When you bow down you say: “I listen to your order and obey you my Lord and I am fully devoted to that matter, whereas when you prostrate you feel your need to Allah, as if you are saying: Oh Lord, help me to lower my gaze, help me to carry out your order and give me the strength to obey you. Hence, there is submissiveness in Ruku and seeking help in Sujud.
 You listen to Soura al-Fatiha from Allah the Almighty and the introduction to it lies in the following Ayah:

((Guide us to the Straight Way The Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, not (the way) of those who earned Your Anger (such as the Jews), nor of those who went astray (such as the Christians).))

[Al-Fatihah, 6-7]

In Al Fatihah you are praising Allah and seeking His help:

 Therefore, by reciting Al Fatihah, you praised Allah, you paid tribute to Him (The Lord of worlds The Most Gracious and The Most Merciful) and you sought His help to worship Him alone. You started by “You (alone) we worship”, not we worship You alone:

((You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything).))

[Al-Fatihah, 5]

 Then you asked for His guidance to the Straight Way, Allah says:

((Guide us to the Straight Way The Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, not (the way) of those who earned Your Anger (such as the Jews), nor of those who went astray (such as the Christians).))

[Al-Fatihah, 6-7]

 By reciting this Surat (Al Fatihah), bowing and prostrating (in Salah), you are, According to Al Izz, supplicating Allah for the prompt and postponed benefit, so Salah is supplication, remembrance (of Allah), Munajat and closeness (to Allah), Allah says:

((Fall prostrate and draw near to Allah!))

[Al-Alaq, 19]

 Allah also says:

((And perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) for My Remembrance.))

[Ta-Ha, 14]

 Salah is remembrance, and if only the person who offers Salah knows whom he is secretly talking to, he will not turn his head. Salah is supplication, and the accepted part of your Salah is the one you offer with a present heart and mind. Therefore, Salah is supplication, presence of mind, Munajat, Dhikr and closeness. Those are the five definitions embraced by Salah.

Salah is a supplication, remembrance and closeness to Allah:

 Salah is a presence of mind, Allah says:

((O you who believe! Approach not As-Salat (the prayer) when you are in a drunken state until you know (the meaning) of what you utter, nor when you are in a state of Janaba, (i.e. in a state of sexual impurity and have not yet taken a bath) except when travelling on the road (without enough water, or just passing through a mosque), till you wash your whole body. And if you are ill, or on a journey, or one of you comes after answering the call of nature, or you have been in contact with women (by sexual relations) and you find no water, perform Tayammum with clean earth and rub therewith your faces and hands (Tayammum). Truly, Allah is Ever Oft-Pardoning, Oft-Forgiving.))

[An-Nisa’, 43]

 So that you know (the meaning) of what you utter, and accordingly, he who doesn’t know what he is uttering (in his Salah) is considered in a drunken state. Therefore, Salah is a presence of mind and closeness, Allah says:

((Fall prostrate and draw near to Allah!))

[Al-Alaq, 19]

 Salah also is remembrance (Dhikr), Allah says:

((And perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) for My Remembrance.))

[Ta-Ha, 14]

 Salah is Dua (supplication) and if only the person who offers Salah knows whom he is secretly talking to, he will not turn his head. The prophet PBUH said:

((Narrated by Al Bayadi that the prophet PBUH retired to the mosque. He heard them (the people) reciting the Qur'an in a loud voice while praying. He removed the curtain and said: Lo! Every one of you is calling his Lord quietly in his prayer. One should not trouble the other and one should not raise the voice in recitation or in prayer over the voice of the other. ))

[Ahmad by Al Bayyadi]

 Allah says: Oh my slave I hear you and wait for you to praise me, so you say: Oh Lord praise, gratitude, grace and consent are to You, an abundant blessed good consent as much as the number of Your creations.
 So the believer is honored to do Munanjat to the Almighty Allah, for he is secretly talking to his Lord.
 In Salah also there is a special part for our prophet PBUH, and that is when you say (in the sitting position):
 "Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammadin" O Allah, let Your mercy come upon Muhammad, "Wa 'ala ali Muhammadin" and the family of Muhammad, "Kama sallaita 'ala Ibrahima" as You let it come upon Ibrahim, "wa 'ala ali Ibrahima" and the family of Ibrahim, "wa barik 'ala Muhammadin" O Allah, bless Muhammad, "wa 'ala ali Muhammadin" and the family of Muhammad, "Kama barakta ' ala Ibrahima" as You blessed Ibrahim, "Wa ' ala ali Ibrahima" and the family of Ibrahim. "Fil a'lamina Innaka" Truly You are, "hamidun Majid." Praiseworthy and Glorious.”
 In that part you are asking Allah’s mercy upon the messenger of Allah, for Allah’s Salah upon the prophet PBUH is to bestow him His mercy.
 As for the part of Salah, which has to do with the rest of Allah’s slaves believers, it lies in the part where you say:
 "Assalamu 'alaina wa’ala" Peace be on us and on, "ibadil-Lahis -Salihin" the righteous servants of Allah
 It refers to the believers, the prophet PBUH and Musalleen (people who offer prayers).

Salah should prevent from Al-Fahsha’ and Al Munkar:

 The most important thing in Salah is that it prevents from Al-Fahsha' (i.e. great sins of every kind, unlawful sexual intercourse, etc.) and Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief, polytheism, and every kind of evil wicked deed, etc.) and this is where its importance comes from, for it is a spontaneous restraint.
 In Islam there are two restraints, inner restraint and external one, and while laws are the external means, Salah depends on the inner one, for if there is observation (laws by which people abide), things will be in order, and things go out of control when there is no observation.
 A brother who lived in the United States said to me: I was driving my car on the highway and I was speeding like everybody else, but suddenly all the cars started to reduce their speed to the half after they were driving their cars 180-200 kms an hour, so what happened?” He didn’t understand what happened until later when he knew that at a certain point on the highway there was a Radar that detects speeding cars, however all the cars had a radar detector, and thus all of them reduced their speed.
 If this proves something, it proves that applying law depends on an inner restraint, and there is always this hidden war between the brilliant law-giver and the brilliant citizen, and every device that is invented by the law-giver is fought by another device invented by those under the law, and this brain fight will never end.
When the laws are given by Allah the Almighty they need an inner restraint in order to be applied.
 Though the western nations are described as (civilized nations), yet when there was a black out in New York, 200 thousand thefts occurred in one night.
 Another brother told me that once in the United States and on the chilly winter it was snowing and a huge truck full of meat skid and flipped and the driver was stuck in the driving cabinet, all the people around the car took the meat that was in the truck and none of them tried to help the driver who died because of bleeding.
 Listen to my precise words: the law depends on the external restraint, whereas the religion depends on the inner one.
 In Islam there is something incredible, every Muslim relies on his self-discipline which is perfect, and you can imagine when Ramadan comes in summer, and it’s very hot and water is available when a Muslim goes to the bathroom and he is very thirsty in the afternoon, and the cold water is available and he is alone, yet will you find any Muslim drinking from that water? Who is there to find out? No one but Allah, and therein lies the greatness of Islam.
 Umar Ibn Al Khattab one day wanted to try a shepherd who was tending his sheep, out of town. He said: “sell me this sheep, and I’ll give you money for it”. The shepherd said:”It is not mine”. “Tell its owner that it has died”, said Umar. The man said nothing. Omar continued, “Tell its owner that it has been eaten by a wolf.., and I’ll give you money for it”. The man said: “By Allah! I am in bad need for its money, and if I tell its owner that it has died or been eaten by a wolf, he would believe me, because I am honest and faithful in his sight…, but where is Allah?!

The believer is strongly disciplined:

 The greatest thing about Islam is that the Muslim is disciplined. He won’t eat ill-gotten money and he can’t feast his eyes on the beauty of a strange woman.
Hence, the greatness of Islam lies in having disciplined Muslims without external observation, whereas the Kuffar (disbelievers) try skillfully to beat the electronic observation means and Radars to break the law.
 If you try to take a commodity without paying for it in some stores in the western world, a loud scary sound will be heard on the door as if it says: “This person who passed the arch is a thief arrest him”, for they put a special substance in the commodities which interacts with the arch of the exit door, however despite all that technology there are people who managed to beat that system.
 In comparison, you find the believer very disciplined.
 This is a story of a man who took a second wife, so his first wife knew about that after checking and sending someone to investigate, and she was sure that her husband married this woman, but after a while this man died, so during distributing the inheritance, the first wife split her share with the fellow wife (half of the third) and she sent it to her, but the fellow wife said: By Allah he divorced me before he died, and I have no right to take that share. As you see, the inner restraint in Muslims is unbelievable, and it makes you feel at ease when you deal with all people, for no one will take what does not belong to him, no one lies and no one cheats, for they fear Allah, however when this inner restraint disappears, we will be like living in a jungle where the strong eats the weak, the brilliant uses the less brilliant, the powerful rules the weak and the rich controls the poor, and this kind of society is like a jungle because people lack the inner restraint. Salah creates an inner restraint in the one who offers it. Allah says:

((And perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat). Verily, As-Salat (the prayer) prevents from Al-Fahsha' (i.e. great sins of every kind, unlawful sexual intercourse, etc.) and Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief, polytheism, and every kind of evil wicked deed, etc.) and the remembering (praising, etc.) of (you by) Allah (in front of the angels) is greater indeed [than your remembering (praising, etc.) Allah in prayers, etc.]. And Allah knows what you do.))

[Al-Ankabut, 45]

Remembering of Allah is the greatest thing in Salah:

 The scholars had stated an outstanding comment on that Ayah, for they said: The remembering of Allah is the greatest thing within Salah, does not Allah say:

((And perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) for My Remembrance.))

[Ta-Ha, 14]

The remembering of Allah is the greatest thing within Salah.

 Some scholars said: When you remember Allah, Allah remembers you in return, and His remembrance to you is greater than yours to Him, for He is the All-Giver while you are the seeker and He is the Ever-Powerful while you are the weak.

The purpose of Salah:

 Imam Al Izz Ibn Abdussalam said: “The objective of Salah lies in preventing from Al-Fahsha' and Al-Munkar and in lifting the person who offers it to better levels beside making amends for his shortcomings, however the utmost objective of Salah is to renew one’s pledge with Allah”
 By offering the five Salawat (plural of Salah) daily, you are giving Allah your pledge at Fajr, at Zuhr, At Asr, At Mughrib and At Isha’a and you are renewing this pledge over and over again, and this is the gist of Salah.
 Al Izz said: “The heart has its share from Salah, and its share is the intention and sincerity, whereas the sound faith is Fard (obligation) in Salah, while servility, devoutness, supplication and submissiveness are Nadb (preferable).”
 Some scholars said, “devoutness in Salah is not one of its virtues rather it is Fard in it”
 Al Izz said: “In Salah there are split rights between Wajeb (obligatory) and Mandoob (preferable), Allah’s right in Al Fatiha lies in the first part of it, because this part embraces praising Him, Allah says:

((All the praises and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of the 'Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists). The Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful. The Only Owner (and the Only Ruling Judge) of the Day of Recompense (i.e. the Day of Resurrection) ))

[Al-Fatihah, 2-4]

 Whereas the right of the person who is offering Salah lies in the second part of Al Fatiha, Allah says:

(( You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything). Guide us to the Straight Way The Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, not (the way) of those who earned Your Anger (such as the Jews), nor of those who went astray (such as the Christians).))

[Al-Fatihah, 5-7]

Salah is the main pillar of this religion:

 One of the Sultans, who was contemporaneous with Imam Al Izz Ibn Abdussalam, used to ask his men to read this letter to every person who comes to him and used to say: Read to him this letter on the objectives of Salah.
 I have mentioned in the beginning of this lecture that in order to move with our Salah to the better level, which is decreed by Allah, we are in dire need to know the objectives of Salah more than the rulings of Salah. Hence, one should improve his Salah, however Salah, in fact, is the pillar of this religion, and whoever performs it, will be establishing for this religion, and whoever leaves it will be demolishing this religion. Also the prophet PBUH used to resort to Salah in his hardship and he used to say:

((O, Bilal, give us comfort with it (Salah).))

 He didn’t say give us comfort by getting done with it, for there is huge difference between love and obligation, for offering Salah as an obligation is as if we are saying: give us comfort by getting done with it, whereas offering Salah with love will be as if we are saying: give us comfort with it.
 If man doesn’t feel anything while offering Salah, while remembering Allah or while reciting Quran, then he should know that there is a serious flaw in his soul which should be mended and gotten rid of.
 This topic of improving Salah will motivate us to renew our pledge with the Almighty Allah and to move our Salah from being mere unaccepted rituals to being accepted acts of worship.

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of Creations