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What is The Significance of The 5 Daily Prayers Postures?

02 March, 2020
Q As-salaam-u Alay-kumI have always prayed Salah and I know the meaning of what I say in it. But, I feel a missing link. I think it is because I don't the wisdom of it. I don't know what it's supposed to be. I know it is a connection between me and Allah but I don't understand it's wisdom and thus, I don't get the feel that you are supposed to get. The feel that the Sahaaba (RA) got while Salah.So, here is what I want to know.1.Why do we recite the Qur'an in Salah?-What is Allah (SWT)'s wisdom in making us recite the Qur'an in Salah. I mean it is his own words that we are reciting back to him. What is the wisdom behind it? What should you feel during it?2.Why Ruku and Sajdah?-I know that it has something to do with humbling yourself before the Almighty. But what does it truly mean. What is the difference between Ruku and Sajdah? In both cases we bow our head. What does it mean when we put our head on the ground? Is it gratitude, is it fear, is it love or awe? What does it mean when you bow your head down during Ruku? Is it respect? Or perhaps it is gloryfying or praising Allah (SWT).Why do we sit after Sajdah and go to Sajdah again?Why do we say Sami ALLAHu liman hamida and Rabbana lakal hamdu.Why do we pray it in rakats? We can pray once. What is the wisdom behind praying it in rakats?Why do we salaam after Salah. Why not before Salah?I am not trying to be rude but I need to know these so I can improve my Salah and close the missing link. Jazak-Allah Khair

Answer

Short Answer: Some of the scholars say about the wisdom in repeating sujood twice is that sujood is the peak of submission, and that after the worshipper has fulfilled the command of His Master by standing up in prayer, then bowing down, then prostrating, then sitting down from prostration the first time, he/she goes back again in prostration out of gratitude and humbleness before the Master for allowing them to complete the rites of worship and for empowering them against their ego and Shaitan by completing their servitude to Him. Other scholars mentioned how prostration twice reminds us that we came from the earth, and we will go back to it again. And other scholars say that it is an affirmation of our humble servitude to Allah that we prostrate to Him twice.

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Part 1

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Walaykum Asalam,

Thanks for sending us your message.

There are two parts to your question: your desire to improve your prayer, feel what the Sahaba felt and close the missing link as you mentioned, and thinking that knowing the answers to the questions you proposed is what will help you accomplish that purpose. 

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So, it’s important to discuss both parts in order to correct a seeming misconception there.

Submission and Peace

Since we just celebrated Eid, I’m reminded with the story of Ibrahim (peace be upon him). Allah Almighty ordered Ibrahim to slaughter his son.

Imagine if Ibrahim started asking Allah, “But what’s the wisdom behind slaughtering my son? Okay, I’ll do it, I don’t mean anything, but if I know the wisdom, I’ll be able to follow this command more happily and slaughter my son in good conscience”.

Ibrahim (peace be upon him) could have said so, and these questions “make sense”. But he didn’t.

He submitted to the instruction of Allah out of complete trust in Him.

What happened as a result?

• Allah saved him and his son from this test.
• Allah ransomed his son with a great sacrifice, “A ram which had grazed in Paradise for forty years” (Tafsir Ibn Kathir).
• Allah not only protected his son, but He gifted him with yet another son!
• Allah made him a role model for all believers until the end of time.

And Allah said something very powerful and beautiful; He said:

peace upon Ibrahim”. (Qur’an 37: 109)

We all seek and desire peace. The Creator showed us that peace from Him –the Ultimate Source of Peace- showered Ibrahim internally and externally when his heart was in true submission to Allah.

We needed to mention this to correct the idea that we will get peace in prayer if we know the exact wisdom behind the number of raka’as…etc. This isn’t correct; we get peace when our hearts, minds, and bodies submit lovingly and humbly to Allah. This is the feeling we need to capture, and this is the missing link.

Brief answers

Having said that, we can discuss some wisdom regarding the questions you proposed. But this isn’t to say that the Prophet told us that these are the exact answers. Even though the Prophet spoke at length about almost everything, but matters of worship are Divinely instructed and should be practiced as they are instructed.

  • In any case, you asked, “why do we recite the Quran in prayer?”

I want to ask you, if we don’t do so, then what do we do, do we just speak in prayer? So it becomes a monologue? We just talk talk talk… And is it a loving relationship if we just talk and don’t listen?

Of course not.

So, in prayer, we do both. We listen to the words of Allah. We recite His words because there are no better, more powerful, more wise, more soothing words than the Words of Allah. So we recite His words that remind us of our purpose and our destination. Then, we speak to Him. We are encouraged to speak to Allah and ask for all we want in sujood and before tasleem.

So, first we listen to the Master, and then we speak to Him and ask of Him. It’s a communication that involves listening and speaking.

  • You asked, “why sajdah?”

In sajdah (prostration) as we put our forehead on the ground, we are in the most submissive state to Allah Almighty. We humble our ego and put our highest point (our forehead) at the lowest point in the ground. In this state of submission, the slave is the nearest to His Creator. As the Prophet said:

“A slave becomes nearest to his Lord when he is in prostration. So increase supplications while prostrating.” [Muslim]

And some of the scholars say about the wisdom in repeating sujood twice is that sujood is the peak of submission, and that after the worshipper has fulfilled the command of His Master by standing up in prayer, then bowing down, then prostrating, then sitting down from prostration the first time, he/she goes back again in prostration out of gratitude and humbleness before the Master for allowing them to complete the rites of worship and for empowering them against their ego and Shaitan by completing their servitude to Him. Other scholars mentioned how prostration twice reminds us that we came from the earth, and we will go back to it again. And other scholars say that it is an affirmation of our humble servitude to Allah that we prostrate to Him twice.

And from experience, truly the most wonderful, most peaceful most pleasing experience is in the humble sujood to Allah and speaking to Him in this state.

  • You asked: “Why do we say “sami’ Allahu  li man hamdia”?”

Abu Hurairah narrated that Allah’s Messenger said:

“When the Imam says: (Sami Allahu liman hamidah) ‘Allah listens to those who praise Him. Then (all of you) say: (Rabbana wa lakal-hamd) ‘O our Lord! And to You is the praise for whoever’s saying concurs with the saying of the angels, then his past sins will be forgiven.” [Jami at-Tirmidhi]

In short, why we pray the way we pray? Because Allah instructed us to do so, and we submit to Him. If it was in any other form, some people would have still questioned why it was in that form not the other. If it wasn’t the prescribed units of prayer, you would have also asked “why one prayer instead of units? Why do we just speak not listen to Allah…etc.” If we open room for questioning the prescribed acts of worship, we will not reach the satisfaction we want. Just like the people who kept asking Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) about the shape and color of the cow (Quran 2: 67- 74) until their hearts hardened, instead of softening.

So, to achieve peace, one needs to submit his/her will to the Will of Allah, do what He instructed and ask Him for peace. It is in this state of submission that Allah will envelop and shower the person in His peace.

And Allah knows best.

I hope this helps.

Salam and please keep in touch.

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

How to Have Khushu’ (Humble Submission) in Prayer?

Prayer is Not Only a Ritual

Tips To Improve Concentration in Prayer