Adab (Manners of prayer)

Adab (Manners of prayer)

Along with the sunnahs, it is necessary to pay attention to the adabs of the prayer. Abandoning adabs does not invalidate the prayer but it decreases the rewards and virtues of the prayer.

Primary adabs of prayer are as follows:

1 - To be in a state of peace, calm and awe bodily and spiritually in prayer.

A conscious Muslim knows what great worship prayer is and understands thanks to prayer that he is in the presence of his Majestic Creator; he assumes a modest state thinking that Allah always sees and knows about him. He does his best to protect his heart from wrong and bad thoughts, anything other than Allah and worldly interests. Therefore, the following is stated: "Prayer becomes perfect only with a peaceful and tranquil heart."

It is stated in the Quran that a believer who is in a state of peace and awe in prayer will attain endless bliss and salvation:

"The Believers must (eventually) win through - Those who humble themselves in their prayers." (al-Mu'minun, 1,2)

The house of Zayna'l-Abidin was in fire. The screams of the people covered the whole area. However, Zayna'l-Abidin did not do anything. After the fire was extinguished, some people entered his house. They saw that he was praying. When he ended the prayer by saluting, they asked him in astonishment:    

- Your house was in fire. Did you not hear our screams?

He said,

- Yes, I did. However, the fire of the other world outweighed the excitement of this fire. Therefore, I did not heed it.

Somebody was stealing the horse of Said bin Haythama, one of the Companions. Those who saw the thief shouted to warn him. However, Said bin Haythama did not move. They asked him:

- Why did you not run after your horse?

He answered as follows:  

- The pleasure I received from my prayer was more valuable than my horse.

Yes, the prayers of the saints and conscious religious people are like that.

We want to mention an important point here:

One should not say, "My prayers are at a much lower degree than the prayer of those saints. My prayers have no blessings and goodness." For, the prayers of ordinary people like us have some shares of the high abundance and luminous reality of prayer like the prayer of a saint even if we are not conscious about it. However, the development of that abundance and luminosity differs based on the spiritual evolution and the purity of the hearts of people. There are several phases and evolutions from the seed to the tree; similarly, there can be more levels and phases in the prayers that are performed. However, the luminous reality and high perfection of the prayer is present in all phases of the prayer from the lowest to the highest one; similarly, the essence of the tree is present in the seed. Therefore, there is no need to be sad and hopeless. However, it is necessary to try to spiritually develop more and to get more blessing and peace from prayers.   

Along with awe and peace, it is necessary to be conscious in prayers. Therefore, the Prophet did not regard it nice to perform prayers in a sleepy state. The following is stated regarding the issue by the Prophet:

"If a person feels sleepy in prayer, he should sleep till he becomes sober. For, a sleepy person may curse instead of repenting in prayer."

"If one of you starts to drop off in prayer, he should sleep until he exactly knows what to say."

The Messenger of Allah did not regard performing prayers in a sleepy and very tired state appropriate.

2 - Not to leave a garment one is wearing open; to button it up if it has buttons.   

One should perform prayers with clothes that he would not wear in the presence of other people. It is necessary to make sure that the clothes one wears while performing prayers are not dirty.

Workers can perform prayers with overalls if they are not dirty.

3 - One should look at the place of sajdah while standing, on his feet in ruku', the tip of the nose in sajdah, the lap while sitting and the shoulders while saluting.

4 - It is necessary to try not to cough, belch, etc while performing a prayer.

5 - It is necessary to try not to yawn while performing a prayer by clenching one's teeth. If it is not possible to prevent yawning, he needs to close his mouth with the back of his right hand in qiyam and the left hand in other rukns. He needs to try to hide his yawning. The following is stated in a hadith: "Allah Almighty regards sneezing all right but does not like yawning. He who yawns should try to prevent it and should not yawn loudly." In another narration, the following is stated: "He should put his hand on his mouth.

6 - To utter tasbihat more than 3 times if a person is performing a prayer alone.

7 - To stand up together with the imam when the muezzin utters "hayya alal-falah"; according to Imam Zufar it is necessary to stand up when the muezzin utters "hayya alas-salah".

8 - The imam should start the prayer when the muezzin says, "qad qamatis-salah". The imam confirms the muezzin by doing so. However, there is no drawback to starting the prayer after the iqamah ends. This is better according to Imam Abu Yusuf and the imams of the other three madhhabs.    

9 - To be alert about the next prayer after performing a prayer.

10 - To keep performing the tasbihat and duas in congregation after prayers; not to abandon them.

11 - To read the Quran after every prayer.  

12 - To take necessary measures to perform prayers at home and at work.

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