Is there a prayer that is of no benefit?

The Details of the Question

O Allah! I seek refuge in You from a prayer that is of no benefit. (Abu Dawud, Witr, 32 no: 1549) Is there a hadith like that? If yes, how sound is it? Will you explain ‘a prayer that is of no benefit’ mentioned in the hadith?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

For the hadith in question, see Abu Dawud, h. no: 1549; Bayhaqi, ad-Daawatul-Kabir,1/469.

- This hadith is sound.

- It expresses the Prophet’s consciousness of worshipping toward Allah, his sincerity and taqwa; it also teaches his ummah the importance of performing prayers properly.

- In principle, prayer becomes useful when it restrains from shameful and unjust deeds (al-Ankabut, 29/45) and when man acts in accordance with the external and internal conditions of prayer.

It is attained by fulfilling the parts, wajibs, conditions, sunnahs and manners of prayer, and obtaining sincerity, which means seeking Allah’s consent. For, prayer has certain conditions of acceptance like all other deeds of worship.

The prayer of a person who does not read the Quran well enough, reads al-Fatiha wrongly, does not act in accordance with tadil al-arkan, does not base his deeds on Allah’s consent, goes to mosque for others to see and shows off does not deserve to be accepted.

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