Rabbee Zidnee

"And convey to my servants that surely I am the Ghafoor (the Forgiving) and the Raheem (the Merciful)". -- Suratul Hijr, Verse 49

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Salam but no response!

In His Name, the Most High

Shaykh Husayn Ansariyan is one of our contemporary scholars (may Allah increase their knowledge and give them more tawfeeq) living in Tehran. In one of his speeches, he relates that someone came to him and complained that aalim X (another respected aalim of Tehran) never answers his salaam. Whenever that person would say salaamun alaykum the aalim would not respond.

Shaykh Ansariyan responded and said don’t worry about it. Why? Because that scholar is still so busy in thought about the iyyaka na’abudu wa iyyaka nastaeen that he recited in his fajr prayers that he simply does not hear you!

What is the moral of the story? That we should stop answering the salam that people send us? No; rather, answering a salam that you hear is wajib! And yes, remembrance of Allah should not distract someone for social obligations! Rather, the moral here is that the attention we have towards Allah in our prayers should not end with the salam of the prayer. Ending a prayer should not mean forgetting Allah. We should instead strive to have this attention throughout the day and use the prayer as a means of renewing that attention.

In the Qur’an, whenever we are commanded to pray, the Arabic verb aqaama has been used. Allah does not tell us to read or recite the prayers, but rather to establish them, which is a more inclusive action that means not only movement of the lips and the body but also attention of the mind towards the One towards whom we establish the prayer.


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