We are looking for a connection.
We all need love.
We want to belong to a place, person, or thing.
So, we fill up restaurants, go on holidays and sightseeing.
We enjoy rides in malls, and flirt in fantasy parks.
And still we feel down, not up.
We try the latest and the greatest… the next big thing;
The app, the download and the ipod.
The smoothie, latte and gelato, or any other demi-god.
And still, we are not full.
We are always hungry for love.
We are lonely and broken hearted.
Searching for everlasting, unconditional, love.
An all consuming love… which will swallow up the pain.
The love of human beings is always a strain.
Others always cause us pain.
And so we still feel empty…
And when the place, person, or thing gets boring,
We start scoring.
To find a “new” version of the “old” one.
New mall. New phone. New relationship.
The soul is always screaming.
For freedom to be free.
Uneasy in its’ stillness.
Overcome by its’ illness…
Of not being able to sit still or silent.
This modern social sickness: desire to move so urgent.
It breaks the soul.
Movement is the only goal.
The sadness of the madness can only be erased
With the gift of SALAH.
The medicine for hypertension and for loneliness.
Is found inside the oneliness.
The connection to our Lord.
We are in need of love, refreshment and connection.
We need to be pulled together.
Put back in place with something very snug, safe and strong.
We need to sing the love song.
The words of our SALAH.


Salah linguistically comes from the root letters saad, laam, yaa. Some grammarians say the last letter is waw. Salah means to join or link.

We need to reconnect to Allah as we have strayed from him in our thoughts. The negligence desists when we remember our Lord. The bodies’ constant movement winds down to stillness. The heart stabilzes and remembers its’ Lord.

We recognize that our movement and stillness are one big beautiful spiritual flowchart on the prayer mat and off it. All atoms and cells in the body stop and start for their Lord.

We need the refreshment and purity it gives us. That feeling of having spiritually showered off the grime of impatience and anger. The stability against a journey of unsettled insecurity. The peace for lack of peace. The comforter of anxiety.

The Importance of Salah

Allah, the Exalted, says:
“Guard strictly (the five obligatory) As-Salawat (the prayers) especially the middle Salat (i.e., the best prayer – ‘Asr) and stand in front of Allah swt in motionless silence” (2:238)

Prayer is the first question we will be asked about when we meet Allah (SWT)

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “The first of man’s deeds for which he will be called to account on the Day of Resurrection will be Salah. If it is found to be perfect, he will be safe and successful; but if it is incomplete, he will be unfortunate and a loser. If any shortcoming is found in the obligatory Salah, the Glorious and Exalted Rubb will command to see whether His slave has offered any voluntary Salah so that the obligatory Salah may be made up by it. Then the rest of his actions will be treated in the same manner.” Tirmidhi. Riad ul Saliheen. Hadith 1081. Chapter 193. Vol 2. The Book of virtues. Strict orders for the observance of salah.

وعن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه قال‏:‏ قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم‏:‏
‏ “‏إن أول ما يحاسب به العبد يوم القيامة من عمله صلاته، فإن صلحت، فقد أفلح وأنجح، وإن فسدت، فقد خاب وخسر، فإن انتقص من فريضته شيئًا، قال الرب، عز وجل‏:‏ انظروا هل لعبدي من تطوع، فيكمل منها ما انتقص من الفريضة‏؟‏ ثم يكون سائر أعماله على هذا‏”

Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Between a man and disbelief and paganism is the abandonment of Salat (prayer).”[Muslim]. Riad ul Saliheen. Hadith 1078. Chapter 193. Vol 2. The Book of virtues. Strict orders for the observance of salah.

وعن جابرٍ قال : سمعت رسول الله يقول : « إنَّ بَيْنَ الرَّجُلِ وَبَيْنَ الشِّرْكِ والكفر ، تَرْكَ الصَّلاَةِ » . رواه مسلم . الصلاة : هي الحد الفاصل بين الإِسلام والكفر .

The Parable of Prayer with a Bath

The Last Messenger compared prayer with bathing. Thus prayer is a purification process for the soul. It cleanses away spiritual filth and refreshes us.
Abu Hurairahu (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) saying, “Say, if there were a river at the door of one of you in which he takes a bath five times a day, would any soiling remain on him?” They replied, “No soiling would be left on him.” He (ﷺ) said, “That is the five (obligatory) Salat (prayers). Allah obliterates all sins as a result of performing them.”[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]. Riad ul Saliheen. Hadith 1042. Chapter 187. Vol 2. The Book of virtues. The excellence of The Salah.

وعن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه قال‏:‏ سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول‏:‏ ‏”‏أرأيتم لو أن نهرًا بباب أحدكم يغتسل منه كل يوم خمس مرات، هل يبقى من درنه شيء‏؟‏‏”‏ قالوا‏:‏ لا يبقى من درنه شيء، قال‏:‏ ‏”‏فذلك مثل الصلوات الخمس، يمحو الله بهن الخطايا‏”‏‏.‏‏(‏‏(‏متفق عليه‏)‏‏)‏‏.‏

The Last Messenger also said that “the coolness of my eyes has been made in prayer.” Ahmad/Nisai/ Mishkat ul Masabih. This is an emphatic statement that emphasizes that something wonderful has already become crystallized inside the prayer.

Further the parable of prayer and sins is that of a tree and a leaf. Salah makes sins slide off the body as easily as leaves wither off a tree. The Last Messenger took two branches from a tree and said “a Muslim servant says prayer hoping thereby the pleasure of Allah swt and then his sins drop down on him just as these leaves drop down on this tree.” Ahmad/ Mishkat ul Masabih.

A live conversation

Prayer is a live conversation between a person and Allah swt. Only a fool would have a conversation with someone without knowing what he was saying. This is “The grand conversation” with the King of Kings? Surely it is absurd to be dumbstruck in front of Him.

The Prophet (ﷺ) saw some sputum in the direction of the Qibla (on the wall of the mosque) and he disliked that and the sign of disgust was apparent from his face. So he got up and scraped it off with his hand and said, “Whenever anyone of you stands for the prayer, he is speaking in private to his Lord or his Lord is between him and his Qibla. So, none of you should spit in the direction of the Qibla but one can spit to the left or under his foot.” The Prophet (ﷺ) then took the corner of his sheet and spat in it and folded it and said, “Or you can do this.” Sahih al Bukhari: Kitaab ul Salah.

حَدَّثَنَا قُتَيْبَةُ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا إِسْمَاعِيلُ بْنُ جَعْفَرٍ، عَنْ حُمَيْدٍ، عَنْ أَنَسٍ، أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم رَأَى نُخَامَةً فِي الْقِبْلَةِ، فَشَقَّ ذَلِكَ عَلَيْهِ حَتَّى رُئِيَ فِي وَجْهِهِ، فَقَامَ فَحَكَّهُ بِيَدِهِ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ إِنَّ أَحَدَكُمْ إِذَا قَامَ فِي صَلاَتِهِ، فَإِنَّهُ يُنَاجِي رَبَّهُ ـ أَوْ إِنَّ رَبَّهُ بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَ الْقِبْلَةِ ـ فَلاَ يَبْزُقَنَّ أَحَدُكُمْ قِبَلَ قِبْلَتِهِ، وَلَكِنْ عَنْ يَسَارِهِ، أَوْ تَحْتَ قَدَمَيْهِ ‏”‏‏.‏ ثُمَّ أَخَذَ طَرَفَ رِدَائِهِ فَبَصَقَ فِيهِ، ثُمَّ رَدَّ بَعْضَهُ عَلَى بَعْضٍ، فَقَالَ ‏”‏ أَوْ يَفْعَلْ هَكَذَا ‏”‏‏.‏

The Hadith Qudsi below also explains that when we recite this Surah we are in a two way conversation.

We are encouraged to refine and break the Surah. We are to contemplate it slowly as we read it. There is no concept of us blurting it out bluntly all at once without thought and feeling.

Allah, the Almighty said, ‘I have divided the Salah between Me and My slave by halves. Half of it is for Me and half of it is for My slave. And My slave is granted what he asked for. ‘When the worshipper says, All the praises and thanks are to Allah, the Lord of the universe, ‘Allah says, ‘My slave praised Me.’ When the worshipper says, The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful’, Allah says, ‘My slave eulogized Me.’ When he utters, The Only Owner of the Day of Recompense,’ Allah says, ‘My slave glorified Me. ‘When he utters, You Alone we worship, and You Alone we ask for help, ‘Allah says, ‘This is between Me and My slave. And My slave is granted what he asked for. ‘When he utters, 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 nor of those who went astray, ‘Allah says, ‘This is for My slave and My slave is granted what he asked for'” (Muslim, At-Tirmidhi).

Surah Al Fatiha

This is also called the Mother of the Quran: Umm Ul Quran-by sahih hadith in Tirmidhi and Abu Dawood. It is the origin and essence of The Quran. It encompasses all its’ objects and subjects. It also emphasizes the deity and attributes of Allah.

The ayah “Thee alone we worship” points to the hukms of The Shariah, Tawheed and Ikhlas.

We also ask Allah swt to give us the gift of guidance by showing us the right path which is the goal and target of the prayer of The Fatiha.

The Garden and The Fire and the consequences of life and death are depicted at the end of this Surah. This is since we ask for the path of the blessed and successful and not of those that failed in life by earning Allah swt’s anger and going astray.
Surah al Fatiha has been given 26 different names by “Al Itkaan.” Some of which are:

  1. The Great Quran.
  2. The Surah of Gratitude.
  3. The Surah of Salah.
  4. The Salah.
  5. The Surah of Dua.
  6. The Dua.
  7. The Light/Al Nur.
  8. The Cure /The Shifa.

Seven repeated verses

It has also been called the seven repeated verses or “saba mathani” for various reasons.

Mathani linguistically comes from Mathna. This means two or double.

  1. This Surah was revealed twice: in Mecca and Medina.
  2. It is also called Tathni since it is repeated in all units of prayer.
  3. Thana means praise. This Surah praises Allah swt.
  4. Istathna means, exception. This Surah is an exception, since it was especially given as an exclusive gift to this Islamic Ummah.


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