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The Command for Prayer and Charity

Allah orders His servants to obey Him, fulfill His rights and be kind to His creatures. He ordained the prayer, which affirms the worship of Allah alone, without partners, and to spend from the provisions that He has granted them, by paying the due Zakah, spending on relatives and being kind to all others. Establishing the prayer requires performing it on time, perfectly, preserving its act of bowing having humility during it, and preserving its prostrations. Allah has ordained spending from what He granted, in secret and public, so that the people save themselves,

﴿ مِّن قَبۡلِ أَن يَأۡتِىَ يَوۡمٌ۬

(before the coming of a Day), the Day of Resurrection,

﴿ لَّا بَيۡعٌ۬ فِيهِ وَلَا خِلَـٰلٌ

(on which there will be neither mutual bargaining nor befriending.) on which no ransom will be accepted from anyone, if he seeks to buy himself. Allah said in another Ayah,

﴿ فَٱلۡيَوۡمَ لَا يُؤۡخَذُ مِنكُمۡ فِدۡيَةٌ۬ وَلَا مِنَ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ‌ۚ

(So this Day no ransom shall be taken from you, nor of those who disbelieved.) (57:15) Allah said here,

﴿ وَلَا خِلَـٰلٌ

(nor befriending.) Ibn Jarir commented, "Allah says that on that Day, there will be no friendship between friends that might save those deserving punishment from it. Rather, on that Day, there will be fairness and justice.'' Qatadah said, "Allah knows that in this life, there is mutual bargaining and there are friendships which people benefit from. A man chooses his friends and the reasons behind befriending them; if it was for Allah's sake, their friendship should be maintained, but if it was for other than Allah, their friendship is bound to be cutoff.'' I say that the meaning of this, is that Allah the Exalted is declaring that on that Day, no mutual bargaining or ransom will avail anyone, even if he ransoms himself with the earth's fill of gold if he could find that amount! No friendship or intercession shall avail one if he meets Allah while a disbeliever. Allah the Exalted said,

﴿ وَٱتَّقُواْ يَوۡمً۬ا لَّا تَجۡزِى نَفۡسٌ عَن نَّفۡسٍ۬ شَيۡـًٔ۬ا وَلَا يُقۡبَلُ مِنۡہَا عَدۡلٌ۬ وَلَا تَنفَعُهَا شَفَـٰعَةٌ۬ وَلَا هُمۡ يُنصَرُونَ

(And fear the Day when no person shall avail another, nor shall compensation be accepted from him, nor shall intercession be of use to him, nor shall they be helped.) (2:123) and,

﴿ يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓاْ أَنفِقُواْ مِمَّا رَزَقۡنَـٰكُم مِّن قَبۡلِ أَن يَأۡتِىَ يَوۡمٌ۬ لَّا بَيۡعٌ۬ فِيهِ وَلَا خُلَّةٌ۬ وَلَا شَفَـٰعَةٌ۬‌ۗ وَٱلۡكَـٰفِرُونَ هُمُ ٱلظَّـٰلِمُونَ

(O you believe! Spend of that with which We have provided for you, before a Day comes when there will be no bargaining, nor friendship, nor intercession. And it is the disbelievers
who are the wrongdoers.) (2:254)

﴿ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِى خَلَقَ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضَ وَأَنزَلَ مِنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ مَآءً۬ فَأَخۡرَجَ بِهِۦ مِنَ ٱلثَّمَرَٲتِ رِزۡقً۬ا لَّكُمۡ‌ۖ وَسَخَّرَ لَكُمُ ٱلۡفُلۡكَ لِتَجۡرِىَ فِى ٱلۡبَحۡرِ بِأَمۡرِهِۦ‌ۖ وَسَخَّرَ لَكُمُ ٱلۡأَنۡهَـٰرَ وَسَخَّرَ لَكُمُ ٱلشَّمۡسَ وَٱلۡقَمَرَ دَآٮِٕبَيۡنِ‌ۖ وَسَخَّرَ لَكُمُ ٱلَّيۡلَ وَٱلنَّہَارَ وَءَاتَٮٰكُم مِّن ڪُلِّ مَا سَأَلۡتُمُوهُ‌ۚ وَإِن تَعُدُّواْ نِعۡمَتَ ٱللَّهِ لَا تُحۡصُوهَآ‌ۗ إِنَّ ٱلۡإِنسَـٰنَ لَظَلُومٌ۬ ڪَفَّارٌ۬

(32. Allah is He Who has created the heavens and the earth and sends down water (rain) from the sky, and thereby brought forth fruits as provision for you; and He has made the ships to be of service to you, that they may sail through the sea by His command; and He has made rivers (also) to be of service to you.) (33. And He has made the sun and the moon, both constantly pursuing their courses, to be of service to you; and He has made the night and the day to be of service to you.) (34. And He gave you of all that you asked for, and if you)try to( count the blessings of Allah, never will you be able to count them. Verily, man is indeed an extreme wrongdoer, ungrateful.)

Describing Some of Allah's Tremendous Favors

Allah mentions some of the favors He has done for His creatures, such as creating the heavens as a protective ceiling and the earth as a bed. He also sends down rain from the sky and, in its aftermath brings forth a variety of vegetation, fruits and plants of different colors, shapes, tastes, scents and uses. Allah also made the ships sail on the surface of the water by His command and He made the sea able to carry these ships in order that travelers can transfer from one area to another to transport goods. Allah also created the rivers that flow through the earth from one area to another as provision for the servants which they use to drink and irrigate, and for other benefits,

﴿ وَسَخَّرَ لَكُمُ ٱلشَّمۡسَ وَٱلۡقَمَرَ دَآٮِٕبَيۡنِ‌ۖ

(And He has made the sun and the moon, both constantly pursuing their courses), rotating by night and by day,

﴿ لَا ٱلشَّمۡسُ يَنۢبَغِى لَهَآ أَن تُدۡرِكَ ٱلۡقَمَرَ وَلَا ٱلَّيۡلُ سَابِقُ ٱلنَّہَارِ‌ۚ وَكُلٌّ۬ فِى فَلَكٍ۬ يَسۡبَحُونَ

(It is not for the sun to overtake the moon, nor does the night outstrip the day. They all float, each in an orbit.))36:40) and,

﴿ يُغۡشِى ٱلَّيۡلَ ٱلنَّہَارَ يَطۡلُبُهُ ۥ حَثِيثً۬ا وَٱلشَّمۡسَ وَٱلۡقَمَرَ وَٱلنُّجُومَ مُسَخَّرَٲتِۭ بِأَمۡرِهِۦۤ‌ۗ أَلَا لَهُ ٱلۡخَلۡقُ وَٱلۡأَمۡرُ‌ۗ تَبَارَكَ ٱللَّهُ رَبُّ ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ

(He brings the night as a cover over the day, seeking it rapidly, and (He created) the sun, the moon, the stars subjected to His command. His is the creation and commandment. Blessed is Allah, the Lord of all that exists!)(7:54) The sun and the moon rotate in succession, and the night and the day are opposites, each taking from the length of the other or giving up some of its length,

﴿ يُولِجُ ٱلَّيۡلَ فِى ٱلنَّهَارِ وَيُولِجُ ٱلنَّهَارَ فِى ٱلَّيۡلِ

((Allah ) merges the night into day, and merges the day into night.)(35:13) and,

﴿ وَسَخَّرَ ٱلشَّمۡسَ وَٱلۡقَمَرَ‌ۖ ڪُلٌّ۬ يَجۡرِى لِأَجَلٍ۬ مُّسَمًّى‌ۗ أَلَا هُوَ ٱلۡعَزِيزُ ٱلۡغَفَّـٰرُ

(And He has subjected the sun and the moon. Each running (on a fixed course) for an appointed term. Verily, He is the Almighty, the Oft-Forgiving.)(39:5( Allah said next,

﴿ وَءَاتَٮٰكُم مِّن ڪُلِّ مَا سَأَلۡتُمُوهُ‌ۚ

(And He gave you of all that you asked for), He has prepared for you all that you need in all conditions, and what you ask Him to provide for you,

﴿ وَإِن تَعُدُّواْ نِعۡمَةَ ٱللَّهِ لَا تُحۡصُوهَآ‌ۗ

(and if you)try to( count the blessings of Allah, never will you be able to count them.) Allah states that the servants are never able to count His blessings, let alone thank Him duly for them. In Sahih Al-Bukhari it is recorded that the Messenger of Allah used to supplicate;

« اللَّهُمَّ لَكَ الْحَمْدُ غَيْرَ مَكْفِيَ وَلَا مُوَدَّعٍ وَلَا مُسْتَغْنًى عَنْهُ رَبَّنَا »

(O Allah! All praise is due to You, without being able to sufficiently thank You, nor ever wish to be cutoff from You, nor ever feeling rich from relying on You; our Lord!) It was reported that Prophet Dawud, peace be upon him, used to say in his supplication, "O Lord! How can I ever duly thank You, when my thanking You is also a favor from You to me'' Allah the Exalted answered him, "Now, you have thanked Me sufficiently, O Dawud,'' meaning, `when you admitted that you will never be able to duly thank Me.'

﴿ وَإِذۡ قَالَ إِبۡرَٲهِيمُ رَبِّ ٱجۡعَلۡ هَـٰذَا ٱلۡبَلَدَ ءَامِنً۬ا وَٱجۡنُبۡنِى وَبَنِىَّ أَن نَّعۡبُدَ ٱلۡأَصۡنَامَ رَبِّ إِنَّہُنَّ أَضۡلَلۡنَ كَثِيرً۬ا مِّنَ ٱلنَّاسِ‌ۖ فَمَن تَبِعَنِى فَإِنَّهُ ۥ مِنِّى‌ۖ وَمَنۡ عَصَانِى فَإِنَّكَ غَفُورٌ۬ رَّحِيمٌ۬

(35. And (remember) when Ibrahim said: "O my Lord! Make this city (Makkah) one of peace and security, and keep me and my sons away from worshipping idols.) (36. "O my Lord! They have indeed led astray many among mankind. But whoso follows me, he verily, is of me. And whoso disobeys me, still You are indeed Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.)

Ibrahim's Supplication to Allah when He brought Isma`il to Makkah

Allah mentions here, while bringing forth more evidences against Arab polytheists, that the Sacred House in Makkah was established on the worship of Allah alone, without partners. He also states that Ibrahim, who established the city, has disowned those who worship others besides Allah, and that he begged Allah to make Makkah peaceful and secure,

﴿ رَبِّ ٱجۡعَلۡ هَـٰذَا ٱلۡبَلَدَ ءَامِنً۬ا

(O my Lord! Make this city (Makkah) of peace and security,) and Allah accepted his supplication. Allah said in other Ayat,

﴿ أَوَلَمۡ يَرَوۡاْ أَنَّا جَعَلۡنَا حَرَمًا ءَامِنً۬ا

(Have they not seen that We have made (Makkah) a secure sanctuary.)(29:67) and,

﴿ إِنَّ أَوَّلَ بَيۡتٍ۬ وُضِعَ لِلنَّاسِ لَلَّذِى بِبَكَّةَ مُبَارَكً۬ا وَهُدً۬ى لِّلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ فِيهِ ءَايَـٰتُۢ بَيِّنَـٰتٌ۬ مَّقَامُ إِبۡرَٲهِيمَ‌ۖ وَمَن دَخَلَهُ ۥ كَانَ ءَامِنً۬ا‌ۗ

(Verily, the first House (of worship) appointed for mankind was that at Bakkah (Makkah), full of blessing, and a guidance for Al-'Alamin. In it are manifest signs, the Maqam of Ibrahim; whosoever enters it, he attains security.) (3:96) Allah said here that Ibrahim supplicated,

﴿ رَبِّ ٱجۡعَلۡ هَـٰذَا ٱلۡبَلَدَ ءَامِنً۬ا

(O my Lord! Make this city (Makkah) a of peace and security,) saying, "this city'', after he established it, and this is why he said afterwards,

﴿ ٱلۡحَمۡدُ لِلَّهِ ٱلَّذِى وَهَبَ لِى عَلَى ٱلۡكِبَرِ إِسۡمَـٰعِيلَ وَإِسۡحَـٰقَ‌ۚ

(All praise is due to Allah, Who has given me in old age Isma`il and Ishaq.)(14:39) It is well-known that Isma`il was thirteen years older than Ishaq. When Ibrahim took Isma`il and his mother to Makkah, while Isma`il was still young enough to nurse, he supplicated to Allah,

﴿ رَبِّ ٱجۡعَلۡ هَـٰذَا بَلَدًا ءَامِنً۬ا

(O my Lord! Make this city (Makkah) a place of peace and security.)(2:126) as we in explained in Surat Al-Baqarah. Ibrahim then said,

﴿ وَٱجۡنُبۡنِى وَبَنِىَّ أَن نَّعۡبُدَ ٱلۡأَصۡنَامَ

(and keep me and my sons away from worshipping idols.) It is proper for whoever supplicates to Allah to also ask for the benefit of his parents and offspring, as well as himself. Ibrahim next mentioned that many among mankind were led astray because of idols, and he disowned those who worship them and referred their matter to Allah; if Allah wills, He will punish them, and if He wills, He will forgive them. `Isa, peace be upon him, said similar words,

﴿ إِن تُعَذِّبۡہُمۡ فَإِنَّہُمۡ عِبَادُكَ‌ۖ وَإِن تَغۡفِرۡ لَهُمۡ فَإِنَّكَ أَنتَ ٱلۡعَزِيزُ ٱلۡحَكِيمُ

(If You punish them, they are Your servants, and if You forgive them, verily, You, only You are the Almighty, the All-Wise.) (5:118) This supplication refers this and all matters to Allah, not that it is actually going to happen. `Abdullah bin `Amr narrated that the Messenger of Allah recited Ibrahim's supplication,

﴿ رَبِّ إِنَّہُنَّ أَضۡلَلۡنَ كَثِيرً۬ا مِّنَ ٱلنَّاسِ‌ۖ

(O my Lord! They have indeed led astray many among mankind.), and the supplication of `Isa,

﴿ إِن تُعَذِّبۡہُمۡ فَإِنَّہُمۡ عِبَادُكَ‌ۖ

(If You punish them, they are Your servants.)(5:118) then raised his hands and said,

« اللَّهُمَّ أُمَّتِي، اللَّهُمَّ أُمَّتِي، اللَّهُمَّ أُمَّتِي »

(O Allah, Save my Ummah! O, Allah, Save my Ummah! O, Allah, Save my Ummah!) and cried. Allah said to the angel Jibril, "O Jibril, go to Muhammad, and Your Lord has more knowledge, and ask him what makes him cry.'' Jibril came to the Prophet and asked him, and he repeated to him what he said (in his supplication). Allah said, "Go to Muhammad and tell him this; `We will make you pleased with your Ummah, O Muhammad, and will not treat them in a way you dislike.'''

﴿ رَّبَّنَآ إِنِّىٓ أَسۡكَنتُ مِن ذُرِّيَّتِى بِوَادٍ غَيۡرِ ذِى زَرۡعٍ عِندَ بَيۡتِكَ ٱلۡمُحَرَّمِ رَبَّنَا لِيُقِيمُواْ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ فَٱجۡعَلۡ أَفۡـِٔدَةً۬ مِّنَ ٱلنَّاسِ تَہۡوِىٓ إِلَيۡہِمۡ وَٱرۡزُقۡهُم مِّنَ ٱلثَّمَرَٲتِ لَعَلَّهُمۡ يَشۡكُرُونَ

(37. "O our Lord! I have made some of my offspring dwell in an uncultivable valley by Your Sacred House in order, O our Lord, that they may perform Salah. So fill some hearts among men with love towards them, and (O Allah) provide them with fruits so that they may give thanks.) This Ayah indicates that this was different supplication than the first one that Ibrahim said when he left Hajar and her son Isma`il in Makkah, before the Sacred House was built. This prayer, it appears, was said after the House was built, begging Allah and seeking His favor, and He is the Exalted and Most Honored. Ibrahim said here,

﴿ عِندَ بَيۡتِكَ ٱلۡمُحَرَّمِ

(by Your Sacred House...) then he,

﴿ رَبَّنَا لِيُقِيمُواْ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ

(O our Lord, that they may perform Salah.) Ibn Jarir At-Tabari commented that this, "Refers to his earlier statement,

﴿ ٱلۡمُحَرَّمِ

(the Sacred...),'' meaning, `You have made this House Sacred so that people establish the prayer next to it,'

﴿ فَٱجۡعَلۡ أَفۡـِٔدَةً۬ مِّنَ ٱلنَّاسِ تَہۡوِىٓ إِلَيۡہِمۡ

(So fill some hearts among men with love towards them,) Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid and Sa'id bin Jubayr said, "Had Ibrahim said, `The hearts of mankind', Persians, Romans, the Jews, the Christians and all other people would have gathered around it.'' However, Ibrahim said,

﴿ مِّنَ ٱلنَّاسِ

(among men), thus making it exclusive to Muslims only. He said next,

﴿ وَٱرۡزُقۡهُم مِّنَ ٱلثَّمَرَٲتِ

(and (O Allah) provide them with fruits) in order that they may be helped in obeying You, and because this is a barren valley; bring to them fruits that they might eat. Allah accepted Ibrahim's supplication,

﴿ أَوَلَمۡ نُمَكِّن لَّهُمۡ حَرَمًا ءَامِنً۬ا يُجۡبَىٰٓ إِلَيۡهِ ثَمَرَٲتُ كُلِّ شَىۡءٍ۬ رِّزۡقً۬ا مِّن لَّدُنَّا

(Have We not established for them a secure sanctuary (Makkah), to which are brought fruits of all kinds, a provision from Ourselves.) (28:57( This only indicates Allah's compassion, kindness, mercy and blessing, in that there are no fruit producing trees in the Sacred City, Makkah, yet all kinds of fruits are being brought to it from all around; this is how Allah accepted the supplication of the Khalil - Allah's intimate friend, Prophet Ibrahim, peace be upon him.

﴿ رَبَّنَآ إِنَّكَ تَعۡلَمُ مَا نُخۡفِى وَمَا نُعۡلِنُ‌ۗ وَمَا يَخۡفَىٰ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ مِن شَىۡءٍ۬ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَلَا فِى ٱلسَّمَآءِ ٱلۡحَمۡدُ لِلَّهِ ٱلَّذِى وَهَبَ لِى عَلَى ٱلۡكِبَرِ إِسۡمَـٰعِيلَ وَإِسۡحَـٰقَ‌ۚ إِنَّ رَبِّى لَسَمِيعُ ٱلدُّعَآءِ رَبِّ ٱجۡعَلۡنِى مُقِيمَ ٱلصَّلَوٰةِ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِى‌ۚ رَبَّنَا وَتَقَبَّلۡ دُعَآءِ رَبَّنَا ٱغۡفِرۡ لِى وَلِوَٲلِدَىَّ وَلِلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ يَوۡمَ يَقُومُ ٱلۡحِسَابُ

(38. "O our Lord! Certainly, You know what we conceal and what we reveal. Nothing on the earth or in the heaven is hidden from Allah.'') (39. "All praise is due to Allah, Who has given me in old age Isma'il and Ishaq. Verily, my Lord is indeed the All-Hearer of invocations.'') (40. "O my Lord! Make me one who performs Salah, and (also) from my offspring, our Lord! And accept my invocation.'') (41. "Our Lord! Forgive me and my parents, and (all) the believers on the Day when the reckoning will be established.'') Ibn Jarir At-Tabari said, "Allah said that Ibrahim, His Khalil, said,

﴿ رَبَّنَآ إِنَّكَ تَعۡلَمُ مَا نُخۡفِى وَمَا نُعۡلِنُ‌ۗ

(O our Lord! Certainly, You know what we conceal and what we reveal.) meaning, `You know the intention behind my supplication for the people of this town, seeking Your pleasure in sincerity to You. You know all things, apparent and hidden, and nothing escapes Your knowledge on the earth or in heaven.''' He next praised and thanked his Lord the Exalted and Most Honored for granting him offspring after he became old,

﴿ ٱلۡحَمۡدُ لِلَّهِ ٱلَّذِى وَهَبَ لِى عَلَى ٱلۡكِبَرِ إِسۡمَـٰعِيلَ وَإِسۡحَـٰقَ‌ۚ إِنَّ رَبِّى لَسَمِيعُ ٱلدُّعَآءِ

(All praise is due to Allah, Who has given me in old age Isma'il (Ishmael) and Ishaq (Isaac). Verily, my Lord is indeed the All-Hearer of invocations.) `He accepts the supplication of those who invoke Him, and has accepted my invocation when I asked Him to grant me offspring. 'Ibrahim said next,

﴿ رَبِّ ٱجۡعَلۡنِى مُقِيمَ ٱلصَّلَوٰةِ

(O my Lord! Make me one who performs Salah,), preserving its obligations and limits,

﴿ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِى‌ۚ

(and (also) from my offspring,), make them among those who establish the prayer, as well,

﴿ رَبَّنَا وَتَقَبَّلۡ دُعَآءِ

(our Lord! And accept my invocation.), all of my invocation which I invoked You with herein,

﴿ رَبَّنَا ٱغۡفِرۡ لِى وَلِوَٲلِدَىَّ

(Our Lord! Forgive me and my parents,) Ibrahim said this before he declared himself innocent from his father, after he became sure that he was an enemy of Allah,

﴿ وَلِلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ

(and the believers), all of them,

﴿ يَوۡمَ يَقُومُ ٱلۡحِسَابُ

(on the Day when the reckoning will be established.) on the Day when You will reckon Your servants and recompense or reward them for their deeds - good for good and evil for evil.

﴿ وَلَا تَحۡسَبَنَّ ٱللَّهَ غَـٰفِلاً عَمَّا يَعۡمَلُ ٱلظَّـٰلِمُونَ‌ۚ إِنَّمَا يُؤَخِّرُهُمۡ لِيَوۡمٍ۬ تَشۡخَصُ فِيهِ ٱلۡأَبۡصَـٰرُ مُهۡطِعِينَ مُقۡنِعِى رُءُوسِہِمۡ لَا يَرۡتَدُّ إِلَيۡہِمۡ طَرۡفُهُمۡ‌ۖ وَأَفۡـِٔدَتُہُمۡ هَوَآءٌ۬

(42. Consider not that Allah is unaware of that which the wrongdoers do, but He gives them respite up to a Day when the eyes will stare in horror.) (43. (They will be) hastening forward with necks outstretched, their heads raised up (towards the sky), their gaze returning not towards them and their hearts empty.)