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The Meaning of Salah Print E-mail

Allah's Salah means that He praises His servant before the angels, as Al-Bukhari recorded from Abu Al-`Aliyah. This was recorded by Abu Ja`far Ar-Razi from Ar-Rabi` bin Anas from Anas. Others said: "Allah's Salah means mercy.'' It may be said that there is no contradiction between these two views. And Allah knows best. Salah from the angels means their supplication and seeking forgiveness for people, as Allah says:

﴿الَّذِينَ يَحْمِلُونَ الْعَرْشَ وَمَنْ حَوْلَهُ يُسَبِّحُونَ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّهِمْ وَيُؤْمِنُونَ بِهِ وَيَسْتَغْفِرُونَ لِلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ رَبَّنَا وَسِعْتَ كُـلَّ شَىْءٍ رَّحْمَةً وَعِلْماً فَاغْفِرْ لِلَّذِينَ تَابُواْ وَاتَّبَعُواْ سَبِيلَكَ وَقِهِمْ عَذَابَ الْجَحِيمِ - رَبَّنَا وَأَدْخِلْهُمْ جَنَّـتِ عَدْنٍ الَّتِى وَعَدْتَّهُمْ وَمَن صَـلَحَ مِنْ ءَابَآئِهِمْ وَأَزْوَجِهِمْ وَذُرِّيَّـتِهِمْ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ ﴾

وَقِهِمُ السَّيّئَـتِ﴾

(Those who bear the Throne and those around it glorify the praises of their Lord, and believe in Him, and ask forgiveness for those who believe (saying): "Our Lord! You comprehend all things in mercy and knowledge, so forgive those who repent and follow Your way, and save them from the torment of the blazing Fire! Our Lord! And make them enter the `Adn Garden which you have promised them -- and to the righteous among their fathers, their wives, and their offspring! Verily, You are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise. And save them from the sins.'') (40:7-9)

﴿لِيُخْرِجَكُمْ مِّنَ الظُّلُمَـتِ إِلَى النُّورِ﴾

(that He may bring you out from darkness into light. ) means, by means of His mercy towards you, His praise of you and the supplication of His angels for you, He brings you forth from the darkness of ignorance and misguidance into the light of guidance and certain faith.

﴿وَكَانَ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَحِيماً﴾

(And He is Ever Most Merciful to the believers.) means, in this world and in the Hereafter: in this world He guides them to the truth of which others are ignorant, and He shows them the path from which others have gone astray, those who call for disbelief and innovation, and their followers among the wrongdoers. His mercy towards them in the Hereafter means that He will save them from the greater terror (of the Day of Resurrection) and will command His angels to greet them with the glad tidings of Paradise and salvation from the Fire, which will only be because of His love for them and His kindness towards them. Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, said: "The Messenger of Allah and a group of his Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, passed by a young child in the road. When his mother saw the people, she feared that her child may be crushed by the crowd, so she rushed forward, crying, `My son, my son!' She ran and picked him up, and the people said, `O Messenger of Allah, she would never throw her child in the Fire.' The Messenger of Allah convincingly said:

«لَا، وَاللهِ لَايُلْقِي حَبِيبَهُ فِي النَّار»

(No, and Allah will not throw His beloved in the Fire.) Its chain of narrators meets the conditions of the Two Sahihs, although none of the authors of the Six Books recorded it. But in Sahih Al-Bukhari it is recorded from the Commander of the faithful `Umar bin Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allah saw a woman among the prisoners of war picking up her child, clasping the child to her breast and nursing him. The Messenger of Allah said:

«أَتُرَوْنَ هَذِهِ تُلْقِي وَلَدَهَا فِي النَّارِ وَهِيَ تَقْدِرُ عَلَى ذَلِكَ؟»

(Do you think that this woman would throw her child into the Fire even though she is (physically) able to do so) They said, "No.'' The Messenger of Allah said:

«فَوَاللهِ للهُ أَرْحَمُ بِعِبَادِهِ مِنْ هَذِهِ بِوَلَدِهَا»

(By Allah, Allah is more merciful towards His servants than this woman is to her child.)

﴿تَحِيَّتُهُمْ يَوْمَ يَلْقَوْنَهُ سَلَـمٌ﴾

(Their greeting on the Day they shall meet Him will be "Salam!'') The apparent meaning -- and Allah knows best -- is that their greeting, from Allah on the Day that they meet Him, will be Salam, i.e., He will greet them with Salam, as He says elsewhere:

﴿سَلاَمٌ قَوْلاً مِّن رَّبٍّ رَّحِيمٍ ﴾

((It will be said to them): Salam -- a Word from the Lord, Most Merciful.) (36:58) Qatadah claimed that the meaning was that they would greet one another with Salam on the Day when they meet Allah in the Hereafter. This is like the Ayah:

﴿دَعْوَهُمْ فِيهَا سُبْحَـنَكَ اللَّهُمَّ وَتَحِيَّتُهُمْ فِيهَا سَلاَمٌ وَءَاخِرُ دَعْوَاهُمْ أَنِ الْحَمْدُ للَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَـلَمِينَ ﴾

(Their way of request therein will be `Glory to You, O Allah,' and `Salam' will be their greetings therein! and the close of their request will be `All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all that exits.') (10:10)

﴿وَأَعَدَّ لَهُمْ أَجْراً كَرِيماً﴾

(And He has prepared for them a generous reward.) means Paradise and everything in it of food, drink, clothing, dwellings, physical pleasure, luxuries and delightful scenes, such as no eye has seen, no ear has heard and has never entered the mind of man.

﴿يأَيُّهَا النَّبِىُّ إِنَّآ أَرْسَلْنَـكَ شَاهِداً وَمُبَشِّراً وَنَذِيراً - وَدَاعِياً إِلَى اللَّهِ بِإِذْنِهِ وَسِرَاجاً مُّنِيراً - وَبَشِّرِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ بِأَنَّ لَهُمْ مِّنَ اللَّهِ فَضْلاً كِبِيراً - وَلاَ تُطِعِ الْكَـفِرِينَ وَالْمُنَـفِقِينَ وَدَعْ أَذَاهُمْ وَتَوَكَّـلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ وَكَفَى بِاللَّهِ وَكِـيلاً ﴾

(45. O Prophet! Verily, We have sent you as witness, and a bearer of glad tidings, and a warner,) (46. And as one who invites to Allah by His leave, and as a lamp spreading light.) (47. And announce to the believers the glad tidings, that they will have from Allah a great bounty.) (48. And obey not the disbelievers and the hypocrites, and harm them not. And put your trust in Allah, and sufficient is Allah as a Trustee.)

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