Page 47 - Islam In Focus

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5. The Evening Prayer (Salatu-l-‘Isha’ ), which begins after the red glow in the
western horizon disappears (nearly one hour and thirty minutes after sunset) and
continues till a little before the dawn
It is noticeable that Islam has set the times of prayers in such a way that our spiritual
recreation remarkably coincides with our physical nourishment, and combines the
peace of mind with the relaxation of the body. The Early Morning Prayer is due in the
regular period of breakfast; the Noon Prayer coincides with the lunch period; the Mid-
Afternoon Prayer falls about the breaktime for tea or coffee; the Sunset Prayer is
about the supper time; and the Evening Prayer corresponds with the late snack. It is
also noticeable that the Muslim, by observing these prayers, marks the whole day with
a spiritual stamp in the beginning, at the end and throughout. So he combines religion
and life, feels the presence of God within him throughout the day, concludes his daily
transactions with a spiritual feeling and builds up his moral prestige on strong
foundations. Moreover, in this way the Muslim introduces spiritual vitality into all
aspects of his life, and religion presents itself to all fields of activity. It becomes
effective in shops and offices, homes and farms, factories and plants. It extends its
light to every circle of business and work. Indeed, this timetable of prayer is
remarkable because it is the work of God and the product of Islam
It is always preferable to offer the prayer as soon as the times sets in, lest some things
cause unexpected delay or postponement. These prayers are Divine contests. The
reward for those who pass the contests is immeasurable, and their delight is beyond
imagination. The happiness they attain, the rejoicing they feel, and the honor they
receive cannot be expressed in words. On the other hand, failure to participate in these
contests is a punishable sin. It causes severe penalties, spiritual deprivation, mental
agony, and social isolation
The Noon (Zuhr) and the Afternoon (‘Asr) Prayers may be offered together, if a
person is travelling or sick. The same permission is granted with regards to the Sunset
(Maghrib) and the Evening (‘Isha) Prayers. In the first case, joining the prayers is of
the advanced type. The Mid-Afternoon is actually offered before its due time and
immediately follows the Noon prayer. In the second case, the combination is of the
belated type. The Sunset prayer is actually offered after its due time but immediately
before the Evening prayer. Such joining of prayers may alleviate the apprehension of
the Muslims who cannot, for legitimate reasons (e.g. travel, work shifts, etc.), observe
all their prayers in time.
The Partial Ablution (Wudu’)
Before offering the prayer one must be in good shape and pure condition. It is
necessary to wash the parts of the body which are generally exposed to dirt or dust or
smog. This performance is called Ablution (Wudu’ ) and is preferably carried out as
1. Make the intention by heart
2. Wash the hands up to the wrists, three times
3. Rinse out the mouth with water, three times, preferably with a brush whenever it is