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['Aalim Network QR] Prayers/Majlis


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|       In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the All-Merciful       |\
|  Greeting of Allah be upon Muhammad and the pure members of his House |\
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Salamun alaykum,

	The reply to the following question was kindly provided by Shaykh
Rasheed.

Wasalaam,

Mustafa Rawji
Moderator, 'Aalim Network
------------------------------------------------------------------------

QUESTION:

Salaam alaikum

We have come across a man who consistently insists that Majlis is more
important than prayers. For those who opposed him, he accuses them of
having wrong aqeeda.....as far as I know Salat is the most important
actions since the hadeeth says that if its accepted, everything else is
accepted and if its rejected than all beyond it is rejected......Salat
is the most important of the actions and of the obligatory acts and
majlis is most important of the recommended acts.  He stems his argument
from the hadeeth that says that "Dhikruna afthal al'ibaadat".  

Please enlighten.....wa jazakumallah kheir aljaza, 


ANSWER:

Wa Alaikum As-Salaam,

Unfortunately, the gentleman is mistaken because he forgot one important
rule: Hadith must be viewed in light of the Holy Qur`an. Hadith cannot set
aside the Qur`an. If we examine Qur`an, we find the injunction to establish
prayer repeatedly mentioned. I counted the phrase "establish the prayer" in
various forms mentioned 38 times. Such repetition gives and indication of
its importance. The Hadith which you mentioned is another proof of the
superiority of prayer. Our books are filled with Hadith that make the same
point.

The saying that "Our remembrance is the most virtuous worship" should not
be taken literally. This term "Afdhalul-'Ibaadah" is an expression used
repeatedly in Hadith to emphasize the importance and virtue of something.
Here are a few Hadith to clarify this point:

(1) The Messenger of Allah (S) said: "The most virtuous worship is a deep
understanding (fiqh) and the most virtuous faith is piety" (Bihar, Vol. 1,
pg. 217, No. 36)

(2) The Prophet (S) said: "The most virtuous asceticism (Zuhd) in this
world is the remembrance of death. The most virtuous worship is the
remembrance of death. The most virtuous reflection is the remembrance of
death. He who burdens himself with the remembrance of death will find his
grave to be one of the gardens of paradise." (Bihar Vol. 6, pg. 137, No. 41)

(3) Imam Al-Baaqir (AS) said: "The Messenger of Allah (S) said: 'The most
virtuous worship is to patiently await relief from suffering
(Intizaarul-Faraj).'"  (Bihar Vol. 52, pg. 125, No. 11)

(4) Imam Al-Baaqir (AS) said: "Surely, the most virtuous worship is
chastity of the stomach and private parts."  (Bihar Vol. 69, pg. 393, No. 72)

Each of these four Hadith mention different things as the most virtuous
worship. If we take each literally, we would really have a confused belief
system. Therefore, it can be understood that this is a manner of expression
found in Hadith which gives emphasis to whatever is mentioned. 

Reasoning should also lead us to the conclusion that prayer is superior to
the Majlis. The nature of these two things does not allow that they can be
put on the same level of importance. Prayer is one of the pillars of Islam.
If we understand what our Prophet (S) and A`immah (AS) lived and died for
we, would not dare make such an assertion. Did Imam Hussain (AS) give his
great sacrifice for Islam or the Majlis in his remembrance? If we say he
died for Islam, then, it implies that he died in order that we would
establish prayer. If we say that he died in order that we put the Majlis in
his remembrance ahead of prayer, then, we have missed the whole point of
the faith of Islam. Did not Allah declare that He created man and jinn to
worship Him? If this is the reason that we were created, how can anything
surpass the worship of Allah in importance?

Was-Salaam,

Ali Rasheed



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