Why do we pray 5 times? Why cant we listen to music?
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
I understand the necessity of praying to God, and thanking Him for everything, but is there any particular reason we have to pray 5 times a day, and in a certain manner?
Another question- someone said to me that listening to guitar music is 'haram'- is this true? Apparently it is because the music gets into your head and takes your mind away from other things, like when you're praying you have a song 'in your head'... If so, doesn't that mean that we do not have enough conviction in our faith, if we are scared that listening to a little music will take us away from it? And shouldn't our faith be strong enough that a little bit of music we enjoy does not lead us astray... I mean God said that he gave human being brains, right? So doesn't that mean that He believes that we have enough sense, and willpower to know when to sop listening to music, and start praying? I just don't see that it has o be either listening to music, or being a good muslim, why can't we have both?
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Why do we pray 5 times? Why cant we listen to music?
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and who-ever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Your comment: I understand the necessity of praying to God, and thanking Him for everything, but is there any particular reason we have to pray 5 times a day, and in a certain manner?
For everything in Islam and in our lives, we must always turn to the guidance of Allah and His Messenger (saws). The best and only reason needed for a believer to pray at the five appointed times and in a certain manner, is that it is the commandment of Allah Subhanah, and practiced and exhorted by the Messenger of Allah (saws). For a believer, this one reason should be more than enough.
But as with everything in Islam and its commandments, we must first obey Allah and His Messenger (saws), and then we are allowed to look for and understand the wisdom behind the commandment, so that we can follow the commandment with full conviction and satisfaction.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 20 Surah Taha verse 14: (Allah said), It is I, Who am Allah! There is god but Me. So worship Me Alone! And establish salaat (prayer) to remember Me.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 29 Surah Ankaboot verse 45: (O Prophet) recite this Book which has been revealed to you, and establish salaat (prayers); surely the salaat (prayers) restrains one from indecent and evil acts. And the remembrance of Allah is the Greatest! Allah knows whatever you do.
Thus one of the most important reason for prayer is that it is established for the remembrance of Allah. It is the link Allah, in His Wisdom and Knowledge, has created for man and Himself. It is in this mode of prayer, that a believer is actually in a state of conversation with His Lord and Creator. Allah has made the prayer a means of our supplications and duas, and a means of begging Allah to guide us, have mercy on us, and forgive us our sins. Allah has made the prayer a means for His slaves to thank him for everything that He has bestowed upon us, and through these prescribed prayers, the believing slaves of Allah show their humility, submission, and firm belief in Allah Subhanah.
Your Question: Why do we have to pray the prescribed prayers at the five appointed times of the day?
Let me try to explain this commandment by giving a worldly example:
If a person has a bodily disease, the doctor may prescribe him an anti-biotic, which have to be taken at stated times of the day. If the person obeys the doctors orders, it is hoped that it will help cure his disease. If the person takes all the prescribed anti-biotic tablets in one go, it will not be helpful He has to follow the guidance and prescription of the doctor for the medication to be beneficial to him.
Similarly, to keep our spiritual diseases at bay, Allah, in His Wisdom and Knowledge, has prescribed the five obligatory prayers and their appointed times. If the person, who claims to believe in Allah and His Messenger (saws), does not follow the commandment, he will be open to the attacks of the viruses and diseases of the soul. And Shaitaan will then take him/her further and further away from Allah. This obligatory prayer is the absolute link where a believer humbly proclaims to himself and to His Lord, that he is a grateful slave-servant of his Creator. He acknowledges that Allah is His Creator and Master, and confirms with his action five times a day, that he is ready and available to come to the call of Allah, everytime he receives an order from Allah. This person takes every command that comes from His Lord with the seriousness and respect it deserves, and obeys each commandment to the best of his ability. He is conscious that Allah will gather all mankind on an Inevitable Day, and he will have to give a full accounting for the time spent on this earth; thus he constantly prepares for that Day.
But if a person claims to believe in Allah and His Messenger (saws), but neglects and refuses to pray as commanded by his Creator and Master, he is not a grateful slave of his Lord. He only verbally declares he is a believer, but refuses to come everytime his Creator and Master calls him. He takes this and every commandment of Allah lightly, and forgets that he has to stand in the Court of Allah one day to give a full accounting of the time spent on this earth.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 74 Surah Muddaththir verses 40-48: (The people of Paradise will) ask the culprits, What has brought you into Hell?. The people of Hell Fire will reply, We were not of those who offered the prayers; and we did not feed the poor; and we used to join with those who indulged in idle talk against the Truth; and we used to belie the Day of Recompense; till the inevitable overtook us! At that time, no intercession of the intercessors shall avail them anything!
Your comment: Another question- someone said to me that listening to guitar music is 'haram'- is this true? Apparently it is because the music gets into your head and takes your mind away from other things, like when you're praying you have a song 'in your head'... If so, doesn't that mean that we do not have enough conviction in our faith, if we are scared that listening to a little music will take us away from it? And shouldn't our faith be strong enough that a little bit of music we enjoy does not lead us astray... I mean God said that he gave human being brains, right? So doesn't that mean that He believes that we have enough sense, and willpower to know when to stop listening to music, and start praying? I just don't see that it has to be either listening to music, oir being a good muslim, why can't we have both?
The Messenger of Allah (saws) declared the music of all string instruments haraam. The wisdom behind the commandment given is that music and some songs and lyrics (that talk about shirk, sensual and sexual nature, etc.) takes one away from the world of reality, into a false world of fantasy, imagination and dreams.
Another principle in Islam is that if anything is forbidden, it is forbidden in any quantity. For eg. Alcohol or any type of intoxicants are declared haraam; thus one cannot say that a small sip of wine is fine! Or, the flesh of swine is declared haraam; thus one cannot say that one bite of a piece of bacon is fine! Similarly, when string music is declared haraam, one cannot say that a little music is acceptable.
Regarding you statement, that one should have enough conviction in his/her faith to be scared of a little music, let me relate a worldly example to drive the point home. The medical doctors constantly advise us to avoid tobacco, or contact with other blood, so that we can refrain from contracting the deadly diseases like cancer, aids, etc. This does not mean that we are not healthy! But the advice is solely to warn us and make us aware that if we are not careful, we might be victims of some grave diseases which may harm our bodies.
Similarly, there are some diseases which might harm us spiritually. When we take so much care of certain things (like second-hand smoke, etc.) for the health of our bodies, we turn to Allah and His Messenger (saws) to guide us on how should we take care of our spiritual body. And if we listen to Allah and His Messenger (saws), we will never be misguided in body and in spirit; in this world and in the hereafter.
Regarding your statement on why one cannot have both, prayers and music we must realize that prayers brings one closer to Allah, and music is predominantly the work of Shaitaan! Thus it is not possible to have this combination of good and evil in one platter! Yes, you can choose the combinations of prayer and good manners; prayer and obedience to Allah; prayer and sacrifice; prayer and patience; prayer and forgiveness from Allah. Or, you choose the combinations of music and dance; music and discos; music and the mixing of sexes; music and alcohol; music and vices; music and disobedience of Allah; music and the Wrath and Punishment of Allah! But one cannot make a combination of both, music and prayer in one platter, simply because they are from two absolutely different tangents: One of good and the other of evil! One is the command of Allah, and the other is the handi-work of Shaitaan! One is the obedience of Allah, and the other is the obedience of Shaitaan! One leads to the Mercy and Forgiveness of Allah, and the other leads to the Wrath and Anger of Allah!
And Allah Knows Best, and He is the Only Source of Strength.
May Allah guide you and us all to the Straight Path of Islam.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your Brother in Islam,