Performing the Prayers in their Proper Times: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah says in surah al-Baqarah:

حَافِظُوا عَلَى الصَّلَوَاتِ وَالصَّلَاةِ الْوُسْطَىٰ وَقُومُوا لِلَّـهِ قَانِتِينَ * فَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ فَرِ‌جَالًا أَوْ رُ‌كْبَانًا ۖ فَإِذَا أَمِنتُمْ فَاذْكُرُ‌وا اللَّـهَ كَمَا عَلَّمَكُم مَّا لَمْ تَكُونُوا تَعْلَمُونَ

Maintain with care the [obligatory] prayers and [in particular] the middle prayer and stand before Allah, devoutly obedient. * And if you fear [an enemy, then pray] on foot or riding. But when you are secure, then remember Allah, as He has taught you that which you did not [previously] know. [2:238-239]

Commenting on this in his book of tafsir, Imam ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sa’di wrote:

يأمر بالمحافظة على الصلوات عمومًا وعلى الصلاة الوسطى، وهي العصر خصوصًا، والمحافظة عليها أداؤها بوقتها وشروطها وأركانها وخشوعها وجميع ما لها من واجب ومستحب، وبالمحافظة على الصلوات تحصل المحافظة على سائر العبادات، وتفيد النهي عن الفحشاء والمنكر خصوصًا إذا أكملها كما أمر بقوله { وَقُومُوا لِلَّهِ قَانِتِينَ } أي: ذليلين خاشعين، ففيه الأمر بالقيام والقنوت والنهي عن الكلام، والأمر بالخشوع، هذا مع الأمن والطمأنينة. ـ

Allah commanded the careful maintaining of the prayers in general, and of the middle prayer – which is ‘Asr – specifically. And carefully maintaining them is performing them in their proper times and with their conditions and pillars, and with khushoo’, and with all that which is obligatory and recommended for them. And carefully maintaining the prayers carried the meaning of carefully maintaining all the rest of the acts of worship. And it benefits one by preventing against indecency and immorality, especially when the prayers are done in a complete way as Allah commanded with His statement, “and stand before Allah, devoutly obedient” – meaning, humble and submitting. So in that there is the command to stand and to be devoutly obedient and the prohibition of speaking, and the command to have khushoo’, and this is in the condition of safety and tranquility.

ـ { فَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ } لم يذكر ما يخاف منه ليشمل الخوف من كافر وظالم وسبع، وغير ذلك من أنواع المخاوف، أي: إن خفتم بصلاتكم على تلك الصفة فصلوها { رِجَالًا } أي: ماشين على أقدامكم، { أَوْ رُكْبَانًا } على الخيل والإبل وغيرها، ويلزم على ذلك أن يكونوا مستقبلي القبلة وغير مستقبليها . ـ

And if you fear” – Allah does not mention what is feared here in order for it to encompass fear of a disbeliever or of a wrong-doer or of a beast of prey or other than that from the different types of things which are feared – meaning: if you have fear during your prayers due to one of these things, then pray the prayer “on foot” – meaning, walking on your feet – “or riding” a horse or camel or something else, and continue doing that whether you are facing the qiblah or facing elsewhere.

وفي هذا زيادة التأكيد على المحافظة على وقتها حيث أمر بذلك ولو مع الإخلال بكثير من الأركان والشروط، وأنه لا يجوز تأخيرها عن وقتها ولو في هذه الحالة الشديدة، فصلاتها على تلك الصورة أحسن وأفضل بل أوجب من صلاتها مطمئنا خارج الوقت . ـ

And in this is an additional confirmation of [the importance of] carefully maintaining [the prayers] in their proper times since He commanded this even in the case where there are deficiencies in many of the pillars and conditions, and (also) that it is not allowed to delay the prayers until after their proper times even in this trying circumstance, for the prayer in this form is better and more virtuous – rather it is more obligatory – than the prayer with tranquility outside of the proper time.

 ـ { فَإِذَا أَمِنْتُمْ } أي: زال الخوف عنكم { فَاذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ } وهذا يشمل جميع أنواع الذكر ومنه الصلاة على كمالها وتمامها { كما علمكم ما لم تكونوا تعلمون } فإنها نعمة عظيمة ومنة جسيمة، تقتضي مقابلتها بالذكر والشكر ليبقي نعمته عليكم ويزيدكم عليها. ـ

But when you are secure” – meaning, the fear has left you – “then remember Allah” and this includes all forms of al-dhikr, and among them is the prayer in its perfect and complete form, “as He has taught you that which you did not [previously] know“, for indeed this is a magnificent blessing and immense bestowal. It necessitates responding to it with dhikr and shukr in order to maintain His blessing upon you and to increase you in it.

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman pg. 106-107]

 See also: “If there had been a concession for anyone in leaving off dhikr…”

See also: “Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: “O you who have believed, remember Allah with much remembrance”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: Du’a or dhikr after the salaah?: Ibn Taymiyah

See also: Qualities of the Successful Believers – Part 6/7: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

10 thoughts on “Performing the Prayers in their Proper Times: Tafsir al-Sa’di

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