Prayer is the Root of Every Good: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

In surah al-Ma’aarij, Allah mentions a series of qualities of the believers wherein He begins with al-salaah [prayer] by saying:

 إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ خُلِقَ هَلُوعًا * إِذَا مَسَّهُ الشَّرُّ جَزُوعًا * وَإِذَا مَسَّهُ الْخَيْرُ مَنُوعًا * إِلَّا الْمُصَلِّينَ * الَّذِينَ هُمْ عَلَىٰ صَلَاتِهِمْ دَائِمُونَ

Indeed, man was created haloo’a * when harm touches him, he is impatient * and when good touches him, he is withholding * Except for those who pray * who are constant in the performance of their prayer … [70:19-23]

and He concludes the list with al-salaah by saying:

وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَلَىٰ صَلَاتِهِمْ يُحَافِظُونَ * أُولَـٰئِكَ فِي جَنَّاتٍ مُّكْرَ‌مُونَ

And those who are careful maintainers of their prayers – They will be in gardens, honored. [7:34-35]

In his commentary of this surah, sheikh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee addressed this by writing:

وصف الله تعالى من استثناهم من الإنسان الهلوع بتسع صفات : [ ص: 269 ] اثنتان منها تختص بالصلاة ، وهما الأولى والأخيرة ; مما يدل على أهمية الصلاة ، ووجوب شدة الاهتمام بها . وهذا من المسلمات في الدين ; لمكانتها من الإسلام ، وفي وصفهم هنا بأنهم : ( على صلاتهم دائمون ) ، وفي الأخير : ( على صلاتهم يحافظون ) [ 70 \ 34 ] . ـ

Allah describes those people who are excluded from being characterized as haloo’a [anxious for gains, impatient with losses] with nine qualities – two of which are connected to the salaah, those being the first and the last of them.

These are among the evidences which show the great importance of salaah and the requirement to give great attention to it. This is something well-known about the religion due to the place that prayer has in Islam. So here Allah describes them as:

عَلَىٰ صَلَاتِهِمْ دَائِمُونَ

those who are constant in their prayers

and at the end of the list as: Continue reading