huzaifah (may allah be pleased with him) says that, whenever the prophet (peace be upon him) happened to face any difficulty, he would at once resort to salaat."
salaat is a great blessing of allah. to resort to salaat at the time of worry is to hasten towards his mercy, and when allah's mercy comes to rescue, there can remain no trace of any worry. there are many traditions concerning this practice of the prophet (peace be upon him). similar was the practice of his companions, who followed him in the minutest detail. abu darda (may allah be pleased with him) says: "whenever a strong wind blew, the prophet (pbuh) would immediately enter the masjid and would not leave until the wind had subsided. similarly, at the time of a solar or lunar eclipse, the prophet (pbuh) would at once start offering salaat. suhaib (may allah be pleased with him) was informed by the prophet (pbuh) that all the previous apostles of allah (peace be upon them) also used to resort to salaat in all adversities.
ibno abbas (may allah be pleased with him) was once on journey. on his way he got the news of the death of his son.
he got down from his camel and offered two rakaat of salaat, praying in tashahhud for a long time. he then recited 'innaa lillaahi wa innaallaihi raaji-oon' and said, "i have done what allah has ordered us to do in his holy book i.e.
"seek allah's help with patience and salaat" (ii: 45).
another similar story is narrated about him. he was on a journey when he received the news about the death of his brother quthum. he descended from his camel by the roadside, and performed two rakaats of salaat and kept praying in tashahhud for a long time. after finishing his salaat, he rode his camel reciting the following verse of the holy qur'an:
"seek allah's help with patience and salaat, and truly it is indeed hard except to the humble minded." (11: 45).
there is yet another story about him. on hearing of the death of a wife of the holy prophet (pbuh), he fell down prostrate. when somebody asked him the reason he said, "our dear prophet (pbuh) had enjoined on us to prostrate (in salaat) whenever a calamity were to befall us. what calamity can be greater than the death of the ummul-mo'mineen?"
when ubaada (may allah be pleased with him) was about to breathe his last, he said to the people around him, "i prohibit one and all from crying over me. when my soul departs, i ask every one to perform wudhu, observing all its essentials, and to go to the masjid and pray for my forgiveness, because our gracious allah has enjoined on us to "seek help with patience arid salaat." after that, lay me down in the pit of my grave."
nadhr (may allah be pleased with him) narrates, "once it became very dark during the day in madina. i hurriedly went to anas (may allah be pleased with him) to know if he had ever experienced similar conditions during the lifetime of the prophet (pbuh). he said to me. "m'aathallaah! during those blessed days, whenever the wind blew strong, we would hurry to the masjid lest it should be the approach of the last day."
abdullah bin salaam (may allah be pleased with him) narrates that whenever the members of the prophet's family were hard-pressed in any way, the prophet (pbuh) would enjoin upon them to say salaat, and would recite the following verse of the holy qur'an:
"and enjoin salaat upon thy people and be thyself constant therein. we ask not of thee to provide sustenance.
we provide it for thee. and the hereafter is for the righteousness." (xx: 132).
it is said in a hadith that when somebody is confronted with a need, whether pertaining to this life or the hereafter, or whether it concerns allah or a mortal, he should perform a perfect wudhu, offer salaat of two rakaats, glorify allah, then ask blessing for the prophet (pbuh), and then pray as under:
"there is no god save allah-the clement-the bountiful. glorified be allah, the lord of the tremendous throne.
praise be to allah, the lord of the worlds. i ask thee all that leadeth to thy mercy and deserveth thy forgiveness.
i ask thee abundance in all that is good and refuge from all that is evil. leave me no sin but thou pardonest it,
and no' distress but thou removest it, and no need but thou fulfillest it. o most merciful of those who show mercy!" ;
wahb bin munabbih writes: "have your needs fulfilled by allah through salaat. in the good old time, if a calamity befell the people, they would hurry towards salaat." it is said that in koofah there was a porter who was well known for his honesty. people trusted him with their valuables and money, which he carried from one place to another. once he was on his usual errand when a person met him on the way and asked him about his destination. when the porter gave him the required information, he-said: "i am also bound for the same destination. if i could walk, i would have accompanied you on foot. will you kindly give me a lift on your mule for one dinaar?" the porter agreed and allowed him to share the mule with him. they came to a crossing on the way.
the person said, 'now, which road will you take?' 'the main road, of course,' replied the porter. the person said.
'no brother. we should go by the other road which is a shortcut and there is plenty of grass enrooted to feed the animal.' the porter said, 'i have never been on this path.' the person remarked, 'but i have traveled by this route quite often'. the porter believed him and put the animal on that path. after some distance, the path ended in a terrifying forest where a large number of dead bodies were lying about. all of a sudden the person jumped down from the mule and took out his knife with the intention of slaying the porter. 'hold your hand', shouted the porter, 'take the animal and its load, but do not kill me'. the person refused to listen to his entreaty and swore that he would first kill the porter and then take possession of the animal and the goods. seeing that his entreaties fell on deaf ears and that his cruel heart would not melt, the porter said to him, 'all right if you must kill me, then permit to say my salaat of only two rakaats.' the person agreed and remarked, 'you can please yourself. all the dead you see over here made the same request, but their salaat was of no avail to them.' the porter started the salaat, but could not recollect any soorah to connect with the fatihah, in spite of his best efforts. meanwhile the person grew impatient and pressed him hard to hurry up with the salaat. all of a sudden the following verse flashed to his mind:
'is it not he who answereth the wronged one when he crieth unto him, and removeth the evil. . . (xxvii-62).
the porter was reciting the verse and the tears welled up in his eyes, when a horseman suddenly appeared on the scene. he was wearing a glittering helmet and held a spear in his hand. he pierced the body of the pitiless rogue with his spear and killed him there and then. a flame of fire rose from the spot where the dead body fell. the porter fell down prostrate and thanked allah. after finishing his salaat, he ran towards the horseman and requested him to disclose his identity. he replied. 'i am a slave to him who .answereth the wronged one. you are now safe and can go wherever you like.' saying this, the horseman rode away and disappeared."
indeed salaat is a tremendous asset. besides pleasing allah it often gets us deliverance from the calamities of this life and provides us with tranquility and peace of mind. ibn seereen writes: "if i be allowed to choose between
paradiseand salaat of two rakaats, i would prefer salaat. the reason is quite clear. paradiseis for my own pleasure while salaat is for the pleasure of my dear lord." the prophet (pbuh) has said:
"enviable is the lot of that muslim who is with least encumbrance, whose main fortune is salaat, who remains content with humble provision throughout his life, who worships his lord in a dutiful manner, who lives a nameless life and who dies an early death, with very little to bequeath and very few to mourn him." in another hadith, the holy prophet (sallallaho alaihe wasallam) is reported to have said: 'offer your salaat at your homes quite frequently, so that these may be blessed with allah's grace and mercy'