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Why do we do Things the Way we do Them? – Sunnah

by | Sep 19, 2021

Unfortunately, I hear more and more Muslims say: “Why should I pray five times a day if Allah knows what’s in your heart?” or the classic: “It is the intention that counts.” It is true that it is the intention that counts; the first Hadith in most Hadith books is

“The deeds are considered by the intentions, and a person will get the reward according to his intention…”

Sahih Bukhari and Muslim

Allah’s judgment is based on this. However, your belief is based on

Ašhadu ʾan lā ʾilāha ʾilla -llāhu, wa-ʾašhadu ʾanna muḥammadan rasūlu -llāh”

Which, loosely translated to English, is

“I witness that there is no god but Allah, and I witness that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah”

These are not just two conjunctions that are said to enter Islam. The ramifications of uttering these words must be understood and are not to be taken lightly. The first part “Ašhadu ʾan lā ʾilāha ʾilla -llāhu” is the reason why you do things: for the sake of Allah (i.e. His satisfaction). That is the intention part.

However, good intentions don’t always turn out so good if they are not sustained with righteous and rightful conduct. That is why the “wa-ʾašhadu ʾanna muḥammadan rasūlu -llāh” comes next. This gives you the way to do things; you follow the guidance of the prophet Muhammad in all of your actions. Both go hand in hand.

Still not convinced… Let’s put religion aside and make a simple parallel between intention and action with school, for instance. Every single university student would say: “I want to finish with an A average!” Well, that covers the intention part of it. Now, how are you going to reach that goal? Is it by partying late, binge-watching on weekends, sleeping in for class… or would it be more like handing in your work on time, studying hard, showing up in class… This is not to say that you wouldn’t have a little fun on the way, but your goal would be achieved by the means put in.

That is exactly the same mindset towards Islam. This religion is a way of life that sticks with you every second of your waken life. With that said, don’t think that all this is easy and comes simply like second nature. Standing up against injustice, giving your acquired wealth, fasting in the summer, washing for prayers on a cold winter day, getting up before sunrise to pray… It is not the easiest path, but it is the right one.

On this last note of prayer, the Tabi’i (the generation after the Sahaba) Thabit Al-Bunani said:

“I struggled with my night prayer for 20 years, then I enjoyed it for 20 years.”

Often, when something is difficult at first, and you push through, you often find meaning in it and also fulfillment. By the way, what is meant by night prayer is not the last compulsory prayer of the day; what he meant was Qiyam Al-Layl (waking up voluntarily in the middle of the night to worship Allah in prayer).

Well, I guess we still have time for one more knock by skeptics: “Why is it five obligatory prayers? Why do we say grace 33 times? Why is…” We could start explaining rationally that these totals instill a routine and are a reminder in number and in time. You could say Subhana Allah 24 times, but it is only on the 25th that you really give attention and focus on it. As for prayers, the prophet (ppuh) encouraged Muslims to do more than just the five compulsory daily prayers. Why? Because we are flawed humans. When you start to pray, your mind can literally wander the world before settling down to concentrate on adoring The Creator of Heavens and Earth. For that reason, the prophet (ppuh) mentioned this:

“A man returns after saying his prayer while a tenth part of his prayer, or a ninth part, or an eighth part, or a seventh part, or a sixth part, or a fifth part, or a third part, or half of it, is recorded for him.”

Sunan Abi Dawud, Book 2, Hadith 789.

Imagine, the most attentive Muslim in prayer comes out with half of his prayer in deed. Personally, I’m not surprised, I just hope I fit somewhere in that range.

To make a long story short, all this is a test to recompense diligent effort through exemplary conduct. You do your work the right way, you get a reward. That’s it, that’s all! There is nothing complicated about it, and there doesn’t have to be anything complicated about it. Most things in life that are rewarding are simple but involve effort, so why would it be any different in regards to faith and the hereafter?

Probability, you won’t Get the Best of Me! – Scientific Proofs in the Quran

Probability, you won’t Get the Best of Me! – Scientific Proofs in the Quran

If anyone is a betting man, he knows that most of the time he will lose; it is a question of numbers. Winning every time is improbable and practically impossible. When flipping a coin, you have one chance out of two of getting it right. 50%, not bad; but repeat it four times straight; not too confident, are you?

Let’s transpose that example to the prophet Muhammad; he got every single verifiable (with our limited knowledge to date) phenomenon right. Not only he got them right, but most of them are also explained; not just enunciated or left for interpretation. Let’s say there are about 20 scientific/natural phenomenon (Actually, more have been mentioned and others left out since a multitude of authors have done a better job than me explaining them. Plus, 20 seems like a pretty round number, and we don’t want to sound boastful either) that were elucidated 1400 years ago, by an illiterate Arab that had no aspirations to science whatsoever… When you do the math: ½ at the power 20 is ½ x ½ x½ x ½ x ½ x ½ x ½ x ½ x ½ x ½ x ½ x ½ x½ x ½ x ½ x ½ x ½ x ½ x ½ x ½. That gives you the possibility of 1/1 048 576 of getting it right. That is less than one in a million probability; becoming less and less a betting man…Keep in mind, considering that the questioning is in a yes or no format; true or false to a given question (without formulating the solution and adding all the explanation that comes with it in the Quran and Hadith).

The thing is, it is not because the prophet Muhammad was an expert in astronomy, geology, chemistry, nuclear physics, biology, botany, entomology, oceanology, or even historical science that he got it right all the time. It is because the only thing he got right out of all of this is that he wholeheartedly believed in Allah. All these, verses, signs, scientific phenomenon were not explained or tackled by the prophet Muhammad; they were brought forth by Allah, the All-Knowing.

And with Him are the keys of the unseen; none knows them except Him. And He knows what is on the land and in the sea. Not a leaf falls but that He knows it. And no grain is there within the darknesses of the earth and no moist or dry [thing] but that it is [written] in a clear record.

Surah Al-Anam (6 – 59)

Faith

the process of belief