Prayers (Salah) is the most important pillar of Islam which will be questioned on the day of judgment (Resurrection). Performing Prayers is obligatory for every adult Muslim. Salah is a ritual prayer having prescribed conditions and one must perform Salah while fulfilling those conditions. Many times we perform Salah or Prayers as a practice or a part of habit only but tend to forget the basic essence of it and make many mistakes during Prayer.
1. Delaying of Salah (Prayers) Intentionally:
We normally delay the Salah from its proper time. This is the most common mistake in Prayers made by most of us. We always think that Praying is the last thing to do and we must attend to other matters first. Many workers delay Zuhr and Asr Prayer till night-time.One must guard his/her Prayers, which means to perform it at its preferred time and to be steadfast upon it Ibn Umar (R.A): Allah’s Messenger (P.B.U.H)Said: “Whoever omits the Asr prayers (intentionally), then it is as if he lost his family and property. Reported by [Al- Bukhari]
2. Fast recitation of the Holy Quran during prayers:
We must take a pause and take breaks while reciting the Holy Quran during Prayers. We should avoid reciting the Surahs so fast that the verses get intermingled. One of the Hadith emphasized this issue:According to [Abu Dawud] “The Prophet (P.B.U.H) used to pause after each verse of Surah al-Fatiha.
3. Moving before the Imam during congregational prayers:
One should not race with the imam i.e. try to move before the Imam because the most correct ruling is when Imam says Allahuu Akbarr, then the person who’s following the Imam in Prayers should say Allahuu Akbarr. Not before Imam or with Imam. “The imam is there to be followed” [Muslim]
4. Performing the Salah hastily:
Salah should be performed slowly and calmly with respect. Rukuu or Sujuud must be performed unhurriedly. In order to complete the Rukuu one must stay in Rukuu posture long enough to recite “Subhanah Rabbi yal Adzeem” at least three times. In the same manner, for the Sujuud the person should say “Subhanah Rabbi yal-alaa” three times slowly. This is the best way to complete the Rukuu and Sujuud in proper manner:
The Messenger of Allah (P.B.U.H) said: “The worst thief is the one who steals from his own Salah.” People asked: ‘Messenger of Allah! How could one steal from his own prayer?’ He said: “By not completing its rukuu and sujuud” [at-Tabarani].
5.Gazing right, left or upward during prayers:
To avoid losing of concentration while performing prayers or salah,one should concentrate on looking at the point where the forehead is placed during Sujuud rather than looking upwards. Because this may cause mistakes while praying. According to Sahih Muslim the Prophet (P.B.U.H) said: “Let those who raise their gaze up during salah stop doing so, or else their eyesight would not return to them”[Muslim]
6. Performing Sujuud improperly:
Most common mistake observed in Prayers is to perform Sujuud by resting only the tip of head on floor. It is commanded to prostrate on seven bones, the forehead and the nose, the two hands [palms], the two knees, and the two feet.
7. Not performing Prayers during illness or while traveling:
Prayer is obligatory and must be performed in any condition. If a person cannot perform ablution due to his illness then he may perform tayamum (Dry Ablution). If he cannot stand in prayer, he may perform Salah while lying down or sitting as well.The same case while traveling. The person can combine two Salah while traveling i.e. Zuhr Prayer and Asr Prayer. or Maghrib Prayer and Isha Prayer.
8. Crossing in front of a person who is performing prayers (salah):
It was stated by the Prophet (P.B.U.H) said: “Were the one who crosses in front of a praying person to know the consequences of doing so, he would have waited for forty better than to cross in front of him”
9. Going to Mosque for performing Salah with rapid walk:
When the time of Prayer has approached and some of us has the fear that he might miss his Salah; for the fear of missing some part of the Salah, most of us try to walk quickly or run to join prayers. This is not allowed in Islam: we must proceed calmly and reposefully When prayer has already started, then join in whichever part you catch up, and complete whichever part you missed”
10.Eating food of bad smell before Prayers:
Consuming foods that have bad smell like onion or garlic etc. should not be taken before the prayers because the bad smell may irritate the angels and the people in prayers. As all angels are bothered by that which bothers men.[Muslim]
May Allah (S.W.T) guide us all to perform our Salah correctly and help us to guard our prayers so when on the Day of Judgment (Resurrection) we are questioned about our prayers, we may succeed. Amen.