IMPORTANCE OF TAKBEER-E-ULA
JOINING THE CONGREGATIONAL SALAAT AT ITS COMMENCEMENT
Allah Ta’ala states: “And hasten towards the Forgiveness from your Rabb…” (Qur’aan)
In the above Aayat, ‘Maghfirat’ (Forgiveness) from Allah refers to those actions which will be a means for one to attain the Forgiveness of Allah. Several tafseers of the Qur’aan Majeed have listed these Asbaab-e-Maghfirat (those actions which are a means of attaining forgiveness). Hadhrat Anas Bin Maalik Radhiyallahu Anhu commented that this Aayat refers to Takbeer-e-Ula as explained in the Kutub of Tafseer and in Bayhaqi’s Shu’bul Imaan. The most encompassing Tafseer is A’maal-e-Saalihah (good deeds) which brings Takbeer-e-Ula also within its scope.
We all have many sins and thus one of the ways of attaining Maghfirat is by being on time for the Takbeer-e-Ula (i.e. joining the Jamaat Salaat at the Takbeer-e-Tahreema with the Imaam). The Hadeeth below explains the virtue and value of going early for Salaat:
Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said: “He who performs Salaat with Jamaat purely for the sake of Allah in such a condition that he attains Takbeer-e-Ula (the first Takbeer) for forty days, two freedoms will be recorded for him: (1) Exemption from The Fire of Jahannam, (2) Freedom from Nifaaq (hypocrisy).” (Mishkaat)
The above Hadeeth mentions two great rewards:
(1) Freedom from the Fire of Jahannam (Baraa-atum minan Naar) – a person will be saved from the Fire of Jahannam owing to this virtuous act. Every man should thus develop the excellent habit of attaining the Jamaat from the very beginning. Since the best Salaat for women is in their homes, we have hope in Allah Ta`ala that He grants women the very same reward when they perform their Salaat at home on its prescribed time. An authentic Hadeeth states that a woman’s Salaat in her home is more virtuous than her performing her Salaat in even Masjid-e-Nabawi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam. [Imaam Ahmad / Ibn Hibbaan / Kanzul Ummaal]
The best Masjid for a woman is her home. Hadhrat Umme Salmah (Radhiyallahu Anha) reports from Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), “The best Musaajid for women are the innermost corners of their homes.” [Imaam Ahmad / Baihaqi / Kanzul Ummaal]
Hadhrat Ibn Mas`ood (Radhiyallahu Anhu) also stated, “No woman performs a Salaat more beloved to Allah Ta`ala than (the Salaat which she performs) in the darkest corner of her home.” Tabraani reports this narration in Kabeer and all the narrators are authentic. [Majmauz Zawaaid]
(2) Freedom from Nifaaq (Baraa-atum minan Nifaaq) – it means a person is pure from any Nifaaq (hypocrisy) because making an effort to commence his Salaat with the Takbeer-e-Tahreema of the Imaam is a sign of a person being free from Nifaaq and this is a sign of a person’s Imaan being intact. The same applies to that woman who performs her Salaat at home, on its prescribed time.
Such a person will be protected from carrying out the actions of the Munaafiqeen and he/she will be given the Tawfeeq to carry out the actions of the People of Ikhlaas. In the Aakhirat, this person will be saved from the Punishment of the Fire which will be meted out to the Munaafiqeen. This act of performing Salaat in Jamaat for forty days Salaat, and also being present for the Takbeer-e-Ula will be evidence for him that he is not a Munaafiq. This is because the Munaafiqeen stand lazily for their Salaat and the one who is early for his Salaat is obviously not behaving like a Munaafiq.
For attaining the above two rewards, there are four conditions mentioned:
1 – Salaat with Jamaat – not performing it individually. A woman who diligently performs her Salaat in her home at its prescribed time, also reaps the same reward as men in the Musjid.
2 – Ikhlaas (sincerity) – doing it only for the Pleasure of Allah.
3 – Must join Jamaat when the Imaam says the first Takbeer. The woman at home performs her Salaat at the prescribed times.
4 – This should be done continuously for 40 days for all five Salaats.
THE BEGINNING OF SALAAT
Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said: “For everything there is a beginning and the beginning of Salaat is Takbeer-e-Ula, therefore safeguard it (i.e. be diligent about performing Salaat with Takbeer-e-Ula)” (Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah)
It should be remembered that the person who joins from Takbeer-e-Ula will attain greater rewards than the person who joins the Jamaat after its commencement. Performing Salaat with Takbeer-e-Ula is Sunnat-e-Muakkadah – that is, it is a greatly exhorted deed in the Shariah, such that its regular omission is deemed sinful. It is mentioned in some commentaries that many of the Salf-e-Saaliheen would punish themselves for three days if they missed one Takbeer-e-Ula. There are many benefits when a person goes early to the Masjid for Salaat. Our pious predecessors accorded great importance to Takbeer-e-Ula. Below are a few examples.
THE SALAFUS SAALIHEEN AND TAKBEER-E-ULA
- Hadhrat Wakee’ Bin Jarraah said: “A’mash never missed Takbeer-e-Ula for close to 70 years. He passed away 140 AH at the age of 88.” (Tabaqaatul Huffaaz)
- Hadhrat Muhammed Bin Samaa’ah – the great Hanafi Faqeeh who was a student of Saahibayn (Imaam Abu Yusuf and Imaam Muhammed– the two illustrious students of Imaam Abu Hanifah Rahimahumullah) and who became the Qaadhi of Baghdad in 192 Hijri, states: “I performed Salaat for forty years without missing Takbeer-e-Ula except one day when my mother passed away, (on that day) I missed one Salaat with Jamaat. So, I performed that Salaat 25 times to compensate for the loss. Then, I fell asleep and a person came to me and said, ‘O Muhammed, you have performed the Salaat twenty-five times, however, did you acquire the Aameen of the angels (this is exclusive to Salaat with Jamaat)?” (Taareekh Baghdad)
- The illustrious and renowned Taabi’ee, Hadhrat Sa’eed Ibn Musayyab Rahimahullah (passed away after 90 Hijri) states: “I did not miss Takbeer-e-Ula for the last 50 years.” (Siyarus Salafis Saaliheen)
- The Mufti of Kufa, Hadhrat Ibraheem Bin Shareek Taymi (passed away 92/93 Hijri) states: “When you see a man is careless/negligent with regards to Takbeer-e-Ula, then wash your hands off him.” (Siyarus Salafis Saaliheen)
- Usaid Bin Ja’far said: “I never ever saw my uncle Bishr Bin Mansoor missing Takbeer-e-Ula.” (Siyarus Salafis Saaliheen) Bishr Bin Mansoor (Rahmatullahi Alayh) passed away in 180 Hijri. He was amongst the students of Ayyoob Sakhtiyaani and one of the Ustaads of Bishr Haafi. Hadhrat Bishr Bin Mansoor used to perform 500 Rak’aats Salaat daily.
Hadhrat Abu Hurairah Radhiyallahu Anhu said: “He who performs Wudhu and beautifies his Wudhu (i.e. he executes the wudhu excellently), then he departs (from his home) with an intention towards Salaat, then such a person is in ‘Salaat’ as long as he is intentionally going towards Salaat and with one of his footsteps a reward is written and with the next step, a sin is wiped out. So, when any of you hears the Iqaamat, do not run. Those amongst you who will have the greatest rewards are the ones whose homes are the furthest (from the Masjid).” They asked: “Why, O Abu Hurairah?” He replied: “Owing to more steps (which a person will take whilst walking to the Masjid)” [Muwatta Imaam Maalik]
Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said: “Woman is Aurah (i.e. an object of concealment). When she emerges (from her home) shaitaan casts surreptitious glances at her (to ambush her and manipulate her for fitnah). And undoubtedly the closest she is to Allah Ta`ala is when she is at the innermost corner of her house.”