In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Tafseer Al-Baqarah Ayah 239
After Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala commanded His servants to perform the prayer perfectly and emphasized this commandment, He mentioned the situation where the person might not be able to perform the prayer perfectly such as during battle and combat.
“And if you fear (an enemy, then pray) on foot or riding. But when you are secure, then remember Allah (in prayer), as He has taught you that which you did not (previously) know.” [al-Baqarah 2: 239]
“And if you fear (an enemy, then pray) on foot or riding,” meaning, pray in the appropriate manner under these circumstances, whether on foot or riding and whether facing the Qiblah or otherwise.
Imam Maalik reported that Nafi’ related that Ibn ‘Umar radhiAllahu ‘anhu used to describe the Fear prayer when he was asked about it and would then add, “If there is intense fear, pray on foot, riding, facing the Qiblah and otherwise.” Nafi’ commented, “I think that he related that to the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim reported the hadeeth.]
Muslim, Abu Daw’oud, An-Nasa’i, Ibn Majah and Ibn Jarir reported that Ibn ‘Abbas radhiAllahu ‘anhu said, “Allah has ordained the prayer by the words of your Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam: four (Rak’ah) while residing, two Rak’ah while traveling and one Rak’ah during times of fear.” This is also the view of Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak, and others.
In addition, Al-Bukhari has entitled a Chapter: The Fear Prayer
Al-Awza’i said, ‘If the victory seems near and the Muslims are unable to perform the prayer (in the normal manner), they should pray by nodding each by himself. If they are unable to nod, they should delay the prayer until fighting is finished. When they feel safe, they should pray two Rak’ah. If they are unable, they should then pray one Rak’ah that includes two prostrations. If they are unable, then Takbeer alone does not suffice, so they should delay the prayer until they are safe.” This is the same view that Makhul held.
Anas ibn Maalik radhiAllahu ‘anhu said, “I participated in the attack on the fort of Tastar, when the light of dawn started to become clear. Suddenly, the fighting raged and the Muslims were unable to pray until the light of day spread. We then prayed (the Dawn prayer) with Abu Musa and we became victorious. I would not have been pleased if I were to gain in the life of this world and whatever is in it instead of that prayer.” [Al-Bukhari]
Prayer during the Times of Peace
“But when you are secure, then remember Allah (in prayer), as He has taught you that which you did not (previously) know.” It means performing the prayer as Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has commanded us by completing its bowing, prostration, standing, sitting, and with the required attention (in the heart) and supplication.
It is a favor of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala upon us that He did not only send us the commands but also “taught” us the way in which they should be honored. He endowed on us, guided us and taught us about what benefits us in this life and the Hereafter. We should thank and remember Him.
Though today we are not called for battles, we have many battles going on in our homes. When a couple fights, the first thing that they should do is strengthen their bond with their Creator – turn to Him with humility. Do not abandon your prayers. For the men, it is obligatory to pray in the mosque. If the husband is punctual, he will leave the argument and go to the mosque. At the mosque, he will be distracted. He will meet and greet other Muslims, talk to the Imam and his mood will change. While the husband is away, the wife too will pick up her prayer mat and offer her prayers. When she will stand before Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and cry out to Him, He will change the state of her heart and give her comfort.
But how many of us think like this? We keep on arguing, name calling and miss our obligatory prayers. The tempers are iron hot and both the parties do not wish to speak with one another. They are waiting to draw others in their private matter but do not share with Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. We take pride in throwing out our dirty laundry. It seems we have lost the virtue of self-respect. We can preserve our family honor, if we learn to conceal our private matters and only share them with Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.
We learn that prayer cannot be skipped under any circumstance. When people are going through trials in their lives, they get depressed and withdraw from life. If we have a regular habit of praying, we will know there is a Rabb that we can talk to, cry before and ask for help.
In the Qur’an, some people will enter Hellfire because of their abandoning of the prayers. Let us not become of them. No matter what the situation in our life is – happiness or sorrow – hold on to your prayer and your relationship with your Creator.
When giving our daughters in marriage, how many of us ask the groom-to-be whether he prays? Why is it that we focus more on worldly education and financial status or looks, than one’s relationship with their Creator? If one cannot maintain a strong relationship with their Creator, then there is no guarantee they will maintain good relations with fellow human beings. One who does not gives the Right of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has no respect for the rights of others.
May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala protect us and our families from abandoning prayers. May He not make us of those who pay more attention to the fleeting joys of this world and little to the life to come. May He make us of the musaaleen and qaniteen, aameen.
DOWNLOAD PDF: Tafseer Al-Baqarah Ayah 239
رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلْ مِنَّا ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيم
“Our Lord, accept [this] from us. Indeed You are the Hearing, the Knowing.” [Al-Baqarah 2: 127]