By Sikandar Azam

The people, who do not apply their reason and continue to follow their course however erroneous, fail to realise the wisdom inherent in Divine and Prophetic teachings. When they remain contended with this failure, their hearts become hardened and they go to any length in opposing the wise teachings and those who present them. This has happened in all times and climes.

Recently a report said that a group of residents objected for the fourth consecutive week to Muslims offering Friday prayers in open in Gurgaon’s  Sector 47 (as they do not have mosques there) even after the police, in an effort to solve the issue, shifted the prayer site by 100 metres from its original spot. However, the prayers were offered amid heavy police presence as at least 70-80 people, carrying placards, raised slogans and tried to march towards the site. They gathered near the site and sang religious songs and bhajans using a mic and a portable speaker.

This is nothing new. This is the path unbelievers, polytheists and hypocrites have trodden since down the ages. In the days of Allah’s Messenger ﷺ they used to mock at prayers, make jest of it, utter disparaging and taunting remarks, and make noises in order to disturb the Muslims praying in the sacred precincts of Ka’bah. The Qur’ān 5:8 records this mean, unreasoned approach of the unbelievers: “…when you call to prayer, they mock at it and make a jest of it. They do this because they are people who do not use their reason.”

This is the sort of action which is bound to infuriate the believers who feel that they are treated in total disrespect, when such an uncalled for insult is directed against their faith and worship, and when their position as they stand to offer their worship is ridiculed. In other words, this is an attempt to provoke Muslims. Such mockery and ridicule used to be the work of unbelievers, especially the Jews when the Qur’ān was being revealed to Allah’s Messenger ﷺ so that he would convey it to the Muslims. This they do because they are ignorant, they do not understand.

The fact remains that Salat or prayer is a very sacred act; any act like talking, responding to greetings, during the prayer is prohibited, not to say of making noises. Mu’awiya bin al-Hakam relates that the Messenger of Allah said: “Talking to persons is not fitting during the prayer, for it consists of glorifying Allah, declaring his Greatness, and recitation of the Qur’ān or words to that effect.” (Sahih Muslim) If people understand, apply their reason, think and reflect on the sacredness of the prayer, they can keep from this uncalled for behaviour and act wisely.

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