The Effect of Salat (Prayer) and Sin on A Slave’s Sustenance

The Effect of Salat (Prayer) and Sin on A Slave’s Sustenance

Author: Said Yai Ardiansyah

اتْلُ مَا أُوحِيَ إِلَيْكَ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ تَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنْكَرِ وَلَذِكْرُ اللَّهِ أَكْبَرُ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَصْنَعُونَ (45)

“(O Prophet), recite the Book that has been revealed to you and establish Prayer. Surely Prayer forbids indecency and evil. And Allah’s remembrance is of even greater merit.  Allah knows all that you do.” (Chapter Al-‘Ankabut/The Spider: 45) 

Concise Interpretation 

“(O Prophet),recite the Book that has been revealed to you, i.e., the Quran”. Allaah the Glorified and Exalted has ordered us to recite His divine revelation, the Qur’an. The meaning of ‘reciting’ here is to follow all of its content, performing His command, avoiding His prohibition, walking upon His guidance, affirming all of the news He informed, pondering over the meanings contained in the Qur’an, and reciting its verses. 

The purpose of the mentioning of “recite” in this verse simply served as a mentioning of a certain word to represent other meanings as well. Therefore, we shall know that the meaning of the word “recite” here is to uphold the religion as a whole. Thus, the next order, which is “and establish prayer!,” is also a mentioning of certain word as a part of general order to uphold the religion as a whole. 

In this verse, there is a specific order to establish prayer, because prayer has many virtues, nobility, and beautiful impacts, among them is (as mentioned in this verse), “Surely Prayer forbids indecency and evil.” 

Al-Fahsyaa’ (indecency) means all kinds of sin that is considered as major, and grave, which entice soul to commit it. Whereas Al-Munkar means every evildoing that is denied by man’s intelligence and natural tendency. 

Why is prayer able to prevent from indecency and evil? It is because when a slave performs prayer by perfecting its compulsory requisites and stipulations, as well as pays attention to his solemnity in it, it will enlighten and cleanse his heart, increase his faith, strengthen his willpower to do good and lessen or even wipe out his desire to commit evil. Therefore, if a slave continuously performs and maintains his prayer with the aforementioned criteria, that prayer will prevent him from committing indecency and evil. And this effect is among the goal and result of performing prayer. 

The remembrances recited during a prayer encompasses remembrances of heart, word (tongue), and body. Indeed, Allaah created mankind for a sole purpose, i.e., to worship Him. And the most virtuous ritual of worship that a man does is prayer. In prayer, there is a ritual of worship by all of a man’s body, which doesn’t exist in any other form of worship aside from it. Thus, Allaah the Glorified and Exalted decreed, “And Allah’s remembrance is of even greater merit. “ 

“Allah knows all that you do.”, of the good and the bad. Allaah the Glorified and Exalted will repay those deeds with befitting rewards. 

Explanation of the Verse 

وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ تَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنْكَرِ

“and establish Prayer. Surely Prayer forbids indecency and evil.” 

Allaah the Glorified and Exalted orders His slaves to establish prayer. And it has plenty of benefits. Among them is to prevent one who establishes it from indecency and evildoing. 

It is recorded from Abu Huraira -may Allaah be pleased with him- that he said, 

جَاءَ رَجُلٌ إِلَى النَّبِيِّ -صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ-، فَقَالَ: إِنَّ فُلاَنًا يُصَلِّي بِاللَّيْلِ، فَإِذَا أَصْبَحَ سَرَقَ. قَالَ: (( إِنَّهُ سَيَنْهَاهُ مَا تَقُولُ.))

“A man came to the Prophet -peace and prayer of Allaah be upon him- and said, ‘Indeed, such and such performed prayer in the nighttime, but he stole (others belongings, -ed) in the morning.’ The Prophet -peace and prayer of Allaah be upon him- said, ‘Indeed, his prayer will hold him back from committing what you’ve said.” 

Ibn Mas’ud and Ibn ‘Abbas -may Allaah be pleased with them both- said, 

في الصلاة منتهى ومزدجر عن معاصي الله، فمن لم تأمره صلاته بالمعروف، ولم تنهه عن المنكر، لم يزدد بصلاته من الله إلا بعدًا.

“In a prayer, there is something that can hold and prevent one from committing sin against Allaah’s order. Whoever whose prayer doesn’t command him to do good and doesn’t prohibit him from evil, then that prayer will only distance himself further from Allaah.” 

Al-Qatada and Al-Hasan -may Allaah have mercy on them both- said, 

من لم تنهه صلاته عن الفحشاء والمنكر فصلاته وبال عليه

“Whoever whose prayer can’t restrain him from committing indecency and evil, his prayer will ruin himself.” 

وَلَذِكْرُ اللَّهِ أَكْبَرُ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَصْنَعُونَ 

And Allah’s remembrance is of even greater merit.  Allah knows all that you do.”

Allaah’s verse “And Allah’s remembrance is of even greater merit. “ can be interpreted into several meanings below: 

  1. Remembering Allah has a greater impact to restrain one from committing indecency and evil compared to prayer alone. Since praying can indeed restrain one from indecency during its time, but its influence will be lesser when it is finished. Whereas remembering Allaah can protect oneself from indecency and evil all the time. 

            Remembering Allaah is among the most virtuous deed. In a redaction from Abud-Darda’ -may Allaah have mercy on him-, the Messenger of Allaah -peace and prayer of Allaah be upon him- told his companions, 

(( أَلاَ أُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِخَيْرِ أَعْمَالِكُمْ وَأَرْضَاهَا عِنْدَ مَلِيكِكُمْ  وَأَرْفَعِهَا فِي دَرَجَاتِكُمْ وَخَيْرٍ لَكُمْ مِنْ إِعْطَاءِ الذَّهَبِ وَالْوَرِقِ وَمِنْ أَنْ تَلْقَوْا عَدُوَّكُمْ فَتَضْرِبُوا أَعْنَاقَهُمْ وَيَضْرِبُوا أَعْنَاقَكُمْ؟ )) قَالُوا: وَمَا ذَاكَ يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ؟ قَالَ: (( ذِكْرُ اللَّهِ.))

“Would you like me to inform you about the best deed among your deeds, that is more favorable to your Lord, better in raising you your degrees, better than giving alms of gold and silver, and better than when you meet your foe, you chopped their heads and they chopped yours?,” His companions replied, “What is it, O Messenger of Allaah!,” He said, “Remembering Allaah.” 

  1. “And Allah’s remembrance is of even greater merit,” is interpreted with “and indeed, Allaah’s remembrance (of His slaves, in front of the angels) is greater (than a slave’s remembrance of Allaah). Among the  indication that supports this notion is a hadith from the Prophet -peace and prayer of Allaah be upon him, in which Allaah the Glorified and Exalted said, 

مَنْ ذَكَرَنِي فِي نَفْسِهِ ، ذَكَرْتُهُ فِي نَفْسِي ، وَمَنْ ذَكَرَنِي فِي مَلَأٍ مِنَ النَّاسِ ، ذَكَرْتُهُ فِي مَلَأٍ أَكْثَرَ مِنْهُمْ وَأَطْيَبَ.

“Whoever remembers Me in him, I will remember him in Me. Whoever remembers Me among a group of people, then I will remember him among a group (of His creation) that is more in numbers and better than them.. 

‘Abdullaah Ibn Rabi’ah -may Allaah have mercy upon him- said, “Ibn ‘Abbas once said, ‘Do you know the meaning of Allaah the Exalted’s words (وَلَذِكْرُ اللَّهِ أَكْبَرُ )?’ I said, “Yes.” He asked, “What does it mean?,” I replied, “It is reciting tasbeeh, tahmeed, and takbeer inside of prayer, as well as reciting the Qur’an and the likes. “ He said, “You’ve uttered an odd statement. It is not like that, instead, the correct meaning is that Allaah remembers you when Allaah orders and prohibits, when you remember Him, which is greater than your remembrance of Him.” 

  1. “And Allah’s remembrance is of even greater merit,”is interpreted into, “And indeed, remembering Allaah (with prayer) is greater in merit (than remembering Him outside of prayer). It is as mentioned in the verse below: 

{فَاسَعَوْا إِلَى ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ}

“hasten to the remembrance of Allah,” (Chapter Al-Jumu’ah/The Friday:9) 

The meaning of dhikr or remembrance in this verse is the Friday prayer. Likewise in a verse in chapter Al-‘Ankabut, the meaning of dhikr in that verse is prayer. 

Prayer Can Prevent from Indecency and Evil 

Prayer can prevent one from committing indecency and evil, as mentioned in this verse. It is also happened to Prophet Shuhaib -peace be upon him. The people of Prophet Shuhaib -peace be upon him- insulted Prophet Shuhaib, saying, 

 قَالُوا يَا شُعَيْبُ أَصَلَاتُكَ تَأْمُرُكَ أَنْ نَتْرُكَ مَا يَعْبُدُ آبَاؤُنَا أَوْ أَنْ نَفْعَلَ فِي أَمْوَالِنَا مَا نَشَاءُ

“They replied: “O Shu’ayb! Does your Prayer enjoin upon you that we should forsake the deities whom our forefathers worshipped, or that we should give up using our wealth as we please? Do you fancy that you, and only you, are forbearing and rightly-directed?” (Chapter Huud: 87) 

Prophet Shuhaib -peace be upon him- was well-known for his diligence in establishing prayer, hence, his people were astonished when they were told to abandon shirk and abandon their misdeeds in gaining wealth. 

It indicates that prayer has an influence on one’s obedience to Allaah, and it can prevent him from pursuing wealth from unlawful sources. 

What Kind of Prayer that Can Prevent from Indecency and Evil?

Abul-’Aliyah -may Allaah have mercy on him- said, 

إن الصلاة فيها ثلاث خصال فكل صلاة لا يكون فيها شيء من هذه الخلال فليست بصلاة: الإخلاص والخشية وذكر الله. فالإخلاص يأمره بالمعروف، والخشية تنهاه عن المنكر، وذكر القرآن يأمره وينهاه.

“Indeed, there are three things in prayer. Every prayer that voids from even one of those three, is not real prayer. Those are: sincerity, fear of Allaah, and remembering Allaah. Sincerity will order him to do good, fear of Allaah will prohibit him from committing evil, and remembering Allaah by reciting the Qur’an will order and prohibit him.” 

Ibn ‘Aun Al-Anshari -may Allaah have mercy upon him- said, 

إذا كنت في صلاة فأنت في معروف، وقد حجزتك عن الفحشاء والمنكر.

“When you are serving the prayer, you are in goodness. You have restrained yourself from committing indecency and evil.” 

Sheikh Abu Bakr Jabir Al-Jazairi -may Allaah preserve him- said, “ In prayer, the first thing that we should do is to purify our worship to Allaah alone. The second thing is to preserve the purity of heart from turning the worship to anything or anyone beside The Lord (Allaah) the Exalted during it. Next is to perform prayer on its due time at mosques, Allaah’s house, together with the congregation of muslims, Allaah’s slaves and His loved ones. Next is to pay attention to its compulsory requisites, among which are: reciting chapter Al-Fatiha, rukoo’ and thuma’nina in it, get up from rukoo’ and thuma’nina in it, then prostrate on forehead and nose, and thuma’nina in it, and the last compulsory requisite is being solemn (khusyu’), i.e., performing the whole prayer with calmness, a soft heart, and shedding tears. This kind of prayer is the one that can invoke the energy of light, which can prevent one from plunging himself into unlawful lust and sin, as well as from committing indecency and evil.” 

The Impact of Sin on A Slave’s Sustenance 

A sin that one committed can influence the sustenance that Allaah bestows upon him. Allaah will hold back the sustenance of those who commit evildoing. Allaah the Glorified and Exalted decreed, 

وَلَوْ أَنَّ أَهْلَ الْقُرَى آمَنُوا وَاتَّقَوْا لَفَتَحْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ بَرَكَاتٍ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ

Had the people of those towns believed and been God-fearing, We would certainly have opened up to them blessings from the heavens ,” (Chapter Al-A’raf/The Height: 96)

وَلَوْ أَنَّ أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ آمَنُوا وَاتَّقَوْا لَكَفَّرْنَا عَنْهُمْ سَيِّئَاتِهِمْ وَلَأَدْخَلْنَاهُمْ جَنَّاتِ النَّعِيمِ (65) وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ أَقَامُوا التَّوْرَاةَ وَالْإِنْجِيلَ وَمَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْهِمْ مِنْ رَبِّهِمْ لَأَكَلُوا مِنْ فَوْقِهِمْ وَمِنْ تَحْتِ أَرْجُلِهِمْ (66)

“Had the People of the Book only believed and been God-fearing, We should surely have effaced from them their evil deeds and caused them to enter the Gardens of Bliss. Had the People of the Book observed the Torah and the Gospel and all that had been revealed to them from their Lord, sustenance would have been showered over them from above and would have risen from beneath their feet. Some among them certainly keep to the Right Path, but many of them do things that are evil.” (Chapter Al-Maida/The Table Spread: 65-66) 

وَمَنْ يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَلْ لَهُ مَخْرَجًا (2) وَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَحْتَسِبُ (3)

“ Allah will find a way out for him who fears Allah, and will provide him sustenance from whence he never even imagined. ”(Chapter Ath-Thalaq/The Divorce: 2-3)

The verses above show us that there is a great relation between one’s sustenance and his obedience to Allaah the Glorified and Exalted. And People who disobey Allaah are not those who fear Him. 

Maintaining Prayer Can Accelerate One’s Sustenance 

People who abandon prayer has indeed committed a major sin. The Messenger of Allaah -peace and prayer of Allaah be upon him- said, 

إِنَّ بَيْنَ الرَّجُلِ وَبَيْنَ الشِّرْكِ وَالْكُفْرِ تَرْكَ الصَّلاَةِ

“Indeed, the distinction between a man and shirk or disbelieving is abandoning prayer.” 

Anyone who abandons the compulsory prayer is not one that fear Allaah. Allaah the Glorofied and Exalted has mentioned about the tight relation between prayer and one’s sustenance in the following verse. Allaah the Glorified and Exalted decreed, 

وَلَا تَمُدَّنَّ عَيْنَيْكَ إِلَى مَا مَتَّعْنَا بِهِ أَزْوَاجًا مِنْهُمْ زَهْرَةَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا لِنَفْتِنَهُمْ فِيهِ وَرِزْقُ رَبِّكَ خَيْرٌ وَأَبْقَى (131) وَأْمُرْ أَهْلَكَ بِالصَّلَاةِ وَاصْطَبِرْ عَلَيْهَا لَا نَسْأَلُكَ رِزْقًا نَحْنُ نَرْزُقُكَ وَالْعَاقِبَةُ لِلتَّقْوَى (132)

“Do not turn your eyes covetously towards the embellishments of worldly life that We have bestowed upon various kinds of people to test them. But the clean provision  bestowed upon you by your Lord is better and more enduring. Enjoin Prayer on your household, and do keep observing it. We do not ask you for any worldly provision; rather, it is We Who provide you, and ultimately the pious will end up the best.” (Chapter Thaha: 131-132) 

The verse clearly mentioned that one who establishes prayer and has a firm patience in it, will be granted with sustenance from Allaah without him working hard to earn it. And it is a form of reward for those who fear Allaah, the Glorified and Exalted. In the story of Prophet Shuhaib -peace be upon him-, Allaah the Glorified and Exalted mentioned the words of Prophet Shuhaib after his people understood that it is his prayer that restrain him from committing evil : 

قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ أَرَأَيْتُمْ إِنْ كُنْتُ عَلَى بَيِّنَةٍ مِنْ رَبِّي وَرَزَقَنِي مِنْهُ رِزْقًا حَسَنًا

“Shu’ayb said: “My people! What do you think? If I stand on clear evidence from my Lord, and He has also provided me a handsome provision from Himself  – (should I still be ungrateful to Him and share your error and iniquity)? Nor do I desire to act contrary to what I admonish you. I desire nothing but to set things right as far as I can. My succour is only with Allah. In Him have I put my trust, and to Him do I always turn.” (Chapter Huud :88) 

Prophet Shuhaib -peace be upon him- explained to them that by prayer and an evident explanation from his Lord, Allaah bestowed upon him good and lawful sustenance. And it was different from what his people were practicing. They occupied themselves by pursuing unlawful wealth. 

Despite that, some people still disbelieve in the tight relation between one’s prayer and his sustenance. This belief is no different from what the people of Prophet Shuhaib -peace be upon him- said to him, 

قَالُوا يَا شُعَيْبُ مَا نَفْقَهُ كَثِيرًا مِمَّا تَقُولُ

“They said: “O Shu’ayb! We do not understand much of what you say. ” (Chapter Huud: 91) 

It stemmed from their hearts being tied to the worldly pleasure with a greater bond than their tie to prayer. 

Repenting from Abandoning Prayer 

People who haven’t performed the five compulsory prayers should repent to Allaah immediately. Indeed, Allaah the Glorified and Exalted is The Most Forgiving to His slaves who repent to Him.

Among things that can melt away the sins of a slave is establishing the five compulsory prayers. 

Abu Huraira -may Allah be pleased with him- narrated that he heard The Messenger of Allaah -peace and prayer of Allaah be upon him- said, 

أَرَأَيْتُمْ لَوْ أَنَّ نَهَرًا بِبَابِ أَحَدِكُمْ يَغْتَسِلُ فِيهِ كُلَّ يَوْمٍ خَمْسًا مَا تَقُولُ ذَلِكَ يُبْقِي مِنْ دَرَنِهِ ؟ قَالُوا : لاَ يُبْقِي مِنْ دَرَنِهِ شَيْئًا قَالَ فَذَلِكَ مِثْلُ الصَّلَوَاتِ الْخَمْسِ يَمْحُو اللَّهُ بِهَا الْخَطَايَا.

“If there was a river at the door of anyone of you and he took a bath in it five times a day would you notice any dirt on him?” They said, “Not a trace of dirt would be left.” The Prophet -peace and prayer of Allaah be upon him- added, “That is the parable of the five prayers with which Allah blots out (annuls) evil deeds.”

Allah the Glorified and Exalted promises to bestow sustenance in abundance for those who are willing to repent to Him, The Glorified and Exalted. 

Allaah the Glorified and Exalted decreed,

فَقُلْتُ اسْتَغْفِرُوا رَبَّكُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ غَفَّارًا (10) يُرْسِلِ السَّمَاءَ عَلَيْكُمْ مِدْرَارًا (11) وَيُمْدِدْكُمْ بِأَمْوَالٍ وَبَنِينَ وَيَجْعَلْ لَكُمْ جَنَّاتٍ وَيَجْعَلْ لَكُمْ أَنْهَارًا (12)

“I said to them: “Ask forgiveness from your Lord; surely He is Most Forgiving. He will shower upon you torrents from heaven, and will provide you with wealth and children, and will bestow upon you gardens and rivers.” (Chapter Nuh: 10-12) 


From the explanation above, we can infer some conclusions, namely: 

  1. Prayer and remembering Allaah can prevent one from committing indecency and evil. 
  2. Prayer that can prevent from indecency and evil is a prayer that has all of the following in it: the compulsories of prayer, sincerity, solemnity, fear of Allaah, and remembering Allaah. 
  3. A sin committed by a slave can withhold Allaah’s sustenance for him, and his piety will make easy for it to be granted to him. 
  4. Prayer is largely influential towards one’s steadfastness and piety, and it can be a cause for the opening of a lawful and decent sustenance. 
  5. The five compulsory prayers can erase one’s past sins. 


  1. Aisarut-Tafaasiir li kalaam ‘Aliyil-Kabiir. Jabir Ibn Musa Al-Jazairi. Al-Madinah: Maktaba Al-‘Uluum wal-hikam
  2. Al-‘Ibaadaatu Asbaabun Tahmii minal-Mashaa-ib wa Tarfa’uhaa Bi-idznillah. Dr. Munirah Al-Muthlaq. Majallah Al-Buhuuts Al-Islaamiyah volume. 94.
  3. Al-Jaami’ Li Ahkaamil-Qur’aan. Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Al-Qurthubi. Cairo: Daar Al-Kutub Al-Mishriya.
  4. Asbaabul-Barakah fir-Rizqi.Khuthbatul-Jum’ah li Ash Sheikh  Abdul-‘Aziz Ali Asy-Syaikh.
  5. At-Tahriir wa At-Tanwiir. Muhammad Ath-Thahir Ibn ‘Asyur. 1997. Tunisia: Dar Sah
  6. Ma’aalimut-tanziil. Abu Muhammad Al-Husain Ibn Mas’uud Al-Baghawi. 1417 H/1997 M. Riyaadh:Daar Ath-Thaibah.
  7. Tafseer Al-Qur’aan Al-‘Adzhiim. Isma’iil Ibn‘Umar bin Katsiir. 1420 H/1999M. Riyaadh: Daar Ath-Thaibah.
  8. Taisiir Al-Kariim Ar-Rahmaan. Abdurrahman Ibn Nashir As-Sa’di. Beirut: Muassasah Ar-Risaalah.
  9. Etc. Mostly has been cited on the footnotes.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.