Reflection No. 134 on Q 20:132 – Perseverance in Salaat
وَأْمُرْ أَهْلَكَ بِالصَّلَاةِ وَاصْطَبِرْ عَلَيْهَا – Wa’mur ahlaka bi-SSalāti wa-STabir ‘alayhā
And bid your family to prayer and be steadfast in its maintenance. (Sūra Tāhā, Āyat 132)
Out of all the actions that Allah has made obligatory on us, none is as quintessential to spirituality and closeness to Allah as is Salāt. Salāt, i.e. the ritual prayer, is: the pillar of religion (MH, H.10247), the best of actions after awareness (MH, H.10245), and the first thing to be asked about on the Day of Judgment (MH, H.10267).
The verse above talks about how it is not just important to persevere on your own salāt, but also to remind your family about it. Perseverance is required, both for establishing Salāt itself, and for reminding the family about it. Tafsīr-e Nūr mentions how after the revelation of this verse, the Holy Prophet (s) would knock on the door of the house of Amīrul Mu’minīn Imam Ali (a) and Sayyida Fātima (a), and would call out ‘Salāt’. He would then recite the Āyat of Tathīr (33:33), reminding people of the fact that it was this household that Allah had purified.
The following points can be derived from this verse:
1) It is not enough to understand and appreciate the importance of salāt for yourself. This understanding must be shared with others.
2) One of the first groups you should work on for enjoining towards good (Amr bil-ma‘rūf) is your family and close ones.
3) You are responsible for the mental and spiritual needs of your family.
4) A family travels together towards Allah, helping and encouraging one another in the journey.
5) Family does not just mean spouse and children, but also includes close relatives.
6) The first grounds for training are established in the home.
7) Enjoining prayers and establishing it in the family requires patience and perseverance.
8) Consistency is required to establish the importance of prayers at home.
Persevering on Salāt to say it as it should be said, and reminding others about it, required thought and effort. It is no wonder that the Holy Prophet (s) has said: Let your biggest worry be your Salāt (MH, H.10229).
Sources: Agha Muhsin Qarāti, Tafsīr-e Nūr; Muhammadī Rayshahrī, Mizānul Hikmah.