Abu Zarr (Radiallaho Anho) narrates that once our Nabi (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) came out of his house. It was autumn and the leaves were falling from the trees. He caught hold of a branch of a tree and its leaves began to drop in large number. At this he remarked, “O Abu Zarr! When a Muslim offers his Salaah to please Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) his sins fall away from him just as these leaves are falling off this tree.”
In autumn, usually, the leaves of the trees fall in large number, so much so that on some trees not a single leaf is left behind. The same is the effect of Salaah performed with sincerity and devotion. All the sins of the person offering Salaah are wiped off. It should, however, be remembered that according to scholars of Islamic law, only the smaller sins are forgiven by the performance of Salaah and such other practices. The major sins are not forgiven without repentance. We should, therefore, in addition to saying Salaah, be Particular about repenting and asking for Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala)’s forgiveness. Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) may, however, pardon, by His bountiful Grace, even the major sins of any person, because of his Salaah
Salaah Washes Away Sins.
Abu Hurairah (Radiallaho Anho) narrates that once Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wassallam) asked his Sahabah, “Do you believe that dirt can remain on a person bathing five times a day in a stream running in front of his door?” “No,” replied the Sahabah, “no dirt can remain on his body.” Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wassallam) remarked: “So, exactly similar is the effect of salaah offered five times a day. With the Grace of Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) it washes away all the sins.”
Jabir (Radiallaho Anho) narrates that he heard Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wassallam) saying: “The likeness of five times daily salaah is of a deep stream running in front of the door of a person who bathes therein five times a day.”
Running water is generally free from dirt, and the deeper it runs the cleaner and purer it is. A bath in such water surely removes dirt from the body and makes it clean. Salaah offered with due regard for its essentials similarly cleanses the soul of all sins. There are several Ahadith of the same meaning, though with slight variations in expression, narrated by different Sahabah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wassallam) .
Abu Saeed Khudree (Radiallaho Anho) narrates that he heard Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wassallam) saying: “Each of the five Salaah covers up the sins committed since the salaah preceding it. To explain, let us take the case of a person working in a factory. His job is such that his body gets covered with dust. But there are five streams of running water in between the factory and his house and, on his return from the job, he takes a bath in each stream. The effect of five times daily salaah is quite similar. Any sins of omission and commission between two Salaah are forgiven on account of asking for Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) forgiveness and repentance in each salaah.”
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wassallam) through such examples aims at impressing that salaah has the wonderful power of removing the sins. If we fail to avail of Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) Rahmah, surely we ourselves are the losers.
Abu Zuhayr ‘Umara ibn Ruwayba said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, ‘No one who used to pray before the rising of the sun and before its setting will enter the Fire,” meaning Fajr and ‘Asr.” [Muslim]
Jundub ibn Sufyan reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Anyone who prays the Subh prayer is in Allah’s keeping. O son of Adam, watch out that Allah does not demand from you anything that is in His keeping.” [Muslim]
To err is human. We are likely to commit innumerable acts displeasing Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) and deserve thereby His wrath and punishment. But look how merciful our dear Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) is! He has most graciously shown us the way to earn His mercy and forgiveness. It is a great pity if we do not avail of this great favor. Our Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) is always eager to show us His mercy on very small matters. It is said in a Hadith that if a person goes to bed with the intention of getting up for Tahajjud and ,by chance, does not wake up, he receives the full reward for Tahajjud, although he has been enjoying his sleep at the time of Tahajjud. How boundless is the grace of Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) and what a tremendous loss and deprivation if we do not receive blessings from such a Giver.
From the Works of Shaikul Hadith Maulana Muhammad Zakariyya