Our Beloved Rasool (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) ordered his followers to safeguard and be punctual with their Salaah, and he showed the world in practical terms by acting upon this himself. Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) performed each Salaah with congregation, on time, with his Companions. A’la Hazrat Imam Ahle Sunnat Ash Shah Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) was a true devotee and follower of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and that is why he repeated the words that were spoken by Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), and he performed the same actions that were performed by Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). Every step of the way, he was an embodiment of one who acts upon the sayings and teachings of Nabi-e-Kareem (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), and that was the reason why he never missed performing his Salaah on time, just as the following incidents show.
In the year 1337 A.H., corresponding to 1919, even though he was ill, A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) travelled to Jabalpur at the invitation of Hazrat Maulana Abdus Salaam (Rahmatullah Alaih). The following is described by Hazrat Burhan-e-Millat (Rahmatullah Alaih):
“At 4 am, A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) and this attendant left by car and headed for Bareilly railway station. I said, “Sir, the train departs right at the time of Fajr Salaah, where will we pray our Salaah?” He smiled and replied, “Insha Allah, on the platform.” When we got to the station, we found out that the train was going to be 40 minutes late. Prayer mats, cloths etc. were laid down on the platform and many people performed the Fajr Salaah behind A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh). It was a miracle (Karaamat) of A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) that we were all able to perform the Salaah in peace without having to rush for fear of missing our train.”
Hazrat Maulana Abdus Salaam (Rahmatullah Alaih) had come with his companions to Katni to meet and accompany A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) the rest of the way, and he describes the rest of the incident:
“The train reached Katni at 4 am. Arrangements were made for A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) to perform ablution and he asked, “Where will we perform Fajr Salaah?” I said, “In Sulaimanabad Insha Allah, but the train only stops there for three minutes. Sir, you perform ablution, your attendant is here to serve you.” I walked towards the engine and saw that the driver was a Muslim who had just come from greeting A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh). He greeted me and shook my hand. I said to him, “We have to perform Salaah in Sulaimanabad.” He asked, “How long will it take?” I replied, “12-15 minutes.” He said, “I will delay the train.” I also met with the guard and he also assured us that we could perform our Salaah at Sulaimanabad. The train reached Sulaimanabad on time and the prayer mats, cloths etc. were laid down on the platform. Approximately 300 people prayed Fajr Salaah behind A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh). All the other passengers on the train were watching A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh), who prayed his Wazeefas calmly and peacefully after the Salaah and then proceeded back onto the train.”
Hazrat Burhan-e-Millat (Rahmatullah Alaih) also noted and wrote that during his stay in Jabalpur, A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) would walk to the Mosque to perform all five daily Salaah with the congregation. In those days, Hazrat Burhan-e-Millat (Rahmatullah Alaih) used to perform his prayers in a Mosque, which was more than 500 feet away from his home. This is not a short walk for one who is sick, frail and thin; rather it exceeds the amount that a person who is sick would be able to walk. After returning back from Jabalpur, on the 22nd Rajab 1337 A.H., A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) sent the following message to Hazrat Burhan-e-Millat (Rahmatullah Alaih):
“I arrived back in Bareilly safely on Monday at 8 pm. I received a great blessing from Allah Ta’ala along the way because I thought I would miss my Maghrib Salaah. The train was scheduled to arrive at Shahbahanpur at 6.33 and was only scheduled to stop there for 8 minutes. Based on that schedule, it would not be time for Maghrib Salaah yet. However, the train arrived 15 minutes late at Shahbahanpur and stayed there for over 10 minutes. Alhamdulillah, all my prayers were performed peacefully and on time during the journey. Many people had come to the station to welcome me back and I reached home quite late. This faqeer first went to the mosque and performed Esha Salaah with the congregation.”
This is a true Aashiq and follower of the Beloved Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). Upon returning home after spending one and a quarter months away, instead of rushing home to meet his children and family, first of all he goes to the House of Allah Ta’ala. His thought was that ‘I do not want to miss the congregation amidst all the excitement of seeing my children again.’ This is called safeguarding Salaah, and this is having enthusiasm and passion for prostrating and worshipping Allah Ta’ala. The following incident further illustrates the passion and zest with which A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) performed his Salaah.
A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) travelled for his second pilgrimage at the age of 52. After the rights of Hajj were fulfilled, he became so ill that he was confined to a bed for almost two months. When he had recovered and was better, he left Makkah Shareef to visit the blessed resting place of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) on the 24th of Safar 1334 A.H. He went to Jeddah and travelled by boat to Raabig and, from there, completed the journey to Madinah Shareef on camel. The following is an account of what happened, in the words of A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) himself:
“Along the way, we got to Peer Shaikh and there were only a few miles left to reach our destination, but there was only a short time left for performing Fajr Salaah. The camel owners wanted to continue until we reached our destination, but the time for Fajr would have passed by that time. My companions and I got down from our camels. We had a bucket for pulling water from the well but did not have a rope, and the well was quite deep. We tied our turbans to the bucket, drew the water, performed ablution and, by the Grace of Allah Ta’ala, we were able to perform our Salaah on time. Now the worry was that after only just recovering from a long illness, how would I be able to walk the long distance that was left to our destination? I turned my head and was shocked to see an African camel owner whom I did not recognise, who was waiting for me with a camel. I praised Allah Ta’ala and got on the camel. People asked me, “Why did you come on this camel? Shaikh Hussain has told us very forcefully to ensure that we did not fall short at all in serving you.” We proceeded a little further and I saw that the original camel owner was waiting with the camel on which I had been riding. I asked him why he was waiting there and he said, “When the leader of our group stopped for a rest, I thought to myself that you will have to endure difficulties if you have to walk all the way, therefore I released the camel and headed back to where you were.” All this was a great blessing from my Beloved Master Muhammad Mustafa (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) because neither have I ever met nor do I know Shaikh Hussain or the African camel owner.”
Subhaanallah! This is what is called enthusiasm and eagerness to perform Salaah. Just the thought of missing the Salaah at its allocated time makes one restless and uneasy. If the Salaah is prayed on time, the heart feels content and peaceful and the soul gets new life. Even after being severely ill for months and being very weak, he did not care about all the problems and was prepared to leave the group and put up with any amount of difficulties, but was not willing to give up performing Salaah on time. A true lover and devotee of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) considers Salaah as a great blessing, and thanks Allah Ta’ala for granting him this great gift. May our lives be sacrificed in trying to achieve the zest and passion that A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) had for performing Salaah and prostrating to Almighty Allah, our Cherisher and Sustainer. Ameen.