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Reasons behind the Compilation of this Book, & some of its Features

Since I had not come across a comprehensive book covering this topic, I felt obliged to produce a book which collected together as many features of the Prophet's prayer (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) from the takbeer to the tasleem as possible, for the benefit of my Muslim brothers who wished to follow the guidance of their Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) in their worship, such that it would be easy for any who truly loved the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) to use this book to fulfil his command, "Pray as you have seen me praying."

Thus I embarked on a difficult task, and researched the relevant ahaadeeth from the various sources of Hadeeth, the book in your hands being the end result of it all. I stipulated on myself that I would only give ahaadeeth which had an authentic sanad according to the principles and regulations of the science of Hadeeth. I disregarded any hadeeth which depended on unknown or weak narrators, whether it dealt with the outward form, adhkaar, excellence, etc. of the Prayer. This is because I hold that the authentic ahadeeth9 are sufficient, leaving no need for anything weak, for the latter does not amount to anything except zann (conjecture, suspicion), and incorrect conjecture at that; as the Exalted says:

"... And conjecture is of no use against the truth"10;

and the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said, Beware of suspicion, for truly, suspicion is the most false of speech.11 Therefore, we cannot worship Allaah by acting according to inauthentic ahaadeeth; in fact, the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) forbade us from this saying, Keep away from saying things about me, except what you know12; since he has forbidden us from relating weak narrations, it goes without saying that it is forbidden to act according to them.

I have compiled the book as two texts: the main text and the subsidiary text.

The main text includes the text of ahaadeeth or phrases taken from them, as well as appropriate words to string them together to give the book a fluency from start to finish. I have been careful to preserve the text of each hadeeth as it is found in the books of Sunnah; where a hadeeth has different wordings, I have chosen the version which best fits the fluency etc., but I have brought together other wordings thus: "(in one version: ...)" or "(in one narration: ...)". Only rarely have I given the Companion who narrated the hadeeth, or explained in the main text which of the Imaams of Hadeeth have collected each hadeeth, in order to provide easier reading and reference.

As for the subsidiary text, it is a commentary on the main text. In it I have traced the ahaadeeth to their sources, exploring their various versions and routes of narration. Along with this, I have commented on their isnaads and supporting narrations, with authenticating and disparaging remarks on narrators, whether authentic or weak, judged according to the rules of the science of Hadeeth. Often, one route of narration has additional words which are not found in other routes, so I have inserted these into the original hadeeth in the main text whenever it is possible to do so without destroying the fluency, enclosing the addition in square brackets: [...], usually without stating which of the sources were alone in containing that addition. This has been done only if the hadeeth is originally on the authority of the same Companion, otherwise I have given it separately, e.g. in the opening supplications etc. This insertion of additional wordings is a tremendous advantage which you will not find in many books - Praise be to Allaah, by Whose Favour good actions are completed.

Next, I have mentioned in the subsidiary text the madhhabs of the scholars regarding the hadeeth traced, as well as the evidence and counter-evidence for each view, along with the strengths and weaknesses of each argument. We have then selected out of that the correct view which we have given in the main text. Also in the subsidiary text, we have given some issues for which there is no text in the Sunnah, but which require ijtihaad, and do not come under the title of this book.

Since the publication of this book with both main and subsidiary texts is not feasible right now due to various reasons, we have decided to publish only the main text of the book (along with brief footnotes) by Allaah's Will, and named it "Sifah Salaah an-Nabi (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam), min at-takbeer ilaa at-tasleem ka'annaka taraahaa (The Prophet's Prayer Described, from beginning to end, as though you were watching it)".

I ask Allaah to make this work sincerely for His Face, and to help my brothers in faith to benefit from it, for He is the Hearer, the Answerer.

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