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Ibn 'Abdillah As-sudaisy Al-Iloori

One of the mistakes common in many of our masaajid is the attitude of streching the palms for the purpose of making intention at the begining of a solaah. The reason why it is wrong to do this is that, there is no evidence for it in the sunnah of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم. The proper thing is for someone who wants to pray to have the thought of the kind of prayer he is about to offer at the back of his mind without stretching his palms or saying it out. What we used to know is to stretch the palms and say "Nawwaitu......and so on". But honestly, this has no proof in the sunnah. [See al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 2/283]

By a simple illustration, the fact that you leave your home or office for masjid for the purpose of observing Solaatuz Zuhr is a fulfiment of the requirement of intention for that Zuhr prayer. In addition, the intention must be that you want to observe the prayer to please Allaah Alone, and not for riyaa' (show off) or any other material benefit. Some people only pray when they are in the midst of other Muslims who are about to pray. This means that they don't pray for the sake of Allaah. They pray so that they can be seen. Some people tend to beautify their solawaat when they notice some people watching them praying. This is riyaa' (show-off). These are parts of the traps set for us by shaitaan. May Allaah guide us against his antics.

May Allah grant us better understanding of the deen and forgive our shortcomings

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