Originally Posted by IbnAbdulHakim
This story is well known amongst the students of knowledge. It is a story about a person who was known as “the man who prayed badly.”
At that time perhaps there were few like him which explains why he came to be known by this nickname. But as for today how numerous are those who pray badly like this man!
Perhaps the students of knowledge who see these people praying badly don’t inform them of their error out of politeness or because they think that the only thing that is required of them is to perform their own prayer and that they are not required to do anything else with respect to others. This is a wrong notion that some students of knowledge have, i.e. that a person should not be concerned with anything more than performing acts of worship for himself. So he forgets the issue of commanding good and forbidding evil and sincerely advising the servants of Allaah.
On the other side, some people are unaware of this issue and that praying like this invalidates the prayer, i.e. such as those who peck on the floor in their prayer, condensing the pillars of (1) lifting the head and (2) sitting between the two prostrations. Many people are negligent about these two pillars of the prayer since they peck like chickens on the ground and do not observe tranquility. No sooner does his back rise from prostrating than he prostrates again before he sits up straight. He barely lifts his head from the first prostration, and before sitting tranquilly for a moment, he rushes down for his second prostration. Whoever does this, his prayer is invalid and he falls under the label of “the man who prayed badly.”
So it is upon the students of knowledge to advise those who pray badly, and they are many in these days.
The story of this man is known to the students of knowledge. A man once entered the masjid while the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam
) was sitting amongst his Companions. So he offered his prayer, made the tasleem, then greeted the Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam
). The Prophet returned his greeting and said to him: “Go back and pray for you have not prayed.”
He (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam
) did not teach him right away. Instead he told him: “Go back and pray for you have not prayed.”
This is since it is possible that the man knew (how to pray properly) but hastened and left off (those pillars) for some reason, as is the case with many of the people who rush through prayer. So the man went back and prayed just as he did the first time. Then he came back and greeted the Prophet. The Prophet returned his greeting and said to him: “Go back and pray for you have not prayed.”
So the man went back and prayed just as he did the first time. He then returned a third time and greeted the Prophet. The Prophet told him again after returning his greeting: “Go back and pray for you have not prayed.”
This is the point where the man declared his ignorance, saying: “By the One who sent you with the truth, I can’t do any better than this.” Meaning: “This is all that I know. I don’t know any other way to pray.”
This was after the Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam
) made this man devote special attention to his prayer by making him repeat it several times and after he confirmed that the man didn’t know any other way to pray and that he only prayed badly due to ignorance. This repetition on the part of the man kindled his interest and made him ready to receive (knowledge of the correct way). Had the Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam
) taught him upon the first instance, the man would not have given it that much attention nor would he have accepted it in the same manner.
-Shaikh Muhammad Amaan Al-Jaamee