Our prophet Muhammad, may Lord grant him peace says: "the time will come where my nation will be seen like they are praying but actually they're not." There are many things that could include us into the category mentioned by the noble prophet. Perhaps our acts pillar, or speech pillar are not according to the manner which could brings concentration to us. For example, we might also mispronounce the ه as ح in our Quranic recitation during salaat.
I had few times talked about pronunciation of divine letter recitations with a Tabligh karkon who was in charge in prayer services in musalla. It is actually for his own benefit because I only talk when I care and love my faithful brothers and sisters. I don't usually pointing errors in front of people because I care about people's around dignity. It's not that I want to teach him or anyone. I don't really pay attention to people around, even looking at people's face would be a big problem for me unless if I feel it is a need to display His love and mercy on others. I actually hope that people around would also do the same to me if I did anything wrong in my practices and other rituals.
If we are among those mentioned by the prophet in the hadith, then our asset (of the merits) would be in doom since the first would be repeatedly asked to us in the judgement is regarding salaat. If we passed the salaat chapter, then other chapters of ritual would be accepted too. This is only regarding those who perform salaat, while those who leave salaat has another story.
Those incidents happened to our salafi brothers of the past because they understood the levels of salaat in Islamic teachings. Salaat is a pillar of the law of life. Many of us think that salaat has no value at all in our life. In a hadith, there is a mention about salaat is the line which differentiate us with non-Muslims. It's not at our name, ethnicity, racial background, or anything. Whomever leaves salat without any sensible reason, he or she is already a disbeliever. I didn't really perform salaat or pray when I was in lower secondary school as I didn't believe in the God and followed others' way of life, so technically it is counted as infidelity toward the pillars of faith which also ruined my pillars of religion. I recompense them again after my repentance but yet I don't know whether He accepts them. However, honorable Imam Syafi'ie have no courage to put the infidelity stamp on those 'Muslims' who do not perform salaat due to that it is a heavy charge. He only states that those who do not perform salaat as hypocrites. However the real hadith says that those who do not perform salaat are infidels and disbelievers. This is how the good salafi brothers of the past analyze the role of salaat according to the teaching of His path.
When we leave salaat, we are also falling into disgracefulness. Like the ustad said, "nak kata lembu, bukan lembu tetapi orang jugak." In a narration, it says that Allah 'Azza wa Jalla has divided the motions of salaat into 40, 000 lines of angels. It means each line has 70, 000 angels with 10, 000 of them only stands straight without any bowing in their line, 10, 000 others bowing while others glorifying the God in another line but do not prostrate, and 10, 000 others are prostrating without rising up their heads.
Angels of the God have intelligence but they have no lust or physical feelings. So, they won't feel tired in those acts of prayers. Human like us if we stand for long, we would feel like we are going to pass out. Then many things appear in our mind such as, "this imam isn't going to pass out??? why is he bowing so long without prostration???" The God is standardizing our acts of prayer with the act of prayers of the angles. However, we do those four acts of prayer alternately in a unit of prayer and with rests because the God knows that we are limited and can't do prayers exactly like those angels. Angels never disobey the God. They will remain like the acts of prayer such as prostrating, bowing, glorifying Him or standing straight in their lines where they are ordered to be in until the Resurrection. This is different from the TV serials like Supernatural jah. We have no time to mock metaphysical matters like the movie makers in the States.
We human are so banyak srongeh lah (fussy). If we are in charge as imam, we must be fair with modest acts of prayer. Before we raise up for takbeeratul ihram or respecting the Lord the Greatest, we must look at the people who follows us in the acts of prayer. Whether there are elders who can't stand long, whether there are travelers who can't stay long because they are in rush, or whether there are breast-feeding mothers. Don't be like... we are memorizing the divine letters until we care less about people behind us by reciting like three pages of divine letter. Simplify the salaat and prayers as possible if there are elders and other disables in the congregation behind as the ma'mum (followers).
to be continued, inshiAllah...