A well-known fact about Muslims is that they pray five times a day. To an onlooker, the Muslim prayer basically looks like a series of yoga poses – Standing up, bowing all the way and sitting down, on repeat.
Ideally, this process is to be repeated five times a day – Sunrise, Midday, Afternoon, Sunset and Night. No matter where you are, no matter what you’re doing, you are to perform these daily prayers. The Quran also goes as far as to say that the one thing that separates a Muslim from a Non-Muslim is the Prayer.
As secretive as we might get in the completion of our daily prayers, it is no secret that we aren’t always able to go through with it. It doesn’t help that the Shaitaan coaxes us into believing that the prayers are indeed a burden! Having fallen prey to the Devil and because I am not perfect, I have had thoughts that often lead me to miss my Salaah and here is how I try and rid myself of them –
1. I remind myself how important the Salaah is.
Out of the Five Pillars of Islam, Salaah forms the second. It is the first thing that we will be questioned about, both in the grave and on the day of Judgement.
The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, “On the Day of Judgment, a slave will be questioned about his prayers first. If his prayers are good, his other deeds will be good, too. If his prayers are bad, his other deeds will be bad, too.” (Tabarani, Targhib)
2. I remind myself how beneficial the Salaah is.
When I’m at work, getting through the day busy as ever, I often look for a break – something that will help me break away from the monotony of the day. In today’s crazy world, with Spirituality gaining more popularity by the day, I see people looking for ways to ‘find their inner selves’. As a Muslim, I don’t need to sign up for classes or clubs to do that. All I really need is to make an intention and talk to my Lord for that is exactly what Salaah really is – your conversation with God.
I can stand in prayer and bear my heart out to Him. I know He will listen to me because He has promised it. And it only takes 5 minutes!
The call to prayer in itself includes “Hayya Alas Salaah Hayya Alal Falaah” which literally means “Come to Prayer, Come to Success”.
3. I remind myself of the Punishment for missing the Salaah.
This for me is the most important reason I pray. I am absolutely terrified of the torments of Hellfire and the grave.
Both the Quran and Hadith describe in gruesome detail, the nature of punishments that await the skipper of the Salaah. What is worse is that the punishment starts right after you get laid in the ground once you die. Munkar and Nakil, the angels of Death come round to question you about your deeds when you lived and it only goes downhill from there – IF you skipped your prayers.
“What led you into Hell-Fire? They will say; ‘We were not of those who prayed;” (The Noble Quran, 74:42-43)
The following is mentioned in the event of Isra (Travelling at Night) reported by Abu Hurayra about those who perform prayers lazily: “…then, the Prophet (pbuh) visits a group of people whose heads are smashed and broken by stones. Their heads are smashed by stones and then are restored; the torture goes on like that. The Prophet (pbuh) asks, ‘O Jibril (Gabriel)! Who are they?’ Jibril answers, ‘They are those who perform fard prayers lazily.’” (Mundhiri, Bukhari)
4. I remind myself how Salaah can undo a lot of my sins.
5. I remind myself how lucky I am to be able to pray.
The Prophet (pbuh) stated the following: “There is nothing superior to a person who is given by Allah the opportunity to perform a two-rak’ah prayer giving. As he is busy with praying, goodness and good deeds are poured onto him.” (Musnad Ahmad).
I am lucky enough to be a Muslim in the world, on the true path. Lucky enough to know what will take me to Paradise and what will lead me down to Hell. I am lucky enough to know how to Pray, lucky enough to be able to stand in prayer, no matter how tired I am. Lucky enough to have an environment to pray. Lucky enough to find time to pray.
If indeed the five daily prayers feel like a Burden, realize that this burden is a blessing to bear. If I can sit through six episodes of fun on Netflix, I can take 5 minutes out to pray. Time yourself the next time you pray – from Wudu to the completion of your prayer and then think about how much of a burden it really is.
Written by Sharmeen,
A canadian who just recently moved to India, Sharmeen is a Doctor who realized the power of words at a very early age. She says she is trying to do my bit for the world and those in it, little by little!
Her blog: //girlwithscarfblog.wordpress.com/