All of us constantly strive to keep up with the struggles of life everyday, so much so that we often forget the purpose of life. We make time to prepare for exams, presentations, interviews etc. by sacrificing sleep, even till dawn if we have to. We try to get to the theaters on time so we can avoid the queue to get movie tickets. But do we make the same effort to make time for Salah? Which hardly takes 10 minutes if we are focusing only on the obligatory prayers that is.
Salah plays a very important role in our lives. Our lives revolve around Salah, not the other way around. Our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “The first thing which will be judged among a man’s deeds on the Day of Resurrection is the Prayer. If this is in good order then he will succeed and prosper, but if it is defective then he will fail and will be a loser [Tirmidhi].”
This clearly means that without Salah, we lose the purpose of life. Indeed, our purpose in this world is to worship Allah. What better way to worship the Almighty other than through Salah.
Salah helps us to get closer to Allah, through remembrance and sincere repentance. This in turn helps you in becoming a better person for the sake of Allah.
Salah also protects us from the Shaitan. Shaitan constantly tries to misguide you from the path of righteousness. In Quran Allah Almighty says:
“Shaitan only wants to cause between you animosity and hatred through intoxicants and gambling and to avert you from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer. So will you not desist?” (5:91).
You are just making it easier for the Shaitan by neglecting prayers, which is similar to neglecting Allah and the teaching of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). What does this make of you? In a hadith it is mentioned: “The covenant between us and them is prayer, so if anyone abandons it, he has become a disbeliever.” [Ahmad]
In todays world, we associate people from all walks of life, thereby engaging ourselves in many outdoor events, get togethers, outings, sleep overs, trips, work outs, reunions etc. Salah can be challenging in the above situations. Also while at these activities everyone presumes “they are busy and they don’t have enough time”. Thereby conviniently missing out on prayers with this excuse. How do we not make this a excuse and make a little time for prayers too? Here are a few tips to get us through:
1. Do It Together
When it’s time for Prayers get together with your Muslim friends/ Colleagues/ acquaintances and pray together. Get them to join you at the prayer room/ mosque or any convenient spot, at a specific time that you all have agreed upon. This way when you forget or are busy, they can remind you and call you to pray with them.
2. Clean Will Do
As long as a place is clean its a potential spot for prayers. If you uni/ workplace got no prayer rooms just find a clean secluded area and perform your salah. If you cant find a secluded area don’t feel shy to pray in front of others, even if they are non muslims. Maybe watching you pray will inspire them to want to know more about Islam.
3. Be Prepared
Always carry a prayer mat along with essential praying utilities (for women) in your handbag or keep it in your office/ uni locker.In case your wearing clothes too complicated to take wudu in, make sure you take wudu before you put on you dress up or leave the house. If you cannot find water to take wudu, remember there are always mineral water bottles you could buy.
If you are in a group and its time for prayers. Just excuse yourself for 10 minutes. Find a spot or a masjid and pray and rejoin them when your done. If they as you why, don’t be shy. Say its time for your prayer. Be strong. Just 10 minutes of all that time spent with your group is all it takes.
5. Download apps
There are apps with the local prayer times, compasses for Kibla directions, Nearest mosque, Quran etc. Download some apps to remind you its time for your prayer, set reminders and alarms so you wont miss a prayer.
These are just a few tips to help you not to miss prayers and keep you prepared for prayers during your busy schedule. But remember it mostly takes inner strength and strong Iman to be steadfast in prayer and we can all keep trying to reach such a level. Never think of Salah as a burden. Salah is an opportunity for us to refresh our faith constantly and it revives us spiritually and intellectually.