My Journey Through Prayers

Posted on August 19, 2014 · Posted in Blog, General, Personal

Prayer is a way of showing submission, obedience, and gratitude to Allah.

The worst advice I was given while being a new convert to Islam was: to take it easy, not to make it hard on myself.

 

“You don’t have to pray five times every day,” they said. “Start with as many as you can, and then add to them”.

 

I am sure their intention was only to help me and to not put a burden on my shoulders. Their advice led me to praying only once a day, or twice a week, or not at all for some time, and then to start all over again from the beginning.

 

Then I came across the following verse of the Quran and the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him):

{…And perform the prayer and be not of the disbelievers.} (Ar-Rum 30:31)

 

“The covenant between us (Muslims) and them (non-Muslims) is the prayer. Whoever abandons it, is a disbeliever.” (At-Tirmidhi, 2621)Prophet Muhammad said:

 

“The first act that the slave of Allah will be accountable for on the Day of Judgment will be prayer. If it is good, then the rest of his acts will be good, and if it is bad, then the rest of his acts will be bad.” (Abu Dawud, 864)

 

I felt a chill going down my spine. I wasn’t praying daily, so immediately I wondered: “Am I among those people? Am I a disbeliever? Is prayer really that important?”

 

“I believe in Allah and Islam is my religion. But if my words and heart speak of the truth, then what about my actions? Isn’t prayer one of the five pillars in which Islam is erected upon?” I thought to myself.

 

Islam is like a building, supported by five columns. Remove one column and the entire building weakens.

 

I then understood that I was wrong. I asked Allah to forgive me for my ignorance, and to increase my faith and knowledge in religion.

 

I started praying the five daily prayers willingly and continuously, and decided to search deeper on the subject of prayer in order to comprehend why we actually need to pray. Why did Allah, who created us and knows our nature better than anyone else, order us to pray five times a day? What is the significance of prayer?

 

Allah says in the Quran, which Muslims believe is the word of God, what means:

{Verily I am Allah: There is no god but I: so serve Me (only) and establish prayer for my remembrance.} (20:24)

 

Prayer is still of utmost importance and benefit in our high-tech lives.

In these verses of the Quran, Allah explains to us that the establishment of prayer is for His remembrance.

 

As humans are forgetful by nature, prayer reminds them of the allegiance due to their Creator and Lord. If prayer was needed fourteen hundred years ago when people did not lead such a busy lifestyle, then it is even more necessary in today’s hectic world.

 

On the other hand, education and work keep people occupied constantly. And when it is time to relax, Satan has many  channels to operate through.

 

People become so engrossed in this life that they have no thought for Allah and the Hereafter. The need to remind humans of the realities of His existence has thus intensified and not declined in modern times. Prayer is still of utmost importance and benefit in our high-tech lives.

 

Prayer acts as a shield against evil. Allah Almighty says in the Quran what means:

 

{Verily the prayer prevents from great sins of every kind, unlawful sexual intercourse, and disbelief and every kind of evil wicked deed.} (29:45)

 

I then began to realize that we perform prayers for our own benefit and not because Allah needs it as He is free of any need. Prayer constitutes a physical, mental, and spiritual submission to Allah. It is a concrete proof of our submission to Him. It fulfills our very purpose of creation which is to worship Allah throughout our lives.

 

{So glorify the praises of your Lord and be of those who prostrate themselves (to Him). And worship your Lord until there comes unto you what is certain (death).} (15:989)

 

Every time we pray, we have to remember that Allah is with those who fear and those who do good deeds. He sees us standing forth in prayer, for it is He who knows all things.

 

Prayer trains us to be punctual, disciplined, and conscious of our duties. While in congregation, it promotes a bond of brotherhood, unity, and equality among Muslim worshippers.

 

When we pray, we develop obedience, patience, trust ,honesty, piety, fear, humbleness, modesty, truthfulness, love, devotion, and other virtues acceptable to Allah.

 

prayer is not a burden forced upon mankind, but it is the inner cry of every soul, a cry of each heart to recognize its Creator.

One of the amazing sayings of Prophet Muhammad is:

 

“Whenever a Muslim prays, seeking the pleasure of Allah, his or her sins start falling like the leaves of a tree.” (Ahmad)

 

Is there a better medicine or a better psychotherapy than the words of this hadith? Whatever you are going through: worries, stress, financial problems, family difficulties, loss of loved ones, feeling guilty for mistakes or sins you have committed, these words of the Prophet Muhammad bring peace, tranquility, and hope, and they demonstrate Allah’s mercy and love for His slaves.

 

So, I came to the conclusion that prayer is not a burden forced upon mankind, but it is the inner cry of every soul, a cry of each heart to recognize its Creator.

 

It is but a small token of gratitude for all the innumerable bounties bestowed upon mankind by the Creator. That’s when I realized why before converting to Islam, every time I saw Muslims praying I was feeling jealous.

 

They seemed to have something I didn’t have, and my soul was in need of this constant communication with the One who created me and guided me from darkness to light.

 

In our everyday lives, we smile and say a warm thank you to the small acts of kindness which others do for us. So what about thanking Allah Who in His infinite mercy has provided us with all our needs?

 

Just observe the beauty and perfection of the earth around you and fall down in gratitude to your Lord!

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