“And establish prayer at the two ends of the day and at the approach of the night. Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds (i.e. small sins). That is a reminder for the mindful (those who accept advice).”[11: 114]
How mindful am I of my salaah? Is there any salaah which I delay or offer in a rush? Think of strategies to change this.
My salaah is on my mind all the time, because I am all-too-aware of Shaytaan’s custom of seeking to trap me when it’s time to pray. Unfortunately, Shaytaan attacks me nowhere else like he does for salaah. I stay wary and dread how the next moment I might just start feeling lazy or sleepy or like procrastinating, as Shaytaan lies in ambush. Sometimes he succeeds, sometimes he doesn’t. May Allaah give me istiqaamah in fighting him off.
The prayers which I tend to delay or offer in a rush are Fajr and Ishaa (and sometimes Zuhr), because at those times I am overpowered by sleepiness. I know that this is a trait of hypocrisy, because the Prophet (s.a.w.) said that the prayers most burdensome on the hypocrites are those of Fajr and Ishaa, and that if they knew of their reward, they would come to them even if they had to crawl.
I ask Allaah to cleanse my heart from hypocrisy and to make me one who perfectly establishes prayer, as these are the areas of fitnah posed by Shaytaan to me.
Strategies to change this:
– Sleeping early (i.e. straight after Ishaa) so that waking up for Fajr is easier and not ‘burdensome’.
– Not delaying Ishaa unnecessarily, because by the time I decide to pray, I’m actually ready to sleep.
– Making a conscious decision to have khushoo’ in my salaah, no matter how I’m feeling.
– Learning the alternate masnoon du’aas for the thanaa, rukoo’, sujood, etc in order to refresh my salaah.
– Memorizing different portions of the Qur’aan from time to time – also learning their word-to-word translation and repeatedly listening to the aayaat through my favourite qaari (in order to imitate the ‘tune’) – and incorporating them into my salaah; I have found that this totally refreshes the salaah and makes it more enjoyable.
– Praying at a time when no-one will ‘need’ me or disturb me.
– Making sure to be clean and fresh when offering salaah.
May Allaah enable us to incorporate these strategies into our everyday lives. Aameen.
A Student of the Quran
Over time alhumdolillah the first of improvements towards deen began with salah. All the courses we covered aided towards this essential realization. Nevertheless, there are times when the world takes over and salah is compromised. Sometimes my youngest is hovering around pulling at the dupatta and I have to rush my salah. Or when I am out and have to hurry back in for asr. For most part I try to offer salah in the earliest time possible as then all other things settle in. When salah is rushed then mistakes are made. I forget at what rakat I was or how many sajdahs I have done. It is absolutely terrible.
Now I also try to find a quiet peaceful place to offer my salah so I don’t have to rush it. I think it is about making a continuous effort to stand before Rabb and to give its true haqq. Also it is not the quantity that matter it is the quality also.
Alhamdulillah I am often worried about praying salah on time and missing it. I plan trips to the market or to other places in such way that I won’t miss my salah. Once its time for Salah I am concerned about its delay. Nevertheless, I feel my salah often lacks Khushu(fear of someone bigger than one) and Khudu(humility).
There are times because of certain worldly affairs I offer it in a rush. Unfortunately, such a salah is a complete waste. The gist of a hadith is that stealing from prayer is to peck in ruku, sadjah and not giving everything in salah its due right. It is to pray hurriedly. On top of that, in that state I do not ponder over the meanings of the ayahs.
Fajr is one salah unfortunately that I often get late for and I feel really guilty about it whenever that happens. According to the gist of a hadith, Fajr is one of the prayers which is heavy on a hypocrite. I often think that salah a meeting with My Rabb and I get late for the best meeting because of lack of self-control in terms of less sleep.
- Reminding oneself that one of the first questions that we will be asked on the day of Judgment will be regarding Salah.
- I have noticed that whenever I make a strong intention and before sleeping I read ayat ul kursi, the last two ayahs of surah baqrah, the three Qul:Surah Nas, Falaq and Ikhlas, Tasbeehi Fatima and the dua Allahummna Bismika amutu bi ahya, I am able to wake up on time no matter how late I sleep.
- Frequently thinking of death and thinking that a certain salah could be my last salah. This will not only cause us to pray on time but it will also improve khushu in our salah. In Surah Baqrah(verses 45-46), Allah swt says : And seek help through patience and prayer, and indeed, it is difficult except for the humbly submissive [to Allah] 45.Who are certain that they will meet their Lord and that they will return to Him.46
- Knowing that our biggest enemy Shaitan does not want us to perform salah as he wants us to burn in hell. So we should try to defeat him by reading the dua for waking up as we rise and seeking refuge in Allah from Shaitan.
- Immediately getting out of bed when the alarm goes off, otherwise one could doze off.
- Not getting too complacent in the days when our salah becomes regular and knowing that this is a trap of Shaitan. I have noticed that if I become complacent about praying fajr on time one day, the next day I get late for it. So praying for it even more in those situations.
- Of course sleeping early is another tip.
A Student of the Quran