Am I distracted by sale or commerce at the time of salah? Do I plan shopping/errands around it?
Up until the course of Namaz-e-Nabwi, I thought it perfectly acceptable to offer salah in the car en route shopping etc. This assumption was based on what I saw as the practice of my elders who offered their salah in the car because the salah would be missed had they waited to reach home. Oh! I thought it to be such a virtuous act to not let go of salah! So alhumdulillah for the enlightening that such salah is not allowed. Fardh salah has to be offered on ground at the time of salah.
With this is and generally with the Qur’an in general, the shopping sprees have reduced alhumdulillah, as bazaar are such a waste of time. But even when I do have to step out, now my shopping/errands are planned around it. If it is salah time, I offer it and head out. If it is almost salah time, I wait until I have prayed to step out. This has helped in creating concentration during salah.
But let’s say, we are unable to avoid being out of the house and we encounter salah time where we will not have enough time to reach back home, what do we do then? Leave our salah. We should be thankful for the fact that alhumdulillah, that we live in a Muslim country and people are familiar with the concept of five prayers as compared to foreign countries where praying is more of a struggle in a marketplace. Here are a few things I have adopted which help me be outside the house yet still be able to offer salah:
- Have wudu when you step out of the house
- Keep a prayer mat in the car and leave it there.
- On longer trips I also carry a prayer compass in case I don’t know which way would be the Qibla (this is more needed when you are in foreign countries). In Pakistan, people are more than happy to give you the direction of the Qibla as well as little space in their shop or area to offer your salah.
One thing I do realize in this country is that we need more prayer areas for women especially in public places. Even masajid should have women areas especially those masajid which are in the middle of public shopping areas where women are frequent visitors. Also the Quaid-e-Azam International Airport does not have a women’s prayer area that I could find on the premise of the airport itself. I am guilty of talking to the heads there but not following up with a formal letter to strive for the change. I plan to inshallah. It is an area that we need to put in our efforts for.
A Student of the Quran
When we were assigned this reflection question I felt so embarrassed. Just a week ago I had knowingly gone out shopping like half an hour before maghrib. I had also gone to a mall where there was no separate praying area for women (because usually when I do shopping at the time of salah, I make sure I go to such a place where there is a separate salah area for women). After the adhaan I performed wudu and on the way to the prayer area I was distracted by the shops around. Once I got to the prayer area, I was performing salah which was lacking khushoo. I was feeling uncomfortable praying with men around, so I was kind of praying in a hurry. Also in my mind , I was constantly thinking of what I had to buy. I wasted my salah over a very insignificant thing like shopping.
After being assigned this question I really started to think and plan that I would try my best never to go shopping during salah time, even if may be to a place with segregated praying are, because shopping would always be on my mind.
Just today I had planned on going to Sunday bazaar with my sisters. It was right before zuhr salah (like 15 mins before it), that my sisters had finally gotten ready and planned on leaving. I really wanted to go but then thought about my salah and that I didn’t want to delay it or miss it. I decided not to go and Alhamdulillah I’m glad I made that decision. Alhamdulillah I prayed in the prescribed time (which is a deed beloved by Allah). I didn’t hurry through my salah and prayed in a relaxed manner. I also recited the Quran and I got most my translation done. Initially I was upset that I had been planning on going for weeks to Sunday bazaar but couldn’t go but then Alhamdulillah I was glad I didn’t go.
InshaAllah I plan on not shopping around the time of salah, by avoiding it as much as possible. The place I shop is just five mins driving distance from my house so I don’t think I have an excuse to miss salah and to shop during the time of salah. There is nothing more important than performing salah and we should always keep WHO we’re worshiping, before we let go of salah.
A Student of the Quran
Alhamdulillah I think it is rare that I am out shopping at the time of salah, first of all because I do not have a lot of shopping to do, and if I do go I usually go with my mother and she is very particular about praying on time mash Allah. I have noticed, however, that most mosques do not have areas designated for ladies, and I feel if more mosques did this; it would make it easier for women to say their prayers on time as well.