A couple of months after i reverted while friends and family were still in a mini shock coz of my decision, a good lady asked me how i managed to adjust myself to praying five times daily. Up to that moment i had not considered that perhaps to some people the idea of having to perform five obligatory prayers per day was seemingly cumbersome.
The lady- a born again Christian held the opinion that doing so would be an interruption to someone’s daily activities. To her, praying in the morning before she left for work and in the evening before retiring to bed was adequate; that and the quick prayers before partaking meals.
“Besides,” she reasoned, “don’t we have an entire day [Sunday] dedicated for worship?”
Another friend of mine who used to visit my place even before i converted was awed by the fact that i was willing to leave whatever I was doing just so i could go to the Masjid for Salaah. For instance we would be watching football on a weekend and i would leave in the middle of the match, something which really baffled him.
“Isn’t praying once or twice per day enough?” he had queried.
At that moment i was still very green in Islam. I was enjoying my new journey of faith and nothing could keep me away from the Mosque. All prayer times found me in the Masjid and if i was to be asked right then, I would have said that there was nowhere else i felt calm and collected like when praying in the mosque. The kind of tranquillity that descended upon me was inexplicable; its effect on my soul is not quantifiable.
There was this one day i overslept and woke up almost two hours after Fajr Salaah was over. SubhanAllah, i was terrified, i felt like i had committed a very grave sin. I could feel beads of sweat forming in my forehead and i figured that if i died right then, i would perhaps end up in hell.
Dhuhr found me in the Masjid though i was still a little bit freaked out about missing Fajr. I asked our Imam about it, told him that i overslept, and didn’t even hear the Adhan. You can’t imagine how comforted i felt when he told me i had not committed any sin because it is Allah who puts us in a state of minor death (sleep) and grants us life after it.
I came to realize one thing about a Muslim and his Salaah; he or she does not perform it just coz Allah ordered it. It’s more than that. It’s deeper and more intriguing coz either way we look at it, our Salaah does not profit Allah in any way. There is that connection between a slave and his Creator, a link where we can upload our Du’as and download mercy, tranquillity, ease in our affairs, hope, happiness, faith, strength, courage, resilience and patience.
Salaah becomes us and we become it. We plan our daily activities along the timings of prayer. Yes, we may be busy in our work or school but when it comes to Salaah we drop everything, take ablution and bow down to the One who created us. And there is never a sense of loss when we take, say ten minutes to perform Dhuhr and get back to our jobs or studies.
In fact, there is more to gain than to lose; after Salaah there is an overwhelming sense of relief and calmness, a refreshing feeling, a sense of accomplishment even. You are able to concentrate more on your activities with a calm heart knowing that you have fulfilled one of the tenets of Islam and that you have poured out your soul to Allah.
All in all, a Muslim is never divorced from his worship, be it Salaah, Qur’an recitation or Dhikr. Being busy does not make us forget Allah; in real sense it makes us remember Him more and that’s why praying five times daily is never a burden.
At times i sit and question myself, trying to imagine what my life would be like without Salaah. How my day would be like when the Adhan is called and i just continue with my activities paying no heed to Salaah. How i would maybe wake up in the morning and just start my daily activities without performing Fajr!
Thinking of it this way should make us appreciate just how much Salaah means to us and why it will be the first deed that Allah will examine on the day of Qiyamah!
“And seek help in patience and As-Salat [prayers] and truly it is extremely heavy and hard except for the Al-Khashi’un [true believers in Allah]