There are many actions in our lives which we rarely pause to ponder over. Generally, they are, the routine acts – always repeated ones, seldom analysed. However, this act, though repeated on daily basis, wasn’t one to be taken lightly and this realization had to come with a bang.
Everything related to ‘Salah’ (5 daily prayers) was very routine to me. I did it out of habit. And Never because of the significance it holds. Over the years, I never gave this routine act and the verses repeated during it a thought, until I didn’t even know what I was saying anymore. It never occurred to me to ponder over what I was repeating – every day. If the postures were accurate or not, if my ‘Salah’ was on time or not. All praise to Allah (swt), this was about to change, and it started when I came across the below verse of Surah Al Ankaboot(29):
‘Recite, what has been revealed to you of the Book (Quran) and establish prayer. Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing, and the remembrance of Allah is greater. And Allah knows that which you do.’ (Verse 45)
‘Wa aqeemus salaata’ which means – ‘Establish Prayer’, were words that stuck with me. Allah(swt) could have just asked us to pray, but instead He emphasized on establishing it. Making it firm and flawless and expects us to be persistent in it.
While still pondering over the above verse, I happened to come across yet another one, Surah Maun (107):
‘Fawaylun lilmusalleen – Allazeena hum an salaatihim saahoon’ Which means – ‘So woe to those who pray, But are heedless in their prayer.’ (verse 4-5)
Needless to say, I had a lot to improve in terms of my act of worship, which was flawed. For all those years, when I thought I was connecting to Allah (swt) on daily basis, I wasn’t connecting to Him at all. And how does someone have a peaceful heart, a satisfied soul and a successful life if their connection with the Almighty was ineffective.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “The first matter that the slave will be brought to account for on the Day of Judgment is the prayer. If it is sound, then the rest of his deeds will be sound. And if it is bad, then the rest of his deeds will be bad.”
1. As soon as I began praying on time, Allah swt created ease in all matters of my life – personal, professional, social, spiritual etc. He sent so many blessings my way, that I can’t put them into one single article. Everything around me fit into this perfect sequence, which earlier was chaotic. My entire day was filled with positivity, and I found myself smiling often. No worry or doubt passed my mind. And this was just the beginning of miracles. I was also working on my ‘Fajr’ (before sunrise) prayer, during this time. It was a unique experience in itself. But this story we will leave for another day.
2. This aura of optimism wasn’t limited to me, but I felt it being emitted by those around me. Be it my family, colleagues, friends or any person I came across, they were always cheerful and pleasant. Even the ones, who didn’t always approve of me, were delightful. It was nothing other than Allah’s mercy and love pouring on me through His creation.
3. Looking further to improve my Salah, I decided to add the 12 optional ‘rakats’ (optional prayers) to them. And this time all my Duas (supplications) were being answered, immediately. This is where I could feel my relationship with Allah (swt) getting stronger.
I did not create jinn and humans except to worship Me (Surah Adh-Dhariyat – 56)
4. Now that I was fulfilling the real purpose, the one I was sent to this world for, all my problems either diminished or completely vanished. With appropriate ‘tilawah’ (recitation) during Salah and re-learnt Duas, I felt protected, confident and relieved from all forms of anxiety and worries. The shield of Allah’s guidance was always with me, preventing any kind of harm (from a person or anything else) from touching me.
I hope and pray to be forgiven for all my flawed ‘Salah’ and I wish that everyone realises the beauty of it and that the solution to any problem, starts with improving ‘Salah’ – a person’s personal connection with Allah (swt).
All this while, I thought the reward of offering ‘Salah’ would be received only after we move to the next life and enter Jannah (Heaven). But now, I have experienced that Allah’s blessings start as soon as we seek forgiveness from Him and start praying in the manner He expects us to.
رَبِّ ٱجۡعَلۡنِى مُقِيمَ ٱلصَّلَوٰةِ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِىۚ رَبَّنَا وَتَقَبَّلۡ دُعَآءِ
“Rabbi-Ajal’ni muqeema salaati, wa min zurriyyati, rabbana wataqabbal duaa”
O my Lord! make me one who establishes Prayer, and also (raise such) among my offspring O our Lord! and accept Thou my Prayer.
(Surah Ibrahim: 40)