Monday, June 30, 2008

Five times the blessing

The last few days, as I mentioned in my last post, have been pretty awful. They are getting better, alhamdulillah... and alhamdulillah. The best part of every day though is the salaat. Especially dhuhr and asr, for some reason, because it really causes an interruption in whatever I'm doing. When I have to take a break from everything and just remember Allah, it is so powerful to let all my worries and concerns come out. In one sense I am going to my Lord, but in another, He is calling me to Him. It's almost like He is checking in on me at each of these times--even though He is All-Aware, and a Witness over everything.

Last week, on a Catholic forum I sometimes visit, some posters were criticizing the fact that Muslims must pray five times a day. First, they didn't think it was right or appropriate to have to stop work during the day to remember God. Then they said that they (Catholics) prayed more during the day than Muslims do and that they can do it without "bothering" anyone else. Praying when they get up, before their meals, and a few other times--I can't remember what all they mentioned. For a Muslim to hear something like that, it's almost a little laughable.

Because Muslims "pray" at all these times too, and more. It's what we call supplication though, or du'a, and not the salaat which is the 5 daily prayers. Because the 5 daily prayers are a ritual in addition to all that--and many people pray even more than those 5 ritual prayers in a day. It's kind of like the bare minimum, that a person stops his day to pray at these times.

And why during stated times? Why not just, whenever? This is such a blessing I think we Muslims all too often overlook. Because it's precisely when we are busy doing worldly matters that we need to be reminded of Allah. That we need Him to check on us. And then the remembrance of Allah becomes part of our daily routine.

So when the prayer time comes and the adhaan makes, we really should hurry to go pray, to remember Allah. It's the most important meeting of our lives, five times a day--maintenance for our bodies and our souls, a chance to focus on our purpose, to let go of our worldly concerns and place our tiny problems before Allah Almighty, Lord of the Worlds. And He is listening to us!

What a blessing we have, how merciful is our Lord.

8 comments:

medgirl said...

Salam,

I completely agree. That's exactly how I see prayer times. I didnt know that certain people criticized it that much.

We have 5 prayer times, and we stop during that time to show our gratitude. Subhanallah it really is a blessing, and thats the least we can do.

Hope you are doing better today sis. You are strong. :)

MedGirl

Amy said...

Wa alaikum as-salaam

Some people look for things to criticize. Five daily prayers attracted me to Islam and I am not ashamed to admit it.

There is no power or strength except with Allah.

Anonymous said...

Alhamdulillah for it to keep us aware of our Lord. Some people see it as a burden.

Jamilah said...

I read once somewhere that each time we go to pray we can bring ourselves back to the straight path. Perhaps we were thinking or doing something we should not, but when you go and put your head to the floor you remember what is right.

Ijtema said...

Assalamu'alaykum,

Very nice post, masha-Allah. It's interesting to see how religious non-Muslims view the guidelines of Islam. We often hear the illogical rhetoric of bigots who hate everything about Islam, but it's not often that we get the perspective of people who want to come closer to God in their own (often misguided) way.

I wanted to feature this post on Ijtema, but alas we have some guidelines about how often we link to a certain blog. :) Yours is one I enjoy reading regularly masha-Allah.

Amy said...

Ijtema--

Jazakumallahu khair for leaving a comment, even if you can't feature the post. I'm happy if anyone can benefit. :-)

Alhamdulillah though I have to say that when I was not a Muslim I really wanted to know how to pray--connecting with God on a regular (several times a day) basis made a lot of sense, it seemed like something that no religion should be without, and the Islamic prayer is so much more than any prayer I /ever/ prayed as a Christian. In so many ways it was exactly what I thought I needed, in order to just know how to pray. Subhanallah, sometimes we don't even realize our blessings.

Faraz said...

by the way, that post by "Ijtema" was from me, Faraz, the Tuesday editor for Ijtema. :)

I remember in high school, one non-Muslim friend wanted me to teach him how to pray. I showed him the basics of what we do, but I think I demonstrated it as too much of a "ritual", and not a beautiful act of worship. I was probably only 15 at the time or something, and didn't give him the attention he might have wanted. I regret that now, many years later, as a perfect da'wah opportunity that I didn't take advantage of.

Amy said...

Salaam Faraz,

I figured it was you, but just in case, you know...

We should just remember that Allah is the one who guides people's hearts. Maybe some years down the line that person will end up meeting a Muslim and be more interested in Islam because of you, because you showed him a ritual that is also very significant. :-)