So WHAT’S Your Excuse For Salah?
by Asma bint Shameem
Prayer (Salaah) is one of the most important pillars of Islam, second only to the Shahaadah. It is also an individual obligation on each and every one of us. The Ulama say that whoever does not do it because he denies that it is obligatory or he does not do it because he is lazy and heedless, is a kaafir.
Yet, there are innumerable excuses we come up with, to not pray, either on time or not pray at all.
Some of the most common excuses are:
Excuse #1:Allah is al-Ghafoor ar-Raheem. He will forgive me.
Reply: Yes, surely Allaah is al-Ghafoor ar-Raheem but, did you forget, O Muslim, that He also said that He is ash-Shadeed ul-Iqaab (severe in punishment).
“And fear Allaah much and know that Allaah is Severe in punishment.” (Surah al-Baqarah:196)
And the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:
“The covenant that stands between us and them (non-Muslims) is prayer; whoever gives up prayer is a kaafir.” (Tirmidhi, al-Nasaa’i, Ibn Maajah–saheeh ).
Excuse #2: I know I have to pray, but I am too tired/lazy.
Reply: Praying Salaat at its proper appointed times is an obligation on every single person. Whoever deliberately misses a prayer exposes himself to the wrath of Allaah, and the wise believer does not do something which he knows could result in punishment.
Just look at what the people of Hell will say when asked:
“What has caused you to enter Hell?” They will say: “We were not among those who prayed (Salaat).” [Surah al-Muddaththir:42-43]
The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:
“Between a man and kufr and shirk, there stands his giving up prayer.” (Muslim)
Ibn Mas’ood said:
“No one keeps away from the prayer except a hypocrite who is known for his hypocrisy.”(Muslim)
Excuse #3: I am SO busy at work, I don’t have time to pray.
Reply: So you mean to tell me that you can’t take out even a few minutes out of the whole 24 hours to worship the very One Who created you in the first place?? You mean you don’t have time to thank the Lord of the worlds for everything He’s given you…..ALL His blessings?? What kind of ungrateful soul are you??!!
And if He wanted to take all these blessings away from you, is there anything, anything you could do?!!
“Men whom neither trade nor business diverts from the remembrance of Allaah nor from performing As-Salaat nor from giving Zakaat; they fear a Day when hearts and eyes will be overturned (out of the horror of the torment of the Day of Resurrection).That Allaah may reward them according to the best of their deeds, and add even more for them out of His Grace. And Allaah provides without measure to whom He wills.” [Surah al-Noor:37-38]
Excuse #4: I pray; I just delay it until it is convenient for me or I pray it Qadaa.
Reply: You should understand that delaying prayer beyond the time when it is due is a major sin, because Allaah says:
“Verily, As-Salaah (the prayer) is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours.” [Surah al-Nisa’:103]
And Allaah says:
“So woe unto those performers of Salaah (prayers). Those who delay their Salaah (prayer from their stated fixed times).” [Surah al-Maa’oon :4,5]
Excuse #5: I pray the 4 prayers. I only miss Fajr because I have to do Ghusl.
Reply: Allaah has enjoined upon you and me the FIVE prayers, NOT FOUR. How can a Muslim willingly expose himself to the wrath of Allaah and His punishment, just because he finds it difficult to do ghusl? In fact, it is NOT difficult to do ghusl, it is VERY easy, apart from the tricks that the Shaytaan tries to play on people. Allaah is talking to you and me when He says:
“Enter completely in Islam (by obeying all the rules and regulations of the Islamic religion).” [Baqarah :208]
“Successful indeed are the believers. Those who offer their Salaat with all solemnity and full submissiveness…’ [al-Mu’minoon:1-2]
“And those who strictly guard their (five compulsory) Salawaat (at their fixed stated hours).” [al-Mu’minoon 23:9]
Excuse #6: My position/boss/studies/does not allow me.
Reply: Remember that the Prophet (pbuh) mentioned prayer one day and said:
“Whoever observes it regularly, it will be light and a proof and salvation on the Day of Resurrection, and whoever does not observe it regularly, it will not be a light or a proof or salvation for him, and on the Day of Resurrection he will be with Qaroon, Fir’aun, Hamaan and Ubayy ibn Khalaf.” (Ahmad).
Ibn al-Qayyim said: These four people are mentioned because they are the leaders of kufr. This makes an important point about the one who does not observe regular prayer, whether that is because he is distracted by his wealth, his power, his position of leadership or his business. The one who is distracted from it by his wealth will be with Qaroon; the one who is distracted by his power will be with Fir’aun; the one who is distracted by his position of leadership will be with Hamaan and the one who is distracted by his business will be with Ubayy ibn Khalaf.”
Excuse #7: If I pray, I will be fired from my job!
Reply: Remember that it is not your boss, but Allaah that provides RIZQ for you and me. If this job is keeping you away from the most important duty as a Muslim, is this job really worth it? And whoever gives up something for the sake of Allaah, Allaah will compensate him with something better than that.
“And whosoever fears Allaah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allaah, then He will suffice him. Verily, Allaah will accomplish his purpose. Indeed Allaah has set a measure for all things.” [Talaaq:2-3]
Excuse #8: I want to pray but my children are so young I can’t leave them and pray
“O you who believe! Let not your properties or your children divert you from the remembrance of Allaah. And whosoever does that, then they are the LOSERS.” (Surah al-Munaafiqoon:9)
Excuse #9: I can’t pray at my job/school/public place. I am too embarrassed /they will think I am a TERRORIST!
Reply: How can a Muslim feel embarrassed about proclaiming the truth and worshipping his Lord openly, hastening to fulfill the command of Allaah at the time when Allaah has said it is to be done? Also, if you uphold your duty to pray, Allaah will never let you down. He is the one to protect you and save you from all harm, no matter what anyone tries to plot against you. Remember that the one who is protected by Allaah, NO ONE CAN HARM.
“Whoever works righteousness, whether male or female, while he (or she) is a true believer- verily, to him We will give a good life, and We shall pay them certainly a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do.” [Surah al-Nahl:97]
Excuse #10: If I pray, people will think that I show off. So I don’t pray.
Reply: Just as the Shaytaan comes to the Muslim to make him admire his actions and show off to people, sometimes he uses the opposite trick and makes a person think that he is showing off while fulfilling his relogious obligations, so that he will not do it. So just ignore these whisperings from the Shaytaan and don’t let him keep you away from this major Ibadah. DO NOT let him win.
Ibraaheem al-Nakhaa’i said: “If the Shaytaan comes to you when you are praying and says, ‘You are showing off’, then you should make it even longer…”
“And if an evil whisper comes to you from Shaytaan, then seek refuge with Allaah. Verily, He is All-Hearer, All-Knower.” [Surah al-Aa’raaf:200]
Excuse #11: I have made/am making so many mistakes in my life, it is no use for me to pray. Allaah will never forgive me.
Reply: Now, this is another one of the tricks of Shaytaan.He does not want you to do Tawbah, because he knows, if you sincerely repent to Allaah for ALL that you have done, Allaah WILL FORGIVE YOU.
Allaah encourages us to do tauba when He said:
“Say: ‘O My slaves, who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allaah, verily, Allaah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Surah al-Zumar:53]
Subhaan Allaah! How Forgiving is our Rabb and how Merciful!
Isn’t this Ayah enough, even for the worst of sinners among us?
And remember, doing good deeds wipes out sins.
“And perform As-Salaah, at the two ends of the day and in some hours of the night [i.e. the five compulsory prayers]. Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds.” [Surah Hood:114]
Excuse #12: I don’t pray, but I have a good heart.
I am a good person and I never hurt anyone.
Reply: The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) 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.” (Tabarani).
So no matter what good deeds you did in this dunya, if you didn’t pray, nothing will count or even be accepted…..no zakaah, no fasting, no Hajj, no nothing.
“Whoever does not pray ‘Asr, his good deeds will be annulled.” (Bukhaari).
Excuse #13: But, I pray every Jumuah. Isn’t that enough?
Reply: With regard to the ruling on one who prays Jumu’ah only, some of the scholars are of the view that one who prays Jumu’ah only is a kaafir, because he comes under the same ruling as one who does not pray at all, because he prays only one of the thirty-five prayers required each week, so he is like one who does not pray at all. (Fatawa Shaykh ibn Baaz and Ibn Uthaymeen).
Some scholars said that he is not a kaafir but he is committing a great sin that is worse than riba (usury), adultery, stealing, drinking alcohol etc.
Excuse #14: My spouse/parents don’t pray. Why should I??
Reply: Just because your family does something sinful, does not mean that you do the same. Remember, they will NOT be there to save you when Allaah will ask YOU about YOUR Salaah. In fact, your duty is to call them to Allah by advising them and setting a good example for them to follow.
“And enjoin al-Salaah on your family, and be patient in offering them [the prayers]. We ask not of you a provision; We provide for you. And the good end (Paradise) is for the muttaqoon (pious).” [Ta-Ha:132]
Excuse #15: I will pray when I am older/after Hajj/ Ramadhan.
Reply: Do you want to be from these people that Allaah is talking about??
“Then, there has succeeded them a generation who have given up As-Salaah and have followed lusts. So they will be thrown in Hell.” [Maryam:59]
And, how do you know you will live to be older? Or live until Hajj or Ramadhaan??
What if you die tomorrow?? What if it was today???
There can be no excuses as far as Salaah is concerned. We have to pray all the five prayers and all of them on time.
“O you who believe! Fear Allaah, and be with those who are true (in words and deeds).” [ al-Tawbah:119]
“Guard strictly the (five obligatory) prayers, especially the middle Salaat (˜Asr). And stand before Allaah with obedience.” [Surah al-Baqarah 2:238]