I somehow have the urge to dismantle and recreate something new. It just doesn’t seem right for me to curb this inclination and just assume it’s some watercolor addiction. Sigh. I guess it’s just some random aftermath of caffeine fix or the need to go for street shoot. But, I’ve got a wedding to put up, exam papers to read, items to collect and to top it all, clarification to sort out. Not forgetting, books to read. Important books that is. The fact that I’m feeling all these makes me want to paint. Maybe I’ll paint. Later.
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]
This is not written by me but authored by Sister Ray and edited by SHamsiya Noorul Quloob. If you’re interested, please visit this link: http://www.theidealmuslimah.com/qiyam-14-tips-to-consistently-pray-the-night-prayer/
Islam teaches us to gain knowledge as it is the path to Jannah; but knowledge and inspiration alone is not the end goal, it is just the means to reach it. The purpose is to gain knowledge so that we are humbled and inspired enough to carry out righteous actions, while also having an understanding of their importance. Why is a righteous action, such as performing Qiyam, so important to be accompanied by knowledge? Performing Qiyam without knowing its virtues will have you doing the action in vain, and likewise, having the knowledge of the virtues of Qiyam is a great motivator but it is not useful until the action is implemented. They are both our responsibility to make use of since Allah subhanahu wata’aa’aa gave us the ability to both learn and act. For many of us, we may find it easier to gain the knowledge and feel the inspiration, but more difficult to use them towards carrying out the action. Here are some very helpful tips to help you pick up and maintain the habit of consistently praying the night prayer, insha’Allah!
1) REFLECT ON THE BENEFITS OF QIYAM
Read about and reflect on how Qiyam gives you great success both in this dunya and the akhirah (PART 1 and PART 2). Gaining knowledge on the importance and benefits will inspire you to perform the night prayers, and reviewing them from time to time helps you place your efforts towards it each night and maintain this habit for a lifetime. After all, in each good deed we do, we need to do so with the pure hope and sincere intention of seeking its rewards from Allah subhanahu wata’aa’aa. The point after finding inspiration, is to apply the practice!
2) START WITH THE MINIMUM TWO
When you first start to implement the night prayer, start by performing only two rak’aat each night to make sure that you are not overwhelming yourself. Then, gradually add more rak’aat to your night prayer, increasing them two by two. With time you will feel that you are enjoying this, and that two rak’aat are not enough! There is no maximum limit, but the sunnah of the prophet salallahu aleyhi wasallam was to pray 8 rak’aat each night. You may choose to increase it later or not. But it is simply applying the habit that is important. So make sure to keep within the boundaries that you can maintain, as the prophet salallahu aleyhi wasallam said: “The most beloved of actions to Allah are the most constant, even if little.” [Bukhari]. Increasing the amount gradually will help you to easily and consistently pray each night, rather than tiring yourself out and eventually quitting. The prophet salallahu aleyhi wasallam said: “O Abd Allah! Do not be like so-and-so. He used to pray at night and then left it.” [Bukhari]. The key is to set realistic goals and not cross the bounds of overwhelming yourself – even if it is one verse that gets you pondering about your life, that one verse is enough.
3) AVOID SINS
Avoid sins so that you are not shackled by them at night and can get up for Qiyam; and in return, praying will help you continue avoiding them. Sufyan Al-Thawri once said: “I have missed Qiyam for 5 months because of a sin I once committed.” When we hold fast to our night prayers, it becomes our “shield from sin” [Tirmidhi]. Asking for forgiveness and repenting in the night are one of the best ways to free ourselves from the chains of our sins, but being burdened by and insisting on sin makes it much more difficult for us to seek such forgiveness in the nights.
4) REALIZE ALLAH SUBHANAHU WATA’AA’AA IS CALLING YOU
The mentality we should maintain when we make the intention to perform Qiyam is that this is a call from Allah subhanahu wata’aa’aa. When we realize that He is seeking us at night and this is His call to success, we will also realize that we need to respond. We are responding to the One who has no need for us, but we are in need of worshiping Him.
5) MAKE QIYAM A JOY IN YOUR LIFE
Qiyam was a great source of joy and pleasure for the early Muslims, and their inspiring examples express how much they really enjoyed it.
Abdullah ibn Wahb said: “Every type of pleasure is enjoyed only once, except for acts of worship, which are enjoyed three times: when you do it, when you remember it, and when you are given the reward for it.”
Muhammad ibn al-Munkadir said: “There is nothing left of the joys of this life except three: qiyaam al-layl, meeting one’s brothers in faith, and praying in congregation.”
Even as Omar bin Khattab radiallahu anhu was dying, he did not forget his passion for Qiyam, and said “I do not grieve on anything of this life except the night prayer.”
So keep in mind that this beautiful act is not meant to be a burden on you, but rather a joy. There is nothing else of this dunya more worthy of missing – no play, work, people, hobbies, nor activities of this world.
6) AVOID EXCESSIVE EATING AND DRINKING
Sufyan al-Thawri said: “You should eat little, so that you will be able to pray Qiyam al-layl.” Try to avoid filling up your stomach with food and liquid because it will make you lazy and want to sleep a lot, and if you do that, you will miss out on a lot of great opportunities in life including Qiyam.
7) AVOID EXCESSIVE DAYTIME WORK
If you exhaust yourself all throughout the day, you will likely crash at night, falling into deep sleep and becoming too tired to rise for the night prayer. Make sure that you give yourself enough time to rest during a tiring day, and do not work yourself too hard for too long without a break. Try to spread out all your tasks and errands throughout your days, and be productive so that you do not procrastinate your work and have a workload to deal with on the last day.
8) TAKE A NAP
Taking a nap before Duhr (the early afternoon) is from the sunnah of Prophet Muhammad salallahu aleyhi wasallam, referred to as a Qaylulah. It helps you to not sleep excessively and so heavily at night so that you can wake up for Qiyam. Sometimes, you will have those exhausting days as much as you try to avoid them, so making sure to take a short nap (30 to 60 minutes) will surely help balance out your day. Today, science has followed the sunnah and shows how important napping is for our health. Aside from allowing us to wake up for Qiyam, it also helps increase our alertness and productivity throughout the day, and maintains good blood pressure to decrease risk of heart attacks and stroke. Just remind yourself, Allah subhanahu wata’aa’aa does not want to burden you and keep you up at night overwhelming yourself. He wants to ease the religion for you – taking a nap with the intention of praying Qiyam alone gains you the ajr insha’Allah. Islam is all about balance and moderation!
9) USE IT AS A MONITORING TOOL
When you go through downhills and find that you can’t wake up for Qiyam, ask yourself, are you sinning or doing something displeasing to Allah subhanahu wata’aa’aa? If so, make the intention to purify yourself and you will find that when you truly do want to improve from your heart, Allah subhanahu wata’aa’aa makes it much easier for you to get up at night and grants you that opportunity. This is the first indication of your imaan getting back in check. Constantly checking ourselves and improving our shortcomings is a sign of us being truthful to ourselves and how we are doing as slaves of Allah.
The Almighty says: “O you who believe! Fear Allah and keep your duty to Him. And let every person look to what he has sent forth for the morrow, and fear Allah. Verily, Allah is All-Aware of what you do.”
[Surat Al-Ĥashr 59: Verse 18]
Allah is aware of all that we do, but we are commanded to also be aware of our own doings. Imam Ibn al-Qayyim said: “If the slave is responsible and accountable for everything, even his hearing, sight and innermost thoughts, then he should check on himself before he is brought to account.”
10) STRIVE AGAINST YOURSELF
Successful individuals who achieve their goals are those who go beyond their comfort zone and make the effort to strive against themselves. This is one of the best means to help you get up for the night prayer. It is easy to let ourselves flow with our desires towards destruction; but once we strive against ourselves, we insist on righteousness and demand to be the ones in control.
Allah subhanahu wata’aa’aa says: “And as for those who strive hard in Our Cause, We will surely guide them to Our Paths. And verily, Allah is with the muhsinoon (good-doers).”
[Surat Ash-Shu`arā’ 29: Verse 69]
The night prayer especially requires that we strive against ourselves, because night time is a time for resting from the day, and sacrificing our desire for sleep is a great struggle. The prophet salallahu aleyhi wasallam also explains the virtue of striving against oneself: “When a man from my ummah gets up to pray at night, striving against his own self to get up and purify himself, there are knots on him. When he washes his hands in wudoo’, one knot is undone. When he washes his face, another knot is undone. When he wipes his head another knot is undone. When he washes his feet, another knot is undone. Then Allah says to those who are veiled (in the Unseen): ‘Look at this slave of Mine, he is striving against his own self and asking of Me. Whatever My slave asks of Me shall be his.” [Ahmad]
11) MAKE IT ESSENTIAL IN YOUR LIFE
Don’t take Qiyam as a light matter and degrade its worth, because “it’s just a sunnah”. The sahabah, when they learned or witnessed a sunnah of the prophet salallahu aleyhi wasallam, were quick in implementing it into their lives and making it essential as well. If you want to consistently pray the night prayer, you must first make it an essential part of your life and have hope in the hereafter so that you do not leave the habit so easily. With this intention, our efforts will not be wasted insha’Allah. Remember that Qiyam was once an obligation in the early stages of Islam, which should remind you of its greatness, as Aisha radiAllahu anha said: “Allah made Qiyam obligatory at the beginning of this surah (Al-Muzzamil), so the Prophet salallahu aleyhi wasallam and his companions prayed Qiyam for a year, and Allah withheld the end of this surah for twelve months, until He revealed something at the end of this surah to make things easier, so Qiyam al-layl became voluntary after it had been obligatory.” [Muslim]
12) KEEP IT SECRET
To help purify your intention and maintain the true motivation to pray the nights, try to keep this act a secret hidden between you and Allah subhanahu wata’aa’aa just as the salaf did. This protects you from shaytan getting in the way and encouraging you to show off and gain people’s admiration for your worship, and keeps you doing it for the pleasure of Allah subhanahu wata’aa’aa alone. You do not want this to turn into a habit in which you pray when others are around, but quickly lose that motivation when you are alone. Although, this does not mean that you need to go to the extremes of hiding such a deed. If you think that sharing how you are praying Qiyam will encourage your family and friends to do the same, then gain that extra reward and do so.
13) TODAY BEFORE TOMORROW
Make a pledge to yourself now that you will get up to pray Qiyam – starting with tonight and continuing on a daily basis. If you are the type of person that stays up late anyways, then drop what occupies you at night for a few minutes, and just do it. Don’t leave this without thinking to yourself, how and with whom do you like to spend your nights? Don’t let shaytan visit you with his whispers, “I will, I will” – let the reminders and words from Allah subhanahu wata’aa’aa and His prophet salallahu aleyhi wasallam be the ones that cross your mind and make the determination now. Think of how much shaytan will hate it, and Allah subhanahu wata’aa’aa will love it for obeying Him. The best time to pick up a good habit is always now.
14) REMEMBER THE PROPHET’S SALALLAHU ALEYHI WASALLAM WISH
When we truly love someone, we love to know of their wishes and respect them enough make them come true. The Prophet salallahu aleyhi wasallam, our most beloved brother in Islam, once said about his companion: “Abdullah is a good man. I wish he prayed Tahajjud.” After that, Abdullah used to sleep but a little at night.” [Bukhari]
Imagine Prophet Muhammad salallahu aleyhi wasallam right now being pleased with you for following his sunnah, and he tells you he thinks you are a good person but wishes you just prayed Tahajjud. Would you not be so inspired to go that extra mile to add that missing thing to the good person you already are?
Your journey with Qiyam will have its ups and downs, just like it did with the early righteous Muslims. So keep making the effort to consistently maintain this habit – sacrifice a low desire of yours, supplicate a higher desire of your heart, and leave the night putting complete trust in Allah subhanahu wata’aa’aa for its immense rewards.
Peace and blessings upon our beloved prophet salallahu aleyhi wasallam who has set an excellent example for his devotion to Qiyam.
Thank you for the sister who shared this.
I need to work on something. Something huge which cross references all aspects of knowledge back to the. Recent events has shown discoveries of mermaid creatures and according to the research group involved, two new species of whales were discovered over the past ten years. Hence, proving that the ocean is remarkably vast. Secrets are there awaiting for curious individuals to make further discoveries.
Currently still trying to complete reading books and mastering the effects of motivational words on people. Side projects include replicating
wands a wand, memorizing algorithms, and doing simple htmls.
Unleashing the GeN|us within..
I guess I need to take a breather..