Cartoons are blaring on the TV, the phone is ringing off the hook, my youngest is screaming in anger because her elder sister took away her toy, and the teapot full of milky tea that I just put on to simmer has already boiled over to coat my stove in a tan, sticky mess!
This is a typical morning in my home, and the madness continues throughout the day.
And then I hear it out in the distance, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar!
The Adhan (call for Prayer) fills the air as it increases in strength to fully envelope me.
I breathe a sigh of relief. Performing Prayer five times a day is usually the only time I can find peace in during my hectic day. It is a time for me to slow down, gather my thoughts, and seek the audience of God.
The Prayer is the only part of the day that is allocated for me. There are five Prayers a day. Since each Prayer takes about 7 minutes to perform, that adds up to over 30 minutes of private time, and I cherish every minute of them!
Prior to the Prayer, it is necessary to perform wudu‘ (ablution), which consists of washing the mouth, nose, face, head, ears, hands, arms, elbows, and feet, in a prescribed way. Just the act of washing with cool water awakens my senses and helps me enter a state of utter refreshment.
My Prayer begins with Allahu Akbar, which means “God is greater.” Just by saying that one phrase, I become so humble because I know that I am standing in front of God in worship. I perform the prayer, and during each prostration, I make dua’ (supplications) for forgiveness and for anything else that is troubling me.
Perhaps I had a disagreement with my husband that morning or I am worried about something or I feel scared. I take it all to God in confidence, and let all of the emotions just pour out.
By the end of my Prayer, I feel as if a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I have released all the burdens that were weighing down my heart and affecting my mood, which was previously making me snappy with my children.
Some people spend thousands of dollars talking with a psychiatrist in an attempt to cope with life. I turn to God for free and always find solutions to fulfill all my needs!
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
“Prayer is the joy of my eyes” (An-Nasa’i)
I concur completely. Prayer is also the joy of my eyes, which brings relief in an otherwise chaotic existence.
My Daily Dose of Worship
The five daily Prayers can be likened to a medicinal prescription, one for the soul. They bring you closer to God through obedience and piety. As a result, the human heart is constantly reminded about what our purpose is in this life.
God says in the Quran what means:
I created the Jinn and humankind only that they might worship Me. (51:56)
Prayer creates a sense of awareness and reflection in the heart of anyone who performs it. Just the act of bowing and prostrating with your face flat on the floor removes all the trappings of this life.
Performing the Prayer helps me to maintain focus on the important things in life: Worshiping God and caring for my family. It also makes me realize the innumerable blessings that have occurred in my life and be thankful for them.
Impact of Salah
I can say truly that the Prayer has changed my life. I reverted to Islam more than 11 years ago. Looking back, I can see the change that I have undergone just as a caterpillar does before shedding its cocoon and spreading its beautiful new wings to reveal the beautiful colors of a new soul.
I used to have quite a bad temper. I would never lash out at anyone, but preferred to quietly stew and burn. And I kept everything bottled up inside and let it eat away at me. As a result, my self-esteem was very low. I let others walk all over me and never knew how to stand up for myself.
After reverting to Islam, I slowly began to learn how to perform the Prayer. It was not easy, but it was a goal I was determined to achieve.
Bit by bit, I began to master the Prayer and as I did, I found a renewed confidence in myself that I had never known before. The more I prayed, the better I felt. The more I opened my heart to God, the more anger and mistrust were gone. It was not simply a spiritual act; it felt like I was being cleansed, not just of my sins, but also of all the negativity that had bogged me down for so many years.
The Islamic Prayer means absolutely everything to me. I am able to connect with my Creator five times each and every day. It is a one-on-one connection without a mediator — just me standing to pray in awe, reverence, and thankfulness, bowing in humility and prostrating in adoration.
The Prayer humbles me, in that I am more sensitive to the fragility of life and the plight of the ever-degrading human condition, and I am able to focus on what is important in life without being dazzled by its glitter.
(From Discovering Islam’s archive.)