Food For My Soul: PRAYER (#1)

The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said:
“Coolness of my eyes lies in Salah (prayer)”
(Ahmad, An-Nasa’i)
Muslims are ordered to pray five times a day; to keep renewing their connection with Allah throughout the day and to keep themselves on track. Prayer is like a freedom of the soul from all worldly attachments and materialistic things. And the idea that prayer (salah) could be the coolness of our eyes is something that seems sooooo beautiful.
Prayer has tremendous benefits both physical and spiritual. It energises the souls and help us transcend to a higher level of awareness. Studies show that engaging in regular ritual activities helps us relax, which in turn adjusts our blood pressure and heart rate, and harmonises our breathing. Relaxation reduces the over-secretion of adrenaline resulting from the constant stresses of life. By reducing stress, one empowers the immune system, protects the heart and adjusts one’s blood pressure and circulation. This regular act not only harmonises the soul, but also heals our physical ailments and helps us cope with the tensions of everyday life. Many studies now show the evidence of reduced rates of depression, sorrow and pessimism among individuals who perform their prayers regularly. I actually have experienced this in my life, from the day I started getting regular with my prayers I felt more in peace, more happy and contented.
 
From The Life Of Our Beloved:
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was sent as a role model for all humanity. And we should take his life as a role model for us in every affair of life and should mould our character and day to day life according to it. After performing my first Umrah, I started learning about my deen (religion), wanted to develop a true love for our beloved Rasool Allah (peace be upon him) so I started this quest for Seerah books. When I started reading about him I got more curious and wanted to know more about him; how he used to do Ibadah (worship), what he used to eat, how he used to spend his day and all that balance of Deen and Duniya he brought into his life so I continued reading about his life and I have learnt few things (still learning) and I’d like to share it with you guys, you know just a little bit of his prayer routine mixing with our current routines.
If you study the life of our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him), you will get to know how the Prophet (peace be upon him) turned to prayer when he had any worries or problems. Allah says in Qur’an:
“And seek help in patience and prayer, and truly it is extremely heavy and hard except for those who have true humility {those who obey Allah with full submission, fear His punishment, and believe in His promise(Paradise) and in His warnings (Hell)}”.
Quran 2:45
Allah also says:
“O you who believe! Seek help in patience and Prayer. Truly Allah is with the patient ones”.
Quran 2:153
Prayer Routine: Early in the morning, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to wake up, drink a cup of warm water with one teaspoonful of honey dissolved in it, and then pray. After Fajr prayer, he rested for meditation and morning Dhikar-Allah (Remembrance of Allah) till sunrise, when he prayed Duha prayer (a non obligatory prayer in the forenoon). This habit is very beneficial for increasing concentration and mood elevation throughout the whole day. Waking up early and drinking a honey tonic enable the brain to secrete enough serotonin to boost one’s mood for the rest of the day. Always try to keep this thing in mind that the 2 hours after sunrise are the peak production time of serotonin, the hormone responsible for a feeling of well being and for uplifting the mood.
After Duha prayer, It is time to start work till noon, when we take another short break to recharge our souls with an extra boost of energy while praying the midday prayer (Dhuhr). Our beloved used to take a short nap (Qailoola) before Dhuhr. You can take 5 to 10 min nap minimum and 30 to 40 min maximum, It’s a power nap and will recharge you for the rest of your day. Then after Dhuhr we resume work till Assar (afternoon prayer) time, about which we are specifically ordered by Allah to respect its timings:
“Guard strictly the (five obligatory) prayers, especially the middle prayer (the Assar prayer). And stand before Allah with obedience (and do not speak to others during the prayers)”.
Quran 2:238
The middle prayers are believed to be Fjar and Assar prayers. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
“The angels descend to you in succession by night and by day, but they all gather together with you at the dawn and afternoon prayers. Those who have passed the night with you ascend to Heaven and Allah asks them, although He is well aware: “How did you leave my servants?” The angels reply, “They were praying when we left them and when we arrived we found them praying”.
Bukhari
SubhanAllah!
In order to respect ‘Assar prayer timing‘, people should not sleep after lunch time. This is beneficial to health, as sleeping directly after eating slows down digestion and weakens the body. After Assar Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to take another few minutes for meditation and evening Dhikar-Allah. After this little rest, the body is fully reenergised for resuming work till sunset (Maghrib) prayer, after which comes dinner time, followed by some gentle physical exercises such as walking, which aids digestion, benefits the metabolism, strengthens the heart and boosts blood circulation. At the end of the day it is time for the evening prayer (Isha), then a early to bed for a good night’s sleep.
How To Improve Our Salah:
To be able to pray five times a day, to truly enjoy it and find such an intensity of happiness in it that you call it the coolness of your eyes, seems like such a blessing and something to truly aspire to. There are a number of things that we should do to improve our salah and through it our lives in’sha’Allah …
  • So first things first, We should learn more about salah – I will talk about myself here, I really want to review my recitation in salah and whether the movements and positions are accurate.This may seem very basic but whenever I reflected I found out every single time there has room for improvement. Sometimes I perform salah with full speed and worldly thoughts in my mind especially when I am in social gatherings, or in the market, sometimes in the middle of the daily chores. I really need to improve this.
  • I would also like to study a little more about the benefits of salah and also the punishments for leaving salah. I believe that these are the things that will help to inspire and motivate me in’sha’Allah.
  • Reflect on salah – I want to spend a little time reflecting on the words and the meanings in salah.
  • Dedicate more time to salah – I often miss the Nawafil part of my prayers. I really need to work on that. Ramadan is the best time to offer Nawafil and to get into the habit.

So, that’s about it. I will end my blog here but before I leave I’d like to share something which inspired me: In autumn, usually the leaves of the trees fall in large numbers, so much so that on some trees not a single leaf is left behind. The same is the effect of salah performed with sincerity and devotion. All the sins of person offering salah are wiped off. SubhanAllah, Isn’t it amazing? Of course we all want to get rid of our sins, don’t we? I can not even try to explain the marvellous effects of a true prayer. One who practices it will soon feel and learn for himself; it is enough to mention this Hadith here:

 “If one prays two Rakah with full concentration, Allah forgivers that person for whatever sins were committed before”. 
Bukhari & Muslim
So, just try to perform your prayer with a complete sense of humility and submissiveness to Allah. Put all worldly thoughts behind you, in prayer you are directly addressing Allah. You should try to sense the meanings of each word and verse you are reciting; contemplate these meaning as deeply and sincerely as you can to keep you away from whispering of the devil (Sheytaan). Let’s make our prayers better and full of devotion. I will try to follow it as well because all of this is a reminder for myself first and foremost.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s