Tips I use to motivate myself to pray consistently & never miss a prayer…

After all, for some who lack understanding or knowledge (May Allah increase us in both) a life of prayer seems like a life of restriction. I have met thousands of Muslimah’s who struggle with praying on time, if they are praying at all. (Of course, there are plenty of Muslim men too however I don’t tend to meet them on a daily.)

So, assuming that most of us know the importance of prayer in Islam.

I want to share some of my personal tips to be successful in your prayers, to pray on time and to never miss a prayer in sha Allah…

1) Revolve your life around prayer. It might seem impossible at first, it might seem unnecessary too and it might come across as extreme, although it is a beautiful form of worship to sit and wait for the adhan, SubhanAllah, I am not recommending you wait for hours, waste precious time and do nothing except wait for the prayer. This is not Islam. Instead, get on with your day, make plans, meet your friends, go to work, travel, explore! But if you are leaving the house and you know Dhuhr adhan will start in 20 minutes, wait. 20 minutes won’t kill you and make it a lesson to plan your day better next time. If you can change your plans to suit the prayer times do it. If you cannot, for example every day I travel home from work at the exact time of Asr adhan, there is nothing I can do to change this, except wait for the Winter months where Asr will get a little bit later, so I travel and pray as soon as I am home. There will be moments in your life, too where you have to delay the prayer but make sure it’s for reasons out of your control. Shopping, parties and running errands do not count. Even if you are out, make sure you know what prayers will be on while you are out and find a place to pray. A Muslim can pray anywhere, a Muslimah can pray anywhere private. For me, there is always a Masjid within 20 minutes and I remember years ago somebody mentioned changing rooms in a store if it’s big enough…

2) Ok, this one is going to be a controversial topic but I always told myself I would be as honest as I possibly can on my blog without transgressing the limits of Allah. Baring in mind, it is worse to expose a sin than to cover it and that the more we openly discuss our sins to others… we are opening the door for other Muslimah’s to follow. Which is not good, however some of us, wear make-up. Although it’s not part of hijab, it is a serious sin and not something to be taken lightly but personally it’s not something I have managed to give up altogether. I do live in hope that one day I will, though and I know that these faults are my own and not Islam. HOWEVER, if you do wear make-up, I am not here to judge but I will say, don’t let it interfere with your wu’du. After I have washed my face in the morning, I make wu’du and pray Fajr straight away before applying anything on my face and then I can put on a bit of make-up. For Dhuhr I re-do my wu’du and if I have to, I can go over my face with my foundation brush without adding any extra product but just using the excess from the morning, although my make-up is so light the wu’du barely affects it… For Asr, I usually take a shower and scrub my face. (Ironically, I love the feeling of a clean, scrubbed and moisturised face) and Maghrib and ‘Isha I usually don’t have makeup on but if I do I make wu’du as before.
The same logic applies if you don’t wear hijab, at least bring a scarf or loose clothing that you can wear just to pray.

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3) For me, no prayer is ever the same. Subhan’Allah sometimes I feel so emotional and I have tears in my eyes as I pray, sometimes I feel worthless and need Allah to forgive me, some days I think about His Love and Mercy and try to pray slowly and concentrate, some days I pray fast and run off the prayer mat when I am finished just to do some dishes, or some other thing that all of a sudden requires my immediate attention, some days I pray alone, some days I pray with my husband, some days I pray with my colleagues at work, some days I pray with strangers, some days I pray in the mosque, some days I pray and wonder if Allah will actually accept from me? Every prayer is unique and requires our full attention and effort as much as possible.

4) For me, the hardest prayer (physically) is ‘Isha. Although I know, it’s one of the prayers heaviest for the hypocrites there are many nights my legs feel numb, I have pains in my back from work and because of the constant early morning’s I have little energy left at the end of the day to offer my prayer well… This never used to be an issue for me and I used to pray ‘Isha straight after the ‘Iqama like every other prayer & then I learned from one of my favourite shaykh’s that it was Sunnah to delay the ‘Isha prayer. I have never fully understood how or why but it’s like I have taken it as an excuse ever since to pray ‘Isha late… Even as I write this I have ‘Isha prayer left to do… it’s not uncommon for me to pray it as late as 10pm knowing that it’s permissible but sometimes I wish I had never learned that Sunnah because I was always praying it on time, often waiting for it… try not to be lazy with any of the prayers, if you heard the adhan it’s better for you to get up, perform wu’du and head straight to the prayer before distractions occur. Seek refuge from Shaytan as he will try his best to make you lazy…

5) Never give up. Although there are days, I feel like some fellow Muslim’s have the cheek not to offer their prayers, on time, consistently or don’t revolve their life around their obligatory prayers, instead acting as though they are a take it or leave it choice given to us… There are other days, I am reminded that I have only been Muslim for a short 2 years, therefore there are literally millions of Muslims around the world who have offered more prayers than me & in fact I am catching up… when I realise this, I no longer look at my sister who no longer prays with anything but hope and fear. Fear that one day I can be her, and she could be me. And hope, knowing that she has been praying since puberty till adulthood and although she is lost right now, statistically she has prayed more than me and I am in no place to judge others. Whatever stage you are on in your prayers, put prayer first and you will always feel a sense of accomplishment, every day, 5 times a day.

Pray to God to give you energy, motivation and opportunity to change the world around you.

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