Saturday, February 5, 2011

Prayer: The Price and the Debt

Bism Illah wa as salaamu alaykum wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh.

When you're tired and the adhaan for fajr goes, and you waver about whether to drag yourself up and pray or just stay in bed... consider the price of the prayer.

You will have to get out of your bed, go to the bathroom, make wudhu, and then perform the prayer. It may take as little as 5 to 10 minutes  of your time.You can pay the price of the prayer in those few minutes and, in turn, honor your debt to Allah....and to yourself, because the prayer is for your benefit. Your day starts with a feeling of peace and accomplishment.Once finished, if you are still tired you can go back to bed and rest easily, knowing your debt has been paid.

However if you stay in bed, you will get up later knowing that you intentionally missed a prayer - something that Allah has commanded you to perform on time . The thing you will first be questioned about on The Day of Account. The price you have to pay for not praying might add up to this. You may have a weight of guilt somewhere inside you because you haven't done what Allah has commanded you as obligatory. You may seek forgiveness from Allah and be disappointed in yourself for your lack of discipline and giving in to shaytaan's whispers.  You may make up the prayer later, but you know that it doesn't bear the same reward as praying it at it's designated time, in obedience to Allah's call. You may even fall into despair, losing respect and hope in yourself.  You may put internal pressure on yourself to resolve to pray all your prayers on time in the future. That's a lot of stuff. You are in a state of deficit - because in making this choice, you pay a high price and you don't fulfill your debt to Allah or yourself.

But if you take the easy path, you will simply get up straight away, make wudhu and pray. If your tired, you can always go back to bed. After all, for the price of 5 or 10 minutes of your time, you will have none of the headache, heartache, or guilt to deal with. Isn't 5 minutes of prayer easier than the weight of your status with Allah?

So I say to you all, when you are wavering, take the easy path....for it leads to success.


  1. As salaamu alaiki. Thanks for the beneficial reminder.

    Anas bin Malik reported, Prophet said: : "The Paradise is surrounded by hardships and the Hell-Fire is surrounded by temptations". [Muslim :: Book 40 : Hadith 6778]

    In light of the above Hadith, how would you overcome the hardships mentioned?

  2. Wa alayk as salaam wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh.

    I will make two analogies. The first, imagine a competition - an obstacle course, perhaps - and to win the prize the contestants must go through all kinds of tests and challenges. If we don't participate or make the effort, we have nothing to look forward to. There is no prize for our lack of effort, our refusal to take the challenge. However, if we take the challenge one step at a time, there is an esteemed prize waiting at the end of the course.

    The second analogy, we pack up and make all manner of preparations for a vacation. It isn't much fun, but we know we will have a wonderful time when we get there. We go through all the packing, booking, travel arrangements, etc. so we can enjoy our time at the holiday destination. The difference with the vacation is that at the end of it, we must pack up and go back home. The fun is over. With Jennah, the reward and the enjoyment are eternal.

    it may seem contradictory when I say that the path is easy, as opposed to hard. But when we look at the goal, the prize if you will, and consider that it is never ending, it makes those "hardships" seem rather a small price. When we look at the hardships and consider their true price, we find that is always far less than turning away. In overcoming the hardships, we pay the debt to Allah. Consider the hardships currency in a transaction that will buy a perfect and eternal life.

  3. Mai- Do you think that being in the blessed land of Madinah, makes it easy to worship Allah? Here, there is no Adhan. In the West there is no Adhan. So it can be easy to not pray on time.

  4. As salaamu alaykum Umm Salwaa.

    It has never made a difference to me whether I hear an adhan or not. I couldn't hear one for the 7 years I lived in the states, but I set my alarm clock to go off well before fajr and I made the intention to wake up, relying on Allah to wake me. It hasn't failed me. I don't actually get up for fajr, I get up about an hour before for tahajjud, so I don't have an adhan to wake me anyway.

    What I find is that if I'm very tired, I am even more aware that shaytaan is going to try to send me back to as soon as the alarm goes off, I immediately sit up, say my dua' for waking, and get out of the bed. There are a combination of reasons for my discipline in this area, but one of them is that I read the following hadith:

    Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Shaytan ties three knots at the back of your necks when you are asleep. He hits every knot saying the words, 'You have a long night ahead of you so sleep soundly.' When you wake up and remember Allah, one knot is undone. When you do wudu', one knot is undone. When you pray, one knot is undone. So the morning finds you cheerful and energetic. Otherwise, the morning will find you lazy and foul-tempered." [Agreed upon] Riyaad as-Saaliheen

    It is a war between me and shaytaan, and I refuse to give him the satisfaction of sabotaging me bi ithn Illah!

  5. @umm salwaa,
    i live in the west, USA. i have many friends who moved overseas, egypt, saudi arabia, UAE. they love it. seeing all the muslims, the adhan, less hassle practicing islam etc. it was too hard for them and their children to practice islam in USA. they couldn't deal with the hardships that it brought on them, so they left.

    me... i accepted islam knowing it was going to be a struggle. knowing that it was going to be hard, a burden i would have to bear. my large family wear this burden like a badge of honor. we are honored to practice islam openly. to help spread islam . it's a huge responsibility, like being an ambassador for islam every time we leave the house.

    we even take islamic classes; tajweed, fiqh, arabic at an online academy. to help us teach the masses and new muslims. we love it. we do it for the sake of Allah. and we pray that Allah blesses our efforts.

  6. Mashaa'Allah, Huda...I totally feel you on all that! I accepted Islam and have lived it everywhere I've gone. In fact, living in the countries where Islam isn't very evident raised my emaan, taqwa, and ibaadah to even higher levels than when living in a Muslim country. My obedience to Allah is foremost and the rest, as always, falls into place.

    Islam isn't just me doing my thing, it is being a living example of it. To live with conviction in everything you do because it has been clearly outlined to you in the Quran and the Sunnah is powerful da'wah. I have always considered myself and others to be ambassadors for Islam. Most certainly it doesn't need the surroundings of a Muslim country for us to flourish, grow, and live it well.

    I, too, pray for infinite blessings and rewards for you and your family - ameen!

  7. Assalamu Aleykum,

    SubhanALLAH this is totally how I feel when I pray Fajr late or miss any other prayer.So guilty and so disapointed by my own self.MashALLAH once again so true.

  8. Masha Allah. I guess my question was sort of geared toward the other Salats outside of Fajr.
    When I am out and about, I have to constantly watch the clock for the salat. I know when you are overseas there is the Adhan, and also masjid within shopping areas. I was speaking about that aspect of it.
    Huda- Yes I know about wearing my islam like a badge of honor. I am in the west wearing full Niqaab(black). Not saying that it makes me better. I am doing it for the sake of Allah, and hoping he will accept this deed from me.

  9. Umm Salwaa, I think it is probably much easier to pray on time here from that perspective. Certainly here, as all the shops shut for the prayer. However, we always know the prayer times when we are in non-Muslim countries, and even here. I think it becomes a natural part of most Muslim's life to plan their activities around the prayers. I have found that when I'm out and about, I usually go between prayers. If it's a longer time than that, I/we already have a game plan about when and where we will pray. We always had a big picnic blanket and a few prayer rugs for traveling in the van. If we go to the Zoo, we will put out the blanket and all pray in the car park with the van as our sutra.

    I do understand that it is harder with no external reminders, but I suppose because of that we are more conscious of the times. I found that the worst place for me was at home. One thing after another ended up making me pray later within the time period rather than earlier, astaghfirAllah. But with two of the girls praying now, the "prayer police" will hear the adhaan (we always used Islamic Finder when we couldn't hear an adhaan) and get ready to pray, so I can't end up procrastinating, alhamdul'Illah. It's beautiful when your children learn about the importance of praying on time. because they will run with the ball and remind you if your slipping regarding the time, lol. Sometimes it works the opposite way, too. If your children aren't very careful about prayer times, you end up being much more attentive about praying on time so that you can set the right example for them and teach them the best ways. It's all good.