As Muslims if we happen to miss one of our Daily Prayers, we don’t get off the hook that easily, we first have to make up for it by completing that very same prayer with the intention of it being “Qazaa” (ie late/delayed), as opposed to it being “Adhaa” (ie on-time). Iím not a pristine, pure soul and have a few qazaa namaazes to complete. Sometime back, I had made a firm intention to make up for my back-log. I do it by praying an additonal prayer together with my regular prayer.
Prayer as a Burden
Rarely (read that as Ver Rarely) it does feel delicously wonderful that Allah SWT has given the “Toufiq” (awareness), strength, and time to make up for my qazaa namaazes and I get to do it. But many times it feels heavy and burdensome too. Just when I finish my daily set of prayer, I have to drag myself to get up and pray it all over again. Just yesterday the thought did cross my head, “Oh God, why have You made this so difficult?”
But God Loves You
And like a flash of lightening in a clear blue sky, in popped the answer, Quran (Chapter 2, Verse 185) ďAllah (Swt) desires ease for you, He does not desire difficulty.Ē
God is indeed the Most Benfecient the Most Merciful. He Loves his worst slave 70 times more than a mother loves her best son. 70 times! Just take time a moment for that to settle in. What does a motherís love mean. What does a fatherís love mean. What wonít a parent do to ensure that their child grows. What sacrifice a father wonít give to ensure that his son doesnít become the best he can make out of him. When a mother disciplines her son by grounding him or punishing him so that he studies, itís out of nothing but love for the child that she does that. The boy may feel that his mother hates him. But the son doesnít realise that the pain his mother goes through on having a firm hand for her darling is greater than the pain he feels. And once heís a young man and realises the value of college education, he would thank his mother again and again for being strict with him. Infact he may even say, ĎOh mother, why didnít you correct me earlier. I was but a child, what did I know?Ē
Be a Mountain-Man
Prayers, fasting, are minute disciplinary acts that help us break from this struggle for wealth and power. The trouble, burden of prayer is nothing compared to the liberation of the attachment/desires to this world. The pain of getting up before dawn to remember oneís Lord is utterly insignifcant, to the inner strength one will develop in times of deep adversity. The whole world may collapse, but a Lover of the Lord will be standing tall and strong as He would have built a mountain inside of him.
Prayer reminds us that we are not Masters of our time. It reminds us we are other than not our body, thoughts & intentions. These are merely tools to help us realise our true & higher self. It reminds us that we have come from nothing. And itís just a matter of moments when we’ll return to nothing. When this hulk of a body, that we feed, perfume & love will become fodder for the earthworms.
May Allah SWT continue to provide us with “Toufiq” to be His obedient worshipers and may He provide us with strength to fulfill all our obligations. Ameen.
(Part of this post has been inspired from the lectures of Sheikh Arif, available here). Currently the site seems down should be up soon.