More Than Just Movements


The Salah Series

Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI | Part VII | Part VIII | Part IX | Part X | Part XI | Part XII | Part XIII | Part XIV | Part XV | Part XVI | Part XVII | Part XVIII | Part XIX | Part XX | Part XXI | Part XXII | Part XXIII | Part XXIV | Part XXV | Part XXVI | Part XXVII | Part XXVIII

Favors

At this point we agree that we must come to the prayer with emotions, and our emotionless prayers are of the past. This is because our prayer is more than just movements; prayers mean we are standing in front of Allah, talking to Him. There is one last point that we need to talk about with regard to why we love Allah—and that is His favors and blessings. This needs no introduction. Allah says in the Qur’an:

وَإِن تَعُدُّوا نِعْمَتَ اللَّهِ لَا تُحْصُوهَا

“[...] and if you should count the favor of Allah, you could not enumerate them,” (14:34).

Whenever we hear this ayah (verse), it makes us stop and think of everything that we have: from our faith to our family, health, education; as well as the things we usually take for granted such as being able to talk, walk, see, hear, and so on. Perhaps another way of really feeling these blessings is to just think of one blessing that we are really appreciative of, recognize how it has benefitted us, and then imagine life without it. Living without that one blessing is hard enough—imagine all that Allah has blessed us with.

prayer

Here we are just going to talk about two of these blessings: eman (faith) and amn (safety).

Eman إيمان

We are lucky, because we know who our Lord is, and that our Lord is One. Many people search for God in other creations; be they animals, people, material pleasure, or narcissism. Yet when we pray, we know we are going to Allah. Allah says in the Qur’an:

إِنَّنِي أَنَا اللَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا أَنَا فَاعْبُدْنِي وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ لِذِكْرِي

“Indeed, I am Allah. There is no deity except Me, so worship Me and establish prayer for My remembrance” (20:14).

Amn أمن

We are going to talk about two kinds of safety: internal and external. As for some of the forms of internal safety, one is our immune system. While we do our day-to-day tasks, little do we notice what is happening internally. Our white blood cells get trained to attack the harmful diseases that attempt to enter our body. Look here:

The big blob is the white blood cell and the round circles are red blood cells, and that ant-shaped thing is the bacteria. Without us putting any conscious effort into it, our white blood cells work daily to protect us.

What about external safety? Has anyone woken up in the morning knowing that, for example, someone wants to kill them? Or waiting for someone to rob them in the night? Imagine the people living in Gaza or Iraq, where they do not know if they will live until the next day, or in Mexico where drug violence could easily claim the life of a child going to school. And then we should think of ourselves, and how we have so much that we take for granted.

Haya حياء 

We now want to move on to a different emotion—haya, or for the lack of a better translation, shyness. When we come to the prayer, we should embody this feeling. Some may ask why should I be shy of God? The answer is because Allah is forbearing with us. There is no one more patient with us, despite all that we do, than Allah. He has given us our faculties, yet we commit sins with them; He then veils us so that people do not know about our sins, and does not punish us on the spot. All of this, and then He accepts our repentance; and not just that, but He is shy of returning a human being’s supplication with nothing, when he raises his hands asking Allah for something, as the Prophet (ﷺ) said (Ahmad). So how can we not be shy when standing before Allah in prayer?

We ask Allah to help us perfect our prayers.

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1 Comment

  1. Thank you, this was a beautiful reminder in an amazing series ma-sha-Allah.

    Today, let’s try to count Allah’s blessings on us.

    Start with our breath, our beating hearts, our ability to see, smell and touch, and the ability to laugh… Continue to our favorite foods, the roofs over our heads, and the people who love us…

    From there move out to the blue sky, the beauty of a single tree, the sunshine on our faces, and the majesty of a rising moon…

    Keep counting.

    Don’t forget our imaan and your knowledge of Allah. That is the greatest blessing of Allah, and we did nothing to earn it, rather it was a gift out of Allah’s mercy.

    Also do not forget that so many people in this world live in conditions of war, poverty, refugee camps, imprisonment and other forms of extreme hardship. Just to wake up in our beds in the morning and know that our lives are not in immediate danger is a great blessing.

    Keep counting…

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