Do you sometimes feel that your Salah [prayer] is not quite having the effect it is supposed to on you and your life? Have you ever considered that perhaps it is because we are not giving it its due importance? It seems we have lost [or were never taught] that ability to ‘connect’ in Salah that makes all the difference in its effect on us.
Consider the following examples of those who came before us:
- The Muslims once headed out with the Prophet on way to battle. During the trip the Prophet ordered two companions, one of the Ansar [helpers] and one of the Muhajireen [emigrants], to stand guard over them. As they did the Muhajir decided to rest while the Ansari chose to stand in prayer. Along came a disbeliever and cast an arrow striking the Ansari in the chest. The Ansari pulled out the arrow and continued in prayer. The disbeliever struck him with a second arrow. Again the Ansari removed it and continued his prayer. A third arrow was cast but now the Ansari could no longer stand and finally fell bleeding into his Ruku [bowing position] and Sujood [prostration]. The aggressor fled as the Muhajir rushed to his brother’s aid, “Subhanallah! Why didn’t you alert me from the first arrow?” The Ansari replied, “I was in the middle of a [beautiful] Surah and didn’t wish to interrupt my recitation of it.”
- Imam Bukhari was once stung by a wasp 17 times while standing in prayer. When he finished, he felt some discomfort and asked if anyone was aware of what caused it.
- Ibn Zubair stood firm and unflinching in his prayer while catapults fired upon the ground he stood on.
- It was said that when Ali washed in preparation for prayer, he always went pale and trembled with anxiety as he thought of himself about to stand before his Lord.
- Another companion needed an amputation. He requested that it be performed while he was engaged in Salah.
- An entire wall collapsed in the mosque that one companion was praying in, but he was too engrossed to realize what happened till his prayer was completed.
How did they attain that level of pleasure and inner peace that Salah is meant to inspire? Is it possible for us to reach that level too? How can we make our Salah effective? This is what we hope to learn.
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Outlook is Key
Now before any change in us can take place, we need to re-examine our outlook on prayer.
Ask yourself: Why do I pray? Is it just because I have to? Is it just to get this daily duty out of the way and over with? Or maybe it is because everyone just does it so I do it too?
It’s time to make a change. We need to start praying out of sincere Love. Pray out of longing to be with the one you love. Pray for the peace and comfort that comes from being with the one you love.
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