You probably know the struggle. I’m talking about the struggle to perform your Salahs at the right times. You’ve been out all day and couldn’t find a masjid or a private place to pray, so you delay your Salah till you got home. Or you stood up to do one chore around the house, but before you know it, you’ve spent time spring-cleaning the kitchen and you missed the time for Salah.
Or there is some passive-aggressive attitude towards you praying at work, so you guiltily postpone your prayers till you get home.
Many things prevent us from praying at the right time. From inconvenient situations to procrastination to weak faith or laziness. But that shouldn’t be.
As Muslims, we know that Salah is an important part of our faith, and we know that it is the first of our deeds that will be judged on the Day of Resurrection. We know that nothing on this earth should be important to us compared to the desire to obey Allah (ta’ala).
“Allah (mighty and sublime be He) says: The first of his actions for which a servant of Allah will be held accountable on the Day of Resurrection will be his prayers. If they are in order, then he will have prospered and succeeded: and if they are wanting, then he will have failed and lost. If there is something defective in his obligatory prayers, the Lord (glorified and exalted be He) will say: See if My servant has any supererogatory prayers with which may be completed that which was defective in his obligatory prayers. Then the rest of his actions will be judged in like fashion. It was related by at-Tirmidhi (also by Abu Dawud, an-Nasa’i, Ibn Majah and Ahmad).” (40 Hadith Qudsi)
So, if you are finding it difficult to perform your Salah at the right times, here are some tips to help you.
Ask Allah for Help
I know that this is probably the most cliche thing every Muslim hears, but this is the best cliche and the best tip. Some time ago, I was struggling with waking up for Tahajjud. I probably woke up one night every month or two.
But I had the desire to wake up more often, so I started praying for the strength to be able to wake up every night. I can’t say exactly how this Dua got accepted, but for several months now, I find myself *magically* waking up at the same hour every midnight.
Being unable to perform your Salah at the right time is a test from Allah (ta’ala) and who better to help you pass this test than Him?
Pray to Allah (ta’ala) to ease your task and make it easy for you to conveniently pray at the right times. Make sincere intentions and effort to match your Dua, so that Allah (ta’ala) can see the sincerity in you.
“Between man and polytheism and unbelief is the abandonment of salat.” (Muslim)
Build Your Day Around Salah
Many of us have our days set in a routine that allows us to get to work or school early and get things done. You leave the house at the same time every day, take your lunch break at the same time and do the same things when you get home at night.
What if instead of structuring your day the conventional way, you structure it around your Salah times? How easy will it become for you if you took your lunch break at a time that allows you to find a spot and perform your Zuhr Salah? Or leave work and head straight home in time for Maghrib or Isha?
When you structure your day around Salah, you are more aware when the time for each prayer comes around. This makes it easier to perform your Salah at the right time.
You may also like: Psychological Wisdom In The Holy Quran Part 2
Keep the Motivation
When you want to make changes to your life, what do you do? You find several ways to motivate yourself. For example, as a work-from-home Mum who has planned to earn a certain amount working from home, you find a way to get down to work and be motivated enough to meet your target.
When we want to build new habits, we make to-do lists, find accountability partners, set up reward systems for ourselves, etc. Try a similar approach when you are trying to perform your Salah at the right time.
Use mobile adhan notifications to remind you of Salah times, and if you find that you don’t want your phone calling to prayer in public, you can easily set your phone’s alarm to beep at the hours of Salah.
Get an accountability partner to call you when it is time for Salah and get a simple printable tracker to help you keep track of the days that you pray at the right time.
Most importantly, keep yourself motivated with the thought of the reward that awaits those who perform their Salah at the right time, and a reminder of the punishment that awaits those who deliberately abandon Salah.
“The best of’ the deeds or deed is the (observance of) prayer at its proper time and kindness to the parents” (Muslim)