Assalamualaikum, my dear brothers and sisters.
As I stood for Zuhr prayers, I became ashamed that I had allowed time to pass before I prepared to pray. And as I recited the words ‘ Truly, my prayer, my service of sacrifice, my life and my death, are (all) for Allah, the Cherisher of the Worlds’ Surah Al An’am, verse 162, tears began rolling down my cheeks.
What was I doing that was so important that I delayed my prayers? Had I forgotten Allah’s Beautiful Words in Surah Al Nisa, verse 103, ‘…but when ye are free from danger, set up Regular Prayers: for such prayers are enjoined on believers at stated times.’ ?
Had I forgotten my beloved Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. and the Companions being commanded to pray even in battle..? (Surah Al Nisa, verse 102, ‘ When thou ( O Messenger) art with them, and standest to lead them in prayer, let one party of them stand up (in prayer) with thee, taking their arms with them; when they finish their prostrations, let them take up their position in the rear. And let the other party come up which hath not yet prayed- and let them pray with thee, taking all precaution, and bearing arms’)
I do ask myself this question, ‘Why do I pray?’ and to tell you the truth, sometimes I’m not sure why I pray. I cannot imagine myself being in the same group as the Companions, whom, if asked this question, would probably look askance at me and say, ‘Why, because we were commanded to, of course!’
I know I’ve been commanded to establish regular prayers (Surah Al Ankabut,verse 45,’..and establish regular Prayer: for Prayer restrains from shameful and unjust deeds and remembrance of Allah is the greatest (thing in life) without doubt.’) but I’ve also been commanded to avoid usury (Surah Al Baqarah,verse 278,’ O ye who believe! Fear Allah, and give up what remains of your demand for usury, if ye indeed are believers.’) yet I still hold mortgages and have banking transactions that involves usury. (anyone who has a definite solution to this, please please let me know!)
I have no doubt that I will probably ask myself this question again sometime in the future but just to remind myself today, here’s a few reasons why I do pray:
- I pray because I’m afraid Allah Almighty will not continue to bless me, my sons and my husband with rezeki, good health and opportunities to be better muslims.
- I pray because I want to thank Allah Almighty for the rezeki, good health and opportunities to be better muslims that He has blessed us with.
- I pray because I need something from Him and being in prostration is the best place to ask Him. “The closest a person is to His Lord is when he is in prostration.” [Muslim]
- I pray because I was commanded to.
- Because Allah commands us to worship Him. (Adam’s answer. My answer was more of ‘ I was commanded to because it’s one of the pillars of Islam.’ I like his answer better!)
By the way, when I ask this question to young kids and teenagers, some of them answer, ‘ I don’t know.’