TO YOUR PLACES Q2:238

There was a time I was missing praying in a mosque so I decided to go for Juma’a in a masjid. In Northern Nigeria and a couple of countries, the women’s section of the mosque is minimal, poorly lit, poorly maintained and sometimes, away from the masjid itself, seemingly like an afterthought.

I did not want to pray in such a space.
I wanted to pray in a magnificent masjid, and stare up at the elaborately detailed dome, admire the glory of the geometric designs, bask in the beauty of the masjid’s ambience.

I wanted to pray in congregation as I hadn’t in a long time. I needed to stand side-by-side with other Muslims, shoulder-to-shoulder, praying fluidly in unison – like we were one body. I needed to bond with fellow sisters in Islam on another level…

An-Nu’man ibn Basheer reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The example of the believers in their affection, mercy, and compassion for each other is that of a body. When any limb aches, the whole body reacts with sleeplessness and fever.

Source: Sahih Bukhari 5665

Of course, I did not communicate my feelings in detail so I was invited by a friend of mine to her masjid for Juma’a and of course, I was disappointed.
However, I was able to reignite this feeling recently. I had forgotten the magical effect praying outdoors has on me.

 

Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The entire earth has been made a place of prayerexcept for the graveyards and the latrine.”

Source: Sunan At-Tirmidhi 317

I had the opportunity to pray outside my home (and workplace) for the first time in a long while. I was attending a week-long programme and the mosque within the premises was some distance away. A new friend and I decided to pray in the car park and it was so tranquil, quiet, secluded; and serenity washed over me. I wanted to sit there all day, perhaps, I could lay on the prayer rug and take in nature through all my senses, admire the drifting clouds, the beautiful hue of the sky…but it was short-lived. It was a car park afterall, no place for fantasies!

It is such a blessing to us to have the opportunity to recharge with Allah during the day. It’s refreshing, fulfilling and relaxing. I wish we would stop our rat races long enough to smell the roses.
Anyway, I think that car park was the strangest place I have prayed so far…and that’s so boring. I need to pray in some really weird place. Let me add that to my bucket list! :D
So, where is the weirdest place you have prayed? Do you have a bucket list of strange places you would like to pray?

HIDING PLACE Q57:20

She wallowed in grief beyond our ken
As drops of tears streaked her fair face
Her life was a farce, her soul was lost
Yet from afar, girls sought her place.

A motor approached, purred on her lawn
Time to perform, the guests had come!
She caked her face and tidied her locks
Drowned herself in fragrance, then some.

‘O where do I hide this load of mine?’
Jewellery? Shoes? Bags? Something classy?
Windows to her soul fluttered in search
For where to hide what none should see.

But she was summoned a l’il too soon
To her audience there to adore
Luxury in the flesh, unmatched beauty
Riches immense, glamour, splendour.

Their gazes followed her dainty steps
Gliding with grace, she showed no guile
She’d figured it out and knew just where:
Her sadness was tucked behind a smile.

Why Perform Prayers? Niçin Namaz kılıyoruz?

Assalaam alaikum, dears. You really should read this lovely analogy about prayers. Let me know your thoughts.

YA BAKİ ENTEL BAKİ

semras

sem sem

A child in the womb of his mother has a mouth, eyes, ears, hands and feet. All of his organs and equipments are bestowed completely. However, none of them is needed in that womb. The baby is fed by means of a funiculus him to his mother.

Now if that child said:

O my Lord! This funiculus is enough for me. There is no need for this mouth, these eyes, ears, hands and feet. They do not serve any purpose.,

Doubtless, he would be replied by Allah as follows:

Do not rush my servant and do not interfere with what you do not comprehend. After a short while, you are going to enter such a world that this hose which you define as everything for me is going to fit nothing and so it is going to be cut off. The mouth, eyes, ears and similar organs which you consider…

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DELAYING SALAAH II

contd. from Delaying Salaah

There is a high premium placed on a woman who, amongst other things, observes her daily salaah because Allah knows well, how tedious it can be.

“If a woman prays her five (daily prayers), fasts her month (Ramadaan), guards her chastity and obeys her husband, it will be said to her: Enter Paradise by whichever of the gates of Paradise you wish.” Narrated by Ahmad

Our children need to be made to understand the importance of the 5-10minutes we spend in front of Him 5 times daily. They should be taught not to bother us during these precious moments as we’ve taught them to respect our time on the phones, with a guest, in the bathroom and at work.

Addressing the excuses enumerated yesterday, I will make some suggestions.

  • We should simplify our clothing when going out especially if we anticipate praying outside our homes; just as nursing mothers plan ahead about convenient breastfeeding clothes when leaving the home. Our sleeves should be wide enough to be rolled up to the elbows; our khimars should wrapped/tied/worn in a convenient fashion to permit wudhu, our clothes should sufficiently cover our awrah. We can even practise wudhu in them or perform ablution before leaving the house (if the time for salaah is near).
  • Scheduling our lives around Salaah instead of trying to fit it into our schedule will help us when we get caught up in house chores or kid care. If we intend to pray and they are fussing, we can put them in a baby carrier/sling or strap them to the back as is common in West Africa.
  • image source: pinterest

    image source: pinterest

  • Toddlers can be encouraged to perform ablution and given their *special* prayer rug, kufi/hijab to observe salaah with us. They are usually excited to join us. If they have learn some short surahs, you can recite a little louder so they can concentrate and recite along. As much as is possible, we should ignore them during prayers for them to understand to keep quiet too. By the time we have done this consistently enough, in sha Allah, they will be the ones to remind us to go for prayers when they hear the adhaan. And wouldn’t that make your heart sing!
  • If all fails, schedule their nap time around Dhuhr salaah and their bed time at Maghrib or Ishaa so you can enjoy khushoo and the tranquility of prayer.Accepting to lower our standard of salaah when the children begin their antics helps us to be less irritable.
  • Sometimes, we have guests and feel guilty or self-conscious about leaving them to go and pray particularly if they are non-Muslim. Nothing will happen to them in the few minutes we are gone. If we excuse ourselves for 5-10minutes, none will be the wiser. If they are Muslims, we can gracefully ask if they will also like to pray so that they can be provided with water for ablution, a hijab, and a rug to pray. One has to be discreet about asking if there are women present due to our off-salaah days.

Piling our salaah makes it harder to pray them all at the end of the day. We should try our best to perform them on time and persevere with it. 5 daily prayers every day. At least.

I will round off with one of my favourite quotes:

A busy life makes prayer harder, but prayer makes a busy life easier.

May Allah make it easier for us because we can do nothing without His Help.

DELAYING SALAAT Q5:6, Q9:54

praying child

image credit: reddit

This post is mainly for the female readers of this blog, particularly the Stay-at-home-moms (like me at the moment). The men seem to have a better salaah habit than we do due to peculiar factors that keep us away from salaah like our clothing, vaginal bleeding (physiologic and abnormal), the lack of a female section in many masajid, children, chores etc.

We do not want to pray outside our houses because we will need to perform ablution and risk exposing our hair, and face for those who wear the niqab. It can seem cumbersome trying to remove the gloves, flip the niqab to wash the mouth, nose, face; manoeuvre the fingers through the hair, wipe the ears, wipe the socks or wash the feet…Mentally calculating these can discourage some of us from making the effort outside our homes. Some of us are simply too shy to pray in the open. To make matters worse, most masajid do not have a female section. The few that have are inadequate with inappropriate ablution spaces. So, while we search for these, the prescribed time for Salaah passes.

Other times, our clothes are inadequate and may not be up to par for Salaah. Our sleeves may be short, our hemline not long enough, or veil too light. Sometimes, our daughter peed on us or our son decorated our clothes by throwing up his lunch. With children, 1001 reasons often exist to cause us to delay or even miss Salaah. Infants may be fussy and refuse to allow us perform ablution properly. They may refuse anyone else and insist on us carrying them for prayer. They may need to be cleaned up just after we’ve performed ablution or even begun praying. You can hardly concentrate because from the corner of your eye, you spy them trying to leap on their sibling from the top bunk or a desk! Or she’s been sick all night and just woke up with a cry. Sometimes, we are simply sleep-deprived and cannot get up to pray even though we hear the adhaan.

child on praying muslim back

image credit: tumblr

Our cyclical bleeding, bleeding after childbirth, prolonged bleeding from contraceptive use, abnormal bleeding can also throw a spanner in our works. Sometimes, we feel some wetness but the unavailability of a restroom to confirm can be annoying. Perhaps, our period has stopped during the day but we cannot find somewhere convenient to bathe. Other times, our menses go on for longer than is usual and we become confused on whether to go ahead and perform ghusl and pray, or wait it out. Other times, we forget to even perform ghusl!

Associated with this is pregnancy, hormonal changes and the weather. Sometimes, we just don’t feel like praying after the long break after childbirth bleeding. We seem to fall out of the habit of being regular and punctual with Salaah after cessation of our menses. Other times, it’s the weather that’s too cold for ablution or too hot to wear the hijab for prayer.

For young mothers without help, any free time is spent rushing to complete house chores or catching a nap before one of the kids wakes up. Before the chores are completed, the patter of little feet can be heard approaching us and it continues. It can be very discouraging for a mother to get up to pray when she knows she has to rush it or cannot pray with the attention she desires.

I bet we can think up more excuses/reasons/challenges but that is the point; these are excuses, challenges meant to be surpassed. We just have to strike a balance constantly and make Salaah a priority instead of a burden. Allah knows the challenges we face and even if others do not seem to get it, the Prophet (SAW) did:

Narrated `Abdullah bin Abi Qatada Al-Ansar i(RA):

My father said, “Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said, “Whenever I stand for prayer, I want to prolong it but on hearing the cries of a child, I would shorten it as I dislike to put its mother in trouble.” Sahih Al-Bukhari 868

 

Suggestions on how to overcome these challenges in the next post in sha Allah.

I would love for you to share any peculiar challenges you may have (had) too.

BARRED Q28:24

I knocked on the intricately carved door,

Delicately;

No one answered.

I rattled the heavy ornate knocker,

Boldly;

Footfalls approached…

Then faded away.

My fists pounded on the door,

Persistently;

A call from within,

I respond from out here.

Yet, no one came.

 

As I made to leave,

I heard a key in the hole,

The latch slid, and the hinges moaned.

I returned and the door creaked opened.

I had access!

I caught a glimpse of the elaborate garden beyond,

And a heady whiff of fragrant petals.

Oh, how I had missed this!

He took a long thorough look at me,

Sized me up from head to toe,

Then shut the door in my face,

Rudely.

My elation crumbled to ashes

As I collapsed to the ground.

It hurt me more

Than if he had not opened that door

At all.

‘My Lord! Truly, I am in need of whatever good that You bestow on me!’

Last post of 2015

I wish to acknowledge you guys, all 510 wonderful people receiving notifications of my posts (and hopefully reading them.)

It has been a good year but I am looking forward to a better 2016, in sha Allah.

Thank you for hanging out with me from time to time. I appreciate your comments, every single one!

May Allah bless you and your families with an abundance of good :)