Patience and Prayer
By Muhammad Salman
We all have problems in life and sometimes it gets very difficult to tackle them alone. In these circumstances, a Muslim is taught to first and foremost turn to Allah as a humble slave for help and to make Him their first source of support and strength. The very word ‘Muslim’ in Arabic means one who submits their will to God which highlights the mindset a Muslim should have in life.
وَاسْتَعِينُوا بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلَاةِ ۚ وَإِنَّهَا لَكَبِيرَةٌ إِلَّا عَلَى الْخَاشِعِينَ – Quran[2:45]
And seek help through patience and prayer, and indeed, it is difficult except for the humbly submissive [to Allah]
Patience is an effort to disconnect the cord that
connects us to what is bothering us. When trouble befalls us, we do not lose
ourselves. We try to distract ourselves by thinking about solutions instead of
the problem itself. We instead have patience.
Tests in this life can be overwhelming. Yet they are not
beyond our capacity as Allah does not burden any soul more than its
capacity (2:286) which is the Qur’an’s way of saying, you can
do this! They can be tests ranging from work, relationships to
academia, personal development, and much more. When we need help, we must first
have patience as we go through that test and not mess up everything in order to
escape the test in some way. That is the first fundamental step in the two-fold
process given by Allah.
Linked with patience in the same ayah immediately is Salaat – Prayer (‘t’
is silent in the word Salaat). You can think of it as Allah telling us in a way,
“Be patient, I am the One who has the solution, come talk to Me.” He
tells us to come and ask Him through the live broadcast contact service called Salaat that was given
to Prophet ﷺ when he
was at the lowest of his life: in the Year of Sorrow – when the love of
his ﷺ life, Hazrat Khadija-tul-Kubraa
(R.A.) and his uncle and guardian Abu Talib died, and the heart wrenching
incident at Ta’if took place. It was after this that Salaat was given to
him after the glorious adventure of Isra and Mi’raj (The Night Journey).
Scholars write that after the Prophet’s ﷺ heart
was eased through the journey of Isra and Mi’raj, at the highest
point of the journey, Allah S.W.T gave him ﷺ the
gift of Salaat.
Prayer does not seem to work for me?
A true prayer means establishing a complete disconnection from this world. When we are praying in front of Allah, we have disconnected our heart, our attention from our problems. Regarding which Allah tells us in the Qur’an to come talk to Him:
وَإِلَىٰ رَبِّكَ فَارْغَب Quran[94:8]
and to your Rabb, direct your longing,
A scholar once said that we need to focus on the word “farghab.” The root word of
“farghab,” he said, refers to a glass which is completely void of
water. The glass represents the heart. The water symbolizes worries inside the
heart. When we stand in prayer, we need to wipe each wall of our heart and
remove any worry that is within, for the period of Salaat. That means our
entire attention and imagination needs to be invested in the fact that you are
now talking to the creator of the Universe. Only then will you truly recognize
the might, love and beauty in prayer InshaAllah. The feeling that a true Salaat
has, when you really find that sweet horizon of focus, is simply unbelievable
and the most wonderful feeling ever. It can keep you up the entire night
and you would want to just go on and on and not move at all from your place.
Unfortunately our circles contain people who work the least in perfecting their Salaat. And when we do not have people around us who really are good in their Salaat, we do not find the motivation also to work toward it. Salaat becomes a burden. When we put our heads on the ground, when we make sajdah, all we do is imitate birds which peck at food. We just peck at the ground up and down. We have never been with people who have actually found that prayer of connection and the hidden treasure in Salaat. And the only people who will find that treasure are those who will work on their Salaat. And there are many ways to work toward it. Some of them are to be with people whose prayer is beautiful, and to be in circles where we read about how amazing the companions were in their Salaat. Five times Salaat in a day is the backbone of a Muslim. Salaat is the weapon of a believer.Salaat is the Mi’raj of a mo’min. It was the coolness of the eyes of Prophet ﷺ. Salaat is the direct way of talking to Allah. Nimaz Allah say baraah-e-raastmangnay ka zareea hay. – Hadith.
Secondly, when Allah tells us to “farghab,” he means for us to go to Him with a heart that is not at all still connected to, for instance, the worry of tomorrow’s Linear Algebra quiz. Still, throughout my salaat my heart is filled with Linear Algebra and I keep planning how to prepare better for it. And the very next moment I realize that the Imam says Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah, Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah. If we are instead disconnected from the prayer itself while praying, how can we expect it to solve our problems. When we stand in front of Allah, we need to give attention to Salaat and break our attention toward any other thing in life. When you say Allahu Akbar, realize that it is the exclusive time between Allah and you. No one and nothing else. When a man would stand in the darbar of a King, he would be careful of each and every act and move of his.
Prayer of the Sahaba Karam
To the Sahaba Karam, the world around them would become irrelevant once they would start talking to Allah through Salaat. The taste of prayer would be above anything for them. Nowadays people ask, I find it impossible to believe that they (R.A) would remain in prayer for the entire night. How can it be possible? Well, how do you think we are up all night playing an online game? How are we up all night talking to our beloved? How are we up all night binge watching a season? Because of our society we think Salaat really has nothing. But is it really so? Ask the truly righteous people of our time what they have found in Salaat. We need to sit in circles where we find the friends of Allah. Only then will we begin to believe Salaat really possesses undiscovered horizons of taste that come from talking to the Creator of the Heavens and Earth.
A wise person tends to say the most important thing he learnt from life to benefit others at the time of his death. Do you know what the last words of the person most beloved to Allah, Sayyidina RasoolAllah ﷺ were?
As-Salaa As-Salaa! Prayer, Prayer!
5 times prayer is obligatory on a Muslim. We cannot leave it at all. But then again, why would I leave the most beautiful thing ever? Once Allah blesses you the focus, the khushoo, in Salaat, after your consistent effort, you would not even want to end a single salaat.
That is the dream we should have.