بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ
"Solat itu tiang agama."
(Salaat [prayers] is the pillar of Deen)
..such a simple statement, for something so deep..
I was at the Dublin Games on Saturday, which was held in UCD. And since we'd be having a 3-day weekend this time around, i decided to join my friends volunteering as the First-Aiders. :) There wasn't really much that we needed to do, other than sitting around watching the games and occasionally passing the muscle-spray for anyone who wants them. Both me and Ika were indoors most of the time, so luckily the indoor games didn't lead to much traumatic injuries like the ones in the futsal court (someone actually dislocated his shoulder.ganas kaum Adam nih).
Anyhow, as hours passed by, it was Zuhr time. And since the weather was not the best that day with the freezing rain and wind, it wasn't really the best option to walk the drenching 10-minutes-path to the surau. So i decided to perform my prayers in the gym. Ika suggested a spot that everybody used to pray in the gym, which was a corridor overseeing the whole court. It was bit awkward to be doing so as it was an open space, but i got over the feeling and performed my salaat anyway, before we continued watching the games afterwards. And that's when I noticed that all those other kids who were finished with their games were actually swarming the corridors afterwards. sometimes on their own, sometimes a bunch of them together, performing the Zuhr prayer.
I don't know why, but i felt a sense of pride watching this. seeing that many of us are dutifully doing what an abid (hamba/slave) should be doing. I guess it's been a while that I've been around these many muslim students at one time, where everybody would all be looking for random places to pray. But to see so many of us performing salaat at an open space like that, definitely proves that prayers can be performed anytime and anywhere. There's no reason for us not to. And this is definitely one of those special experiences that I had over the years of studying abroad. :)"
But sadly enough,
there are still those who just don't.
As we grew up, we are blessed with more experiences and exposures to help us think a little bit deeper, in anything that we do. And the same should go with prayers. Perhaps we started off performing them when we were little out of orders from parents. Then perhaps it was because it will be embarrassing to not do it cause all our friends are doing it. And then it sort of became a ritual for us to do it. And after a while we'd feel incomplete without it, and as the years passed, hopefully we are all aiming to make the best out of our daily prayers, insyaAllah: to understand more, to perform it better, and aiming to make these prayers as a shield to our own sins.
But in reality, what's happening is the complete opposite. The more we age, the less time we spend to perform them, because excuses are piling up with our so called 'obligations' to life: our studies, our work, our families, our friends. And what's worse, we actually found other things as more important than our prayers that we even left them all out, putting prayers as just something that we'd do when we have time. And the worst part of it all, is that the majority of us who intentionally skip prayers are those who have been given an abundance of nikmat (blessings) by Allah s.w.t.
Allah gave us brains to study abroad, and yet we left the prayers out, just because of those back-to-back classes that we have. Allah gave us so much rezeki with all those projects and profits, and yet we left the prayers out, because of those appointments with them important clients. Allah gave us big titles like Directors and CEOs, and yet we left the prayers out again, just because we have important pressing matters to discuss in those meetings. I guess we all have forgotten a simple fact here;
the One who gave us the brains, the profits, and the titles,
are actually the One who is always able to take them all back.
And so whenever i see those around me who deliberately skip their prayers, my imaginary-self would be literally choking the person repeatedly asking him/her "why the heck are you not praying???". But the reality is, we all know that in order for someone to intentionally skip their prayers, there must be something so big and broken inside of them, and that's the first thing that we have to help them fix. They have to understand why prayers are an obligation. Because even if we force them to do so in front of us, there's always the higher chances that they would leave those prayers again behind our backs.
It's sad. To see those who cannot appreciate what prayers are; Who couldn't perform this obligatory prayers whole-heartedly; Who hasn't understand how prayers are a testimony of a Muslim, and that leaving them out may jeopardise our iman; who couldn't comprehend the huge losses with every prayers that they missed, and how much drained their hearts and souls will be; Who doesn't know how much these prayers connect us to Allah s.w.t. and how much it act as a shield in this temporary world we are living in.
But them not understanding is not an excuse for us to let them be either. It means we have a job to do. To explain to them what they don't understand, to tell them what they have missed, to remind them of the consequences that comes along with it. It may take a while, but istiqamah is definitely the key, insyaAllah. Thus, let us put our hands together for them, and for ourselves, and make du'a that Allah will show His Mercy and guide us through this path towards Him. To keep our hearts steadfast in this very short journey;
After all, our whole lives in Dunya is only a few hours worth in the HereAfter isn't it?
Semoga Allah redha.
Prophet Muhammad s.a.w said:
"The first matter that the slave will be brought to account for on the Day of Judgement is the prayer.
If it is sound, then the rest of his deeds will be sound.
And if it is bad, then the rest of his deeds will be bad."