Being an avid traveller and adventurer, I absolutely love praying in the outdoors. I love praying as a jemaah in the middle of the jungle, sujud directly on the cold hard ground feeling the closeness of nature and His presence, while listening to the sound of waterfalls nearby with its breathtaking view, being able to Jamak & Qasar (my favourite part of travelling) and most importantly when I travel, my prayers are always on time Alhamdulillah.
Brothers praying on a rock that actually shows the direction of the kiblat. Gunung Stong, 2008.
But there’s something that tends to happen when I reach home ground. Although I feel embarrassed and ashamed towards Allah about this, I admit that my prayer punctuality level drops drastically. If Zuhur is at 1.20pm and I am in the middle of doing something I deem important, my “justification” is that I have until Asar which is at 4.40pm to do it. I don’t know about you, but suddenly I have a million other things to do before performing my prayers at the stated fixed time.
The truth is no matter how busy you are, there is no later, there is no “skejap lagi..”, there is no “5 more mins..” (especially during Subuh time). There is no excuse!
Abdullah bin Mas’ud had asked the Prophet (PBUH), “Which deed is the dearest to Allah?”
The Prophet (PBUH) replied, “To offer As-Salat (the prayers) at their early stated fixed times.”
Therefore it is not just about performing your prayers, but most importantly performing your prayers on time. Why is it so important to solat on time?
Syeikh Abdul Nasir Jangda from Quran Weekly explains that solat has the ability to drastically improve all the areas of our lives. Solat trains the individual to improve himself not just in terms of spirituality but it cultivates very important qualities within an individual that powerfully impacts their personal and professional life. Ultimately, solat trains and strengthens our integrity.
Here are some tips from Syeikh Abdul Nasir on how to safeguard your prayers:
- 1. Punctuality.
Treat Solat as a priority. Sometimes we think that we do not get the focus of solat but it is actually because we do not treat solat as number one.
- 2. Make every Solat an Event.
When I went for my first Umrah 2 years ago and stepped into Masjidil Haram for the first time, it was not the grandeur of the mosque that shocked me but the sight of millions of people practically running towards the mosque nearing every solat time. Hence the mosque would already be full even five minutes before the Azan so you have to hurry to “chop” a spot, worth a thousand and more pahala, or rewards.
- 3. Treat prayer as a valuable commodity.
Solat is the most valuable asset that we have. It is the basis and foundation of our relationship with Allah. Like a diamond or a hidden pearl in the depths of the ocean, solat is such a valuable asset that we have to protect and safeguard it.
“Guard strictly As-Salat (prayers) especially the middle solat. And stand before Allah with obedience.” – Al-Baqarah, 238
A team that prays together, stays together. Subuh prayers at Masjid Dabong at Kelantan before hiking up.
So by praying on time basically means we are putting Allah first. By doing so, it shows our devotion and love for Him. When we want something from Allah, we always want it immediately or at the shortest amount of time possible but how often do we as his humble servants perform the deed that is the dearest to Him, immediately when we hear the Azan?
When we cry, we want Allah to hear and wipe away our tears. We know Allah is sad when we do not do what He says but do we even try and wipe away His tears?
By safeguarding our prayers, insyaAllah we can make Him happy like how He always manages to put a smile on our faces.
The Leader of the Faithful, Umar ibn Al-Khattab, said while in his deathbed,
“There is no Islam for the one who leaves the prayer.” Narrated by ‘Abd Allah ibn Abbas.
To watch the video by Syeikh Abdul Nasir:
Siti Mardhiah Mahmood is a fresh graduate from the Singapore Institute of Management who enjoys travelling and outdoor adventure, overcoming one mountain at a time. She blogs her creative juices at www.simplymardy.wordpress.com