Salah is not an option, it’s an obligation.

Islam stands on five basic Pillars. After affirming to the Tawheed (oneness of God), Salah (i.e. Namaz) holds the second place among the Five Pillars.

“There can be no Islam in a person who doesn’t perform salah.” -Umar bin Al Khattab (RA)

It is extremely sad that today Muslims have trivialized the concept of Salah, and have become irregular and extremely casual about their five daily prayers. In the everyday rush of chasing our goals, what we tend to overlook is our ULTIMATE GOAL OF THE AAKHIRAH. When Aakhirah isn’t our focus, we turn a deaf ear to the calls of prayers.

What compels us to have no concern towards prayers?

It’s either the office hours, or the college days, or the shopping time which serve as excuse to leave our Salah.

Why isn’t Salah our priority?

We spend each day being chained to our sleep, our workplace, our entertainment, and many other worldly affairs. We deceive ourselves by promising to be a better Muslim tomorrow. We have put off the promise, so much so that now skipping Salah is our daily habit.

“The first of his actions for which a servant of Allah (SWT) will be held accountable on the Day of Resurrection will be his prayers. If they are in order, then he will have prospered and succeeded and if they are lacking, then he will have failed and lost….” 
(Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, an-Nasai, Ibn Majah and Ahmad)

It’s a matter of shame for us, as believers, that prayers don’t even realize their place in our ‘to-do list’. It’s only on the Fridays, or during the times of need that we remember the Almighty and force ourselves to pray. It’s ironical how we don’t want to be remembered by our allies and relatives only during their difficulties, and how we call upon Allah only on the impulse of our whims.

The time we pass is usually addressed to achieve the momentary pleasures of this life. This makes us enslaved to our schedule and Nafs (moods, desires, instincts etc). When it comes to our pleas and prayers, we end up choosing the convenient option i.e. neglecting them. This, under no circumstance, is justified. We convince ourselves by making false excuses (of being fatigued, not having peace of mind, or being busy) in our heads. We somehow are able to advocate our heedlessness towards our prayers. This is nothing, but the whispering from shayateen. It’s never the case with a believer that he cannot pray; it’s like he doesn’t want to.

If we draw off with our duty thinking that five prayers a day are too much to ask for, we should know:

“Yes. Allah knows. Allah knows you’re tired. Allah knows it is difficult for you. Allah knows you are squeezing your last drop of energy. But you must also know that Allah would NEVER place you in a situation that you can’t handle.”
-Unknown author

“Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear…” (Qur’an, 2:286)

Because we lack the vision that Islam demands, we’re unable to comprehend the outcomes of not offering Salah. Our five prayers won’t take out even an hour from twenty four hours of the daytime. It’s disgraceful of us, as Muslims, if we can’t be mindful of that too.

Offering five daily prayers works in our favour. It purifies the soul by the remembrance of Allah.

“Prayer is the essence of worship.”

Do we take prayers lightly, considering that apparently they don’t benefit us?

“Verily, the prayer keeps one from the great sins and evil deeds”
[al Ankabut 45]

Or, we perhaps aren’t aware of its significance.

“Salat is a pillar of the religion (Islam).

He, who establishes it, establishes religion; and he who destroys it, destroys religion.”

Or maybe we know its rank in Islam, but are trapped by the shayateen who have made the temporary comfort appear pleasant and have managed to kick us far from the best of deeds of Islam.

“The Apostle of Allah was asked:
Which of the actions is best? He replied: 
Observing prayer early in its period.”
[abu Dawud 2: 426]

Or do we live in the illusion that we’ll easily get away with the sins of this misdeed? And Allah says of the people of Hell:

“‘What has caused you to enter Hell?’
They will say: ‘We were not of those who used to offer the salah (prayers).’”
[Al-Muddaththir 74:42-43]

We’re the ones, the chosen sons. We’re the Ummah of the most Blessed Messenger of the mankind. It shouldn’t matter what situation we are in, who is in front of us, what time it is, how much drowsy or exhausted we are. The emphasis should be on the bottom line, which is, “PRAY”!

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his progeny) said:

“One who adheres to the five (daily) prayers diligently, they shall be a means of illumination and salvation for him on the Day of Judgment.”
Kanzul `Ummal, Volume 7, Tradition 18862

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