Solat: A Reminder of A Greater Purpose
Solat is easily the first thing used to identify a muslim and as I can attest to; can be one of the hardest aspect of our faith if we become complacent. it is very easy for solat to become a burden upon us but the constant battle of our nafs begins with submitting to this singular act.
"And I have chosen you, so listen to that which is inspired to you. Verily, I am Allah! There is none worthy of worship but I, so worship Me and offer prayer perfectly for My remembrance." - Q20:13
Solat is a means of cutting of our over-attachment to anything material. The five daily prayers regulate our lives with their specific timings; teaching us that indeed Allah is greater than anything else that we might be occupied in at that moment.
The fajr (dawn) prayer teaches us that the most beloved thing to us, comfort and sleep; should not control us – so we rise up in the cold morning, purify ourselves and pray in an acknowledgement that Allah is greater than our love of comfort and sleep.
The Prophet (SAW) said: "The two sunnah rakats of the fajr prayer are better than the world and what it contains’ - Muslim
The midday and afternoon (dhuhr and asr') prayers teaches us that no matter how engrossed we are with work or the short lunch hour at work that we so highly value, it’s not the purpose of our existence. So we leave it for a few minutes and stand and pray testifying that Allah is indeed greater. On Friday, we dedicate most, if not all of our lunch hour to attend the Friday prayer and listen to the khutbah.
Magrib (dusk) prayer comes at a time when we’re finally home and about to spend time with our family, eat dinner or simply relax from a long day at work – we get up and pray together to confirm that Allah is Greater than any of that.
The Prophet (SAW) said: "Allah has obligated five prayers. Whoever excellently performs their ablutions, prays them in their proper times, completes their bows, prostrations in a state of khushoo has a promise from Allah that He will forgive him. And whoever does not do that has no promise from Allah. He may either forgive him or punish him." - Malik, Ahmad, Abu Dawud, al-Nasa’I
Finally the Ishai (night) prayer – when we’re tired, probably aching and ready to fall into bed and call it a day, we pray again proving that submitting to Allah is greater than falling into our soft, warm and cozy beds.
All these serve as constant reminders to us that as much as we love life, we live for a higher purpose. In as much as we strive daily to make ends meet and provide for our families; we should never forget the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and understand our real goal: Jannah!
“Live in this world as (if you are) a traveller or a stranger.” - Muslim