Follow these 6 tips if you are struggling with your daily prayersMay 9, 2023 2023-08-17 4:29
Follow these 6 tips if you are struggling with your daily prayers
Follow these 6 tips if you are struggling with your daily prayers
Prayer is one of the most important aspects of Islam. Besides being a religious obligation, it is also a beautiful means to attain internal peace and build a special connection with our Creator. However, it can sometimes be difficult for Muslims to keep up with their prayers. We live in a fast-paced world, we get busy with worldly matters, we lose focus of the important, and before we know it, we have missed a prayer again.
If you are here reading this, you are already on the right path insha’Allah: you recognize the importance of prayer, you realize that you are struggling with keeping up with your daily prayers, and, most importantly, you want to become better insha’Allah. This is already a big win and shows that you care about fulfilling this beautiful pillar of Islam, masha’Allah! Also know that a lot of people struggle with their five daily prayers: young teenagers, new Muslims, people who were raised in Islam, Muslims of all ages, from all backgrounds, all over the world. So you are not alone in this. Let’s think about ways to help you out insha’Allah. Here are 6 tips to start with!
1. Make dua
We can’t say this enough: NEVER underestimate the power of dua (i.e. supplication, asking Allah SWT for His help). Turn to Allah SWT, your Lord, your Creator, your Sustainer, the One and Only One who can truly help you and make things easier for you by providing you with the tools you need – both internal and external – to fulfill your five daily prayers. Too often, people turn to dua as a last resort, because nothing else they have tried has worked so far. But we should actually always start with dua and continue making dua all along as we put in efforts to achieve our goals. So, what else can we do once we have made dua? Keep reading!
2. Surround yourself with people who pray
Abu Musa reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, the parable of good company and a bad company is only that of a seller of musk and a blacksmith. The seller of musk will give you some perfume, you will buy some, or you will notice a good smell. As for the blacksmith, he will burn your clothes or you will notice a bad smell.” (Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukh ārī 5534, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2628)
You might have heard of this hadith before, maybe when you were a teenager and your parents or an uncle or auntie tried to tell you that you shouldn’t hang out with a certain person. It is a very powerful hadith, and it basically means that whoever we hang out with will have an influence on us, on our behaviors, on our actions and even on our thoughts and intentions. If we spend a lot of time with people who do not remember Allah SWT, do not pray nor care about fulfilling this religious duty, use bad language, go to places that are not safe or respectable, or behave inappropriately, we will most likely end up doing what they do, and prayer will no longer be our priority. Even worse, we might start to question the purpose of prayer or minimize the fact that we are not praying. But if we spend time with people who mention Allah SWT a lot, in positive ways, are careful about their prayers, speak and behave appropriately, and go to places that are beneficial for their deen, we will feel encouraged to do the same and praying will become easier as well.
3. Pray with others
In line with the previous point, it is also very helpful and encouraging to pray together with other people, whether family, friends or community members at your local mosque. This is particularly beneficial if you do not know how to pray yet, or are having trouble remembering what to do, when and how. If the members of your household do not pray, this can be a little tricky. In this case, try to find friends who pray or try to join the congregational prayers at your local mosque. There might even be regular classes or lectures (also called halaqaat), and if there are none, make the suggestion to the board at your mosque. For our younger audience on here, know that some public schools and universities also have Muslim students associations or clubs where you could find some guidance.
4. Pray as early as possible
For each prayer, Allah SWT has appointed specific times during which the prayer must be performed. While there is nothing wrong with praying in the middle or towards the end of each prayer’s time frame, especially if there is
no other option, it is best to try and pray as early as possible once the prayer comes in. It will help you with focus, as you won’t feel rushed, and it will lessen the risk of missing the prayer altogether. There are many phone applications that will notify you of when the prayer comes in, either with the adhaan (call to prayer) or with other sounds, or even just a notification pop-up. You will also get used to the prayer times in general, which will set your mind on prayer, even unconsciously.
5. Set up a nice prayer area
While it is not always possible to pray at home, it can be helpful to set up a prayer area in your home that will be inviting and free of distractions. It can be in a common room and therefore benefit others in your household, or in your own bedroom for more privacy and quietness. A prayer rug, some perfume and warm lights can contribute to creating a nice cocoon for your prayers. Make sure to put your phone away (far, far away!) and on silent when you go for prayer, or you might get distracted. You can also add this FREE Daily Prayer Tracker to your prayer space for added accountability!
6. Learn Arabic
This might sound like a lofty goal that many of us dream of! But the reality is that it is totally possible and within reach to progressively learn Quranic Arabic, and it will help you understand what your recite in prayer, which in turn will help you connect better with the Words of Allah SWT in your prayers, insha’Allah. If your overall prayer experience is better, you will most likely feel naturally encouraged to pray, and understanding the language in which you pray is definitely a huge factor in this. Ask your local mosque about Arabic classes or check out our online classes at StudioArabiya.com!
May Allah SWT make it easy for you and accept from you, ameen! Do you have any other tips that have worked for you and would like to share? Please comment below!
This article was originally published in the Teens’ Corner of our Studio Arabiya Times magazine (Spring 2023) and has been edited to offer guidance to a wider audience. CLICK HERE to read the whole magazine!