Renewing our faith through remembrance of Allah & Salaah during the Covid_19 Crisis
We are facing a Global Pandemic due to the Corona Virus. And we are inundated with news and media and “free entertainment” “free Netflix” “free Audible” to “keep us “busy” during isolation. If we look deeply into our lives, and at what the causes of the spiritual, social, psychological and financial problems in the world are, we will realise that what is missing, is Thikr and Salaah.
وَمَنْ أَعْرَضَ عَن ذِكْرِي فَإِنَّ لَهُ مَعِيشَةً ضَنكًا وَنَحْشُرُهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ أَعْمَىٰ – 20:124
Allah says and whoever turns away from my remembrance – indeed he will have a depressed life
فَلْيَضْحَكُوا قَلِيلًا وَلْيَبْكُوا كَثِيرًا جَزَاءً بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْسِبُونَ – 9:82
And in one of my favourite Surahs, Surah Taubah, Allah says “then let them laugh a little, and weep much, as recompense for what they committed”
(Sidenote: no one said don’t laugh at all – we all use need a little bit of light-heartedness now and again). As Muslims, we should not let all the news and hype divert our attention from Allah. It is the Sha’baan now, 1 month away from the Holy month of Ramadhaan. Now is the perfect time to turn to Allaah in repentance, improve our relationship with Him through Salaah, remember Him abundantly, earn rewards through good deeds, and make our affairs right if need be – tell someone you love them, tell someone you are sorry, sort out your debts if you are able. There is no time to waste in futility. Each day we are given a new chance to make a change.
Allah says “Alaa bithikrillaahi tatmainnul quloob”, that our hearts find contentment in the remembrance of Allah.
Here we can see how Salaah is the cure for our Depression, grief, anxiety…
It is narrated in a hadeeth that if we oversleep for Fajr salaah, we will be Khabeethun Nafs – groggy and lethargic for the rest of the day. If we do wake up for Fajr, we will be Nasheetun Nafs – energetic for the rest of the day. Subhaanallah, here is the cure for our lack of energy!
Allah says that for the one who is mindful of his Salaah, Allah will make his daily rizq (sustenance) easy for him. Sahaaba RA, even if they needed a shoelace, they would turn to Allah and resort to Salaah. Here we can see how Salaah is a solution to our financial problems. At the time of the Covid_19 Pandemic and Global economic Crisis, we must have trust in Allah’s promise to us and stay steadfast on our salaah.
If Allaah wanted to, He could have ordered us to perform 5 Salaahs all at once, but He did not.
“Innas salaata kaanat ‘alal mu’mineena kitaabam mauqootaa” : In Allah’s infinite wisdom He ordained for us to perform each salaah at a fixed time.
Some of the benefits we attain from this are:
Our repeated Salaah from time to time is an expiation of sins we might have committed in-between.
Our Salaah at specific times of the day is also an opportunity to break away from the tensions of this world.
Nabi SAW said that in Salaah is the coolness of my eyes.
Our Salaah throughout the day is also a means of attaining a boost of strength, enthusiasm, and inspiration for our lives and routines.
And if we perform our Salaah in its’ beginning time, and plan our daily activities around it, Allah will put Barakah in our time, and we will spend it more constructively. I take a Qasm, try it, you will get much more done. Here we see how, in Salaah, is a formula for time management.
A person who does not perform Salaah, can make as much physical efforts as he wants, but he will never achieve as much as the one who is mindful of his Salaah:
Just by missing a Salaah, Allah can deprive us. If we obey Allaah and make effort towards Aakhirah, Allah will make the rest of the Dunya subservient to us, but if we disobey Allaah, and chase after the Dunya, Allah will make the Dunya run further away from us.
If we realise what potential Salaah has in changing our lives, once we make an effort towards it, we will regret missing even a single Salaah! Why is it, that if we lose our cell phone, we stress and get worried, and our heart skips a beat, but when we miss a Salaah, our hearts are not grieved?
“Alam ya’ni lillatheena aamanoo an takhsha’a quloobuhum lithikrillaah?” Has the time not come, for the believers’ hearts to fear for the remembrance of Allaah?
I have put together a few practical tips on how to establish Salaah and to improve the quality of Salaah in our lives:
- We shouldn’t eat too late at night, especially heavy foods.
- We shouldn’t engage in futility after Eshaa (this excludes mutaala’a (lesson prep if you are a student of Deen), cleaning, khidmat (serving and helping) the parents etc.)
- We should make a firm intention that we are going to get up for Fajr and ask Allah for help.
- We can set an alarm, (more than 1 if need be!), but not put it too close to our head because we might just switch it off and go back to sleep.
- We shouldn’t wake up in stages. We should remember Allah as soon as we open our eyes and get out of bed.
- We should make it as early as possible especially on weekends, because our families may want to eat lunch at a specific time on Sunday, and we might get lazy later on.
- We should not make the mistake of having a Qayloolah (afternoon nap) before performing Thuhr, because we might end up oversleeping and missing it.
- We should make it early then use some time for Mutaala’a (lesson preparation) or Quraan tilaawat (recitation). The time goes very quickly, so this Salaah is very easy to miss if we delay.
- So many people complain, “I don’t know what’s wrong, I make all my other Salaah’s but by the time night comes, I go to sleep without making Eshaa.” Again, a simple solution: make it as early as possible, so that when you are tired, you can go sleep. And Wallaahi, it is the most wonderful feeling to get into bed knowing we have completed all our Salaah for the day.
- There is no excuse for not performing Salaah. Keep your sanitary items close by, wudhu towels, miswaak (the tooth stick) easily accessible for wudhu, wear simple clothes that don’t make it difficult to make wudhu.
- We should fulfil all our needs before we perform Salaah: hunger, thirst and if we need to go to the toilet etc so that we can have full concentration in salaah.
- We should perform Wudhu with care; make sure that we wash our elbows and our ankles. Sahaaba RA used to wash till half their upper arm and half their shin so that they don’t miss out their elbows and ankles, these spots will testify for us on the day of Qiyaamah
- Make sure that our clothes are clean: check our socks, check that our cloaks and our pants (for women) do not drag on the floor, thus becoming dirty.
- We should pause for a while before we start, and ask ourselves: Am I ready for Salaah? Am I ready to stand in front of my Rabb?
- We shouldn’t rush in our recitation. Recite with Tajweed and ponder over the beautiful meanings of the Aayaat and Duaas.
- We should also pause in each posture
When a defendant stands in front of a judge, he will wear his best clothes, he won’t be arrogant, he won’t look up at the judge, he keeps in mind, that any wrong move can influence the judge’s decision. But Allah is Ahkamul Haakimeen! He is the Most Just Of Judges, should we not display even more humility and respect in front of Allah??
I make Duaa that we can realise the importance of Salaah in our lives and that Allah may grant us Taufeeq (ability) to make an effort on it.
Those of us who feel we are too sinful to even think of performing Salaah: What a hypocrite I will be…
Remember that Allah says “Yaa ayyuhallatheena asrafoo alaa anfusihim laa taqnatoo mir rahmatillaah.” Those who have sinned against yourself, do not despair of the mercy of Allaah.
And Allaah says that we must establish Salaah; “innalhasanaat yuthhibnas sayyi’aat”, because Good deeds wipe out sins.
And Allah also says “innasalaata tanhaa ‘anil fahshaa i wal munkar” that Salaah prevents indecency and evil.
Those of us who are performing 2 or 3 Salaahs, let us make an intention to perform all 5
Those of us who are performing all 5, let us make an intention to perform all 5 at its earliest time, with full concentration and devotion.
None of us can say we are free of the need to improve. It is said
“Manistawaa youmaahu fahuwa maghboon” Whomsoever two of his days are the same, he is deprived.
In other words, a Mu’min (Believer) is someone who must constantly make an effort towards increasing his Imaan and improving his A’maal (deeds). So we learn from our mistakes today and improve them tomorrow Inshaa Allaah.
May Allaah grant us Taufeeq to practice on this. I am not going to leave you with a long list of duaas that you may forget to read. But as I sit here tonight with feelings of anxiety, and confusion, deep pain for all of humanity, and almost disbelief – as if I still need to wake up from this dream, I beg you to just turn back to Allah right now, let us repent and make lots of Istighfaar, He is waiting for us to reform our deeds and come towards Him.