do we make salah?

>> Friday, October 12, 2012

 I'm so embarrassed to say this but I have no one else to ask. I don't know how to pray or how to make dua...and I've had a not so good past, either  so I don't feel like I even deserve to pray. Could you help me, please" :(

Dearest Sis,

What a wonderful wonderful question! It is not embarrassing at all. That's exactly what we're here for, hun.  It's so great that you had the courage to ask HOW to pray and how to make dua because they are so important, SubhanAllah. Our prayer is our connection with Allah and the way out so many of our difficulties in THIS life and the NEXT one, inshaAllah. 

So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me. (152) O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient. (153)(Surat Al Baqarah)
Indeed, those who believe and do righteous deeds and establish prayer and give zakah will have their reward with their Lord, and there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve. (277) (Surat Al Baqarah)
 It is also the very first thing we'll be judged on, inshaAllah. 

The prophet sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam said: The first thing which will be judged among a man's deeds on the Day of Resurrection is the Prayer. If this is in good order then he will succeed and prosper but if it is defective then he will fail and will be a loser. [Nasaa'ee, Tirmidhee, Ibn Maajah]

Let me give some helpful links on how to pray:

This YouTube clip is in 7 parts, including how to do Wudu/Ablution .

Don't worry. In the beginning, it might seem a little daunting, but focus on just doing your best. Just focus on doing the absolute necessary in the beginning and slowly you'll learn how to perfect the prayer (add the Sunnahs). 

It would be super awesome if you could also ask a good friend or religious relative/cousin (for example) to help you and be your prayer buddy.  If you can, visit a Masjid! Remember, there is NO shame in asking for help to pray. There is only shame in delaying it for tomorrow.

And, as for the idea of being unworthy to pray to Allah...

Shaitan is totally messing with you, there, sweets! 

The truth is, one of the purposes of the prayer is to fully acknowledge your imperfections, your dependence on Allah, your need for His Mercy and Guidance. When you pray, you are not saying that you are perfect or the most righteous person- you are saying that Allah is Perfect and that He is the Only One deserving of your worship.

You see the difference?

There's another thing I want to point out: Allah says in the Qur'an:

Do you not see that to Allah prostrates whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth and the sun, the moon, the stars, the mountains, the trees, the moving creatures and many of the people? But upon many the punishment has been justified. And he whom Allah humiliates - for him there is no bestower of honor. Indeed, Allah does what He wills. (22: 18) 

The fact that you have been given the Message and want to learn how to pray and realize now the importance of prayer means that Allah saw something in you. It means that you have been chosen. Think about Prophet Nuh's son or Prophet Abraham's father. They were not given the title of Muslim. You were. Allah honored you with that! He chose you! 

Shouldn't that count, hunny? 

So go out and show Allah that you are going to submit to Him and pray to Him. 
And the other thing is, Allah tells us in the Qu'ran that prayer prohibits immorality. It's not that you "sinned", so you stop praying. It's that you pray, so eventually you will stop sinning.

Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing, and the remembrance of Allah is greater. And Allah knows that which you do. (29: 45)

In fact, in a hadith,we are told that our prayers are like a river that cleanse us.

What about how to make dua?

That's another great question!

 First of all, you should start off by praising Allah, sending blessings on the prophet (saying "Allahuma salee alya sayidunna Mohammed), confessing your sins and Allah's favors on you and then just say whatever you want to say...

The Prophet (Sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam) said, “When any one of you prays, he should begin by glorifying and praising his Lord and then he should invoke blessings on the Prophet, peace be upon him, and after that he should supplicate Allah for anything he wishes.”

It's a good idea to make wudu and face the Qiblah.

You can use duas that are in the Qur'an or that Prophet sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam taught us: 
For example: Our Lord! Let not our hearts deviate from the truth after You have guided us, and bestow upon us mercy from Your grace. Verily You are the Giver of bounties without measure. (3:8)

You can also say whatever it is that is in your heart! Don't worry about "flowery language" or "beautiful words". In fact, one of the companions of the prophet sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam complained that he couldn't speak as eloquently as the Prophet sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam or Abu Bakr. The prophet asked him something to the effect of: "What do you say?" He said that he just asked Allah to give him jannah and protect him from the Nar. The prophet sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam, then said something that meant: "That's what Abu Bakr and I are circling around" =)

The important thing is to BELIEVE that Allah hears you and that He responds in the best way. You will either get it now, later, or something better in the Hereafter.

And Noah had certainly called Us, and [We are] the best of responders. 37:75) 

And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me - indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided. (2:186) 

Here are 2 other links as well that give more information on the etiquette of dua:

With love,

2 wonderful sprinkely thoughts:

Anonymous,  October 12, 2012 at 10:55 PM  

As you progress, I would recommend this talk as well, "Putting khushu into Salah" by Shaykh Husain Abdul Sattar:

Anonymous,  October 13, 2012 at 12:30 PM

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Asalamu aialkum!
Well, what do you think? You know, you're part of the team, as well. Please help a sister out and share your own advice/experiences/etc. One for all and all for one =)
P.S. I reserve the right to remove any disrespectful comment ;)

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