The situation is all too familiar, right? You’re outside running a few errands, or quickly finishing off tasks at work. Or it could be you’re locked away in the University library engrossed in revision, or at home with the children juggling daily chores from the endless dishes, to the piling laundry and the hungry mouths to feed. Then before you know it, the time for Salaah (prayer) is nearly over. Or even worse, you’ve completely missed the prayer altogether!
It’s a common problem for many Muslims, and it’s easy to make excuses for oneself when it comes to our five daily prayers (or lack of it). But, however busy we may be, the salaah is something we just cannot play around with. The building of Islam stands upon five pillars, and if we are failing to establish even the second pillar, the salaah, then what does that say about our Islam? Allaah calls us five times a day with the echoing words of the athaan; ‘Come to prayer, come to prayer! Come to success, come to success!’ If we truly want success in our wordly affairs, we must begin with success in our prayers.
So, if you’re a busy Muslim and struggling to keep up with the daily prayers, do not worry! Here are ‘8 Salaah hacks every Muslim needs to know’. And with consistency, and a sincere intention I promise you, Allaah will make the salaah easy (and enjoyable) in our busy lives.
1) Download a reliable prayer app to your phone.
I personally use ‘Muslim Pro‘. Complete with prayer times, prayer notifications, a Qiblah compass and a Masjid locator (you can also use Google Maps to find your nearest masjid). A trusty app to have when caught outside during salaah time.
2) Revolve your life around the prayers, not the other way around.
By organising daily tasks around the prayer times, this prevents any potential clashes and prioritises the prayer before wordly affairs. Developing a habit of praying as soon as it comes in is a great way to ensure it’s never missed. If going out, do some research on the local area if you won’t make it back on time; is there a masjid where I can pray? does it have a sisters’ section? what other options do I have if there isn’t a masjid?
3) Honesty is the best policy at work.
If shifts at work clash with prayer times, speak to your manager as soon as possible. It can be a sensitive subject to bring up, but there’s nothing worse than sneaking around your workplace trying to pray when you should be doing something else. Not only is it unprofessional, but it’s also an easily avoidable situation with simple honesty and communication. Set the standard from the beginning of your employment that you are Muslim, and at certain times of the day you will have to pray. Most workplaces from my experience allow tea breaks, cigarette breaks etc, so why not a salaah break? You’d be surprised just how accommodating many workplaces are today.
4) Make wudu before leaving home, and keep it.
If you are already in a state of wudu, that’s one less thing to worry about when it’s time to pray, especially when not at home. Of course it’s not always possible to keep wudu, but if you can do so without causing hardship upon yourself, it makes life much easier.
5) Wear appropiate* socks after performing wudu, in order to wipe over them.
Now this one, is a game changer! Ever had those awkward moments in a public bathroom with your foot caught in the sink? No more. Before leaving home, after performing wudu ensure to wear appropriate* socks. If it so happens you need to make wudu again, you may simply wipe over the top of your socks instead of washing your entire foot. Not only does this prevent awkward situations, but it saves a lot of time.
*Appropiate socks: the socks should be thick, non transparant and cover the whole foot including ankles.The socks must be worn when in a state of wudu in order to wipe over them. Please see: islamqa.info/en/answers/9640/conditions-of-wiping-over-socks
6) No masjid, no problem! You can pray anywhere.
The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: “The (whole) earth has been made a mosque (or a place of prayer) and a means of purification for me, so wherever a man of my ummah may be when the time for prayer comes, let him pray.” – Sahih Al Bukhari, 335.
As long as the area is clean and isn’t a cemetery or a toilet, you can literally pray anywhere on earth alhamdulillaah. A great hack if you’re ever in a shopping centre and need to pray is to use a changing room. Remember the Muslim Pro app at the beginning? Simply use it to locate the Qiblah and you’re good to go!
What’s amazing about praying in different areas of the earth is that on the Day of Judgement, the earth will bear witness that you made sajdah to Allaah in that spot. Allaahu akbar.
7) Carry a travel prayer mat in your bag.
These light weight prayer mats are really useful if you ever need to pray outside, and prevents your clothes from becoming dusty. They can fold into a compact size and hardly take any room in a bag, and not to mention they’re inexpensive too.
8) Make the salaah the coolness of your eyes, and time out for just you and Allaah.
For many of us, the prayer is seen as another task and burden we need to fulfil. To quickly get out of the way before continuing with the rest of the day. But how did the Prophet ﷺ and his companions رضي الله عنهم see the prayer? They would find tranquility and peace in the prayer, and would look forward to it and yearn for it.
The Prophet ﷺ said: “The coolness of my eyes is the prayer” – Ahmad & An Nasaa’i. Our souls are starved day to day from spiritual awakening, and are in need of the daily prayers to connect back with our Creator, recharge our hearts and renew our faith in Him again. Use the salaah as a means to disconnect from the world and its troubles, and allow the coolness of prayer wash over you.
The hustle of this world may fool us into believing we do not have enough time to pray, but Allaah would never command us to do something we are incapable of fulfilling. In fact, He knows full well we are able to perform these prayers. We are blessed with 24 hrs in a day, and leaving the sunnah aside, it would not take more than five minutes to perform one Salaah. Can we really not set aside a mere 25 minutes a day to worship Allaah?
The Salaah is a gift from Allaah, and our lifeline and guide through the tests and disorientation of the dunya. However many years of prayer you may have missed, start today. It is never too late. It may take time to implement all five, but it will get easier, and will soon become a part of your lifestyle and solace.
I will end with the words of ‘Umar Ibn Al Khattab رضي الله عنه, who rightly said: “Hold onto the salaah, for if you lose that, you will lose everything.”
– Written by Sister Umm Abdurrahman. Check out @MusingsOfASister on Instagram for more like this.