Assalamualaikum Wr. Wbt.
You have just accepted a job interview at 9am. You start to get ready by putting on your best clothes, making sure not even a single crease is visible on your shirt. You sprayed your best choice of perfume all over yourself. You looked into the mirror for the last time and perfected your speech. You did all you can to make sure everything is going to be flawless and go as planned. You left home at 7am, just in case if there are hiccups during your journey, hoping to reach your destination safely and early.
Just as expected, an accident happened and the entire stretch of the road was congested with vehicles and frustrated drivers. You began to worry yet you still manage to reach your destination at 8.45am. You quickly calmed yourself down and visualised the interview that will happen in 15 minutes time. The interviewer called your name and you entered the room with full confidence. You gave your full focus on the interviewer, your speech was paced and everything went just the way you want it to be. You say your last gratitude to the interviewer and walked out of the room with a smile across your face. You nailed it!
You called your friends for lunch and movie to celebrate the end of your interview. In the middle of the movie you looked at your watch and you realised that it is going to be four ‘o’ clock soon. Oh no! Zuhr is going to end soon but it was the climax of the movie! You gave excuses to yourself, “In the end, I did not wake up for Fajr prayer anyways because waking up early would mean that I will have to go for the interview with panda eyes!”
Life. We are busy chasing after this life that would not guarantee the afterlife.
Prayer. That is the one aspect which differentiates us, Muslims, from the Kufr (disbelievers).
Life without prayer is like going to an unknown place without a map. You are directionless.
Life with prayer is not about knowing your destination but knowing you are directed throughout the journey.
Every single day, we have five appointments with the One who will give us the full direction that we need – Allah SWT. If you fail to attend just one appointment with Him, you will not be able to get the complete direction and hence you might get lost along the way. Imagine if you did not attend all five appointments with Him, you might be lost totally in the wild. At times you may get what you want even without praying, but it may be Allah SWT is allowing you to drown even further into this dunya.
Your job acceptance depends on your performance during the interview with the interviewer. Same goes to Jannah. Questions regarding prayer will be the first to be asked by the “Interviewer” in the hereafter. Failure to answer the question, Jahannam is where you will be instead. And prayer is also the last commandments that the Rasulullah SAW kept repeating prior to his death:
“(Preserve) the prayer, the prayer, and what your right hands possess (slaves)” (Ibn Majah and Ahmad)
We are nothing without Allah SWT. We need Allah SWT to live. Allah SWT does not need us to live. He is Al-Ghani, The Self Sufficient. We want our prayers to be answered on time, but we do not pray on time. We delay our prayers, we rush through our prayers, we do not have khushoo’ and we treat prayers like a routine. We feel that prayer is like a burden and it interrupts our daily lives.
“So woe unto those performers of Solat (hypocrites). Who are neglectful of their prayers.” (al-Qur’an 107:4-5)
‘Umar ibn al-Khattab r.a once said:
“If you see a man being careless concerning the prayer, then by Allah! He will be more careless in everything else.” (Tarikhu Umar, p. 204)
A wise man once said “I (My dad) won’t decide for you. Your mum won’t decide for you. You don’t decide for yourself. Let Allah SWT decide for you.” If we realised everything that happens depends on Allah SWT’s will, if we knew only through Him we can truly get what we need, we will always sought for His guidance. And the main way to ask for His guidance is through prayer, the five appointments daily with Him.
“If the people but knew the reward of (answering) the Adhan and attendance in the first line, and had to draw lots to be in it, they would do so.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
So the next time you are attending your appointment with the Almighty, put on your best clothes, spray your best choice of perfume all over yourself, perfect your speech (clear, fluent and paced recitation) and be punctual because the One that you will be facing is the ultimate Interviewer who will determine your permanent life in the Hereafter.
Allah SWT has given us an expressway if we want our du’as to be answered by Him even faster. And that is through Qiyamulail – waking up in the middle of the night, praying solah Taubah, Tahajjud and/or Istikharah (you can do Istikharah and Taubah at any point of the day). Broken hearts will be healed, unsettled souls will be calmed, tough decisions will be made easy, in no time InsyaAllah.
“The Lord descends every night to the lowest heaven when one-third of the night remains and says: ‘Who will call upon Me, that I may answer Him? Who will ask of Me, that I may give him? Who will seek My forgiveness, that I may forgive him?’” (Bukhari and Muslim)
The choice is yours.
This post is initially crafted for one of the Madrasahs in Singapore. It’s an initiative by a group of students (of the Madrasah) to compile spiritually uplifting articles and turn it into a book – a gift for graduating students.
+ Majority of the daleels are retrieved from the book “Establish the Prayers… & The Prize is Paradise” by Abdul-Malik Al-Qasim.