Living by It. One lesson a day…

… from Quran. Changing slowly, but surely.

Lesson 5 – Morning | Afternoon | Night February 11, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sym @ 4:01 pm
Tags: , ,

Safar 26, 1431

“And remember your Rabb by name early in the mornings and in the late afternoons, and during the night; then prostrate in sajda for Him; and sing His praises to glorify Him during long nights (for long periods).”

Surah Al-Insaan (Surah 76), verses 25,26


It’s sick that we wake up in the mornings and check our mails before we get out of bed. It’s sick that we have to consciously think about remembering Allah when, in fact, He is the Creator and He has to be continually (not continuously) remembered. It’s sick we plan our days with precision in terms of our appointments, deadlines and recreation and we go about our days not remembering Him; excusing ourselves because we are so busy, so committed.

Sometimes I remember His names at random times of the day, and I deceive myself into thinking I’ve done my duty, now I can get back to reading chest pathology or whatever. When you start thinking about the favors He has done for you, remembering how each made you feel, you have statistically a higher chance of making an effort to remember (and show gratitude) at the times recommended (like in this ayah) and to prostrate and sing praises to glorify Him.

I think the problem we face today, is that we don’t know Who Allah is anymore. We don’t know if He’s listening, we don’t know if there is a way to go back to Him after all the things we have been doing, we don’t know if our routine engagements are less important than Him or not. It’s all a ploy by shaitaan, without a doubt: make man busy >> man forgets God >> man believes he’s a goner >> man continues to apply escapism.

Other than that, there have been a myriad of times when I felt like I’ll pray properly, so properly tonight that it’ll make up for all lost time. Too bad “tonight”never comes (because I’m too tired or because shaitaan helped me kill my passion to reform and made me hopeless about my pile of deeds). I keep thinking about how I’ll do something so well one day, I forget to do little things that I could, right now. That’s like the “miraculous dieting approach”to me. (You eat and you eat, but you decide you’ll buy that product or that machine and lose all your fat miraculously in a couple of months’ time.)

Sleep in precious to us, ego is us, time is our enemy… there are just so many factors and so many (un)important things that need to be done each day, prostrating Him has become the least of our priorities, singing praises becomes an alien concept so…

  • We all should make a CONSCIOUS effort to pray (like duh!), get up right when the muezzin calls out (I’ve noticed that the times I’ve decided I’m going to get up RIGHT when the muezzin is calling out, I pray more than the times I decide to complete the work I’m doing before I go to pray).
  • It’s always good to start regular prayers that are short, sincere and sacrificial (yes, that’s how selfish we are to think of prayers that way) than to keep the impractical idea of “long and wonderfully humbling prayer time”… until we’re strong enough to actually be able to pray the latter!
  • When we can stay up nights for sleepovers, movies, assignments, books, tests & exams, meetings (there are people who have that kind of jobs these days), chat sessions, articles, deadlines, parties, games, sports, TV, emergencies, arguments, planning and thinking, then we CAN stay up nights to glorify the very Being who Helps this list of things become a possibility.
  • If the idea of early mornings and late nights just turns off the desire to START praying and praising/ glorifying Him, it’s safe to say that you have to do a lot of work during your day. When the desire becomes strong, early mornings and late nights will come naturally to you InshaAllah.
  • Questioning authority is the coolest… With all things, we question the use of saying things in Arabic at various times of the day and I think it’s a question that deserves credit. Only when we question authority do things improve and progress is made, so this should be no different. Islam was meant to be understood, instead of followed blindly… So yes, we must understand what we’re saying when we glorify Allah with certain prayers. A long time ago, I learned the translation of all I was saying during my prayers and I decided to always pray with the translation running through my head while I recited the Arabic. As is obvious, it helped me be more sincere and really glorify Him with the praises that please Him… but what’s less obvious is the fact that it made me arrogant because I was praying better than everybody I knew. Hah! Alhumdolillah for that self-analysis!
  • To me, prostration equates as brushing off all the ego inside. The next time when you go in sajda, think of a Being that you’re prostrating to. I know it’s hard to imagine because we don’t have a picture in our heads (like the Christians wrongly do), but just try inculcating a feeling of a Higher being Who needs to be prostrated to because He Gave you everything you have and could wish for. Brush aside the shaitaani thoughts, brush aside your ego, brush aside your life so to say, and go pray!

Now that I’ve said all this, I’ll have to, have to pray regularly. shaitaan is ugly and I hate him, he pushes me away from the truth and I hate him. That should tell you enough about how my prayers are going… but I started this blog with the thought of bringing a change in myself and now that I have put this in words that you’re reading, I’ll feel more responsibility to keep good. Call that hypocritical, call that pretense to save face, but just understand… you can either be clever and spend time thinking about what I wrote and about my prayers or you can use this to start praying yourself and helping me along the way.


8 Responses to “Lesson 5 – Morning | Afternoon | Night”

  1. Ameera Says:

    I. Am. Speechless!

    WOW! Alhamdolillah!

    You’ve written all the right stuff here and with the right tone – we need to hear it that way more. Man, I am totally nonplussed right now… you gotta keep writing this. I can see how it must be helpful for you… letting it all out but you probably don’t know how much it helps your readers, including me! :’)

    That was so true, so helpful, Masha’Allah!

  2. Ameera Says:

    Did I say how inspiring that was? Jazak’Allah! Why don’t you share this with all of us this Saturday? 😉

  3. livingbyit Says:

    Aww thank you, thank you so much. It wasn’t very pleasant because I felt like a complete dud… but I’d rather say it all, than not say things from my heart and continue to deceive myself.

    It’d be really sad if I didn’t do anything about the things I say and now that I’m writing I gulp every time I see something that spells “HUGE RESPONSIBILITY”… but that’s a good thing. Definitely. 🙂

    I’m glad you appreciated this and gave me great feedback. 🙂

    How do you suppose I am supposed to share this on Saturday? I can’t think of a tactful way. Heh.

  4. Ameera Says:

    And hey, no need to “defend” yourself at all! We’ve all got skeletons in the closet. We could do with a few “cleansing tips” shared between us! 🙂

  5. Ameera Says:

    Just saw you’d replied before my last comment. Hmm… it *is* a good thing to write it down and then guilti-fy yourself into action. Hehe, that’s how we humans work or do anything productive! 😛

    How to share it on Saturday? Hmmm… a tactful way. 🙂 Lots of ideas… make it into an activity. I’m not being very useful right now though. I haven’t done this myself although always wanted to. Let’s see. Purpose was that when we meet, we do remember Allah ta’ala in our gatherings, which is something important we overlook. K… how ’bout this? A prayer break when the adhaan goes? Cool enough? 🙂

  6. A Says:

    On the subject of original script versus translation, I have always wondered what the purpose of reading the original script is when one cannot understand it. The point is not read to the Quran but rather to comprehend it and people over the years have given me different unconvincing explanations including an analogy to Shakespeare drama and how it loses its meaning in a translation. If i couldn’t read and write English, i really doubt i would have cared for the drama in its Old English form. Granted, i have made no effort to learn the language but i am really questioning the approach we take with our existing constraints.
    Reciting in Arabic might have served some purpose when we were kids especially because there are adult references in it and i suppose it is appropriate that the kid reciting it does not comprehend what he/she is reading.

    • Nuskam Says:

      You are right A.
      Some one asked ‘What is poetry? and the reply was
      ‘Poetry is what is lost in translation’.

      But if you give more attention there are many words which are common in Urdu and Arabic. And later you also start to know the original word which is the source of a certain word used in an ayah, and that word may look familiar to you….
      So you start to comprehend with time.
      Try it.

  7. livingbyit Says:

    Ameera: Where did the prayer breaks go? I can’t even remember? :S

    A: Understanding and applying takes precedence, because it is, after all, a guide for all of humanity, for all times… but I distinctly remember reading that recitation is pleasing to Him, and I’m pretty sure that refers to the Arabic because of the poetic, rhythmic lines that reflect His Perfection. I wish we were taught Arabic in schools though, that would have done away with looking up translations and interpretations.

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