Tips to be regular in Salah: Salah (Salat or Namaz) is the foundation stone of believers of Monotheism. It is among the five pillars of Islam and is a remembrance and supplication to Allah Almighty for His unbounded mercy and innumerable blessings.
The importance of Salah in our daily lives can be measured by its repeated emphasis throughout the Holy Quran and Sunnah. That is why it is obligatory upon every Muslim man and woman to make Salah and ensure that it is performed regularly and according to the method prescribed by the Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him).
Allah Almighty says in Surah Ta Ha,
“And enjoin prayer upon your family [and people] and be steadfast therein. We ask you not for provision; We provide for you, and the [best] outcome is for [those of] righteousness. (20:132)”
How To Pray Regularly?
Sadly nowadays, we see that many Muslims are struggling with this task and shirking this sacred responsibility. Either they are too busy in their materialistic lives and completely forget about it, or they pray on and off but cannot commit to praying five times a day. That is why Muslims are slowly driving away from their faith and can be seen engaged in activities that are against Islamic rules and regulations. If you feel like you are detouring from the straight path and want to get back on track, Salah is the first step of the ladder to climb. Here are some tips on how to get in the habit of praying Namaz and how to become regular in it.
6. Understand that Salah is for your benefit and not a burden
What happens when you pray five times a day? Salah has more benefits than you can count. It keeps your physical and mental health in check and grants you peace of mind, satisfaction and fills your body with positive energy which is nothing short of a blessing. Plus it wards off the influence of Satan (Shaytan) and inclines a Muslim towards more Islamic practices like reading and pondering over the Holy Quran, daily supplications (Dhikr) and additional prayers like Nawafil and Tahhajud.
Allah Almighty says in the Holy Quran
“And when you have completed the prayer, remember Allah standing, sitting, or [lying] on your sides. But when you become secure, re-establish [regular] prayer. Indeed, prayer has been decreed upon the believers a decree of specified times (4:103)”
However, if you keep on thinking Salah as a burden, it will weaken the association between you and your Creator. Satan will take benefit from it by making Salah heavier for you by whispering excuses that will eventually take over your mind and push you further away from this religious act.
5. Improve Your Concentration
Concentration in Salah is as essential as the technique. Most of the times, we feel too tired to pray. When we stand for prayer, our mind starts boggling with worldly thoughts and diversions which push Namaz in the background. As a result, we either rush through it to get the job done or more often we forget which Chapter (Surah) of the Holy Quran we are reciting or which Rakah (Rakat) we are praying. This might complete the compulsory aspect of Salah but it takes us away from its true meaning that is praising and remembering Allah Almighty and asking for His forgiveness.
Uthman b. Abu al-‘As reported that he came to Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) and said:
“Allah’s Messenger, the Satan intervenes between me and my prayer and my reciting of the Qur’an and he confounds me. Thereupon Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said:, That is (the doing of a) Satan (devil) who is known as Khinzab, and when you perceive its effect, seek refuge with Allah from it and spit three times to your left. I did that and Allah dispelled that from me” (Sahih Muslim 2203a)
To avoid such distractions, we must learn the meaning of all the invocations (Duas) and verses (Ayahs) we recite and focus on that meaning while offering Namaz. It is also advised that one should clear his or her head before starting prayer rather than performing Ablution (Wudu) and jumping straight to it.
If you feel like you get too lazy to pray salat, you need to hear this:
4. Try Praying in the Mosque Whenever Possible
Praying in a mosque is better and more fruitful. If you are thinking on how to start praying again but still lack devotion, try visiting your local mosque (masjid) and start praying Salah in the congregation. A mosque is a great place to boost your faith (Iman) and soothe your soul with Islamic knowledge. What is more motivational is that a single prayer offered in the mosque is ten to a hundred times more rewarding than praying at home.
Narrated Abu Huraira:
“Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said, “The reward of the prayer offered by a person in congregation is twenty five times greater than that of the prayer offered in one’s house or in the market (alone). And this is because if he performs ablution and does it perfectly and then proceeds to the mosque with the sole intention of praying, then for every step he takes towards the mosque, he is upgraded one degree in reward and his one sin is taken off (crossed out) from his accounts (of deeds). When he offers his prayer, the angels keep on asking Allah’s Blessings and Allah’s forgiveness for him as long as he is (staying) at his Musalla. They say, ‘O Allah! Bestow Your blessings upon him, be Merciful and kind to him.’ And one is regarded in prayer as long as one is waiting for the prayer.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 647)
The doors of mosques are open for both men and women, but its etiquette must be fulfilled while praying according to Sunnah. If going to the mosque is not feasible, the head of the family can conduct communal prayer at home. This is equally rewarding and can help develop an effective praying habit in children and non-praying members of the family.
3. Supplicate to Allah Almighty to help you in Salah
How to pray five times a day in Islam is the fundamental question of a Muslim that has realized the error of his ways and wants to revert to an Islamic way of life. This is a relatively easy question and the answer is a supplication or dua. Allah Almighty has always kept the doors of forgiveness opened for His servants, and nothing is more precious and loving to Him than a believer who makes a mistake and then repents for it.
Dua is based on the intentions (Niyyah) of a Muslim. So make extensive dua with a purpose that Allah Almighty makes you regular in Salah and helps you concentrate better in it. The Prophet (PBUH) has also stressed upon making dua for even the smallest things. He (PBUH) used to prolong supplications during prostrations (sajood) in prayer because this is where we are the closest to our Creator.
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “A slave becomes nearest to his Rubb when he is in prostration. So increase supplications while prostrating.”
[Muslim]. (Riyad as-Salihin 1428)
So never lose hope in the power of duas even if they take time in fulfillment because it is the promise of Allah Almighty that every dua made by a believer is rewarded and answered either in this life or in the hereafter.
2. Improve Your Time Management
Time management is the key to regular Salah. How to pray in educational institutes or how to pray at work regularly is another matter that the students and adults with 8-10 working hours complain about. For students, it is always between managing Salah during classes and examinations. At the same time, excessive work in fields or attending meetings for professionals make it challenging to pray Salah on time.
In such cases, you can always try to take out 15min from your lunch break to pray. It might be problematic in the start but you will eventually get used to it. It should also be noted that Namaz has been made easy for Muslims. If you fear that you are going to miss Dhuhr or Asr prayer or Maghrib or Ishaa, you can combine the two prayers. For long-distance travelers, Allah Almighty has enjoined Qasar prayer for Muslims so that they don’t feel burdened by performing Salah on time.
Anas (R.A) reported that
“When the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) had to set out on a journey hurriedly, he delayed the noon prayer to the earlier time for the afternoon prayer, and then he would combine them, and he would delay the sunset prayer to the time when the twilight would disappear and then combine it with the ‘Isha’ prayer” (Sahih Muslim 704 c)
One can also use technology for its benefit. You can either install Salah apps on your smartphone or manually set alarms 5 minutes before each of the five prayers to remind you of this duty. This will solve the biggest problem for those who question how to pray fajr on time.
1. Calm Yourself Before Salah
Do something that calms your heart and mind before praying salah. This is specially important for Muslims who have trouble concentrating when praying namaz or those who want to start praying namaz again.
If you listened to a song or watched a movie/drama before praying, you’ll obviously be thinking about it during the prayer. So instead, do something that calms your mind like meditating, reading the Quran, or doing dhikr. Moreover, choose a silent room that’s free of distractions to pray.
If stress is causing the distractions for you, here are Islamic Ways To Deal With Depression, Stress & Anxiety.
Here are some wonderful tips in Urdu by Pakistani actor Zahid Ahmed on how to be regular in your prayers:
These tips can guide you on how to be punctual in Salah. Of course, practicing makes a man perfect. All you need is a strong will power to fight the whispers of Satan and conquer your laziness. In time you will feel a closer connection developing with Allah Almighty until there comes the point when leaving or delaying Salah somehow makes you feel guilty and you rush towards it leaving everything aside. This is the height of faith that holds a massive reward for Muslims in this world and the hereafter.
Sa’d bin Abu Waqqas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
“The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) used to seek (Allah’s) protection after prayers in these words: “Alla-humma inni a’udhu bika minal-jubni wal- bukhl, wa a’udhu bika min an uradda ila ardhalil-‘umur, wa a’udhu bika min fitnatid-dunya, wa a’udhu bika min fitnatil-qabr (O Allah, I seek refuge with You from cowardice, miserliness and from being sent back to a feeble age; and, seek refuge with You from the trials of this life and those of the grave).” [Al- Bukhari] (Riyad as-Salihin 1421)