We all know salah is something I’d say all Muslims struggle with and have been struggling with since the beginning of Islam.
So I want to share some ways that have helped be a little more consistent with my prayers.
Especially with Ramadan coming up—we all definitely need to be working up on our salah game.
1. Don’t think about it—just do it.
One of the biggest reasons why I think a lot of us miss salah is because we tell ourselves we’ll do it in like 5 minutes after I finish “this thing.” ...but that’s where the problem lies. Usually we remember, we sit, and think about all the work and energy it’s gonna take to pray which is what makes us not pray in the end. As soon it comes to your mind, just make a physical change. If you’re sitting down, stand up. If you’re standing around and you remember just start walking to the bathroom to make wudu or start walking to where you pray. That moment it comes to your mind is so crucial. If you make it a habit to react right when you think of it, you’ll stop thinking about the salah and it’ll be more of a physical reaction to just do something about it.
2. Understand that God comes before anything.
This is just a perspective change that should help prioritize your salah in your day. He created you and the one thing He asks of us to do daily is salah, so in order for your life to reach its potential through Him, we have to do what He says. This is the idea that His praise comes before everything else in your life because everything in your life is given to you by Him. If what you’re doing isn’t an emergency, there has to be a way it can hold off for 5 minutes so you can pray to the Being that is keeping you alive. For example, you’ve been working on an essay, you’ve finally got in a flow and you’re focused. But then the athan goes off. A lot of times, the thought is ahhhh i’m almost done let me just finish the page up and i’ll go pray. But by doing that, you’re ignoring the blessing in that moment of God reminding you to pray and fulfilling what He’s asked of you. Yes, you could finish that page and then pray. But the success of that essay is in God’s hand. So essentially, in order for you to succeed on the paper, you need to pray. That simple. God comes before anything because He created everything.
3. Learn to schedule your prayers throughout the day—prioritize!
In the morning, think through your schedule for the day and plan where you’ll be praying. Say you have class or work from 2pm to 6pm and want to go to the gym at 8pm. Take that schedule and say, “okay, I can pray Duhr at home before I leave for school, I’ll have to pray Asr at school, Maghrib before I leave for the gym, then Isha when I get home.” By doing this, you’re stamping the prayers in your mind so you won’t forget them. It’s really a matter of making salah a priority. Just as you prioritize going to the school, the gym or being healthy, salah needs to be up there, if not above all other priorities.
4. Set an Athan alarm
I use the Muslim Pro app. It lets you set a reminder for a certain time before the athan is about to go off. So I can set an alarm to go off for example, 30 minutes before every athan. Obviously, you shouldn’t be waiting til the last second to pray, but it helps in the times you’re super busy and your mind is a mess and helps you not miss your prayer.
5. Carry a to-go praying mat.
They have those light praying mats you can buy online, it’s usually made out of nylon, super compact, doesn’t take up a lot of space so it’s easy to squeeze into your bag. I just keep a mini-praying mat that I got from back home in my car and if I’m going to be praying at school, I’ll just take it with me to class. Obviously, we don’t need these to pray but it does help remind you because you’re putting thought into bringing it with you. One of my friends uses a yoga mat that they leave in their car which is a good idea cuz its super comfy to pray on (no knee struggles, ya feel meh). I also keep a large roll out mat in my car for when me and my friends need to pray. It’s just a cheap mat you can get at Target or Ikea. I also keep a few bottles of water in my trunk just incase I need to make wudu on the spot.
6. Set a designated area for prayer in your home.
So I made a space in my room that’s my praying area. I just have my mat laid out, a Qur’an out, some praying beads, etc. It really helps to just have a specific spot for where I pray at home to give it a level of importance. It just getting yourself in that mood and mode to be excited to pray.
I hope those can help y’all a bit! Just always remember we owe it to God.
He created us, it’s the least we can do for Him.