Mid-day reflections…

In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Merciful. 

There’s something very fulfilling about praying Dhur at the Mosque, something I missed when I worked in an office and something I took for granted when I started working from home. Today was a wet, blue day and the congregation was small, I’ve found that rainy days and a the silence of the mosque are quite soothing and thought provoking. 

I thought about how satisfying it feels when you simply drop anything and everything you’re doing to answer the call to prayer… an indescribable feeling that unfortunately  the modern lifestyle often deprives us off.  It’s a sad reality but for most of us, it’s something we can overcome with a slight change in mindset. 

When prayer is a chore or something we have to do at a certain time and certain place, it’ll always feel like a chore, something we do without too much thought or reflection with a goal of simply doing it. I’ve had Salaah on my chore list at times, though I’m grateful for the awareness and consciousness of prayer embedded in my upbringing, the attitude towards it makes a huge difference and can be the difference between ritual and spiritual. 

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Let prayer be a break from work or routine, not because you have to do it, but because it makes for a good break. The mistake we make is that we work, briefly stop to pray so we get it done and then take the break… which often involves some sort of mainstream leisure activity like watching tv or going for coffee. 

A small change in mindset can make all the difference. Work hard, have fun, set priorities, develop efficiencies but let cleaning, banking, changing light bulbs and gardening be chores… Salaah is the break you need from a busy schedule and a hectic lifestyle. 

For me personally, it means the difference between a 5 minute break in my office to pray and a 20 minute break to pray at the mosque, in congregation with a change in environment, some fresh air and an opportunity for reflection. 

The reward is greater, the break is better and what you may lose in time, you make up for in contentment, piece of mind and a greater sense of purpose. 

Start with one, Dhur is a perfect mid-day break to try out… then move on. Take a break 5 times a day and you’ll work better, feel better and live better. 

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Ramadan Reminders: Rejuvenation thru Salaah…

In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Merciful.

Time Management in Ramadan is key to achieving spiritual success. Very few of us have the luxury of just dropping everything for 30 days and focussing on Ramadan so it is essential to plan and manage your time to allow maximum benefit. I’ve found that planning your day around your Salaah is a good strategy. The biggest gap is between Fajr and Dhur which allows you to focus on productivity, take advantage of the first half of the day and get most of your work/study done then. Dhur is a good break from work and allows you to refresh and rejuvenate.

People always tell me to nap at mid-day, I’d love to, but if I sleep at Dhur time I may miss Asr and Maghrib so until it becomes necessary, I’ll be skipping the mid day siesta.  After mastering the Qailulah, I highly recommend it for anyone who can spare 20-25 mins after Dhur each day.The time between Dhur and Asr is shorter but this is when your energy levels begin depleting. By 3 pm its time for another break, pray Asr and refresh yourself once again.

If you’re not sleeping enough and not keeping healthy, the time between Asr and Maghrib can become challenging, I find this time to be least productive in terms of work/study so I prefer to use this time to make Dhikr and reflect on Ramadan itself. Its the home stretch so give it all you got!

May Allah accept our efforts!

Cash Fardh vs. Credit Fardh

In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Merciful.

I came across the idea of Cash and Credit Fardh a little while ago during a lecture about the teaching methods of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) and it has served as a good reminder to me ever since. I’ve found that even the simplest of principles are easily forgotten and are often neglected. The cash and credit analogy puts things into perspective and is something most of us would be familiar with. I hope you can benefit from it too.

A cash fardh is a compulsory/obligatory act that is prescribed at a specific time and falls due immediately while a credit fardh is a compulsory/obligatory act that is prescribed at a specific time however, due to certain circumstances, can fall due at a later date. In essence, it becomes a credit which needs to be paid back. For example, if a person meets the requirements to skip r miss a fast during Ramadhan (health reasons, etc.) the fast, though fardh, become a credit fardh which is due after Ramadhan, obviously sooner rather than later. Until the person completes the fast it is a credit fardh owed and represents a liability or a debt.

An example of a cash fardh is the 5 daily prayers and the Fajr prayer in particular. The Morning Prayer is prescribed at a certain time and the obligation must be fulfilled immediately. If for some reason you sleep in and aren’t able to pray within the prescribed time, the prayer remains a cash fardh which needs to be fulfilled as soon as possible. So if you miss Fajr, for whatever reason, you must pray as soon as you are able to without delaying any further. A cash fardh cannot be converted into a credit fardh, so you should avoid putting off the Fajr prayer until the Zohr prayer or any other time. If you maintain the 5 prayers on a cash basis, provided you make the right intention, Allah will guide you and you will easily fulfil your daily obligations. If you fall short on occasion, make up for it immediately and pray for Allah’s guidance – Allah is oft forgiving and most merciful.

If we divide our spiritual obligations into cash and credit terms, it becomes easier to recognize and prioritise certain acts. The key here is to highlight the cash fardh as the highest priority. Next time you miss a prayer, for whatever reason or excuse, think about cash vs. credit fardh and fulfil your duties accordingly. People work hard to avoid financial debt; we need to work harder to avoid spiritual debt.

May Allah guide us and allow us to fulfil our spiritual obligations punctually and sincerely… Ameen!