Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem.
I have been wanting to write about a lot of things lately. But I thought I just never had enought time or mood to do so. But when I came across this article welcoming new Muslims, I was motivated enough to share my experience.
Before I took on my shahada during Ramadan last year, I have been secretly praying for a year or so. I was struggling to perform the Salah in all its five prayer times but I usually failed to complete the five because I couldn’t find a decent place where I could perform it without being seen.
It was enough for me that Allah finds me in prayer in my heart. For me, I didn’t need to be acknowledged by anybody. So I struggled to learn the prayers. And not just learn it but to remember it by heart – in its Arabic form. I had my prayer books that my friend gave me. I had it all spread right in front of me while keeping my focus on prostration. The first time that I think I prayed in the most correct way, tears just poured out from my eyes down to my sujada. The feeling was elating. The moment was priceless. And at that very moment, without anyone saying, I know I am Muslim because Allah brought me back home. It was a very tearful moment alone. I couldn’t explain what exactly I felt. But I would not trade that moment for anything else in my life.
I enriched my faith in every way I can by reading about Islam and by praying more. I always ask Allah (swt) to make me a servant worthy to praise Him. For it is only in my prayers that I felt I could serve Allah best since I knew nothing about Islam. With every chance that I get to read about Islam, I found myself in the Right Path. I realize how I have been lost all this time with questions that exceeded the number of my age in days. And with every prayer, I was led to more answers. Maybe not all of my questions were specifically answered. But I only needed to know that indeed Allah is The One,
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
قُلۡ هُوَ ٱللَّهُ أَحَدٌ (١) ٱللَّهُ ٱلصَّمَدُ (٢) لَمۡ يَلِدۡ وَلَمۡ يُولَدۡ (٣) وَلَمۡ يَكُن لَّهُ ۥ ڪُفُوًا أَحَدٌ (٤)
“Qul wallahu ahad. Allahus samad. Lam yalid wa lam yulad. Wa lam yakullahu kufuwan ahad.”In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Say: He is Allah, the One! (1) Allah, the eternally Besought of all! (2) He begetteth not nor was begotten. (3) And there is none comparable unto Him. (4)
(Qur’an 112 1-4)
And everything else fell into place. In my bedroom that I shared with two others, I prayed during my quiet times after work when I was alone. In several occasions, unexpectedly, my Muslim friends would come to my room to find me prostrating. Since then, I got as a present a prayer dress. She was the one who gave me the sujada I use. After that, I was all the more inspired to pray. And then several other times after that, I was given literatures to teach me how to pray the correct way. And then other blessings came pouring forth.
As I read today through the article, I felt more humbled learning the importance of prayer.
“The importance of prayer is demonstrated in the many of the Prophet’s statement. For example, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The first matter that the slave will be brought to account for on the Day of Judgment is the prayer. If it is sound, then the rest of his deeds will be sound. And if it is bad, then the rest of his deeds will be bad.” [Recorded by al-Tabarani. According to al-Albani, it is sahih. Al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami, vol.1, p. 503.]”
For a moment I became ashamed for myself. For the times that I fail to pray on time whether by postponement because of a busy schedule or for convenience, I felt that I should be more vigilant in prayer all the more. I should not rest my laurels on being forgiven because truly Allah is Most Forgiving. But I want to be in Jannah. I have travelled this far. I have been given this chance at life that others remain blind to see. I don’t want to waste it. I want to deserve Allah’s love and forgiveness. For without Allah, I am nothing.
As such I always feel incomplete in a day without prayer. And so I pray to be a better Muslim every time. And until I reach my goal, only Allah can say that I am a better Muslim when my worth will be measured on the Day of Judgement. Inshallah my destiny ends with being with Allah. There is nothing I want more.
La illaha ilallah. Muhammad rasulullah.