2 steps forward 1 step back
With reference to the title, has anyone ever felt the same way? I’m pretty sure plenty have been in such a situation before. Well, if you haven’t then you are amazing and your determination level must be at its maximum all the time. So please share some tips because your fellow sister here needs ’em.
If you google the definition of the phrase, ‘2 steps forward 1 step back’, it means to say that someone is struggling in making progress. My objective of writing this today is to share what I am currently struggling with.
ONE OF THE MANY STRUGGLES; SALAT
I have always struggled with salat. Not that I didn’t salat before this but I honestly thought that after donning the hijab, it will come naturally. I thought I’ll be performing prayers on time and even making more time for the various salat sunnah there is.
Well, no. Not for me at least.
I am still struggling. It’s a constant battle with syaitan. Always feeling like I have time, giving myself reasons to perform salat later on. Putting dramas, variety shows, conversations on the phone, social networking; WhatsApp or Twitter as a priority over performing salat first.
Or sometimes, I get lazy and even consider skipping salat. Astaraghfirullah.
The first thing that I need to do to step up my game to be a better Muslimah is salat. I came across this phrase a few times before:
“No matter how bad you are, you must always perform your salat. Salat is the pillar of your religion.”
Sinning takes you away from Allah. Salat takes you right back to Him.
But the one phrase that slaps me awake is this:
“Who do you think you are? You fail to perform salat because you do not realize who your Creator is and you do not realize what you are and where you stand in this temporary dunya.”
Masha Allah. If that doesn’t stir some fear inside you, or knock some sense into your head, I don’t know what would. I try to always remind myself of this phrase whenever I inch towards delaying and wanting to skip salat. It helps and I hope it helps others as well.
If you are on the road to recovery or you struggling just like me, you can start slowly. Once you start, you’ll realize that salat really is everything. What differentiates us Muslims with the others is salat! We pray 5 times a day. If we can’t even perform our prayers which is only 5 times a day and one of the most basic commandments in Islam (assuming we are all in good health and capable to perform salat), then why do we even call ourselves Muslims??
Having said all of that, I know that it might not be easy. And this is why I feel like I’ve taken 2 steps forward (donning the hijab) and then 1 step back (because I failed to keep up with the daily prayer routine). It’s a constant struggle but with self-reminders and remembrance of Allah, Insha Allah we can perform salat with ikhlas.
So guys, look, along the way, no matter how badly you failed to comply or to just do by right as a Muslim, just remember this from Mufti Ismail Menk:
“You fail. You fail again. You begin to lose that glimmer of hope – something that Syaitan instigates in us, leading us away from the Almighty.”
Never lose hope. How can you lose hope anyway? Isn’t Allah always there with you? He is always there.
When you are at your lowest point, who else is there if not Him? You can always turn to Him. He is always there to listen. The only question is whether you seek for Him and turn to Him in your salat or simply making dua or let yourself wallow in self-despair.
If we want to be amongst those who pray.. Who pray regularly and easily.. Who jump up when the time for salat begins.. Then we need to begin first by building a love for Allah. And in order to do this, we need to KNOW Him.
I always tell people who aren’t praying to begin first with dhikir. Say SubhanAllah 100 times each day. And as you do so, reflect on our own weaknesses, and the Greatness of Allah. Reflect on how it is only with His Help that we are able to do anything. When you do this, you’ll start a habit of THINKING about Allah. You’re remembering Him.
And what happens when you remember Allah? It starts to soften your dead heart.. You start to have more peace.. And most importantly, He remembers YOU.”
"Our Lord! Grant us good in this world and good in the life to come and keep us safe from the torment of the Fire"
May Allah bless us all with his abundance.