A friend once asked Anse Tamara Grey how to increase the barakah (blessing) in one’s time and she replied: “If you pray your five daily prayers within the first 10-20 minutes of their time, your life will be transformed.”
But … I can never seem to! There is always something one seems to be in the middle of. You only have 30 mins till school pick up time… Surely you could just prep dinner ready to put into stove for cooking or may be you should quickly sort out the laundry while there are no kids under your feet? The struggle is real. The inner jihad is real ladies (and gentlemen).
I imagine myself like those old school cartoons where the ‘good guy me’ (halo and all) is whispering in my right ear and the ‘bad guy me’ (horns and all) is whispering in my left. ‘You should just leave that stuff and go pray’ says the former ‘ah … Don’t listen to her you have so much to do there is still time for the prayer later’ says the latter.
“… And those who keep their trusts and covenants; And those who stand firm in their testimonies; And those who guard their Salat (prayers) well. Such shall dwell in the Gardens honored” Quran (70:34)
Perusing through an old notebook I used to take with me to lectures and talks, I came across something scribbled down that highlighted this particular verse in the Quran one line stood out to me “Those who guard their prayers” I stopped, closed my eyes and thought with a sudden realization;
“I am the guardian of my prayers”
It made me feel immediately strong. I repeated it channeling my inner superwoman.
“I AM the Guardian of MY prayers”
It may seem silly and I have even broken off into a little giggle, hearing myself say this out loud to the wall in front of me ( while chopping vegetables and wondering whether I should finish chopping or go and make wudu …) but it makes me feel funnily invincible and makes me stop what I am doing to focus my attention on the higher cause.
And once I have completed my prayer on time I feel like I fought a mini battle and emerged victorious!
There are still days when I don’t make it, but on days that I do – I’m telling you, it’s no joke this praying on time malarkey. On those days time just seems to expand that little bit so instead of rushing out of the house at the last minute, I leave easily on time, and reach there to find a great parking spot just in the right place.
I definitely plan on teaching my children this inner mantra when they are old enough to start learning salah. GOD willing. But for now I love using the line on myself.
I am the guardian of my prayers. How about you?