Back to the Basics

Category: Americas, Faith & Spirituality, Featured, Life & Society Topics: Prayers (Salah) Views: 3550

Whenever a person lacks motivation or the desire to do any amount of productive work and laziness overcomes that person, usually it is a weakness in their practice of the basic principles of Islam. So essentially, it is upon us to find out what these principles are and what they should mean to us and how they should define our lives. What is to follow are some basics in Islam that we all should be aware of and it is a perfect opportunity to review or correct any practices which may be missing in our lives, insha Allah.

Often we long for the spiritual power and strength that the companions and the early generation of Muslims were known to have but without us having to do much work to achieve that level. We want to just wake up one day and have this drive instilled in us magically somehow. What we fail to realize is that their success did not come from their numbers but from their intellectual comprehension of Allah.

The key is Tauhid (Oneness of God), understanding Allah and being conscious of Allah's supreme presence. It may be a simple concept, yet it is a very powerful and profound statement. But Tauhid has increasingly been ignored, even though there has been a huge influx of lectures, high-level conferences and workshops.

Let us look back to the life of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and we realize that 13 years out of the 23 years of his Prophetic mission were spent developing this very concept of Tauhid among the people of the Arabian subcontinent. This is an exasperating number, yet we totally ignore this most important concept. After all, Tauhid is the first pillar of Islam and therefore one of the most important aspects of Islam by far, initially. For it was known that, one who did not truly and correctly understand Allah, could not, truly and correctly serve Allah.

There is much to understand but it is essential to know whether we understand this concept of Tauhid or we just say we do. To believe in Allah and know that Allah is our creator is not enough! Even the pagan Arabs in Pre-Islamic times knew this fact. What Tauhid entails is that we obey Allah, and acknowledge that He is the only one worthy of worship. That we obey Allah out of fear and love and hence work hard to avoid displeasing Allah. And we fear only Allah and seek all help from Him.

So we must first educate ourselves about Tauhid, this is the most important first step in changing our lives, and to begin understanding the attached implications of the kalima. By knowing whom we obey and serve, we can definitely increase the productivity in our lives insha Allah.

Once we know and understand whom we worship, then there is the actual process of worshipping our Creator and the Creator of the heavens and the Earth and everything that exists today. This is where Salah comes into play. If we are no longer motivated in our lives and we are stagnating then we must question ourselves, what may be causing this? Are we praying the 5 daily Salah? Are we praying in the proper and prescribed way? Is our prayer even benefiting us?

Without this connection to our lord our lives will remain dull and stagnant. By establishing Salah, this worship helps to open up our hearts and drives off Satan and all that accompanies such as laziness. Salah gets us on a schedule, as there are certain times for specific prayers. Praying Salah requires dedication that we get up out of our warm beds to make Wudhu and perform Salah in the early hours. This same dedication will then further pass into our lives and make any and all work for Allah productive. We must establish Salah to be successful. Further readings are available at which gives a few tips on improving our Salah.

Ahmer Ali is a contributing writer to

  Category: Americas, Faith & Spirituality, Featured, Life & Society
  Topics: Prayers (Salah)
Views: 3550

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Older Comments:

Fundamentally, 'back to the basics' article, but ones need profound 'yakeen of Iman' to really understand this very 'Tauhid' and translate it into Solah as means to please Allah s.w.t.

Alhamdulillah, we Muslims frequently proclaim the kalima' Tauhid "Lailla ha Illah Muhammadu Rasulullah" as Zikr and to renew our Iman, but many including myself are yet to find the 'Hikmah' from this kalima' Tauhid.

Question remains as whether we totally discard the powerfulness of all His creation and really place Allah's Greatness in our heart and yakeen only but Allah gives 'Manfaat'/good and 'Mudharat'/ bad consequences as He wishes everytime we say "La illaha Illah"

Question also remains as whether we humbly follow the footsteps of Rasulullah s.a.w by adapting the sunnah as our way of life everytime we utter "Muhammadu Rasulullah"

If we Muslims embrace these virtues, our 5-daily Solah will be 'easy' both in punctuality & in congregation. Only then, we can witness the number of Muslims performing Solah Farj equals the number of those who perform Solah Jumaah every Friday. Insha Allah.

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Thank you for the great article, Sub-hhaan Allah! I was just thinking Islam can also be made extremely easy if we employ three things, great artistic-cultural-aesthetic methods with latest scientific techniques and deeper philosophical meanings of all Islamic methods. Islam is not only hard work and toil, it is a great relief, comfort, peace, technique of attaining self-control without too much toil. This is what I think. Higher islamic philosophy which thoroughly explains away every single ritual we do, in an interesting and awe-arousing way, is a must, I think. I think that will make following Islam extremely easy and extremely interesting. I am personally not against any Islamic philosophy as long as it does not deviate from the Holy Quran and Holy Sunnah of the Prophet (may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and upon his people). For the early Muslims until the twelwth century AD, I think following the rituals of Islam was as easy as reading an interesting novel, we need not think excessively that they had some higher God-Gifted ability to follow Islam. Although I don't like the idea that without hard-work and toil anything is possible, but unnecessary hard work can only make it uninteresting. We should develop higher understandings of Allah's relation to mankind and how our correct rituals alone can make this relation be well admired, obeyed and felt inside us truly.
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Alhamdulilah , very powerful article , may Allah bless all muslims the true understanding and practice of Tauhid.
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