Man does the title of this post sound ever so orthodox, conservative and corny, which is totally unintentional. Once you get to reading it though, I promise it will seem less über-religious and more fitting.
I’m a bit nervous to write about this because I know that both my parents read my blog and I don’t know what they’re going to think, but I really wanted to share this because it has a huge impact on me and I think that many other young Muslims would be able to relate to it as well. Before I get started, for any non-Muslim readers, I’m going to try to keep you guys in the loop as much as possible as I write this so that you can understand what I’m talking about; and, if you have any questions, feel free to comment them below!
Like any other religion, a huge part of Islam is praying to God; we have five prayers, spread out during the day over specific time periods. For some Muslims, it may seem overwhelming to get those five prayers done on time and every day, whereas for others, it’s become a natural and integral part of their routine. I will straight up admit that I’m not very good at praying. Sorry Mom, but it’s true. I try to fit them in when I can and I go through periods where I will diligently pray all five, every single day, and then some weeks I end up missing two or three, or even worse, all of them. The worst part is I have no valid excuse; yes I’m “busy” but I mean, “busy” doesn’t keep me from checking social media very often right? So even though I do have time for prayer, I just end up not making time for it in my day, and for myself, that’s a problem. It’s one of the few things I want to change about myself and I’m working on it, although somedays, I just lose sift of it entirely.
The reason I’m bringing this up is because for the past week or so, I’ve prayed every single prayer, every single day, on time. It’s a milestone for me because the last time I managed to do that was during Ramadan (for those who don’t know, during Ramadan, you must pray as your fast is not accepted if you do not). And, to be totally honest, it has made a huge difference. I don’t even know how to explain it, but when I’m praying regularly, I feel fulfilled; it makes my everyday life more calm and collected, as opposed to anxious and overwhelmed. On top of that, it helps so much with schoolwork. I feel like I can go home, take care of things and then relax. The other night, I was preparing for a test and I didn’t even feel nervous or unprepared; I just felt serene and later on, I even had time for myself to just sit with some hot chocolate and think. I could go on about all the little changes I feel but there’s a quote on Twitter that I saw and I feel like it sums up what prayer does for one in the best way possible (I’ll give you a second to scroll back up and read it… go ahead).
That right up there is the honest truth. Even though sometimes prayer feels like a struggle or just another thing to do, it’s benefits outweigh all the excuses I could ever possibly make. To some degree, and I feel a bit iffy about saying this, it’s almost like my life is better when I’m praying. I’m always at my happiest and most inspired then, I have both good schools days and work days and most importantly, my heart feels content and at rest, as opposed to worried and overworked. I’m going to try to continue praying all five daily prayers because, despite all of the things I’ve talked about up until now, it is still a very important of Islam. Some say that even though you may be Muslim and take part in other sins or possibly just aren’t very invested in the religion but you PRAY, that’s enough on it’s own, I also think it’s important that if I choose to wear the hijab and represent Islam publicly, I should also have a strong personal faith and connection with Allah, as that should be the base of my faith. My father always tells me that it doesn’t matter if I wear the hijab or not, that it’s the core values, principles and pillars of Islam that should come first, then the identity.
I can’t believe that I actually just wrote all of that, it actually became a lot easier as I went on If you’re reading this, I hope you understand why I chose “The Power of Prayer” to be the title, as I feel that it fit perfectly with my personal prayer experiences. I have a Christian friend whom I showed the quote above to and she also felt like she could relate to it, so it’s nice to know that this is true across all religions as well. It’ll be interesting to see what my parents think of everything I said but I think at this point, they know that I’m almost an adult and that even though I can use their guidance, I’m also at a point where I have to take control of my life, emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually. Not sure when I will actually put this up but I just had to pour it all out onto the white screen in front of me before going to bed (it’s Saturday night here in Ottawa). Regardless, whenever this goes up, I hope you are all having a blessed and wonderful day and keep smiling!