Thursday, December 15, 2011

The psychology of prayers


We are approaching the end of the solar year. Let's take stock of the prayers we should have performed in a given year. If I may ask, what were you thinking as you performed the 1,825 obligatory salat in a year, that is if you are a man? And probably around 1,741 salat, if you are a woman.

What was I thinking? Well...I am now thinking about how I have prayed, how many times I have prayed, how many times I was late in my prayer, how many times I have missed my prayer. I, I, I it's all about me. That's where I went wrong. That, I discovered just last night, upon watching a video of Shaykh Muhammad bin Yahya al-Ninowy giving tausiyah at a masjid in Singapore last weekend.

He was talking about ihsan - that you worship Allah as if you see Him. The shaykh stressed the importance of realizing the object of one's prayer which is Him; Him; Him and not you. He said, "it's about seeing Him, not seeing you, not seeing your ibadah, your qiyam, etc. but seeing Him. If you see you, how can you see Him?"


About 20 hours ago, I noticed Sidi Farraz Rabbani tweeting on the same point. He said:
'In prayer, some focus on praying;
others, on praying to God;
others, on God.
"Establish prayer in My Remembrance." [Qur'an]'

Yes indeed, Allah says in the Qur'an: "Establish prayer to remember Me." Yet so many of us are remembering 'me', in our prayer.

Later, Farraz Rabbani tweeted again to emphasize the point. He said, "The highest sincerity is to forget yourself in beholding Him."

Allahu Akbar. Hence, I am reminded of this weighty phrase I learned from somewhere:
La ilaha ilAllah qabla kulli ahada
La ilaha ilAllah baqda kulli ahada
La ilaha ilAllah hu yabqa Rabbana
wayafna kullu ahada

There is no God but Allah before and after everything, while Allah is baqa (everlasting) and everything else is perished.

And Shaykh Ninowy ended his tausiyah on ihsan by quoting the Qur'anic phrase:
kullu man alaiha faan
"All that is on earth will perish."

So let's think about it. Let's make our 1,825 +/- prayers next year be how it should be InshAllah. May Allah forgive us for not worshipping Him as He should be worshipped.
Listen to Shaykh Ninowy's tausiyah by clicking on the link below, 
courtesy of Masjid Ba'lawi Singapore


  1. I was privellaged attend a private Suhbah cum Dinner with Sheikh Ninowi. He is very down-to-earth and went into great depth to answer my qn.

  2. MashAllah Akhi : )
    Please do tell us more about your precious moments with Shaykh Ninowy. What was the Q & A all about?
    BTW I may be visiting Maqam Habib Noh next weekend InshAllah.
    Kind regards
    Kak Ezza

  3. We managed to ask him about refutations of the Wahhabi on the Zikr of Allah Allah and Hu. He said that he personally avoids Hu as it is something which is questionable or something unknown or perhaps too abstract. Even though he himself has authority in 40 Tariqahs. He said that we have allowed the Wahhabis to proliferate because of our lack of knowledge and that in Sufism, there is greater room for people to misuse/misguide people by saying things like oh my shaykh said this and that. He said, true guides should instead say, Allah said this and Rasulullah said this using the Quran and Authentic Hadith as Dalils