· Prayer for Beginners (2 parts).
· To learn the daily spiritual routine of a Muslim from the time you wake up till late morning.
· Salah — the Arabic word to denote a direct connection between the believer and Allah. More specifically, in Islam it refers to the formal five daily prayers and is the most important form of worship.
· Fajr — the morning prayer.
· Ghusl — ritual bath.
· Wudoo — ablution.
· Dhikr — (plural: adhkar) remembrance of Allah.
· Rakah — unit of prayer.
Ordinary every day activities can become rewarding acts of worship if a Muslim does them for the sake of pleasing Allah. Of them, the regular, consistent deeds are best. Allah’s Messenger, may the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “The deeds most loved by Allah are those done regularly, even if they are minute.” We do not have to do anything extraordinary in our day to obtain divine rewards, but we should establish some daily routine that incorporates not only our daily prayers, but reading Quran, remembrance of Allah (adhkar), and other simple good deeds. This will bring satisfaction to the heart, heal the soul, and keep the believer on the Straight Path.
Many of us are students or work full time. We are teenagers, single moms, full time mothers, or retired from the workforce. Muslims vary, and this means everyone has a unique life and schedule, but the common spiritual practices of Islam bring harmony and balance in all our lives. This article will attempt to bring that spiritual side in the everyday life of an average Muslim which reconnects the mundane with the divine.
(1) The very first thing a Muslim does upon waking up in the morning is thank Allah for giving him life by saying the supplication:
Al-Hamdu-lil-laa-hil ladhee Ah-ya-naa baa-da maa Amaa-tanaa wa ilay-hin nu-shoor.
“All praise is for Allah who gave us life after having taken it from us and unto Him is the Resurrection.”
(2) The second thing a Muslim does is make wudoo or perform ghusl (if needed) for the Fajr prayer, except for menstruating or postnatal women who are not to offer salah. Before entering the bathroom, one says “Bis-millah,” followed by the supplication for entering the bathroom:
Allah-humma in-nee aa’oodho-bi’ka min-al khub-thi wal-kha-baa’ith.
“I begin with the name of Allah. O Allah, I seek refuge in you from the evil and evil things.”
Then he or she enters it with the left foot.
(3) Be sure to use the left hand in the bathroom for cleaning yourself. Aisha, with whom Allah is pleased, said that the right hand was used by Allah’s Messenger for his ablution and for taking food, and his left hand was used in the toilet and the like.
(4) One is encouraged to brush the teeth. The Prophet said:
“If I had not found it difficult for my followers, I would have ordered them to clean their teeth for every salah.”
(5) The supplication after finishing wudoo is:
Ash-hadu ann la-i’laaha il’lalaah wah-da-hu la shareeka-lah wa ash-hadu an-naa Muhamma-dann ab-do-hu wa-rasooluh.
“I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah, alone, without partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.”
(6) Upon leaving the bathroom, a Muslim says:
“(I ask for) Your forgiveness.”
(8) Before going to work or school, Muslims begin their day by performing the obligatory Fajr salah preceded by two rakahs of Sunnah (voluntary) prayer. A Muslim should make it a habit to offer salah at the earliest time after its time has begun. The Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him, was asked which deed was most beloved to Allah. He said:
“Salah which is performed at its time.”
A Muslim should offer the salah prayer with proper attention and concentration, as salah will be the first thing that one will be accountable for on Judgment Day. The Prophet said:
“When you stand up for your salah, make it as if it was your last salah; do not say a word for which you will have to make an excuse the coming day; and build no hope on what is in the hands of men.”
(9) The quiet hours of the early morning is a good opportunity to recite the Quran for those who can. This allows one to fully concentrate and obtain the most spiritual benefit. The Prophet said:
‘The recital of the Quran at dawn is always witnessed — the angels of the night and the angels of the day witness it.”
There is no prohibition of returning to sleep if one so wishes after the Fajr salah.
Mid and Late Morning
(1) Allah knows what is best for his creation and has provided us with natural healthy foods for our health. The Prophet used to eat healthy foods available to him, such as dates, olives, olive oil, honey, bread, meats, and milk. It is best to avoid processed foods and to eat natural foods if available. Seeking to follow his example with the intention to please Allah will naturally be rewarded as an act of worship. With this in mind, Muslim parents should take care of meet their children’s nutritional needs without making them obese. Attention should also be paid to cleanliness which should be observed in all matters, especially in preparing and handling foods.
(2) A Muslim begins his meal with the Name of Allah saying, “Bismillah hir-Rahman nir-Raheem,” eating and drinking with his right hand. The Prophet taught eating manners to a boy who was attending a meal with him:
“… Mention the name of Allah, and eat with your right hand and eat of the food that is nearer to you.”
(3) After finishing the meal, a Muslim thanks Allah for providing him by saying the supplication:
Al-Hamdu-lil-laa-hil ladhi At-a’ma-ni hadtha wa-raza-qanee-hi min ghayri haw-linn min’ni wa la qoo-wa.
“All praise is for Allah who fed me this and provided it for me without any might nor power from myself.”
Overeating is unhealthy. The Messenger of Allah said:
“The son of Adam fills no vessel more displeasing to Allah than his stomach. A few morsels should be enough for him to preserve his strength. If he must fill it, then he should allow a third for his food, a third for his drink and leave a third empty for easy breathing.”
(4) Raising children is an important and honorable task for a woman. A Muslim mother should spend quality time with her children. Especially, the young ones need the additional care of the mother. It is essential to include quality time with the children in a busy daily schedule. Quality time may include such things as reading books, teaching basic manners and morals, reading Quran together, playing games, going to the park and library, and more. The emphasis should be on the children’s spiritual, intellectual, emotional, and physical development. Doing this early in the day also makes it more likely that children will be content to play with themselves later on, freeing time for other activities.
Fathers should also spend time with their children as they have an important role to play in raising them. A Muslim father should spend time with them in the evening or on the weekends, listen to their concerns, and bond with them by doing healthy activities with his children. The essential thing, however, is that your devoting time to your children be not merely for their sake or your own, but that you do it seeking Allah’s reward.
(5) A Muslim steps out of his house trusting in Allah and says this supplication:
Bismillah. Tawak-kaltu ‘al-Allah wa la hawla wa la qoo-wata illah billah.
“I begin with the name of Allah, I depend upon Allah, there is no might and power but with Allah”
Allah’s Messenger said:
“When a man leaves his house, saying, ‘I begin with the name of Allah, I depend upon Allah, there is no might and power but with Allah,’ it is said to him at that time, ‘You are guided, you are taken care of, you are protected.’ The Satans turn away from him, and another Satan will say, ‘How can you harm a person who is already guided, cared for and protected?’”