No I don’t pray jummah

Published: October 10, 2011
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I am 23-years-old, and I am ashamed to admit that I do not know how to pray.

It shames me to admit that I don’t offer my prayers. This is not because I am a non-Muslim, nor is it because I do not want to pray. Truth of the matter is that I don’t know how to offer my prayers. I am 23-years-old and I am still not sure about the number of farz, sunnat, and nafal to offer with each namaz. In the past, I have tried to cover up my ignorance by making excuses.

However, the day Shahbaz Taseer was abducted was the day I stopped hiding.

I had joined a new firm in the month of Ramazan, and was welcomed by a very religious environment. My co-workers naturally assumed that I would join them for prayer everyday, but I did not know how to pray. To hide my shame, I kept making excuses to not pray.

“I will offer my prayers at home” I sometimes said.

Other times I just skipped out during prayer timings, so as not to be cornered and questioned.  When the probing  got intense, I often contemplated the idea of going to the mosque and copying the actions and motions of other people. However, even though I don’t know how to pray, I am still a Muslim. Being a hypocrite in a mosque just did not sit right with me.

So there I was alone in the office at jummah namaz time when my eye suddenly caught sight of the words ‘Taseer’ and ‘abducted’ on the online newspaper. I stiffened in my chair as I read the tragic news that Shahbaz Taseer has been abducted. I conveyed this news to my colleagues as soon as they returned from jummah namaz, expecting an uproar and a fervent discussion. However, all I got was:

“Who is he?”

Salmaan Taseer’s son, I replied dumbfounded.

I could not solicit a greater response than “acha”, “hmmm” and “maybe you are taking his abduction too seriously.” One of my colleagues stated that dozens of people get kidnapped everyday to which I replied that this was a high profile case and and can be related to Salmaan Taseer’s murder. He, however replied:

“Salmaan Taseer was rightfully killed as he was ghustakh e Rasool and Qadri is ghazi.

Appalled, I replied that all Salmaan Taseer did was question the law made and passed by the parliament of Pakistan, not Allah or his Messenger.

This was, apparently, the wrong thing to say.

I realized that I made everyone in the room very angry. I had to say something to cool things down. I was getting evil stares and fierce looks. A young man sitting in the room wanted to say something but decided to let the deathly silence prevail. I had to say something in my defense – anything. But what could I say? I wasn’t sure about any Quranic surahs, or ayats. I started questioning myself. Did I say something against Allah or the Holy Prophet (Pbuh)? No. This made me feel a little better.

At length, one of the two bearded men in the room stated:

 “Do you even know what Salmaan Taseer said on TV?”

The other bearded man immediately voiced his opinion by stating that Shahbaz Taseer has been rightfully abducted as his father was a blasphemer.

To this I just had to reply:

“On every forum he only questioned this man-made law. Never did he question Allah’s or the Prophet’s authority.”

The elder bearded intellectual went on to quote several verses from Quran which calls for a blasphemer to be killed. I am no authority of Islam; I was trying to prove my point by stating what I learnt in my O’ level Islamiat class – what Islam actually stands for.

However, I was interrupted by an allegation that made my cheeks flame red. The younger bearded man stood up, pointed his finger at me, and shaking in rage, he stated:

“You are a blasphemer! Anyone who supports a blasphemer is also a blasphemer!”

After his allegation had sunk in, I made one last move to defend myself. I calmly stated that I was arguing over one man-made law. This has nothing to do with the Shariah. 

The elder bearded man dismissed my speech and interrupted me by saying:

“He doesn’t even offer prayers. Forget about him. There’s a lot of work to be done.”

I was shocked. How are prayers related to blasphemy? Where does the Quran say that one who doesn’t know how to pray is a blasphemer? For the remainder of the day I was ignored; no goodbyes or Allah hafiz’s were exchanged with me. There was no conversation whatsoever.

I was very upset when I got home. I watched some TV, ate my dinner and went to bed. However, I just couldn’t sleep. I kept thinking about why my praying or not praying is so important to other people. There are more pressing issues  such as ethnic violence, abduction, murder, looting, floods, dengue, and so many more. Yet, why are people so bothered about my praying habits?

It was then that I realised that I am answerable to God alone, and social pressures should not be the only reason I should offer my prayers. I, thus, made the decision that I will nott offer excuses any more – I won’t lie. Praying is something personal an no one has the right to judge a matter that should be judged by Allah alone. God will punish me if He so desires. The people who work at my office do not have the right to tag me as a non-believer.

August 26 was, thus, the last day I made an excuse for not offering prayers. Now, if the question of my namaz ever pops up, I politely reply that it is my personal matter.

I understand that I need to make an effort to learn how to offer prayers, and I am trying my best to do so. However, I am not comfortable with people pushing me to do what they want me to do and be what they want me to be. I don’t want to learn how to pray to save myself of the embarrassment that others instil in me. I want to learn how to pray because I love Allah.

Syed.Zain.Raza

Syed Zain Raza

A financial analyst by profession, who is passionate about his coffee and loves traveling and reading, Zain is a self proclaimed globe trotter who is posted by his company in China these days.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Uncle J

    If only these hypocritical molvis whose minds have been consumed by fungus knew common sense, our lives would be so much more easier.Recommend

  • A.

    it’s really sad that you werent taught how to pray. i had to teach a 12 yr old family member how to pray because his mother didnt teach him, nor did his older brothers or father. his older brothers didnt care, his mom didnt care, and his father worked most of the day so he wasnt home. on eid prayers the father and the son (who didnt know how to pray) would go to the masjid and pray together. he copied his fathers movements but he never truly knew how to pray. when he told me this i started teaching him and his mother came in and told me i twas necessary :S i taught him anyway, but i wish someone had noticed and taught you. may Allah reward you for taking this step, cause it takes a lot of courage na dbravery to stand up to people who judge you so easily, and to also say openly that you dont know how to pray. duas with you :DRecommend

  • Amir Sayani

    Nice Article Gentleman.Recommend

  • Confused

    What has Salman or shehbaz to do with praying? Recommend

  • HJ

    be careful of those weirdos at your work.

    also, to pray or connect to god, you don’t need set guidelines, how many times to recite so and so, how many times to kneel, etc. all you need is your faith and you seem to have that.Recommend

  • Amir Sayani

    Nice Article Gentleman!!!Recommend

  • a sorry reader

    “because I love Allah”

    and yet you are still in the phase of ‘trying to learn’ how to pray. If you really love HIM, you should atleast know what HE wants from his creation. You say you are doing your best, sorry mate, you arent, what you lack is ‘determination’, and without it, your ‘trying your best’ will get you nowhere..

    if you really want to learn, then you have to WANT TO learn.. :)Recommend

  • Umer

    Praying is not hard to learn. Since your making such a big deal about it, why don’t u just learn how to pray? End of story.Recommend

  • Ayesha Ilyas

    a very thought provoking article zain raza, but u must offer your prayers for the one whom u loveRecommend

  • Phatty

    Fajr – 2 Farz, 2 Sunnat
    Zohr – 4 Sunnat, 4 Farz, 2 Sunnat, 2 Nafl
    Asr- 4 Farz
    Maghrib – 3 Farz, 2 Sunnat, 2 Nafl
    Isha – 4 Farz, 2 Sunnat, 2 Nafl, 3 Witr-Wajib, 2 Nafl
    :D
    Also, when I read the title of the blog, I really thought to myself, that is nothing to be proud of. But as I read on, I was in agreement with you on the fact that praying is a personal matter. And no one else has a right to judge how good or bad a Muslim a person is. It’s a relationship between you and Allah, no third person should be allowed to interfere or pass judgments.
    Apart from that, it’s really not hard to remember the amount of rakaat one needs to pray, and if you really have the intention to pray, you can always ask someone to help you out. There are definitely kind souls out there who’d be willing to help. And if you have any problems with not knowing how to pray within those rakaats, then I guess, you can still ask your mother. She’d be more than happy to help :DRecommend

  • http://www.elucidations.org Abu Bakr

    Religion is supposed to be something personal. This is because only God can know what is truly in the heart of the believer, or what he/she does secretly. The problem is that people believe it should be part of everything in their life; culture, politics, personal matters etc. It is not possible in my opinion for that combination to being harmony. Religion is about personal interpretation, therefore everyone has a different view of what their religion is. This leaves the question of who’s version of religion do we implement into life? – and sadly the intolerant and violent, by their very inherent nature will always see themselves correct and superior. Recommend

  • Phatty

    @Confused:
    It’s because the bearded dude called him a blasphemer, cos he was supporting a blasphemer. And also cos that lead the bearded man to call him a disbeliever, as he doesn’t pray. It all makes sense if you read the blog. Really not that “confuse”-ing.Recommend

  • Syed

    I partly agree with your views, specially the last sentence.
    I also agree with the fact that the pseudo Religious intellectuals which we refer to as Mullahs, have gone completely out of their minds, they need to be reminded of the very basis of Islam.

    1- Like for example the Anger is Haraam in Islam , no IFS and BUTS, its haram.

    2- One mans deeds does not pass on to his family, every person is responsible for his own action. (i.e. if you even call the deeds of man in question -Salman Taseer- blasphemy, cause i don’t, even though i don’t condone his actions in his private life, which many mullahs points out, its his private life).

    3- a Human being is not aloud in Islam to declare any person non Muslim, unless the person himself declares so, the person in question (ST) here repeatedly said that he was not against shariah or Law of Islam, and he didnt reject anything from the religion. But still religious parties are bent over his punishment.
    If a person commits mistake unknowingly then he should have been explained what he did wrong in a polite way, as he (ST) had minimal knowledge of Islam. By going this way The Mullahs are not only breaking the laws of the religion they are also discouraging non practicing Muslims, like author of this article to come towards religion.Recommend

  • Phatty

    @a sorry reader:
    Cut him some slack.
    He is announcing on a public forum that he doesn’t know how to pray, yet he loves Allah and is willing to do something. And if he is “trying his best” that does show his “determination”. You don’t know what his life is like outside the blog. And just because you don’t see him “trying his best” doesn’t mean he’s not. Recommend

  • Omair

    Every person is responsible for his/her actions….only Allah can judge us not a man…..

    but im sure after reading a lot of blogs and comment on Tribune blogs….one thing im sure in very short time some people will have no problem with your actions while others will come out bashing u…..so get ready…..Recommend

  • Bilal

    Lets say, you die or get abducted while praying. It would be much more of respectable death than that at home.Recommend

  • KS

    Salman Taseer’s abduction is not an excuse for you to quit praying, and not knowing the farz and sunnat in namaz is ur personal problem. Recommend

  • Faryal Khan

    the very same thing happened with me “Salmaan Taseer was rightfully killed as he was ghustakh e Rasool and Qadri is ghazi.“ and i was speechless, may be i didnt wanted to say anything probably because i didnt wanted to be pointed or labeled as blasphemer but i totaly agree with this article that y me offering my prayers is a concern of othersRecommend

  • http://lonepkliberal.wordpress.com Loneliberal PK

    Whether you pray or not, or even believe in God, is your own prerogative and there’s no need to be contrite about it. Neither I nor any other human being can judge you for that.

    If you want to start praying, make sure that you’re doing it for yourself and not out of social pressure from the kind of loons you mentioned in your article, because you’d only be validating their self-righteous attitude. Choose your own path, and stand proud of it.Recommend

  • Mrs. Ahsan

    Apart from all the excuses and your love for Islam and Allah, if you can read and write, well employed and such a sensible grown-up person, then why don’t you go to the Masjid and learn offering Namaz ? .

    I came across one hadith and would like to share it with you, which is: “Narrated Al-Ja’d ad-Damri:

    The Prophet (peacebeupon_him) said: He who leaves the Friday prayer (continuously) for three Friday on account of slackness, Allah will print a stamp on his heart.” (Reported by Abu Dawud Book 2, Number 1047)

    Offer namaz before people offer your namaz (Namaz-e-janazah) !Recommend

  • AZ

    An excellent article. I hold a similar opinion i.e “Religion is a personal matter”, and no one, NO ONE has any right whatsoever to shove religion down your throat.
    I completely support your stand on this matter. Wish you all the best.

    P.S. Be ready to receive a plethora of comments from self-righteous purists who will take extra pleasure in labeling you a ‘non-believer/infidel/kaafir/blasphemer’ etc.Recommend

  • compassionate

    you seem to be at a stage where one’s minds questions a lot. this is very encouraging. keep on asking and try finding answers to all of the questions irking your mind. in this way you will be able to learn. i would suggest you that first of all read the plain translation of Holy Quran and you will be amazed to know that Quran is telling a different lesson than what most mullahs utter. you can read even online here: beta.quran.com Recommend

  • OS

    @ a sorry leader: As he said it is his personal matter. I don’t think you have any right to judge him or say if he’s right or wrong.

    @ Zain: I went through a similar reaction after Salman Taseer’s assassination and have vowed never to have a religious marriage ceremony in case I ever get married in Pakistan. Its my way of protesting the religious bigotry prevailing in the society. Also I feel that after listening to all the non-sense our religious leaders come up with. I don’t want to stand behind them in prayers. Its not worth it for me. I have also vowed never to visit Saudi Arabia either for work or any other reasons until the present regime is in power because of their support of terror networks across the world and their role in spreading radicalism apart from their treatment of women.

    I totally understand what your going through and fully support you. When I was working in Pakistan I had to go through this stuff every day. It sucked specially when my bosses insisted I pray but i told them quite bluntly, that I come here to work not pray. Recommend

  • Ali Hasan

    Fight the power dude. Just be careful. Doesn’t take long for stuff to go down. Recommend

  • Saad Sheikh

    Dear Zain,
    First of all, i am a total believer of the thought that what you do with your religion is totally between you and Allah and you are only answerable to him and him alone. No one has any right whatsoever to ask you what you do with your namaz or zakat or roza. see the thing is that we humans are a little egotistic about our deeds, whether they being worldly or holy. It is a good thing that you are trying to learn about the religion but at the same time you do realize that you will need somebody’s guidance to learn and perform? and the same person who is guiding you will also tell you to offer you prayers and don’t be lazy about them etc. Not offering a prayer is one thing.

    Most of us don’t pray regularly. but please be sure that you feel some kind of regret in you heart about the prayer that you missed because that is something that you owe to our creator, and when the most beloved of us lot, Hazrat Muhammad (P.B.U.H) prayed regularly without any complain and when he was so reluctant and so worried about his prayers, then what makes us think that we will get away with it?

    My Dear Zain, i know you want to pray and you are trying to learn, but please be sure that you should be praying as soon as you can. and you know what my personal feelings are. The prayer is the personal matter between you and Allah, and so even if you are not perfect, even if you pray and make mistakes, then he will forgive you for he is the most greatest of forgiver. and i am sure that you would agree.

    please try to understand and give a little thought of what i wrote up there :).Recommend

  • http://www.waqarhussain.net waqar

    Strange!

    You are an adult and yes you are only answerable to GOD, But just let me pray for you my brother! May Allah get you on track and give you right suggestion.Recommend

  • waqqas iftikhar

    Zain..mate…knowledge is power…the best way to combat these religio-fascists is to beat them at their own game…seek out knowledge about the religion…you dont have to become a complete maulvi of course….whether you pray or not shouldn’t be anyone’s goddamn business…but once you have some basic knowledge, they wont be able to get away with quoting fallacy….purportedly from religious sources….you will have an arsenal to fight back with…..good luck…and stay away from the frustrated maulvis…they disguise their worldly frustrations in religious obscurantism.Recommend

  • Ahmed

    well, O-level Islamiat teaches a person quite well how to pray .. :p
    and the reason why people take the issue of prayers so seriously is because of the Prophet (pbuh)’s sayings: “He who gives up prayers has indeed disbelieved” and “What stands between a man and disbelief is the abandonment of salat”. Besides leaving 3 consecutive jumma prayers is a great sin as well.
    Besides what is the big deal dude .. ask any of those bearded guy to teach you how to pray and I am sure they’ll be more than willing to help you out ..Recommend

  • Modazul

    Well do u know that on the last day the first question you will be asked is about your prayers? What that guy meant was since you don’t pray you spiritually aren’t close to your religion that’s why you didn’t understand about blasphemy. There is an urge within u to learn how to pray so utilize it. Your problem is laziness probably. Or that you are shy to ask somebody for such help or maybe even embarrassed. Talk to these guys and apologize to them and explain to them your problem. Be truthful and honest and they will help you. And about Salman taseer….. He was wrong about questioning the blasphemy law… What he should have done was question the interrogation system so that an innocent person is not killed. If an innocent person is put to death because of a personal vendetta then it’s the fault of the system not the punishment. Recommend

  • Mangoman

    bravo!! but u will be beaten up very soon. quit this job, its not a suitable environment for uRecommend

  • aisha

    I know what you mean. This is how things are at my work place, where all eyes question me whether I pray or not. But I dont make excuses. If I pray or if I don’t, I’m not answerable to anyone except Allah.

    Qadri is a murderer and nothing else.

    “I am not comfortable with people pushing me to do what they want me to do and be what they want me to be.” You sum it up perfectly!Recommend

  • Zeeshan Ahmed

    Well written my friend, you are thousand times better than people praying 5 times and claiming Qadri to be hero. This Taseer issue has made me clear that why in our society there is so much intolerance. I am the only one in my family who is beleive salman taseer was shaheed and rest of them think qadri is a hero.Recommend

  • http://www.sidrahmoizkhan.blogspot.com Sidrah Moiz Khan

    You could Google to find out how to pray. Recommend

  • sheeba

    thought provoking Recommend

  • Architet

    You don’t know anything about Islam.. even you don’t know the most basic thing “(i.e prayer)..
    And you are writing about blasphemy law of Islam…
    Recommend

  • Hashmi

    Ignore what the other people are saying.

    But do keep your prayers intact. You will not be answerable for what others are saying and what their opinion is about blasphemy.

    But you will be questioned about your daily five prayers, fasting, zakat and hajj.

    You can pick up a namaz book from any bookshop or even easily find it online.Recommend

  • Tahir

    It is a matter between you and your God, it has nothing to do with the society..and you are responsible for your sins not others..however those who care about you or love you want to save you from the hell fire (as they believe) that’s why they request you to pray.. if you don’t pray it does’t mean that you are not a Muslim/ believer. as far as Salman taseer is concerned I don’t consider him as a Blasphemer.. Recommend

  • Sabeeh Bin Mohsin

    Excellent Article!!! Recommend

  • asif

    How can u call yourself Muslim if you don’t perform namazRecommend

  • Hassan

    So who is shahvbaz taseer again??Recommend

  • M Ali Khan

    Congregation prayers are a show and an excuse to not do work :)Recommend

  • Nace

    George Bernard Shaw once said “Islam is the best religion and its followers are the worst”.He said this couple of decades ago,which still holds true for todays Muslim. We lose everything in the way of progression ,when instead of educating,we become judgemental !.Recommend

  • Hassan Farooq

    Dear Mr. Zain….Fisrtly, We do something and consider it right and when others do the same thing we consider and call it wrong….Tell me something…if offering prayer is something personal and as you said only Allah has got the authority to punish one for one’s actions if He desires so then why were YOU trying and debating to tag Salman Taseer’s actions as right and Qadri’s act of killing Taseer as wrong?????
    According to your philosophy, Taseer did what he thought as right and so did Qadri….now let Allah decide who is right and who is wrong……so YOU are negating your own point of view of not using Allah’s authority to put somebody in the category of right or wrong.
    Secondly, you made a judgement that Salman Taseer was not questioning islamic principles but the man made laws and you made this judgement on the basis of something, may it be your research, knowledge, media or Taseer’s personality. So you judge something on the basis of what you see and know…..whereas Your colleagues used the same ideaology by making an opinion/judgement about you on the basis of what they see….Didnt they???
    Frankly speaking, your article doesnt reflect anything but double standards your thought process is based upon……. You do something that is right if others do the samething, they are wrong……….Recommend

  • aliya

    brother kindly go to the mosque.. ask the imam.. tell him .. “Speak up . please… please make dua ALLAH WILL HELP!! he surely will Insha AllahRecommend

  • Asad A.

    Turns out, there are plenty of fanatics online too. Give the man a break, if he doesn’t want to pray means he doesn’t want to pray. I’d rather have a clean heart than be found praying at all hours, only stopping to spread hate against other people who’s opinions differ from mine.Recommend

  • CB Guy

    grab a book on Namaz and you can learn everything from it, as you have expressed a desire to to so. It is imperative for Muslims to pray, we all often deviate from this but the door of return is Always open.

    As for people’s opinion on the taseer’s, to date i can not find out exactly what Salman taseer said so i will not comment. I do not like him coz his practices as the principal of an audit firm were far from perfect. His rule as Governor was a disaster. His son’s abduction is unfortunate but making it all that important is wrong as literally hundreds are abducted every year and if we now only care of celebrities in dispersion of law, we are only shooting our own foot. everyone is important and should be treated equally. Recommend

  • abdullah

    if you feel ashamed to ask someone, just google it
    or the time you took to write this article could be used to google on the way on how to pray.

    bro. its your life, your decisions and i dont plan to interfere. I dont pray regularly but atleast u should know how to pray!Recommend

  • umar

    since then have you ever tried to learn how to offer prayer? i hope you did
    PS: that has nothing to do with Taseer murder. And that will not ignore the fact that you or me or we dont offer prayersRecommend

  • GH

    Qadri Killed Governor Taseer and his execution is justified as he took law in his hand. But, Aasia BB Should also been sentenced to death because she also taken Law into his Hand. Rest i don’t understand the theme behind this article, Shahbaz abduction has nothing to do with his fathers assassination, he was kidnapped for ransom purpose not by extremist forces.Recommend

  • faraz

    @asif

    One can be a Muslim without praying namaz. Namaz is a ritual, what makes a muslim are his beliefsRecommend

  • Tabish

    Well, you are mature enough to distinguish between sharia-based laws and man-made laws, but not sound enough to learn how to pray? Saying that I am a firm believer in Allah and his messenger and I-dont-pray-because-I-dont-know-how-to-do-it… is coming up with your own version of Islam. If religion is such a personal matter, then why are you so explicit over a public forum? Having said that, I agree on the part that, man-made laws have rotten the mindsets…Recommend

  • WTF

    Do you work in some Mullah factory. I cant believe any firm has so much religion in it!!! Here in India, we dont have ANY RELIGION in firms and companies. Secondly, whether you pray or not, believe or not, don’t be apologetic about it. Be confident of what you believe or don’t believe and lose fear of these religious freaks and fanatics! Best of luck bro!!
    Secondly, off the mark a bit, but I like to add that any GOD/Bhagwan/ Yahwah (if he really exists) would be as much bothered about you praying as would Barack Obama be bothered about an ant in your garden. Because for God(if he exists…) who created the UNIVERSE with billions of stars , zillions of solar systems, uncountable planets, for HIM what is the worth of a species (human) in planet earth! Why would HE be obsessed with a small tiny man in the vastness of the cosmos?Recommend

  • Umair

    There is a step by step guide available here at this link on “How to perform Salat (Namaz)”

    http://www.islamicacademy.org/html/LearnNow/English/SalahIn_Audio.htmRecommend

  • Modazul

    @OS
    I have never seen a more unfortunate person than you. If you hate Saudis then hate them. Don’t hate the masjids or the imams in the holy masjids cause you are just depriving yourself of the huge amount of rewards u get for praying in these mosques. The Saudi government is involved in whatever. It’s not the fault of the imam o those masjids.
    You talk about not having religious marriage…..really dude ?? I mean those mullahs are actually controlling your life now that u have decided to sin coz of them ? Why r u ruining your relationship with Allah for these mullahs? You will be responsible for your own decisions and sins. You’ve got a working brain. Don’t act foolish cz ur gonna suffer in the end. Not the mullahs. Recommend

  • molly

    well, whats salman taseer has to do with ur namaaz? and when u say u r doing ur best, ask ur self are u really doing the best? im not going to criticize u because all other people are really doing a good job at it. i want to share my personal experience. i belong to a moderately religious family, i never prayed 5 times, only offered jummah namaaz till 17 18, but now Alhamdullilah i try my best to offer all 5 namaz . namaaz is really not difficult, and if u think its very long and tiring, why dont you start with only performing farz first, then slowly the sunna and nafals. we learn many things in our life, so y not namaaz :) hope u start making an effort right now! Recommend

  • AZ

    @asif: How can YOU call YOURSELF a Muslim, when you are blindly judging others?Recommend

  • http://swansea Ris

    @Loneliberal PK:
    By far the best reply.Recommend

  • AZ

    @Modazul:

    “Don’t hate the masjids or the imams in the holy masjids cause you are just depriving yourself of the huge amount of rewards u get for praying in these mosques.”

    So, the purpose of Namaz is to gain rewards from praying in certain mosques???.. I thought the purpose of Namaz was to gain spiritual enlightenment, strengthen one’s faith and affirm one’s belief in the Prophet (PBUH) and God.
    Since, when has the purpose of Namaz been to attain ‘huge amount of rewards’ as you mentioned.

    Please do share your views on this matter.Recommend

  • talha

    I dont understand one thing. If the writer has done his O Levels Islamiat then he would surely have had gone through the namaz section which clearly guides the common muslim how to offer prayer. He must have flung the course or lying. No need to be proud of yar. Overcome your weaknesses man. YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF URSELF……. VERY LAME EXCUSE U HAVE QUOTED.

    A very loosely written essay. Why cant the editor not put a hold on such stuff. Recommend

  • EyeRoll

    Err…why has the ET blog page become a Dear Diary page? This article is downright embarassing and hyperbolic. Dude seriously, every workplace has their own culture, some are extremely liberal and pressurize their workers to be more ‘social’ and take clients to drink after work, others (especially the Islamic Finance types) tend to extremely conservative.You need to deal with it or move somewhere else, instead of turning your personal issues into some sort of heroic mission for the greater good. My boss had a huge problem with my scarf and asked me to take it off as it would be embarrassing for his clients. I told him my scarf didnt reflect my work, and even told him I understood his point of view but politely declined to be part of it. Do you see me writing my personal story on ET page and some how tying it up with the larger political environment? Some thins are just everyday life nuisances. Stop whining and grow up!Recommend

  • A

    MR. I dont believe any word of your article…
    ITZ JUST A PART OF CONSPIRACY AGAINST MUSLIMS & PAKISTAN. Recommend

  • asad

    we are with you . you are honest and thats a very precious virtue in these hypocritical time . stand up for truth. thats what the nation needs from its younger generation.Recommend

  • Adil

    Zain you don’t need to take any lectures from supporters of convicted murderers about praying etc. Always watch their actions with suspicion and never take lessons in Islam from these ignorants. Recommend

  • http://www.nerdcrunch.com Moderate

    This is nothing to be proud of, rather you should be ashamed of yourself. You dont know how to pray and somehow you are trying to connect it with bearded-people-accusations, moreover you dont know a thing about blasphemy law (the same problem with Salman Taseer), if you people open Quran and Hadith books then you would have easily been able to defend yourself as well as guide these ‘bearded-fellow’. It is not their problem, it is your (and all your kind’s) faults.

    You people know a …. about Islam yet you put all the blame on ignorant people, make fun of them but never you lot try to open Quran and Hadith books to try to understand it. Hell, you dont even pray!Recommend

  • talha

    @asad: Dude dont say ‘we’ its only ‘u’ who is with this idiot guy.

    Please remove this article from web. ThanksRecommend

  • http://www.salmanlatif.wordpress.com Salman

    A supporter of a blasphemer is a blasphemer. And the supporter of a blasphemer who is a blasphemer because he supported another blasphemer is also a blasphemer. And so on and so forth until everyone save the crazy, mouth-faming mullahs are left to rule. Recommend

  • S.T

    I hear you mate, this is precisely what I struggle with everyday. I’m not an authority on religion but I don’t want to accept everything because that’s what I’m supposed to do. Ultra conservatives have pushed us to the wall and lately I was feeling like I’m the odd one out. Thank you for writing this and stay strong.Recommend

  • waqqas iftikhar

    @talha….we…implies more than one, given that asad and zain are on one side….i am sure they can use ‘we’ to refer to themselves or does that require a fatwa too?Recommend

  • deedee

    it is never to late to learn to pray….i learned around the same age as you. before that even I did not know how to pray. It was difficult for me since I could not read Arabic. Even the Quran I have not completed. However one day the realisation to pray came from within me and I learnt it myself through an arabic-roman-english book which taught people how to pray. Since that day I pray as much as I can. Recommend

  • Hassan Farooq

    @Asad…Being muslim is actually a committment with Allah that I’ll do evrything what He wants me to do and abstain from everything what He wants me to…..and Namaz is the 1st thing to follow….How can you consider somebody HONEST who is not following even the first point of his committment with Allah……..For God sake dont use “We are with you”
    Anybody who is sane cant be with Zain……but you are allowed to accompany him on your so called way of HONESTY……Recommend

  • Baba ji

    Well its a dilemma in our society now that everyone is a Kafir for the other one … Maulvee of one masjid is Kafir for the next one’s …. everyone is an Aalim and a Mufti … !Recommend

  • Ch Allah Daad

    I pray alone in privacy and I will never pray behind any Mullah. Praying behind any Mullah is a great sin. Recommend

  • AO

    @ the writer of this article……

    Namaz is Faraz….and there is no second question to it…rest let me quote the wordings of a hadith “Jis nay jaan boojh kar namaz chori us nay kufar kiya”…..You wrote in the article you LOVE ALLAH…ALLAH has given us Quran and in this book there are numerous places in which it has been an obligation on every Muslim to pray..and after reading this still you donot know how to pray buy a book or google or even you can find videos on youtube…It is simple…..If ALLAH has given you something you should thank him and this is the best way to thank ALLAH..May ALLAH be with youRecommend

  • Bilal

    Bravo Mr. Zain…. I do agree with you that religion is a personal matter but it cannot be used as an excuse and that is exactly what you’re trying to do. Anyway, I pray that you learn offering salat soon.Recommend

  • zonaibia

    not only you but your parents would also be answerable to God that why they didn’t teach their child the basic thing that HOW TO OFFER PRAYER???? so save your parents, spend 2 mins on reading that how to pray,, believe me there is no myth or technical terms in it to learn.
    secondly besides that its your personal matter but truly it is something to be ashamed of , feel it.Recommend

  • Asad

    Sad sad article…Zain I totally agree that praying is between a human being and Allah. However its Allah’s command that human beings worship HIM by praying five times a day. So you should learn how to pray not for any human being, but for Allah (swt).

    I was also asked by people at office if I had prayed Zuhr or Asr and I would reply that its between me and Allah. However I would secretly go to the prayer room and offer my prayers, but would never tell anyone. Sometimes I would attend Jamat and some times I would pray on my own. You could adopt a similar strategy.

    5 Prayers are as follows.

    Fajr (Before Sunrise)- 2 rakat sunnat then 2 rakat Farz
    Zuhr (Afternoon)- 4 rakat sunnat the 4 rakat farz then 2 rakat sunnat
    Asr (Late afternoon)- 4 rakat farz
    Maghrib (Sunset)-3 rakat Farz then 2 rakat Sunnat
    Isha (Start of Night)- 4 rakat Farz then 2 rakat sunnat then 3 rakat witr

    Jumma Prayer is only 2 farz Rakat and it replaces the Zuhr prayer for Friday. (There are sunnat rakats also but you can start off with praying Farz Jumma Rakats first). Honestly even I used to pray only 2 Farz Rakats for Jumma from childhood up till last year. Only recently I have started praying sunnat rakats in Jumma.

    At the beginning if you find it hard to pray, start with praying only farz rakats, then when you develop practice you can start praying the sunnat rakats also with the Farz Rakats. Some scholars say one will only be punished for leaving the Farz prayer, but sunnat is also important.

    The link below shows how to pray
    http://www.islamicacademy.org/html/LearnNow/English/SalahIn_Audio.htm

    You can also find numerous other links on the internet.

    May Allah Guide us all. Ameen.Recommend

  • Mj

    I had a confrontation with my father on the day the Gov. was mudered, and he too, espoused similar rhetoric and got totally unreasonable when I asked for proof of his alleged blasphemy and why questioning a man-made despotic law is somehow a no-go area. His response and those of other ‘momins’ pushed me over the edge an I no longer associate myself with what essentially has become a fascistic totalitarian ideology devoid of logic and reason. Now, my belief and faith (or lack thereof) is personal and private matter, and this is how it shall remain.Recommend

  • rabia. A

    thank u for this ‘perfect post’ :) Peolpe this is our main duty >>> to POLITELY teach and spread islam instead of pointing fingers or commenting randomly @Phatty: Recommend

  • http://deleted khawar kazmi

    i appreciate your article.after a long time an article worthy of reading shared by ET.it’s good to hear u have adjudicated to offer ur religious obligations.as far as assassination of salman taseer is concerned , it is useless to argue with narrow-minded hawkish belligerents for if you do , you will be charged with blasphemy and sacrilege.i myself was declared profane but fortunately i was arguing on facebook.i agree to your point that shahbaz taseer’s abduction is a high-profile case falling into the realm of lunacy and obscurantism.lastly , not praying doesn’t make you an apostate and offering doesn’t make you an infallible.actually islam encroaches the domain of prayers.monasticism and ascetism have been greatly appreciated in QURAN and HADITH.Recommend

  • Gullible Nomore

    @A.:
    Oh wow! aren’t you a jannati!Recommend

  • Sara Khan

    Scary ppl on this page! OMG, Zain just quit your day job and move far away from Tablisitan as fast as you can. Its scary that people think that murdering someone like Taseer is okay…I saw in the newspapers how thousands of people were celebrating his death shudder. Only God can take someone’s life and by murdering the poor governor the psychopath bodyguard declared himself God! Thousands or maybe millions of Pakistanis who supported the murder also accepted the killer as their God. I don’t why other countries are aiding this country when it has such a horrible laws as the blasphemy law. Islam being a peaceful religion is the BIGGEST JOKE of the century. They will kill you to prove their religion is the best. Be a human first than a Muslim. Religion will be, scratch that, IS the downfall of this country.Recommend

  • Salman

    these are the idiot supportes of taseer . dont knoew any thing about islam and talk like they are the founders of itRecommend

  • Safir,

    Feel sorry for u being born in Muslim family u dont know Namaz its like i have seen kids
    in west born from christian mothers kids names are muslims but dont know any thing about islam like obama..Recommend

  • maham

    @faraz
    “what stands between you and disbeliever is prayer”-hadith
    so apparently to be a muslim, one has to offer namaz!
    n what use are beliefs if not put to practice!

    n zain,
    i really appreciate ur willingness to learn namaz n esp that u want to do it for ALLAH’s love n not out of social pressure!
    nothing better than ‘honest intentions’!Recommend

  • Amjad Abbasi

    I love Allah! But I don’t offer prayer isn’t the satisfaction you must learn about the Islam and then talk about critics who are in your favour and against you. Nimaz is the personal matter but religion is the collective matter, Your thoughts are rightly so according what you have learnt from your schooling experience, But I suggest you that you must get enough knowledge of Islam that you can distinguish between right and wrong. Recommend

  • True Believer

    You can either be a ‘wolf’ or a ‘deer’. The wolves have to do what they do and the deer have to do what they have to do. Each creature has its nature – nothing good or bad about it. I say the author has to stick around with other deer and yeah … learn to run like hell when the wolves come hunting. Recommend

  • Anthony Permal

    How sad that almost everyone in reply has simply judged and sentenced the writer, called him what-not, insulted his honesty and ALL you bigots needed to do was simply tell him HOW to pray.

    That’s ALL you needed to reply. What would Muhammad have done after reading this?Recommend

  • http://www.zaramazhar.wordpress.com ZaraM

    I am sorry but are you trying to justify your not-praying by your hatred for bloody extremists who are clearly wrong, and by the fact that you are waiting to FEEL like you are ready to pray for Allah because you love him? Because sweetheart, its really disgraceful if you had the time to get a graduate degree but didn’t have the courtesy to spend an hour learning how to pray.
    Its really not that hard, you can open a book and read from it while you pray till you have learnt it. I am 18, I live in UK and may be very westernized in many ways but this is actually something to be ashamed of. I didn’t know how to pray till 2 years ago too, but I thought screw what people think and used to pray with a book open infront of me. I LEARNT.
    You could have learnt how to pray by just googling in the amount of time you spent writing this article. Funny how we think we are so cool if I publicly disown our duties, if the moulvis are so wrong – which they definitely are – you don’t need to stoop as low as them. Adios.Recommend

  • Jazib

    Get real. Although I stand by you completely on the blasphemer issue, learning to offer namaz is not like learning to play like Joe Satriani on the guitar or learning how to account for deferred taxes with respect to IFRS, in other words, it is nothing complicated. Recommend

  • Hassan Farooq

    If religion is a personal matter then everybody must have his/her own religion…..but its not the case…Recommend

  • Asad Ali

    A very well written article . Muslims often forget that “THERE IS NO COMPULSION IN RELIGION “. That’s what our beloved Prophet taught us , which is to show love and compassion. We should remember the incident of Taif when our beloved prophet was wounded badly.The people of Taif hurled stones on Him but still he never complained. he even stopped the angels, who offered destroying the mountains on them, praying for the forgiveness and thinking that there future generations might come towards the truth. Miraculously :
    M.BIN QASIM who invaded sindh and preached Islam had roots tracing back to TAIF.
    I think the author of the article is learning DEEN from the wrong guys . He should listen to the lectures of perhaps the most venerable and erudite Islamic scholar who has soothed the hearts of many troubled muslims. MAULANA TARIQ JAMEEL.Recommend

  • Hajira Mirza

    Your article is very well written. I completely agree that a person cannot be tagged as a blasphemer, non-believer etc if he/she doesn’t perform their prayers. Faith and belief is something which is in your heart and mind. But, whenever you do actually feel like praying you can honestly open up to someone and ask em to teach you how to pray. Be honest, there is nothing to be ashamed ofRecommend

  • Zuhaib

    Another sane attempt by ‘Not-so-common’ rational person and people have lost it completely, well most of them if not all. The writer attempt to convey the message about our peaceful, beloved religion must be applauded,
    he never asked you to teach him prayers, did he? a 26 year old man, who can communicate so convincingly and gets published, can access it through books and INTERNET. Please consider every other person equally sane and knowledgeable until and unless you don’t know them PERSONALLY.Recommend

  • Al

    It Is not sad that you were not taught how yo pray. It is a complete waste of time anyway. Recommend

  • Astonished but sincere advice

    Wow! It is really crazy how things turn out. Lets review. You don’t know how to pray and yet you make no effort to learn prayers which isn’t that hard with the internet here and everything and you tell us it is a personal matter and you would throw that line at everyone who asks you to join them in prayers rather than go out and learn it?
    Sounds like an excuse not to pray.
    The reason why our religion is hijacked by ‘moulvis’ and so called ‘mullas’ is because people like you exist who do not take the initiative to look into what Islam actually is and call themselves Muslims.
    Learn about Islam. Enough to give a proper response to those crazy ones out there. To set them right.
    Without that, we will just keep misunderstanding everyone and will be part of two extremes: both do not know what Islam is at all and one blame the Mullas, the others who believe everything that they are told by Mullas and blame people in the other category.
    Stop coming up with excuses and do something rather than blaming the Mullas.

    Sincere advise. :)Recommend

  • Noman

    @faraz: No I am not agree with that by your beliefs you are not doing the which will help Allah naoozo billah He is pure from any dependency if you are muslim you believe in Allah and if you believe somebody you fulfill demands from Him.Recommend

  • Mustafa Pasha

    This is the stupidest and most poorly written article i have read in months. However more than the immature author i would blame express tribune for posting such mindless drivel.

    I bet this blog is going to be part of this kids graduate school application and he’s going to continue spinning fictitious stories of how he was persecuted in Pakistan and stood up so bravely against an intolerant society.

    Does he expect a pat on the back for being shocked by the kidnapping of Taseer’s son? Why dont you write an article about it rather than spewing stereotypes which are sure to get you loads of comments?

    I am now dumber for having read this piece. Recommend

  • Unbiased

    You are a brave young man to admit such a thing in our Íslamic Republic’. Inshallah you will be a better muslim than most of the holier than thou muslims we meet in our daily lives, because these people are of the wrong opinion of themselves that they are Janaati just because they pray 5 times a day (mostly to show others or due to peer pressure) and that somehow absolves them from the other sins which they commit, knowingly or unknowingly (because of ignorance). You are starting afresh and you should dig deep into your learning. Yours will be a better understanding than most.
    And I absolutely share your views on the Taseer murder, although I did not like the man. Recommend

  • z.

    Support you Zain, you don’t namaz to show if you are a true Muslim, and frankly, from what I heard mostly the mosques are a place where venom is spewed against all thing modern and rational, atleast thats why my brothers never went to the mosque when we were in Pakistan.
    Anyways, live with people who don’t judge you based in the length of your beard or how many times you put your head on the ground, Leave this people, and live with those who don’t follow such dogmatic religions and judge each other as persons. Why is religion even required? The West is getting pretty well without it, we don’t want religion and scriptures to ruin it for us.Recommend

  • Zach Khan

    I haven’t read all the comments here but I commend you for coming out and admitting you don’t know how to pray – and its not that hard to learn, give it a few days and you will mastery over praying. As for the Mullahs at your work – try to keep your head clear of any non sense they say. They are supporting the murder of a man because he questioned a law. The whole deal with Salman Taseer reminds me of Dark Ages in Europe. Back then, any one who questioned the authority of the church was excommunicated, take for example, the great astronomer Galileo who claimed that the Sun was the center of the solar system, he was excommunicated and imprisoned for saying that. There are many other examples in history where religious people have hindered the progress of society, just because they are afraid of change. I live in the U.S, and very thankful for living in a secular democracy where no religious person can tell me how to live my life. I follow religion as much as I can, but that’s between me and God, not between me and some Mullah. Recommend