How to pray (five times a day) with a busy schedule

Published: December 6, 2011

I believed in God and loved Him, but on my own terms, not on the terms very clearly set out in the Quran and Prophetic teachings. PHOTO: AFP

Before I genuinely began to cultivate and nurture my relationship with God, I regarded the five daily prayers that Islam enjoins on believers as laborious. It seemed impractical to expect that I would be able to stop what I was doing during my busy work schedule to take time out and pray.

Working as a news wire journalist, I was often spending over 10 hours a day in the office or at conferences, interviews and meetings, barely able to make time for a lunch break. If I wasn’t working, my time was divided between house chores, errands, family and friends, and exercise. I was punctual with everything in my life – except that I was late five times a day.

In my mind, it was not viable to expect that I could wake up before the crack of dawn to pray the early-morning fajr prayer, otherwise I would be too tired to work effectively later that morning. It also seemed inefficient to interrupt my work meetings to pray the mid-day duhr prayer, and the afternoon asr prayer.

Making the sunset prayer maghrib was often a challenge because the window to pray is typically quite short and coincides with the time between finishing work, having dinner and returning home. So, in effect, the only prayer that was feasible for me to pray on time was the evening isha prayer. For most of my life, thus, I would at best pray all five prayers in the evening, or skip prayers here and there to accommodate my immediate commitments.

Without realising it, my inconsistency and approach to praying trivialised the principle behind performing prayers throughout the day. I believed in God and loved Him, but on my own terms, not on the terms set out in the Holy Quran and prophetic teachings.

Yet, praying the five daily prayers, at their prescribed times, is the backbone of being a Muslim; we cannot stand upright in our faith without them. It is one of the essential practices that God has called on those who endeavour to live in Islam, a state of existence whereby a human strives to live in submission to God.

When I came to truly understand the importance of prayer, the realisation was both overwhelming and quick. It dawned on me that if I was not fulfilling this precondition, then I really could not claim to be Muslim. Even if I desired to have a solid connection with the Almighty I was not taking the necessary steps to do so. I promptly reoriented my life and it has now been a year and a half that I have not intentionally missed a prayer time, whether I am in the office, mall, grocery store, out with friends or travelling.

Looking back, I see how wrong I was about the impracticality of Islamic prayers, which are succinct and straightforward notwithstanding their resonance. When I moved from trying to fit prayers into my life to fitting my life around my prayer schedule, I instantly removed a great deal of clutter from my daily routine. Since regular prayer promotes emotional consistency and tranquility, I began to eliminate excess negativity and cut down on unnecessary chitchat, helping me be more focused, productive and patient.

Over a short period of time, what amazed me was how easy and fluid the prayers became. Performing the early-morning prayer actually gave me a burst of energy during the day and, gradually, the prayers that I had initially perceived as cumbersome became an essential facet of my routine. With God’s help, I would find ways to pray regardless of the hurdles. While in Canada for the summer, I would often catch duhr prayer in a department store fitting room, with the help of a handy Islamic prayer compass application on my iPhone.

“‘Verily the soul becomes accustomed to what you accustom it to,” that is to say – what you at first burden the soul with becomes nature to it in the end.

This is a line drawn from a magnificent book I am in the process of reading by great Islamic thinker al Ghazali, titled Invocations and Supplications: Book IX of the Revival of Religious Sciences. Al Ghazali describes a series of formulae, drawn from the Quran and Hadith, which we can repeat to help us attain greater proximity to the Divine and purify our hearts.

At each turn in my quest to enrich my faith, I have found that what at first appears difficult becomes easy when performed with sincerity. Soon after I reoriented my life to revolve around prayer, the five prayers felt insufficient in expressing my devotion. I examined Hadith, or the traditions of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) peace and blessings be upon him, and discovered there were optional prayers I could add to my routine. Since then, I have not let a day pass without praying them.

To supplement my prayers, I have integrated various zikr, or remembrance and mentioning of God, into my days. Zikr, including repeating such phrases as “La illa ha il Allah” (There is no God but God), habitually draws our attention back to God.

Among the many rich invocations mentioned in Ghazali’s book is this one which I have started to incorporate. As we leave our houses each day, if we say “In the name of God” (Bismillah), God will guide us; when we add “I trust in God” (Tawakalt al Allah), God will protect us; and if we conclude with “There is no might or power save with God” (La hawla wa la quwwata illa billah), God will guard us.

I suppose to an outsider, these acts of devotion can appear a bit obsessive, and I have had a couple of people say this to me. Yet it is an obsession with the greatest possible consequences that can improve rather than disintegrate one’s disposition. The more time I devote to God, the greater the peace of mind I find filling my life and the more focused I become on what is important -such as treating my family and friends honourably, working hard at my job, giving charity with compassion and generosity, and maintaining integrity.

Remembering God throughout the day, through prayer and invocation, truly does polish the heart as Hadith teaches; you erase obstructions that would impede faith in its purest form.

“Truly when a man loves a thing, he repeatedly mentions it, and when he repeatedly mentions a thing, even if that may be burdensome, he loves it,” writes Ghazali 

This post was originally published here.

Daliah.Merzaban

Daliah Merzaban

An Egyptian-Canadian journalist, editor and economic analyst with a decade of experience in the Gulf region, Egypt and Canada. To read more of her views on Islam, spirituality and Arab women, visit daliahm.blogspot.com or follow her on Twitter @Desert_Dals.

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

  • Nandita.

    Why are so many posts on ET about prayers and religion. Don’t get me wrong – i am not against religion at all. If a person finds peace of mind in prayer, that’s great ! Pray to your heart’s content but this sounds obsessive. Your whole life can’t revolve around prayer timings. And in my humble opinion, god would be pleased more if instead of obsessing about prayer timings, one spent his/her life going good deeds that would help alleviate human suffering. Knowingly making a positive difference in people’s lives would be more fulfilling.For eg – i’ve read about his pakistani man on ET – abdul edhi. It wouldn’t matter if someone like him went without praying 5 times a day all his life. What he does is so much more meaningful than simply praying.His noble deeds alone would ensure a ” place in heaven ” THat should be a human being true religion – humanity. Recommend

  • Sohaib

    Thankyou for sharing such an amazing article. Will try my best to be punctual. Allah bless youRecommend

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

    I’m not religious, but I found your article quite pleasant. I appreciate you not being sanctimonious about this. While I do not share your beliefs, I acknowledge that fact that we should pursue whatever gives us some peace of mind, as long as it’s not too much of a bother to others.

    Great job.Recommend

  • Asad

    Nice Article. I also started praying 5 times a day for the last 2 years and its a wonderful experience. Its a lot easier than you expect it to be. I second all of Dailah’s experiences mentioned!
    Finally I would encourage Dailah (and all other muslims on the path to discover Islam) to directly read the translation of the Glorious Quran. Some good translations are of Yusuf Ali, Shakir, Pikhtal, Mufti Taqi Usmani, Abul Ala Maududi. When you read the translation of the Glorious Quran you feel that Allah (swt) is directly talking to you.Recommend

  • Mehmood

    Jazzaqalla……..Recommend

  • Hadi

    Good. However, I don’t find peace and pleasure in reciting same phrases over and over again.Recommend

  • Rabbiya

    Mashallah. i Hope i can get to that stage where i am so regular with my Namaz.Recommend

  • Hira

    Beautifully written and truly very motivating. God bless you.Recommend

  • Sajid

    @Nandita.: on your own terms!Recommend

  • Jalal

    Superb. And I thought it was not possible with my 9-5 job!By God, it is!Thanks Daliah!Recommend

  • Zahra

    Your article is truly inspirational and I hope it’s going to change many people’s lives.
    What I’d like to address here is something that Miss Nandita has said. Abdul Sattar Edhi is hands down an extremely noble person who’s doing things that people might have thought of doing but actually haven’t. His actions are being rewarded by Allah ta’ala in the form of respect and hearts that he’s won of the entire nation. But his worldly deeds for a better hereafter like his services to our nation do not exempt him or anyone from fulfilling the five pillars of islam of which Prayer is the second one. No human being can right judge if a person is going to heaven or hell; this decision lies only with Allah because he knows what lies in our hearts.Recommend

  • wahab

    @ Nandita. Offering five prayers a day is the main pillar of Islam and your religion cant be completed without these prayers. Its importance is also evident from the fact that first question will be asked about your prayers on the day of judgement. So you cant just ignore Hakook-Allah on the pretext that you are doing a great social work or you are running a gigantic charity house.
    Humanity, humility, patience are further characteristics of a Muslim, which indeed cant be ignored.Recommend

  • Tanoli

    JazakAllah !!!!Recommend

  • http://syedaabidabokhari.wordpress.com The Only Normal Person Here.

    Nicely written. However, I wonder why everyone turns so religious during ramzan, ashura and rabi ul awalRecommend

  • fahad

    @Nandita.:
    Prayer is part of human Aesthetics. Imam Ghazali, or any of the great stoic thinkers like Saint Aquinas developed and nourished this method. Prayer has little to do with heaven or hell, but is more of a human experience, where one experiences a higher state of tranquility through subtractive means and becomes less material in the process. Good deeds can on be performed by a soul, which has freed itself from the ups and downs of destiny and which is free from the material world. Prayer is one way of liberating your soul. You must read Imam Ghazali, Saint Aquinas or Seneca to get a better understanding. Salvation lies within, the problems this world has is because we are so full of ourselves. There is enough food to go around, but selfishness and greed and the love of thy self causes hunger in many parts of the world. Prayer helps you liberate your soul from your self.Recommend

  • FAZ

    @Nandita.:
    Religious posts on ET?
    I was getting a feeling ET is dedicated to LGBT’s and other burger bloggers!
    Finally something that depicts common Pakistani thinking!Recommend

  • Nandita.

    @ Fahad – yup, i know prayers have little to do with heaven or hell, i said that because most commentors here on ET seems to talk about ” going to heaven or hell ” which is why i mentioned that.

    As for me, i am not religious so prayers don’t matter to me one way or the other. :) I live in the present and do what i enjoy irrespective of what religious texts say. I am educated enough so i rely on my logic and common sense to show me the correct path. I am conscientious and i think that’s good enough.That’s my way to attaining a tranquil mind – knowing that i m a good human being. I don’t care much for what any saint/priest or religious text says :)) Recommend

  • Anum

    this is the original dua which d author has mentioned in d above article.

    ” Bismillahi tawakkaltu Allah-lah La haula wala quuwata illa billa “Recommend

  • Nandita.

    @FAZ:
    I know ! I think it’s great that LGBT’s have finally found a forum where they can open up. Maybe bigoted individuals will learn a thing or two about tolerance and acceptance from their posts. I think ET’s doing a great job by giving them the opprtunity to write here. Recommend

  • Anum

    @ Nandita
    U r probably saying right but if u have a knowledge of Islam then it says a person, as beinga Muslim, has 2 obligations through out his life.

    First, he is obliged to fulfill Huqooq ul Allah which means all the five obligations of Islam “‘Farz” ( Believe in oneness of God, Namaz, Roza, Zakat, Hajj).

    Second, he is obliged to fulfill Huqooq ul Ibad (human) which means he he has to take care of man kind.

    So as u see both are important for being a good muslim. One can not be a good muslim if he only do good deeds without performing any other obligations prescribed in Islam. Similarly one can not be good muslim if he only fulfill his duties to God without taking care of mankind.Recommend

  • V

    Oh my great lovers of Allah and those who believe that praying through the day is essential, why dont you follow what you believe in then? Why is it that non-muslims dont get a chance to pray and have their own temples and churches in muslim countries? Why do you curb the basic right of a human to connect with god? And why dont you believe in – to each his own? How many of you are going to come forward to let other religions get an equal chance to pray and preach in islamic countries?Recommend

  • Yuri Kondratyuk

    If god would judge me by my name, circumcision, headgear or religious denomination rather than my conduct and actions, I would rather worship the devil.

    If going to heaven would require me to abstain from wine and sex in earthly life so that I would go to heaven to do the same things perpetually, I would rather go to hell.

    If persecuting, killing, enslaving and looting all those who disagree with me would add virtue onto me, I would rather be wicked.Recommend

  • http://derwaishnama.wordpress.com Derwaish

    If you walk towards Allah, Allah will runs towards you, Allah said “Remember Me and I will remember you”
    A very nicely written Inspirational write up. I suggest author to practice Pas Anfas Zikr through breathing for maximum remembrance of Allah as well Recommend

  • http://www.hasboo.co.nr hasboo

    I wonder where the common sense of all dictators and tyrants go when they murdered humanity. If common sense has to be enough y did v have a book dats been unchanged since 1433 years n counting. – infant the only literature on holy earth dats same as it was before.- that’s make sense if v follow it. – rest all options indeed are one’s own choice . Recommend

  • FAZ

    @Nandita.:
    Well my point still remains that ET was getting a reputation for such stuff, now finally this post comes as a change in their policy i guess.
    And there is a thought for you. According to Islamic beliefs, all prayers and deeds are for the Almighty. If you don’t follow them then its His decision to forgive you. However if you hurt someone, be your neighbor, your relative, wife, child etc then its upon them to forgive you on the day of judgement. Hence good manners are the first most important thing for a muslim This leads to the formation of a welfare society. This is true Islam, which unfortunately most of people have forgotten.Recommend

  • amna

    Jazak ALLAH…!!! thnx a million 4 writing this peice…:)Recommend

  • Sumaiya

    @Hadi:
    that’s because you don’t know what you’re saying.. Study the translation and then you’ll feel the difference!Recommend

  • http://ahandfulofdust.wordpress.com/ Mariam

    A good read, after a long time.Recommend

  • Asad

    @Yuri

    Firstly I would mention that Allah says in the Quran that only those whom Allah wills shall be believers.

    However to reply to your post:
    1. God will not judge anyone by their names but by their faith and actions.
    2. Headwear is a form of protection and identification of women (and men) as believers. I have asked about masjids and prayer times from women wearing scarfs or men having beards when I am in a new city during travel.
    3. Circumcision has many proven medical benefits including prevention of cancer of the organ.
    4. Wine and sex in this world are the major forms of evil and immorality. Worldly wine intoxicates but wine in the heaven will not intoxicate but provide taste and enjoyment, same goes for conjutal relations in heaven, they will be with wives (hoors will also be wives)
    5. God does not tell believers to persecute the disbelievers. In fact the disbelievers are given protection by the believers for a tax (Jizya). Muslims also pay a tax called Zakat. So no discrimination there. Believers are only ordered to fight the disbelievers in defence and protection of deen (faith) if the disbelievers try to wipe out muslims and Islam.

    Having said said, if you are wicked and arrogant, then the All Mighty will not guide you to the truth. There are examples of Firaun and Nimrud and their end.Recommend

  • Jun

    @Yuri, While i may not be that religious or pray 5 times a day, I believe in god and all that is written in the Quran (and i have read it with translation), though very sadly I don’t practice like I should and in no way can i correct anyone on any aspect of it.
    However, generally regarding what you just said, it is not written in the Quran that god would judge you by your name, circumcision, headgear or religious denomination.
    Let me just put my statement in simplistic terms and explain. From what i see all around the world and within us muslims, i think we are the ones who would mostly be going to Hell due to the fact we don’t carry out any trait as to what has been stated in the Quran or what is supposed to be morally correct.
    Most of us lie, backbite, cheat, have jealousy and hatred towards one another, and we put gods name on everything and try praying 5 times a day just to think we’re the doing the right thing.
    Islam is not just about praying or believing in what the prophets have taught the entire muslim community, rather it provides you with a pure way of life and the kind of deeds to carry out for humanity as a whole. The western nations have implemented most of the teachings since time immemorial, and that can be seen everywhere around. While no one is perfect, every person is for him or herself in this world, and in the end it all goes down as to what you do in this short life of yours, how you treat people and how you ultimately behave within the community. Don’t have such a negative impact of Islam as the media states, rather try to learn the teachings and how it paves way for us to be good human beings.
    Islam is a way of life, look out of the box and you’ll see something totally different, trust me when i say that. Don’t blindly follow what the media or other people say, rather research yourself as to what’s the reasoning behind the teachings of Islam. In these modern times extremism has taken its toll and a lot of muslims are confused as to what they have to do, some totally ignore (becoming partial atheists), some stay in between and some totally close their minds.
    Recently, only negativity of Islam is being portrayed around everywhere, which is far from reality and just poisons everyones mind.
    In the end, just be a good person, believe in god, and gradually you’ll see the signs in life which will make you lure more towards him with a peace of mind automatically :)Recommend

  • ali

    I pray 5 times a day, but I feel nothing. It just seems like an exercise. Recommend

  • Sharjeel

    great article.. mashaAllah.. may Allah give all of us the tofeeq to do that as well..

    @ Nandita: looks like ur not a frequent ET visitor.. Recommend

  • Saad

    “Busy life makes Salah harder, Salah makes busy life easier” :)Recommend

  • Leila Rage

    I definitely think that the author’s experiene is truly wonderful, and something amazing in itself. However, I don’t see the point of blogging about it. I’m not trying to be offensive or hurtful, I genuiniely respect the author. But I also believe that spiritually meaningful experiences like these do not need to be broadcast to the whole world— they lose any meaning they had this way because it sounds a lot more like boasting. No offense or anything.Recommend

  • http://kziakhan.blogspot.com Khurram Zia Khan

    A real thought provoking article,may we all read us and think deep about it and try to bring positive changes on our livesRecommend

  • Fahad

    @Nandita.:
    The problem is with common sense and logic. From a purely philosophical point of view, its very hard to actually formalize what logic is. There are huge philosophical problems with deductive and inductive and with semantics in general. Logic and reasoning fall flat when faced with complexity. The mathematical notion of logic only works in a purely mechanistic environment and pretty much fails outside of that controlled environment. Religion is a cure for complexity. To understand religion and aesthetics, then I am afraid you would have to study a lot of philosophical problems deeply.Recommend

  • MK

    ahh and the eternal religious debate on ET continues yet AGAIN. ET, pls try diversifying..lets make this a global issues blog, and not just abt what the so called average Pakistani wants to read, or is tired of reading about. religion is a personal matter, get over it already.Recommend

  • Indi-Pop

    @Nandita.:I believe we Indians (and I m assuming you are one) are not used to talk of religion in public discourse. Religion is strictly a personal matter in India. No one dictates to you how you you pray and nor such a interference in another’s personal religious life is welcome. The main reason here is the diversity, every 100 kilometers you travel there a different set of customs prevalent and from childhood you are taught to adjust and let and let live. Even in case of Indian Muslims in public domain , you usually don’t see such vocal practice of religion. I saw this difference specially during cricket matches, Pakistanis thank god in the beginning and end of every sentence ( nothing wrong with that) but such religious tendencies are not seen among Indian players , that doesn’t mean they have less faith or are non believers but chose to keep it at their personal level and not for public consumption.Recommend

  • M Karim Ahmed

    very appealing article.the writer truly said that praying five times a days looks very difficult in the beginning but if one sticks to it it becomes easy.
    reading the translation of Holy Quran removes many doubts.
    i pray to Allah Almighty to keep us on right path Recommend

  • uzma

    i am truly inspired with your article and u r absolutely right we do neglect prayers and prefer daily chores over it:)Recommend

  • Sanjeev

    The article is really good for the faithful, but just a question as the comments were quite positive, I had a question do religion change over a period of time?

    As they say there is only one thing permanent – CHANGE.

    Anum has described about 2 obligation –

    “First, he is obliged to fulfill Huqooq ul Allah which means all the five obligations of Islam “‘Farz” ( Believe in oneness of God, Namaz, Roza, Zakat, Hajj).

    Second, he is obliged to fulfill Huqooq ul Ibad (human) which means he he has to take care of man kind.”

    My personal thinking is there is no first and second, both the obligation are interrelated, for e.g – A good person offering 4 prayers in a day and a robber offering 5 prayers in a day, who is the better.Recommend

  • Fahad Raza

    An amazing blog picked up by ET and
    @Loneliberal PK:
    Nicely done. Recommend

  • Chachi jaan

    Seriously, your blog post brought tears to my eyes. This was SUCH a big inspiration for me, I am gonna try my best to pray regularly from now on. Respect.Recommend

  • Ummair M Baig

    Blockquote

    Blockquote> Since regular prayer promotes emotional consistency and tranquility, I began to eliminate excess negativity and cut down on unnecessary chitchat, helping me be more focused, productive and patient.Blockquote

    Blockquote

    True! couldn’t agree more.Recommend

  • Saad
  • http://www.ibloguniverse.com Saadi

    @Nandita.:
    Well, you have raised a good point but there is a difference between acting just as a human and as a Muslim-human. Rights in Islam are divided into two categories; 1. Rights of Allah and 2. Rights of People.
    Being a Muslim, not only that you have to take care of rights of people around you but you also have to make sure that you are taking out time for Allah as well. We believe in a life after death, Heaven and Hell. A person who doesn’t have good grades will not enter Heaven and that is why Praying 5 times a day and performing other religious obligations is so important for a Muslim.Recommend

  • Hareem

    TO ALL WHO THINK PRAYERS ARENT AS IMPORTANT, they should all know that its a hadith: ‘Namaz burai aur be-hayai se rokti hai.’ And once you get stopped doing something wrong by your heart, you will automatically be doing good. It purifies you. It gives you peace of mind and heart. When you have inner peace, you will radiate it out as well.
    Excellent article I must say. Each and every man, when sad or in trouble, remembers God. Why not remember Him all the time? :) Recommend

  • Parvez

    I think the author has made a good case for saying one’s prayers and trying to achieve a personal satisfaction through religion, as she sees it. On the other hand the comments by Nandita and Loneliberal PK appeal to one’s common sense. When Loneliberal PK says ‘I am not religious ‘ I wonder whose yardstick is he using to measure this, certainly not mine.Recommend

  • Nobody

    @Nandita.:
    I’ve come across several of your comments on ET lately and I’ve noticed the premise of most of your comments is the same. With all your education and logic and common sense, I would think you would have learned to have an open mind as most truly educated people I know have, but I suppose that assumption was a mistake on my part. Most of your comments on these blogs, especially ones having to do with (gasp) religion are dripping with disdain and condescension; no offense but the first thought that enters my mind is ‘who do you think you are???’ While you have the right to live YOUR life on your own terms, be it religious or not, you need not criticize or judge those who choose to do BOTH, live and enjoy life, while following the religion he or she so chooses. There is NOTHING wrong or archaic about that. You’re modern, we get it. Cheers to you. While I personally am not very religious, I know PLENTY of people who do adhere to Islamic guidelines for even their daily life without making it a big deal (it’s not a sword hanging over their head; they actually WANT to do so) and still balance a modern life without any trouble. And yes, some people choose to write about it on ET or wherever else, so what? Since your education hasn’t taught you so yet, please let me, live and let live Ms. Nandita. Cheers! Recommend

  • kaalchakra

    Again, Nandita’s idea that it should be enough to be a good person and do good human deeds may make sense to her but is a complete absurdity in an Islamic sense.

    Also, praying frequently because it makes someone a good person, more disciplined etc, is one thing. Praying regularly so one can meet all requirements of being a Muslim.Hindu/Atheist etc is quite another. They are not quite the same, and sometimes, those differences may become quite clear.Recommend

  • Anum

    @ V:

    If u r judging islam on d bases of dese stupid grounds dat islamic countries do not allow non muslims to worship then i would seriously want to know ur opinion about Israel where d temples and mosques of non-jewish are treated as garbage house? why ppl are so intolerant when it comes to Islam…..?Recommend

  • 1111

    @Nandita.:
    well, ur perspective is right too, and ofcourse helping the suffering humanity is very important too,
    infact in Islam here is huge emphasis on it, but u see there is a connection between fulfilling godly duties and humanity duties, if we pray five times a day, remember Allah, and do what He says like for instance there is this hadith that remember death thrice a day. so when one wil think abt this, automatically it will envoke him to perform good deeds and as the writer said it provides internal peace and serenity, so you are much happy person.
    lastly, THE DECISION TO SEND SOMEONE TO HELL OR TO HEAVEN IN PURELY ALLAH’S AND IT MAYBE POSSIBLE THAT A PERSON WHO PRAYS 5 TIMES A DAY WILL ROT IN HELL AND A PERSON WHO NEVER PRAYED WILL ENJOY HEAVEN. WE CANT SAY ANYTHING, ALL WE CAN DO IS JUST PREPARE OUR SELVES FOR AAKHIRAT AND DO AS THE QURAAN AND SUNNAH SAYS :)Recommend

  • Rafey

    What a pleasant post. So refreshing to read something on ET that is not having a go at religion. Having lived in the UK for the last 5 years, I have had the pleasure of being around actual liberals. The pseudo liberals of the subcontinent demonstrate lack of tolerance. Anything mentioned remotely connected to religion and you will see the poor person being targeted from all angles by these people – as if religion has become a taboo and is offensive to people when mentioned. Where is the tolerance now. The fact remains that such people despise diversity and hate people who carry different views than their own. Recommend

  • Hasan

    Well, outside of suggesting how you prayed Zuhr, you did not specify how one should try to pray or work the rest of the prayers around your daily schedule. That’s what I was looking for in this article. Recommend

  • rizvi

    So where is the answer to the question? U just narrated your own story, which is good for you.
    Btw Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib said about worshipping God
    ” I don’t pray in greed of Heaven nor do I pray in of the fear of Hell, I only pray because I found my God worth worshipping !”

    Wish we could just follow this one line, then praying will be much more easier and simpler.Recommend

  • khurram kaleem

    humanity can only survive with religion in life.

    very nice article wish i could follow in spirit on this articleRecommend

  • maria

    @Nandita.:
    u r getting it all wrong……….everything has its own place,love for humanity is realy an essential thing in our religion but u cant love the creation till u love the creator………n also that if u r praying,it doesnt forbid u from helping humanity rather facilitates it……….dont talk abt the things u have no knowledge of…Recommend

  • Sindhvoice

    Religion is one’s personal business, why ET allows people to share their religious fervor with others? Will ET allows Hindus, Christians, Ahmedis, etc to write their spiritual stories. Let every one mind their own religion.ET should not be a preaching paper. Recommend

  • Bilal

    A great read!
    Thank you very much author :)Recommend

  • Farigh from across the b…………

    @Nandita.:
    Yet you are not tranquil enough to troll .. across the border.Recommend

  • Yuri Kondratyuk

    @Asad:
    I do not agree with all that you say and in fact I find some of your statements are contradicting each other or contradict known observations or contradict science itself.

    Point is that I respect your opinions as long as you do not consider me an infidel just because I do not agree with you.Recommend

  • Zaman khan

    Have we ever contemplated why five prayers a day? ALLAH doesnt need our prayers so why not just one time. So the creater himself tells us something which if we dont follow would result into our being led astray by IBLEES. The car manufacturer tell us to change the oil after so many kilometers and we do so very regularly because we can expereince the result immediately if we dont follow the instructions. So praying 5 times is not the need of ALLAH it is required by our soul to remain steadfast on the right path. Those who offer 5 times prayers regularly and with the focus as if having a meeting with ALLAH they are bestowed with inner strenght to refrain from other evils. ALLAH says in Quran IF YOU DO SOMETHING GOOD YOU DO IT FOR YOURSELF AND IF YOU DO SOMETHING BAD YOU ARE GOING TO FACE THE CONSEQUENCES. So we are doing it for our own self and this we would come to know at time when we breath our last and leave this world which we otherwis are supposed to leave whehter we like it or not.Recommend

  • Haseeb

    Nice post.. its good thing to motivate others who are still unaware of this prayer exercise… we are ALHAMDULILLAH muslim, we have to show others to become a complete muslim.. Recommend

  • Sara

    A fantastic Read!!Recommend

  • ES

    @fahad:

    amazaing Fahad :)Recommend

  • Amna

    @Sanjeev: As Muslims, we believe that the message and teaching of Islam is the absolute truth. So to answer your question,yes change is constant and mostly everything changes, but the truth always remains the same. So to a Muslim, some aspects of how you go about practicing the religion change, but the underlying teaching of Islam remain and you can not change those. Recommend

  • red

    @Nobody – Maybe you should teach people here to live and let live. The real trolls, People who pray ten times a day and then go and kill christians and hindus. Is that what religion teaches you people ?Recommend

  • Adeel

    @Nandita.:

    I don’t think you understood the author’s point of view at all. She is not obsessing about prayers. She is simply saying how easy it is to fit 5 prayers in our lives if you change your perception just a little bit.
    Now, when you say “simply praying” … You need to understand Islam, and read the Quran to know what Namaz really is, and what it does for your mind, body and soul. You wont call it “simply praying” once you’ve learnt its value.

    And it is an obligation for every Muslim… so the author is doing nothing but telling by experience so that others can learn from her and do the same.

    Simple.
    Kudos to the author.Recommend

  • Adeel

    @Hadi:
    Maybe you need to understand the meaning of the phrases?

    How about saying thank you to God through Namaz? Won’t that be enough of a reason to pray?Recommend

  • Adeel

    @Nandita.:
    While I respect your views… Logic, common sense and Scientific proof, are exactly the reasons why I AM a Muslim.
    You only need to read the Quran to understand what I mean.

    What other book told you about the big bang 1400 years ago? Just the Quran.
    That alone is enough of a reason for me to logically conclude that such wisdom and knowledge can only be divine and out of this world, ie Quran HAS to be the true word of God. Recommend

  • Adeel

    @red:
    Why judge religion based on its followers?
    If an atheist attacks/kills someone … (as happens all the time in the world)… is it then safe to say that atheism is teaching people to kill and is no good?

    Judge every religion on its own merits… ie its teachings. Simple. Not what its followers are doing. but what they SHOULD be doing.Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/9236/how-to-pray-five-times-a-day-with-a-busy-schedule/ Kamran Azim

    Beautiful article. Namaz- (prayers), if truly offered:namaz is the best anit-depressant, food for the soul, give you patience, tolerance, discipline. There are scientific reasons behind performing namaz on time which is beneficial for us. As Allah says in Quran, your namaz does not give ME any benefit, it is for your own good/benefit, I have enough of creations who pray day and night. May Allah give us guidance.Recommend

  • Sarah B. Haider

    Salat cannot be deemed salat unless one performs it with the intention of complete submission to the Almighty. Those who pray out of habit and/ or to ‘appear’ pious to others, such a prayer is surely laborious. God is certainly not interested in our “bodily exertion of standing, bowing, sitting and prostrating” if the true spirit of prayer is missing. I am not saying that those who pray five time a day should stop it because they cannot concentrate, however, people should try to understand the essence of performing salat to find inner peace and tranquillity, and to create a sense of closeness to the Creator. Recommend

  • Kashif Nawaz Shakh

    Great Inspiring Article…Keep up the good work Daliah.Recommend

  • Avantika

    I know i am inviting trouble but i am going to go ahead and say it anyways –
    the first time i read a religious blog on ET i was shocked .. thats an understatement. i have grown up among muslims and christians in india. My neighbours were muslims and i had christian neighbours too ( no hindus in the complex where i lived except my family ) but never in my life have i seen such arguments and fights regarding religion. In india no one talks about religion , not even the muslims. I have muslim colleagues and friends. None of them prays 5 times a day. And i refuse to believe they can’t be classified as good muslims because they dont pray 5 times a day. Infact to me, they are the epitome of what muslims should be. In todays world, muslims are treated as outcastes the world over, but not in india. You know why ? coz they dont obsess over religion. Even though i’ve practically lived in my muslim neighbours house all my life i didnt know whAT sunni and shia was till i read ET blogs.So i asked my neighbour this today,” are u a sunni or a shia ” and they were shocked. “where did you hear this? ” they wanted to know.So i made them read some blogs here. And i asked ” how come muslims in india dont discuss such stuff ” to which Chacha said ” i am so glad they dont.Avantika, please stop reading these blogs ” And i’ve never heard the word blasphemy being uttered by any indian. I’ve never seen any muslim in india treat a christian or a hindu with disrespect. I AM NOT TRYING TO PUT ANYONE DOWN HERE. NO OFFENCE TO ANYONE.But to be honest, it chills my blood to read some comments on ET and to be honest i can’t thank god enough for not being born a hindu in pakistan. You guys may not realise it, but to an outsider, be in an indian or an american or any other country, pakistanis come across as obsessive people..Recommend

  • humair kaleem

    @nandita
    Actually in Islam, there are two major things a muslim has to care about.
    1. Allah’s rights
    2. People’s rights
    As far as Allah’s rights are concerned they are prayer (namaz), fasting (roza), Hajj, Zakat, stating there is no God but Allah.
    when we talk about peoples we have to take care of morals, charity, good dealing, honesty etc.
    A good muslim is one who performs both of these duties equally. So praying is not obsession it is Allah’s right. He is the one who has given us health, wealth everything.
    If a person is fulfilling Allah’s rights, he will also take care of people’s rights.
    Thats why Islam is the most complete,comprehensive and practical religion. Hope that clears your concept a bit.

    Regards,
    HumairRecommend

  • Vigilant

    After a long time…..i have seen such a sensible blog….very well written…..excellent effort…..otherwise i lost hope to see any thing else then “MEN vs WoMEN” at ET blog

    what i like most is to “Arrange ur life around five prayer time….instead of accommodating them around your life”…… Recommend

  • Wahab

    @ Nandita, Yuri, Avantika

    Hey guys, why on earth you are so much concerned about Muslims discussing anything religious? Why you are comparing us with yourself? Why are you forcing us to learn how to behave in a muslim society and discuss such things in public!?
    This article is primarily written for muslims to take inspiration and get guidance from other people experiences.
    I totally respect you people and your Hinduism but i would also suggest you not to indulge yourself in arguments/ discussions which is basically not meant for you. Recommend

  • Hina Fan

    @Nandita: looks like you have been handed your comeuppance. ;) you really need to know that folks in Pakistan are serious about their religion. I am guessing this ends your honeymoon with ET.

    @Avantika : you are headed the same way … Recommend

  • Kashif Nawaz Shakh

    Nice Inspiring Artilce Dalmiah. I hope every muslims is inspired to follow regular prayers on time.

    Keep up the good work. Recommend

  • Avantika

    @Hina Fan:
    yes, u r right. The people in pakistan take their religion very seriously , so seriously . All the time is spent only obsessing over religion while the real issues, the things that matter are ignored.Recommend

  • maria

    thanks for sharing such an inspirational and motivating article.Recommend

  • Avantika

    @hina – So i had written something here but ET censored half of it ! uff. so yes, pakistanis are so serious about religion but do you know how that makes the world view them ? Do you know why the world has such a bad image of islamic countries ? Maybe becoz people ” take their religion very seriously” , so seriously that it cause problems in other parts of the world ( read : attacks etc )

    ET – dont censor this comment. i m being perfectly polite, ain’t i ?Recommend

  • Asad

    The non muslims commenting here and getting disturbed about those muslims who pray 5 times a day only proves the truth in the verses of the Glorious Quran where Allah mentions that the non muslims will never be happy with the muslims… until the muslims follow and do as the non muslims do, which will be an error if the muslims follow the non muslims. and another verse in the Quran says ‘when they are told not to spread mischief, they say we are only peace makers’
    If the non muslims are so full of humanity and love human beings as they claim to be…why do they not feel happy for their human brothers and sisters (Muslims) who are praying 5 times a day? The fact is that this reaction of disturbance from the non muslims is natural and has already been explained in the Glorious Quran.Recommend

  • rabbahs

    It will be very easy to offer five time pray with punctuality when we remember all the blessing of mighty Alllah. That how wonderful things are given to us … and we need to thankful to Allah. And the main point of offering pray is only to benefit to us, because Allah is not in need of our prays, its we who need to perform it so that we have have more blessing of Allah.
    This starts with the trust and believe in Allah. And offering pray is one of the thing that we can show that how much we trust and believe.
    Pray has it physical benefit other then spiritual.
    The action we perform during pray also kind of physical exerciser that give us plenty of health benefits. And if offering pray 5 times on time then one can all the physical and spiritual benefit.
    So, if we count every thing then the person who offer pray regularly can be more physcially active and hopefull IF his prays are accepted then more spritually benifited.Recommend

  • yousaf

    @Nandita:–Please read the article again,read again if you may,if still you do not understand the message,forget it and do not bother others who understand the logic behind regularly praying five times a day,thanks in advanceRecommend

  • Hina Fan

    @Avantika: I guess you still do not get the full picture. Islam is very different from other religions in some respects. You have to perform certain rituals/actions as prescribed by the book … in fact if I am not wrong followers of Islam are know as the ‘People of the book’. As a follower of the religion, you are not at liberty to change/modify/soften up any of the rules.
    Other religions have morphed over time, people modify their rituals according to changing times or geographical locations or mixing in with other religions. Not so with Islam. You have to stick to the rules in the book.Recommend

  • sonia

    may ALLAH guide you through your life and make easy all the good deeds, May ALLAH let you be the guiding light to all of us! Ameeeen!Recommend

  • Leila Rage

    @Hareem: Namaz is important, but what is equally important is the intention when you’re praying, and how much of your namaz is prayed for your love of God or just to show off to other people. The maulvis in masjids pray regularly, but how manyt times has just this praying stopped any of them from abusing young children?Recommend

  • ahmed

    @Avantika:

    Which attacks?? 80,000 people have been brutally massacred in Kashmir only, did you ever talk about these matters or went to a protest or did anything to help these people.

    1-2 million have been massacred in Iraq and Afghanistan. I didn’t see any people rising up to protect these people. It takes guts to stand with the weak, and only who has the strength of religion can stand up to atrocities without caring for one’s own life and betterment. Without religion we’ll have a lot of gutless people, who stand silent when atrocities are done. This is the reason why you’ll constantly hear about Islam (read:attacks). Recommend

  • Sanjeev

    @Amna:

    Thanks for the reply, but truth too has dimensions even…….now coming to the point of continous change you said “we believe that the message and teaching of Islam is the absolute truth”, is it not different followers will intrepret the messages and teachings in different time periods of human history, in the various circumstances and derive different meanings.

    So in essence my point there would be different takes and views of the same message and teachings and those too will evolve….and not being static.Recommend

  • http://facebook.com/simplify.pakistan simplify

    I agree! Great article. Prayers are such a great way to connect with Allah taala and relax. Now even Yale and Harvard psychologists are accepting meditation as a way to calm your mind. Recommend

  • Naeem Javid Muhammad Hassani

    Very distinctly written!!! In our hectic life it is very difficult to offer five time prayers. It is a special blessing from Almighty Allah to those who offer it. It has been seen that if u find such an environment like going for Tableegh u will find such an environment and ultimately u ll become used to with ur prayers. Recommend

  • Mehwish Ashraf

    Nice article. Something that directly touched my heart! I am also in the process of being a punctual Namazi and this blog has furthered my inspirations. Hats off to the writer!Recommend

  • FAZ

    @Avantika:
    No we as a whole ummah (all islamic countries) do not take religion seriously at all. If you go through the Islamic history and the early days of Islam you will see that Islam first teaches u as yourself to adhere to its principles and then come forward to lay the foundation of a true welfare society where there is absolutely no differences on any basis between people! Where law and order is so supreme that even the son of the Khalifa (leader) can be put to death by the verdict of his own father (based on evidences/confessions).
    *”What if a dog dies of thirst by the banks of Nile! I would be held responsible for it” (Quote from Caliph Ummer Bin Khattab RA)*

    This was the thinking of a true Islamic leader. Unfortunately you wont find any such thing in any Muslim society across the globe!

    And to summarise, being a Muslim has never been easy! It will get harder and harder as time progresses! There will be all sorts of allegations, conspiracies and a hell on earth for a true believer. This is what strenthens our belief in the Life here after. No wonder the rewards are far greater than what we do in this life. So I am not surprised what you think of us or our religion. But I pray for your guidance so that you may see the true picture Recommend

  • http://www.myfrequentranting.blogspot.com Farwa Naqvi

    This is so right. I went through this phase as well, in fact, there was a time when I didn’t pray at all, even when I had time. It wasn’t because I didn’t believe in Allah anymore, it was just because, some reason I can’t even explain to myself. But now, with the grace of the Almighty, I pray regularly Allhamdulillah and I can feel the change in myself. I’m more positive, the regular depression that I went through has now lessened, I have become more patient. Fajar prayers energise me and I have found out that it’s not at all hard to get up for Fajar, like many people think. Praying really do change you. Recommend

  • faraz

    your blog cooled me mind off a bit that not everyone is astray here like others immature bloggers.

    You are absolutely true.

    Jazakallah. Recommend

  • Ed

    Very nice blog entry. Makes me think about my relationship with the Almighty…Recommend

  • Ed

    Very nice article. Makes me think about my duties.Recommend

  • Red

    I did not mind the article at all but I agree with Avantika…we’re too obsessed with religion. It’s kind of hard to avoid it you know, even for someone like me who does not like to talk in terms of religion. For instance, if I advocate gay rights (yes, gay rights, which everyone seems to personally hate as if they know an evil gay person is just lurking around the corner scheming to bring down our enviable society), someone will instantly point out Lot’s story and then I have two choices: I can either tell them there is an alternate interpretation of the text or ask them to talk to me sans the religious explanation for opposing gay rights. I usually choose the latter path but some people cannot argue in terms of anything except religion! I have started walking away from people now, not because I cannot argue in terms of religion, but because I am truly tired of hearing about religion in every subject! Open any blog on ANY topic…there will be some or the other who will SOMEHOW manage to squeeze religion in there. I don’t know how they do it. It has to be some kind of art. They don’t really care about actions. I can push and prod, no one will so much as spare five minutes to donate blood. All they care about is vocalizing their (often flawed) interpretations of religion to all and sundry.

    I don’t know which of my friends are Sunnis or Shias and I really, really, reaaaalllyyy don’t care to know. Keep your religion private and let people live their lives the way they want to without interference. It’s not that hard…half the world does it. Recommend