"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity".
(surah Al-Imran,ayat-104)
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User Name: josh
Full Name: Salman Tanwir
User since: 18/Sep/2006
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The Messenger of All¨¡h (Sallall¨¡hu 'alayhi wa sallam) told us         "¡­ The earth is a masjid for you, so wherever you are at the time of prayer, pray there." (Muslim)

And "I have been conferred upon five (things) which were not granted to anyone before me (and these are): ¡­ and the earth has been made sacred, pure and a place of prostration for me, so whenever the time of prayer comes for any one of you, he should pray wherever he is." (Muslim)

So where in the world does salahophobia come from? This is the irrational fear of praying at work, school or generally when out and about. In the mind of some, the world beyond the masjid or home is a strictly no-pray-zone.

I've been on a training program before and the staff trainer has said "OK, we'll break for lunch now and come back in, say, 40 minutes?" So I lean over to the brother next to me " Ok akh, you wanna get ready and we'll make zhuhr?" "Err¡­ eh, I, eh. Errr.. I, uh, didn't clean myself properly last time we had a toilet break, so uh, I'll just do it when I get home ." Sometimes people are more blatant with "I don't pray when I'm at work."

What gives? I mean, why can't we just find a spot and go for it. Sure, many of us live in a society where the majority hold religiousness as contemptible, and saying something like " Hey guys, I got to go and pray but I'll be back in ten minutes" can be a bit of conversation stopper. But so what? Is missing a prayer really an alternative that a rational human being could consider?

I guess for most of us who study at an institute or work where we do, the two prayers likely to come up during the course of our day are zhuhr and 'asr. Let's remember that the Messenger of All¨¡h (Sallall¨¡hu 'alayhi wa sallam) told us "Whoever misses the 'asr prayer (intentionally) then it is as if he lost his family and property." (Bukh¨¡ri) Subh¨¡na All¨¡h! Picture your family and belongings all in one room and then imagine losing them in an instant. What wrenching agony would that bring forth, think of the utter devastation at such a loss.

Yet, when the time comes to excuse ourselves from our colleagues and pray the potential embarrassment of mentioning prayer in front of non-Muslims (or even sometimes Muslims) becomes so foreboding that some people actually prefer to miss sal¨¡h!

So what could be the irrational thoughts that motivate such evasive behaviour?

"Someone might walk in on me."

It's true sometimes people will walk in on you mid-sal¨¡h but is that so problematic? Despite the whisperings that shayt¨¡n (la'natu All¨¡hi 'alayh) fills our chest with, we should realise that it is actually an extremely rare occurrence for someone to discover you in sal¨¡h and swiftly kick you in the head just as you go into sajdah. The most common response I've ever had when 'walked in on' is "Oh, err¡­ sorry" and then the person leaves the room. True, I've had other responses "Hehe, looks like someone is meditating" and then they sat down in the room waiting for the class to start. But nothing that scarred me mentally for life.

The only actual physical pain I've experienced when 'caught' in sal¨¡h was actually of my own doing. I'd looked around for an open and unused room to make zhuhr on a meal break. I was halfway through and heard the door open, someone said "Oh!" and the door closed immediately after. Two managers (as I later found out) had seen me and backed out of the room, waiting for me to finish.

After the tasl¨©m I figured that I'd asserted my right to room, claimed my territory as it were, and so stood up and began to make some Sunnah prayers. No sooner had I started than the two managers again attempted to enter the room, their "oh!" this time was replaced with a "*tut!*" When I finished I found them waiting outside wanting to have a word with me. Acting all casual, and in my best Littlewood's catalogue pose, I leant against the wall resting my hand on the door frame ready to listen to some mildly inconvenienced manager tell me how I shouldn't have been in the room. The door I'd just exited was on a slow door-closer, fire regulations stipulate that the doors of the building must close of their own accord. So as I stood there listening to this guy telling me that rooms have to be booked in advance, I felt this crushing pain in my fingers, I hadn't realised but I'd put my fingers in the gap where the door hinges were. I let out a yelp of pain, retrieved my fingers from the gap and started flapping my hand and began hopping from left to right to distract myself from the agony. I had intended to present an eloquent explanation of why I'd needed the room and the obligation upon Muslims to pray but all I wanted to do now was put my fingers in some cold water and so I interrupted him "
Ok, book room next time. Sure, got it. Got to go. Yeeaaaaarrgh!"

"I'm busy" or "It's not convenient."

Think about it, All¨¡h did not even excuse the muj¨¡hid on the battlefield from making sal¨¡h. If there were ever someone that you'd think " Hey, that guy's a bit preoccupied" it'd be someone on a battlefield. Certainly not some business executive waiting for that 'important call', or some office worker who can find plenty of time during his day to go outside and smoke at regular intervals but doesn't find time to accommodate his prayers.

"Men whom neither commerce nor sale distracts from the remembrance of All¨¡h and performance of prayer and giving of zak¨¡h. They fear a Day in which the hearts and eyes will [fearfully] turn about." (al-N¨±r 24:37)

Think about it, not even the sick person is excused "Pray while standing and if you can't, pray while sitting and if you cannot do even that, then pray lying on your side." (al-Bukh¨¡ri) So what is it that could possibly make work/study be thought of as more awkward to pray during than these situations?

"The place is dirty."

There aren't actually that many places that are prohibited for us to pray in. Ibn 'Umar relates that the
Prophet (Sallall¨¡hu 'alayhi wa sallam) prohibited sal¨¡h in seven places: "Dunghills, slaughterhouses, graveyards, middle of the road, bathhouses, watering places where the camels drink and rest, and on the roof of the house of Allah [the Ka'bah in Makkah]" (Ibn M¨¡jah). OK, hands up who works in one of those places. And even if you do, is anyone going tell me that a brief use of their legs wouldn't take them to somewhere not on the list? We don't all have the luxury of being close to a masjid but there's nothing to stop you putting your jacket on the floor (if you're really concerned about it) and making sal¨¡h . Trust me, missing our prayer just isn't an option.

"I'll do them all when I get home."

There is the erroneous application of the principle of making qad¨¡' that I've heard many times. Qad¨¡' is making up for a missed prayer and the occasions where it is to be done are mentioned in the had¨©th "He who forgets the prayer, or he slept (and it was omitted), its expiation is this only that he should observe it when he remembers it." (Muslim) This is for forgetting or unintentionally sleeping through the prayer time. Yet, we meet people who intentionally sleep through fajr because they've got to go to work/school today; miss zhuhr and 'asr because they are 'too busy'; miss maghrib because they are tired from a hard day and need to relax; and then pray the whole shebang, fajr through to 'ish¨¡', before going to bed. All of this under the guise of making qad¨¡'. Even those scholars who argued that the one who intentionally misses his sal¨¡h must make qad¨¡' weren't suggesting it as a pre-planned alternative to praying on time. It was a case of, this person has committed the major sin of not praying and so what do they need to do now? You don't, for instance, reason " Well I could just make zin¨¡' now because I'm an unmarried male and then I can just get someone to lash me 100 times when I get home tonight and everything will be cool."

If it is lawful to intentionally miss prayers and then just pick any convenient time to make them up, could someone please explain to me what All¨¡h meant when He said, "¡­ Verily, al-sal¨¡h (the prayer) is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours" (al-Nis¨¡' 4:103)?

With any phobia it's a matter of facing and overcoming your fears. Do the groundwork and prepare yourself. If you know you're going to be in an unfamiliar setting for the day make contingency plans. When I'm sent on a training course, I'll work out when the breaks are, I might request my trainer in the morning that he give the break at a particular time that is more conducive to sal¨¡h. I'll be scouting around when I arrive for the best spot to use when the time comes.
If you're someone who absolutely, positively must pray on prayer mat then please carry one with you, don't use its absence as an excuse. Do not rely on there being enough time in the day to get home just before the sun sets because sometimes a plan like that gets knocked out of the water by an unseen event: you're stuck in traffic, the train breaks down, your donkey bucks you off his back, whatever.

Happiness keeps u Sweet. Trials keep u Strong. Sorrow keeps u Human
Failure keeps u Humble,
Success keeps u Glowing, But Only Allah keeps u Going

A Smile makes us look younger, while Prayers make us feel stronger
"O Allah, Lord of Jibril, Mika'il and Israfil, Creator of the heavens and the earth, Knower of the unseen and the seen, You will judge between Your servants concerning that wherein they differ. Guide me with regard to that wherein there is dispute concerning the truth by Your leave, for You guide whomsoever You will to the straight path."
" O Lord, praise to You! You are the light of the heavens and the earth and all that dwell therein. Praise to You! You are the truth, and Your promise is true, and Your word is true, and Your meeting is true, and the Garden is true, and the Fire is true, and the Prophets were true, and Muhammad is true, and the Hour is true! Forgive me my sins, past and future, open and hidden. You are my God; there is no God but You! The Prophet Muhammad Remembrance and Prayer"
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