Top 5: Obstacles in solat

Prayer is the pillar of our religion. We've been taught that since we were young. The 5 daily prayers keep us connected to Allah while we are busy with our worldly responsibilities throughout the rest of the day. Together, the 5 prayers take up 2% of our day. Approximately 30mins out of a 24-hour day. Yet despite praying regularly for about 20 years now, I find myself still struggling with a few aspects of praying. I'm sure some of you might be facing some of these issues as well, so let's try and see what can be done.

5. Understanding what I'm saying
We repeat the same phrases over and over again each rakaat. The same phrases no mater which prayer we are performing. Yet I still don't know exactly what it is I'm saying. It's just a matter of reading the translation and attempting to memorise it, yet for some reason I haven't done so. Should put this on my to-do list.

4. Waking up for tahajjud
If it's for football, waking up is not a problem. Ramadhan? Not a problem. The other 11 months of the year? Problem. Waking up for football isn't a problem, even though I need to wake up hours before subuh. Sahur isn't a problem even though I need wake up about an hour before subuh. Tahajjud? All I need is to wake up about 30mins before subuh. Setting my alarm clock would just wake me up for a few minutes before I fall back asleep. Need stronger will power to fix this.

3. Joining jemaah at the masjid
Image: Flickr
We're lucky to be living in a country where masjids and suraus can be found practically everywhere throughout the nation. Yet the only times these places are full is on Fridays, nights of Ramadhan, and during Solat Hari Raya. What about every other day? I do my best to go to the surau near my house, but I'll admit I pray at home more often than I go to the surau. Reason? Busy doing stuff on my laptop or watching TV. Solution? Need to prioritise better.

2. Praying late
This is a big problem for me. I would always get ready to pray, then I'll get distracted and end up praying late. It's like I subconsciously find something to do which ends up delaying my prayers. This is probably the easiest problem to fix. Just pray when it's time and don't delay. Procrastination. Everyone is a victim of it.

1. Khusyuk
How often does this happen? Image: fazakkeer
Ah yes. I bet this is the number one problem with most of us. How many times have our thoughts wandered off while praying? Thinking about what to eat for dinner while performing our Asar, thinking about our workload while praying Zohor in the office. Thinking about breakfast during Subuh. Thinking about basically anything other than focusing on our prayers. This is probably close to impossible to accomplish. Complete and absolute focus while praying. Menghayati is an appropriate word I think. You know what happens to me most times I lose my focus? I forget what rakaat I'm on. ALL THE TIME. Maybe if we understood what we were saying it would help us focus more? 

Praying 5 times a day isn't difficult. It takes anywhere between 5-10 minutes to accomplish. What's difficult is doing it properly. If you notice, most of my problems are related. If I understood what I was reciting, I might be more focused in prayer. If I went to the masjid more often, I wouldn't pray late. And if all that becomes natural to me, waking up for tahajjud would no longer be a burden. I always remind myself to improve, let's hope this time I actually do.

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