In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
“Truly the rising by night is most potent for governing (the soul) and most suitable for (framing) the word (of prayer and praise).”
When reading this surah I was reminded of the significance of “prayer and the practice of humility” in our spiritual life and the fate of those who reject faith and revelation.
I noticed Muslim women avoided visiting each other especially before the time of prayer? Maybe some were to busy with children but others felt the same way I used to feel. I was a little nervous and shy about leading the prayer in my home. Usually, my thoughts did not focus on demonstrating my best efforts or learning from guests in my home. I was self-conscious and lacked confidence in my recitation, my Arabic was poor, my knowledge of Islam was limited and I was concerned about the size and comfort of our prayer space. Yes it was my foolish pride. I also remembered being told that sometimes husbands or brothers would recite only the shortest surahs in the Qur’an, as fast as they could. Do you think they rushed to complete the prayer because they were busy with other things or had it become a boring ritual? Also, some Sisters said they preferred not praying at a particular mosque or with a particular Imam. Other Sisters chose not to pray at any mosque. I believed these were cultural issues. “May Allah forgive us.”
When is the best time to study the Holy Qur’an with children?
They are called “teachable moments.” I understand how hard it is to make time to worship Allah as a family. Especially these days, our lives are filled with so many family or individual social activities. When we were new parents, my husband and I never talked about how to raise Muslim children. Some of our Muslim Brothers told us they planned to marry a woman who had memorized Al Qur’an.
This was their plan for teaching Islam to their children. Other parents decided to rely on private tutors and weekend schools at the mosque. We decided to enroll our youngest child in a full-time Islamic school. Her recitation became much better than mine and she actually taught me. I also researched games, puzzles, books and toys to help us study? Some of the other questions included learning and teaching our young appropriate methods for responding to questions and comments from friends and neighbors and also how to talk to others about Islam? Before your child asks the question, be prepared with the answer, or search together.
This article is part of the "Micro-Series", The Virtue of a Muslim Woman. Stay tuned for the next part of this Micro-Series.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Prayer is the second Pillar of Islam. It is an expression of a Muslim’s dedication and devotion and the only path to Jannah (Paradise). I began to pay closer attention to what was going on in my household and then I started talking with other Muslims about the practices of prayer at home. When women started talking to each other about some of their difficulties when learning to live as Muslims or with Muslims, the subject of understanding the prayer schedule and learning how to organize family time is usually discussed. I have learned that we need explanations about how prayer times are calculated and adjusted for time changes around the world and in the spring and fall seasons for “U.S. daylight savings time.” We also had a need to become more familiar with lunar calendars, moon cycles and the significance of the new moon in relation to beginning the (9th) lunar month of Ramadan, EID prayers and the Hajj season.
From my past experiences, I thought it would helpful to share my thoughts (previous errors and mistakes) about what “really” happens when Muslim women, single or married (with or without children) pray at home before learning to lead each other at the time of prayer. I wrote a short list of some of my experiences and added a few comments shared with me by American Muslims. Some of these women I met when my children were younger.
Prayer time at my home. Previously, I had printed copies of the prayer schedule (from my computer) on bright colored sheets of paper posted around the house. I hung up lunar calendars printed by the mosque with the prayer schedules on it. We received an adhan clock as an EID gift. Now we each have apps on our mobile phones. They are not always synchronized, so before we pray, the adhan is echoing throughout the house. Muslims in America do not have the benefit of living near a mosque where we can hear the adhan on loudspeakers. Some local laws forbid it. Here is a sampling of my other observations.
Well, as for the rest of us? Some of us are eating, talking or texting, sleeping or just being lazy. Some of us watch television or do absolutely nothing outside the house except feel annoyed about “the prayer police” . . . better known as our own conscience. I think, subconsciously, we wait until prayer time has passed, then we tell ourselves that we will make-up the missed prayers, because we have no other excuse.
Then there were discussions about whether or not women should pray in the car or pull over and get out of the car. Also deciding to wait and pray at home or go to the mosque. Sisters asked advice about fasting and prayer during pregnancy or when in poor health. Then I asked, what about women who are hearing impaired deaf or visually impaired or blind? Do you want to know how we resolved these issues?
This article is part of the "Micro-Series", The Virtue of a Muslim Woman.
The "Ideal Muslimah" section of Striving For Clarity provides an array of articles, micro-series and short tidbits geared towards highlighting the important characteristics of a Muslim woman.