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.
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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.