Thursday, January 1, 2009

Praying the Salat...

I am off work until Monday, which means I still have 3 full days off left. I originally wanted to try praying the salat during the 5 days I have off. I had started praying it right before I started work 8 months ago, and stopped basically the day I entered work. It was a lovely experience to put that time aside a couple times a day (ideally 5, but in all honesty, I did an average of 3 prayers per day for those 2 weeks) to try to be with myself and God in a calm environment. And so seeing as this was the biggest time off from work I have gotten since I started, I wanted to try that again.

I know, I know... There's no reason why I shouldn't be able to pray and go to work... At least for some of them! And I do get weekends off! But it's all just so busy when I work full time as well as being a mom\housewife fulltime. And I just feel like I can't bring anything more into my day. And again, I know, I know... It really would help relieve the stress to feel this connection and to have this "calm time" separating my day into nice slices. I just haven't had time in 8 months to think long enough to remember how good of an idea it would be!

Now that I have, I may start praying again. It's hard to start a new routine... A person really needs to make the decision and then go up the hill to unblock into the new routine. And in this case, it's a bit harder because I have some preparation to do. I don't mean wudu, I mean that I don't fully remember all the steps. If I tried to pray now, I'd surely forget some, and I'd probably forget a verse from the Fatha just because I haven't practiced it. And it's a lot of effort and concentration to say something in Arabic all the while understanding what I'm saying, which in my case is by translating it into English in my head as I am also saying it in Arabic in my head. I don't know any other part of the Qur'an by heart, so I had mostly just skipped saying part of the Qur'an after the Fatha for that reason. Just as I got used to praying with the right movements, words and until it got easier to feel and understand what I was saying as I said it.

There's one part of the prayer, I don't know what it's called, but it's the part when the person is on their knees, sitting, and there's some text Muslims say. I totally didn't do that part and I don't plan on it either. I used it for any general du'a. I feel like the salat is a contact between the worshipper and God that could be done in numerous ways and still be "accepted". I think the way Muslims do it now is beautiful. I just avoid adding Muhammad's name in it, since I see that as a form of worship, and so I use this time to speak to God. The rest of the prayer is to glorify God, worship God, venerate God. I would say that du'a can definitely be done at any time, in any place, however one wants, but I find it a good moment in the middle of the salat.

I think I may start praying tonight. God does deserve that.

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