Allah Ma’ak

There are times where I feel close to Allah and times when I feel far.  When I first reverted to Islam, I never realized how difficult it can be to maintain your deen (faith) in the dunya (life of this world).  I strive daily to carry myself as a Muslim, to remember to be the Muslim I desire to be.

Yet in all things, I am a perfectionist.  I strive to always complete every task with diligence, to work as hard as I can to accomplish the things I demand of myself.  I place heavy demands on my shoulders to be a great mom, a perfect wife, a dedicated employee, an active muslim.

At rare moments, I am granted a reminder that we are not perfect and we are not expected to be perfect, and that sometimes the only thing we can be sure of is that we will never be perfect, because only Allah is perfect.  We as human beings, are not expected to do everything right.  We are not expected to carry all knowledge, as Allah is the one that is all All-Knowing.  Humans commit errors, humans have faults.  We waver on the Straight Path, we sway from one side to another at points in our lives.  But always Allah accepts our return and helps guide us back to the Right Way.

It is unhealthy to place these demands on myself.  When I am praying, I take it easier on myself.  I remember that the only obligation I have in this life is to Allah.  He simply asks us for 5 prayers of worship to him, a gift to us to help us in the dunya, to help strengthen our faith, and to help bring us closer to him.  Daily.  With all that he has blessed us with, all that he asks of us is 5-10 minutes of our time, 5 moments of reflection to bring us back, to remind us of the blessings He has given us and to remind us of our purpose in the Life of this World.

So five times a day we pray the following:

Allahu Akbar (God is great(er))

Subhaana ala humma wa bihamdika
wa tabaara kasmuka wa ta’aalaa jadduka
wa laa ilaaha ghairuk

Glory to You, O Allah, and Yours is the praise.
And blessed is Your Name, and exalted is Your Majesty.

And there is no deity to be worshipped but You

A’uudhu billaahi minash shaitaan ar-Rajeem

I seek refuge in Allah from Satan, the accursed.

Bismillaah ar-Rahman ar-Raheem
Al hamdu lillaahi rabbil ‘alameen

Ar-Rahman ar-Raheem
Maaliki yaumid Deen
Iyyaaka na’abudu wa iy yaaka nasta’een
Ihdinas siraatal mustaqeem
Siraatal ladheena an ‘amta’ alaihim
Ghairil maghduubi’ alaihim waladaaleen
Aameen

In the name of God, the infinitely Compassionate and Merciful.
Praise be to God, Lord of all the worlds.
The Compassionate, the Merciful.
Ruler on the Day of Reckoning.
You alone do we worship, and You alone do we ask for help.
Guide us on the straight path,
the path of those who have received your grace;
not the path of those who have brought down wrath, nor of those who wander astray.
Amen.

Allahu Akbar
Subhanna rabbiyal ‘Azeem (3x)

God is great.
Holy is my Lord, the Magnificent.

Sami’ allaahu liman hamidah
Rabbanaa wa lakal hamd

Allahu Akbar

Allah listens to those who praises Him.
Our Lord, to You is due all praise.

God is great.

Subhaana rabbiyal ‘Alaa
Allahu Akbar

Glory to my Lord, the Most High. God is great.

At Tahiyyaatu lilaahi was Salawaatu wat tayibaatu
As Salaamu ‘alaika ayyuhan nabiyyu wa rahmatul laahi wa barakaatuh
As Salaamu ‘alainaa wa ‘alaa ‘ebaadillaahis saaliheen,
(Hands on knees, raise right forefinger:) Ash hadu allaa ilaah ilallaah
Wa ash hadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhuu wa rasuuluh

All greetings, blessings and good acts are from You, my Lord.
Greetings to you, O Prophet, and the mercy and blessings of Allah.
Peace be unto us, and unto the righteous servants of Allah.
I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah.
And I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger.

Allaahumma salli ‘alaa Muhammadin wa ‘alaa ali Muhammadin
Kamaa sallaita ‘alaa Ibraaheema wa ‘alaa ali Ibraaheema
Innaka hameedun Majeed
Alaahumma baarik ‘ala Muhammadin wa ‘alaa ali Muhammadin
Kamaa baarakta ‘alaa Ibraaheema wa ‘alaa ali Ibraaheema
Innaka hameedun Majeed

O Allah, bless our Muhammad and the people of Muhammad;
As you have blessed Abraham and the people of Abraham.
Surely you are the Praiseworthy, the Glorious.
O Allah, be gracious unto Muhammad and the people of Muhammad;
As you were gracious unto Abraham and the people of Abraham.
Surely you are the Praiseworthy, the Glorious.

As Salaamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatulaah

Peace and blessings of God be upon you.
Prayer and the worship of Allah serves to center me.  Before I begin the prayer, I am deeply entrenched in whatever project I am working on, I am weighed down by the pressure of all the things that need to get done – dishes in the sink, laundry unfolded, work-related deadlines.  I start my wudu and the world starts to slow as I focus on the ritual washing of my hands
mouth
nose
face
forearms
head
ears
feet
I lay my prayer rug out before me and now the world is behind me as I step into prayer.  The sounds of the life of this world instantly dull – phones ringing, people chatting, day-to-day life happening around me.  I am enclosed in a connection between myself and Allah and it feels good.  I bow down and speak the words of worship that I have learned to pray, letting their meaning sink into my consciousness from Arabic to English and back again.  I concentrate on my physical movements – upright, bending, kneeling, sujood.  With my forehead placed on the ground, I am humbled in front of the Almighty God, Lord of the Heavens and the Earth and all that is in between.

My soul replenishes.

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2 responses to “Allah Ma’ak

  1. Lovely. I am relearning to submit while in prayer. It can be intensely frustrating when you can’t find that connection. Prayer used to be so rewarding. At this point, it is me fulfilling my obligation to Allah and benefiting from a structure my day would not otherwise have. I had a lot happen after #2 was born. It’s a road. I’m traveling it.

    Happy to be reading you, and best to you, Soul Sister.

  2. Myhijabpinhatesme

    That was so beautiful.

    When fasting, I found that I absolutely have to pray the five times a day. Fasting without prayer is like running a marathon without water. When we don’t eat, we get tired and our spirits sag. Prayer is sustenance.

    I didn’t come to Islam to be converted. I came, merely to understand the culture of the people I will be living amongst when I leave the U.S..

    But since I left my church some years ago, I have often felt myself distracted from God, isolated, and without reminders.

    Without a faith community, it’s easy to rationalize things, to stray from the things you know are right, and soon, your life and who you are, are not anything you recognize or wish to acknowledge.

    I have tried joining other churches, but I feel like a space alien. I don’t fit in with the Christian theology and I don’t feel welcome in Judaism.

    I imagine Mohammed (PBUH) feeling this same way, exposed to an understanding he could not deny, no longer fitting in with the paganism of his parents, not being able to worship a man as a god with the Christians, and not feeling welcome elsewhere.

    There was a gap in monotheism that was not served by their doctrines, a gap that served to exclude people from the comfort of praying with others.

    Islam provided an improved path that could include everyone.

    If we define “Divine Inspiration” as that which serves to bring people closer to God through right living, then how can I not see the Qur’an as being Divinely Inspired — even if the stories are different and even conflicting?

    Honestly, what is Truth? Go to a library and look at the history books on the war in Vietnam. One book will argue with all manner of text to back it up that it was a modern “Holy War” with America intent on Christianizing the Vietnamese. Another will equally back up its thesis that valuable resources and proximity to critical trade routes were the underlying cause. Still another will detail the tangle of political and historical relations and conspiracy theories.

    Is one book any less true than the others with so many proven documents to back each text?

    The reality of war and Faith, the thing that propagates them, that gives them forward motion, is that they’re usually a complex interweaving of contradictory truths that rally adherents from multiple viewpoints.

    The difficult part is that anything built on conflicting truths will have conflicted adherents who must choose what to believe about what they are participating in.

    And that would be me.

    Kind of.

    I don’t know that I can yet call myself an “adherent.”

    I like reading the Qur’an, it challenges me and makes me want to live more rightly, to better myself and my connections to others.

    I don’t know all the prayers yet, and am basically following everyone else at the mosque and winging it on my own, but I like praying Islam-style and the fact that we are called to do this 5 times a day.

    I don’t know that I’m ready to totally give up praying my old way, which, (please don’t laugh), included praying while waiting at traffic lights.

    There is one on my commute that takes 6 minutes to cycle through all the intersections and it is impossible to get there on a green light from the green light before it — I have a whole list of people who have difficult or dangerous jobs or are struggling, and as long as it stays under 30 lines, I can get all of them and their needs in before the light changes.

    Making a regular practice of focusing on others really forces me to step out of my own issues.

    I keep thinking that if I keep writing this out, it will all make sense and there will come this moment when either I accept Islam as my faith or realize it may be part of me but it isn’t my final destination.

    Guess I will just keep going. Praying, fasting when I’m able, and following along until I figure things out.

    Thank you for your website, for challenging me, inspiring me, and allowing me to think these things through, here.

    Peace.

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