On the day of judgement, the first thing that we as Muslims will be asked about is our prayer. Prayer, when done correctly, calms our soul, keeps us away from sins, not to mention fulfills our obligation to God. My point is, it’s really bloody important! But for a lot of reverts, learning how to pray proves to be a challenge in itself.
When I first reverted, nearly 3 years ago now, I had no idea how to pray and I did not know any Muslims who could show me. So, I did what I do whenever I’m unsure about something…googled it! And oh, how complicated the results turned out to be. So many movements to remember but most overwhelming of all, giant lists of things to memorise in Arabic – a language I had virtually never been exposed to before becoming Muslim. I was overwhelmed. I didn’t know where to start and unfortunately, astaghfirullah, that lead to my not starting at all.
Fast forward a couple of years and alhamdulilah I began to meet Muslims and slowly started to practice the 5 daily prayers. This time I had the help of a basic ‘how to pray’ book along with the bits and pieces I’d learnt from websites in the past. I started making some Muslimah friends and as soon as they saw me pray they told me that I was doing a number of things wrong. Looking back, I was all over the joint. Each time I had to pray, it was taking me something like 20 mins because I just had no idea what I was doing or what I was supposed to be saying so I would do all these weird things I’d learnt from a myriad of questionable sources and, probably my own imagination. Not to mention, I still only knew a couple of lines of the Fatihah in Arabic and just recited the rest in English.
I do not doubt that there are many reverts who have had similiar problems with learning to pray. If you don’t have a Muslim there holding your hand through your reversion, things can be tough. Even if you do have someone to guide you, they may not always have the correct information. And this is why I wanted to mention the ‘My Prayer Project’ (http://www.imanprojects.com/myprayer/).
This is an Australian based dawah initiative to help establish the prayer through providing free prayer packs to anyone, anywhere in the world. All you have to do is request a pack and insha’Allah you will receive a free booklet, instructional dvd and guided prayer mat. Masha’Allah it is worth it for the dvd alone which walks you through each of the daily prayers, step by step which is perfect for the confused beginner. Even if you think you know how to pray, it is a handy resource to have so that you can check that you haven’t over time forgetten something important (it happens!). The instructional prayer video on the dvd can also be found for viewing on their youtube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/ImanProjects.
Alhamdulilah the demand for these packs is high but unfortunately, the organisation is struggling to keep up with it financially. So please brothers and sisters, make a donation on their website by sponsoring a pack. Sponsoring 5 prayer packs costs a mere $AUD50 and it has the potential to make a world of difference to somebody out there, not just in this life but the next insha’Allah. And of course we cannot forget the huge reward we ourselves gain for helping our brothers and sisters fulfill the obligation of prayer.
May Allah make us all of those who love to obey Him and help others do the same. Ameen.