A moving and true story about salaat from a young sister and that can inspire all of us:
While on my way to Starbucks (my current location), I realized I hadn’t prayed dhuhr yet…it was about a quarter passed 3 and ‘asr would surely find me here 45 mins later. Through the cab ride, I kept wondering where I was gonna pray.
The thought of having to stop by one of many mosques in the city just to pray and then get another cab to continue to Starbucks or walk the remainding distance tired me itself; and I kept thinking of what to do…”Maybe I could go to Taj Mall, (across the street from the Starbucks) and find a prayer area (there tend to be designated prayer areas in the malls in the ME), but again, I didn’t want to do all that walking (yea, I have a thing with unnecessary walking). Then, as usual, I thought to myself, ugh, what the heck, just wait til you get home later and combine dhuhr with ‘asr…but THANK GOD before I could even make that decision, I remembered one of the articles I read on Suhaib Webb about people who just combine prayers (due to laziness), and I didn’t want to feel the guilt and face myself after the fact, so I made a decision that no matter what, I’d at least pray dhuhr while it was still in its time.
By the time I made the decision, I had arrived at the Starbucks, but still didn’t know where I was going to pray. I then realized how much I MISS to death the freedom in the U.S of praying literally anywhere and not feeling uncomfortable about it, nor being bothered. Numerous times I’ve prayed outside Panera Breads, Starbucks’, LaMadeleines’, and if anything, was completely respected in the space I chose to pray. I felt bummed that here I was in Jordan, and had to think so darn hard about where to pray, but I decided I’d pray in the big parking lot besides the Starbucks behind a big car where the guard of the parking lot wouldn’t see me. “Alright Shuruq, you got this, now just ask him for the qibla, and go pray behind a car,”. I approached the guard, he smiled and greeting me politely with a cigarette in his mouth, I asked him where the qibla was. “Al-gibla?” He asked a bit taken aback. “Aywa, al-gibla, li-salah.” Without responding, he simply got up, and went inside his “security booth” laid out a prayer rug for me, and said, “tafadhalee huna”.
I smiled, more to myself than to him, as I thought to myself regarding Allah, “I took a hesitant step towards You, while You responded Running, I love You.” I prayed a prayer with gratitude and the resolve to hopefully remember to always put Him first, by putting my prayers first. Allahumma thabbit aqdaamanaa 3laa deenik –Oh my Lord, make our feet firm upon Your way (religion-way of life), ameen.
Comment from Rafik Beekun:
A lesson to all those of us who delay prayer until the last minute or invent silly excuses to avoid prayer. Allah SWT says in the Qur’an, Surah Al Baqarah, ayat 252: Faothkuroonee athkurkum waoshkuroo lee wala takfurooni. “So remember me, and I shall remember you, and be grateful unto Me and deny Me not.”