Hayy 3ala al-Salah, Hayy 3ala al-falah (Hurry to Prayer, Hurry to success)–Azan
Its Monday afternoon, you just spent four hours furiously typing notes as your pathology professor droned on about amyloidosis, and you still need to look at your notes for a physical medicine exam in half an hour. Just as you are about to settle in and start studying, your phone buzzes with the notification of Zuhr prayer. Hesitant, you look at your phone then back at your notes. You need every minute to study, yet you also need to make wudu and pray. However, if you finish the exam in less than the allotted time, you can squeeze in the salah before Asr time. Satan’s playing his game, and you need to make a choice. What are you going to do?
You’ve got to weigh your priorities. An exam is going to start in 30 minutes, and will take you at least an hour, two tops. You might finish early, but it might also prove challenging and force you to take the whole two hours. Zuhr won’t take you more than ten minutes total with the sunna and tasbeeh after, so why take the chance and run the risk of missing it? If you think about it, you might space out or lose concentration for a few minutes, thus wasting valuable time that you could have invested in prayer. At the same time, the azan is calling you to hurry to prayer and success…what more of an encouragement do you need? Allah SWT is beckoning you to meet Him in the salah and promising you the success that you crave; just a short duaa in sujood and inshaAllah you will pass that exam with flying colors.
It’s not just the fard (required) prayers that are roads to prosperity, its the nawafil (voluntary) as well. Earlier in the semester I gave in my exam and left the room feeling dejected, and to be honest, was not completely confident that I had even passed. Before leaving the building, I prayed two rakas just to thank Allah SWT, although I admit I was not in the best of moods at that time. A few days later, the results were released and I was shocked to find myself at the top of the list with the highest scores in the class. Just prostrating to Allah SWT and thanking Him can go a long way.
Another interesting issue with regards to salah is finding a decent prayer area. You may need to leave class for a few minutes to pray, so walking to the nearest masjid is certainly out of the question. During my first week of school, I prayed in the hallway and near the stairway, but had many students passing both in front and behind me, which isn’t an ideal position to be in. After a bit of searching, I found a small lounge connected to the bathroom yet separated by a wall in each floor. I mapped out the qiblah and found myself a convenient place to nip in and out of class during salah time. An added bonus is that female students who passed through the lounge would cease their conversations or move their backpacks when they saw me praying. Several stopped to watch me pray and asked me about salah. Quite recently two nurses at our clinic waited until I was finished to mention that every time they enter the lounge they saw me praying, and were curious enough to ask a few questions. They then introduced themselves and mentioned that they looked forward to working with me in the clinic this summer when I start my third year inshaAllah. Anything that aids dawah is brownie points 🙂
When people see you respecting your religion, you earn their respect as well. Not only are you wearing hijab and avoiding alcohol, but you are making time in your busy schedule to meet your Lord. For instance, at our school, the MSA put in a request for a room to pray Jumma in. Although we only required the room for an hour, the building manager personally unlocks the door for us every Friday morning and allows us full reign of the room for as long as we need it, provided we lock the door when we are finished. We don’t try to fit salah into our lives; instead, we center our lives around salah. Its the key to our success, and without it, we won’t be able to open any doors of opportunity, so why delay it? Yes, its ten minutes cut out of our limited study/class time, but the success that follows is sure to be worth it.