Islamic marriage advice and family advice

I feel like prayers are just utterance of words and just actions, please help!

Shaikh Maher leading the Taraweeh

Shaikh Maher al Ma'aeqali leading the Taraweeh prayers to Haram

Salaam all,

I do apologise in advance if this is a stupid question. But what are Allah's obligations or responsibilities to us muslims and non muslims? Does He have a role in respect of us?

I dont know the answer, Life's a mess, despite feeling like I live in the mosque, I am now begining to think salaat is just utterance of words and performance of actions, that are going nowhere, and I am tired- worshipping isn't working and I don't know what is missing.

For your reference, I'm male, live alone, I cant get married for health reasons- but these things don't really bother me.

Any help would be much appreciated.


- Ashamed

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17 Responses »

  1. Assalamualaikum,

    Yes brother, if you think so, it is true for you. But it is not meant to be just actions and utterance of words. It involves khushoo' (humility) which makes you feel as though you are standing right before of Allah in His Court, with your head bowing, prostrating to Him, Singling Him for Worship, and so on.

    Brother, what you are facing maybe due to lack of contact with the deen, lack of reading and learning. Imaan is not constant. It increases with obedience and decreases with disobedience. Just like a cloth, Imaan also wears out and needs reneval, refreshment, and improvement.

    You must work on increasing your Imaan by knowing about Allah, His Attributes, His Names, His Might, His Greatness; there are no words to describe Him fully. The degree of fear of Allah depends on the degree of knowledge we have of Allah, as Imam Ahmad (as far as I remember) has said.

    When you know that there is a Lord Who Is Watching and to Him is your return, in sha Allah, you can work on increasing your taqwa, your khushoo' in prayers by knowing what you are reading and contemplating on it, and by praying as though you can see Allah, because if you can't see Him, He can see you.

    Visit graveyards to soften your heart and improve your Imaan, read the Qur'aan with a melodious tone, because an expert with Quran will be with the best of Angels according to a Hadith. If you know Arabic, contemplate while you read, otherwise read it with translation.

    Read the following books in order to help increase your Imaan and improve your 'Aqeedah:
    1. Aqeedah Wasitiyyah:

    2. Kitab at Tawhid:

    3. Paradise and Hell:

    4. The Crierion between the friends of Ar Rahmaan and the friends of ash Shaitaan:

    5. Taqwiyatul Imaan:

    6. Three Fundamental Principles of Islaam:

    7. The Explanation of the Beautiful and Perfect Names of Allaah:

    8. Causes behind increase and decrease of Imaan:

    In sha Allah, these books will help you more than you expect. Salah is one of the best forms of worship and khushoo' makes it enjoyable, literally. Do not listen to the whispers of shaitaan and improve your khushoo' and may Allah show you His Mercy.

    Abu Abdul Bari Editor


    1ST LET US KNOW THE SANCTITY OF PRAYER-Narrated Abu Huraira: I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "If there was a river at the door of anyone of you and he took a bath in it five times a day would you notice any dirt on him?" They said, "Not a trace of dirt would be left." The Prophet added, "That is the example of the five prayers with which Allah blots out (annuls) evil deeds." (Sahih Al Bukhari Volume 1,Book 10, Hadith # 506)
    1.Instill discipline in yourself. Stand upright with a softened heart. Think of your prayer as your last prayer, as how one hadeeth says. Believe that Allah is by your side. Be as quiet and still as possible and try not to fidget. Keep your eyes open and look down straight to where your head will be when you prostrate (sudjood)
    Perform every part of your prayer with care and in a relaxed manner, as what one hadeeth would say, "Hastiness is from satan."
    3-Remember that you are meeting with nobody but Allah!
    4-Pay attention to the recitation.
    5-Adopt your own way of reciting softly without disturbing others.
    6-Bring the mind back when ever you feel that it's lost. Recite Ata'uz (Refuge to Allah from Satan):
    A'udhubillahiminash shaitaan nirrajim.
    1Do not rush away after the prayer. Sit for a while for evaluation, Dhikr and Du'ah. Evaluate whether the prayer has softened your heart.
    2Implore Allah earnestly to accept your prayers. Recite:Allahumma a 'inni 'ala dhikrika wa shukrika wa husn 'ibadatika
    "O Allah, help me in remembering You, in thanking You and in worshipping You in the best way."
    3-Recite Dhikr as prescribed by the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him)
    Allahumma antas salamu wa minkas salamu wa ilaika yarji'us salam. Haiyina Rabbana bis salami tabarakta ya dhal dhalaali wal ikram
    Subhanallah "Exalted is Allah" (33 times), Alhamdullilah "Praise to God" (33 times), Allahu Akbar "God is the Greatest" (33 times)
    4-Seek refuge from hell fire, especially after Fajr and Maghrib,
    5-Say your peace to the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him),
    6-Du'ah as you need.
    It is indicated in the Qur'an and Sunnah (whatever is reported from the Prophet) that Salah is the greatest and most important act of worship following in rank only the Shahadah (Testimony of Faith). It is the main pillar of Islam and all Mukallafs (persons meeting the conditions to be held legally accountable for their actions) from among the Muslims are obligated to observe offering Salah in the manner prescribed by Allah's Purified Shar` (Law).
    (Part No. 10; Page No. 239)
    Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says: Guard strictly (five obligatory) As-Salawât (the prayers) especially the middle Salât (i.e. the best prayer - ‘Asr ). And stand before Allâh with obedience [and do not speak to others during the Salât (prayers)].
    It was authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) gave the following answer to a question on whether to fight against rulers who do not establish religious rulings properly: No, unless you notice evident Kufr (disbelief) regarding which there is a proof from Allah. In another narration, he said: No, as long as they establish Salah among you.

    This clearly indicates that non-establishment of Salah is evident Kufr.

    In Arabic, once the definite article (Al) is prefixed to the word Kufr and Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship), it denotes major Kufr and Shirk. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: That which differentiates us from them (i.e. Non-Muslims) is our performance of Salah. Anyone who abandons it becomes a Kafir.

  3. Assalam u alaikum wr wb.....

    I really understand your situation, all I tell you is that May ALLAH azzawajal bless you and bless you with health too

  4. i like to close my eyes during salah. it just makes me imagine that im in masjid al haram. thats how i get my khushu.
    human brain if full of so many nonsensical thoughts that sometimes just letting go of random thoughts gets extremely tough. there is another thing that works with me so mayb u should try that. just stand on the prayer mat for a while and make an effort to wipe off or shake off all the toughts which r running at that moment. imagine the action of wiping the thoughts like u r wiping the black board clean. ok u might find this one a bit silly but sometimes when i think im failing in keeping the toughts away i imagine shaitan and me slapping him non stop while reciting aoodhu billahi minashaitan ir rajeem and then i start. sometimes i have repeat my salah after that. but.. thats it! im serious. it works.

    i just heard recently that one must keep his eyes open and fixed at the spot where he has to touch his forehead on the ground for sujood but i get more peace with my eyes shut. coz when my eyes r open i get super distracted. not that i start looking around but its like im highly aware of what's happening around me. so i shut my eyes and since i cant imagine my Lord i imagine the holy kaba.

    • I agree, I close my eyes and imagine I am front of kabba 🙂

      • 🙂 It is better to imagine yourself before Allah, as if you can see Him. That is what is ideal. Just imagine, you are talking to Allah, He Is Replying to your recitation....Subhanallah!

        You recite to yourself; while Allah mentions what He Mentions in front of the Angels.

        "Allah (the Mighty and Sublime) has said: I have divided prayer between Myself and My servant into two halves, and My servant shall have what he has asked for.

        When the servant says: All praise belongs to Allah the Rabb of all the Worlds.

        Allah (Mighty and Sublime is He) says: My servant has praised Me.

        And when he says: The Most Gracious the Most Merciful.

        Allah (Mighty and Sublime is He) says: My servant has extolled Me.

        And when he says: Master of the Day of Judgement.

        Allah says: My servant has glorified Me [and on one occasion He said: My servant has submitted to My power.]

        And when he says: You alone do we worship and from You alone do we seek help.

        He says: This is between Me and My servant, and My servant shall have what he has asked for.

        And when he says: Guide us to the Straight Path, the Path of those whom you have favoured, not of those upon whom is your anger, nor of those who are astray.

        He says: This is for My servant, and My servant shall have what he has asked for." (Hadith Qudsi: Tirmidhi, Nasai, Abu Dawood, Ibn Majah)

        Imagining Ka'bah, I can't say in wrong, but it brings wrong thoughts. We Worship Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta'aala Alone.

        Imagine Allah before you, read this:

        (اللَّهُ نُورُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۚ مَثَلُ نُورِهِ كَمِشْكَاةٍ فِيهَا مِصْبَاحٌ ۖ الْمِصْبَاحُ فِي زُجَاجَةٍ ۖ الزُّجَاجَةُ كَأَنَّهَا كَوْكَبٌ دُرِّيٌّ يُوقَدُ مِنْ شَجَرَةٍ مُبَارَكَةٍ زَيْتُونَةٍ لَا شَرْقِيَّةٍ وَلَا غَرْبِيَّةٍ يَكَادُ زَيْتُهَا يُضِيءُ وَلَوْ لَمْ تَمْسَسْهُ نَارٌ ۚ نُورٌ عَلَىٰ نُورٍ ۗ يَهْدِي اللَّهُ لِنُورِهِ مَنْ يَشَاءُ ۚ وَيَضْرِبُ اللَّهُ الْأَمْثَالَ لِلنَّاسِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ)
        Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The example of His light is like a niche within which is a lamp, the lamp is within glass, the glass as if it were a pearly [white] star lit from [the oil of] a blessed olive tree, neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil would almost glow even if untouched by fire. Light upon light. Allah guides to His light whom He wills. And Allah presents examples for the people, and Allah is Knowing of all things. (Surah an Noor)

        May we see Him in Jannah...May He Give us the Tawfeeq.

        Abu Abdul Bari Editor

        • i understand but how to imagine Allah? we can somehow imagine the prophets coz they were humans but what do we know what form Allah is in ? as i said our mind is such that it imagines something all the time. when i was a kid ( i was a good kid btw) i use to imagine Allah in a very giant, gentle but humanlike form then i realized that that was wrong and so i began to imagine myself on a very high mountain andthe logic was 'its closer to the sky hence closer to Allah' : ) then i thought its better to imagine kabah but now im wondering whats nxt.

          • We can imagine that He Is over the Throne and we need not bring images to our minds as that is more wrong. We must worship as though we can see Him, this is called "Ihsan", the highest level of faith. If we can't do it, we need to work on our faith to reach that level.

            It comes from knowing Allah, His Names, His Attributes. This is most beneficial knowledge. It brings unimaginable sweetness in faith and mountain-like khushoo'.

            (If you do not know Urdu, listen to the English duroos here by Shaikh Dr. Saleh as Saleh: If you know Urdu, listen to these duroos by Shaikh Dr. Murtaza Baksh: )

            Read the Hadith of Jibril:

            ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased
            with him) said:

            One day we were sitting in the company of Allah’s Massenger (peace be upon him), when there appeared before us a man dressed in extremely white clothing; his hair was extraordinarily black. There were no signs of travel on him and none of us knew him. He (proceeded until) he sat before the Massenger (peace be upon him), his knees supported against the Prophet’s, his palms placed on his thighs, and said, “O Muhammad, tell me about Islam.” The.Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Islam is to testily that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; and that you establish prayer, pay zakah (obligatory charity), observe the fast of Ramadan, and perform pilgrimage to (Allah’s) House if you have the means to do so.” (The inquirer) said, “You have told the truth.” ‘Umar bin AI-Khattb commented, “It astonished us that he would ask and then verify the truth.” (The inquirer) said, “Inform me about iman (faith).” Allah’s Messenger replied, “It is that you believe in Allah, His angels, His Books, His Massengers, the Day of Judgment, and that you believe in Divine Preordination, whether good or bad.” (The inquirer) responded, “You have told the truth.” He then said, “Inform me about ihsan (beneficence).” Allah’s Messenger said, “(It is) that you worship Allah as if you see Him, for though you don’t see Him, (you know) He sees you.”

            The inquirer said, “Inform me about the hour (of the Day of Judgment).” The Messenger of Allah remarked, “The one being asked knows no more than the questioner.” The inquirer said, “Tell me some of its signs.” He (the Holy Prophet) said, “(They are) that the slave-girl will give birth to her mistress (or master), and that you will find barefooted, destitute goat-herders vying with one another in the construction of magnificent buildings.” The narrator, (‘Umar bin Al-Khattab] said, “Then he [the inquirer] went on his way but I stayed with him [Allah’s Messenger] for a long while.” He then said to me, “’Umar, do you know who this inquirer was?’ I replied, ‘Allah and His Messenger know best.’ He remarked, ‘It was (the angel) Gabriel. He came to you [people] in order to teach you your religion.’” (Muslim)

            Abu Abdul Bari

          • Subhan Allah. may i achieve that level of emaan.
            however i have been thinking of Him a lot lately even wondering if istekhara can b done to know if He has fogiven me or at least He is not angry with me.,.may Allah guide me right or give me the company of those who have strong emaan.
            I will watch the videos brother.
            i sometimes thank Allah for a guide like u.
            jazak Allah khair.

          • I agree can we really do that? :/

          • Wa Anti fa Jazakillahu Khair, Allah Is The Source of all Guidance.

            And sister, Istikhaarah is meant for making choices. When Allah's Forgiveness and His Pleasure is concerned, we must hope from Him for the best. Allah Is with His servants, as they expect Him to be, according to a Hadith. We must strive to follow what is correct and hope for His Mercy.

            Abu Abdul Bari

          • Sister

            Assalamaualaikum Wahramtullahi Wabarakaatuhu

            I came across this when about closing one's eyes during salah

            What is the ruling on closing the eyes when praying?

            The prayer should be about Allah and Allah alone, imagining the Kabah or other things might be an indirect reference to the Allah, but the best way to develop kushu is to pay attention to what you are reciting to.

            we all have recited Sur'ah Duha a lot of times in our prayers, but if we have tried to recite it by understanding what it is conveying our Kushu would shoot up, because it is such a motivational surah

            check out this emotional video about Surah Duha

            This 5 categories of people who pray

            Kushu is not something that we need to have only during our Salah, we have to protect our Kushu by paying special attention to keeping away from sins and also repent immediately after we commit a sin.

            Some lectures that helped me a great deal with Salah & Kushu are the Tafseer series on the Qur'an by Nouman Ali khan

            The amazing tafseer series of NOUMAN ALI KHAN can be fround here

            Sweetness in Prayer (Salah) - Moutasem Al-Hameedi

            Shaykh Abdul Nasir Jangda - Literary Gems of Prayer HD

          • @ HelplessSlave
            checked them all. very helpful.
            jazak Allah khair.

  5. asalamu alaikum,

    akhi you said, I am now beginning to think salaat is just utterance of words? this will only happen if you recite something when you don't understand the meaning of. there is no point in reciting the ayaah if the mind, heart and tongue are not connected.

    so I advise you to take your time and learn the meaning of the surah you recite during salaah. sadly a lot of people who recite don't even know what they are reciting.

    you also said, performance of actions that are going nowhere, and I am tired- worshipping isn't working? do you really think Allah will answer your prayer? if you just recite quran during salaah just for the sake of it, with no meaning etc?, our sole existence is to worship Allah(swt) with no partners. we pray to Allah(swt) so he could help us, forgive us, protect us from the punishment of the grave and save us from the hell fire.

    I can understand you, sometimes we all need a spiritual boost, a reminder etc. prophet Muhammad(pbuh) said frequently remember about death, because death is the destroyer of pleasure.

    also on another narration he said if you wake up during the day don't expect to see the evening and vice-versa. when you know the purpose of prayer, purpose of life and our goal is to reach jannah. then there will be more meaning to it when you pray cos now you know why you are doing it.

    I remember few years back during fajr salaah, an elderly who came late. on his last ra'ka suddenly he fell back and he past away. you wont believe how fast death can come knocking on your door.

    I will conclude with this, learn/read the meaning of the quran, read/listen to lectures regarding death, grave and heaven and hell.

    one more tip when you pray, pray as though this is your last salaah. this life is a trial, be patient and always pray to Allah(swt) stau firm.

    ma salama..

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