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In the Name of God بسم الله
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Assalamualaikum, I will be traveling to the Middle East in a couple weeks in shaa Allah, and I have a bunch of questions regarding prayer. Keep in mind I am a relatively new convert, so please be patient with me. 1) I read that all prayers during travel are 2 rakat. What counts as "travel"? I will be traveling for around 14 days, going in between cities, staying a couple nights in each and going around either to nearby cities or exploring the city I am staying in each day. Is "travel" simply the plane rides and bus rides, or the whole trip, since I am not staying in the same place the whole time? 2) Part of my trip will be in Jerusalem, and I plan to pray at Al Aqsa in shaa Allah. I was warned by a Palestinian friend of mine, however, that it is very dangerous if I pray like a Shia there and I should do taqiyyah and perform my prayers like a Sunni. Given recent events, it is even more dangerous to be praying noticeable differently at Al Aqsa, as people might suspect me to be a Zionist actor and become violent. Do I have to make up prayers later that are performed in taqiyyah? 3) Just in general, what are the rulings on praying salat at a Sunni mosque with Sunnis? The nearest Shia mosque to me is 3 hours away, and I cannot drive. The nearest Sunni mosque is 15 minutes by bus. If I prayed Jummah there, would I follow the imam or do it the way we do it? Would I stand in line with all of the others, or just quietly do my own thing in the back? Background note, I am a woman, so since congregational Jummah prayers are not obligatory upon me, I have not been going to the mosque. 4) If I am in a situation where I am unable to find pure water or dust for wudu, should I pray anyway, or would they not count? Is impure water better than nothing? 5) What's up with sutrahs? Do we use those anymore, or does a prayer rug essentially outline the space necessary for salah? JazakAllah khair and thank you for your patience with me.
I know many of us (believers) have been through this, and I personally experienced my boat sinking and I know it is tough getting it back up. But if you won't understand why you have to get back up then you're definitely going to drown. My point of bringing this topic up is not to scare you away by telling you about the torment of hellfire or the agony in the grave, surely I'll do that by the end of our short exchange, but before everything else I want you to know what benefits and positive change prayers can bring to your life! BENEFITS OF PRAYING There are actually a lot; me and you could go on and on about how practicing Islam can benefit you and the people around you, but this once, let me just mention a few of those that I experienced first-hand. Health Prayer can be a source of exercise for most people. It keeps check on your physical fitness. All the obligatory acts in prayers benefit greatly to ones health. For example, going to ruku and sajda and tash'had saves one from back pain and knee-joints pain. Prayer also wards off many illnesses. Down to Earth When you go down in sujood, it gives you a feeling of how small and insignificant you are in front of all the blessings and creations of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى. He made so much, and still blesses you and showers upon you from good. Prayer kills your ego and brings you closer to Allah and the reality. Focusing on how you're alone in this world, and how only Allah is your supporter and benefactor even in the time of adversity. Strengthens the heart and the belief Prayer gives you the strength that you are lacking when facing adversity. It becomes a driving force when met with a lot of short-comings. It strengthens ones resolve to keep moving forward and facing new challenges while knowing that Allah never burdens a soul more than what it can bear. Closeness to Allah When we recite the verses sent down to us Humans by Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى, we naturally feel close to Him. His words are the reflection upon our own-selves. When we make dua to Him and kneel down to Him, it shows that we are ready to give in our desires for pleasing Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى. And that: He is the only "one" we can turn to in the time of adversity... There's nobody else, is there? Countenance and Spiritual Pleasantness Did you know that prayers make your face and spirit brighter? Who wouldn't want their face glowing with happiness and zeal. This not only allows others to look at you in good light but also brings a smile to their faces (especially your family). And it takes off a lot of tension from their shoulders (for some reason). Keeps you away from sins and keeps sins away form you Now this is note-worthy, because both sound just about the same. So where lies the difference? The difference is that there in you will come a sense of responsibility and a sense of accountability once you start praying. You will become more aware of your performance near Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى, and you'd want to please him more and more. Who wouldn't want beautiful reward from Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى?And alternatively, Allah will keep you away from sins with his authority over you if he finds your actions pleasing. And no doubt, he is the most merciful and the most benevolent. Along with oft-forgiving. Gets rid of laziness and grooms punctuality Most of the time we are extremely lazy when it comes to our responsibilities and obligations. But once we start being punctual in prayers habitually, we (Insha'Allah) will become more aware of the limited time we have and the utilization of it. Prayer somewhat grooms the instinct of time within you. When you start praying five times a day, you'll begin to realize if you're spending the remaining time the right way. You will have thoughts like: Am I fulfilling my religious obligations correctly? Is Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى going to be pleased enough with the current me? Have I been listening to every words my parents say? Have I done the job that I must in time? Sense of Accountability I know I am kinda repeating myself here, but I couldn't just skip this point. Because this one is very significant when it comes to prayers. In our daily life, if we skip a prayer, do you know how many things go wrong then? How many times we attempt sins and bad acts? Have you ever reflected upon them?Prayer gives you a chance of reflection. And in the future it keeps you intact and in-check that you don't fall astray to bad acts from Satan. Keeps you pure and clean Before going to prayer, you remember, that you have to be Tahir (pure from any impurity). Thus this single remembrance can keep you more than enough clean and pure. Also, performing ablution three-to-five or more so times a day, protects you from Satan and his devilish whispers. Takes away nightmares and bad dreams I am sure many of us had nightmares or dreams that were bad, something you wish you'd never seen. But if you sleep after doing a wudu, and with faith that Allah and His angels will protect you from such dreams (that come from Satan), you'll be protected. WHAT DOES THE QURAN SAY ABOUT PRAYERS? I hope this thread will open your eyes to the importance of prayers and will bring you closer to Allah. If I made a mistake somewhere in the text, then it is solely from me. Forgive me, as I am only human. P.s. Thanks to my brothers and sisters here, they gave me confidence enough to post my material here. lol. I have some serious confidence issues. :P Anyways, thanks to everybody for reading and supporting! Jazak Allah Khair. Hope it will be helpful to at least a single soul!
Hello all, This is my first time in a Religious Forum so Inshallah i do not offend anyone. I have always been decent person in terms of morals and actions, and recently I have started to turn my life around and do my Namaz. Its not an accomplishment as I should have done this many years ago. I have re-structured my working hours and from next week I am hoping to attend Jumma Namaz at my local Shia mosque, although I am quite nervous about it. Only reason being I unfortunately do not know many Shia boys. If i were to go with someone I know it would put me at ease, but going into a Mosque which I am not a regular, by myself I keep worrying everyone will think who am I and why have I not bothered to go before. Just having trouble overcoming my stupid doubts. Are their any muslim brothers that have turned their life around and had the same worries (even if they are pathetic), and how does one build up courage. Can anyone give me some good advice on how I can overcome these fears and become closer to the religion. I might get some comments that accuse me of not being a proper muslim for so many years because I have been lazy etc, but I dont mind the criticism, to be honest I cant forgive myself yet, so would not expect anyone else to show me leniency, so no bad feelings to any people that reply with negative comments to myself. Any help would be much appreciated. Thank You
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