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Salah and Activism – Part 1

Salah is a fundamental pillar of our faith. Most of us will be able to relay some information around the importance and benefit of Salah with relative ease.

Activism, doing good or promoting good, is a way of materialising their faith practically into action.

The two don’t contradict, and each has its importance.

However, when implementing tasks towards doing good, we may often fall into pitfalls with our salah. The first of this 2-part reminder is focussed on what they are, and how we can remind ourselves of the importance of salah to motivate ourselves to avoid the pitfalls.

When working towards good, we may find ourselves caught up in doing tasks, completing that last action point, sending off that last email or trying to solve an outstanding query. In the midst of this we may risk missing our salah, or staying up just a little too long so we end up missing Fajr.

But what truly are we missing?

The importance of salah can be noted in one simple fact. Salah was the only commandment in Islam which was given to the Prophet PBUH directly – the rest were through revelation. Allah gave this gift to our Prophet PBUH directly. As believers, we should strive and do our utmost to take full advantage of this gift! If prayer is a means of developing a connection with Allah Almighty, when a Muslim does so five times a day, the consequent relationship will naturally grow strong.

However, what if we neglect it? In the Quran, Allah swt describes a conversation between the believers in Jannah and the disbelievers in Jahanam. The believers ask what caused them to go to hell? The first thing they responded with was “we did not perform the prayer”. This is the status of prayer in Islam; it is unique. If a person stops fasting or doesn’t perform Hajj, these sins are forgivable. However, prayer is an indicator of Iman and taqwa. If there is Iman a person will pray, and if there isn’t they will not. One of the first verses of the Quran demonstrates this:

“This is the Book in which there is no doubt, a guidance for those who have Taqwa: who believe in the unseen, and who establish Salah, and spend out of what we have provided for them.”

(2:2-3)

So with this, let’s ensure that salah becomes the foundation of our day: our daily lives, our work, studying, activism and families are all built around, and enhanced by, salah.

While you’re busy working towards Charity Week, be careful not to miss a single prayer. It is literally worth more than all of the wealth we could possibly raise.

We find ourselves in the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah, the most superior days of the year. If our salah is not where it should be, use this opportunity to establish salah and make the most of this time!

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