A Small Reflection on Prostration

I had a small reflection today while praying at the masjid.

I was finishing my sunnah prayers and put my head down close to the feet of the person praying in front of me.

I thought, subhanAllah, how Allah humbles us. When we pray in, it’s true that we place our heads on the ground in submission to Him. We place our place of honor, our head, on the ground to demonstrate how we are nothing in front of Allah. In addition, though, especially when we pray in congregation, we also place our heads at the feet of those before us. If you’ve ever prayed in a cramped place in congregation, you’ve probably bumped your head with the feet of the person in front of you.

If you walked into that prayer room thinking you were better than anyone else, Allah put you in your place. Your place of honor is now at the same level of your fellow congregant’s feet. All man is equal. All man must be humble. You are no better than anyone else’s feet! In prostrating to Him, He forces us to recognize our humility twice over; with respect to Him, our Master, and with respect to all mankind.

How amazing is our religion, and how amazing is prayer. If  we just take the time to give it its due…

What’s the Most Important Thing to You?

Cooking …

I never thought I would find myself saying this, but it seems that cooking has now become the most important thing in my life. At least that’s what my prayers are telling me. Often times, when I stand up to pray, I’m flooded with thoughts about when I will cook, what I will cook, how much, in what order, and on and on …

It seems so ridiculous. Even now as I read this, I’m incredulous. It seems like a terrible thing to admit, but it’s true.

When we pray, we are meant to focus on the most important thing to us, Allah. Allah offers us this gift and calls on us to connect to Him; to reestablish our bond as slave and Master. If we are focusing on something else, it means that we, at least emotionally, value something more than Him. As I recently read in a book on purification of the soul, What you think about when you are praying, is the most important thing to you. 

So for me, this means that right now I care more about cooking than I do about my relationship with Allah. What’s sad is, though I know it’s not true in my mind, I know it’s true in my heart. I spend time browsing sites looking at recipes. I go often to buy groceries and different ingredients. Most nights I consider what I’ll prepare for the following day’s dinner. I can spend 2 hours or more in the kitchen chopping and stirring. I’m not a great cook nor do I have any aspirations to be a professional chef. I simply make meals for my family, and not very extravagant ones at that. Despite that though, I seem to spend so much time, focus, and emotion on putting together our simple family dinner. I don’t devote nearly as much to my prayer.

The question for me now is: how do I change this. How can I shut down these silly desires and shift my focus back to Allah?

Since it seems that I’m devoting a lot of mental space to thinking about cooking, I feel that what I need to do is cut down avenues that may feed that. Additionally, I need to replace time spent thinking about cooking with time spent thinking about Allah. Therefore  the primary things I’m committing to doing in these coming two weeks is:

1.Cut down time I spend reading recipes/about food to less than 45min a day

2. Add in more thikr to my day, especially while I am cooking

I see this a good first step, and a way to free up my thoughts from cooking. I also see this as sign of faith from myself, that I want to be better. I believe that Allah knows where our hearts are and if He accepts me as sincere He will multiply my efforts.

I hope that Allah is Merciful with me. I pray that He Helps me overcome this frivolity and be a better slave to Him.  I pray that He grants me a prayer life that is true solace and comfort for me.