Orland Park Prayer Center

The Prayer Center of Orland Park

” وَتِلۡكَ الۡاَيَّامُ نُدَاوِلُهَا بَيۡنَ النَّاسِۚ “ 

“…And such are the days of life. By turns do We alternate them among humankind…”

(Translation by Ahmad Zaki Hammad)

Every year, when the new year approaches, I choose to talk about this same verse in the Holy Quran. It is a very famous verse, and the chances are that most of us have heard it several times before. However, this year is different. Every year I will talk about this same verse because it serves as a reality check for mankind. Considering the unfortunate chain of events that have unfolded recently with our dear brothers and sisters suffering overseas, the end of 2023 has left us all feeling bitter and rather hopeless. I choose to re-evaluate this verse every single year because these few words weigh more than a thousand words. This is the gravity and excellence of the words of Allahﷻ.

It has already been over 3 years since I began writing about this verse. Time is losing its value and we are seeing days, weeks, months, and years pass by us just as visitors would and we get lost in the temporary matters of this dunya. The oppression being suffered by our Muslim brothers and sisters all around the world has been a wakeup call, especially recently.

Sometimes, we fail to comprehend and understand the wisdom of Allahﷻ, and it causes us to lose hope. However, the faith that our brothers and sisters suffering oppression have has been inspirational and life-changing for many of us Muslims around the world. Many of whom have lost their faith, reached a low point in their spirituality, or have fallen off the path of Allahﷻ entirely. We are seeing people convert to Islam in mass waves all because they are unable to reason with the strong faith and courage of the oppressed even though they have lost countless family members, children, and properties. It is almost as if we are going through a new enlightenment for Islam and the Muslims around the world.

So here we are again, pondering on this very verse that should scare all of us to the core. These are the days of life…alternating among humankind. An endless cycle of life that causes us to forget our purpose for being here at times. An endless cycle that drowns us in worldly matters. My dear brothers and sisters, time will only continue to pass, year by year, and this verse will reveal itself each year to serve as a reminder for us all until the end of times. Let us remember that our beloved Messenger ﷺ has told us that the first signs of the end of times are his birth, prophethood, and death. This was over 1,400 years ago. Only Allahﷻ knows truly how much longer we have until the Day of Judgement. Let us use this as a wakeup call and a shocking dose of reality. If we are to gain anything from the suffering of Muslims around the world, it is resilience, faith, courage, and most importantly, steadfastness on our deen.

The Salah is the most important component of your Islam. It is the most important connection to Allahﷻ. On the Day of Judgement, when you stand before Allahﷻ and He opens your book of deeds, the very first item that He will look at is your Salah. There is a hadith that states that on the Day of Judgement, Allahﷻ will first look at your prayer. If your Salah was good, then everything else that comes after will also be good, if your Salah was bad, then everything else that comes after it will be bad. As you can see, this should be the very first action item on your list.

Remember that Salah is a gift given to you from Allahﷻ. Allahﷻ gave this to you so that you can have the privilege, not a right, of being able to talk to Him. The sujood part of your Salah is the closest that you will ever be to your Lord while alive in this Dunya. If you are struggling to pray five times a day, then start slowly. Try to be consistent with praying two salahs a day for a week, then make it three, then make it four, then make it five. Set up a plan and abide by it. If you pray five times a day but you are struggling to focus in your salah, then it is likely due to a lack of understanding of the very words that you say in your prayer. You should try to learn the meaning of the smaller Surahs that you read most often, with Surat Al-Fatiha being the first one. Learn the meaning of the phrases that you say in every step of the prayer. Most importantly, renew your intention.

We ask Allahﷻ to accept the martyrs. We ask Allahﷻ to ease the pain and suffering of our brothers and sisters and grant them the highest level of paradise. Finally, we ask Allahﷻ to forgive our sins, protect us from the Hell fire, and grant us the highest level of paradise. Allahumma ameen.

By Ahmad Salah


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