Learning to Pray (Solat)

So over the past week I was kind of having the misconception that you have to pray exactly on time everyday. For Singapore, that means at about 5.30am, 12.50pm, 4.10pm, 6.50pm, and 8.00pm. And then I would either be having lunch with my colleagues, or having a driving lesson, or my cello class at that time… And then when I heard my alarm go off on my Muslim Pro app, I’d be all, oh no, I can’t do it NOW! I can’t possibly tell my driving instructor, “Hey I need to pray a bit, can we pause the lesson so I can find somewhere to pray and I’ll be back in like 10mins?”

Then I found out that you DON’T have to. You just have to pray before the time for the next prayer comes. Except for the morning prayer (Fajr), when you have to pray before sunrise at 6.45am. Well at least I don’t feel stressed so much now. The thought of having to stop lunch halfway to pray was quite unsettling…

Plus I think I’m still not getting the direction to the Qibla right. Apparently I’m totally clueless about using the compass in my phone. I stand somewhere, the needle points someplace, so I stand somewhere else just to make sure. And the needle points in a totally different direction. So imagine me walking back and forth a few times but still not knowing for sure whether I am in the correct direction. It’s ok, I’ll ask someone soon. *sheepish look*

And then before I pray I search for youtube videos which I plug into my ear, because I still don’t know the right words to say or the procedure to bow, to prostrate etc. And then it’s quite funny because I have no place to put my ipad, no hands to hold it either, so I’m half looking at the video on my music stand and half trying to ‘look at the ground’ where I pray.

Once I start praying though, I feel nothing but peace. No matter the troubles I am facing everyday, somehow it all disappears for that moment. And the beautiful thing about doing the Salat is that you don’t pray for your own needs. You just worship.

I’ve started Salat lessons at Darul Arqam. Hopefully I get to learn more.

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