SALAAH, THE COOLNESS OF ONE’S EYES.
The red afterglow disappeared from the sky, it was esha time(night prayer ) so I went about my normal routine of salaah. Prayer on this day was however, somewhat different.
My nephew had a friend over who hasn’t seen me in more than two years. She discovered I adorned the niqab and displayed eagerness to know more about Islam. Upon reciting the adhan iqaamah, in my peripheral vision, I noticed her eyeing me curiously.
She stood on my right hand side, in front of me with her back facing the qiblah(prayer direction). As I recited “hayya alas-salah”, she would turn her head to the right like me and turn her head to the left upon saying “hayya alal falaah”.
To say I was flabbergasted would be an understatement. As I elevated my hands to supplicate to Allah Ta’ala, she would do the same.
I’d pray and she’d followed me, while praying with her back to the qibla. She giggled, like every other kid and I honestly didn’t know how to react or tell her to face the qiblah by joining me because she’s christian and I did not want to impose my religion on anyone, or be a means of drifting a person further away from Islam.
It shocked me that a 9-year-old kid, who’s never exposed to Islamic culture or our way of life, would replicate me in prayer.
Eventually I got to explain the purpose and conditions of salaah. I did not truly realise the importance and the truth in the hadith “the prayer, the prayer” until this day. When Nabi Muhammad Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam lied on his death bed, He Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam did not quarrel about worldly things; He Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam stressed the importance of salaah.
I have little cousins and nephews who very rarely pray when they see me praying, perhaps it’s only that one amongst them loves to pray. Perhaps it’s because we as adults spend too much time putting fear in them about the consequences of abandoning salaah instead of reminding them it is our way of showing gratitude unto Allah.
Narrated Ali Ibn Abu Talib:
The last words which the Messenger of Allah ( Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam spoke were : ” prayer, prayer, fear Allah about those whom your right hands possess”.
Sunan Abi Dawud 5156
May we make it our intention to teach children about salaah not only as a priority but as a means to show gratitude unto Allah and to achieve humility by Allah’s will, for Allah loves those who are grateful.