We live in a world that expects us to always give our best. We have to work as much as possible. And we have to do it as good as possible. We spend our energy on all this worldly work.
When we are done with our worldly tasks, we often feel tired. We feel exhausted. And sometimes we feel our worship as a burden. Even the bare minimum feels heavy. And we try to finish it as quick as possible. How can we change that?
Worship as an Energizer
We have to transform our worship into an energizer.
The main issue is that we judge our worship with the same parameters as our worldly tasks.
Something that needs to be done. However, at the same time we don’t apply the same vigor for reaching excellence.
Because we don’t always see the immediate results of our worship. So firstly, it is necessary to change our paradigm about worship.
Prayer needs to be done. Yes. But, what does Allah say about prayer? It is first and foremost for ourselves. Prayer is good for us (Quran 29: 45; Quran 11: 114).
The five daily prayers are there to re-connect us with our true purpose. To be Allah’s servants. To worship Him (Quran 51: 56).
Our five daily prayers can energize us. They help us to gain clarity. They give us peace and contentment in this busy world (Quran 13: 28).
If we see prayer like that, we will rush towards it. We will wait for the next one. Standing in front of our Lord, communicating with Him will be our source of strength.
A Wonderful Transformation
We have become accustomed to always think. If we don’t think, we entertain ourselves. There is no down-time, no quiet time. Even during our worship, our thoughts run and run. We go through the movements without gaining the spiritual benefits of a God-focused mind and heart.
Again, let’s see worship as a refuge. A refuge from our own busyness. As a start, we can try to feel our heart’s connection to God during prostration. Try to stay in prostration as long as it takes to feel connected to Allah. This will be the start of a wonderful transformation. From seeing prayer as just an obligation to feeling prayer as our personal need.
Other Forms of Worship
Seeing worship as a form of personal need, not as a burdensome obligation should not prevent us from engaging in this world. We have our worldly obligations. Other people, our children, spouses, parents have rights over us. And to fulfill these rights and obligations is just as important. Plus it is also a form of worship.
Here the right intention is the key. Plus sincerity. We need to understand our priorities. And try to feel our connection to our Lord in every task we do.
One method to do so is to make the intention to remember Allah throughout the day in the morning. And renew your intention whenever you feel that you need to strengthen your connection to Him.
Know Your Limits
When it comes to worship, it is also necessary to know our limits. We don’t have to do everything on the list. If it is easy for you to fast, then you can keep several Sunnah fasts throughout the month or year.
However, if fasting is really difficult for you, maybe you can find another form of worship that brings you closer to Allah. Maybe you can give extra charity. Or it is easy for you to wake up at night for Tahajjud prayer. Maybe you can read more praises on our beloved Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bestow eternal peace and blessings on him).
Know yourself. Know what you can do to become more beloved to our merciful Lord. You don’t have to overburden yourself with those Sunnah acts of worship that bring difficulty to you.
Be Your Own Comparison
To avoid getting burdened with worship, it is necessary that we don’t always compare ourselves with others. We should know our own strengths and weaknesses. Other people have other strengths and weaknesses.
Try to improve yourself regularly. But be kind to yourself. Know yourself. Improve your Quran reading. If you currently read one page a day, try to increase to two pages a day. Then try to keep reading two pages until it becomes part of yourself. Only then you can increase again.
Allah loves those acts that are regular, even if they are few. Avoid to overburden yourself because later this can cause you to drop drastically in your worship.
May Allah give us guidance and wisdom of how to become more beloved to Him. May He enable us to feel connected to Him during our worship and may He give us sincerity and perseverance in our worship.
(From Discovering Islam’s archive.)