Note: The title of this post is intentionally misleading for more reasons than one. So, please bare with me.
I have told this moralistic story so many times during my life, so I thought why not share it with the world. So, the story goes:
When I came of age, in a certain place, during the last few days of Ramadan of a certain year, my mom had a chat with me in the middle of the night when I decided to break the news to her. She told me things that I still carry with me till this very day and I recently found our some mothers don’t have the “you know have a religious responsibility” talk with their sons and daughters.
So, my mom, in the AM told me that even as my mothers, she would be able to help me on a day. Everything was on me now. I had to fast, I had to pray or I had to pay the consequence on that day. She informed me that, that not engaging in acts of worship would set me up for failure in this life and on that day. As a child, with some faith. I took her words to heart. I went from being off and on if not rarely praying to praying 5 prayers a day, overnight. So, that’s zero – 5 prayers in one day. I like to think that was solely possible with the dua she made that night as I interrupted her qiyam prayer.
Around that time, I vividly remember one day, I slept after Asr, slept through Maghrib and woke up a few minutes after the sun had set, my heart ached for I had not prayed on time. I stood in prayer that day and begged Allah to forgive me like my life depended on it. Subhanallah, look at how devoted I was at the stage of my life. My Aunt who was present at the time, till this day is dumbfounded by the kid version of me’s reaction to praying late.
Slowly but surely, a years later, through many avenues and tricks, the shaytan whispered. He refuted everything my mother had said with my sister as an example. My mom said that if I don’t have my prayers in check, then my life wouldn’t be either. He whispered, ‘look at your older sister, she doesn’t pray, she’s okay, she’s healthy, she’s happy and does well in life, so what was your mom talking about? Slowly but surely, I began to slip. I went from 5-4-3-2-1 time a day, to eventually zero.
A couple of years later, a calamity rocked my world and I was oppressed, in those tender times, it was easier to be depressed and lash out at the world as your faith had diminished. So, a couple of more years later, the calamity advanced, except this time the idea of turning back to Allah was more accepting to make duaa against my oppressors as other relief mechanisms were clearly not working for me. All in all, after 4 years of not praying, in a split second I made the mental, conscious decision to return to Allah. Except this time, I took it one step further. Not only did Allah bless me to pray all 5 years prayers after years of pretending to pray for my parents, but I started praying all my 12 Sunnah prayers to build me a house in Jannah, of course. And before I knew it, I discovered a prayer performed in the last third of the night. I think for a total of 6 months, I was able to pray Qiyam Prayers every-single-day. What a blessing, SubhanAllah. at that young age, it was as if I had a built in alarm clock as I would wake up at the same time every-single-day and to perform Qiyam. Moreover, I would ask for the small things in life and go back to sleep. Surprisingly, at the time, I thought this was completely normal. I recall speaking to my dad about this matter and he insisted with added examples that it was a blessing from Allah. Shamefully, my 6 months came to an end and I stopped prayer Qiyam Prayers because of an unacknowledged sin. Many nights, I would be awake and the thought would come to mind but I couldn’t perform the act by the will of Allah. I was helpless.
Alhamdulillah, since then, Allah blessed me to maintain the 5 daily prayer and I’ve engaged in off and on Sunnah and Qiyam and Duha prayers over the years. Although, I am not satisfied with where I am, I sure am grateful for my past and present and hopeful for the future.
The lesson that can be learnt from all of this is, whatever state you may be in, as long as you call upon Allah, He will Respond.
As an future Accountant Inshallah, I thought the best way to express and compose this post is with a 3D line chart.