Bismillah (in the name of God)
This is drawing no. 4 as part of the ‘DID YOU KNOW’ series. I wanted to highlight Muslim prayer because there is often this idea that Muslims have to obey really strict rules, for example by praying 5 times a day and that it must be a huge burden. For sure it can be a struggle to maintain a solid practice, but good things don’t come easy. As anyone who dedicates their energy to a certain practice will be able to tell you it can be really challenging at times to stick to your schedule (train for a marathon, go to the gym, meditate etc.). But eventually you reap the fruits of your dedication.
Prayer is soothing to the soul, but Salah (muslim prayer) in my opinion is much more than that. It’s an all-inclusive package of: physical exercise, meditation, connecting with the divine, re-setting your emotional state of mind and having a short (15/20 min) break in the day.
Inspirational short video:
Drawing/Sketch of a woman praying salah:
- salah is exercise – it benefits your body and lowers stress levels
- salah is meditation – you are quieting your mental chatter and increasing your mindfulness.
- salah increases productivity (You have to be organized in order to schedule your day around the 5 set prayer times, which results in planning your day better)
- salah is refreshing (before prayer you do a ritual wash that is meant to bring you into a state of mind where you are ready to stand in front of Allah (God).
- salah gives you a great sense of orientation and makes you aware of your location on earth, you need to figure out where Mecca is before prayer. (Muslims face Mecca during prayer)
- salah puts you in touch with the rhythms of nature. Your prayer times are according to the movement of the sun and the times vary in summer and winter (nowadays there are prayer time apps, but the original way to read the times would be by observing the sun)
- salah unifies. At the same time, Muslims all over the world are praying with you, even if you are alone whilst praying, knowing that others will be praying too makes you feel connected.
- salah celebrates equality. When people are standing in rows to pray there is no special place reserved for the wealthy or famous, rich and poor stand shoulder to shoulder in prayer.
I like this short cartoon illustrating how salah re-charges your battery:
It can be tricky when you are at home with the kids, but they may just join in:
Great drawing by Gioulio Ferrario (1823 – 38)
Check out this great article: 5 ways yoga is a basic practice for muslims
Thank you for your interest! I would love to hear your thoughts on any of my blog posts! Much Salaam, Isabella.