“Allahu Akbar… Allahu Akbar…”
I hear the adhan through the windows of my office, and I see the pop up on my computer, “It’s time for dhuhr prayer.”
Few minutes earlier, I just started getting into the flow of my work and I don’t want the momentum to be lost. So I tell myself, “I still got 20 minutes until iqama ti2me. Let me wrap this up and I will make it in time, in sha Allah.”
25 minutes later, I know salah started and I am frantically trying to send that last e-mail before rushing off to make a quick wudhu and join the prayers. I am late, again!
And this was not only for zuhr prayer, but for all 5 daily prayers: late for fajr because I woke up late, late for zuhr and ‘asr because of work, late for maghreb because of rush hour, late for ‘isha because of dinner!
And each time I was late, I felt bad, and told myself, “This is the last time I will ever be late!” And guess what? For the next salah, I was late again. In fact, I was the brother who seemed to have a permanent position in the last rows of every musalla/masjid I entered.
Initially, I was taking this lateness lightly. In fact, I fell into the classic trap of shaytaan and said to myself: “Alhamdulillah, brother, at least, you pray, and in the masjid as well! Masha Allah, how many brothers are out there who do not pray in the masjid, or pray at all!” But slowly I realised, this lateness was making an impact on my spirituality and character, and affecting my overall productivity.
Why being chronically late for salah is bad for you?
When you are always late for salah, it says a lot about you and your character. It shows that you lack discipline, internal strength, and integrity to be where you are supposed to be ‘on time’ for your most important appointments of the day, and you are not dependable.
No one likes to say about themselves that they are not dependable or lack discipline, but actions speak louder than words, and being late for salah is the first warning that you are on a slippery slope towards being chronically late in everything else in your life.
Al-Hasan Al-Basri raḍyAllāhu ‘anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) said:
“When salah is the least of your concerns, then what is your most important concern? As much as you fix your salah, your life will be fixed. Did you not know that salah was equated with Success: ‘Come to Prayer, Come to Success.’ How can you ask Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) for success when you are not responding to His right upon you?”
If you are wondering why there is a delay in your sustenance, in your marriage, in your work, in your health, look into your salah: are you delaying it?