Transform Your Prayer: Day 3

The Strange Salat Phenomenon

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In my last email, we looked at the four parts of you that are praying: your body, tongue, mind and heart...

...and it's when ALL FOUR are aligned that you truly start to unlock a meaningful prayer.

Now, which of these four is the MOST important (i.e. the first step)?

Well by default, when you pray your body has to be in certain positions and do certain movements. There's a pretty standard way we all pray as Muslims, right?

So that leaves the tongue, mind and heart...

I think it starts with the tongue: understanding the meaning and significance of the wordings that you say in salat.


Because, once you start saying the words and phrases in prayer more meaningfully, then you'll be able to:

- focus your mind more on what you're saying, and

- express those words in a more heartfelt way.

But here's what's really STRANGE, and the main point of today's email...

It's something that every one of us does in our prayer (to some extent). It's actually quite a unique, and almost shocking, phenomenon.

I call it: The Strange Salat Phenomenon.

For most of us, salat represents the ONLY time in our lives when:

a. we say words that we don't understand...

b. ...whilst also claiming or wanting those same words / actions to be considered meaningful.

Think about it...

When in your life, other than in salat, do you (a) communicate to someone in a language you don't understand and (b) also claim that it was meaningful communication?



You see, we've gotten into this pattern of mechanical, mindless communication in prayer where we just say some memorized phrases.

- We say them in Arabic, but we don't know what they mean.

- Or even if we do, we don't think about what they mean when we're actually expressing them.

Now I know what you may be thinking...

But the prayer is in Arabic!

No doubt, that presents a bit of a challenge. There's clearly (pun intended) a language barrier for the vast majority of us.

But that doesn't mean that it's impossible to overcome.

God wiling, you WILL be able to accompany the beautiful Arabic phrases in prayer with substance and with meaning... that when you say Allahu Akbar for example, you'll actually mean and feel that God is the greatest, that He's greater than everything and everyone else...

...rather than just saying Allahu Akbar as you go through the prayer where it's just sounds but no meaning and no feeling.

It just requires a little bit of practice.

And if you can dedicate just a few minutes to read, reflect on and act on these emails, you'll begin to see your prayer transform very soon, God willing.

Sometimes I think about it like this...

Every day millions, perhaps billions, of prayers are prayed. Millions, or billions, of these phrases are being said.

They are the same phrases, but they're not all the same.

What makes them different?

It's the heart and the mind (i.e. the connection) of the person who says them.

And that is what makes the ultimate difference and determines whether or not our prayers are truly acceptable, meaningful and valuable.