Transform Your Prayer: Day 6

The Key to the Key

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When you're about to get up to pray, what's the first question that comes to mind?

For many, it's a dreaded question. And that question is...

Do I have wudhu?

But why is this question so dreaded?

Well if the answer is, "No I don't have my wudhu, I'll have to do it agaaain."

Then how do you feel?

Perhaps you feel frustrated and burdened, right? Maybe wudhu even becomes an obstacle to praying.

It's something you feel like you have to do (as an obligation) but don't want to do.

On the other hand...

If the answer is,"Yes I do, I still have my wudhu, I haven't broken it."

Then how do you feel?

You probably feel relieved and happy, right?

But did you know that the Prophet, may God grant him blessings and peace, would often do his wudhu again, even if he was already in a state of wudhu?

That's quite different than (even opposite of) how we tend to approach wudhu, isn't it?

It tells us that he really saw wudhu as an important part of preparing for the special occasion to meet his Lord, five times a day.

Why is the way we approach wudhu important?

Wudhu, or purifying yourself with water, is the first step in preparing yourself for prayer.

And, believe it or not, your relationship with wudhu plays a big part in your relationship with salat.

The Prophet, may God grant him blessings and peace, said, "The key to Paradise is prayer... and the key to prayer is wudhu.”

Wudhu  ➜  Prayer    Paradise

That's why I call wudhu:

The Key to the Key

So if you want your prayer to unlock paradise... you need your wudhu to unlock your prayer first.

But what does it mean for wudhu to unlock your prayer?

You may think about wudhu on a technical level, like:

"I need to wash certain parts of my body... so that my salat will be valid." 

So wudhu is seen mainly (or only) as a precondition for salat to be valid. That seems to be the extent of it for many of us.

But this is one of the main issues in the way we relate to our prayer, and relate to our Lord more generally...

...and one of the main reasons Transform My Prayer exists!

The issue is that our relationship with wudhu / salat / Allah / Islam is very legalistic and technical... instead of one which should be full of substance, meaning and purpose.

Here's an important realization each of us must have:

Just as a prayer that fulfills the technical elements of prayer does NOT necessarily unlock paradise i.e. you can go through the motions of prayer and outwardly everything seems alright...

...but that prayer could be deficient (or potentially even considered unacceptable) due to the person being completely absent-minded in their prayer.

Similarly, just because your wudhu may be correct, technically speaking... it doesn't necessarily mean that it fully unlocks prayer for you.

And realize that it's a spectrum, not a yes-or-no...

So don't ask yourself: Does my wudhu unlock my prayer?

Instead ask: To what extent does my wudhu unlock my prayer?

Rate it from 0-10, 0 being not at all and 10 being fully and completely.

Then the question is:

How can you develop a more positive relationship with wudhu... that instead of doing it in a resisting, "just get through the process" kind of way, you actually want to do it... and you do it in a meaningful, purposeful way?

That's exactly what we'll cover in tomorrow's email. Keep an eye out!