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Salah is a physical, mental, and spiritual act of worship which Muslims perform 5 times daily. You often hear “no matter how hard things get, never let go of your Salah (prayer).” But let’s look closely at why this statement is beneficial to us.
First of all, I believe that Salah is associated with mindfulness and it is something that we don’t necessarily think about. Mindfulness is engaging in the practice of being present, focusing on an object to help anchor your awareness in the present moment experience. In a state of mindfulness, we are not thinking of the past or the future but rather are present at that particular moment. Studies have shown that practicing mindfulness helps to relieve stress, lower blood pressure, reduce chronic pain, improve sleep, etc. During a guided meditation or mindfulness practice, one is guided to release all the tension, all the thoughts such as worries or future plans and be present in the moment. Therefore, a lot of times, when people try to acquire that inner peace or distress, they are recommended by some healthcare providers to just find 5 minutes in a day to meditate.
Interestingly enough, when Muslims recite Surahs during the Salah, we are unconsciously doing a very similar thing. We are not only communicating with Allah but we are also guiding ourselves and reassuring by surrendering to Qadr (fate), letting go of what we cannot control and making peace with what is gone and what is to come. But, in order for us, Muslims, to feel this connection, we must know what the meaning of the Surahs are when we are reciting them as it will help us to not just be more present during Salah, but also understand and believe every word we say with all our heart.
So when you hear “ Allah does not need our prayer”, it truly makes sense. This is meant to help us to stay true and connect to ourselves and our purpose in this life. I want to end this by just saying that Salah is a privilege. Allah (SWT) love is so great for us that Allah made it obligatory upon us to pray 5 times daily not to make things hard for us, but to help us achieve inner peace and guidance.