When in trouble, pray. When in peace, pray.
On the way to Birmingham today with my Aunt and Uncle, my Uncle shared some insightful passages that has stuck with me since. He advised me of two things:
1. Pray for others first before you pray for yourself.
When offering prayer, think not of yourself and indulge not into asking God Almighty for what you wish to have straight away. Pray for strangers; the sick, the poor, the needy, an individual you spotted on the streets, a customer you introduced yourself to, an employee at the local store, etc. After praying for them, pray for yourself.
What I do personally during my prayers is that I pray for the Holy Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. Then, the founder of Ahmadiyyat, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, on whom be peace. Praying for the current international head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Mirza Masroor Ahmad, may Allah be his helper, is soon after. I tend to pray for their families and companions as well before praying for the success of Islam Ahmadiyyat to spread across the world.
My fellow Muslim brothers and sisters, friends, and family are then prayed for and I pray for myself at the end. I find it a lot more peaceful to have prayed for others first rather than myself; sometimes I pray for so many that I forget to pray for myself but I am in God Almighty’s hands, He knows me.
Another piece of advice that my Uncle shared was:
2. After arriving safely at your destination whilst travelling, offer prayer.
My Uncle said that the Holy Prophet of Islam, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, used to offer prayer after he had travelled. Thus, this was something I felt very inspired to do and start practicing as soon as possible. Even if it be a quick trip to the mosque, I will hopefully make it a habit to pray before I engage myself in any activities.
Prayer is the gateway to God Almighty, a passage to God Almighty that He, Himself has taught us. When we supplicate to Him, He listens. He created us for this purpose, to worship Him and attain His nearness and through what better means can we do so if it not be prayer?
“Hadrat Abu Hurairah narrates that the Holy Prophet said: ‘Nothing is more honoured in the sight of Allah than a Prayer.'”