I asked the Prophet “Which deed is the dearest to Allah?” He replied, “To offer the prayers at their early stated fixed times.” I asked, “What is the next (in goodness)?” He replied, “To be good and dutiful to your parents” I again asked, “What is the next (in goodness)?” He replied, ‘To participate in Jihad (religious fighting) in Allah’s cause.” ‘Abdullah added, “I asked only that much and if I had asked more, the Prophet would have told me more.”
So offering prayers on time is even better and dearer to Allah than being good to one’s parents and participating in Jihad. Whoa!
It’s not very difficult to pray on time, you know. It takes time and effort to build the ‘salah discipline’ (getting into the routine), but once you achieve that milestone, even keeping aside the most urgent task for salah does not seem like a big deal anymore.
How to build your ‘salah discipline’:
- make your intention to pray on time. ‘Prepare’ for salah.
- ask Allah for help, as you’re too weak against shaytaan alone. If Allah is with you, he can’t beat you. ;)
- if you follow a schedule, make sure it revolves around the salah times. For example, task A should be done between zuhr and asr.
- get one of those loud alarm clocks/ring tones on your phone to wake you up for fajr.
- don’t keep the alarm clock/phone near you while sleeping. Put it across the room. :P
- if you forget about a certain salah often, or have trouble keeping track of salah times, get the app ‘prayer times’ for your phone. It reminds you about the times of salah. You can set adhaan on it as well.
- prioritize. Is pleasing Allah better or delaying your salah? If you have a class/meeting/whatever that makes you miss a certain prayer, TAKE A BREAK AND PRAY!