How can we answer those who say, “I Have No Time For Performing Prayers; I work very much”

Details of the Question

How can we answer those who say, “I Have No Time For Performing Prayers; I work very much”

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Not knowing its importance:

The biggest cause of not performing prayers is notknowing its importance. Many Muslims who are not aware of the great importance and value of performing prayers say, “I have jobs to do; I will perform prayers later”, “Anyway, I will do it later.”

However, prayers are so important; they are the biggest purpose of man's creation.

Think of this: Our Lord states the following in the Quran: “I have only created jinn and men, that they may worship (serve) Me.” (adh-Dhariyat: 56)

Can anything else be said?

Both our Lord and Prophet state that prayer (salah) is the greatest worship. Is it possible to think differently in that case?

Allah, who is the creator of us and everything, who revives and kills us, who will reward or punish us endlessly in the hereafter  by calling us to account, states clearly that He created us so that we would worship and perform prayers and insistently orders us to perform prayers. Does it not mean that we bury our heads in sand and deceive ourselves when we abandon performing prayers?

Yes, we should wake up from this heedless state. We should perform prayers properly as soon as adhan is called without missing even one. If we do not wake up at once, we need to know that it will be too late to wake up in Hell.

The claim "I have no time"

When you ask some people,“why do you not perform prayers?”, they make up a ridiculous excuse like  “I have no time”. Look at this nonsense: There is time for everything but there is not time for performing prayers, which is our purpose of creation. Who believes it?

Once, I was travelling by taxi. My ten-year old brother was sitting next to the driver and talking. They started to talk about performing prayers.

The driver said, “I do not perform prayers.”

My brother asked naively, “Can you not find time for it?”

The driver was a candid person. He said, “Not finding time? No. laziness and neglect.”

Thereupon, we could not help laughing. The driver spoke out the truth without any interpretation. For, one can find time to perform prayers if he wants to.

Is it not Allah who created time and gave it to us? Allah created us, put everything under our control, ordered us to perform prayers but we say, “O Lord! I will perform prayers but I do not have enough time.” Is it not strange?

Our Lord gave us a big life. He asks us to allocate one hour out of the twenty-four hour day to performing prayers. He is so compassionate and merciful that He wants only one hour from us though we will not be regarded to appreciate Him enough even if we worship Him twenty-four hours a day.

If a powerful person gave you twenty-four gold coins and asked you to give one of them to him and said, “If you give one of them to me, I will give you a bag full of gold after a while; if not, I will imprison you”, would you reject this offer? Definitely not. How can we reject performing prayers then?

Misunderstanding the fact “working is worshipping”

Some Muslims use the following statement as an excuse for not performing prayers: “We work; working is a kind of worshipping. We work for the sustenance of our family.”

Is the absurdity in this excuse not clear?

First of all, “worshipping” is a religious concept. In order to call a word or deed “worshipping”, it needs to be ordered by Allah and His messenger (pbuh).

Does it say anywhere in the Quran “There is no need to perform prayers; your working is also worshipping”? In which hadith book the following is stated: “Do not perform prayers while working; working is worshipping, too”?

Did our Lord, who ordered us to perform prayers, not know that we would work? Yes, working is worshipping, too. Not only working but also every permissible thing we do can be worshipping. However, there is a condition for it: You need to perform prayers first; you also need to have a good intention.

That is, “The real owner of our property is my Lord. He gives our sustenance. However, he orders us to work to obtain this sustenance. We try to obtain under sustenance in accordance with His orders and consent.” We need to think like that and work with this intention. With this intention and by performing prayers, all of our deeds can be regarded as worshipping.

However, without performing prayers, our permissible deeds cannot be regarded as worshipping.

Even one kind of worshipping cannot be used as an excuse for not performing another kind of worshipping. For instance, it is wrong to say, “I cannot perform prayers; I perform fasting and pay zakah.” For, the one ordering prayers and fasting is the same being. No kind of worshipping prevents other kinds of worshipping. Each one has a place and time.

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