Time and place for prayer

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One who prays as it is described in the Qur'an, prays with the acknowledgement of his or her status as Allah's servant. He feels profoundly his submissiveness before Allah's might and feels certain that Allah sees and hears him.

According to the Qur'an, prayer cannot be confined to any particular time and place. Because the wishes and needs of people never abate, their prayers never end. That is, prayer has no time limitations.

However the Qur'an mentions when are the best times to pray, such as the nighttime and the morning prayers, when one distances himself from daily tasks in order to concentrate on prayer. One verse stresses the importance of the dawn prayer: "... those who seek forgiveness before dawn." (Surah Al Imran: 17) Other verses highlight how praying at nighttime offers the best time for reflection, reading the Qur'an and prayer:

Certainly rising at night has a stronger effect and is more conducive to concentration. In the daytime much of your time is taken up by business matters. Remember the Name of your Lord, and devote yourself to Him completely. (Surat al-Muzzammil: 6-8)



Although there are no time limitations for prayer, there are reasons that the Qur'an calls attention to the dawn and nighttime prayers. A believer who starts a new day with a sincere prayer, and thus establishes a close bond with Allah, is strongly reminded of the main purpose of attaining Allah's approval or observing His limits. One who starts her day with prayers conducts herself with the awareness that Allah sees her at every moment.

The nighttime prayer mentioned in the Qur'an is an opportunity for someone who has engaged in the mundane tasks of life throughout day to reconsider and reorient his or her deeds and attitudes; reflecting at the end of the day gives hindsight that enables a person consciously to see the divine wisdom in seemingly negative events that happened and that appeared random at the time.

Devoting some time to prayer at nighttime helps people reflect over the wrongdoings they committed during that day, seek repentance and forgiveness for them, and clear their head from the possible negative emotions that might be clouding their mind.

This aside, a particular place does not necessarily need to be assigned for prayer. One can pray in the shopping mall, on the street, in the car, at school, or at work, that is, anywhere. What matters is to remember that, wherever a person may be, Allah is near to them than their own jugular vein. In the Qur'an, Allah states that prophets called on Him at any time and any place. One verse reads:

So he [Musa] drew water for them and then withdrew into the shade and said, "My Lord, I am truly in need of any good You have in store for me." (Surat al-Qasas: 24)
2009-02-02 16:42:18
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