Praise be to Allah.
The prayer is of great importance and significance; it is the most important obligatory duty of Islam after the Shahaadatayn (twin declaration of faith), and the one who does not pray has no share of Islam, as ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may Allah be pleased with him) stated.
There are many texts in the Qur’an and Sunnah which mention the warning to the one who does not pray, and indicate that the one who does not pray is a disbeliever who is beyond the pale of Islam. This has been discussed previously in the answer to question no. 5208.
So long as you are convinced of this ruling, all you have to do is hasten to comply with it, because you do not know what will happen tomorrow; in fact you do not know what will happen in an hour’s time, or even a few minutes from now.
There is no excuse for not praying, even if a person claims that he has excuses, for prayer is a simple matter that only takes a few minutes, no more than ten minutes, including wudoo’ and offering the obligatory prayer.
All the person needs is to believe sincerely that Allah, may He be exalted, has made the prayer obligatory and that He wants His slave to pray, and will punish him if he fails to pray. If this sincere belief is present, it will motivate the individual to take action.
So the solution in your case is to hasten to pray. Having read this answer, you must get up and do wudoo’, then offer the obligatory prayer that is currently due. Thus you will rid yourself of the illusion that you are not able to pray or that something is preventing you from doing so. Then when the time for the following prayer begins, get up and pray, and so on. And within a few days you will become aware of the blessing of prayer and the joy of standing before Allah.
Think to yourself and reflect upon the blessings and gifts that Allah has bestowed upon you, in your physical and mental wellbeing, and so on, then think: is it appropriate for you to deny these blessings and favours?!
If someone does a favour to another person like him, that person feels a strong desire to return the favour and thank him for it, so he looks for words and deeds with which to reciprocate his brother’s kindness. Have you reflected upon the ongoing kindness of Allah, may He be exalted, and His abundant generosity and gifts?
Are you aware of the blessings that Allah has bestowed upon you, how generous He is towards you and how much He loves you?
Does this not deserve that you should say, “To You be praise, O Lord, how great and generous You are, how beautiful it is to obey You and serve You, and devote my time, effort, thoughts and energy to You, and all of that is also part of Your generosity and grace”?
By Allah, if you reflect upon this, you will realise that the rights of Allah over you dictate that you should pray night and day out of gratitude to Allah and in acknowledgement of His favours.
Remember that sins form a barrier between a person and his Lord; the greater the accumulation of sins, the greater the barrier, which prevents him from loving Allah, finding comfort in Him and longing to meet Him. But all you have to do is repent to Allah, regret all the slips and errors, and give up sins and bad deeds, especially things that distract you and cause you to drift, such as songs and music, and depending upon anything other than Allah. For these barriers prevent a person from benefitting from the Qur’an, enjoying the prayer and finding comfort in obeying Allah.
As for the Shaytaan, he is extremely keen to make you give up praying and to make you insignificant before Allah, so that he can achieve what he wants of misguidance and corruption. But his schemes are weak before the people of faith, and he has no power over them. “Indeed, there is for him no authority over those who have believed and rely upon their Lord” [an-Nahl 16:99].
Perhaps you have noted from this answer that you need to do three things:
- Hasten to offer the prayer.
- Strengthen your faith, by doing a lot of other acts of worship, such as dhikr, giving charity and reading Qur’an.
- Give up sin and repent from it, so that the Shaytaan will have no way to influence you.
In addition to the above, it is essential to turn to Allah and ask Him, may He be exalted, to guide and help you.
We ask Him, may He be glorified, to grant you reassurance, forgive your sins, and bless you with the sweetness of faith, joy in the Qur’an and the delight of prayer, for He is able to do that, may He be glorified.
And Allah knows best.