It will be wrong to say we haven’t struggled with Salat at some point in our life. We all have the best intentions, but life gets in the way! Before we know it, our prayer times are interrupted, and we’re left feeling guilty and frustrated.
You might struggle with waking up for Fajr prayer or taking time out for Dhuhr prayer during a busy workday at the office. On the other hand, if you are an early sleeper, it sure can be a challenge to sit tight and wait for the Isha prayer Adhan.
After a while, the missed prayers start to pile up, and your spiritual life begins to suffer. Creating a prayer plan that fits your schedule can help you stick to a routine and never miss a prayer!
So how do you create a prayer plan? Follow the three simple steps below to get started, but first, let’s discuss the importance of Salat.
The Importance of Salat in Islam
حَافِظُوۡا عَلَى الصَّلَوٰتِ وَالصَّلٰوةِ الۡوُسۡطٰى وَقُوۡمُوۡا لِلَّهِ قَانِتِيۡنَ
Observe the ˹five obligatory˺ prayers—especially the middle prayer—and stand in true devotion to Allah. – al-Baqarah 238
Salat, or Islamic prayer, is one of the most important aspects of a Muslim’s life. It is the means by which we connect with Allah, and it is obligatory for all Muslims who are able to perform it.
There are five prayers that must be performed at certain times throughout the day, these are:
- The Fajr prayer (before sunrise),
- The Zuhr or Dhuhr prayer (mid-day),
- The Asr prayer (just before sunset),
- The Maghrib prayer (sunset), and
- The Isha prayer (nightfall).
If for any reason, you are not able to pray at the prescribed time, then you must make up the prayer as soon as possible.
It is a Muslim’s belief that failing to pray or making up prayers late can have serious consequences, both in this life and the next. It is, therefore, essential that we make every effort to pray on time, even if our lives are busy and filled with distractions.
Quranic Verses & Ahadith That Highlight the Importance of Salat
فَإِذَا قَضَيْتُمُ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ فَٱذْكُرُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ قِيَمًۭا وَقُعُودًۭا وَعَلَىٰ جُنُوبِكُمْ ۚ فَإِذَا ٱطْمَأْنَنتُمْ فَأَقِيمُوا۟ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ ۚ إِنَّ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ كَانَتْ عَلَى ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ كِتَبًۭا مَّوْقُوتًۭا
Then when you (have) finished the prayer, then remember Allah standing and sitting and (lying) on your sides. But when you are secure, then establish the (regular) prayer. Indeed, the prayer is on the believers’ prescribed (at) fixed times – An-Nisa 103
دَّثَنَا أَبُو الْوَلِيدِ، هِشَامُ بْنُ عَبْدِ الْمَلِكِ قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا شُعْبَةُ، قَالَ الْوَلِيدُ بْنُ الْعَيْزَارِ أَخْبَرَنِي قَالَ سَمِعْتُ أَبَا عَمْرٍو الشَّيْبَانِيَّ، يَقُولُ حَدَّثَنَا صَاحِبُ، هَذِهِ الدَّارِ وَأَشَارَ إِلَى دَارِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ قَالَ سَأَلْتُ.
I asked the Prophet (ﷺ) “Which deed is the dearest to Allah?” He replied, “To offer the prayers at their early stated fixed times.” al-Bukhari 527
حَدَّثَنَا أَحْمَدُ بْنُ مَنِيعٍ، حَدَّثَنَا يَعْقُوبُ بْنُ الْوَلِيدِ الْمَدَنِيُّ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عُمَرَ، عَنْ نَافِعٍ، عَنْ ابْنِ عُمَرَ، قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: الْوَقْتُ الْأَوَّلُ مِنَ الصَّلَاةِ رِضْوَانُ اللَّهِ، وَالْوَقْتُ الْآخِرُ عَفْوُ اللَّهِ .
As Narrated by Ibn Umar, Allah’s Messenger said: “The beginning of the time for Salah is pleasing to Allah, and the end of its time is pardoned by Allah.” Jami at-Tirmidhi 172
Why Is a Prayer Plan Important?
We often struggle with offering prayers, and sometimes even if we are praying regularly, we delay them to the point of missing them.
A prayer plan is important because it ensures that you are praying regularly and consistently. When you have a plan, you know what you are supposed to be doing, and you are less likely to miss your prayers.
Moreover, having a plan helps you to be more focused and intentional with your prayers. Rather than just praying without any clear purpose or direction, a plan allows you to target your Salat and make the most of your time.
The Prayer Times Plan
With a prayer plan, you would be mentally ready when the Adhan time comes around. This will help you stay consistent and make performing Salat an integral part of your life.
Here is how to make a Prayer times Plan:
Step 1 – Identify your Prayer Times
We all live busy lives and always have a packed schedule. If you analyze your day, it might seem like a thousand things are on your daily schedule. It can be quite difficult to leave all those things to perform Salah.
However, since offering Salah is a priority for every Muslim, the first thing is to prioritize Salah, and the first step is to choose the times in the prayer window suitable for you. Although prayer times keep changing throughout the year, you can still fix a time window to offer your prayers.
Step 2- Use Prayer Times as Pillars for Your Day-To-Day Schedule:
Once you have selected your prayer times for each Salat and then arrange your daily tasks around them. If you work or study, try to do these activities during the earlier or later parts of the day so that you can still pray during your prescribed prayer times.
If you have children, you will need to schedule your prayers around their naps and bedtimes. And if you are a stay-at-home mom, try to do your chores and other tasks during the times of the day when your children are playing or occupied with something else.
Make sure that you do not have any tasks during those 5 – 10 minutes; you need to offer your prayer.
Step 3 – Do Not Delay or Procrastinate
It is always better to pray right after Adhan, but if you can’t do that, then pray at your chosen time. You might get involved in different tasks of the day and delay or forget your salah. So, make sure to get up and perform Salah as per your selected prayer time window.
It will be hard to stick to your prayer plan if you keep delaying. If you find yourself constantly delaying prayers, then you need to re-evaluate your priorities and make changes so that prayer becomes a more important part of your life.
Moreover, you may also need to ask for help from those around you. If you are at work, schedule your meetings and work in a way that you have a 5 – 10-minute respite at prayer times. If you are a mom, ask your husband or a family member to look after the child while you offer your prayers.
Don’t hesitate to reschedule and reorganize tasks to ensure that you don’t miss your prayers.
The biggest issue that you often face in staying regular with your prayers is Wudu. So, always try to perform wudu before going outside.
It is even better if you refresh your wudu whenever you go to the toilet or washroom. This way, you will be able to keep your wudu throughout the day and pray right after you know it’s Adhan time.
Now You Know the Steps to Avoid Prayer Times Interruptions
Prayer is one of the most important aspects of a Muslim’s life, and we must make every effort to pray on time, even if our lives are busy and filled with distractions. By creating a prayer plan, we can make sure that we never miss our prayers and always have a way to make up for any missed prayers.
In sha Allah, by following these 3 simple steps, we can make prayer a regular and important part of our lives. Ameen.