New Africa Radio Logo
W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles


A.M. Journal

Muhammad Speaks

Imam W. Deen Muhammad


QUESTION: I do not understand when I listen to you speak. My husband teaches me to the best of his ability but it doesn't get through. I want to know the religion and I want to know how to serve Allah, as He is to be served.

I came into the community not knowing anything, and two years later I don't know as much as I did when I came in. When I make up my mind to make prayer, I get so busy with housework or the children I forget about my duties to Allah.
Could you take the time to help me to get started in understanding Al-Islam and serving Allah in the proper way?

(Answer continued from last week)

IMAM: Prophet Muhammad advised that women should give their prayers openly in their homes, even in the courtyard of the home.

We don't have courtyards, the city is too crowded for courtyards. But we do have some yard space, sometimes. And if it is a nice day, it would be nice to take the child out on the grass in the back yard in privacy, not on the front yard. That is too exposed. But if the back yard is private, she could take the children out there and lead them in prayer — or do her own prayers in the back yard.

That is an extreme for this country. But she could at least do that at home, whether guests or Christian relatives are there are not. She should tell them, "Now it's time for prayer, I'm going to have my prayer."

If the children are big enough to follow her in prayer, she says, "Children will you join me in prayer?" Not to say it with a rough, or harsh tone.

I believe from my own experience that the best way to get children to follow the parent in prayer is to invite them with the same love that you invite them to go on a picnic. You wouldn't say, "Come on — let's go on a picnic!"

Introduce the idea in a very human, very soft kind of way. Invite them to something you like yourself. Let the child feel you like it and he will think it is a pleasant thing. We speak to each other in pleasant tones, and I think when we invite our children to prayer we should remember to speak to them in pleasant tones. That will help a lot.

If the mother feels that these responsibilities at home are so much that she has to ignore her prayer, she has to understand that the defiance spirit -- the adverse spirit in herself — has the tendency to excuse self from extra duties. It is something that she has to deal with and she should be aware of that.

I don't want to say "of Satan," but she should be aware that there are tendencies in herself; and we know that the Satan is the biggest troublemaker, but a big troublemaker is ourself.

She has to be aware that those tendencies in herself to excuse herself from moral obligation is sometimes coming from a desire or interest to be carefree, to be left alone, just not to be bothered.

She should be aggressive, she should be courageous, she should be a fighter and rise up against that spirit in herself and say, "No! I made up my mind that I wanted to pray today — I am at least going to do one prayer today."

Start off with one. Say, "I am going to perform at least one prayer today and I don't care how many other things are demanding my attention. I'll give five minutes to prayer." Then Allah will bless that mother to be able to handle her situation better.

The strength we need to handle these situations in the home most likely may come from the spiritual growth and the spiritual maturity that we would derive from practicing prayer.

I know that many times it is hard for us in this country to do five daily prayers, but always start off with one prayer. Find a prayer that we can do, one prayer, and hope to increase it to five.