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Have you been trying to better your prayer and struggling?! Do you feel hopeless that your prayer will ever get better? Do you feel like your relationship with Allah is strained and desperate?
What if I told you there was a solution … Something that will literally take 1 minute and will completely change your whole experience of salah and maybe even your whole relationship with Allah …
This sounds like a gimmick, but it’s not!!
As part of his course, Transform My Prayer, Iqbal Nasim recommends that before you pray any prayer you take time out for what he terms ‘The Golden Minute’. Basically you take 1 full minute before you start praying to set yourself up mentally as to what it is you are about to do: meet with Allah. It’s very simple and obviously takes very little time.
You may think 1 minute is nothing but I bet if you try it you’ll find yourself sweating just 10 seconds in.
I tried implementing his suggestion and I have to admit I’m still reluctant to do it again because of how intense it felt that first time. After just a few seconds I could feel my heart beating and my mind racing at the thought of going into the prayer. My emotions were all heightened and there was great anticipation at the thought of meeting with Allah. The prayer itself was different from other prayers I had completed and feelings of submission and fear were much more prominent. I could feel myself closer to connecting to Allah after just taking some moments out in the beginning.
Why is it so effective?
1.The Golden Minute forces you to do the thing you have been avoiding doing in your prayer in the first place: clear your mind and focus. So many of us complain about how we can’t focus and how our thoughts wander, so taking this time to basically mentally train yourself to just stop and think only about what you’re going to do is so valuable.
2.The Golden Minute also does this ‘training’ right as you are about to go into the prayer itself so there’s no time to lose that traction. It’s not like a yoga or meditation practice you’re doing in a different place that you have to reach for when the time for salah comes. It’s directly applicable: focus on your prayer then focus in your prayer.
3. Finally, and most surprisingly, The Golden Minute can bring up exactly that thing that’s been the barrier between you and Allah.
In my own relationship with Allah I know that things may be strained or that I’m not in the place I want to be – or even used to be, but sometimes the crux of the problem eludes me. I don’t really understand why I can’t connect with Allah or why I’m struggling to feel at peace in my relationship with Him. When I practiced the Golden Minute though, my problem hit me full force. Having to bring to mind that right now, as on the Day of Judgement, I have to stand before Allah with nowhere to hide, my mind went to exactly the thing I had been trying to hide from Allah, and from myself. All the complexities of why different parts of my Islamic practice were misaligned merged into a single lucidity. Luckily for me, that was only the first time, so there is so much more to experience and grow from there.
What’s ironic is that our prayers themselves are inherently supposed to fulfill this aspect of our relationship building with Allah. Our prayers should help us rekindle our feelings towards Allah and help us identify where our lived Islam – outside of prayer – is off track. Unfortunately though, we have fallen into bad habits when it comes to salah and we, communally, don’t really know how to practice meeting with Allah properly anymore. That is why courses like Transform My Prayer are so fundamental: many of us need to relearn what it even means to pray and what things we can do to fix our prayers. This extra minute is extra after all, but it can be the difference between your prayer’s life or death.
So what are you waiting for? You’re just 1 minute away from a whole new beginning with Allah … Don’t let it pass you by.