One of the greatest gifts Islam has given to its nation is ‘Salaah’, or prayer. After Tauhid-Belief in Oneness of Allah, Salah is the most important Article of Faith, having been mentioned multiple times in the Quran and extensively discussed in detail in the Books of Ahadith and Islamic Law. The obligation of Salah is on every sane and mature Muslim and indeed it falls onto us to ensure it is prioritized over everything else. Between Salaah and a Muslim, is a direct relationship with Allah SWT and it is five times a day that a Muslim is obligated to turn to His Lord and pray: At Dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset and evening. While men are supposed to pray in congregation in a Masjid, it is ideal for women to pray at home.
One of the benefits of Salaah is how it spiritually connects a Muslim with Allah SWT. Living in this day and age, where one is constantly beset by trials and tribulations and troubled hearts, doesn’t one always need a spiritual connection with Allah? Whether one prays in congregation or not, there is bound to be some extra prayers or worship that one does at home. Regardless of whether one’s residence is a studio apartment or a sprawling suburban home, it should not be a hardship to utilize some available space in order to have access to a sanctuary that allows one to pray with focus and practice introspection and gratitude. In a multi-roomed house, It is fairly common to choose and set aside different rooms for specific purposes for example, one for dining, one for lounging etc. It often does not occur to us to set apart a space in a corner of a room if not more, for the sole purpose of attaining privacy and khushu’ (humility) in prayer and worship. It is important to understand, however, that this is for ease and convenience and not something that is mandatory in religion. According to Islamic principles, we can pray in just about any place that is devoid of any filth or impurity (and certain other exceptions), and designating a specific place is not a requirement, but it definitely helps in creating a focused mindset towards worship that fosters a peaceful and a meditative experience.
Having a specific place in the house where one can spend time in worship without the disturbance of the environment around him, plays a major role in motivating personal worship and inclining a Muslim’s heart towards forming a bond with his Rabb.
Tips for Setting up a Prayer Space:
- Choosing a Clean Space
The importance of cleanliness has been emphasized in both the Quran and the Hadith so much so that where prayer is concerned, if the cleanliness requirements are not met, the prayer is considered invalid. This is why prayer mats are commonly used to ensure that the place of prayer is pure and clean.
It is thus imperative for the place of prayer to be clean. It is also wise to settle for a corner or a place where the foot traffic is less to zero so the chance of impurity or dirt coming in can be avoided.
- A place that is Distraction-free
One of the primary reasons to have a prayer space is to find a place for worship which is free from the surrounding hubbub. Both visual and sound distractions can potentially disrupt prayer and divert one’s attention from introspection and any peace that one is striving to achieve.
To fully benefit from the spiritual connection one is trying to achieve with Allah through secluded prayer, it is prudent to situate your prayer place where people are less likely to pass through. It is not permissible to come in front of someone who is praying so that is another reason to opt for a corner that has minimum foot traffic.
If it is difficult to find such a space, a solid object can be placed so that if some one needs to pass, they can do so without disrupting anyone’s prayer.
Selecting a prayer place close to a bathroom is a wise choice for one’s purity needs. Instead of making a long trek to an upstairs bathroom which might break the spiritual mindset if you have need for wudhu mid-worship, a nearby bathroom that is kept clean makes things incredibly easier in wudhu and purity.
- Caps for Men, Shawls for Women
Especially in case of a family prayer area, it is a good idea to keep skull-caps for Men and Shawls for Women that cover the body so as to be prepared when standing for Salah. At times, the clothes are not sufficient enough to cover the ‘Sattar’ (required part to cover) and a shawl would ensure that requirement of Salah is met when one starts to pray.
- Other Prayer Aids to Keep
It is recommended to keep prayer aids and other related items within reach in the prayer place for when one decides on some additional prayer or worship, taking advantage of a tranquil and meditative environment.
Having easy access to Quran and a Tafsir book can encourage one to recite and study the Quran post-prayer and without any distractions. If one is short of sight then keeping a pair of extra reading glasses in the space can come in handy. A tasbeeh (prayer beads or rosary) can also be added for the purpose of Zikr (remembrance of Allah SWT). Additionally, adding a notebook and a pen is a great idea, if you are not a digital person, in case you need to mark down Qada salahs or something similar.
To allow comfort and ease to those who find it difficult to sit on the floor for long, without support, the ABDEEZ Prayer Rug with Backrest can be a useful addition to your prayer place with its innovative design that is an amalgam of practicality and style. Not only is it a useful item aiding in comfort in worship but also something that is portable and can be comfortably carried.
Bano, S. (2022, October 11). Home. The Halal Times. https://www.halaltimes.com/how-to-design-a-prayer-room-at-home/
Barber, K. (2021, February 25). Creating a place of Prayer in your home. Prayer Ideas. https://www.prayerideas.org/creating-a-place-of-prayer-in-your-home/
Lama, says, W., & WithASpin. (2020, April 15). 5 steps to creating an islamic prayer room in your home. Home Synchronize. https://homesynchronize.com/5-steps-to-creating-an-islamic-prayer-room-in-your-home/
Mansaray, M. (2022, April 19). 5 tips for turning any room into an islamic prayer room. Apartment Therapy. https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/turn-any-room-into-islamic-prayer-room-37065865
Tech@whyislam.org. (2023, June 17). Basics of setting up a prayer space. WHY. https://www.whyislam.org/basics-of-setting-up-a-prayer-space/