A fundamental part of being a Muslim is performing the obligatory 5 daily prayers, and before doing anything else as a new Muslim, learning how to pray needs to be your number one priority.
To someone who is not used to stopping what they’re doing in order to bow before their Lord 5 times a day, this might feel like a big commitment and a daunting responsibility. Don’t fret. It is better to gradually build yourself up at a pace that feels comfortable to you rather than diving straight in only to soon become overwhelmed. If 5 prayers seems like too much for you to begin with, it is ok to get used to 1 prayer a day, then 2, then 3, gradually building up to 5, and even beyond that if you choose to do so (more about that later).
Islam is not designed to be difficult for you, and once you get used to the prayer and you get used to it being a consistent aspect of your daily life, you will be able to enjoy the wonderful peace and contentment prayer can bring to your soul. Prayer is a gift – it is our opportunity to put life on pause for a moment, while we stand before our Creator and enjoy a beautiful connection with the Most-Gracious, Most-Merciful, All-Loving, All-Forgiving, Allah. Nothing in this world can bring your heart more joy than a genuine moment in salah.
How To Pray
These are the exact videos I used to teach myself how to pray, and found them immensely helpful. For a link on how to download a DVD of these videos and accompanying booklet to assist with memorisation, please follow the links in the bullet points below.
If you want to enjoy a description of how salah was introduced, as well as an in-depth instruction how to perform wudhu, before then learning how to pray, watch the brilliantly helpful video below.
If you are confident with your wudhu and want to get straight into the salah, watch this video and feel free to perform your prayers alongside it if that will help you.
Personal Note: If you’ve ever seen Muslims praying, particularly in congregation, you will know the way it draws you in and makes you want to be a part of it. When I first started going to study groups at the mosque, before I had actually become Muslim, I used to watch the salah feeling so much desire to be praying alongside everybody, yet wondering how I would ever manage to memorise every step. Once I started practicing, however, it really didn’t take me long to get it sussed, and I’m sure for you it will be the same inshaa Allah.
Some Extra Tips
- Pray along to a salah tutorial video. Use the videos linked above, or, if you order a New Muslim Welcome Pack from this fantastic website: http://www.muslimnow.com/welcome/ you will find a very good booklet and prayer DVD included. (This is what I used when teaching myself to pray, and I honestly do recommend it highly!)
- Have the words written in front of you. If you are unfamiliar with the Arabic language, as most new Muslims are, you might find it particularly difficult memorising words you have never even heard before. Having them in front of you to read from is a good way to practice. You can find them in the booklet I mentioned above, or you can download the booklet here and print it at home: http://www.muslimnow.com/learn/
- Get yourself down to your local mosque. Although it is daunting praying in congregation when you haven’t yet fully learnt each of the movements, it would still be beneficial for you to go and pray alongside fellow Muslims. It doesn’t matter if you are a step behind waiting to copy everybody else – no one will even notice! And if you haven’t memorised the words yet, don’t worry – it’s your intentions that truly matter, and Allah will reward you for your efforts. The wonderful feeling of praying in unity with those who share your faith will spur you on to keep practicing at home too, and before you know it you’ll be throwing away that book and DVD – or rather handing them over to another new Muslim who will benefit from them!