"Mama why do we pray?"
"Mama why do we have to pray?"
"Mama why do we pray 5 times a day?"
These questions were frequently asked by my children. And my usual answer would be,
"Because Allah wants us to..."
Afeef always were satisfied with this answer, though he would repeat the same questions later on, but he's the type who listens and obey.. Subahanallah.. A gift from Allah SWT, one type of 'rezki' from God if you have an obedient child.
But, like I've always mentioned before, Fatini on the other hand, is more demanding, more curious, she demands for answers in everything!
Just two days ago she'd asked me the same question Afeef had asked before;
"Why do we have to pray???"
I said softly, "because.... Allah wants us to.."
As I expected, she frowned deeply, and said, "But why?? Why Allah wants us to????"
Clever girl, I knew she would never be satisfied with that answer!
How to explain to a 5 year old the importance of our 5 times daily 'solat'? How to make her understand things that we could only feel in our heart? The closeness and the connections we've felt with Allah SWT when we pray? Because she couldn't feel it...
So I told her.... "Don't worry, once you're able to recite all the 'surah' in solat, you'll know the reasons why..."
Still dissatisfied, she said "So, if I know all the 'surah', then I'd love to 'solat' everytime?"
"So, you don't like 'solat'?" I asked.
"No, it's boring... Just standing, bending, and it's too long.."
Oh my, I wondered that night, how should I explain to her?
Oh I don't have to wait for long,, just yesterday, as I was reading a post by a friend on FB, I've found the answer...
Doctor Jefrey Lang, an Atheist converted to Islam talks about his own experience in answering the same question from his daughter;
“Daddy, why do we pray?”
Her question caught me off guard. I didn’t expect it from an eight year old. I knew of course the most obvious answer—that as Muslims we are obligated to—but I did not want to waste the opportunity to share with her the experience and benefits of salah. Nevertheless, as I tried to put together a reply in my mind, I bought a little time by beginning with, ‘We pray because God wants us to!’
‘But why, daddy, what does praying do?’ she asked.
‘It is hard to explain to a young person, honey. Someday, if you do the five prayers every day, I’m
sure you’ll understand, but I’ll do my best to answer your question.’
‘You see, sweetheart. God is the source of all the love, mercy, kindness, and wisdom—of all the beauty—that we experience and feel. Like the sun is the source of the light we see in the daytime, God is the source of all of these and much more. Thus, the love I feel for you, your sisters, and mommy is given to me by God. We know that God is kind and merciful by all the things He has given us in this life. But when we pray, we can feel God’s love, kindness, and mercy in a very special way, in the most powerful way.
For example, you know that mommy and I love you by the way we take care of you. But when we hug you and kiss you, you can really feel how much we love you. In a similar way, we know that God loves and is kind to us by the way He takes care of us. But when we pray, we can feel His love in a very real and special way.’
Oh that last part really touched my heart, it's sooooo TRUE!!!
So today, I told Fatini this:
"Allah cares for us so much, and has given us so much too.. So 'solat' is a way to really really feel Allah's love for us.. Just like mama kiss you and you kiss mama.. You know mama loves you, but when mama kiss and hug you, you feel mama's love for you right.?"
"So, when you 'solat', you will truly really feel Allah's love...."
I'm so satisfied! Not because I've finally answered her question, but because I myself just discovered a new meaning to our 5 times daily prayer... Subahanallah... Thank you Allah!!!
"Oh sebab tu lah mama pejam mata masa solat? Kalau pejam mata, kita rasa dalam hati.."
"Sape cakap kat Fatini? Abg Afeef ke?"
"Tak.... Spongebob lah... Spanbob cakap, kita rasa dalam hati bila kita pejam mata..."