Roshan Muhammed Salih says the Transform My Prayer course by Iqbal Nasim has revolutionised his attitude to the second pillar of Islam – salah.
If we’re honest with ourselves I think most Muslims would say that our prayers are far from perfect. Some of us struggle to pray five times a day, but even those of us who do this can do it in a mechanical way without really giving our Lord the kind of worship that He is due, or deriving the kind of benefit from prayer that we should.
So it was with the intention of improving my own worship that I embarked on the Transform My Prayer course delivered by Iqbal Nasim over the holiday period.
And I can say without doubt that this course has revolutionised my attitude to how I pray, and I am already experiencing its benefits in terms of how I am connecting with my Lord.
Mindset for prayer
Before I continue I should make it clear that this article is not an advertorial although it may well end up sounding like one.
Iqbal Nasim does not know that I am writing this piece and 5Pillars is obtaining no material benefit from it. I am just writing it because I think Muslims should know about this course (and similar courses like it) so that we can all benefit from it individually and as an Ummah.
Okay, so now that I’ve got that out of the way let me talk about the course.
It consists of eight one and a half hour lessons over two weeks and costs £75 (although there are concessions in certain cases).
First of all, Iqbal Nasim takes us through the mindset you need to approach prayer, describing it as a “meeting with God” that you should take more seriously than any job interview for which you would prepare thoroughly.
He then takes us though all the obligatory and optional rites of prayer. He describes wudhu as a preparation for your meeting with God. If we were going to a job interview we would clean ourselves and make ourselves look good so that we will impress our interviewers. So why don’t we do the same when we are about to talk to the Lord of the Worlds? Do we really appreciate who we are talking to, Nasim asks?
He then takes us through all the other rites of the prayer from iqaama, takbir, Fatiha, ruku’u, sujood to taslim and additional supplication.
His constant refrain is to slow down, pause and think of the meaning of the words you are saying to your Lord and the significance of the movements you are making in prayer.
My own personal favourite tip was the “Golden Minute” rule. Nasim advises us to take at least a minute before we start praying to just stand in contemplation before the iqaama. During this minute we could visualise hell and heaven; we could visualise the Angel of Death ushering us to the afterlife as this could be our last prayer; or we could just stand and reflect on our blessings.
The purpose of the Golden Minute, of course, is to get you in a state to pray so that the actual salah itself brings more awareness and benefit.
I must also admit that even though I have never met him I do have a personal respect for Iqbal Nasim as he is probably the only individual who has responded positively to a negative piece that 5Pillars wrote about a Muslim organisation.
Usually when 5Pillars reveals legitimate information about a Muslim organisation it tries to “shoot the messenger” or mobilises its supporters against us. But Iqbal Nasim used to be the CEO at one such organisation and he took responsibility for what was exposed and changed the company’s policies for the better. And believe you me, that’s rare!
Anyway back to the course.
Iqbal Nasim is a knowledgable instructor and an effective communicator. He also leaves plenty of time for Q and A during his lessons so there is scope for interaction. It’s not just him talking at you all the time.
I would advise that you to take notes as he is speaking and not just listen to him while you are doing a household chore because the information he imparts is worth noting down.
Finally, how have I personally benefited from this course? Well, perfecting your prayer is a lifelong exercise so, as with anything, you’ll get as much out of it as you put in. And you’ll only derive true benefit from this course by applying its principles seriously and consistently.
But I can confidently say that I am already planning my life around prayer rather than planning my prayer around life. I am already preparing for my five-times-a-day meeting with my Lord much more thoroughly. And I am focussing on the meaning of my prayer far more than I have done in the past.
What’s more, I am enjoying my prayer. For me this is no longer just a duty to be performed or a box-ticking exercise. It’s a two-way conversation with the Most High which I pray will transform every area of my life, not just my salah.
For more information on Transform My Prayer by Iqbal Nasim, click here.