Prayer is great worship. In order to de-ter us from this worship, Satan will not waste time in leading us to doubting thoughts. (1) When it is time to pray and we want to get ready for it, Satan tries to deter us from praying by whispering into our ears thoughts such as: “There is still time.” Or: “Now you are working, first finish your job.” Or: “You can pray later. You are so tired, you did not get enough sleep, sleep some more…” Thus, Satan causes us to procrastinate our prayers and miss them.
Sometimes Satan tries to prevent us from praying by means of other human beings. When we are with others, Satan will suggest to us thoughts like: “There is still time. First finish this topic. Chat some more and you can pray after your friend leaves.” In these situations, if we go and perform our prayer by saying “It is time to pray”, we will overcome Satan.
Another thing that Satan does a lot in-volves performing a prayer in a hurry. “You have a lot of things to do. Perform your prayer quickly.” By reminding us during our prayer of all the things that we have to do, Satan makes us hurry as if we were run-ning out of time. Thus, Satan prevents us from fulfilling the pillars of a prayer (Arkan al-Salat) and from performing bowing (al-ruku) and prostration (al-sajdah) perfectly. In fact, when we think about it, compared to the time spent in praying, we waste so much of our time.
To deter us from praying, Satan works his way through many tricks and traps that we could not imagine. Some of these are as follows: Satan goes to poor and desper-ate people and tells them to quit perform-ing prayers by whispering: “Praying is not for you. It is for people who receive wealth and bounties from Allah.” Satan goes to sick people and whispers “Quit praying, because Allah said “There is no burden for the sick.” You can pray a lot when you get better.” By this, Satan causes them to abandon praying. Satan tries to prevent the performance of praying by making up excuses depending on each person’s situ-ation or profession.
The best way to be saved from these doubts suggested by Satan is to keep one-self in a state of ablution (wudhu) at all times and perform prayers as soon as their times arrive.
(1) Translator’s note: According to Quran the only thing in Satan’s power is to harm people through whispering. Satan has no other power to influence people.