If an individual starts offering his Salat regularly in his late teens or early 20s and sincerely regrets missing his prayers before this time, the feelings of guilt never leaves him for this, and he gets distracted during Salat, what advice would you give to the individual?
Also, can that individual take 2-3 minutes breaks between rakats (between 2 Sunnat and 2 Fardh)?
Sincere repentance makes a person as innocent as a newborn. Remember our God is all forgiving; it is His promise that when a person seeks forgiveness and repents on his past deeds, He not only forgives his sins-even if they are as grave as ascribing partners to Him, committing fornication and /or murder – but also replaces his sins with good deeds.
After sincere “tawbah” the feelings of guilt, distraction or hopelessness is a weapon of Satan, which he uses to deviate us from the straight path leading to our Merciful Creator.
“Tawbah” is like a drainage system, just as the drainage system drains all the filth, similarly Tawbah wipes out the effects of all our bad deeds, lapses, forgetfulness or sins.
Offer your prayers with a new enthusiasm based on a rejuvenated trust in God’s mercy and don’t let Satan drive you to distraction.
One can take a break between “rakaat”, there is no harm in it, and is rather commendable if a person uses this time to think how his next “rakaat” can be better than his previous ones.
February 26, 2003