We human beings have a natural aversion to carrying out acts of worship, like salâh, because of our inherent laziness. If a man is hardhearted and commits many wrong actions, thinking too much of physical pleasure and mixing with people who do not remember Allââh, then he can hardly perform his prayers, and if he does not pray he does so absent-mindedly and hurriedly.
Every step of the way, man needs patience in carrying out an act of worship. Before he starts to do it, he must make sure that his intentions are correct. He should check his sincerity, and seek to avoid showing off in performing any act of worship. Whilst he is performing any act of worship, he must try to perfect it, to keep his intentions pure and his mind focused on the purpose of performing that act of worship, namely that it is to please Allâh. After completing an act of worship, he must abstain from doing anything that could corrupt his worship. Allâh has told us: “O you who believe! Cancel not your charity by reminders of your generosity or injury” (al-Baqarah 2:264). He should exercise patience in refraining from admitting and feeling proud of his performance, as this is more damaging than committing many other, more visible, wrong actions. Similarly, he should always be discreet and refrain from telling others about his acts of worship.