As human beings, we suffer from a natural aversion to carrying out acts of worship, like salah, due to our inherent laziness. If we are hardhearted and perform many wrong actions, thinking too much of physical pleasure and mixing with people who do not remember Allah, then we can barely perform our prayers, and if we do pray, we do so absent-mindedly and hurriedly.
We need patience in carrying out an act of worship. Before we start an act of worship, we should make sure our intentions are correct. We should check our sincerity and avoid showing off. When we are performing an act of worship, we should strive to perfect it, and keep our intention pure and our mind focussed on the purpose of our action, namely to please Allah. After completing an act of worship, we should abstain from anything that could corrupt it. Allah has told us:
“O you who believe! Cancel not your charity be reminders of your generosity or by injury” (Surah al-Baqarah :264)
We should exercise patience in refraining from feeling proud of our performance, as this is more damaging than committing many other more visible wrong actions. Similarly, we should always be discreet and refrain from telling others about our acts of worship.
May Allah facilitate us in cultivating patience in all it aspects with respect to our worship of Him. Ameen.
Extracted from Patience and Gratitude by Ibn al-Qayyim Page 39