بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
How to use Ramadan to help you start praying on time:
I know it sounds elementary but read the whole thing. When the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wa salam) was asked what the MOST beloved action to Allah was, he would consistently answer “Prayer performed on time” (Bukhari, Nasaai).
Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) describes the later generations of Bani Israeel as having “Lost the prayer” because they stopped praying on time (19:59). This led them to pursue their evil empty desires and meet destruction in the hereafter.
Obviously the spiritual dimension to this is that when one has no desire or longing to remember their Lord, they stand at the end of the time of prayer with laziness just to get it over with. This is how Allah describes the hypocrites (4:142). However, training oneself to pray early in the window of prayer is the first step.
SO here is my Ramadan resolution: Even though technically speaking the absolute end of the time of prayer is the entrance of the next prayer (with the exception of Fajr), force yourself to pray Dhuhur, Asr, and Isha within 1 hour of the adhan, and Fajr and Maghrib within 30 minutes of the adhan. Obviously Maghrib is really preferred within an even shorter time and Isha can be delayed, but this is an exercise for the one who is having trouble praying on time. You can obviously also sometimes delay any prayer within a permissible time frame if you have an obstacle such as an exam, work, etc. But make that the exception and not the norm.
Place an alarm on your phone and tell yourself that if I go beyond that 30 minutes or 1 hour for the specific prayer, I would’ve “missed” the prayer.
Ramadan is the time to establish good habits and what better habit can you start than the one that is most beloved to Allah!?
[Advice by Sheikh Omar Suleiman]