Being religious is easy if…
Why are praying and fasting so hard for some people?
Indolence is a very strong trait in human beings. We shouldn’t underestimate it. We must manage our indolence. One aspect of managing and dealing well with indolence is to tell ourselves that religiosity is easy. The Commander of the Faithful, Ali (‘a), said, “God made it (Islam) easy for those who enter it.” [Nahj al-Balaghah, sermon no. 106] The pillars of religion are very difficult for a person who opposes religion. We can come to a result from these two sentences. Whoever distances himself from religiosity will think it is very hard.
A woman wrote in her diary, “My husband didn’t pray. It was very hard for me. I tried to hide this from our children. I insisted a lot and we argued.” She hadn’t written about their arguments. But, there were some upsetting conflicts. Her husband had said, “I’m not in the mood to pray. I can’t do it. When I’m 40 years old, I might pray.” She continued, “On his 40th birthday, we had a party and a cake. I said, ‘Now, you’re 40 years old.’ He said, ‘So what?’ I said, ‘You promised you’d start praying when you turn 40.’ He replied, ‘Ah! I just said something. No, I won’t pray. I haven’t prayed my whole life since it’s hard. Now, I can’t at all.’ I said, ‘No, you promised. You should pray.’” He kept refusing and she kept insisting. At the end, the wife said, “At least pray for 40 days.” He accepted. He prayed for 40 days, and then he couldn’t stop praying anymore.
Whoever enters (Islam) sees that religiosity is easy. For those who pray, it’s very hard for them not to pray. During the Month of Ramadan, those who used to fast but can’t fast now due to some problem get really upset. Religiosity is easy, but if you distance yourself from it, it will look hard. Religion is such a way that you should embrace it. You should enter into it. Then, you’ll see it’s easy. Its hardest parts are actually the easiest parts. But, if you distance yourself from it, it becomes hard. Oh! Fasting is so hard for those who don’t fast. You people fast. Can you believe it is very hard for some people to fast? You don’t understand them, and they don’t understand you. Those who fast say, “Fasting is great! It’s beautiful! It’s really easy.”
Ayatollah Bahjat said, “Religiosity is not hard. Its hardest part is getting up at dawn. That will become easier by sleeping earlier and eating less, both of which are useful for a person.” If God wanted to reward people because of their hardships, He should have rewarded irreligious people. Because, they are the ones who are suffering. When you have indoctrinated within yourself that God’s religion is easy the cursed Satan’s foolish temptations won’t affect you anymore. Satan says, “Sleep. It’s hard to get up.” You repeat to yourself, “It’s easy. It’s easy. It’s easy.” When he says, “It’s hard,” get up and say, “What’s hard? You’re lying! It’s just in my thinking that it’s hard!”
A person who is stuck in this stage that he says, “Religion is hard” won’t try to get ahead. He won’t have vitality in religion. He won’t enjoy religion. He won’t understand [what Imam Sajjad said], “Compete to reach [high] levels.” Whoever distances himself from religiosity thinks it is very hard.
The link for the book "How to Pray a Good Prayer," written by Ali Reza Panahian: https://www.amazon.com/Alireza-Panahian/e/B00DSJYWHC