I've just recently joined this forum to ask a simple question on a small problem I've been having for a while:
I was born into a [family/cultural social circle] where many people are very lenient on whether you pray or not, although alhumdurillah everyone's beginning to become a little more strict regarding prayer times during dinner parties, so salaat is still at a certain level of importance.
My mother does not pray regularly while my father does. My mother in no way discourages me from praying, even praising me sometimes when she sees me do it, but there are a plethora of reasons why she won't get five times down a day.. which is a family issue separate on its own, and I'm slowly fixing it.
The point I'm making is that I've depended solely on my dad to teach me the foundations in practicing Islam (and despite the fact that I study many complex topics at my masjid, my basics are a little rusty here and there), without the exception of praying of course.
All throughout my childhood, I would pray with my father and brother for as long as I can remember, but after I hit puberty, I can't remember if it was either my mother or father who told me that I shouldn't pray with my brother and dad anymore. They made it clear that this was based on their own decision and it was not mandated by Islam in any way.
I was unsure of the reason why, so I went along with it and now I have been praying alone when I'm at home for the past 4-5 years.
Initially you would think the reason behind my problem is because they feel awkward knowing that I wouldn't be able to pray on certain days, but that's not the issue. My family is not so conservative in the aspect where we are not open about some things so whenever it's time for Asr/Maghrib, my dad ensures that I know and tells me to do prepare, do wudu, etc. If it's my time of the month, I simply tell him and he gives a "Oh sorry, thanks for telling me" and doesn't remind me to pray for a week.
A few years back, as we were preparing to pray, I had even asked my dad if I could pray as a family again but he shrugged and replied with a "nah." as if I was offering him an ice cream cone or something. My brother remembers this clearly and we privately joke about it all the time, so even he knows that's it's sort of odd that I don't pray with them.. he doesn't do much about it since he's a passive person.
The last time I asked was a few months ago and my dad didn't reply as if he didn't hear me, I was ignored.
I really want to pray with my dad and brother. I don't feel as connected or engaged in my prayers unless it's with them. Since I don't have my mother with me, they're all I have and I believe we obtain more blessings if we pray in groups am I right?
The only reason why I haven't formally addressed this problem with my parents is because I don't know what to say or what to ask since it's been going on for some time now and my dad has never made the notion to join him in prayer at all. He is not awkward about most things, and is extremely chill but I'm afraid I might insult him if I bring up this topic so suddenly as if I'm accusing him of something rather than just finding out why.
:~: sorry for the long post. Hope it's not too TL;DR.. I just need an outlet since I've never let this problem out before.
Can anyone think of a reason behind this behavior?
Any suggestions? Any at all?
I just need something to prompt me to ask him.