The Spirit of Prayer

Prayer has a very unique status in the Islamic Shari`ah as it represent the link between the servant and his/her Lord. It is the first obligation after the testimony of faith. Prayer is the comfort of the heart of the Muslim and the honor of the believer.

In this short talk, Dr. Bilal Philips clarifies the real purposes of the acts of worship and how to feel the spirit of them. He gives the example of offering prayer and how some parents order their children to offer it as it is just an obligation. Therefore, children offer it as a tradition as well as a command of their parents.

Ibn Mas`ud  (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Verily one of you performs the actions of the people of Paradise until there is only one arm-length between him and it (Paradise), and that which has been ordained overtakes him, and so he commits the actions of the people of the Hellfire and thus enters it.”  (Muslim)

Dr. Bilal comments on the previous hadith showing that one may offer prayer regularly but it has no weight on the Day of Judgment.

Enjoy watching this interesting talk with Dr. Bilal Philips to know more about the spirit of prayer in Islam.

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Source: Muslim Speakers Channel on Youtube.

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Importance of Prayer for a Muslim’s Characters

A mosque in Dubai

Prayer is an essential element in the building of a believer’s character and shaping his concepts.

Prayer is an obligation and it must be performed five times a day by the Muslim. It’s one of the central elements of faith and the core of worship. Therefore, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said in the authentic hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah (may Allah be Pleased with him): “The first of man’s deeds for which he will be called to account on the Day of Resurrection will be Prayer. If it is found to be sound, he will be safe and successful; but if it is incomplete, he will be unfortunate and a loser.” (At-Tirmidhi)

The Almighty Allah mentions some of the attributes of the believers in the Qur’an regarding the prayer as follows:

Observing and Sticking to Prayer

The Almighty Allah says:

Those who believe in the unseen keep up the prayer, and give out of what We have provided for them. (Al-Baqarah 2:4)

The Believers never debase themselves by worshipping anyone or anything else. They turn to the real and ultimate power in this world, humbling their hearts and souls to Him alone. In this way, they link up to the cause and origin of existence; their lives assume real meaning and noble purpose, transcending the crude and trivial pursuits and needs of worldly living.

Their ties with Allah give them power over other creatures and feed their conscience with moral strength and fear of Allah. Prayer is an essential element in the building of a believer’s character and shaping his concepts, feelings and behavior and in linking them directly with Allah.

Humbling Themselves in Their Prayer

The Almighty Allah says:

Those who pray humbly. (Al-Mu’minun 23:2)

They feel the reverence associated with prayer, as they stand up to address Allah, and their hearts are thus filled with awe, which is, in turn, reflected in their features and movements.

`Ubadah ibn As-Samit (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) saying: “Allah, the Exalted, has made five prayers obligatory. If anyone performs ablution for them well, offers them at their (right) time, and observes perfectly their bowing and submissiveness in them, it is the guarantee of Allah that He will pardon him; if anyone does not do so, there is no guarantee for him on the part of Allah; He may pardon him if He wills, and punish him if He wills.” (Abu Dawud)

Their spirits feel Allah’s Majesty as they realize that they stand in His Presence. Thus, all their preoccupations and distractions disappear. Their thoughts and feelings are all concentrated on their discourse with Him. In His sublime Presence, they are heedless of all their surroundings.

They see and feel nothing but His Majesty. Their minds and hearts are purged of even the slightest alien thought or feeling. In such a situation, a stray atom is reunited with its source, a wandering spirit finds its way, and a heart that has been long in isolation finds its company. Thus, all values, concerns and considerations diminish, except for the ones that are related to Allah in some way.

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This article is based on the interpretation of some verses from the Qur’an.

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Prayer: Importance and Status

Someone is prostrating during his prayer.

In prayer, there is a real attempt to abandon sins and secure salvation from their evils.

EDC Staff

Prayer is the link between the Almighty Allah and His salve. It is the second pillar of Islam, upon which the religion of the Muslim is built. Whoever keeps it up, he keeps his religion, and whoever neglects, the whole of his religion is ruined. It is a distinction between the obedient and the disobedient, and the believer and the disbeliever. Therefore, the prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The covenant that distinguishes between us and them is prayer; whoever neglects it, he has committed Kufr (disbelief).” (Ibn Majah)

In prayer, there is a real attempt to abandon sins and secure salvation from their evils. It helps restoring the soul to its original state of purity. When facing Allah, a person is solemnly determined to abandon wrong habits, and attempts boldly to be freed from the chains of materialism and lusts.

It constitutes a flight to Allah and ascension towards Paradise, the real abode of the believer. It rectifies one’s personal behavior and dealings with people and the Creator. Prayer helps one check his mistakes and encourages him to take relevant corrective measures.

Therefore, Hudhayfah ibn Al-Yaman (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The first thing you will lose of your religion is Khushu`(humility and devotion in prayer), and the last thing you will lose of your religion is Salah.” (Al-Madarij 1/521)

Moreover, one should know that prayer in congregation is twenty-seven times more meritorious than prayer performed individually. The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to ask about people when he finishes prayer? After he made Taslim (salutation of peace ending prayer), he used to say: Where is so and so? And where is so and so? Once, he said: “If people continued to fall behind (i.e., in acquiring virtues), Allah would put them behind.” (Muslim)

One day, he stood angrily and said: ” I sometimes thought of giving orders for firewood to be collected, then proclaim the Adhan for Salah. Then, I would appoint an imam (prayer leader) to lead Salah, and then go to the houses of those who do not come to perform Salah in congregation, and set fire to their houses on them.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Actually, prayer should be offered in congregation. Whoever does not pray in congregation commits a major sin and must be encouraged, deterred and rebuked until he observes the prayer in congregation.

Allah has made prayer obligatory five times per day and night at fixed times. So whoever delays it is considered a transgressor, unjust to himself, and depreciate it. `Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “Combining between prayers without a valid excuse is a major sin.” Therefore, prayer must be offered in its due times.

The following are some tips of the importance of prayer:

1- It is a reason for the acceptance of all other good deeds.

2- It is a way to avoid being characterized with hypocrisy.

3- It saves the Muslim from sharing the punishment in the hell-fire with Pharaoh and Haman on the Day of Judgment.

4- It is a comfort.

5- It is a relief to one’s heart and a light on the face.

6- It protects from indecency and wrongdoing.

7- It is a cause for the increase of sustenance.

8- It restrains from obedience of lusts and desires.

9- It is a reason for receiving the mercy of Allah.

10- It is a reason for forgiving one’s misdeeds, raising rank, duplicating good deeds, and being closer to the Lord of the Heavens and the Earth.

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Neglecting the Prayer

Prayer is considered the most important act of worship in Islam as it cannot be omitted except in such few circumstances. Prayer strengthens the faith in Allah and prepares one to have the life of goodness and obedience to Allah.

Our problems will not be solved and our situations will not change except if we preserve our prayer. One will not get closer to Allah by a deed more beloved by Him than the prayers. No fasting, no charity, no pilgrimage nor any sort of good deeds will benefit you unless your prayer is correct.

It is the first thing the servant will be asked on the Day of Judgment is about his prayer. If it is correct and sound, Allah will continue to look into the book of his deeds. If it is not correct, Almighty Allah says:

And We will regard what they have done of deeds and make them as dust dispersed. (Al-Furqan 25: 23)

Enjoy listening to this emotional reminder to realize the dire need for preserving our prayer.

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Source: The Daily Reminder Channel on Youtube.    

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Psychological Benefits of the Prayer

some people are offering prayer in congregation.

The psychological benefits of prayer for man are too numerous to count.

EDC Staff

The psychological benefits of prayer for man are too numerous to count. During  prayer, one remembers Allah, the Almighty Who has everything in His Hands, and remembers that he does not struggle in this life alone. Also, one remembers that there is an All-Knowing and All-Just Creator and Ruler of the world. So, if one is experienced to injustice or oppression, one consigns one’s matters to the One by His Command the heaven and earth remain.

If one undergoes some hardship or trouble, one resorts to Allah, Whose Mercy encompasses everything. No one other than Him has the absolute command and omnipotence.

This feeling surrounds a person’s life with an atmosphere of calmness and psychological tranquility that help him continue his life with good health, mental comfort and sensual peacefulness.

Dr. Rose Hilferding, a medical advisor at Boston Hospital, says that among the useful ways of healing is to unbosom ones troubles to a trustworthy person.

When patients speak at length about their troubles, the anxiety ends from their minds because speaking about one’s problems is a healing in itself.

It doesn’t matter, if the listener is a doctor, jurist, or a cleric. What is important is the feeling that he is listening and concerning.

So, what would it be if one is resorting to Allah, Who sees and in Whose Hands is the command and all the good?  Is not standing in prayer a rescue from all these diseases?

Dr. Alexis Carrel, awarded the Nobel Prize for his book “Man, the Unknown”, says, “As far as known until now, Prayer is ever the greatest creative source of power. As a physician, I have seen a lot of patients that all medicines have failed to cure them. Yet, it is prayer that finally relieved their pains.”

“Prayer is like the radioactive Radium, for people who seek to increase their limited activity in prayer by addressing the one with absolute and sufficient power.”

“When we pray, we link ourselves with the superpower that dominates the universe. We ask the one who have it to enable us face the sufferings of life. Yet, just recitation is enough to increase our power and activity. We never saw anyone invoking Allah without his supplications are replied with the best things.”

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Translated and adapted from Encyclopedia of Miracles in Qur’an and Sunnah website.

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Why Must the Slave of Allah Perform Prayer?

As life on earth progressed God brought forth Prophets to deliver a message; a message of worship.

As life on earth progressed God brought forth Prophets to deliver a message; a message of worship.

Hayya `ala-s-Salah… Hayya `ala-l-Falah…’ (Hurry to prayer… Hurry to real success…)

Yes, success. What perfect placement of these phrases: come to pray and take your success. Like macaroni and cheese, it’s plain and simple. Placed so cleverly and poetically within the Adhan, (the Islamic call to prayer), we hear this 5 times a day, but how often do we listen and follow?

Amidst chow downs, midterms, and movies, finding time to pray for youth has become somewhat of a difficult task. Many of us spend countless hours engrossed in the latest songs and tabloids, immersed in worldly matters or even grueling over a school assignment; those have become our priorities in dunya (this world). But, what about our priorities for the akhira (Hereafter)?

Nowadays, some of us find it a chore to spend scarcely 5 minutes out of the 1440 minutes in a day prostrating to our Lord in repentance for our sins and seeking refuge from our worries. We have stopped giving salah (prayer) the importance it holds.

Prayer is an obligation, not a choice—as many Muslims these days make it out to be. Salah is one of the things that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala (Glorified is He) has Himself prescribed; I say prescribed, because it is the one true remedy to our worldly worries.

Guard strictly the Salah, especially the middle Salah. And stand before Allah with obedience. (Al-Baqarah 2:238)

Salah reminds you of Allah (Exalted is He), when you get up in the morning, it reminds you three more times when you are busy during the day, and once again before you go to bed.

There is No Fulfillment for Anyone but Us via this Act

Success requires fulfillment, which requires nourishment by the purest means. What better nourishment for yourself than the mercy, guidance, and rewards from the Almighty? Allah lures us to worship with lavish descriptions of Jannah (Paradise), whilst simultaneously warning us of repercussions of disobedience—the wretchedness of hellfire.

And their recompense shall be Paradise, and silken garments, because they were patient. Reclining on raised thrones, they will see there neither the excessive heat of the sun, nor the excessive bitter cold, (as in Paradise there is no sun and no moon). The shade will be close upon them, and bunches of fruit will hang low within their reach. Vessels of silver and cups of crystal will be passed around amongst them, crystal-clear, made of silver. They will determine the measure of them according to their wishes. They will be given a cup (of wine) mixed with Zanjabil, and a fountain called Salsabil (a spring in Paradise). Around them will (serve) boys of perpetual youth. If you see them, you would think they are scattered pearls. When you look there (in Paradise) you will see a delight (that cannot be imagined), and a Great Dominion. Their garments will be of fine green silk and gold embroidery. They will be adorned with bracelets of silver, and their Lord will give them a pure drink. (Al-Insan 76:12-21)

The earliest known story of the universe begins with the concept of prayer—the story of the residents of Paradise. When Allah created Adam (peace be upon him), all beings were asked to prostrate to him, not as a form of worship, but to recognize the beauty fashioned by the Creator. Iblis (Satan) refused and the outcome was eternity in hellfire.

As life on earth progressed God brought forth Prophets to deliver a message; a message of worship. Performing prayer can be traced to the earliest of generations beginning with the blessed Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him).

My Lord, make me an establisher of prayer, and [many] from my descendants. Our Lord, and accept my supplication. (Ibrahim 14:40)

As we dig deeper into the Qur’an we encounter many instances where prayer is mandatory upon the Prophets and their people.

Indeed, I am Allah. There is no deity except Me, so worship Me and establish prayer for My remembrance. (Ta-Ha 20:14)

And establish prayer and give zakat and bow with those who bow (in worship and obedience). (Al-Baqarah 2:43)

As I sit among peers and the clock winds down for prayer, I slyly wander off to an empty room to fulfill my duty to my Creator, careful not to offend those who choose to ignore this obligation. The reasoning is ridiculous. The act of worship is a form of da`wah (invitation).

This should not be something I am afraid to do and have to hide or feel uncomfortable sharing; rather, it should be something enjoined together and encouraged, a journey to purification in tandem. But why is it that as I leave the room to go pray, I find myself feeling guilty, or awkward, for telling my Muslim friends that I am performing salah while they choose to sit idly? This taboo of praying is something that needs to be rectified.

As a convert, this seems bewildering. To have a Muslim choose not to pray seems oxymoronic and unconventional. Islam conveys the consequences of not, and the benefits of praying very clearly. Every salah prayed counts towards good deeds on the Day of Judgment. We have been told there will be instances when those who have prayed, but their good deeds do not outweigh the bad, will wind up in hellfire. Once their term is served, they will be granted Jannah.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) describes the Hereafter, and in which he says:

“…When Allah has finished judging mankind, and wants to bring whomever He wills out of Hell by His Mercy, He will order angels to bring forth those upon whom He wishes to bestow His mercy of the people who never associated anything in worship with Allah, and who said, ‘Laa ilaaha illaah Allah’. The angels will recognize them in Hell, and will know them by the mark of sujud (prostration) on their foreheads. The Fire will consume all of a man except the mark of sujud which Allah has forbidden the Fire to consume. They will be brought forth, having been burned in the Fire, the water of life will be poured on them, and they will grow like seeds left by still after a flood.” (Sahih Muslim)

Let’s try to fathom this concept. Salah will distinguish the devout from the non-believer in hellfire.

What is between Belief and Disbelief is Leaving Prayer

Rarely do we glimpse a follower of another religion devote his entire being to the worship of his Lord prior to, or in addition to, supplication. Prayer in Islam envelopes both mind and body to the sole worship of God; glorifying Him, praising Him, exalting the Benevolent. This form of worship differs from other religions in the sense that other religions use supplication as the sole act of worship, whereas for Muslims, they serve two completely different purposes.

In modern day society, the pressures facing the Ummah (Muslim community) are great; however, the remedy can be just as simple—by keeping steadfast in the daily prayers and having tawakkul (reliance on God), we make ourselves vulnerable to Allah’s help and mercy. We all have an inherent thirst, a thirst for feeling whole, complete, accepted. A thirst quenched by prayer. The Creator can give and He can take. The more we rely on Him, the easier our lives become. The further we go from Him, the further He goes from us, too.

Abu Hurairah (may God have mercy on him) reported that the Messenger of Allah said: ”The nearest a servant comes to his Lord is when he is prostrating himself, so make supplication (in this state).” (Al-Bukhari)

For our iman (faith) to grow, we need the proper infrastructure. Buildings use pillars to support their structure. Growth is weak without a solid foundation. Salah is the second pillar in Islam, the foundation of the religion. There are five pillars in Islam which a Muslim considers the basis of faith: Shahadah (testimony of faith), salah, zakat (charity tax), sawm (fasting), and hajj (pilgrimage). If a person is ill, he/she is excused from fasting; if a person is poor, he/she is excused from paying zakat or performing hajj; however, there is no excuse for salah (aside from the monthly impurities women face). If a person is sick, he may pray sitting down. If he cannot do so, then he may pray lying down, if that is impossible, then he may pray with his eyes. Case in point, no excuses.

Allah has commanded us to indulge in the purification of our souls. The modern day focus lies on perfecting the physical appearance; whereas, the Islamic perspective is rooted in perfecting the inward appearance. Insha’Allah (God willing), we take a few minutes out of our day to hurry to success and thank the Almighty, to ask from the Almighty, and to worship the Almighty.

May we uphold His decree to the best of our abilities and be rewarded with Jannah.

Ameen.

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Source: suhaibwebb.com

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Prayer Is Better Than Sleep

prayer in Islam

Praying five times a day is at the heart of Islam. It is one of the things that distinguishes a Muslim from everyone else in the world.

When young Muslims meet others for the first time and find out that they are Muslim, often one of the very first questions they ask each other is, “Do you pray?” It’s as if this is their touchstone to see if the person they have met is a real Muslim or not. Calling yourself Muslim is one thing, being a Muslim is something else.

Praying five times a day is at the heart of Islam. It is one of the things that distinguishes a Muslim from everyone else in the world; that all the activities of life can be made significant by the cycle of prayer and praise which we offer to Almighty Allah. So why, then, do we have such a problem being faithful to prayer?

My first `Umrah was one of the most important experiences of my life and it had its effects on me. Being so close to the Ka`bah was a deeply moving experience. Being at the very place where our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him), like all the prophets before him, had walked and prayed, was amazing.

One of the things that hit me most about being in Makkah, amongst so many others, was when the call to Prayer sounded for Fajr, the Dawn Prayer. Thousands of people appeared from every direction and headed towards the Ka`bah for prayer.

Getting up in the middle of the night wasn’t difficult at all, because the experience of praying at the Ka`bah was so moving. At the time, moving with the vast crowd, I couldn’t help thinking about what it is usually like back home.

Those getting up and going to the mosque for the Dawn Prayer are certainly a minority, aren’t they? Away from Makkah, it is all too easy to ignore the Adhan completely and stay in the comfort of one’s bed.

At special times like Ramadan, or when we go on pilgrimage,it seems so much easier to be faithful to prayer and to take Islam so much more seriously. How many of us, for example, attended Tarawih Prayers in the mosque during Ramadan, even though we might occasionally miss one or two of the obligatory prayers?

It’s one of life’s paradoxes that we want so much to be good, and yet we find ourselves falling into the same old traps and doing things we later regret.

How odd we are as human beings! We can quite happily sit in front of the television for hours or sit idly chatting on the internet to no one in particular, yet we can’t manage to set aside ten minutes to pray.

We do pray, of course, when we want something. Prayer is no problem for us at all then. It comes quite naturally and is no inconvenience at all. The minute a plane begins to plummet to the ground because of engine failure, even the least religious person on board raises his hands in prayer. When a loved one is diagnosed with a serious illness or when we desperately want an interview to go well, we pray.

The Words of the Adhan

The very words of the Adhan call us to prayer and to security. There is no greater security than knowing that we are in the presence of Allah, Who controls all things. We fret so much and we waste so much time worrying about what might happen, when Allah is guiding everything and we have nothing to fear.

How beautiful it is, for example, to get up in the middle of the night, when all is still and calm, and to prostrate ourselves in prayer before the Maker of the Heavens and the Earth. No one else is around and we can be completely ourselves before Him, pouring out our hearts, asking, begging, and thanking.

If we want something from a friend, we have to couch our request with explanations: “Can I borrow such and such because…”. With Allah we need no explanations. He knows more about what we need than we know ourselves. All we need to do is to bow down in prayer. The very movement of the prayers is relaxing to our bodies and it helps us to put our lives into the proper context. In the presence of such greatness, life is very fragile.

For Muslims, the call to Prayer is like an air raid siren. In times of war or danger, an air raid siren will sound to tell the citizens to run and take cover. No one thinks twice about doing so. The siren sounds and you run as fast as your legs can carry you to a place of safety.

The Adhan is just the same, but it is calling us to escape, not from bombs falling from the sky, but from the everyday concerns and worries of life which often threaten to crush us. It calls us, instead, to take shelter in Allah alone, Who knows us and cares for us and Who wants the best for us. How quickly we should rush to prayer, taking refuge in Allah. How quickly we should leave the inconsequential things of life and turn in prayer to life’s Creator.

We have all seen old people in the mosque and been deeply touched by this old man or that old lady who spends so much time in prayer. Praying has made a difference to them.

It is very moving, too, to see a man come into the mosque from the street, straight from his work which is both back breaking and hard, and to see him prostrate himself in prayer, praying, perhaps, for his children or for the money he needs just to make ends meet. With our foreheads touching the ground, we are all equal. There is no pretending when we pray.

Who Should We Thank, and How?

We are truly blessed as Muslims. Allah has given us everything we need to live a good life, which will bring us happiness. The five pillars of Islam guide us to Paradise.

The five daily prayers are a way of giving meaning to our lives and of setting aside just a few minutes each day to return thanks for all we have. Every Ramadan we make lots of resolutions about how we are going to improve. The greatest resolution of all is to be faithful to prayer.

All our talk about Muslims and about Islam is worthless if we don’t ground it in prayer. Being faithful to the five daily prayers changes us for the better.

Better than watching TV, better than chatting on the Internet, prayer on a regular basis re-charges our spiritual batteries and makes us feel good.

What’s more, regular prayer makes us better people, better Muslims, since its effects stay with us for the rest of the day. In the words of the Adhan which call us to get out of bed and to pray Fajr, the Dawn Prayer, “Prayer is better than sleep.”

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Source: onislam.net.

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Prayer: A Personality Changer

Salah (prayer) is considered the most important act of worship in the Islamic Shari`ah. It strengthens our faith in Allah. It formulates the believer’s character and how to live the life of goodness and obedience to Almighty Allah. Each time we offer prayer, we renew our commitments to our Lord and rid ourselves from worldly pleasures five times a day.

In this short inspirational reminder, Sheikh Nouman Khan talks about the relation between the prayer and the appreciation of Almighty Allah. The first step in appreciating Him is offering prayer as it is a clear indication of how much you appreciate Allah. The progression of prayer itself teaches us that we are supposed to evolve and grow in our humility to Allah.

Then, Sheikh Nouman talks about what should be done between the five daily prayers as the Muslim should be in worship to Allah all the time.

Enjoy watching this interesting talk with Sheikh Nouman Khan as he talks about how the prayer affects the Muslim personality.

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Source: The Daily Reminder Channel on Youtube.   

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Revive Your Faith with Prayer

Here Nouman Khan clarifies the close relationship between keeping on prayer and the true faith in Allah. prayer reminds you of Allah, when you get up in the morning, it reminds you three more times when you are busy during the day, and once again before you go to bed.

Then, he sheds some light on the importance of prayer as it is the link between the slave and Allah, the Almighty. It is the direct contact with no intermediaries. Therefore, prayer is the distinction between a believer and a non-believer.

Follow us on this interesting talk to know more about the second pillar and the core of Islam with Nouman Khan.

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Prayer is the Ascension of Believers

Someone is bowing during the prayer.

All believers purify their morals and attain the dignified state of humanity through prayer no matter how it is performed.

By Haluk Nurbaki

Salah (ritual prayer) is unarguably the foundation of Islam. Having been commanded during the Night of Ascension (Mi‘raj), it is a blessing granted to Muslims by Allah. Muslims approach the wisdoms of Mi‘raj through a genuinely felt and performed prayer, and thereby reach the zenith of servitude before Allah.

Our daily prayers constitute training grounds for such a glorious exaltation; all believers purify their morals and attain the dignified state of humanity through prayer no matter how it is performed. Although hundreds of millions of people perform the prayer with many mistakes, all with the exception of insincere prayers are accepted by Allah.

Hence we should have a longing for and attempt to have a moral exaltation during the performance of prayer. Performing a prayer which merits the approval of Allah naturally necessitates a difficult process of purification. Yet avoiding this beautiful training results in the loss of more exquisite blessings waiting to be granted by Allah.

The motifs of a proper prayer are the physical movements, the prayers said, the verses and dhikr (remembrance of Allah). Whether it is heartfelt or not, we still apply these basic steps in the course of a prayer. There is in fact not much need for deep knowledge to understand and describe a genuine prayer. However, if we understand the meaning of our physical movements and the things we say to Allah during the prayer, we can more profoundly fathom its true glory.

In this case, the first condition of understanding the prayer is to acknowledge that it is not a firm mould, but an activity that ascends the performer from point zero to the most elevated levels. Apart from those prayers we perform in peace and full concentration, there are many others in which our minds wander off to worldly concerns.

This statement can be illustrated with an allegory; if the act of prayer is likened to the unopened bud of a rose, we can say that many layers of rose layers have to be opened or passed until we reach the more worthy inner leaves of the rose, or the prayer.

In fact, the man resembles a point that oscillates between worldly desires and the heart. As we are taken by our worldly desires, the prayer remains on the surface level; as we turn to our heart, the conduct of prayer becomes deeper and more meaningful. In this respect, prayer is at the same time a measure for us in assessing our maturity.

If we are continuously performing the prayer on the outer level without getting to the gist of it, this shows that our point of departure is interwoven with desires. On the contrary, if we are increasingly becoming purified and find ourselves enjoying the prayer, this indicates that we are getting closer to feeling it in our hearts.

Prayer is a worship which must be observed by believers throughout their entire lives. For that reason, prayer is the most influential factor that shapes our characters. Some people reject the practice of prayer after observing some unethical behavior of those others also performing the prayer.

This can be likened to having an ignorant foreman construct a building after getting angry at an engineer who built a defective building. An important reason for this image is our mistake in trying to practice prayer without knowing or trying to understand its true nature.  Recognizing the prayer as an integral experience of morality will thoroughly eliminate these dilemmas.

Prayer:

Prayer reveals the secret of the most beautiful creation in humans.

Prayer is a joyful journey along the road that leads to Allah.

Prayer is a divine feast that gives strength to the body, freshness to the breath, peace to the soul and that rejoices the heart.

Prayer is a limitless gratitude of the servant before His divinity, and an enjoyment to live his nothingness before the power of the Glorified Allah.

Prayer is the vibration of the servant in the magnetic area of the hardships impossible to endure.

Prayer is a miracle of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in which the secret of Al-Fatihah is revealed and that purifies us before His divinity.

Prayer is also the Mi‘raj in which Allah watches His spectacular art in the heart of the believer. Prayer is the sultanate of Muhammad (peace be upon him) in which people are transmitted to the meaning in their entirety and the infinite universes with their bodies.

Performing this dhikr even at a surface level gains a divine content. Undoubtedly, we must be aware of the anticipation of such a dhikr which is beyond our perception before His divinity. The fact that prayer is a very important worship necessitates a thorough preparation.

An unchanging rule is that a genuine prayer is the real objective of any prayer. However, it is a fact that every prayer which is not hypocritically performed is approved by Allah. How can we be worthy of prayer by developing a system that is appropriate for the morality of our Lord in prayers that we perform five times a day throughout our entire lives?

If a servant quits performing prayer saying that he is unable to perform a genuine one, he falls into heedlessness like resigning from the servitude. If a servant only imitates the pattern of prayer until his death without tasting its pleasure thinking that every step of the prayer is approved, this means that he rejects the secret of the most beautiful creation within him. Therefore, we will not quit performing the prayer even if it is superficial. However, we will try to conceive the true nature of the prayer every passing day.

There are many stages between the prayer performed merely in form and the genuine prayer. In other words, it is impossible to say that a prayer is “either an imitation or a genuine one”. If we take the imitational prayer as the outer shell, there are thousands of prayers until we reach the genuine one. We must try to pass these stages slowly and approach the real prayer.

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