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 Why Do We Pray…?

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PostSubject: Why Do We Pray…?   Tue Mar 11, 2008 4:25 pm

After a long and hectic day at work, how difficult it is for a tired person
to go out to the mosque and concentrate on his prayers to Allaah, the Almighty. Snuggled
up in a warm and cozy bed, how difficult it is to get up at the call of the Mu`azzin:
"Come to prayer! Come to success!"The famous doctor and philosopher, Ibn Sina (Avicenna), recalls
such a moment in his life. One cold and icy night, he and his slave were resting at an inn
in a remote part of Khuraasaan. During the night, he felt thirsty, so he called to his
slave to bring him some water. The slave had no desire to leave his warm bed, so he
pretended not to hear Ibn Sina’s call. But finally, after repeated calls, he
reluctantly got up and went to fetch the water. A little while later, the melodious sound
of the azaan (call to prayer) filled the air. Ibn Sina began to think about the
person calling the people to prayer. "My slave, ‘Abdullaah, he mused, has always
respected me and admired me. He seizes any opportunity to lavish praise and affection on
me, but tonight he preferred his own comfort to my needs. On the other hand, look at this
Persian slave of Allaah: He left his warm bed to go out into the chilly night, he made
ablution in the icy water of the stream, and then he ascended the high minaret of the
mosque to glorify Him Whom he truly serves: "I bear witness that there is none worthy
of worship except Allaah. I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah."
Ibn Sina records: "I learned the essence of true love, that love which results in
complete obedience." The love of Allaah demands total and unconditional obedience.
Allaah, the Almighty says: { Say [oh, Muhammad!]: "If you love Allaah, follow me:
Allaah will forgive you your sins, for Allaah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful
}
(Soorah 3:31)
Prayer: A Cry of the Inner Soul
His arrogance and pride have often led man to behave as an
oppressor and a tyrant. Some men have been carried away by their own self-importance that
they have even claimed divinity. Pharoah, the ruler of Egypt, was among those who
announced: "I am your supreme Lord!" With his sense of greatness and pride,
Pharoah subjugated the Israelites and made their lives wretched and miserable.
But is man really as strong and great as his ego tells
him? The Qur`aan tells us the reality of man’s nature: { It is Allaah Who created
you in a state of weakness, then gave you strength after weakness, then after strength,
gave you weakness and a hoary head: He creates what He wills, and He is the All-knowing,
the All-powerful
} (Soorah 30:54)
Weakness in the beginning and weakness in the end: This is
the essence of man. He is so weak and helpless at birth that his entire existence depends
on his parents and his family. If he were to be abandoned in these first crucial years, he
could not survive on his own. He needs a gentle and loving hand, not only in his infancy,
but in his childhood and even in his teenage years. As this child enters the years of
youth and independence, he begins to take control of his own life. He looks with pride at
his strong physique, his handsome features and his many talents. He begins to despise
those of lesser abilities, even scorning his parents, who exhausted their own health to
nurture him. He becomes unjust and cruel, using his strength and vigour to dominate
others. He thinks he is master, free to act as he wills. But does this youth, these good
looks last forever? In only a few decades, he begins to lose his strength…his youth
is replaced by old age. Weakness in the beginning, weakness in the end." The message
is clear: The real Master is Allaah. He Alone is Mighty, He Alone, is Great. He Alone is
never tired, never needs rest, is never dependent upon anyone. Allaahu Akbar! - Allaah is
the Greatest! In our everyday lives, we say a warm thank you for the small acts of
kindness which others do for us. So what about thanking Allaah, Who, in His infinite
Mercy, has provided for every single one of our needs. Just observe the beauty and
perfection of the earth around you and fall down in gratitude to your Lord.
Prayer: The Ascension for a Believer

After the Messenger of Allaah e was commissioned for
Prophethood, the first thing he was commanded to do by Allaah was to pray. The angel
Jibreel u came to him and a spring of water gushed out of the rocks in front of them.
Jibreel u then showed Allaah’s Messenger e how to make ablution. He then showed him
how to offer prayers to Allaah. He began to pray two rak`ah twice a day, once in
the morning and once in the evening. He then went home and showed his wife Khadeejah what
he had learnt from the angel Jibreel u.
From that time, the Prophet e never went through a day
without praying. Just before his migration to Madinah, he was taken on a night journey to
Jerusalem and then to the heavens (Mi`raaj). During this journey, Allaah, Almighty,
ordered him to pray five times a day. This prayer was a gift given to every Believer to
enable him to experience a spiritual ascension five times a day. The Prophet e said:
"The prayer is the Mi`raaj of the Believer." It gives every Muslim the
chance to communicate with his Lord. During each prayer, the Muslim recites Soorah
Al-Faatihah: This recitation is not a dull monologue by the Believer, but Allaah promises
that it is a conversation between Him and the worshipper. The Messenger of Allaah e
reported that Allaah, the Almighty says: ‘When my slave says in his prayer: "All
praise is for Allaah, the Lord of the worlds," I say: "My slave has praised
Me" When he says: "The Merciful, the Compassionate, Master of the Day of
Judgement," I say: "My slave has glorified Me." When he says: "You
Alone we worship and your Aid we seek," I say: "This is between Me and My
slave." When he says: "Show us the Straight Path," I say: "This is for
My slave, and I give My slave what he wants."
The Messenger of Allaah e once said: "Prayer is the
pillar of religion." (Narrated by Al-Baihaqi) He also informed us that Islaam is
built upon five pillars, the second being to establish prayer five times a day. (Narrated
by Al-Bukhaari) This makes the image very clear: Islaam is like a building supported by
five columns; remove just one column and the entire building weakens. In the same way,
when a person stops praying, his faith becomes weak, and the mildest blows can cause it to
crumble. The prayer is so very important that the Prophet e said: "Verily, between
man and polytheism and disbelief is abandoning prayer." (Narrated by Muslim)
Allaah says, concerning the plight of the disbelievers on
the Day of Judgement, that they will be asked by the Believers: { "What led you
into the Hell-fire?" They will say: "We were not of those who prayed."
}
(Soorah 74:42-43). Allaah also says: { Successful indeed are the Believers, those who
humble themselves in their prayers
} (Soorah 23:1-2), and: { And those who guard
[strictly] their worship, such will be the honoured ones in the Gardens [of Bliss]
}
(Soorah 70: 34-35).
Allaah has emphasized the need for humility and
concentration in prayers. There is no doubt that Satan is the most bitter enemy of man; he
always tries to disturb the Believer’s prayers. He (the worshipper) finds his mind
suddenly engulfed with memories, problems, worries, work and his family… and he will
often find himself wondering whether he has prayed three rak`ah or four. This is
how Satan steals the prayer. Man was created only to worship Allaah. He says: { I
created not the jinns and mankind except to worship me
} (Soorah 51:56). Man is to
live in this world as a worshipper of Allaah and prayer is the best for of worship. On the
Day of Judgement, man will have to answer for his deeds. Allaah says: { Then shall you
be questioned about the joy [you indulged in]
} (Soorah 102:8



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