Who Are You Gonna Call Wheneverything Is United Against You

Who Are You Gonna Call Wheneverything Is United Against You

The supplication of Prophet Jonah is a most powerful supplication, a most effective means for obtaining answer to prayer. The summary of the celebrated story of Jonah is as follows:

He was cast into the sea and swallowed by a large fish. The sea was stormy, the night turbulent and dark, and hope exhausted. But it was while he was in such a situation that his supplication,“There is no god other than You, Glory be unto You! Indeed, I was among the wrongdoers ( 21:87 ), acted for him as a swift means of salvation. The secret of his supplication’s power was, in that situation all causes were suspended, for Jonah needed to save him one whose command should constrain the whale and the sea, and the night and the sky. The night, the sea, and the whale were united against him. Only one whose command might subdue all three of these could bring him forth on the strand of salvation. Even if the entirety of creation had become his servants and helpers, it would have been of no avail. So causes have no effect. Since Jonah saw with the eye of certainty that there was no refuge other than the Creator of Causes, and unfolded to him was the meaning of Divine Oneness within the light of Divine Unity, his supplication was able suddenly to subdue the night, the sea, and the whale. Through the light of Divine Unity he was able to transform the belly of the whale into a submarine; and the surging sea, which in its awesomeness resembled an erupting volcano, into a peaceable plain, a pleasant place of excursion. Through the light of Unity, he was able to sweep the sky’s countenance clear of all clouds, and to set the moon over his head like a lantern. Creation that had been pressing and threatening him from all sides now showed him a friendly face from every direction. Thus he reached the shore of salvation, where beneath the creeping-gourd tree he observed this favour of his Sustainer.

Now we are in a situation one hundred times more awesome than that in which Jonah first found himself. Our night is the future. When we look upon our future with the eye of neglect, it is a hundred times darker and more fearful than his night. Our sea is this spinning globe. Each wave of this sea bears on it thousands of corpses, and is thus a thousand times more frightening than his sea. Our fish is the caprice of our soul, which strives to shake and destroy the foundation of our eternal life. This fish is a thousand times more maleficent than his. For his fish could destroy a hundred-year life span, whereas ours seeks to destroy a life lasting hundreds of millions of years. This being our true state, we should in imitation of avert ourselves from all causes and take refuge directly in the Creator of Causes, that is, our Sustainer. We should say,“There is no god but You, Glory be unto You! Indeed I was among the wrongdoers”, and understand with full certainty that it is only He who can repel from us the harm of the future, this world, and caprice of our souls, united against us because of our neglect and misguidance. For the future is subject to His command, the world to His jurisdiction, and our soul to His direction.

What cause is there other than the Creator of the Heavens and Earth who can know the most subtle and secret thoughts of our heart; who can lighten the future for us by establishing the Hereafter; who can save us from the myriad overwhelming waves of the world? None, outside that Necessarily Existent One, there is nothing that can in any way give aid and effect salvation except by His consent and command.

This being the case, considering that as a result of his supplication, the whale became for Jonah a vehicle, or a submarine, and the sea, a peaceable plain; and the night became gently lit for him by the moon. So too, we should make the same supplication,“There is no god but You, Glory be unto You! Indeed I was among the wrongdoers.”

With the sentence “There is no god but You” we draw the gaze of mercy upon our future; with the word “Glory be unto You!” we draw it upon our world; and with the phrase “Indeed I was among the wrongdoers,” we draw it upon our soul. Thus our future is illumined with the light of belief and the moonlike luminosity of the Holy Book, and the awe and terror of the night are transformed into tranquillity and joy. Then too, embarking on the ship of the truth of faith, fashioned in the dockyard of the Most Wise Book, we may pass safely over the sea of this earthly abode, which through the alternation of life and death is boarded by corpses unnumbered, borne on the waves of the years and centuries, and cast into nothingness. Once aboard that ship we may reach the shore of salvation and fulfil our life’s duty. The tempest and surging of the sea will appear a series of pleasing images on a screen, and instead of inspiring terror and dread, will delight, caress and illumine the reflective and the meditative gaze. By virtue of the mystery of the Wise Book, and the effect of that Criterion of Truth and Falsehood, our soul will ride no longer us, but instead become our mount. As we ride it, it will be for us a powerful means for the attainment of life everlasting.

In Short: Man, in accordance with the comprehensive nature of his being, as he suffers and shakes with malaria, so also he suffers from the shaking and tremors of the earth, and the supreme convulsion of all beings of the Day of Resurrection. As he fears the infinitesimal microbe, he also fears the shooting star that appears among the heavenly bodies. As he loves his home, he also loves the wide world. As he loves his little garden, he also ardently loves infinite and eternal paradise. Man’s object of worship, Sustainer, refuge, savior, and goal then can only be the One in the grasp of Whose power is the whole universe, under Whose command are both atom and planet. Man should therefore constantly say like, “There is no god but You, Glory be unto You! Indeed I was among the wrongdoers.”

What Is Importance Of Thanksgiving

What Is Importance Of Thanksgiving

Through repeating verses like, “Will they not then give thanks? (36:35)”, “Will they not then give thanks? ( 36:73)”, “And we shall surely reward those who give thanks. ( 3:145)”, “If you give thanks, I shall increase [my favors] to you. ( 14:7)”, and “Worship God and be of those who give thanks (39:66).”

The Holy Book of Miraculous Exposition shows that the most important thing the Most Merciful Creator wants from His servants is thanks. The Holy Book, the All Wise Distinguisher between Truth and Falsehood, calls men to offer thanks, giving it the greatest importance. It shows ingratitude to be a denial of bounties, and in the Chapter of the Merciful, utters a severe and fearsome threat thirty-three times with the decree, “So which of the favors of your Sustainer do you deny? ( 55:13, etc)” It shows that ingratitude is denial and negation.

Indeed, both the All-Wise Book shows thanks to be the result of creation, and the Mighty Book of the universe shows that the most important result of the creation of the world is thanks. For if the universe is observed carefully, it is apparent that all things result in thanks in the way each is arranged within it; to a degree each looks to thanks and is turned towards it. It is as if the most important fruit of the tree of creation is thanks, and the most elevated product of the factory of the universe is thanks. The reason for this is as follows:

We see in the creation of the world that its beings are arranged as though in a circle with life as its central point. All beings look to life, and serve life, and produce the necessities of life. That is to say, the One Who created the universe chose life from it.

Then we see that He created the animal kingdom in the form of a circle and placed man at its center. Simply, He centered the aims intended from animate beings on man, gathering all living creatures around him, and subjugating them to him. He made them serve him and him dominant over them. That is to say, the Glorious Creator chose man from among living beings, and willed and decreed this position for him in the world.

Then we see that the world of man, and the animal world too, are formed like circles, with sustenance placed at their center. He has made mankind and the animals enamoured of sustenance, has subjugated them to it, and made them serve it. What rules them is sustenance. And He has made sustenance such a vast and rich treasury that it encompasses His innumerable bounties. Even, with a faculty called the sense of taste, He has placed on the tongue fine and sensitive scales to the number of foods, so that they can recognize the tastes of the many varieties of sustenance. That is to say, the strangest, richest, most wonderful, most agreeable, most comprehensive, and most marvelous truth in the universe lies in sustenance.

Now we see that just as everything has been gathered around sustenance and looks to it, so does sustenance in all its varieties subsist through thanks, both material and immaterial and that offered by word and by state; it exists through thanks, it produces thanks, its shows thanks. For appetite and desire for sustenance are a sort of innate or instinctive thanks. Enjoyment and pleasure also are a sort of unconscious thanks, offered by all animals. It is only man who changes the nature of that innate thanks through misguidance and unbelief; he deviates from thanks to associating partners with God.

Furthermore, the exquisitely adorned forms, the fragrant smells, the wonderfully delicious tastes in the bounties which are sustenance invite thanks; they awake an eagerness in animate beings, and through eagerness urge a sort of appreciation and respect, and prompt thanks of a sort. They attract the attention of conscious beings and engender admiration. They encourage them to respect the bounties; through this, they lead them to offer thanks verbally and by act, and to be grateful; they cause them to experience the highest and sweetest pleasure and enjoyment within thanks. That is, they show that, as well as a brief and temporary superficial pleasure, through thanks, these delicious foods and bounties gain the favors of the Most Merciful One, which provide a permanent, true, boundless pleasure. They cause conscious beings to ponder over the infinite, pleasurable favors of the All-Generous Owner of the treasuries of mercy, and in effect to taste the everlasting delights of Paradise while still in this world. Thus, although by means of thanks sustenance becomes such a valuable, rich, all-embracing treasury, through ingratitude it becomes utterly valueless.

When the sense of taste in the tongue is turned towards sustenance for the sake of the Almighty God, that is, when it performs its duty of thanks, it becomes like a grateful inspector of the numberless kitchens of Divine mercy and a highly-esteemed supervisor full of praise. If it is turned towards it for the sake of the soul, that is, without thinking of giving thanks to the One Who has bestowed the sustenance, the sense of taste falls from the rank of being a highly-esteemed supervisor to the level of a watchman of the factory of the stomach and a doorkeeper of the stable of the belly. Just as through ingratitude these servants of sustenance descend to such a level, so does the nature of sustenance and its other servants fall; they descend from the highest rank to the lowest; they sink to a state opposed to the Creator of the universe’s wisdom.

The measure of thanks is contentment, frugality, and being satisfied and grateful. While the measure of ingratitude is greed, wastefulness and extravagance; it is disrespect; it is eating whatever one comes across, whether lawful or unlawful.

Like ingratitude, greed causes both loss and degradation. For example, it is as though because of greed the blessed ant even, which has a social life, is crushed underfoot. For, although a few grains of wheat would be sufficient for a year, it is not contented with this, and collects thousands if it can. While the blessed honey-bee flies overhead due to its contentment, and through a Divine command bestows honey on human beings for them to eat.

The Name of All-Merciful which signifies the Divine Essence and is the Greatest Name of the Most Pure and Holy One- looks to sustenance, and is attained to through the thanks provoked by sustenance. Also, the most apparent meaning of the All Merciful is the Provider.

Moreover, there are different varieties of thanks. The most comprehensive of these and their universal index are the prescribed prayers.

Furthermore, within thanks is a pure belief, a sincere affirmation of God’s Unity. For a person who eats an apple and utters, “Praise be to God!” is proclaiming through his thanks: “This apple is a souvenir bestowed directly by the hand of power, a gift directly from the treasury of mercy.” With saying this and believing it, he is surrendering everything, particular and universal, to the hand of power. He recognizes the manifestation of mercy in everything. He announces through thanks a true belief and sincere affirmation of Divine Unity.

Of the many aspects of the great loss which heedless man incurs through ingratitude for bounties, we shall describe only one. It is as follows:

If someone eats a delicious bounty and gives thanks, the bounty becomes a light through his thanks and a fruit of Paradise in the hereafter. Through thinking of it being a work of the Almighty God’s favor and mercy due to the pleasure it affords, it gives a true, lasting delight and enjoyment. He sends kernels and essences pertaining to its meaning, and immaterial substances like these, to the abodes above, while the material husk-like residue, that is, the matter that has completed its duty and now is unnecessary, becomes excreta and goes to be transformed into its original substances, that is, into the elements. If he does not give thanks, the temporary pleasure leaves a pain and sorrow at its passing, and itself becomes waste. Bounty, which is of the nature of diamonds, is transformed into coal. Through thanks, transient sustenance produces enduring pleasures, everlasting fruits. But bounty, which is met with ingratitude, is turned from the very best of forms into the most distasteful. For according to a heedless person such as that, after a temporary pleasure, the end of sustenance is waste-matter.

For sure, sustenance is in a form worthy of love, and that form becomes apparent through thanks. While the passion of the misguided and heedless for sustenance is animality. You can make further comparisons in this way and see what a loss the heedless and misguided suffer.

Among animate species the most needy for the varieties of sustenance is man. The Almighty God created man as a comprehensive mirror to all His Names; as a miracle of power with the capacity to weigh up and recognize the contents of all His treasuries of mercy; and as His vicegerent on earth possessing the faculties to draw to the scales all the subtleties of the different manifestations of His Names. He therefore gave him a boundless need, making him needy for the endless different varieties of sustenance, material and immaterial. The means of raising man to ‘the best of forms,’ which is the highest position in accordance with this comprehensiveness, is thanks. If he does not give thanks, he falls to ‘the lowest of the low,’ and perpetrates a great wrong.

I n S h or t : The most essential of the four fundamental principles of the way of worship and winning God’s love, the highest and most elevated way, is thanks. These four principles have been defined as follows:

Four things are necessary on the way of the impotent, my friend:

“Absolute impotence, absolute poverty, absolute fervor, and absolute thanks, my friend.”

What Is A Prayer

What Is A Prayer

Prayer is a great mystery of servanthood to God, the very essence of it.

Prayer is a great mystery of servanthood to God, the very essence of it. There are three kinds of prayer.

Types or kinds of prayer

The first kind of prayer is that which is made by the tongue of innate disposition. All seeds and seed-stones pray to the All- Wise Creator through their disposition, their nature, to grow and flourish into an elaborate plant or a huge tree, so that they may make fully manifest the inscriptions of His Names.

Prayer through natural disposition

The existence of all the circumstances necessary for a particular effect to come about is also a prayer through natural disposition, a plea that that effect be realized. That is, the arrangement of necessary circumstances may be likened to a tongue of disposition praying to the All-Powerful and Majestic One to create the desired effect. For example, water, heat, soil and light come together for a seed to grow into a tree to the effect that they pray God, ‘O Creator, make this seed grow into a tree!’ It is inconceivable that those unconscious, inanimate, individual material existences, like water, soil, heat and light, could of themselves create a tree, which is, in essence, a miracle of Divine Power, so the assemblage of causes that lead to a certain result is a sort of prayer done by the tongue of disposition… Please click to read more

Is there any necessity for praying and worshipping?

There are five points to explain this question. The First Sort of Supplication: This is the tongue of latent ability, through which all seeds and grains supplicate to the All-Wise Creator, saying: “Make us grow! Make our tiny truths sprout and transform us into the mighty reality of a tree, so that we may display the elaborate embroideries of Your Names!”… Please click to read more

What is the reason for worship and servitude of God?

Worship and servitude of God look to the Divine command and Divine pleasure. The reason for worship is the Divine command and its result is Divine pleasure. Its fruits and benefits look to the Hereafter. Please click to read more

Does God Almighty need for our worship?

God Almighty has no need of your worship, nor indeed of anything else. Rather, it is you who needs to worship, for in truth you are sick. Worship is a sort of remedy for your spiritual wounds. … Please click to read more

What is the best kind of petitionary prayer of a believer for another?

It is one in accordance with the conditions of its acceptability. A prayer is more or less acceptable in consideration of certain conditions being met. For example, when one prays to God for something, he should first cleanse himself by asking for forgiveness from God, and then call God’s… Please click to read more

A special approach for starting a supplication

As God’s noble Messenger declares: Whoever recites ‘All praise be to God, the Lord of the heavens and the Lord of the layers of the …’ Please click to read more

A Supplication or Praise the Master of the Universe

Behold! In the creation of the heavens and the earth; in the alternation of night and the day; in the sailing of the ships through the oceans for the profit of mankind; in the rain which God sends down from the skies, and the life He gives therewith to an earth that is dead; ….Please click to read more

A prayer for spiritual healing.

While afflicted with numerous wounds and sores for a long time, he recalled the great recompense to be had for his sickness, and endured it with utmost patience. But later, when the worms generated by his wounds penetrated to his heart and his tongue, the seat of the remembrance and knowledge of God, he feared…Please click to read more

Why do we need to worship God?

If you want to understand what great profit and happiness lie in worship, and what great loss and ruin lie in vice and dissipation listen to and take heed of the following story which is in the form of a comparison:…Please click to read more

What is the importance of Thanksgiving?

We see in the creation of the world that its beings are arranged as though in a circle with life as its central point. All beings look to life, and serve life, and produce the necessities of life. That is to say,… Please click to read more

Who are you going to call, when everything is united against you?

The supplication of Prophet Jonah is a most powerful supplication, a most effective means for obtaining answer to prayer. The summary of the celebrated story of Jonah is as follows: He was cast into the sea… Please click to read more

Why all of our prayers have not been answered?

Belief necessitates supplication as a certain means of securing needs, and just as human nature has an intense desire for it, so too the Almighty God decrees, Say, “My Sustainer would not concern Himself with you but for your supplication,” … Please click to read more

What are the essentials of the worship and duties required for man?

Man has been sent to this world as a guest with a special responsibility, and endowed with important potentials. He has been assigned important duties in accordance with these potentials, and strongly urged to carry out those duties and gravely threatened if he fails to do so. In order to make the mystery of “being the best pattern of creation” more comprehensible,…..Please click to read more

How can we respond to those universal, infinite favors through restricted particular thankfulness?

Through a universal intention and infinitely profound belief and devotion. Suppose a poor man enters the presence of the king with a present of a few dollars and sees that gifts worthy of millions each have come from the king’s favorite men and been arranged there. He thinks:… Please click to read more

Is man’s weakness and impotence an appeal for divine help?

Man, among the creatures, is much like a tender child. His strength originates in his weakness and his power in his impotence. It is on account of this want of strength and power that the whole of creation has been subjugated to him. If, therefore,… Please click to read more

Is it possible for us to give enough thanks to God for even a morsel of food?

If only the picture of a bunch of grapes had been shown to us, could the whole of mankind produce it, even if they worked in close cooperation? Whereas God nourishes us with all those bounties of His for nothing and in return demands from us almost nothing. … Please click to read more

The prescribed prayers are the pillar of the Spirituality

If you would really like to understand, with the certainty that two plus two makes four, how valuable and important prescribed prayers are, and with what slight effort is their reward gained, and how foolish and harmful is the one who does not pray, then listen attentively to this parable:… Please click to read more

The reality of the prescribed prayers is a kind of ascension

The reality of the daily prescribed prayers, which is, in fact, a kind of Ascension, is like the soldier in the previous comparison being admitted to the royal Presence as a pure favor…. Please click to read more

The Meaning of the different times of prayer

Each occasion of prayer is not only the open­ing of a significant turning point but also is a mirror to Divine disposal of power and to the universal Divine bounties within that disposal. We are enjoined to perform the prescribed prayers at these defined times…. Please click to read more

Prayer against SPELLS AND SORCERY OR MAGIC

Those who deny spells and sorcery do so either because they do not believe in anything related to metaphysics or what they suppose to be connected with religion or because they are completely unaware of the realities beyond the physical realm. A man in his fifties once told me:… Please click to read more

What Is A Prayer

What Is Best Kind Of Petitionary Prayer Of Believe For Another

What Is Best Kind Of Petitionary Prayer Of Believe For Another

It is one in accordance with the conditions of its acceptability. A prayer is more or less acceptable in consideration of certain conditions being met.

For example, when one prays to God for something, he should first cleanse himself by asking for forgiveness from God, and then call God’s blessing on the Prophet as an intercessor before and after the prayer. For calling God’s blessing on the Prophet is an acceptable prayer and the prayer said between two acceptable prayers is usually acceptable also. In addition, such a prayer should be said in the absence of the believer for whom it is said and be the kind of the prayers mentioned in the Holy Book and Tradition. For example, one should prefer comprehensive prayers such as: O God, I ask forgiveness of You, for me and him, and soundness in religion, in this world and in the Hereafter! Our Lord, grant us in the world good, and in the Hereafter good, and guard us against the chastisement of the Fire!

One should pray with sincerity, from the heart and with a religious seriousness and solemn reverence. Also, one should do so after the five daily prayers and, particularly, after the dawn prayer and in blessed times such as Friday – especially during the hour when prayer is absolutely accepted – the three months of additional prayer before Ramadan, during Ramadan itself, and, most particularly, the Night of Power. Further, one should make one’s petition in the mosque. God is expected, through His Mercy, to accept a petition made in observance of such conditions, and He accepts it so that either it is answered in this world or the one in whose name it is made will hopefully benefit from it in the Hereafter. For this reason, if one does not obtain the result for which he prayed, he should not think that the prayer has not been accepted, rather, he should consider that it has received a better acceptance.

The Journey Beyond Being

The Journey beyond Being

O God, Most High:

We behold the spectacle that You have laid out before us, Your most original and striking works made in the most perfect form, to which You invite our gaze. We behold things and events that, in their interrelation, are the most brilliant and wellproportioned of Your dazzling pictures. The manifestation of all Your beauties draws out from the bosom of nature a variety of colors unfolding as if in a book of art. Bearing witness to You by the writing of Your Pen, and in accordance with Your Book which You have written with that Pen, our spirits have taken wing, and we have gained sight of the source of all things in the light of Your Names. Voices and music of celestial harmonies are heard everywhere, and our hearts are ravished by the mystery of the sacred archetypes, which are the fountain of all things.

Through the eye of the heart we have grasped the essential identity between the kernel of belief and the touba tree in Paradise (into which that kernel will grow). We have risen to make a journey extending far into the realms beyond being. On this journey Your holy Book has guided our spirits, setting out a vision of Your Names and Attributes, and leading to eternity. You have described to us the journey to Yourself, mapped it out in the minutest detail, and pictured it in the mi’raj (Ascension) of Your holy Servant, peace and Your blessings be upon him, his miraculous ascent through the Seven Heavens to Your Presence. That journey is possible to any man or woman who has knowledge of You through his or her spirit. If we have gone too far in touching the latch of the gates of Your mysteries, we ask forgiveness for the discourtesies of our coarse, immature souls that are ignorant of rules and proprieties.

O Creator, Most High and Most Beautiful, Who brought us into this existence and allowed us to feel the infinite pleasure thereof. You have opened to us vast worlds as a book. You have made our consciousness the shore at which Your Divine mysteries lap, and so enabled us to have a sense of those mysteries. If You had not unfolded to us as in a book these magnificent worlds, if You had not disclosed Yourself to us, according to our capacity to understand, by sending Prophets, we would not have known You at all.

If You had not established connections between nature and our inner experiences, and endowed us with an innate perception by means of which we might arrive at true knowledge and true gnosis, we could never hope to know Your Divine Essence or anything sure about You. How, then, could we have felt admiration for Your Path? We are Your bonded servants, and the recurrent flashes reflected in our consciousness are rays from Your Existence. Whatever we own is entirely by Your gift and favor. We declare this once more, confessing that we are Your obedient slaves, who never look for release, but rather long to renew our bonds.

O Ruler of hearts, on the remembrance and meditation of Whom hearts are fixed, we strive to determine the ways leading to Your Presence and the windows opening upon Your Existence. Sometimes we seek by delving into the reality of things and events, and sometimes by relying upon our intuition. Our goal is to communicate what we receive from You to those whose hearts are sick and whose minds are barren, and to remain faithful to the sublime truths that have been shown there in the clearest possible way.

No doubt we have committed errors and indulged our fancies and whims, for we have not been able to offer the most manifest truths in their essential purity.

If we have made mistakes, we made them while seeking You and trying to guide others. If we have made mistakes, we have made them on the way to You. But a mistake is still a mistake. With broken hearts, spirits doubled up, and necks in chains, we appeal to Your generous judgment. We make this confession, knowing that Your unbounded Mercy always overcomes Your Wrath. It is not becoming for Your humble slaves, especially those You have favored, to commit mistakes. Yet since they do, graciously permit me to remark that mercy and forgiveness are becoming most of all to You.

O Ruler of my heart. To the Ruler belongs the Royal manner that befits Him, just as servitude befits a slave. If You forgive us, we should wish to study the book of Your universe anew so as to pay attention to the voices that tell of You. We should wish to witness the signs of Your Existence, and to be enraptured by the songs about You, so that we may reach Your holy realm. By Your Graciousness, assist those who are in need!

Time To Pray

Time To Pray

We use prayer to turn to the Eternally Merciful God, present ourselves to Him, and ask Him to meet all of our needs. We entreat Him humbly and submissively, fully aware of our status as weak, poor, and needy servants who are not self-subsistent. Thus prayer is a necessity arising from our belief, trust, and full confidence in the Lord, as well as our understanding of Divine Unity.

Within this framework, servants become engrossed in a combined feeling of fear and hope. Away from the sight of others, we supplicate from the heart only to God, and pray in secret. This sentiment, which is reflected in The Qur’an 7:55, describes an essential element of prayer that we must observe while praying. However, only the Legislator can permit and encourage this attitude at various times, and only He can determine the degree to which it is allowed.

God enjoins us to pray to Him only, in fear as well as full of hope and to know that His Mercy is with those whose hearts beat with the consciousness of His constant supervision over them. (7:56) He even shows us the door toward which we should walk, and teaches us the rules and principles of how to wait in front of it.

Turning to God all the time and in every condition, opening our hands in supplication, and revealing our concerns and problems to Him are all an honor and an initial prize. In addition, they are very significant initial steps taken to earn a favorable response from Him. He states: If my servants direct their wishes to Me, they must know that I am closer to them than anything else. I respond to the prayer of those who turn to Me with prayers. (2:186) However, there is a condition: All of these prayers and supplications are to be performed as indicated in: You pray from the heart with utmost sincerity and seeking God’s pleasure. (7:29, 40:14, 65) Instead of praying when among people, as if showing off to others, we should entreat the All-Knowing God, Whose hearing and seeing is worth far more than any person’s, by sighing in secret and with utmost sincerity, in complete privacy so that we are closed to others but open to Him. Meeting these conditions will enable us to implore Him with the alchemy of secrecy, and will prevent our voices and sighs from being fouled with the sparks of irrelevant thoughts.

No one returns empty-handed from His court. In fact, those people who pour out their deepest needs and desires, and present such personal grievances about themselves only to Him, are drawn closer to Him. They have to ask the One Who can meet all of their needs, just as they have to complain to a doctor who can heal their illnesses.

Each servant who enters the Nearest One’s Presence is required to be in possession of his or her self and in full control of his or her speech, vocal vibrations, and groaning. Moreover, each servant’s mind, intelligence, and senses must be in a receptive state.

Loyal servants frequently filter their thoughts and supplications through their intentions and sincerity, for they strive to keep their expressions and feelings free of any disturbance. They become like mute people so that no one can hear them, to such a degree that they even become jealous of their own voice and words.

In addition to being sincere while praying, servants should search for moments and seconds during which their pulses beat with the remembrance of God. They should make full use of holy days and nights, for these are the times when divine blessings pour forth. Especially when it is time to pray and to break the fast, all prostrations and bows should be performed in such a way that not even one second is wasted. Loyal and sincere servants are expected to fulfill these obligations, for doing so is essential for the prayer to be accepted. As all such servants know, a prayer may be answered either positively or negatively, or circumstances may become favorable or unfavorable.

Believers in God do not mind if summer is as cold as winter, if spring seems to resemble autumn, or if days become as dark as blind graves. Who cares about darkness when God reminds us of His All-Encompassing Power: Who saves you from the darkness of the land and the sea when you pray in destitute?! (6:63) Who cares about such things when God makes His Existence known in their conscience by saying: Who else, other than God, accepts the prayers of the poor and takes care of their problems?! (27:62)

The Qur’an is the Divine Book that guides us through existence, interprets events, and interprets both the macro- and micro-worlds. It is the language of the World of the Unseen in this life; a contract of divine blessings for humanity; and the essence, essential nature, glory, and light of Islam. As if that were not enough, it is also the map for the worlds of the afterlife, a means of happiness for believers, and a book of prayer.

The Qur’an introduces a prayer by glorifying Him, and then asks to be set on the straight path as it sets off, sprinkling its most brilliant jewels with Surat al-Fatihah. Next comes Surat al-Baqarah, which calls us to pray by means of implicit expressions of prayer, raising its voice with the tune of its explicitness, and teaches us what to ask from God: Our Lord! Grant us good in this world and good in the Hereafter (2:201). After a few pages, it shows us the greenhouses and shelters in which we can shelter while facing difficult conditions and asking for help: Our Lord, pour down upon us patience (endurance), make our steps firm (make our foothold sure), and help us against the unbelievers (2:250).

The last verse of this surah points to the following prayer, which is a gift from the Prophet’s Ascension and which should be repeated constantly: Our Lord, do not punish us if we forget or make a mistake. Our Lord, do not lay on us a burden as You did on those before us. Our Lord, do not impose upon us that which we have not the strength to bear. Pardon us and grant us protection, and have mercy upon us. You are our Patron, so help us against the unbelievers. (2:286)

The next surah, Surat Al-i Imran, also starts with and reminds all believers of a very significant prayer: Our Lord, do not let our hearts deviate now after You have guided us. But grant us Mercy from Your Presence, for You are the Grantor of bounties without measure. (3:8) A few verses later on, we are invited again with an allusion to the prayers of the pious, who supplicate with the following cries: Our Lord, we have indeed believed. Forgive us, then, our sins, and save us from the agony of the Fire (3:16) and: Our Lord, we believe in what You have revealed and we follow the Messenger, so write us down with those who bear witness. (3:53) These draw our attention to the supplication of Jesus’ apostles, who also are filled with a sense of responsibility.

Right after this comes a gift of prayer from the mouths of the devout ones, the scholars who gathered around the Messengers and strived: Our Lord, forgive our sins and anything We may have done that transgressed our duty. Establish our feet firmly, and help us against those that resist faith. (3:147) The section of contemplation toward the end of the surah ends with a wish for a good end: Our Lord, lo, we have heard a crier calling unto faith: “Believe in your Lord!” So we believed. Our Lord, therefore forgive our sins, blot out our evil deeds, and make us die the death of the righteous (3:193). Those who shake fearfully, thinking that they have treated themselves unjustly, pray: Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves. If You do not forgive us and have mercy upon us, surely we are of the lost (7:23) and remind us through a distinctive cry that unleashes tremors into our souls. Our Lord comprehends all things in knowledge. In God do we put our trust. Our Lord, decide with truth between us and our folk, for You are the best of those who decide (7:89) whispers a unique style of entreaty of a submissive Prophet who murmurs “establishment of justice” with full confidence, asking for God’s action against an extremely impertinent disbelieving society.

Time To PrayIn accordance with the context, the Qur’an frequently presents examples of the Prophet’s supplications, sighs, and pleas for help. For example: You are our Guardian, therefore forgive us and have mercy on us (7:155); O our Lord, do not let us be subjected to the persecution of the unjust people (10:85); and There is no god but You, glory be to You. Surely I am of those who make themselves to suffer loss. (21:87) Hundreds of Qur’anic verses call us to interrogate ourselves, plea, and complain about our evil features. Such verses reveal that prayer is a source of strength for those in charge, a fountain of absolution for those who have committed sins, a solution for the needy, a hand extended to help those struck by disaster, a key to a treasure for the poor, a doctor for the victim. The Qur’an always points out that prayer and humble supplications lead to salvation from worldly problems and concerns with the Hereafter, and that those who see (the Book) with the heart and murmur with the soul are traveling toward and praying to God.

In parallel with the Qur’an’s prayer-colored horizon, the life of Prophet Muhammad, the sultan of prayer, is a lacework adorned with entreaties and supplications. He would open hands, turn to his Lord, overflow with thanks and glorification, bow and double himself up in prayer, and constantly supplicate to Him. He did this throughout his life: when he woke up in the morning, lived until the evening, and stood in God’s Presence at night; while performing the ritual ablutions and daily prayers, observing these prayers (each a heavenly ascension), listening to the call for prayer, and during and after each prayer as a means for getting closer to God; while eating, going to bed, traveling, returning from a campaign, confronting an enemy; and while experiencing worldly or heavenly disasters and surprising events, witnessing miraculous events, suffering from illnesses or troubles, and when concerned or pleased with something. Prayer books give more details about all of his prayers and supplications.

Prayer is a mysterious key to His everlasting treasures, a point of support for the poor and hurt, and the most secure shelter for those in distress. Those who step into this shelter are considered to have obtained this key, and the poor, weak, and needy who join this governance attain that for which they had hoped.

The inhabitants of the heavens carry along the sincere prayers of such needy people, who are deprived of any other solution. These destitute people, who are in a state of desolation and demise, know what they are asking for and are aware of what they are doing. They turn to Him and unburden themselves of all thoughts. Such prayers would make the heavens burst into tears; hurricanes threatening the world would change its course, waves overturning everything would calm down, and peace would rise on the horizon. Broken fault lines would surrender to unexpected rulings, and released gases would easily evaporate into the atmosphere. The breeze of such a prayer enlivens Earth and brightens the skies. Hearts beat with exhilaration, and nature rises in order to dance and to send forth smiles.

Through prayer, people offer their sacred requests, which are beyond causes, to the Most Glorified One, and acknowledge that God see whatever is hidden or open. Humanity, as well as the jinns and the angels, pray to Him, especially about issues that subjugate their strength and control, and expect a remedy from Him. However, such a remedy is forthcoming only if we take all of the required measures and fulfill all of the necessary conditions.

O Remedy for all in need! Send a light from Your presence for those suffering in darkness, especially these days, when there is no means left to resort to, social circumstances are in complete disorder; when only the tyrants’ voices are heard everywhere and the people sway and bump into obstacles. Extinguish the fires of tyranny and injustice with Your Infinite Power, destroy the Devil’s homes, and place inescapable collars around the necks’ of the evil ones.

We are not exposed to the winds of inspiration any more, the enthusiasm in our hearts has been subdued, and a stammer has started to appear upon our tongues. Send us a reviving breeze from Your land of mercy. Raise our hopes and goodwill for You to the borders of Your Mercy, give us faithful excitement, and accept us as hopeful supplicants thereof. Untie our tongues so that we do not commit another sin.

We are wronged, fallen, and devastated. Never have we been so far from You. Never have we entered such depths of failure. Never have we been so without You.

O Shelter for the miserable, Power Source for weak, Physician for the ill, and Truthful Guide for the lost! Once more we take refuge in You and unburden ourselves to You. We have been chasing after useless things and longing for the fulfillment of ridiculous dreams. Those whom we approached with hope and in whom we trusted never even looked at or paid any attention to us. No one but You have heard our voices and caressed our heads. Our feelings have been mocked, and our thoughts have been regarded as crimes. So many places have been sabotaged, fires of mutual separation have been inflamed, and all of what has been committed now hurts the purity of the faith.

Broken-down feelings, clumsy behaviors, souls in the dirt, feeble feet, paralyzed hands’ most of us have lost all hope, the weather is foggy-gray. people in the West are filled with longing. people in the East are in need of Your blessings. We have come to You in such chaos. We are neither the first nor the last to come. Your Mercy is the door of hope for those who regret, and we are pitiful beggars in front of this door. Until now, all who have waited by Your door have returned with a blessing, and no fugitive or repentant person has ever been rejected. It is Your door, and thus it differs from others because only it opens upon the forgiveness that You bestow upon all those who wait by it. Strengthen us with Your mildness and peace. Make Your Existence heard by the tyrants.

O the Sultan of the exalted throne Who answers all prayers! Thousands, hundreds of thousands of us stand in Your Presence now. Opening our hands to You and knocking upon Your door of mercy, which is always open or at least ajar, we sigh. We believe from the depths of our hearts that You see and watch over everyone and everything, that You show compassion for every praying voice and person. Therefore, we ignore our disobedience for the time being, imagine our sins washed away in the falls of Your Mercy, and disregard our faults while regarding Your forgiveness. If You exist -You are the only One who exists on its own- we cannot be deserted. If You are our companion, then who cares about the wilderness that surrounds us on all sides?! As long as You are together with us, it does not matter even if Satan and his followers are everywhere. You are the one and only Sovereign over everything, and Your ruling cannot be overthrown. You see the smallest thing, hear the most silent sound in the domain of Your Sovereignty, and do not discard anything or anyone without a reply.

Yet again do we present ourselves at Your door, which is as large as Your Mercy, with the capacity that You have given us to ask from You, and with the belief that You will grant us our wishes. You know our situation, and so what we are going to tell You is just a small part of Your Knowledge. Give us a remedy for all the troubles that we have suffered from for centuries. O Most Merciful, Most Compassionate, accept our prayers!

M. Fethullah GULEN

Prayer Its Importance And Types Of Prayer

Prayer Its Importance And Types Of Prayer

Prayer is a great mystery of servanthood to God, the very essence of it.

Prayer is a great mystery of servanthood to God, the very essence of it. There are three kinds of prayer.

Types or kinds of prayer

The first kind of prayer is that which is made by the tongue of innate disposition. All seeds and seed-stones pray to the All- Wise Creator through their disposition, their nature, to grow and flourish into an elaborate plant or a huge tree, so that they may make fully manifest the inscriptions of His Names.

Prayer through natural disposition

The existence of all the circumstances necessary for a particular effect to come about is also a prayer through natural disposition, a plea that that effect be realized. That is, the arrangement of necessary circumstances may be likened to a tongue of disposition praying to the All-Powerful and Majestic One to create the desired effect. For example, water, heat, soil and light come together for a seed to grow into a tree to the effect that they pray God, ‘O Creator, make this seed grow into a tree!’ It is inconceivable that those unconscious, inanimate, individual material existences, like water, soil, heat and light, could of themselves create a tree, which is, in essence, a miracle of Divine Power, so the assemblage of causes that lead to a certain result is a sort of prayer done by the tongue of disposition.

Prayer made with the tongue of natural, vital needs

The second kind of prayer is that which is made with the tongue of natural neediness. All living beings pray to the All-Compassionate Creator through their neediness, to satisfy their needs, which they are unable to meet by themselves. For we see that God always sends them, just on time, the provision that is impossible for themselves to supply. In this sense, their neediness is a kind of prayer.

In short, what reaches the Court of God from the whole universe is a kind of prayer. Causes are petitions to God to create the desired result.

Prayer of conscious living beings

The third kind of prayer is that which is made by conscious living beings for their special needs to be satisfied. This kind of prayer falls into two categories.

Active prayer

For example, to act in accordance with causes is an active prayer. Man, by complying with causes, tries to gain God’s approval for his request, for causes alone are not sufficient for the result to be produced, and it is God alone Who produces the result. To plough the earth, for example, is another active prayer, which is actually to knock at the door of the treasury of God’s Compassion. This type of prayer is in most cases acceptable since it is an application to the Divine Name, the All-Generous

Prayer made in desperation or to have natural, vital needs met

The first category consists of the supplications made in desperation or in connection with natural needs or by the tongue of disposition or with sincerity and pure intention. Most of such supplications are accepted. The great majority of scientific discoveries and technological innovations (regarded as a means of pride by supporters of modern civilization) are the results of the petitions made in the tongue of needs and potential or natural capacity; they are therefore normally acceptable unless some obstacle intervenes.

Prayers that we say every day

The second category consists of those prayers that we say every day. These also are of two types: one is active and by disposition, and the other verbal and from the heart. To plough the earth, for example, is an active prayer and means to knock at the door of the treasury of God’s Mercy and Munificence, not to beg provision from the earth.

Omitting the details of other kinds, we will explain some mysteries of the verbal prayer in the following point.

Some mysteries of the verbal prayer

Prayer has a very great effect; it yields a result in most, even in all, cases, especially when what is asked for is expressed in a universal form. It may even be argued that one of the reasons for the creation of the universe is prayer.

The voluntary verbal prayer is accepted in two ways

The voluntary verbal prayer is accepted in two ways:

  • either what is requested is given to the one who prays
  • or his prayer is returned with a better reward.

For example, someone prays for a son but God Almighty grants him a daughter like the Virgin Mary. In that case, we should not say, ‘His prayer has not been accepted’, rather we should say, ‘His prayer has been accepted in a better way’.

Likewise, another one prays for worldly happiness but his prayer is returned with eternal happiness. In this case, we should rather say, ‘His prayer has been accepted in a more beneficial way’, than say, ‘His prayer has not been accepted’, and so on.

Since God Almighty is All-Wise, we beg from Him, and He returns our request in accordance with His Wisdom. A patient, for instance, may ask for honey, and the doctor gives him quinine sulphate for his fever. In this case, the patient should not criticize the doctor, saying, ‘He has not heeded my request’: the doctor diagnosed the illness very well and did what was better for the patient.

The most pleasurable result of prayer is that the one who prays knows that there is One, Who has Absolute Power over everything, Who hears him and provides a remedy for his pains.

The most beautiful and pleasurable, and the quickest, result of prayer is that the one who prays knows that there is One, Who has Absolute Power over everything, Who hears him, has pity on him, and provides a remedy for his pains. He is not alone in this guesthouse of the world, rather there is an All-Munificent One Who looks after him and provides him with companionship. He imagines himself to be in the actual presence of a Being Who is able to satisfy all his needs and overcome all his enemies, and, feeling relief as if a heavy burden were removed from him, he says, ‘All praise be to the Lord of the Worlds’.

Prayer is the very essence of being a slave of God and an indicator of sincere belief

Prayer is the very essence of being a slave of God and an indicator of sincere belief. The one who prays demonstrates, through prayer, that there is One Who rules over the whole universe and is aware of all his affairs down to the most insignificant ones, and Who hears him and enables him to achieve his aims. Since he witnesses that that Being does everything down to the smallest, he hopes that He will fulfill his expectations. Consider, then, the comprehensiveness of the conception of Divine Unity formed by prayer, and the pleasure and purity of the light of belief it exhibits. Then, ponder the meaning of the verse, Say: ‘My Lord would not concern Himself with you but for your prayer’, (25:77) and heed the Divine decree, Your Lord said, ‘Pray to me and I will answer you’ (40:60).

If He did not want to give, He would not give the desire to want.

Glory be to You! We have no knowledge save what You have taught us. Surely You are the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.

 

Meaning Of Different Times Of Prayers

Meaning Of Different Times Of Prayers

Glory be to God whenever you reach evening and whenever you rise in the morning, and all praise is for Him in the heavens and on earth, and in the late afternoon and whenever you reach the noon. (30:17)

You ask me the reasons for the apportioning of the daily prayers into five definite durations. I’ll take up just one of very many reasons.

Each occasion of prayer is not only the open­ing of a significant turning point but also is a mirror to Divine disposal of power and to the universal Divine bounties within that disposal. We are enjoined to perform the prescribed prayers at these defined times so as to give more adoration and glory to the All-Powerful One of Majesty and to give more thanks to Him for all the bounties that have been accumulated between any two occasions. That is the meaning of the prescribed prayers. To com­prehend a little this subtle and profound meaning, consider the following points:

First point

Each particular prayer stands for praising and glorifying God and feeling grateful to Him. That is, it is to glorify Him by uttering “Glory be to God” by word and action in the awareness of His Majesty. It is to exalt and magnify Him, by uttering God is “the Greatest”, through word and act in the awareness of His Perfection. Thirdly it is, by uttering “All praise be to God” with the heart, tongue, and body, to offer thanks to Him in the awareness of His Grace. From this we conclude that glorification, exaltation, and praise and thanksgiving are the heart of prayer. It is for this reason that these three things are present in all parts of the prayer, in all its actions and words. Further, following each prayer, these three holy phrases are repeated thirty-three times each, in order to confirm and complete the objectives of prayer. The meaning of prayer is pronounced consecutively with these concise utterances.

Second point

The meaning of worship is this: Man, a servant of God, being aware of his defects, weakness and poverty in the Divine presence, prostrates himself in love and wonderment before the perfection of His Lordship, His Di­vine Might, on which every creature relies, and His Divine Compassion. In other words, the Sovereignty of His Lordship demands devotion and obedience. His Holiness also requires us human be­ings to see our defects and ask for His pardon, to proclaim that He is free from any defect and from the false judgments of unaware people and beyond all the failings of His creatures.

The Perfection of His Might requires that the servant, in the realization of his weakness and the helplessness of all other creatures, proclaims God is the Greatest in admiration and amazement before the majesty of His works. Bowing in deep humility, he seeks refuge in Him and places his trust in Him.

And the boundless treasury of the Lord’s Compassion demands that the servant declares his own needs and those of all creatures by praying and asking for His help, and that he proclaims His blessings through praise and grati­tude, uttering “All praise be to God”. In short, the words and actions of the prescribed prayers comprise all these meanings, and were therefore ordered and arranged by God.

Third point

Mankind is a miniature of the whole universe. In the same way, the first chapter of the Holy Book, the Opening, is an illuminated miniature of the whole Book. The prayer is a bright index, involving all ways of worship, and a sacred map, hinting at the diverse kinds of worship of all species of living things.

Fourth point

The consecutive divisions of day and night, the years and phases of each individual’s life in the world, are, as it were, an immense time-piece whose parts function like the wheels and levers of a clock which, as they move, calculate seconds, minutes and hours. For example:

The time of the early morning was appointed for the morning prayer until sun­rise. It may be likened to the birth of spring, or the moment when sperm takes refuge in the pro­tective womb, or to the first of the six consecutive days during which the earth and the sky were created. It recalls how God disposes His Power and acts in such times and events.

The time of just past midday may be likened to the com­pletion of adolescence, or the middle of summer, or the period of man’s creation in the lifetime of the world. It too points to God’s compassionate manifesta­tions and abundant blessings in those events and periods of time.

The time of afternoon resembles autumn, and old age, and the time of the Last Prophet, known as the Time of Happiness. It calls to mind the Divine acts and the favors of the All-Compassionate in them.

The time of sunset reminds of the decline of very many creatures at the end of autumn, and man’s death. It thus forewarns us of the destruction of the world at the beginning of the Resurrection and also teaches us how to understand the manifestation of God’s Majesty and in this way wakes us from a deep sleep of neglect.

The time of nightfall, calls to mind the world of darkness veiling all the objects of the daytime with its black shroud, and winter covering the surface of the dead earth with its white cerement. It brings to mind, also, the remaining works of the dead being wholly forgotten, and points out to us the inevitable, complete decline of this world which is a place of testing. Thus ‘Isha time proclaims the awesome acts of the Over-powering One of Majesty.

As for the nighttime, by putting in his mind the winter, the grave, and the Intermediate World, it reminds man how much his spirit really needs the Mercy of the All-Merciful One.

The next morning is a time that points to the morning fol­lowing the Resurrection. As reasonable, necessary and certain it is that morning follows night, and spring comes after winter, so the morning of the Resurrection or a spring following the Intermediate Life is equally certain to come.

We now understand that each appointed occa­sion for the five daily prayers is itself the beginning of a vital turning-point and a reminder of greater revolutions or turning-points in the life of the universe. Through the awesome daily disposals of the Eternally Besought One’s Power, the times of the prayers call to mind the miracles of Divine Power and the gifts of Divine Mercy in every year, every age and every epoch. So, the prescribed prayers, which are an innate duty and the basis of worship and an unquestionable obligation of man, are most appropriate and fitted for these times.

Fifth point

Doing the daily prescribed prayers each at its time is an essential need for human spirit

Man is created rather weak, yet eve­rything involves, affects and saddens him. Also he is utterly lacking in power, yet the calamities and enemies that afflict him are numerous. He is also extremely poor and has many needs. In addition, he is indolent and incapable, yet the burden of life is very heavy. Being a human being, he is connected with the rest of the world, yet the vanishing of the things he loves and with which he is familiar, and the grief that this can cause, repeatedly hurt him. Finally, his mentality and senses inspire him toward glorious objectives and point him to eternal gains, but he is unable, impatient, powerless, and has rather a short life time.

Thus, it can be clearly understood how essential it is for a spirit in this state at the time of Fajr-the early morning-to present a petition, through prayer and supplication, to the Court of an All-Powerful One of Majesty, an All-Compassionate One of Grace. Man must seek success and help from Him. How necessary a point of support it is so that he can bear and endure the troubles and burdens that he might face in daytime.

Noon is the period of time when the day is at its zenith, and starts to move forward to complete its course. It is a time when people retire to have a temporary rest from business and other affairs, and when the spirit needs a pause from the heedlessness and insensibility caused by hard work, and Divine bounties are fully manifest.

It is difficult, then, to regard a man as truly human who does not realize how good, necessary, agreeable and proper it is to perform the noon prayer. Man, in a relief from the pressures of daily life and from heedlessness, stands in humility in the presence of the Real Bestower of the blessings, expresses his gratitude and prays for His help. He also bows to demonstrate his helplessness before His Glory and Might, and prostrates to proclaim his wonder, love, and humility before His everlasting Perfection and matchless Grace.

As for the time of in the afternoon, it resembles and calls to mind the sad season of autumn and the mournful state of old age, and the distressing period at the end of time. It is the time when the tasks of the day are brought toward completion, and the Divine bounties received that day, like health, safety and good service in the way of God, have accumulated to form a great total. It is also the time when we witness the sun fade down the horizon proving that everything is impermanent: here today and gone tomorrow. Now man who longs for eternity and who is created for it, and shows reverence for favors to him, but who is sad on ac­count of particular separations, stands up, performs ablution, and after that, the appointed prayer. Thus, anyone who is truly human, may understand what an exalted duty, what an appropriate service, what a reasonable way of paying a debt of gratitude, indeed, what an agreeable pleasure it is to perform the afternoon prayer. For by offering supplications at the Eternal Court of the Everlasting, by seeking refuge in His infinite Mercy, and by offering thanks and praise for His countless bounties, he has peace of mind. By bowing humbly before the Might and Glory of His Lordship, and by prostrating himself in utter humility before His Eternal Divinity, he finds true consolation and ease of spirit.

Evening time reminds us of the beginning of winter and of the sad fare­wells of the fragile creatures of summer and autumn. It reminds also of the sorrowful separation of man from his beloved ones through death. Again, it calls to mind the time when the lamp of the sun of the earth, this place of testing, will be extinguished and the inhabitants of this world will emigrate to the other world following the collapse resulting from the final, fated earthquakes. It is also a severe warn­ing for those who adore transient, ephemeral beloveds, each of whom is certain to die one day.

At the time of evening prayer, the human spirit, which by its nature longs for an Eternal Beauty, turns towards the Eternal Being, Who creates and frames all these events and phenomena, Who com­mands huge heavenly bodies. It is the time when the human spirit refuses to rely on anything finite and cries out “God is the Greatest”. Then, in His presence, pronouncing all praise be to God”, man praises Him in the awareness of His faultless Perfection, matchless Beauty and Grace and infinite Mercy. Afterwards, by declaring, You alone do we worship, and from You alone do we beg help (1:5) he offers his worship for, and seeks help from, His unassisted Lordship, unpartnered Divinity, and unshared Sovereignty. Then, man bows before God’s infinite Greatness, limitless Power, and perfect Honor and Glory, thus demonstrating, together with all of the creation, his weakness and helplessness, and humility and poverty, and says, ‘Glory be to my Lord, the Mighty.’ Following this, prostrating himself before Him in the awareness of the undying Beauty and Grace of His Essence, His unchanging sacred Attributes, and his constant everlasting Perfection, man proclaims, through detachment from all other than Him, his love and servanthood in wonder and self-abasement. He finds an All-Beautiful, Permanent, All-Compassionate Eternal One, and through saying, ‘Glory be to my Lord, the Most Exalted,’ he declares his Most Exalted Lord to be free of any declining or fault.

After that, man sits reverently and offers, on his own account, to the Eternal, All-Powerful and All-Majestic One, the praises and glorification of all creatures, and prays God. What a significant conversation with the Creator, and what a permanent happiness it is in this transient guesthouse!

The time of nightfall, being the time when the last traces of the day remaining on the horizon disappear, and night covers the earth, reminds us of the mighty disposals of God’s Lordship as the Changer of Night and Day. It recalls to us the Divine activities of the All-Wise One of Perfection as the Subduer of the Sun and the Moon. They can be observed in His turning the white page of day into the black page of night, and in His changing the beautifully colored script of summer into the frigid white page of winter. This time of the day also recalls the acts of God as the Creator of Life and Death in the complete passage of the remaining works of the dead to another world in the course of time. It is a time that calls to mind the majestic disposals and the graceful manifestations of God as the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth. We can see these in the utter destruction of this narrow, mortal and lowly world with tremendous uproars and convulsions, and in the unfolding of the broad, eternal and majestic World of the Hereafter. It also warns that only the One, Who can so easily turn the day into night, winter into summer, and this world into the other world, can be the Owner and the True Master of the universe, alone worthy to be worshipped and truly loved.

Thus, at nightfall, man’s spirit, which is infinitely helpless and weak, and infinitely poor and needy, and tossed hither and thither by diverse circumstances and whirling onward into a dark, unknown future, performs night prayer. His doing so has this meaning: Like Abraham, man is saying, ‘I do not love those that set,’ and through his prayers he seeks refuge at the Court of the Ever-Living, and the Ever-Worshipped, the Eternal Beloved One. From the transient life in this dark, fleeting world and dark future he begs from the Enduring, Everlasting One, and for a moment of unending conversation, a few seconds of immortal life. He asks to receive the favors of the All-Merciful and Compassionate, and the light of His guidance, which will throw light on his world and illuminate his future and bind up the hurts from the decline of all creatures and friends.

Briefly, man forgets the world, which has left him for the night, and pours out his heart’s grief at the Court of Mercy with tears. Before sleep comes, which resembles death, and since anything may happen, he performs his day’s ‘last’ duty of worship. In order to close favorably the record of his day’s actions, he gets up to pray. That is, he rises to enter the presence of the Eternal Beloved and Worshipped One rather than the mortal ones he has loved all day. He seeks the presence of the All-Powerful and Generous One rather than the impotent creatures from which he has begged all day. He takes refuge in the presence of the All-Compassionate Protector in the hope of being saved from the evil of the harmful creatures before which he has trembled all day.

He starts with the Opening, the opening chapter of the Holy Book, that is, instead of flattering and being indebted to flawed, needy creatures, which is improper, he extols the praise of the Lord of the worlds, Perfect and Self-Sufficient, Compassionate and All-Generous. Then he progresses to address, ‘You alone do We worship.’ That is, despite his insignificance and his being alone, through man’s connection with the Owner of the Day of Judgment, Who is the Eternal Sovereign, he attains to the status of an indulged guest and important officer in the universe. Through the declaration, ‘You alone do we worship and from You alone do we seek help,’ he presents to Him, in the name of all creatures, their worship and pleads for His assistance for the whole, mighty congregation of all creatures. Then, by saying, ‘Guide us to the Straight Path,’ he asks to be guided to the Straight Path, which leads to eternal happiness and is the radiant way.

It is now the turn of saying, ‘God is the Greatest,’ and bowing down in contemplation of the Grandeur of the Majestic One. Like the sleeping plants and animals, the hidden suns and ‘waking’ stars are like individual soldiers subject to His command, and lamps and servants in this guesthouse of the world. He thinks now of the great prostration of all creatures. At the command of ‘Be! and it is,’ all the varieties of creatures of every age and epoch-even the earth and the universe-like a well-ordered army of obedient soldiers, each discharged from its duty, that is, sent to the World of the Unseen, through the prostration of decease and death in perfect orderliness, each declares, ‘God is the Greatest,’ and bows down in prostration. As they are raised to life in the spring, at an arousing, life-giving trumpet-blast from the command of ‘Be! and it is,’ they rise up and are girded ready to serve their Lord. Insignificant man too, following them, declares, ‘God is the Greatest,’ in wonder-struck love and eternity-tinged humility and dignified self-effacement, and bows down in prostration. He achieves a sort of Ascension. And certainly you will now have grasped how agreeable, becoming, happy, and elevated, how noble and delightful, reasonable and appropriate a duty, service, and act of worship, and what a serious matter it is to perform the nightfall prayer.

Thus, since each of these five times is a pointer to a mighty revolution, a sign to the tremendous activity of the Lord, and a token of the universal Divine bounties, the prescribed prayers, which are a duty and an obligation, being specified as they are is perfect wisdom.

Glory be to You. We have no knowledge save what You have taught us. Surely You are the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.

O God! Bestow blessings and peace upon the one You sent as a teacher to Your servants to instruct them in knowledge of You and worship of You, and to make known the treasures of Your Names, the interpreter of the signs or verses of Your Book of the Universe, and a mirror, through his worship, to the Grace of Your Lordship, and upon all his family and Companions, and have mercy on us and all believing men and women. Amen. For the sake of Your Compassion, O Most Compassionate of the compassionate!

Prayer Against Spells And Sorcery Or Magic

Prayer Against Spells And Sorcery Or Magic

Those who deny spells and sorcery do so either because they do not believe in anything related to metaphysics or what they suppose to be connected with religion or because they are completely unaware of the realities beyond the physical realm. A man in his fifties once told me:

Until last year I did not believe in things like spells and sorcery. However, last year one of my relatives went mad. When he had a fit, he became rigid with his eyes fixed on a certain point. There were left no doctors to whom we did not apply, but in vain. Finally, we went to somebody known to break spells. He recited incantations and did some other things. On the way back, the patient asked in a normal tone: “Where am I? What happened to me?” He had recovered. I came to believe that sorcery is a reality.

There are innumerable cases like the one mentioned which almost all of us have witnessed or heard of. As the Messenger declared that the evil eye is an undeniable fact, magic or sorcery is also an undeniable reality. The Holy Book speaks about the sorcery practiced to create a rift between spouses and severely condemns it. According to the Holy Book, the practice of sorcery and magic or casting spells is as a grave sin as unbelief. However, breaking a spell is a good, meritorious deed, but it must not be adopted and practiced as a profession. Although the Messenger met with Jinn, preached Peace to them and took their allegiance, he never spoke about how one could contact them and how a spell could be cast or broken. However, he taught how Jinn approach human beings and seek to control them and how one can secure oneself against their evil. He also taught how we could protect ourselves against the evil eye and be saved from it.

How we can be secured against evil spirits

The safest way to be secure against evil spirits is to be strong in loyalty to God and His Messenger. This requires following the principles of Islam strictly.

Prayer should never be abandoned

Secondly, we should never give up praying. Prayer is a weapon of a believer against all hostilities. That is, praying is an important means to be protected against all kinds of harm and attain our goals.

Prayer does not mean to ignore and neglect the (material) means in attaining goals. Rather, prayer is of four kinds. In fact, what reaches to the Court of God from the whole universe is a kind of prayer. Some creatures, like plants and animals, pray through the tongue of their potential to achieve a full form and to manifest certain Divine Names.

Another kind of prayer is expressed in the tongue of natural needs. All living beings pray to God, Who is the Absolutely Generous One, for the satisfaction of their vital needs, which they themselves are unable to meet.

There is a third kind of prayer, which is done in the tongue of complete helplessness. A living creature in straitened circumstances takes refuge in its Unseen Protector with a genuine supplication, and turns to its All-Merciful Lord. These three kinds of prayer are always acceptable unless somehow impeded.

The fourth type of prayer, which is known to everybody, is the one we do. This also falls into two categories: one is active and by disposition, and the other, verbal and with the heart. For example, to act in accordance with causes is active prayer. Man, by complying with causes, tries to gain God’s approval for his request, for causes alone are not sufficient for the result to be produced, and it is God alone, Who produces the result. To plough the earth, for example, is an active grayer, which is actually to knock at the door of the treasury of God’s Mercy. Similarly, to go to a doctor is also an active prayer for recovery from an illness. For this reason, it is incumbent upon a believer to go to a doctor when he is ill. Believing psychiatrists should be preferred in case of mental illnesses. Innumerable cases have shown emphatically that most mental illnesses are not due to material causes and (physical) therapy is not sufficient to cure them. Most of them require ‘spiritual’ therapy.

The active type of prayer is in most cases acceptable since it is a direct application to the Divine Name, the All Generous. As for the second category of the prayer of human beings, which is done with the tongue and the heart, this is the real one. It is to ask God from the heart for something, which we ourselves are unable to obtain. The most important aspect of this sort of prayer, and its finest and sweetest fruit, is that the supplicant knows that there exists One Who hears him, is aware of whatever occurs to his heart, Whose power extends everywhere, Who can satisfy his every desire, and Who comes to his aid out of mercy for his weakness and inadequacy.

Prayer is a form of worship and the reward for worship is principally given in the Hereafter. For this reason, we must not say, ‘Our prayer has not been answered’, when we are not given what we pray for. The prayer being answered does not necessarily mean its ‘acceptance’ in all circumstances. There is an answer for every prayer; but to accept the prayer and to give what is prayed for depends on God’s Wisdom. Suppose that a sick child is asking a doctor to give him that certain kind of medicine. The doctor either will give him that certain kind of medicine or he will give him a better one for the benefit of the child; or he will give him no medicine at all, if he judges that any kind of medicine may be bad for the health of the child.

Similarly, God Almighty, Who is the All-Hearing and All-Seeing, certainly answers the prayer of his servant, and He changes the depression of loneliness into the pleasure of His Company. But His answer does not depend on the fancies of man; rather it depends on Divine Wisdom. According to His Wisdom, He either gives what is requested or what is better or He gives nothing at all. However he answers, we must pray.

We should request those having nearness to God to pray for us

As we pray ourselves, we must also request those who we believe are near to God to pray for us. The Companions frequently asked our Prophet to pray for them.

‘An insane child was brought to God’s Messenger, who touched him and said: “Come out, o enemy of God!” Then, he washed the child’s face and prayed. The child recovered from insanity.’

There are many similar cases narrated in the Bible. The Prophet Jesus was famous for healing the mad by God’s leave and power.

One must refrain from appealing to exorcists

People tend to go to those who are known as exorcists. Although there may be few among people who know how to drive out evil spirits by different ways, this is in most cases dangerous. For most of the people known as exorcists deceive the masses. Second, an exorcist must be one who is very careful about his religious obligations and refrains from sins. He should also be an upright person who knows very well how to exorcise somebody. Thirdly, patients usually rely en exorcists and attribute to them their recovery. They also rely on the written charm or amulets they are advised to carry. However, our Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings, declared that God would admit in Paradise seventy thousand people without calling them to account for their deeds in the world. They are those who do not wear armlets, nor amulets, and do not consider things auspicious or inauspicious, and who put their trust completely in God.

We should go to believing psychiatrists

The psychiatrist or doctor to whom we appeal should not be one who has restricted himself to the narrow confines of matter. A materialist psychiatrist who does not believe in the spirit and spirit beings may advise his patient who suffers from spiritual dissatisfaction or is possessed by evil spirits to indulgence in pleasures and amuse himself. This is like advising a thirsty person to quench his thirst with salty seawater.

There are certain, special prayers to be recited

There are special prayers, which God’s Messenger recited on certain occasions and to be protected against the evils of Satan and other unbelieving jinn. The Verse of Throne is one of them. A Holy Book’s verse reads:” If a stimulus from Satan occurs to you, seek refuge in God immediately (41:36).”That is, we should say: “I seek refuge in God from the accursed Satan.”

God’s Messenger recited Chapter Daybreak and Menthree times every morning and evening, and breathing into his palms, which he joined, and rubbed them against the parts of his body he could reach. Again, God’s Messenger used to recite three times every morning and evening:

“In the Name of God, whom nothing on the earth and in the heaven can give harm despite His Name, and He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.”

This recitation and the following one are among the prayers advised for protection against paralysis:

“I seek refuge in all of God’s words from all devils and vermin and from all evil eyes.”

Imam Ghazali advises against spells, charms and evil spirits the recitation of “In the Name of God, the All-Merciful, the All-Compassionate once, God is the Greatest ten times, and The magician will not be successful wherever he appears (20:69), and from the evil of blowers upon knots (113:4).

Another Imam advises the recitation of the two verses above nineteen times each time after taking a sip of fluid like water, tea or soup.

Is There Any Necessary For Praying And Worshipping

Is There Any Necessary For Praying And Worshipping

There are five points to explain this question.

FIRST POINT

Supplication is a mighty mystery of worship; indeed, it is like the spirit of worship. As we have mentioned in many places, supplication is of three kinds.

The First Sort of Supplication: This is the tongue of latent ability, through which all seeds and grains supplicate to the All-Wise Creator, saying: “Make us grow! Make our tiny truths sprout and transform us into the mighty reality of a tree, so that we may display the elaborate embroideries of Your Names!”

A further sort of supplication through the tongue of latent ability is this: the gathering together of causes is a supplication for the creation of the effect. That is to say, the causes acquire a position whereby they become like a tongue of disposition through which they supplicate for and request the effect from the All-Powerful One of Glory. For example, water, heat, earth, and light take up positions around a seed, and their positions form a tongue of supplication which says: “O Our Creator, make this seed into a tree!” For the tree, which is a wonderful miracle of power, cannot be attributed to those unconscious, lifeless, simple substances; it is impossible to attribute it to them. That means the coming together of causes is a sort of supplication.

The Second Sort of Supplication: This is through the tongue of innate need. It is a sort of supplication made by all living creatures to the All-Compassionate Creator to give them the things they need and desire, which are beyond their power and will, from unexpected places and at the appropriate time. For an the All-Wise and the Compassionate One sends them all these things at the right time, from places they do not know, beyond their power and will. Their hands cannot reach them. That is to say, the bestowal is the result of supplication.

In Short: All that rises to the Divine Court from the universe is a supplication. Those things that are causes seek the effects from God.

The Third Sort of Supplication: This is the supplication of conscious beings arising from need. It is of two kinds.

If it is made at a time of desperate need, or is completely conformable with innate need, or if it is close to the tongue of latent ability, or is made with the tongue of a pure, sincere heart, this supplication is virtually always acceptable. The greater part of human progress and most discoveries are the result of a sort of supplication. The things they call the wonders of civilization and the matters and discoveries they think are a source of pride are the result of what is in effect supplication. They were asked for with a sincere tongue of latent ability and so were given to them. So long as there is nothing preventing them and they are conformable with conditions, supplications made through the tongue of latent ability and the tongue of innate need are always acceptable.

The Second Kind: This is the well-known supplication and it too is of two kinds. One is by action and the other by word. For example, ploughing is a supplication by action. It is not seeking the sustenance from the earth, rather, the earth is a door to a treasury of mercy, and the plough knocks on the earth, the door to Divine Mercy.

We shall skip details of the remaining sorts, and explain in the following two or three Points one or two of the secrets of supplication by word.

SECOND POINT

The effect of supplication is great. Especially if the supplication gains universality and persists, it almost always has a result, indeed, its result is continuous. It may even be said that one of the reasons for the creation of the world was supplication. That is to say, after the creation of the universe, the supplications of chiefly mankind.

Since supplication possesses this great importance and capacity, is it at all possible that the supplications offered all the time for thousands years by billions of mankind and by uncountable numbers of blessed beings from among men, jinn, angels, and spirit beings for the All-Encompassing Divine Mercy, eternal happiness, and the accomplishment of their aims would not be accepted? Is it in any way possible that their supplications would be rejected?

Since these supplications have acquired universality, extensiveness, and continuousness to this extent and have reached the level of the tongues of latent ability and innate need, for sure, as a result of them, the Great Messenger is at such a rank and degree that if all minds were to gather together and become one mind, it could not completely comprehend it.

Sometimes supplications are offered for matters that are definite. Like, for example, the supplications in the prayers offered at the time of lunar and solar eclipses. Also, sometimes supplications are made for things, which will never come about?

As is explained in others of the Words, supplication is worship. Through supplication, the servant proclaims his own impotence and poverty. The apparent aim mark the times of the supplication and the supplicatory worship; they are not the true benefits. The benefits of worship look to the hereafter. If the worldly aims are not obtained, it may not be said: “The supplication was not accepted.” It should rather be said: “The time for the supplication has still not ended.”

Also, is it at all possible that eternal happiness, which all the believers have asked for at all times, continuously, with complete sincerity and yearning and entreaty, should not be given to them, and that the Absolutely Generous One, the Absolutely Compassionate One, Who according to the testimony of all the universe possesses boundless mercy, should not accept their supplications and that eternal happiness should not exist?

THIRD POINT

There are two ways in which voluntary supplication by word is acceptable. It is either accepted exactly as desired or what is better is granted.

For example, someone asks for a son, and the Almighty God gives a daughter like Mary, mother of Jesus. It may not be said: “His supplication was not accepted,” but that “It was accepted in a better form.”

Also, sometimes a person makes supplication for his own happiness in this world, and it is accepted for the hereafter. It may not be said: “His supplication was rejected,” but that “It was accepted in a more beneficial form.” And likewise, since the Almighty God is the All Wise, we seek from Him and He responds to us. But He deals with us according to His Wisdom.

A sick person should not cast aspersions on the wisdom of his doctor. If he asks for honey and the expert doctor gives him quinine, he may not say: “The doctor did not listen to me.” Rather, the doctor listened to his sighs and moans; he heard them and responded to them. He provided better than what was asked for.

FOURTH POINT

The best, finest, sweetest, most immediate fruit and result of supplication is this, that the person who offers it knows there is someone who listens to his voice, sends a remedy for his ailment, takes pity on him, and whose hand of power reaches everything. He is not alone in this great hostel of the world; there is an All-Generous One Who looks after him and makes it friendly. Imagining himself in the presence of the One Who can bring about all his needs and repulse all his innumerable enemies, he feels a joy and relief; he casts off a load as heavy as the world, and exclaims: “All praise be to God, the Sustainer of All the Worlds!”

FIFTH POINT

Supplication is the spirit of worship and the result of sincere belief. For one who makes supplication shows through it that there is someone who rules the whole universe; One Who knows the most insignificant things about me, can bring about my most distant aims. Who sees every circumstance of mine, and hears my voice. In which case, He hears all the voices of all beings, so that He hears my voice too. He does all these things, and so I await my smallest matters from Him too. I ask Him for them.

Thus, look at the great breadth of sincere belief in God’s Unity which supplication gives and at the sweetness and purity of the light of belief that it shows. Understand the meaning of the verse, “Say, No importance would your Sustainer attach to you were it not for your supplication ( 25:77)”; Listen to the decree of, And your Sustainer says: “Call on Me; I shall answer you ( 40:60)”.

As the saying goes: “If I had not wanted to give, I would not have given wanting.”