یکشنبه 26 مهر 1394 08:22 ق.ظ
God doesn’t need our prayers, right? So, why did He order us to pray to Him 5 times every day? What is the significance of prayer?
Have you ever reflected on the words you say near the end of every prayer? They are (translated into English):
“Greetings to God, and prayers and all good things.”
“Peace is upon you, O Prophet, and the mercy of God and His blessings.”
“Peace be upon us, and upon all righteous worshipers of God. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His worshiper and Messenger.”
It is called At-Tashahhud, as you know. It sounds like a conversation, doesn’t it?
I read a long time ago that it is the conversation that took place between the Prophet (PBUH) and God, when God invited him up above the Seventh Heaven and before His Throne during the Night and Ascension journey (Al-Israa’ wal-Mi`raaj).
Whoa! When we pray, we are in an ascension toward God. Does that answer your question about significance? No wonder many of the Salaf (Muslim predecessors), such as An-Naysapoori and As-Suyooti, have described prayer as “the ascension of the believer”.
Prayer is so important that it is the only mandate in Islam that was made directly by God to the Prophet (PBUH) on the Ascension journey. Everything else was conveyed by Gabriel as Quran or in inspirations as Hadith.
One Qudsi (holy) Hadeeth, narrated by Abu-Qataada and reported by Ibn Maajah and Abu-Daawood, states that prayer is “the covenant between God and the believers. If they keep it, God will fulfill His Covenant with them by admitting them to Paradise. If they don’t keep it, they have no covenant!”
Prayer, therefore, is the most important tool we have to keep our covenant with God.
Why do we have to pray? Do you need to eat and drink everyday to stay alive? That’s the food for the body. The food for the soul is the company of God. Prayer gives us that. God does not need our prayers. We do. Our souls would die without it.
One of the fascinating verses in the Quran to me is this, “So, endure what they say and sanctify with praise of your Lord before the rising of the sun and before its setting; and during periods of the night sanctify [God] and at the ends of the day, that you may be contented.” (20:130)
Did you notice that? “so that you may be contented“. We are the beneficiaries of prayer. That verse also answers the question, “why five times?” Because our soul needs its food that often, much like our bodies need to eat and drink three or more times everyday.
The spreading of prayer times over the waking hours also serves to make each one lighter to do and leaves no period without the remembrance of God, which we all need to stay focused on what’s really important.
Do you take a bath frequently to keep clean? The Prophet (PBUH) gave that parable about the prayer.
He said to his fellows, “See you if there was a river by the door of one of you, in which he bathes five times a day; does that leave out of his dirt anything?” They answered, “That would not leave out of his dirt anything.” He replied, “That is the parable of the five prayers: God erases with them the sins.”
Edit date: یکشنبه 26 مهر 1394 08:25 ق.ظ