Monday, 7 March 2016
The Significance of Prayer
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The following is extracted from “Islam, Spirit & Form” by Shaykh Osman Nuri Topbas.
All creation in the universe; the sun, green meadows, and trees glorify Allah (s.w.t.). Birds, mountains, and stones all praise Allah (s.w.t.) in ways that are unknown to us. Plants glorify Allah (s.w.t.) by standing; animals glorify Him by bowing down, and inanimate objects glorify Him by lying down. And the heavenly creatures follow the same pattern. Some angels glorify Allah (s.w.t.) by standing, some by bowing down, and some by lying down. However, the prayer that Allah (s.w.t.) Offered man as a vehicle for ascension covers all these acts of worship. Thereby, those who are true in their prayers gain countless rewards and spiritual manifestations since this act of worship covers the totality of worship that beings of this-world and other-worlds can perform.
The Prophet (s.a.w.) said in this regard, “Prayer allows the person to attain Allah’s Approval and also the love of the angels. It is the way of the prophets. It is the light of wisdom. It is the foundation of faith. It makes one’s sustenance blessed with increase and fertility. It gives comfort to the body. It is a weapon over the enemies. It keeps Satan away. It is an intercessor between the worshipper and the Angel of Death. It is a candle and a carpet in the tomb. It is an answer to the angels of Munkar Nakir. It is a bosom friend until the Day of Judgment. It is a shade over the worshipper on the Day of Judgment. It is a crown on the head. It is a dress on the body. It is pioneering light. It is a curtain stretched between him and others. It is a proof for the believers before Allah. It is a weight on the Scale. It makes the passage on the bridge to Paradise very easy. It is a key to Paradise, because prayer is praising, honouring, glorifying, reciting and requesting. In short, a prayer on time embodies all virtuous acts.” This is recorded in Tanbih al-Ghafilin.
That is why prayer is a meeting point with Allah (s.w.t.), and it is a gift to the people of Islam as a small ascension, as compared to the Mi’raj of the Prophet (s.a.w.). As stated in the Qur’an:
Nay, heed him not: but prostrate in adoration, and bring thyself the closer (to Allah)! (Surah al-‘Alaq:19)
One is supposed to enter the Presence of Allah (s.w.t.) through prayer.
In a true prayer, all else besides Allah (s.w.t.) is removed, and all worldly concerns are wiped out. The worshipper and the worshipped come together in a meeting place. One can thus travel to the bottom of the Divine secrets. Prayer was enjoined on the Prophet (s.a.w.) after the meeting on the Night of Ascension, Laylat al-Mi’raj, without the mediation of the archangel, Gabriel (a.s.), and therefore, it is attributed as a personal union with Allah (s.w.t.). That is why the Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “Prayer is the light of my eye.” This is recorded by Imam an-Nasa’i (r.a.), Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (r.a.).