Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Power of Prayer.


Bismillah...

"Say your prayers regularly, especially the middle prayers, and stand before Allah with all devotion." 2:238

""Successful indeed are the believers. Those who offer their prayer with full solemnity and full submissiveness" 23:1-2

"Pray to Him with fear and longing (in your heart): for the Mercy of Allah is near to those who do good." 7:56

The references to prayer in the Qur'an are numerous. I could continue to go on for hours, but the point is as Muslims prayer is incredibly important. The Prophet (PBUH) has said that our prayers will be the first thing that we are called to account for on the day of judgment. As one of the pillars of Islam, prayer holds such value that it literally makes up a cornerstone of the religion. Abandoning your prayer is abandoning a major part of Islam.

As a convert, one of the hardest things I have had to adjust to is the prayer; getting up for fajr, making sure I am saying everything I need to, performing it as the Prophet did, concentrating, making it an act of worship to Allah (SWT) in moments I am so tired I think I would rather go to bed.
It has been one of the areas of faith that I constantly have fear over in my faith as I wonder if my prayers are good enough, focused enough, devoted enough, performed properly... I pray that Allah will accept my prayers and have mercy on my many shortcomings, but let me tell you that Allah is so good. Even in my fear that my prayers are inadequate, and I feel that my concentration wanders, Allah shows that He cares, and answers prayer.

Yesterday I was making Du'a that Allah would send someone to help me with my prayers. To teach me how to better them, make them more focused, help me improve my concentration. I was feeling so guilty about times I was going to prayer tired, or lacking motivation. Even while making the du'a I half expected Allah to ignore my request because of my weak prayer ( may Allah forgive me for my lack of trust in Him.)
Last night, I met with a sister I try to get together with weekly. She is a mentor to me and we spend time working on recitation and discussing Islam. I have been working on a Surrah and I expected that we would go over that as we usually work on Qur'an. For no reason (other than the grace of Allah (SWT)) we began to talk about prayer. We ended up spending HOURS going over the various parts of prayer. What elements are wajib (mandatory), which are sunnah, how to better concentrate, the value of prayer, the beauty of prayer... Alhamdulillah, with every element we discussed, I became more grateful to Allah (SWT).
How incredible that in my areas of weakness, He desires to give me strength. How merciful that even in a prayer that is certainly not offered with the focus and intensity of the Prophet (PBUH)or many of his companions, that Allah still makes my request important enough to answer. How humbling, that Allah cares enough about my life and prayers that He sent someone to show me more about one of the pillars of Islam.
I am continually humbled, and put in awe of the wonderful, powerful, merciful, ONLY God I serve.
All Glory to Allah (SWT).

I pray that we as Muslims reflect on our prayers. Seek to make them better, and in our weakness, find strength in Allah.
May He have mercy on us all.

10 comments:

Muslim Apple said...

MashaAllah, I often think back to when I first converted and how it used to take me half and hour to pray fajr struggling to remember the words and movements.

I look back at those moments and remember the sweetness of it, the patience, and am so thankful to Allah for showering me with His mercy and guiding me to Islam. Allah is the Most Merciful to the believers.

fereshteh said...

Prayer is like a reminder through the day for us to remember why we are here and what the purpose of life is.
I can give you a recent example I have found to show me why we need to pray: I have recently started to go to a gym and do some aerobics. We have a small class of at most 10 people and we also have an instructor. While doing the exercises the instructor keeps on reminding us to straiten our arms and body and do the exercises in the proper way so that they can be helpful. I can certainly say that if there were no reminders, I would forget the rules immediately. The prayer is a reminder too. Reminding us that "Allah is great", "Allah is the only one we adore" and "we know his prophet is the one we should follow his orders".
Everyday, I am wowed by how every single thing in Islam is the best of all.
The amazing thing about Islam is that we can not find any flaws in it if we open our hearts and think about it.
Allah bless you

TedB said...

Your words about prayer do inspire. I hope to be as devoted to prayer as you. Thank you for your words.

_._ said...

Al Qasim bin Muhammad said, “Whenever I went out in the morning, I
used to visit `Aishah radhiallahu `anha (his aunt and the wife of the
Prophet, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) and greet her. One day I found her performing Ad Duha prayer, reciting this Ayah repeatedly, crying and invoking Allah: ‘So Allah has been gracious to us, and has saved us from the torment of the Fire.’ (52:27) I stood there until I felt bored, so Ileft and went to the market to do something and said to myself that when I finish what I have to do, I will go back (to
`Aishah radhiallahu `anha). When I finished and went back to her, I
found her still standing in prayer, reciting the same Ayah, crying and
invoking Allah.’” [Al Ihya 4/436]

`Umar became unconscious after he was stabbed, and according to Al Miswar bin Makhramah, it was said: “Nothing would wake him up except the call to prayer, if he is still alive.” They said to him, “The
prayer has finished, O Chief of the Faithful!” He woke up and said,
“The prayer, by Allah! Verily, there is no share in Islam for whoever
abandons the prayer.” He performed the prayer while his wound was bleeding. [Sifat as Safwah 2/131, As Siyar 5/220]

Mu`awiyah bin Murrah, “I lived during the time of seventy of the
Companions of Muhammad, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam, and had they lived among you today, they would not recognize any of your acts except the Adhan!” [Hilyat al Awliya 2/299]

The inspiring prayers of Sahaba …

Establish the Prayers and the Prize is Paradise (1/3)
http://www.islaam.com/Article.aspx?id=571

Establish the Prayers and the Prize is Paradise (2/3)
http://www.islaam.com/Article.aspx?id=572

Establish the Prayers and the Prize is Paradise (3/3)
http://www.islaam.com/Article.aspx?id=573

what a wonderful post sister. May Allah bless you and increase our emaan with every passing moment.

may14muslima said...

AA to everyone who has posted, but this comment is specifically for the last brother or sister that commented.

Thank you so much for the time and contribution you made recently. Reading all of the powerful words that you posted spoke to me deeply today. It caused me to take some time, slow down and really consider who I am in Allah (SWT) at this moment. Would I be able to be like Aisha (may Allah have mercy on her) crying out to Allah (SWT) for hours on end. Do I have that concentration, focus, and devotion.
Insha'Allah it is all something we should aspire to, Insha'Allah Allah will give me that focus... give us all that focus.
Thank you for your insight. I am very much looking forward to looking at the websites. Insha'Allah I will make them links on the site.

May Allah (SWT) give you strength when you need it most, may He reward you for faith in Him, may He make you among the pious and perfect your faith... Ameen

_._ said...

My dear sister in Islam,

well it brought tears to my eyes reading your sincere prayers. Its been quite some time since anyone prayed for me. Or maybe that, with an approaching blessed month and being lonely makes me emotional :). May Allah reward you sister.

I'm just sharing this maybe it will help you and others to get closer to Allah for the sake of Allah, just as your posts and thoughts help me.

There are four moments in prayers that just completely blows me away. First when reciting Surah Al-Fateha (the opening surah) and according to the saying of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) [http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/muslim/004.smt.html#004.0775]
that Allah Himself replies to the calling of the faithful. When i realize that if i concentrate hard enough and recite the Surah with enough sincerity and humbleness then Allah is actually replying to ME (little me, and the Glorious Allah) right at that moment as i say each verse, it just makes my shoulders go down and the weight of this realization makes me sooooo humble and i feel soooo connected to the Allmighty. And that I'm reciting the words that Allah himself said and wrote, then told to Jibra'eel, who said it to Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), and now im saying exactly the same words. What an honor.

Second when making Rukoo', my hands on my knees, realizing that one is now in front of a King, just as when in the courtyard of great kings, people bow, I see that Kings of all kings is on His throne and I am now in front of him, paying my respect and He is watching me, and maybe if i do it with enough humbleness and respect that is worthy of Him only, He may acknowledge me and accept this servant's praise. Just imagine that the Allmight King acknowledges your presence.. wow....And how Merciful He must be if He accepts my presence in His Courtyard, despite my countless shortcomings and mistakes.

And the best part, when in Sujood, my forehead on the ground Im on His feet, I imagine a mighty being in white, standing so tall that i can just make His Mighty presence and nothing else and Im at His feet, He is looking at me and if i praise Him with enough sincerity, and invoke him during this state and ask Him in all humbleness mybe He will grant me His Mercy. Sometimes I think as if my hands are around His Feet. I ofcourse cant imagine being so near to Him, but i just want to grab His feet and beg for forgiveness, knowing that i cant do that, and yet i want to do that, and i praise him and ask for His forgiveness, since physically i cant move my hands it just makes me grab the ground more firmly.

Then lastly, while sitting and asking Allah to send His blessings on His beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), i know if i have enough love for the prophet, i will mean it with the bottom of my heart, and then i realize that maybe i'll never be able to meet him and the righteous, as they will be so far from me. Me being perhaps in hell, or even if I somehow make it only because of Allah's mercy alone, then i'll have such a low level and they will be so high. I want to sit with them and maybe share a glass of milk with them in the company of Prophet in a living room provided by Allah. (wow, the thought of this company just makes me cry, coz i know i dont deserve it, but maybe Allah will have mercy on me) Then i remind myself of the Prophet's saying that "You shall be (on that Day) with whom you love"
[http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/bukhari/057.sbt.html#005.057.037]
and when sending blessing on the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), I have to be sincere and what is sincerity without love. And it increases my love for His beloved Prophet Muhammad(peace and blessings be upon him)

ofcourse these feelings occur when im high on emaan, and at other times prayers becomes just physical actions devoid of devotion and sincerity, i despise such days.

For reading this is really very nice

33 ways to develop humility and submission during prayers
html
http://www.islamworld.net/khushoo.htm
pdf
http://www.islam-qa.com/dls/001.PDF

Every day Islam makes me fall in love with itself, Allah, and His Prophet and the righteous. It simply rocks :)

thanks sister for ur regular emaan boosting shots. May Allah give you peace and keep you in the company of loving and righteous muslims. May Allah give you success in both the worlds. May Allah increase your emaan and give you patience and perseverance to keep on treading on this beautiful path. Welcome to Islam :)

_._ said...

do share your thoughts and feelings when saying your prayers.

may14muslima said...

To _._ once again, Jazak'Allah Khair for your post. I hope you won't mind but I took the liberty to share your comment as an entry on the blog. If this is something you feel uncomfortable with let me know and I will remove it. Just know your words insha'Allah will help others and insha'Allah Allah will reward you for that.

A Yunus said...

Assalaamu Alaikum wa rahmathullahi wa barakathuhu sister, Welcome the fold of Islam, to the world of abundant blessings and peace. I got t link from Bro.Green's website. Masha Allah, Iam happy that I have found you. Alhamdulillah. I read some of t notes, and here, can I request some detail on improving our salah?Wat you and the other sister had discussed, Iam sorry but I have to confess tat Iam a loser in Salah...asthagfirullah.I miss none, but I dont perform any salah to my heart's fulfill..eventhough my thoughts, fears are always focused upon meeting Allah...yet I lack in Salah...could you please guide me in this? Jazakallah Khairan fith Dunya wal aakhirath.

iRays said...

Excellent Post.

On a lighter note.. Im going to relate to you a personal experience of mine on the power of Doa.

I was with my family (Mom, Dad, 2 brothers) and we were at the airport picking my eldest brother up. But somehow my he showed up late and my dad who is quick tempered starts to get impatient, annoyed and angry. We were all in the car and he starts lecturing my bro in an angry tone. The radio was airing a football match between our team and some vistors and them stuggling to get a goal was adding to my dad's bad mood. I was feeling so bothered and sad at the scene such that I secretly made a doa " Ya Allah make our team score a goal and win the match so that my father may feel better so that eveyone else feel better". And lo and behold! A few miniutes later a goal!! Everyone heard the radio screamming Gooooaalll.. That definately made my dad happy so much so that he hes not angry anymore.
I couldn't believe it. I was so amazed and happy the He answered my prayers.

To me, it was a miracle.