Thursday, August 31, 2006
The Power of Prayer.
"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.