Why Pray?

The Rasul of Allah (saw) says, “Prayer is the weapon of the believer.”[1] He also says, “Prayer is the essence of worship.”[2]

Related to this hadith, the Quran says:

“I have created the jinn and men only so that they may serve Me (by means of manifesting the qualities of My Names).”[3]

In simple terms, servitude is prayer and dhikr!

In general terms, servitude is the fulfillment of an individual’s purpose of existence.

“Are our prayers accepted when we pray?”

A Hadith Qudsi answers this question:

“If My servant raises his hands in supplication to Me, I would be ashamed to return them empty.”[4]

Another Hadith Qudsi says:

“O son of Adam, prayer is from you, response is from Me. Repentance is from you, forgiveness is from Me. To ask forgiveness is from you, to grant it is from Me. To thank is from you, to give abundantly is from Me. Patience is from you, to aid is from Me… What have you ever asked of Me that I did not give?”

The following verse supports this hadith:

Pray to Me, so that I may respond to you!”[5]

Another Hadith Qudsi that sheds light to the matter is:

“I am upon the assumption of My servant. So, let him assume as he wills!”[6]

In other words, if you believe beyond any doubt that your prayer will be accepted, then know with certainty that it will!

Based on this, one of the most eminent of saints, Imam Rabbani Ahmad Faruq Sarhandi, says, “Wanting something is attaining it, for Allah will not allow His servant to pray for something He will not accept.”

When we make a prayer, we should be mindful of the verse:

You cannot will unless Allah, the Rabb of the worlds, wills!”[7]

That is, any desire that becomes apparent in you only does so because it is the desire of Allah. Had Allah not willed it, you could not have wanted it.

Prayer is the easiest and most effective method, not to mention it is completely free! Thus, it has been said that prayer is the weapon of the believer.

How can prayer be a weapon?

To understand this, one needs to delve into the depths of Sufism.

Man, in respect to his essence, has been created with the attributes of Allah and subsists with the existence of Him.

Man is ALIVE because of the HAYY quality of Allah and has KNOWLEDGE because of the ALEEM quality of Allah. Man is able to put things into action with the quality of WILL deriving from Allah’s Name MUREED. Thus, the extent to which man is able to manifest the meanings of these Names, which are all present within his being, is the extent to which he will be able to attain his desires and be safe from his fears.

But, what is prayer?

Is it a request made to a God far away?

Or is it to request the expression of the power of Allah, with which you exist and which is present in every cell of your being?

Prayer is no more than a technique to manifest the divine power within you!

Thus, when man is able to pray with full concentration and focus, he can reach and accomplish many seemingly impossible things.

This is why prayer is the most powerful weapon of man.

But, if we want to optimize the effectiveness of this technique, we must realize the relevance of the form of prayer, its place and time.

[1] Ibn Hibban.

[2] Al-Tirmidhi.

[3] Quran 51:56.

[4] Al-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud.

[5] Quran 40:60.

[6] Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih al-Muslim.

[7] Quran 81:29.

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