Category Archives: Spiritual Intention and Purpose of Prayer

SPIRITUAL PRAYER: Prayer Ascension (Mehrāj) of the Believer, Faith

Prayer – Ascension (Mehrāj) of the Believer
Prayer (Namāz) is the name of that special worship in which man can directly communicate and establish
a relationship with his Creator. Prayer is such a pillar (of the five pillars of Islam) that no Muslim in their
conscious senses can deny or abandon in any state. The establishment of Prayer has been stated in the
Holy Qur’ān approximately one hundred times. From this we can appreciate the importance, excellence
and greatness of this important pillar of Islam. In worship, Prayer holds a central position. It acquaints a
person with such a spiritual state in which one negates himself and all else existing in his surroundings to
witness Allah. Prayer provides a great guard and protection to the hidden and innermost senses of man
and also forms a social network amongst people. Prayer brings many benefits, morally, physically,
spiritually, to the way of life and on a civil basis. Collective prayer creates strength and solidarity in
social relationships.
Salāt (Prayer) is an Arabic word. Its meanings include glorification of Allah, asking for forgiveness,
blessings, complimenting Allah, and desire for blessings or grace. Prayer also means to obey, honour and
respect Allah. In other words, Salāt is the name of the worship in which it is necessary to declare the
greatness of Allah. To perform Prayer in its proper manner is a fundamental pillar of Islam. A Prayer that
has been accepted can enable man to achieve all heights in religious and worldly affairs.
Allah clarifies in the Holy Qur’ān:
‘This is the Scripture whereof there is no doubt, a guidance unto those who ward off evil.
Who believe in the unseen, and establish Prayer, and spend of that We have bestowed upon
(Sūrah Baqara, 2)

According to Allah’s statement, Prayer prevents you from sinning. Regarding Prayer, the Creator of the
universe states:
‘Ah, woe unto worshippers who are heedless of their prayers’ (Sūrah Ma’un, 3)
The Holy Prophet (pbuh) said:
“Allah states: ‘I have made obligatory on the followers of this faith (Muslims) five Prayers
and I have taken responsibility that if one performs these five Prayers at their appointed
times, it becomes My duty to enter him into heaven’ ”
When a person stands to perform Prayer the doors of Heaven open up to him. Between the worshipper
and Allah all veils are lifted. Prayer is the Light of the believer. In the state of prostration the
worshipper’s head is at the feet of Allah. Prayer is the Ascension of the believer.
In every religion that came to this world through revelation, Allah’s remembrance has been ordered. Also
existing are the laws and guidance for this remembrance. Just as there is praise and glorification of Allah
for Muslims, there is Mazmoor for the Jews, supplication for Christians, Zamzama for the Persians, and
Bhujan for the Hindus, and each has determined times to offer these obligatory Prayers. This is the reason
why Prayer is an act which all religions agree upon. According to the teachings of the Holy Qur’ān, each
messenger gave its followers instructions to establish Prayer and emphasised it. The followers of Hażrat
Ibrahim give great importance to this. When Hażrat Ibrahim settled his son Hażrat Isma’il on the deserted
grounds of Makkah he gave the following reasoning:-
(Sūrah Ibrāhīm, 37)
‘Our Lord, that they may establish Prayer’
Hażrat Ibrahim supplicated to Allah for himself and for his descendants, the following supplication:-
(Sūrah Ibrāhīm, 40)
‘Oh my Lord! Make me one who establishes regular Prayer, and also (raise such) among
my offspring’
About Hażrat Ismā’il, the Holy Qur’ān states:-
(Sūrah Maryam, 55)
‘He used to enjoin on his people Prayer’
Regarding Hażrat Lut, Hażrat Is’haq, Hażrat Yaqoob and the messengers of their descendants the Qur’ān
(Sūrah Anbiyā, 73)
‘and We inspired in them the doing of good deeds and the establishment of Prayer’
Hażrat Luqman gave the following guidance to his son:-
(Sūrah Luqmān, 17)
‘O my dear son! Establish Prayer’
Allah commanded to Hażrat Mūsa (Moses):-
(Sūrah Tā-Ha, 14)
‘Establish Prayer for My remembrance’
It was commanded to Hażrat Mūsa, Haroon and Bani Israeel:-
(Sūrah Yūnus, 87)
‘and establish Prayer’
Hażrat Isa (Jesus) used to say:-
(Sūrah Maryam, 31)
‘And the Lord gave command of Prayer’
It is evident from the Qur’ān that even in the days of Islam certain Jews and Christians were establishing
Prayer. It states:-
(Sūrah Al-Imrān, 113)
‘Of the People of the Scriptures there is a staunch community who recite the revelations of
Allah all night long, and they prostrate themselves (before Him)’
(Sūrah A’rāf, 170)
‘And as for those who hold fast by the Book and establish regular Prayer, — never shall We
suffer the reward of the righteous to perish’
Spiritual Intention and Purpose of Prayer
It is narrated by Hażrat Ibn-e-Umar that one night when the Holy
Prophet (pbuh) was sitting in seclusion in the mosque for continuous Prayer (Itikaf) he instructed:-
‘People! When one is preoccupied in Prayer he has a secret conversation with his Lord, and
he should know and be aware of what honour he is submitted’
If we analyse life we come to realise that in human life the existence of faith is essential in one way or
another. Without faith human life remains incomplete. Just like belief in Allah and to be present before
Him and behold Him is a faith, similarly infidelity and the rejection of Allah too is included within the
circle of faith. It is a different thing altogether that the name given to this is disbelief. In another words, a
person like this is established upon the belief of infidelity. In life when faith comes under discussion it
becomes important to set some rules and regulations in order to stay firm and established upon this faith.
By contemplating on the Holy Qur’ān it becomes clear that Allah persuades man to stay firm and constant
upon this faith: that there is no entity except Allah who is worthy of worship and devotion. This is the
same thinking approach that each and every one of the prophets enlightened mankind with. They all set
rules and regulations relating to how life should be spent in order to keep this faith firm and established.
If we look through the sight of reality it becomes evident that in every action and movement man is
standing in need of Allah’s favour and kindness. In every situation, whether it is birth, childhood, youth,
old age or life after death, we are in need of Allah’s kindness and blessings.
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