Friday Sermon 21 November 1997
In continuing with the subject of Prayer from the last few sermons I would speak of the reality of Prayer with reference to the writings of the Promised Messiah (peace be upon him). One should read the statements of the Promised Messiah (peace be upon him) with care for you would always find them in accord with the Quran and the Hadith and never see any discord [in them]. The Promised Messiah has said that: ... Prayer is the root and the staircase to all developments which is why it has been said that PRAYER IS THE ASCENT OF THE FAITHFUL. (Address to the second day of the Jalsa Salana, 26 December 1905. 'Malfuzat: iv'. 605). Ascent and root appear to be 2 different things. Some may immediately consider it a contradiction but it is not a contradiction at all, because he has established a continuation from the root to its end. prayer is the root and it is also the end. Each person has a limit that they cannot exceed. Each person's loftiness has an end destined and if they make an effort they would reach this pinnacle for which they have been endowed but it is impossible to reach one's highest pinnacle without Prayer. The high positions achieved by the saints and the virtuous ones of yore were achieved by them through Prayer and that is why the coolness of their eyes was in Prayer. To find the coolness of the eyes in prayer demands much struggle and striving. The tussle with the self has been posited alongside the joy of Prayer. The self always draws to itself and the more it succeeds the more the joy in Prayer declines. As soon as one indulges in self-gratification one's spiritual pleasures begin to decline. One cannot enjoy Prayer without release from this tussle with the self and it cannot lead one to the lofty heights if it is not enjoyed. The Promised Messiah (peace be upon him) has differentiated between [formal] Prayer and prayer in his writings in that when one only prays for worldly aspects it cannot be called Salat. Even if it be in the [formal] Prayer it is not considered Salat. What the Messenger of Allah ﷺ has named Salat is a prayer seeking the pleasure of Allah so if one is in this state at all times then one is forever in a state of Prayer. When one receives the Divine pleasure only then does it behove one to also pray for the worldly requirements. One may be frightened that if praying for one's worldly needs is not worship then whose door should I knock that they may fulfil my requirement? In resolving this dilemma the Promised Messiah (peace be upon him) has mentioned the fact that worldly difficulties can sometimes obstruct the religious affairs. So if one prays for it, one should request saying 'O my Allah! I am engulfed by tribulations. These monstrosities cling to me and do not let me turn my attention purely to you so remove them.' If one prays with this in mind then one's begging would also become worship because one would be praying so that one may offer worship. The other thing he mentions is that to pray for a worldly matter does not always contravene the Divine will. He has also mentioned that one should bow before Allah the Almighty at times of difficulty when the heart is sore for that would also include the pain of God's love. The Promised Messiah (peace be upon him) has made many other statement concerning the reality of Prayer which are deep and full of wisdom and gnosis, so this subject would continue into the next sermon too. The text http://www.alislam.org/urdu/sermon/FST19971121-UR.pdf © The Tahir Archive / MTA International, 2016.
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