Friday, November 11, 2005

Prayer

Prayer has its roots in pre-eternity when the fixed forms of non-existence called out to God to be given created existence. Prayer permeates the realm of spirits in pre-eternity when they responded positively to God's inquiry as to whether or not the spirits acknowledged God as their Lord.

The sound of prayers praising God comes from every corner of created existence - from the smallest sub-atomic particle and even smaller, to the universe and beyond. Every manner of created being has its own unique mode of prayer.

Angels were engaged in prayer before human beings came into created existence. Indeed, there are some angels so engrossed in prayers of praise and glorification of God they are not aware human beings have been created.

Prayer was on the lips of Adam (peace be upon him) when he sought God's forgiveness for his transgression. Prayers seeking Divine guidance, support, deliverance, protection, favor, mercy and compassion have issued forth from the lips of all one hundred and twenty-four thousand Prophets and their communities who followed after Adam (peace be upon him).

Saints and ordinary people alike engage in prayer. Each praises God, or seeks from Divinity, according to her or his spiritual understanding, condition, intention and circumstances.

If one sincerely has faith in the reality of prayer, every manner of prayer raises one up to God. If one is absent to oneself in prayer, one becomes present to God.

Some prayers petition God for the satisfaction of material desires. Other prayers seek intercession on behalf of the poor, the sick, the homeless, the lost, the abused, and the wayward.

There are prayers for forgiveness and prayers of thanksgiving. There are prayers of loneliness and prayers of desperation.

Some people pray and ask: "Why?". Others pray and submit without knowing why.

There are prayers of separation. There are prayers of union.

Some people pray with certainty. Others pray with doubts and questions.

There are prayers of the true self. There are prayers of the false self.

Some individuals pray frequently. Others may pray only a few times in their lives.

Prayers are silent and voiced, hymned and chanted. Prayers come standing, sitting, kneeling, lying down and in prostration.

On the Sufi path, different prayers may emerge from different spiritual stations. For example, the prayers of those whom are going through the station of patience may be different from the prayers of those whom are in the station of patience. Alternatively, the prayers of those whom are wayfaring through the station of longing may be different from those who are in the station of gratitude.

The mind prays in one way. The heart prays in, yet, another way. The spirit prays in still another way. and so on.

Each aspect of our being has its own modality of praying. However, the best prayer is when all of these are combined together in a harmonious and united manner. In other words, one's prayer should be with one's whole, body, mind, soul, heart, spirit and essential capacity.

According to practitioners of the Sufi path, we should seek to pray with sincerity and for sincerity. Moreover, we should pray out of humility.

We should pray with the realization we are impoverished and have no resources of our own. We are dependent totally on God's mercy.

We should pray with the understanding there is no power or protection except through God. If we lack such an understanding, we should pray to God to remove our pride and arrogance.

Sufi masters indicate an individual should pray with tears of longing and gratitude and joy and repentance. If we cannot pray in this way, then we should seek this blessing from God.

In addition, we should pray out of renunciation of the world. In other words, all of our prayers should be out of love for, service to, and the pleasure of God.

From the perspective of the Sufi masters, we should pray without ceasing. Our lives should become prayer.

Our prayers should be done with the understanding that God is the trustee of all our affairs. Furthermore, God is the One Who, again and again and again, gives to us independently of whether we have done anything to earn or merit that for which we pray.

Sufi masters maintain we should be constantly seeking the welfare of our parents. Moreover, we should pray for others to receive what we are seeking for ourselves.

We should pray for both believers and non-believers. We should pray to be free of passing judgment on others.

Practitioners of the Sufi path indicate we should pray for the spirits of those who have passed before us. Furthermore, we should pray for the spirits of those who will come after us.

We should pray for the spiritual and material well-being of our families and the members of the community. We should pray for the well-being of the people of all nations and for the well-being of all creation.

Sufi masters indicate we should pray for God to enable us not to waste the precious gift of time. We should pray that, God willing, we do not squander our opportunity to realize our true identity. We should pray to fulfil the purpose of our life.

We should pray for God to show us things as they really are. We should seek release from all our illusions, delusions and spiritual veils.

According to practitioners of the Sufi path, we should pray that whatever enemies we may have become the friends of God. For, if they become the friends of God, then, God willing, they may become a source of blessings for all of humanity, including us.

We should pray our hearts become purified. We should pray our spirits become perfected.

Sufi masters advocate we pray that God permit us to overcome our spiritual weakness, rebelliousness, forgetfulness, and heedlessness. Furthermore, we should pray for God to forgive us our transgressions of omission and commission, both in relation to those transgressions of which we are aware as well as to those of which we are not aware.

We should pray for God to increase us in remembrance of Divinity. Moreover, we should pray for God to color us with the lights of Divinity.

The masters of the Sufi way urge us to never stop praying to God. We should never despair of God's mercy and generosity.

On the other hand, we should pray to God for patience while our affairs are being arranged in accordance with Divine will. We also should pray to God for submission and acceptance with respect to the Divine disposition of our affairs.

According to Sufi masters, we should pray that God fills our being with love of Divinity. Furthermore, we should pray that God permits us to express our love by, among other things, fulfilling our duties of care in relation to creation.

We should pray to God for us to become instruments of justice and not injustice. In addition, we should pray to God that we live a life of spiritual nobility and not ignominy.

Sufi masters encourage us to pray for God to increase us in levels of faith and spiritual understanding. Also, we should pray to God to be permitted to learn how to embrace sacrifice as a way of life so that we may, God willing, act in accordance with our spiritual understanding.

We should pray for God to teach us how to derive spiritual benefit from the trials and difficulties of our lives. Moreover, we should pray to God with gratitude for the countless blessings which have been conferred on us throughout our lives.

We should pray we come to worship and cherish God with every dimension of our being. In addition, we should pray that we return to our spiritual origins, both pleased with, and pleasing to, God.

The Sufi master of all Sufi masters has said we should pray to God as if we could see the Divine. However, even if we are not able to achieve this level of prayer, nonetheless, we should pray with the certainty that God sees us.

1 comment:

^TukaT^ said...

prayer is something BROAD to discuss about..
u elaborated it very beautifully, although some of ur words/phrases r advanced 4 my understanding.(cant help it--poor command of english ~~still in the learning process!)
nways, basically, u r revealing many aspects of solat tht i care less b4 this.. (u did not discuss the fiqh part though)..it inspires me a lot.
n im kinda being slapped reading ur blog bcoz as a congenital muslim, i' didnt xplore that much about my religion, Islam.. Alhamdulillah, u opened my eyes.. i ope to improve on it.any suggestions?

May Allah always bless u,Anab! :)