Let Us Pray As God Decreed
by Dr. Musa Qutub
All that exists has been created by God. As soon as we realize and acknowledge this, then we must admit that all existence in that Creation is a subordinate to the Creator, and serves the One who is responsible for its' sustenance. Therefore, at times everything that exists is in a sense praying to God. The Holy Qur'an states the following: Surah 22, Verse 18. "Did you see that to God bow and prostrate in prayer everything in the Heavens, the earth, the sun, the moon, the stars, the mountains, the trees, the animals, and a great number among mankind. " Prayer to God occurs in the Universe every millisecond since its' creation and will continue to do so until it ceases to exist by The Creator's will. Worship performed by non-mankind is incomprehensible for us but does occur. Such worship is daily, constant and continuous. Mankind and spirits were created for the same purpose as stated in the Holy Qur'an as follows: Surah 45, Verse 57 "I created mankind and spirits only to pray to me. I do not ask them for sustenance nor food - God is the Provider". Such emphasis is placed on prayer by God because we cannot sustain ourselves for less than a second without God's willing it to be. For our existence and earthly pleasures, which were provided to us by the Creator, we are indebted to give thanks as often as possible. Muslims are not only asked to offer Salat (prayer) five times daily but to remember the Creator in our daily activities as often as possible. Many state that they are too occupied to pray and claim to have more "constructive" things to do, but God answers them in the Holy Qur'an as follows: Surah 41, Verse 60 "Those who refuse to pray to Me will enter Hell in humiliation." The form of prayer for all mankind as deemed by God to all of his Prophets and Mary was the same as indicated in the following verse in the Holy Qur'an. Ref. #1 as instructed to Mary, Mother of Jesus Surah 2, Verse 43 Oh Mary, pray to God devoutly, prostrate and bow down (in prayer) with those who bow down. Ref. # To Prophet Ibrahim and Ishmael (PBUT) Surah 1, Verse 125 "We entrusted Ibrahim and Ishmael to purify My house for those who circle around it, spend most of their time in it, and to those who pray to bow and prostrate in prayer." The above-mentioned house refers to the Holy Kaba, which Muslims visit once in a lifetime to perform Hajj (pilgrimage). Ref. # To The People of the Book (Jews and Christians) Surah 2, Verse 113 "Some of the People of the Book from an upright community recite its' verses during the late night as they prostrate." Ref. #4 To the offspring of Ibrahim (PBUH) and Israel Surah 19, Verse 58 "From the offsprings of Ibrahim and Israel and those We guided, if God's verses were recited to them they prostrate and weep." Ref. #5 To David (PBUH) Surah 38, Verse 24 "David suspected that We (God) were testing him and he bowed. " Ref. #6 Message given to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) for Muslims Surah 48, Verse 29 "You see them bow and prostrate seeking acceptance and goodness from God. The trace of prostration is on their forehead like those whom the Bible and Torah were revealed to." Other similar verses throughout the Holy Qur'an convey similar messages indicating that the method of prayer decreed by God to Adam (PBUH) and the rest of the Prophets (PBUT) was the same and it is the form of prayer which Muslims use today. Between Adam (PBUH) and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) the methods were altered and changed by means of simple supplication. It is indeed worship but not in its' entirety. Worship is mentioned in the Holy Qur'an 152 times, bowing 15 times, prostration 74 times and prayer 99 times. The fruits of prayer are immeasurable for those who do it sincerely without any other motive. We will bring no harm to our Creator if we do not pray. We only harm ourselves. Prayer cleanses. It is the bridge of happiness and the light of Faith. It is a commandment, which God has decreed for all mankinds. It is the open door to communication with the Creator, the reward for following a straight path, the light of guidance and obedience to God. Prayer brings tranquility, happiness, contentment, confidence, and admission to Paradise, self-discipline and freedom from fear. Prayer will no doubt improve our society and lead us to a straight way, the path of the ones whom He blessed and accepted, not of those who earned His disapproval or those who have gone astray.