Life’s Most Critical Function
In the life of a Muslim, or any human being for that matter, there is perhaps nothing more important than prayers: Asking Allah for things.
In Islam, it is called Du’a. And it is perhaps life’s most critical function.
Whether it is in one's own personal life, or whether it is in one's professional or public life, or whether it is in one’s family life, or whether it is with regard to one's role “Working for Allah” – inviting the whole world to Allah and his Deen – nothing works like prayers – Du’a.
From Qur’an to Tennyson
Remember Tennyson: “More Things Are Wrought by Prayer than this World Dreams Of”?
Well, in the Qur’an, Allah commands us to pray to him – and to ask him for things, for what we need. That is 1200 years before Tennyson.
Allah says: Wa Qwaala Rabbukum Ud’oonee Astajib Lakum (40:60).
Want to know my paraphrase? Here it is: “And your master said: Submit all your requests and petitions and prayers to me. Acceptance is guaranteed.”
More Places in the Qur’an
Elsewhere in the Qur’an, God Almighty repeats and reiterates this directive to us and says:
Dhaalikumullahu Rabbukum. Fa-Tabaarakallahu Rabbul 'Aalameen (40:64).
Paraphrase: “That is your Master. And what a blessed Master he is of all the worlds!”
Huwal Hayyu, Laa Ilaha Illa Huwa!
“He is the Ever-Living. There is no God but him.”
So, what should we do then? Here comes the answer:
Fad’oohu Mukhlisweena Lahud Deen. Alhamdu Lillahi Rabbil 'Aalameen (40:65).
“So, call him, and pray to him, and submit all your requests and supplications and petitions to him, making sure you do so in a state of total sincerity and absolute single-mindedness.”
“He is the only one deserving of all praise and credit, Allah, the Maker, Master and Keeper of All the Worlds.”
Rendering God’s Word into English
I do a quick job of rendering these Aayats, or passages of the Qur’an, into English. People may call them translation. I call them paraphrase.
To me, all translation is paraphrase. For, all translation is a translator’s sense of what the original text means – what those Aayaat mean. And who can ever claim they understand what an Aayat really means.
A Note on Pronunciation
The word “Aayat” has two syllables: “Aa” and “Yat.”
The word is singular when you place emphasis on the first syllable by making it long (Aaaaa) and then making the second syllable quick and short: like Aaaaa-yat, but not quite that long for “Aaaaa.”
But if you reverse that process, and place emphasis on the second syllable, instead of the first one, and say the second syllable long, like Yaaaat, then that is plural.
So, Aayat is singular; Aayaat is plural.
More Commands in the Qur’an to Pray
Here is another place in the Qur’an where Allah commands us to turn to him and ask him for the things we need, and do so crying and begging and groveling before him in utter and abject humility and submission.
The Qur’an says: Ud’oo Rabbakum Tadwarru’an wa Khufyah (7:55).
And again: Fad’ullaha Mukhlisweena Lahud Deen (40:14).
The Qur’an, thus, opens up a Direct Line for you to Allah – for every human being, no matter what their status in this world, and no matter how great their sins and transgressions against God.
Restitution Needed When You Wrong Someone
Mind you that is concerning all that is between you and God. But if your transgressions are against your fellow-human beings, then you are not forgiven just by your Say-So.
So, if you have wronged other human beings, then God requires that you go to them and seek their forgiveness, and make amends and restitutions, before God forgives you.
What an amazing, just, fair and life-affirming system this is. This is another proof that it could only have come from God. And this Qur’an could only have come from God.
The Most Loving and Full of Mercy and Grace
That is part of the reflection in real life of God’s attributes of infinite Mercy and Love and Grace. For, he is Ar-Rahmaan Ar-Raheem – The Most Loving and the Most Full of Mercy and Grace.
And it is a practical illustration of the role of Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, in our life, whom God Almighty sent into this world as Rahmatul Lil 'Aalameen, which means an embodiment and channel of God’s infinite love and grace and mercy, not only to this world, but to what God calls in the Qur’an “All the Worlds.”
So, there you have it.
You are holding right there in your hands proof after proof after proof that these words – and this Qur’an – could only have come from Allah. And it could not have been conceived, produced and preserved to our day, the way it has been, by any other source than God Almighty.
God Is Displeased When You Don’t Pray to Him
Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, says that it displeases Allah when you do not make Du’a to him. That is when you do not ask him for things.
And Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam says elsewhere: Place all your needs before God. Ask God for anything and everything that you need, no matter how big or small it may be.
Abject Humility and Utter Submission
So, people, pray to Allah. Ask him for things. Beg him for what you need.
It will help your cause along, whether that cause is private or public, and it will increase the power of your prayers, if your prayers are rooted in deep sincerity and profound humility.
And if your prayers spring from an aching heart, and if they are accompanied by torrential tears.
Pray, Wait, Pray Some More
So, pray to God Almighty and then wait for his blessings to arrive.
From God’s perspective, there is no separation between your Du’a – supplications and prayers – and their acceptance by him. It is a done deal – before you even made them.
But from your own worldly point of view, it may be a second, an hour, a day, a month or a year – or whatever.
But you have turned the switch and the lights are on. The time when you actually see those lights is a function of a whole lot of things including the condition of your eyes and the state of your soul.
So wait. And make some more Du’a. And keep making it till you drop dead. Your prayers will be waiting for you on the other side of the grave.
But in the meantime, the wheels of your life will have been lubricated in ways you can’t even imagine.
© 2012 Syed Husain Pasha
Dr. Syed Husain Pasha is an educator and scholar of exceptional
talent, training and experience. He can be reached at DrSyedPasha [at]
AOL [dot] com or www.IslamicSolutions.com.