Du’a for IslamicSolutions.Com
Sent on Ramadan 1, 1431/August 11, 2010
To Our Visitors a Ramadan
Greeting – and a Prayer
(Bringing Islam to the World One Concept at a Time!
Taking the Qur'an to Every Home and Heart that Needs It --
And which One Does Not?)
Honoring Your Guest
On this most blessed day of the first of Ramadan today, a joyful greeting to all.
To our visitors today on www.IslamicSolutions.Com – and on all days – we say: Greetings!
We do not ask if you are a Jew, Muslim or Christian; Hindu, Buddhist or Zoroastrian; or an atheist, agnostic or person of faith.
Nor do we worry about your gender or age; politics or nationality; race or social status – several things most people in this world worry about.
All we know and care about is that you are generous and gracious to be with us today, and we love and honor you for that.
For, that is what Islam is all about: Honoring Your Guest.
And because that is what we learned from the practice of our beloved Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, and his blessed companions and descendants.
But wait, we want to give you something a bit more tangible than a mere greeting – a prayer, perhaps, if you will allow us to do that?
Not that all of you may care for, or need, or even believe in prayers. But today we feel like prayers – for our visitors.
Validate Your Feelings before Acting on Them
But Islam teaches that people must validate their feelings before they act on them. Otherwise, this world will be in a sorrier mess than it is today.
That means even though people sometimes have got to go with their feelings, they must first make sure their feelings satisfy certain conditions. For example, you can act on your feelings:
- Provided they are the right, noble and honorable feelings to begin with.
- Provided, to the extent you know, what you feel is not in direct contravention of any of God’s explicit commands – such as, for example, many of those listed in the Ten Commandments.
- Provided your feelings are not, to the best of your knowledge, in violation of any of the Laws of the Land or any of the canons of International Law and civilized practice and morality.
- Provided your feelings do not involve harming or abusing any animals or humans, or denying or diminishing any of their divine or civil rights, dignities and protections.
- Provided giving way to your feelings will not add to human and animal misery on earth by making things worse for them on land and in water.
- Provided your feelings do not envisage or imply breaking or flouting the laws of the land in which you live; or committing, causing or encouraging acts of violence of any kind against anyone or anything.
- And provided acting on your feelings will not in general result in, or contribute to, what the Qur’an refers to as “Mischief on Earth,” part of which is to make the condition of our land, water and air worse, through pollution, contamination, corruption and toxification.
These are some of the ways and tests using which you can validate your feelings and thoughts before you decide to act on them
And praying for people meets these standards in abundant measure.
So, as I was saying earlier, we feel like prayers today: on this most blessed first day of Ramadan, if that is what it is. And prayers, as we said, are good: on any day, and for anyone. And they are blessed.
And they are the best gift anyone can give to anyone anywhere – at any time and in any context.
And for us, it is a source of embarrassment to have you visit us, and then we fail to offer you a welcoming or parting gift, on this most blessed first day of Ramadan, if it is that.
That really won’t be in the true spirit of Islam. And it won’t be, as they say, cricket or Kosher.
Prayers in the Regular Sense of that Word
So, we feel like giving our guests today – and on all days – the gift of prayers. Prayers in the regular, mostly non-Muslim sense of the English expression prayer, like asking God for something.
Not “prayers,” following the usually Muslim use of that expression when Muslims say they are “performing” their prayers, by which they mean they are observing or doing their “services” as it were, or their daily worship routines, the correct and proper expression for which really is: Salaah.
But Salaah is a word from the Qur’an, in original Arabic. And it is an expression that is very hard if not impossible to translate in English.
However, prayers, the way that word is used in English, are an integral part of what the Qur’an calls Salaat or Salaah – with the letter “h” or “t” in the end, depending on the language.
But Salaat Is Way, Way More than Prayers
But Salaah is much more than just “prayer” as we understand it in the English language of everyday use. In spirit and in reality, Salaah is nothing less than a private visit and personal audience with God Almighty.
In this sense, there is nothing more blessed, more sacred, more holy, more dignified, more glorious, more spectacular, more awe-inspiring and more miraculous on the face of this earth than Salaah – people having a private and personal audience with the Creator.
In practice, Salaah is a highly sophisticated, minutely choreographed and perfectly synchronized set of routines, actions, recitations, prayers and pleadings to God. Every detail guided and directed by God and his Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) and overarched by God Almighty’s love, grace and mercy.
And yet, viewed in its totality, and as a package, there is nothing simpler, more stylized and enchanting than Salaah.
All you need to do to taste the magic of Salaat is to try it yourself or watch a Muslim perform it.
Salaat: This Is How You Do It!
Thus, Salaah involves a whole range of the most amazing actions and practices including the following:
- Standing upright and very still, facing your God Almighty, and not looking left or right.
- Doing your best to banish all evil, alien and wanton thoughts and distractions from your mind.
- Making intention that you are preparing to pray to God, and to no one but God, your maker and master, and the maker and master of all creation and the worlds.
- Reading and reciting from the Qur’an – whatever you can manage.
- Bowing from the waist, with your back held straight and with your palms and fingers grabbing your knees tight.
- Putting your forehead and nose on the ground while going down on your knees and with your hands, palms down, on the ground on either side of your face – fingers pointing straight ahead.
- Sitting on bended knees.
Then Come the Personal Pleadings with God
Even as you go through these steps of performing the various actions associated with Salaat, you continue to do the following:
- Continually monitoring your heart and mind, making sure they are aligned to God and away from all kinds of worldly distractions and temptations.
- Continually chanting God’s Most Beautiful Names – that is what the Qur’an calls them – and his praise and glory.
- One more time: Reading and reciting from the Qur’an – whatever you can manage.
- Confessing your sins to God.
- Repenting for all the evil, bad and wrong things you might have done.
- Begging God for forgiveness of your sins and knowing full well that no one but God can and will forgive your sins.
- Pleading with him for help in the fulfillment of your lawful and legitimate needs in life.
- Crying before him even as you beg him for guidance and plead with him to show you the right path, the straight path, the path of truth – His Path!
- And asking God to bless Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
- And all the other Prophets and Messengers of God – some mentioned in the Bible, some not.
- And your parents and spouses and children and family members.
- And all the good people of this world, past, present and future.
- And your home, neighborhood and society.
- And the world.
- And all of God’s creation.
Doing It All in God’s Own Words
And, believe it or not, you do much of all this in God’s own words in the Qur’an – to the extent you can. Just imagine that: You talk to God in his own words.
For, that is what Islam is. It is doing things the simple and easy way. It is doing things to the extent you can.
If you want, I can give a whole new definition of Islam based on this concept: It is the “religion,” as people say, of the Next Best Thing.
Here is an example. You can’t do your prayers standing up? Not to worry. Try doing them sitting down.
No, can’t sit down either? No problem. Just lie down and do them lying down.
Here is another example. You must wash up nicely so you can do your prayers. It is absolutely, positively required. What, no water? Are you sure? Well, don’t worry. We will fix that.
Just step out and see if you can find some clean sand or soil or “dirt” or dust. Strike your hands on it; dust them off if you want to; and then run them on your hands, face and arms; and you are done.
Now you are technically as “clean” as if you had done a most thorough wash using the cleanest and the most abundant supply of fresh water.
How do you beat that kind of stuff?
That is why what we all need to understand is that this Islam – and its teachings – could not have come from a human mind. Only God Almighty can produce these most amazing arrangements and then place them in our mortal human hands for us to use.
So Islam then means, with regard to everything, doing your best and then leaving it all to God Almighty.
So, a Prayer for You Today – on This First Day of Ramadan
So, we wish to give our visitors a very special greeting today – a greeting of prayer, a blessing in fact as they say.
We wish to offer a prayer for you today, if you will, for bliss and tranquility in your life.
And we wish to offer a prayer for you today, if you will, for success in all that you seek and ask and strive for:
- Provided it is good for you.
- Provided it is good for the rest of God’s world and creation.
- Provided what you ask is something that God approves.
- Provided it is in keeping with God’s laws of right and wrong – for example, many of those noted in The Ten Commandments.
- And provided it is in consonance with God’s own revealed calculus of permissible and forbidden – what the Qur’an calls Halal and Haram.
So, here we go:
God Almighty, Maker and Master of the World, O Allah, the Most High and Holy, O God Almighty, whose beautiful and blessed names are ArRahmaan ArRaheem, God of Infinite and Unending Love and Compassion and Mercy and Grace, Grant our visitors today, and on all days:
Health to those who may be ailing;
Comfort to those who may be hurting;
Wealth and Prosperity to those who may be in need of them;
Happiness to those who may be pursuing it;
Joy to those whose lives may be lacking it;
Enlightenment to those who may be looking for it;
Answers to those who may be searching for them;
Education to those who may be seeking it;
Relief to those who may be crushed under the burden of debt;
Truth to those who may be yearning and working for it;
Peace to their societies and the world in which they live;
Security to them and their surroundings;
Tranquility to their life, home and neighborhood;
Guidance to those who may have tasted the love and fear of God;
And blessings to all.
O Lord, the Most Praised and Praiseworthy, the Most Loving, Compassionate and Full of Grace!”
So, that is our prayer for our visitors today – on this First Day of Ramadan – and on all days.
For, it seems to me that is how we ought to greet you today. And that is the gift we want to offer you today – and on all days – should you, of course, choose to accept it from us.
We remain, yours in faith and human fellowship and in utter and abject sincerity and humility before God,
Dr. Pasha, May God Almighty bless my ancestors, and all those who help us to make this project possible.