After reciting Tashahhud, Ta‘awwuz, and Surah al-Fatihah, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad(aba) recited the following verses of the Holy Qur’an:
‘O ye who believe! fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may become righteous.
The prescribed fasting is for a fixed number of days, but whoso among you is sick or is on a journey shall fast the same number of other days; and for those who are able to fast only with great difficulty is an expiation—the feeding of a poor man. And whoso performs a good work with willing obedience, it is better for him. And fasting is good for you, if you only knew.
The month of Ramadan is that in which the Quran was sent down as a guidance for mankind with clear proofs of guidance and discrimination. Therefore, whosoever of you is present at home in this month, let him fast therein. But whoso is sick or is on a journey, shall fast the same number of other days. Allah desires to give you facility and He desires not hardship for you, and that you may complete the number, and that you may exalt Allah for His having guided you and that you may be grateful.
And when My servants ask thee about Me, say: I am near. I answer the prayer of the supplicant when he prays to Me. So they should hearken to Me and believe in Me, that they may follow the right way.’ (2:184-187)
His Holiness(aba) then said that by the grace of Allah, we are once again blessed to be going through the month of Ramadan. It is not however to simply go through the month of Ramadan, nor does simply eating at the time of closing the fast and at the time of opening the fast fulfil the purpose of fasting. Rather, God Almighty has said that we must attain righteousness.
His Holiness(aba) said that in the verses which he recited, God has explained that fasting is an obligation. At the same time, God has stated that those who are ill or travelling are not required to fast but can complete them at a later time. And those who cannot fast should pay the fidyah. Even if one is able to complete the fasts at a later time, it is still a good practice to pay the fidyah.
His Holiness(aba) said that God also says that He hears the prayers of the supplicant. However, if one wishes for God to listen to them, then we too must listen to God and act upon His commandments.
His Holiness(aba) said that he would present some excerpts from the writings of the Promised Messiah(as) regarding the philosophy of the acceptance of prayers and the conditions associated with it. There are many of us who pray on the surface, and then think that God is bound to hear and fulfil our prayers, and then become sad when the prayers are not answered. What must be realised is that we must first strengthen our faith and relationship with God, and analyse ourselves to see whether or not we are acting upon His commandments. We must see whether we are steadfast, or do we falter at the slightest hardship and trial.
His Holiness(aba) presented a quote of the Promised Messiah(as) in which he stated that prayer is not the mere utterance of words, rather it is to fill the heart with the fear of God. It is when the soul of the supplicant flows like water to the threshold of the Divine and one seeks the strength to combat one’s weaknesses. It is to bring about a sort of death upon one’s self. It is then that the door of acceptance is opened upon the supplicant.
His Holiness(aba) said that many ask how can we know that we have been forgiven and God has accepted our prayers. Here, the Promised Messiah(as) has stated that when one supplicates in the true sense and has endeavoured to establish a lasting relationship with God, then one can be sure of this. His Holiness(aba) said that we should strive to achieve this especially during the month of Ramadan.
His Holiness(aba) quoted the Promised Messiah(as) who said that a true connection is established when two sides are drawn to each other. In other words, when the mercy of God draws man towards Him, and when man’s truthfulness and sincerity draws God to come nearer to him, then a true connection can be established. When this connection is established and one supplicates, then God manifests the means for that prayer to be accepted and fulfilled.
His Holiness(aba) further quoted the Promised Messiah(as) who said that God Almighty has stated and promised that those who strive in His way will attain His nearness. God has also taught us the prayer ‘Guide us to the right path’. This means that one must strive a great deal and pray fervently keeping this in mind. Furthermore, it is stated that one who is spiritually blind in this world will be blind in the hereafter. This can include one who blindly adhered to a religion simply because they were born into that faith. Such people do not possess ‘spiritual sight’ nor do they possess love for the faith. Therefore, we must prepare our ‘spiritual sight’ from our time in this world so that we may have sight in the next.
His Holiness(aba) said that during these days, we should especially pray ‘Guide us to the right path’ so that we may become true servants of God and truly serve his creation, rather than becoming like those extremists who cause harm to others in the name of God and His Messenger (sa). His Holiness(aba) prayed that may God save us from the evil of such people.
His Holiness(aba) said that some people think they have become so far steeped in sin that they can no longer be forgiven. Because of this thought, they continue to commit further evil deeds, whereas this is merely a thought placed in their minds by Satan. His Holiness(aba) quoted that Promised Messiah(as) who said that one should never think that they have committed so many wrong deeds that they cannot be forgiven. In fact, the cure to committing evil deeds is prayer and that is the only way to eradicate Satan. Otherwise, one continues along with this thought and eventually ends up drawing towards atheism. Therefore no matter what, one should turn towards prayer, and Ramadan is the perfect opportunity to focus on this.
His Holiness(aba) continued quoting the Promised Messiah(as) who said that one should not become disheartened if they feel that their prayer has not been answered exactly as they had desired. God does hear our prayers, but He is not bound by our desire, and does not need to fulfil our prayers exactly as we desire, for He knows best. It can be likened to a child who asks his mother for something which is harmful for him. There is no doubt that the mother loves her child, but she would never grant the child what he has asked if it is harmful. The philosophy of the acceptance of prayer is similar. God knows what is best.
His Holiness(aba) said that many people write to him saying that they prayed and even offered financial sacrifices but their prayer was not accepted. His Holiness(aba) said that one should first see whether they had established a true connection with God. If they did then they should accept that whatever happened was for the better. His Holiness(aba) said that some people pray to God saying that even if the matter they are praying for is not good, let it still be accepted; for example in matters of matrimonial matches. However when that match is made, after some time the two are separated. Thus, His Holiness(aba) said that we should not pray in such a manner, for God knows best. At times, the prayer not being accepted exactly as it was sought is a form of acceptance of prayer.
His Holiness(aba) said that regarding the conditions for the acceptance of prayer, the Promised Messiah(as) has stated that one who requests another to pray for them, they themselves should first ensure to always establish the fear of God within themselves and adopt righteousness. It is then that the door for acceptance is opened. If this is not done, then the door is closed not only for them, but also for those whom they have requested to pray for them.
His Holiness(aba) said that furthermore, in order to have prayers accepted, one should do good deeds. Regarding this, the Promised Messiah(as) said that one should exhaust all efforts in doing good works and reforming one’s self.
His Holiness(aba) said that it is necessary for the means to be created, for which we should pray. This is what we have been taught in the prayer ‘Thee alone do we worship and Thee alone do we implore for help’. It cannot be that one prays and their thirst is automatically quenched, rather water is sent down as a means by which their thirst is quenched. God has created the need for means so that it may be known that everything has been created with a purpose.
His Holiness(aba) further quoted the Promised Messiah(as) who said that one must adopt righteousness, for righteousness is the essence of the divine law. God Almighty has promised to accept the prayers of those who are righteous. Thus, one must adopt and inculcate righteousness in order to enjoy the acceptance of prayer.
His Holiness(aba) quoted the Promised Messiah(as) who said that there are two types of mercy or grace of God; Rahmaniyyat [graciousness - the general grace] and Rahimiyyat [mercy - the special grace]. Under Rahmaniyyat, God created all that is required to sustain life even before its creation, and things which mostly humans benefit from. Thus the first includes that which was created before our creation, before anyone could even pray for such things. Then there is Rahmiyyat, under which, when we pray, and God accepts the prayer. This grace is related most to prayer. It is the quality of humans to seek from God and it is the quality of God to accept the prayers. God gave us the means under Rahmaniyyat such as the heart, tongue, eyes, ears etc. so that we could use them appropriately and seek from God and be heard under his special grace Rahimiyyat. Therefore, we must use that given to us under Rahmaniyyat in the best possible manner and use these blessings to reap the special grace of God which is through His attribute of Rahimiyyat.
Therefore where we have been taught the prayer ‘Guide us to the right path’ we have been taught before that ‘Thee alone do we worship and Thee alone do we implore for help.’ This means that in order to tread on the right path we will need to use the abilities and faculties which God has granted us rather than letting them go to waste. Then can we hope to tread upon the right path.
His Holiness(aba) said that regarding the importance of prayer and supplication, the Promised Messiah(as) said that just as when a child cries and his mother runs towards him to give him milk, such is the manner in which God hears a supplicant who cries at His threshold. God Almighty wants us to come to His threshold, all He requires us to do is to establish the qualities whereby our prayers can be accepted.
His Holiness(aba) said that these were just a few excerpts which he presented from a treasure of knowledge. If we implement these things, then we can bring about a revolutionary change in our lives and establish a strong relationship with God. This Ramadan, we should strive to attain the nearness of Allah, to act upon His commandments, to strengthen our faith, to understand the philosophy of prayers, to reform ourselves, and to be included amongst those whose prayers are accepted by God. This Ramadan should bring about a great change in our relationship with God.
His Holiness(aba) said to pray for all those in Pakistan, Algeria and anywhere else in the world where Ahmadis are facing hardships on account of their faith. His Holiness(aba) said that praying for others enables one’s own prayers to be accepted. In fact, angels pray for those who pray for others. Therefore, during this Ramadan, we should pray not only for ourselves, but for others as well.
Summary prepared by The Review of Religions.
After reciting the Tashahud, Ta‘awuz and Surah al-Faithah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V(aa) recited verses 184 to 187 of Surah al-Baqarah, before proceeding with the sermon:
یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا کُتِبَ عَلَیۡکُمُ الصِّیَامُ کَمَا کُتِبَ عَلَی الَّذِیۡنَ مِنۡ قَبۡلِکُمۡ لَعَلَّکُمۡ تَتَّقُوۡنَ
اَیَّامًا مَّعۡدُوۡدٰتٍ ؕ فَمَنۡ کَانَ مِنۡکُمۡ مَّرِیۡضًا اَوۡ عَلٰی سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّۃٌ مِّنۡ اَیَّامٍ اُخَرَ ؕ وَ عَلَی الَّذِیۡنَ یُطِیۡقُوۡنَہٗ فِدۡیَۃٌ طَعَامُ مِسۡکِیۡنٍ ؕ فَمَنۡ تَطَوَّعَ خَیۡرًا فَہُوَ خَیۡرٌ لَّہٗ ؕ وَ اَنۡ تَصُوۡمُوۡا خَیۡرٌ لَّکُمۡ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ تَعۡلَمُوۡنَ
شَہۡرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِیۡۤ اُنۡزِلَ فِیۡہِ الۡقُرۡاٰنُ ہُدًی لِّلنَّاسِ وَ بَیِّنٰتٍ مِّنَ الۡہُدٰی وَ الۡفُرۡقَانِ ۚ فَمَنۡ شَہِدَ مِنۡکُمُ الشَّہۡرَ فَلۡیَصُمۡہُ ؕ وَ مَنۡ کَانَ مَرِیۡضًا اَوۡ عَلٰی سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّۃٌ مِّنۡ اَیَّامٍ اُخَرَ ؕ یُرِیۡدُ اللّٰہُ بِکُمُ الۡیُسۡرَ وَ لَا یُرِیۡدُ بِکُمُ الۡعُسۡرَ ۫ وَ لِتُکۡمِلُوا الۡعِدَّۃَ وَ لِتُکَبِّرُوا اللّٰہَ عَلٰی مَا ہَدٰٮکُمۡ وَ لَعَلَّکُمۡ تَشۡکُرُوۡنَ
وَ اِذَا سَاَلَکَ عِبَادِیۡ عَنِّیۡ فَاِنِّیۡ قَرِیۡبٌ ؕ اُجِیۡبُ دَعۡوَۃَ الدَّاعِ اِذَا دَعَانِ ۙ فَلۡیَسۡتَجِیۡبُوۡا لِیۡ وَ لۡیُؤۡمِنُوۡا بِیۡ لَعَلَّہُمۡ یَرۡشُدُوۡنَ
The translation of these verses is as follows:
“O ye who believe! fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may become righteous.
“The prescribed fasting is for a fixed number of days, but whoso among you is sick or is on a journey shall fast the same number of other days; and for those who are able to fast only with great difficulty is an expiation – the feeding of a poor man. And whoso performs a good work with willing obedience, it is better for him. And fasting is good for you, if you only knew.
“The month of Ramadan is that in which the Quran was sent down as a guidance for mankind with clear proofs of guidance and discrimination. Therefore, whosoever of you is present at home in this month, let him fast therein. But whoso is sick or is on a journey, shall fast the same number of other days. Allah desires to give you facility and He desires not hardship for you, and that you may complete the number, and that you may exalt Allah for His having guided you and that you may be grateful.
“And when My servants ask thee about Me, say: I am near. I answer the prayer of the supplicant when he prays to Me. So they should hearken to Me and believe in Me, that they may follow the right way.” (2:184-187)
This year, once again, by the grace of Allah the Almighty, we are blessed with the opportunity of passing through the month of Ramadan. We should always remember that simply experiencing and passing through the month of Ramadan is not enough; or to simply keep the fast by eating sehri in the morning and then eating at the time of iftari in the evening and breaking the fast is not enough to fulfil the actual purpose of fasting. In fact, alongside fasting, Allah the Almighty commands us to bring about a virtuous change within ourselves. Allah the Almighty has given various commandments with regard to fasting and has given us the glad tidings that by acting upon these commandments, He will grant us His nearness and accept our prayers.
I have recited a few of the verses which contain these [commandments]. In the verses I have just recited, Allah the Almighty has drawn our attention towards the obligation of fasting. Similarly, He has also stated that if a person is ill or has any other valid reason and is exempt from fasting then they should complete the fasts after [the month of Ramadan]. Or if it is a long-term illness and one cannot complete the fasts later, then they should give fidya [charity]; however, it should also be remembered that even if one can complete the fasts later and one has the financial capacity, then it is better to still give fidya.
Then, along with mentioning the importance of the Holy Quran as well as its revelation, Allah the Almighty has also stated that reciting it and acting upon its teachings is a means of guidance and strengthening our faith, as well as a means of strengthening our relationship with Allah the Almighty and understanding the teachings which He has sent.
Moreover, Allah the Almighty has also given us the glad tiding, “O Prophet, tell My servants that I am near them; I hear their prayers and accept them.” And with regard to Ramadan, the Holy Prophet(sa) has stated that Allah the Almighty descends to the lowest heaven, meaning he particularly hears the prayers of His servants. However, Allah the Almighty has stated that if we desire for Him to hear our prayers, then we must obey Him and act upon His commandments. Not only in the month of Ramadan, but we must make these virtues a consistent part of our lives and must strengthen our faith.
Thus, there are certain preconditions for the acceptance of prayer, and when we beautify our prayers according to these conditions then we will find that Allah the Almighty grants us His nearness and hears our prayers. At this time, I will present some sayings of the Promised Messiah(as) regarding prayer, its importance and how we should improve our actions and also in relation to this, I will present some of his sayings regarding the conditions for the acceptance of prayer, its philosophy and its deeper meaning.
Many of us pray superficially and then say that Allah the Almighty did not accept our prayers, as if Allah the Almighty should have accepted whatever we asked for. In other words, they claim that, God forbid, Allah the Almighty is bound to do as they say and they can command Him as they please regardless of their own deeds.
Allah the Almighty has clearly stated that this is not the case; first we must do as He says and mould our actions according to the teachings of the Holy Quran. When an atmosphere of doing virtuous deeds has been created during the month of Ramadan, and there are various lectures [on the Holy Quran] being given, then we should listen, ponder over them and act upon His guidance and commandment.
We should analyse and see how firm our faith is; for example, does our faith waver when we are faced with some sort of hardship or trial? In any case, this is a matter in which man must take the first step and when one reaches its heights, then it kindles the mercy, kindness and grace of Allah the Almighty. Thus, it is of the utmost importance for us to understand this.
On one occasion, the Promised Messiah(as) stated:
“Prayer is the pride of Islam and this is something which Muslims are very proud of. But remember, prayer is not the mere utterance of words; rather, it is when the heart fills with the fear of God Almighty and the soul of the supplicant flows like water before the divine threshold. It seeks forgiveness for its weaknesses and faults from the All-Powerful and Almighty God. This is a state which, in other words, can be called death. When this state comes about, then it can be certain that the door of acceptance has been opened for the supplicant and they are granted a special ability, grace and steadfastness to keep away from evil and remain firm upon virtue. Above all others, this means is the greatest.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 7, p. 263, 1984 edition)
Thus, this is the true manner of prayer; attaining the nearness of Allah the Almighty; having one’s prayers accepted and keeping away from sin.
These days, many people ask how they can know if their sins have been forgiven and that Allah the Almighty is pleased with them. Here, the Promised Messiah(as) has outlined a basic principle, that if one establishes a true and lasting connection with Allah the Almighty, for which one makes a true effort, then Allah the Almighty bestows such a blessing upon them which grants such a person the steadfastness to be free from sin. Not only is one able to be saved from evil, but they are granted the ability to carry out virtuous deeds on a continuous basis. If this is not the case, then one cannot say that they have attained the nearness of Allah the Almighty.
Therefore, one becomes a true servant only when they begin thinking along these lines and acts accordingly and this is something which we should strive to achieve during this Ramadan. As I stated earlier, I will present some sayings of the Promised Messiah(as) before you in relation to prayer. With regard to the acceptance of prayer, on one occasion, the Promised Messiah(as) stated:
“The subject of the acceptance of prayer is in fact a branch of the subject of prayer. It is a matter of fact that a person who does not comprehend the basic principle will encounter difficulty in comprehending a branch and will remain in ignorance.” In order to understand something, one must understand the core principle. If one does not understand the core principle, then no matter how many explanations are presented, the matter cannot be comprehended.
“[…] The principle of prayer is that there is a mutually attractive relationship between a pious servant and his Lord”; i.e. an ability to be attracted to it. “To begin with, the grace [rahmaniyyat] of God Almighty draws a servant to itself. Then through his sincerity, the servant approaches close to God Almighty”; if a person strives with a pure and sincere heart, then Allah the Almighty will draw close to man; “and in prayer, that relationship, when it arrives at a certain stage, manifests its wonderful qualities. When a servant being confronted with a great difficulty leans towards God Almighty with perfect certainty, perfect hope, perfect love, perfect fidelity and perfect resolve, and becoming extremely alert and tearing aside the veils of heedlessness advances far into the fields of the discarding of self”; what does one then see? “He beholds in front of him the court of the divine and that He has no associate and his soul rests upon the Divine threshold.”
At this point, one can see God Alone and nothing else remains in view. Then nothing in the world holds any meaning except for God.
“When one reaches such a stage, then his soul prostrates itself at that threshold and the power of attraction that is invested in him draws the bounty of God Almighty towards itself.” Man has been bestowed with a power of attraction and reaching such a stage they draw the bounties of God Almighty. “Then God, the Glorious, addresses Himself towards fulfilling the purpose of the supplication and casts the effect of prayer on all those preliminary means”; i.e. Allah the Almighty casts His effect on whatever methods or processes are required to fulfil that prayer, “which give rise to the means that are necessary for the achievement of the purpose of the prayer. For instance, if the prayer is for rain, then on its acceptance, the natural means that are needed for rain are created by the effect of the prayer. And if one utters a curse for famine, then the All-Powerful One creates the contrary means.”
The Promised Messiah(as) further says:
“[…] The source of thousands of miracles that were manifested by the Prophets and the wonders that have been exhibited throughout by the saints was prayer, and it is through the effect of prayer that extraordinary events display the power of the All-Powerful.” (The Essence of Islam, Vol. 2, pp. 192-194)
There are countless prophecies mentioned in the Holy Quran and also we see that many prophecies were fulfilled during the time of the Promised Messiah(as) and many pious people saw the fulfilment of their true dreams as a result of which one can feel the effects of prayer. All this is only possible when one sincerely inclines towards God Almighty.
Explaining further, the Promised Messiah(as) then states:
“Allah the Exalted states:
وَالَّذِیْنَ جَاہَدُوْا فِیْنَا لَنَہْدِیَنَّہُمْ سُبُلَنَا
“Meaning, ‘A person who strives in our cause shall be shown the ways that lead to Us.’” Allah the Almighty placed the responsibility of striving upon mankind. “Along with this promise, we have also been taught the prayer:
اِہْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِیْمَ
[Guide us in the right path.]”
On the one hand, Allah the Almighty promised that if one strives in Gods path, He will surely guide them to the correct path. At the same time, He taught the prayer:
“Guide us in the right path.”
“Therefore, man ought to keep this in mind and supplicate fervently in their formal Prayer, and desire to be included among the group who achieved success and insight, lest he departs from this world blind and bereft of insight.
“Thus, Allah Almighty states:
مَنْ کَانَ فِیْ ہٰذِہٖٓ اَعْمٰى فَہُوَ فِی الْاٰخِرَۃِ اَعْمٰى
“Meaning, ‘whoso is blind in this world shall be blind in the hereafter.’” (Malfuzat Vol. 1, pp. 18-19 [English edition, 2018])
In other words, the one who is spiritually blind. The one who is immersed in materialism in this life and has failed to recognise God, nor understands the wisdom behind prayer or the effects it contains and instead, is immersed in materialism, then even in the Hereafter, they will not be able to gain the nearness of God.
The Promised Messiah(as) states that one ought to make preparations for the Hereafter in this very life. He states:
“[…] This demonstrates that we must take our ability to see from this very world, so that we may be able to witness the Hereafter.” If one wishes to experience the next life, in which one will gain the nearness of Allah the Almighty, then one must develop the senses in this life in preparation for it. “In order to experience the next life, our senses are to be developed in this very world. Can it be conceived that Allah the Exalted would make a promise and then break it?”
The Promised Messiah(as) further states:
“A blind person is one who is bereft of spiritual insight and pleasure. A person who blindly follows the practices of their family just because they are born into a Muslim household is called a Muslim.” This means that a person follows heedlessly and does not carry out any deeds and is only a Muslim because he is born into a Muslim family.
“Similarly, a person who is born to a Christian family becomes a Christian. This is the very reason that such people give no regard to God, the Messenger(sa) or the Quran. Even the love such people possess for religion is questionable.” The religion of a person who is following blindly is questionable.
“Some remain in the company of those who act insolently towards God and His Messenger. This is wholly due to the fact that such people do not possess a spiritual eye. They are empty of love for religion. Does a person who is full of love desire anything that is at odds with the liking of their beloved?” If one has love for someone, they are not prepared to listen to anything that is said against their beloved. “Hence, Allah the Almighty teaches that He is prepared to bestow His bounties if a person is prepared to receive them. The offering of this supplication prepares one to receive divine guidance.” (Malfuzat Vol. 1, p. 19 [English edition, 2018])
Therefore, during these days, we ought to constantly recite the prayer:
That is, may Allah the Almighty guide us in the right path and purify our hearts, enable us to a true worshiper [of Allah] and also enable us to fulfil the rights of Allah’s servants, lest we become like the extremists that are witnessed today who are carrying out injustices in the name of God and the Holy Prophet(sa). May Allah the Almighty protect everyone from the evil of these people.
Some people say that they have sinned to such an extent that Allah the Almighty will never forgive them. Some people ask the question as well whether a person who has sinned a lot will be forgiven. Then some people thinking that they will not be forgiven, fall deeper into sin. In reality, Satan puts this thought in their hearts and uses these ploys to distance one from God. Such people are then firmly in the grips of Satan.
Explaining the way to escape the clutches of Satan, the Promised Messiah(as) states:
“The thought of having committed a plethora of sins ought not to hold back a sinner from supplication.” One must never stop praying and think that they have committed too many sins.
“Prayer is an antidote. Ultimately, such a one will observe how prayers serve to foster within him an aversion towards vice.” Prayer is the remedy to safeguard one from sin. When one prays with steadfastness, that person will begin to dislike sin and Satan will run away.
“In the end, those steeped in sin, who despair of the acceptance of prayer and do not seek recourse to repentance, lose faith in the Prophets and their effects.” (Malfuzat Vol. 1, p. 4 [English edition, 2018])
Such people move away from religion and consequently by moving away religion and from the prophets, they become atheists. Thus, even for people who are immersed in sin, Islam shows them a ray of hope. And Allah the Almighty has ordained the month of Ramadan each year to create this atmosphere and to seek repentance from sins. Thus, we ought to derive benefit from this month.
Whilst referring to a revelation vouchsafed to the Promised Messiah(as):
اُجِیْبُ کُلَّ دُعَائِکَ
[I will accept your every prayer], the Promised Messiah(as) said:
“My Compassionate Master, God Almighty, has promised me clearly:
“[I will accept your every prayer]. However, I am well aware that the word ‘every’ [kulla] refers to those prayers which, if accepted, cause no harm.” It does not mean that every prayer will be accepted. ‘Kull’, ‘every’, means those prayers which will not cause harm.
“On the contrary, where Allah the Almighty desires improvement and reform, rejecting a prayer is also a form of acceptance. At times, a person is unsuccessful in achieving the result of their prayer. One surmises that God Almighty has rejected their supplication, even though He has actually accepted the person’s entreaty and acceptance is manifested in the form of a disapproval. In the specific case at hand, behind the apparent veil, in reality, the real advantage and benefit lies in the supplicant’s prayer being rejected. Since man is short-sighted and lacks foresight, giving importance to outward appearance, it is advisable that when he prays to Allah the Exalted and does not receive a result that seems apparently beneficial to his own preconceived notion, he should not think ill of God and conclude that his prayer has been rejected. God Almighty hears the prayer of every supplicant.
اُدْعُوْنِیْٓ اَسْتَجِبْ لَکُمْ
“[Pray unto Me; I will answer your prayer]. The mystery and secret is that the greatest good and benefit for the supplicant lies in their prayer being refused.” (Malfuzat Vol. 1, pp. 101-102 [English edition, 2018])
In other words, it is more beneficial for the supplicant if their prayers are rejected in that particular instance.
Further elaborating on this point, the Promised Messiah(as) says:
“This is the principle of prayer. In the acceptance of prayer, Allah the Exalted is not subject to our thoughts and desires. One may observe how dear a mother holds her child. She desires that no harm should come to her child. But if a child should cry and insist upon the absurd idea that they be handed a sharp dagger or a bright and glowing piece of coal, would the mother, despite her true love and compassion, ever approve of her child taking hold of a flaming piece of coal and subsequently burning their hand, or cutting their hand on the sharp blade of a dagger? Of course not. The underlying principle in the acceptance of prayer can be understood in light of this example.”
“I am myself experienced in this regard. Where a detrimental aspect exists in a certain prayer, it is not accepted in the least.”
It does not mean that all the prayers will be accepted. Allah the Almighty knows best as He is the Knower of the unseen. If there is a detrimental aspect in the prayer, that prayer is not accepted.
“One can easily understand that our knowledge is not definitive and without its faults. There are many things we do with great pleasure, considering them to be blessed, and in our own view, we consider their outcomes to be blessed as well, but ultimately they turn into a grief and affliction that clings to us.”
We see many examples of this today as well, and even in the letters I receive on a daily basis, people pray for something and then try their utmost to forcibly achieve it. But their results are not encouraging. As a result of this, they harbour grievances against Allah the Almighty saying that they began this work by praying a lot and have also given alms, yet the result was not beneficial for them, or that their prayers were not accepted.
Firstly, it is important to note whether that individual prayed their utmost as has been mentioned; whether they formed a relationship with Allah the Almighty as is required. If the answer is in the negative, then as the Promised Messiah(as) has stated, it is mere lip service.
If a person has prayed to their utmost capacity and then Allah the Almighty has rejected the request or the results were not positive, then there was some divine wisdom behind this decision and it would be beneficial for that individual. If a person stresses on a matter and he was wrong to do so, then instead of harbouring grievances against Allah the Almighty, the individual ought to seek forgiveness and accept that it was their own mistake for trying to chase after something that was not agreeable in their favour.
Some people pray and say, “O Allah, even if it is not beneficial for me, still accept this prayer”; this has been the case in certain marriage proposals as well. Allah the Almighty heard that individual’s prayer and he was married where the person desired, but after a short while, it ended in divorce.
Therefore, one should not pray in this manner. Sometimes, in order to teach the person a lesson, Allah the Almighty accepts the prayer of a person which is not in their favour. But when that person sees the outcome, they then seek forgiveness and repent.
Nonetheless, the Promised Messiah(as) states:
“Hence, it cannot be said that all the desires of man are free from harm if fulfilled. Man is but a mixture of faults and errors”; man is susceptible to committing errors; “thus, as one would assume, and as is the case, some of his desires are injurious. If Allah the Exalted were to accept such desires, this would clearly contravene divine mercy.”
Certain entreaties are harmful to the person, and if Allah the Almighty holds that individual dear to Him, then He does not accept their prayers because it contravenes His Mercy. God does not allow harm to befall His beloved servants
The Promised Messiah(as) states:
“It is a matter quite sure and certain that Allah the Exalted accepts the prayers of His servants and confers upon them the honour of acceptance, but not every foolish desire.” It is not for every person. “Inner emotion blinds a person to what is best in the long run and moves one to pray to their own detriment.” They pray without thinking of the consequences of that prayer.
“However, Allah Almighty, Who desires the best for us in the truest sense and sees the ultimate end of all matters, rejects the prayer which He knows would bring about harm and detriment for the supplicant if it was accepted. This rejection of prayer actually constitutes an acceptance.” This is the law of God for those who are dear to Him.
“Hence, those prayers which do not compromise the safety of mankind from calamity and adversity are accepted, and harmful supplications are accepted by God in the form of a rejection.”
“I have received the following revelation countless times” as was mentioned earlier:
“[I will accept your every prayer.]
“In other words, this means that any supplication that is, in essence, beneficial and advantageous, will be accepted.” This is how the Promised Messiah(as) has interpreted the revelation in that the beneficial prayers will be accepted.
“When I reflect over this point, my soul becomes satiated with pleasure and delight. The first time that I received this revelation, about 25 or 30 years ago, I was immensely delighted that Allah the Almighty would accept those supplications of mine which I would make for my own person or my dear ones. Thereafter, I understood that even the slightest miserliness must not be exercised by me in this regard, because this is a divine favour and Allah the Exalted has described the righteous in the following words:
وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنٰہُمْ یُنْفِقُوْنَ
“[And they spend out of what We have provided for them.]
“Hence, I follow an established practice for my friends, whether they remind me or not; whether they inform me of a serious matter or not, I regularly pray for their welfare in matters pertaining to their worldly and spiritual affairs.” (Malfuzat Vol. 1, pp. 102-103 [English edition, 2018])
Whilst explaining the various preconditions for the acceptance of prayer, the Promised Messiah(as) states:
“However, pay heed with an attentive heart that there are certain preconditions for the acceptance of prayer. Some of them relate to the person making the supplication and some relate to the person for whom supplication is made. It is necessary for a person who solicits someone else to pray for them to first fear Allah Almighty themselves.”
This is an extremely important point. The one who requests another to pray for them should always instil the fear of Allah the Almighty within themselves.
“Such people must remain in awe of God’s Being as He is the Independent and Besought of all.” They should always remember that Allah the Almighty is not dependent upon anyone and to always fear Allah the Almighty.
“They must make peaceful relations and worship of God a practice of life.” These are all important aspects in that they make peaceful relations and worship of God a practice of life. “They must please Allah with righteousness and piety. When this is the case, the gate of the acceptance of prayer is opened to such a one.” When one fulfils all of these preconditions, it is then that the gate of the acceptance of prayer is opened for such a person. “However, if a person displeases God Almighty, ruins his relationship with Him and wars with Him”, i.e. one does not adhere to the injunctions of Allah the Almighty and fails to fulfil the rights of God and His creation, “then his mischief and evil deeds become an obstruction or a mountain that stands in the way of prayer. As a result, the door of acceptance is closed to such a person.”
The door of the acceptance of prayer is closed for such a person; neither will one’s own prayers be accepted, nor will the prayers of the person whom they have requested to pray for them be accepted in their favour.
“Hence, our friends must save our prayers from going in vain and must not allow for their path to be obstructed by any barrier that may be erected as a result of their own unacceptable actions.” (Malfuzat Vol. 1, p. 104 [English edition, 2018])
The Promised Messiah(as) has stated that if one’s actions are not right, then their prayers will not be accepted in their favour. In fact, those actions will become like an obstruction in the path of acceptance.
Another aspect which is extremely important for the acceptance of prayers is that one ought to be completely firm in their beliefs. This is a fundamental condition and also that one should perform righteous deeds. The mention of performing righteous deeds has been explained earlier as well wherein Allah the Almighty states that one ought to fulfil His injunctions and respond to His call; for this is fundamental and vital for the acceptance of prayer.
Whilst expounding on this, the Promised Messiah(as) states:
“It is true to say that a person who does not perform appropriate action does not truly pray, but rather tests God. So, before one prays it is necessary to make full use of one’s faculties and this is the meaning of the supplication just mentioned. First, it is incumbent upon a person to analyse their own beliefs and actions. It is the custom of God Almighty to bring about reformation through the use of means.”
If one has the means which are essential to bring about reformation and then strives to achieve that, it is then that one is able to actually bring about a reformation in themselves.
“He creates some sort of means, which become the cause for a person’s reformation.” If one prays with utmost sincerity of the heart, then Allah the Almighty grants such means which enables one to bring about their reformation. “Those people who say that when there is prayer, means have no use, should reflect. Do such foolish ones not realise that even prayer itself is a subtle means that gives rise to other means?” Prayer in itself is a form of means which gives rise to other means.
“[Thee alone do we worship] which precedes the supplication:
“[Thee alone do we implore for help] expounds this very point.”
In other words, we pray to Allah Alone and then seek His help for the completion of our tasks and this is what is being explained here.
“Therefore, this is the way of Allah that we observe, whereby He creates means” i.e. it is Allah the Almighty Who creates the means. “Observe how God provides water to quench our thirst and grants us food to satisfy our hunger, but He does so through means.” It is not the case that the thirst is quenched without it or water just magically came down immediately or food was instantly provided. In fact, certain means are created through which one is able to acquire water and food. “Therefore, this phenomenon of means functions as I have just described. Means must be created to achieve one’s ends, because God has two names. Allah the Almighty states:
کَانَ اللّٰہُ عَزِیْزًا حَکِیْمًا
“[Allah is Mighty, Wise.] By virtue of His name Aziz (the Mighty), God does whatever is needed and the name Hakeem (the Wise) denotes that His every action is done with wisdom, and done properly and adequately in accordance with the appropriate time and place.
“Just observe how plants and vegetation possess diverse properties. Even a tolah [unit of measurement] or two of turpethum is enough to clear the bowels, so too is the case with scammonia. Allah the Exalted has the power to clear a person’s bowels without the use of any medicine, or to quench one’s thirst without water, but it was necessary for mankind to learn of the wonders of nature. For the extent to which a person increases in their awareness and knowledge of the wonders of nature, is the degree to which they are increased in their understanding of the attributes of Allah the Almighty; and this enables one to attain the nearness of God. Through medicine and astronomy we discover thousands of qualities present in nature.” (Malfuzat Vol. 1, pp. 120-121 [English edition, 2018])
If one ponders from a spiritual perspective, then for a scientist, who believes in one God, all of these various aspects of creation or any discovery they make will be a proof of the existence of Allah the Almighty and will become a means of strengthening their faith. However, an atheist will perhaps just describe it as a mere coincidence. The Promised Messiah(as) states that the reason why Allah the Almighty has revealed the wonders of nature is so that one understands that everything [in life] has a purpose.
“They ought to adopt a way of righteousness because it is righteousness alone that sums up the Shariah. If one were to briefly describe what ‘shariah’ means, it could be said that its essence is righteousness. There are many ranks and levels of righteousness. However, if a seeker faithfully traverses the elementary ranks and levels of piety with steadfastness and sincerity, they ultimately attain the highest grades due to their virtue and desire to seek the truth. Allah the Exalted states:
اِنَّمَا یَتَقَبَّلُ اللّٰہُ مِنَ الْمُتَّقِیْنَ
“That is to say, Allah Almighty accepts the prayers of those who are righteous. This is a divine promise and God never fails in His promise. In this context, He states:
اِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَا یُخْلِفُ الْمِیْعَادَ
“‘Surely, Allah fails not in His promise.’ Righteousness is a necessary precondition for the acceptance of prayer” and it cannot be separated or discarded or left out. “Now if a person desires acceptance of prayer in their own favour, despite their own negligence and misguidance, would such a one not be foolish and senseless? And so, it is incumbent upon our community that insofar as possible, each and every member must follow the ways of righteousness so that they can experience the pleasure and delight of the acceptance of prayer, and partake of an increase in faith.” (Malfuzat Vol. 1, pp. 104-105 [English edition, 2018])
Allah the Almighty states that one should believe in Him and it is then that their faith will continue to strengthen. Then, whilst explaining the various forms of beneficence, the Promised Messiah(as) states:
“One ought to remember that there are two forms of beneficence. Firstly, there is graciousness [rahmaniyyat]; and secondly, mercy [rahimiyyat]. The divine grace of rahmaniyyat is that which was in practice even before our beings came into existence. For example, before anything else, through the insight of His eternal knowledge, Allah the Almighty created a heaven and earth and other worldly things and heavenly bodies, which would all fulfil some purpose in our lives – and so they do. It is humans that ultimately benefit from all of these creations. When goats and sheep, and other animals are themselves beneficial to man, what benefit do they derive in the real sense?” All of these have been created for the benefit of man, they themselves do not derive any benefit as such.
“Among those things that are physical, just observe how humans consume many exquisite and excellent forms of food. High-quality meat is reserved for humans whereas scraps and bones are thrown to dogs. At a physical level, the pleasures and comforts that humans enjoy are experienced by animals as well, but they are the primary privilege of mankind. Animals do not partake of spiritual pleasure.” The spiritual pleasure is only experienced by humans and animals are not included in that.
“Hence, there are two forms of beneficence. Firstly, that which resulted, since the earliest times, even before our existence, in the creation of the elements and matter, and which are bound to our service. All of these things were present even before our own existence, human desire or prayer, by virtue of the demands of rahmaniyyat.” These were all present before us and before our human desire and prayer and this is all due to rahmaniyyat, i.e. the grace of Allah the Almighty.
“The second form of beneficence is divine mercy [rahimiyyat]; that is to say, when we pray, Allah the Exalted bestows. If one contemplates, it becomes evident that the relationship which underpins the law of nature is the exact relationship found to exist in prayer. Some people consider prayer to be a self-invented belief. However, I would also like to elaborate on the relationship that our prayer has with God Almighty.”
The Promised Messiah(as) explains the relationship man has with prayer, he states:
“When a child becomes restless with hunger and screams and wails for milk, a woman’s breast begins to fill with milk. A child has no conception of prayer, but how do the cries of a child bring forth milk? Everyone is experienced in this regard. At times, it has been noted that a mother feels no milk in her bosom, but as soon as her child cries, milk begins to flow forth. Now can our cries before Allah the Exalted bring forth nothing? Indeed, divine favour does flow forth and all our cries are heard, but those who are blind, and consider themselves to be scholars and philosophers are unable to see. If an individual keeps in mind the relationship that a child has with its mother and reflects over the philosophy of prayer, it becomes very simple and easy to understand. The second form of beneficence teaches us that one form of grace is received by asking for it. If a person continues to supplicate, they shall continue to receive. Allah the Exalted states:
[Supplicate and I shall accept.]
“This is not as an empty phrase; rather, this is an inherent characteristic of human nature.” (Malfuzat Vol. 1, pp. 125-126 [English edition, 2018])
Then explaining the significance that to supplicate is human and to respond is divine, the Promised Messiah(as) states:
“To supplicate is human and to respond is divine. A person who does not understand and accept this fact is false. The example of the child which I have just given (which was mentioned earlier) clarifies amply the philosophy of prayer. The beneficence of graciousness [rahmaniyyat] and mercy [rahimiyyat] are not two independent phenomena. Therefore, an individual who abandons one and seeks the other cannot benefit from either. The demands of graciousness are to develop within us the strength to benefit from the grace of God’s mercy.”
It is the grace of Allah the Almighty that He has revealed to us the various paths and granted us the means and grants us the strength for that which we are to receive by supplicating to Him. The grace of Allah the Almighty grants us the means to supplicate and to seek the grace of His mercy.
“One who does not do this is ungrateful for divine favour. The words:
mean that we worship Allah Alone, whilst always giving due consideration to the apparent ways and means that He has made available to us.”
We worship through those apparent ways and means; the Promised Messiah(as) then gives the example of the tongue. “Had the tongue, which is the product of our nerves and muscles”; i.e. the tongue is made up of nerves, arteries, saliva, muscles, etc. “not existed, we would not be able to speak.”
If one’s tongue becomes dry, they cannot speak. If it does not have veins or arteries, then it will not be able to produce saliva and will become dry and one will not be able to move their tongue as a result.
“We were granted a tongue, which, for the purpose of prayer, has the ability to articulate the very sentiments of our heart.” We have been granted a tongue to express the sentiments of the heart and through which we speak.
“If we never make use of our tongues to pray, this is our own misfortune. There are many illnesses, which if contracted by the tongue, can deprive it of its ability to function all at once, to the extent that a person becomes a mute. What a beautiful manifestation of divine mercy it is that we have been bestowed a tongue”. Or perhaps the word “divine grace” is written here in that Allah the Almighty has bestowed us with a tongue out of His divine grace and then He has taught us the proper method of its use and this is also owing to his mercy.
“Similarly, if the form of our ears become corrupted, we would not be able to hear a thing. So too is the case of the heart. If the state of fear and humility, and the faculties of contemplation and reflection with which man has been vested become corrupted, all these faculties, more or less, become useless. Just observe those who are mad and see how their faculties become futile. Is it not then incumbent upon us to value these God-given favours that we have been granted? If we abandon the faculties that Allah the Almighty has blessed us with on account of His immense grace, so that they should rot, then we are invariably ungrateful for the favours of God. Hence, remember that if you leave your faculties and strength to hang idly and offer prayer, then such supplications will be of no benefit. For when we have failed to make use of the gift that has already been bestowed to us, how can we be expected to make good and beneficial use of another?”
Through these examples, the Promised Messiah(as) has clearly explained that one ought to be grateful for His divine favours that He has bestowed upon them and utilise them in their best manner.
Moreover, one ought to pray to Allah the Almighty to be granted the ability to make proper use of these faculties and it is only then that one can truly do justice to his servitude to God. It is only then that one can truly be grateful for the divine favours and it is this very gratitude that enables one to become a recipient of Allah the Almighty’s grace. And then those faculties which are granted through His divine grace then enable one to partake of His divine mercy and one is able to witness the wonders of the acceptance of prayers.
Then, further expounding upon this, the Promised Messiah(as) states:
“Hence, the words:
“[Thee alone do we worship], proclaim that ‘O Lord of all the worlds! We have not abandoned the gift you have bestowed upon us already as a thing ruined and wasted.’ In the prayer:
“[Guide us on the right path] we have been taught that man should seek true insight from God Almighty. For if His grace and bounty do not come to our aid, we, as humble human beings, are plunged in such gloom and darkness that we cannot even make recourse to prayer.” It is the grace of Allah the Almighty that leads us to guidance and grants us help, otherwise man is extremely weak and is trapped in worldly endeavours and in its gloom and darkness. Such a person does not even have the opportunity to pray.
“Hence, until one derives benefit from the grace of God, which reaches them through the bounty of graciousness [rahmaniyyat], and prays, no fruitful result can be attained.” One has to pray to Allah the Almighty in order to come out from the darkness.
“I found, some time ago, that even in British law, in order to secure an agricultural loan, one is required to furnish proof of some assets.” Agricultural loan is taken by farmers. Even here, if one wants to take a loan or a mortgage they have to make some initial payment or give something as deposit. Thus, one is required to furnish proof of some assets and carry out some action from before.
“In the same manner, one ought to keep in view the law of nature and ask: have we made good use of that which has already been bestowed upon us? If having been blessed with reason, good sense, eyes and ears, we have not gone astray, and have not pursued ways of foolishness and ignorance, then you shall receive further divine grace through prayer.”
If one has not gone astray after having been granted all these faculties then when they pray, they will be granted further blessings.
“Otherwise there are warning signs of destitution and misfortune.” (Malfuzat Vol. 1, pp. 126- 128, [English edition, 2018])
If one does not make proper use of these faculties which we have been bestowed with, then prayers cannot be of any benefit, in fact in such an instance, one becomes deprived and unfortunate. Therefore, we ought to pay particular attention to this. The Promised Messiah(as) then further states:
“In short, the acceptance of prayer has parallels in the law of nature and in every era, He manifests living examples. It is for this very reason that God has taught us the prayer:
اِہْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِیْمَ۔ صِرَاطَ الَّذِیْنَ اَنْعَمْتَ عَلَیْہِمْ
“[Guide us in the right path — The path of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy blessings.] This is the will and law of God Almighty, which none can change. In the supplication:
اِہْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِیْمَ
“[Guide us in the right path], we ask God to perfect and complete our deeds. When one reflects upon these words, it apparently seems that this verse instructs us to employ the use of these words to supplicate so that we may be guided to the right path. However, prior to this verse, the words:
اِیَّاکَ نَعْبُدُ وَاِیَّاکَ نَسْتَعِیْنُ
“[Thee alone do we worship and Thee alone do we implore for Help] tell us to benefit from this instruction first. In other words, in order to traverse the stations of ‘the right path’, one must employ their untarnished faculties to seek help from Allah.”
“Thee alone do we worship and Thee alone do we implore for Help” signifies that if one wants to attain the “the right path” then they have to employ the faculties they have been granted by Allah the Almighty and seek help through them in order to follow “the right path”.
“Thus, regard for apparent means are also necessary and one who forsakes them is ungrateful for God’s blessings.” In order to perform virtuous deeds, one has to pray to Allah the Almighty. “[…] He granted us a tongue for prayer, which can articulate the sentiments and desires of our heart […]
“Similarly, God has instilled within the heart a nature of humility and meekness, and has invested it with the faculties of thought and reflection. Hence, remember that if we forsake these strengths and faculties in prayer, then such a supplication will be neither beneficial, nor effective; for when a person has made no use of the gift already granted to them, what benefit will they derive from another? This is why the words:
“[Thee alone do we worship] which precede:
“[Guide us in the right path] express that we have not left unused, nor wasted away the gifts and faculties already granted to us by God. Remember! The distinctive quality of graciousness [rahmaniyyat] is that it bestows the ability to benefit from the grace of mercy [rahimiyyat]. In this context, when God Almighty states:
اُدْعُوْنِیْٓ اَسْتَجِبْ لَکُمْ
“[Pray unto Me; I will answer your prayer], this is not a mere figure of speech; in fact, human dignity calls for it.
“To supplicate is human and to respond is divine. A person who does not accept this is unjust.
“Prayer is a state of such bliss that unfortunately, I am at a loss to find the words with which I can fully describe this joy and pleasure before the world. This can only be understood when one experiences it themselves. In short, among the conditions of prayer, firstly it is incumbent that one performs good deeds and believes. For such a one who prays without first rectifying their beliefs and performing good deeds, puts God to test, as it were. So the fact is that in the prayer:
“[Guide us in the right path] the object is to implore God so that He may perfect and complete our actions. Then, with the words:
صِرَاطَ الَّذِیْنَ اَنْعَمْتَ عَلَیْہِمْ
“[The path of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy blessings] it is made even more clear that we seek guidance to the path of those upon whom God has bestowed His blessings; we implore God to save us from the path of those who have incurred divine displeasure and who, on account of their evil deeds, are the subject of God’s chastisement. Furthermore, reference to those who have erred indicates that we have been taught to pray so that we may be safeguarded from going astray, for without God’s support, we would wander in misguidance.” (Malfuzat Vol. 1, pp. 206-207 [English edition, 2018])
Therefore, when one recites the Surah al-Faithah, they should ponder over this and pray in this manner.
Then whilst explaining that one should take the apparent means into consideration during prayer, the Promised Messiah(as) states:
“Take heed! The prayer which is referred to in the verse:
“[Pray unto Me; I will answer your prayer] is one which requires the spirit that I have just described. If a person’s supplications and humble expressions do not possess a spirit of sincerity, they are nothing more than squawks. Can anyone say that there is no need to make use of means? This is a misconception. The Shariah does not prohibit the use of means and if you ask, is prayer not also a means? Or, are means not synonymous with prayer? The very search for means is in itself a prayer, and prayer in itself is a magnificent fountain of means! The physical design of humans, i.e. the form of their two hands and two feet, naturally guide and lead us to understand that we have been created to help one another. When this design can be observed in humans themselves, how astonishing and surprising would it be if one finds it difficult to understand the purport of the following verse:
تَعَاوَنُوْا عَلَى الْبِرِّ وَالتَّقْوٰى
“[And help one another in righteousness and piety.] Indeed, I proclaim that you even ought to search for means through prayer! In the context of helping your fellow man, I would not expect you to reject my conclusion, when I have pointed out the internal system established by Allah the Almighty which exists in your physical bodies and which serves as a perfect guide in this respect.
“In order to clarify and further expound this fact to mankind, Allah the Exalted has instituted a system of Prophets, peace be upon them, on earth. It was and is within the power of Allah Almighty that if He so wills, He would have left the Prophets with no need to seek any form of assistance in their task. Yet, still there comes a time when they are left with no choice but to announce:
مَنْ اَنْصَارِیْٓ اِلَى اللّٰہِ
“[Who are my helpers in the cause of Allah?] Do the Prophets make this call in the form of a beggar who goes from house to house collecting scraps of bread? Not at all! Even in the words ‘Who are my helpers in the way of Allah,’ there is majesty and grace. In actual fact, through this announcement, the Prophets desire to teach the people the importance of seeking recourse to apparent means, which is an aspect of prayer. Otherwise, they have complete and perfect faith and belief in the promises of Allah the Almighty. They know that the following promise of Allah the Exalted is definite and categorical:
اِنَّا لَنَنْصُرُ رُسُلَنَا وَالَّذِیْنَ اٰمَنُوْا فِی الْحَیٰوۃِ الدُّنْیَا
“‘Most surely We help Our Messengers and those who believe in the present life.’ And I believe that if God does not move a person’s heart to help another, how could anyone be motivated to do so?” (Malfuzat Vol. 1, pp. 164-166 [English edition, 2018])
Thus, even the prophets require the use of apparent means, but they prostrate before Allah the Almighty and it is Allah the Almighty Himself Who grants them those means by inspiring the hearts of people and thereby grants them excellent helpers, who further their mission.
Explaining the purpose and importance of Salat in relation to prayer, the Promised Messiah(as) states:
“The actual purpose and essence of the Prayer is supplication, and supplication is a phenomenon that accords with the law of nature established by God Almighty. You may commonly observe that when a child weeps and cries and expresses anxiousness, a mother becomes extremely restless as well and gives the child milk. The relationship between divinity [uluhiyyat] and servitude [ubudiyyat] is similar in nature and cannot be understood by everyone. When a person falls at the gate of God Almighty with extreme humility, lowliness and meekness and presents his circumstances before God and requests his needs from Him, the grace that is inherent in divinity surges forth and shows mercy to such a person. The milk of God’s bounty and grace also requires tears.” (Malfuzat Vol. 2, pp. 67-68 [English edition, 2019])
“Those who suggest that there is no use in crying and weeping before God Almighty are false and incorrect in their view. Such people do not believe in the Being of Allah the Almighty, and in His attributes of power and control. If they developed true faith, they would never say such a thing. Whenever anyone has come in the presence of God, and has turned to Him with sincere repentance, Allah the Exalted has showered His grace on such a one. The man who has said the following verse is true indeed:
عاشق کہ شد کہ یار بحالش نظر نہ کرد
اے خواجہ! دردنیست وگرنہ طبیب ہست
“‘What sort of a lover is he whose state does not draw in the attention of the beloved; Honourable sir! The pain simply does not exist, for the physician is at hand.’
“God Almighty has always desired that you come to Him with a pure heart. The only condition is for you to make yourselves accord with Him and bring about within yourselves that true transformation which makes a person worthy of being presented before God Almighty.
“God Almighty possesses the most remarkable and wondrous of powers and He possesses boundless grace and blessings. But develop the eye of love so that you can see them and receive them. If a person possesses true love, God Almighty listens to prayers in abundance and bestows His support.” (Malfuzat Vol. 2, p. 68 [English edition, 2019])
In praise of the believers, Allah the Almighty states:
یَذْکُرُوْنَ اللّٰہَ قِیٰمًا وَّ قُعُوْدًا وَّ عَلٰى جُنُوْبِہِمْ وَیَتَفَکَّرُوْنَ فِیْ خَلْقِ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَالْاَرْضِ رَبَّنَا مَا خَلَقْتَ ہٰذَا بَاطِلًا
“That is, the believers are those who remember Allah standing, sitting, and [lying] on their sides, and ponder over the creation of the heavens and the earth and when the intricacies of the universe are made manifest to them, they say, ‘Our Lord, Thou hast not created this in vain.’
“In other words, such believers do not just look at the creation of the universe and its intricacies like worldly people and simply ponder as to how it looks, the size of its radius, the nature of its gravitational pull and its relation with the sun, moon and stars; rather, upon learning of the absolute perfection in its creation and discovering the intricacies of the universe, they seek to find its creator and strengthen their faith.” (Surma Chashma Arya, Ruhani Khazain Vol. 2, pp. 191-192)
In other words, after acquiring knowledge, they prostate before Allah the Almighty just as I mentioned earlier and they continue to strengthen their faith. This is a notable and distinct quality of a true believer.
These are just some aspects which I have presented from a great treasure which the Promised Messiah(as) has given to us and shed some light on the importance of prayer, its wisdom, method and its philosophy. If we begin to understand these then we will be able to bring about an extraordinary change within ourselves; develop a special bond with Allah the Almighty and become the recipient of Allah the Almighty’s blessings.
Thus, in this Ramadan we ought to strive to attain the nearness of Allah the Almighty by fulfilling His commandments and to continue strengthening in our faith.
May we develop a true understanding of the wisdom and philosophy of prayer and bring about a reformation in our actions. May we be counted amongst those whose prayers are answered by Allah the Almighty. May this Ramadan enable us to bring about an extraordinary transformation in our relationship with Allah the Almighty and in our spiritual conditions.
Pray for your fellow brothers as well. I often request prayers for them whether they are living in Pakistan, Algeria or anywhere else in the world and are being made to endure hardships owing to their belief in Ahmadiyyat.
In Pakistan, there are incidents occurring on a daily basis whereby Ahmadis are made to suffer hardships in some form or another.
Therefore, particularly pray for them.
Similarly, in Algeria they are trying to reopen the cases [against Ahmadis]; may Allah the Almighty also keep them in His protection.
Praying for others enables one’s own prayers to be accepted; therefore, one should always keep this point in mind. In fact, the angels pray for those who pray for others. Thus, how beneficial a deal it is in that the angels pray for such an individual. Therefore, one ought to particularly pray for others and not just pray for themselves.
May Allah the Almighty grant us the ability to do this, particularly during this Ramadan.
Original Urdu transcript published in Al Fazl International, 7 May 2021, pp. 5-11. Translation prepared by The Review of Religions.