PRAYER IN THE QURAN – Sample Book
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – PRAYER IN THE QURAN
Now writing under the pen-name of HARUN YAHYA, he was born in Ankara in 1956. Having completed his primary and secondary education in Ankara, he studied arts at Istanbul’s Mimar Sinan University and philosophy at Istanbul University. Since the 1980s, he has published many books on political, scientific, and faith-related issues. Harun Yahya is well-known as the author of important works disclosing the imposture of evolutionists, their invalid claims, and the dark liaisons between Darwinism and such bloody ideologies as fascism and communism.
His pen-name is a composite of the names Harun (Aaron) and Yahya (John), in memory of the two esteemed Prophets who fought against their people’s lack of faith. The Prophet’s seal on the his books’ covers is symbolic and is linked to the their contents. It represents the Qur’an (the final scripture) and the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), last of the prophets. Under the guidance of the Qur’an and the Sunnah (teachings of the Prophet), the author makes it his purpose to disprove each fundamental tenet of godless ideologies and to have the “last word,” so as to completely silence the objections raised against religion. He uses the seal of the final Prophet, who attained ultimate wisdom and moral perfection, as a sign of his intention to offer the last word.
All of Harun Yahya’s works share one single goal: to convey the Qur’ an’s message, encourage readers to consider basic faith-related issues such as Allah’s Existence and Unity and the hereafter; and to expose godless systems’ feeble foundations and perverted ideologies.
Harun Yahya enjoys a wide readership in many countries, from India to America, England to Indonesia, Poland to Bosnia, and Spain to Brazil. Some of his books are available in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Urdu, Arabic, Albanian, Russian, Serbo-Croat (Bosnian), Polish, Malay, Uygur Turkish, and Indonesian.
Greatly appreciated all around the world, these works have been instrumental in many people recovering faith in Allah and gaining deeper insights into their faith. His books’ wisdom and sincerity, together with a distinct style that’s easy to understand, directly affect anyone who reads them. Those who seriously consider these books, can no longer advocate atheism or any other perverted ideology or materialistic philosophy, since these books are characterized by rapid effectiveness, definite results, and irrefutability. Even if they continue to do so, it will be only a sentimental insistence, since these books refute such ideologies from their very foundations. All contemporary movements of denial are now ideologically defeated, thanks to the books written by Harun Yahya.
This is no doubt a result of the Qur’an’s wisdom and lucidity. The author modestly intends to serve as a means in humanity’s search for Allah’s right path. No material gain is sought in the publication of these works.
Those who encourage others to read these books, to open their minds and hearts and guide them to become more devoted servants of Allah, render an invaluable service.
Meanwhile, it would only be a waste of time and energy to propagate other books that create confusion in people’s minds, lead them into ideological chaos, and that clearly have no strong and precise effects in removing the doubts in people’s hearts, as also verified from previous experience. It is impossible for books devised to emphasize the author’s literary power rather than the noble goal of saving people from loss of faith, to have such a great effect. Those who doubt this can readily see that the sole aim of Harun Yahya’s books is to overcome
disbelief and to disseminate the Qur’an’s moral values. The success and impact of this service are manifested in the readers’ conviction.
One point should be kept in mind: The main reason for the continuing cruelty, conflict, and other ordeals endured by the vast majority of people is the ideological prevalence of disbelief. This can be ended only with the ideological defeat of disbelief and by conveying the wonders of creation and Qur’anic morality so that people can live by it. Considering the state of the world today, leading into a downward spiral of violence, corruption and conflict, clearly this service must be provided speedily and effectively, or it may be too late.
In this effort, the books of Harun Yahya assume a leading role. By the will of Allah, these books will be a means through which people in the twentyfirst century will attain the peace, justice, and happiness promised in the Qur’an.
TO THE READER
A special chapter is assigned to the collapse of the theory of evolution because this theory constitutes the basis of all anti-spiritual philosophies. Since Darwinism rejects the fact of creation—and therefore, Allah’s Existence—over the last 140 years it has caused many people to abandon their faith or fall into doubt. It is therefore an imperative service, a very important duty to show everyone that this theory is a deception. Since some readers may find the chance to read only one of our book, we think it appropriate to devote a chapter to summarize this subject.
All the author’s books explain faith-related issues in light of Qur’anic verses, and invite readers to learn Allah’s words and to live by them. All the subjects concerning Allah’s verses are explained so as to leave no doubt or room for questions in the reader’s mind. The books’ sincere, plain, and fluent style ensure that everyone of every age and from every social group can easily understand them. Thanks to their effective, lucid narrative, they can be read at a one sitting. Even those who rigorously reject spirituality are influenced by the facts these books document and cannot refute the truthfulness of their contents.
This and all the other books by the author can be read individually, or discussed in a group. Readers eager to profit from the books will find discussion very useful, letting them relate their reflections and experiences to one another.
In addition, it will be a great service to Islam to contribute to the publication and reading of these books, written solely for the pleasure of Allah. The author’s books are all extremely convincing. For this reason, to communicate true religion to others, one of the most effective methods is encouraging them to read these books.
We hope the reader will look through the reviews of his other books at the back of this book. His rich source material on faith-related issues is very useful, and a pleasure to read.
In these books, unlike some other books, you will not find the author’s personal views, explanations based on dubious sources, styles that are unobservant of the respect and reverence due to sacred subjects, nor
hopeless, pessimistic arguments that create doubts in the mind and deviations in the heart.
A re you close enough to Allah, the One Who created you and placed you in this world, endowing you with wisdom and a body? When was the last time you prayed to Him? Do you plead to Allah only when you are in trouble, or do you always keep your mind occupied with His remembrance?
Are you aware that Allah is very close to you, that He knows everything you think about or whisper? Do you think of Him as your Lord, just as He is the Lord of all people? Or that He is your most intimate friend and provider and that you should ask for anything from Him?
Whatever your answer to these questions , you will benefit from reading this book, for it seeks to explain how close Allah is to His servants and the kind of prayer He asks from them. Allah stresses the importance of prayer with the verse, “… Say: ‘What has My Lord to do with you if you do not call on Him?'” (Surat al- Furqan: 77). Our Prophet (saas) also reminded Muslims of prayer with the words “There is nothing more dear to Allah than a servant praying to Him.” (Tirmidhi) There are no limits to praying to Allah and drawing close to Him, which explains why understanding prayer and being dedicated to it benefits everyone.
Prayer is the bond between Allah and people. Humankind inherently possesses the need to establish a bond with Allah: this is their very nature. Praying is an essential and natural part of a believer’s life, though the majority of people only think of praying during times of insurmountable distress. Allah prefers that we pray to Him during times of ease as well as in times of severe hardship. For this reason, the Qur’an gives a detailed account of how to pray to Allah sincerely.
In the Qur’an, 209 verses refer to praying directly or indirectly, which indicates how important prayer is.
As one reads these verses, he or she can better understand the essential nature of this form of worship.
Prayer Described in the Qur’an
Prayer means “calling on, addressing, making a fervent request, asking for help.” In the Qur’an, prayer is also described as “turning to Allah with all one’s soul” or the “acknowledgement of one’s weaknesses and limited power before Allah’s infinite might, and asking for help from Him.”
Anyone who has faith in Allah prays to Him in one way or another. However, the majority of people turn to prayer as a last resort, after having exhausted all possible alternatives during times of trouble or stress. Once the hardship is over, they forget about remembering Allah and imploring Him, until the next time they experience trouble.
There are other people who misunderstand prayer completely. For them, prayer is some incomprehensible ritual taught by the family’s elderly members. They do not think about Allah’s existence, greatness and might while praying. They scarcely remember that Allah always sees and hears people, and that He answers prayers. They repeat memorized words without giving any thought to them. However, the form of prayer that Allah describes in the Qur’an, which is the subject of this book, is quite different.
According to the Qur’an, praying is the simplest way to reach Allah. Now let’s remind ourselves of some of the attributes of Allah. He is the One Who is closer to people than their jugular vein, the One Who knows and hears everything… Not even a single inner thought of human beings remains hidden to Allah. This being the case, only thinking suffices to ask for something from Him. This shows how easy it is to get in contact with Allah.
Allah is pleased as long as people retain the consciousness of being Allah’s servant. For this reason, turning to Allah, confessing one’s mistakes to Him and asking for help only from Him are essentials of being Allah’s servant. A contrary attitude means growing arrogant towards Allah, which, according to the Qur’an, leads to an eternal torment in Hell.
In our day, as is the case with some other forms of worship, prayer is perceived by many as an obsolete tradition. This notion has been reinforced by the idea that the world is self-contained and independent of Allah. Some people assume that they, or the people around them, have control over the events they encounter throughout their lives, so they do not feel the need to pray to Allah until they encounter a disaster or come close to death. This is a delusion, which in some cases drags people to the point of perceiving prayer as a kind of sorcery that has survived to our day. The fact is that prayer is a form of worship that permeates every aspect of one’s life.
All people, without exception, are in need of prayer. It is only f lawed thinking to assume that a poor person trying to survive under harsh living conditions needs prayer more than a well -off person. It is erroneous to think that someone who has attained everything he or she desired does not need prayer, for such a conviction limits the meaning of prayer to satisfaction of worldly desires. Believers pray both for their life in this world and the next. Prayer is accompanied by putting one’s trust in Allah, for which reason a person who prays acquires the consciousness that the Creator and Judge of the universe is in charge of the events they encounter, whether minor or significant. Awareness that all the methods to cope with or prevent a problem rests with Allah, the All -Mighty, and thus putting one’s trust in Him and praying to Him alone, instills a sense of relief and security in a believer.
PRAYER IN THE QUR’ANIC SENSE
D o you recall when was the last time you prayed?… Readers’ answers may vary, but what is common to all is that most people pray, at one time or another. Indeed, people can pray to Allah, our Lord, at any time and in any place they like, for anything they wish. Allah calls attention to the fact that people can pray and remember Him anywhere they wish:
Those who remember Allah, standing, sitting and lying on their sides, and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth, [saying]: “Our Lord, You have not created this for nothing. Glory be to You! So safeguard us from the punishment of the Fire. Our Lord, those You cast into the Fire, You have indeed disgraced. The wrongdoers will have no helpers. Our Lord, we heard a caller calling us to faith: “Have faith in your Lord!’ and we had faith. Our Lord, forgive us our wrong actions, erase our bad actions from us and take us back to You with those who are truly good. Our Lord, give us what You promised us through Your Messengers, and do not disgrace us on the Day of Rising. You do not break Your promise.” Their Lord responds to them: “I will not let the deeds of any doer among you go to waste, male or female…” (Surah Al Imran: 191-195)
In the Qur’an, Allah describes the kind of prayer He most likes, which we will explain below.
Praying Humbly, Without Loudness of Voice
When you are in distress or feel desperate and thus feel the need to pray to Allah, where would you like to pray? Surely, the solitude of one’s own room at night or a very tranquil place that will give you the sense of Allah’s nearness would be the place you are looking for.
While worshipping, spiritual integrity can best be attained in a time and place that offers secure undivided attention. A person who feels the need to pray to Allah for the correction of his or her mistakes prefers to be alone and pray in secret. The Prophet Zakariyya’s prayers, through which he asked for a descendant, is an example of secret prayer:
When he called on his Lord in secret and said, “My Lord, my bones have lost their strength and my head is crowned with white, but in calling on You, My Lord, I have never been disappointed.” (Surah Maryam: 3-4)
As stated above, prayer is “accepting one’s weaknesses and limited power before Allah’s infinite might and asking for help from Him.” For this reason, prayer demands absolute consciousness and acceptance of one’s weaknesses and destitution before Allah. In this sense, there is no doubt that one will fail to attain such
consciousness if one is insincere. In the Qur’an, Allah recommends believers to pray humbly and secretly:
Call on your Lord humbly and secretly. He does not love those who overstep the limits. (Surat
al- A’raf: 55)
Remember your Lord in yourself humbly and with awe, without loudness of voice, morning and evening. Do not be one of the unaware. Those who are in the presence of your Lord do not consider themselves too great to worship Him. They glorify His praise and they prostrate to Him… (Surat al- A’raf: 205-206)
In the Qur’an, Allah calls our attention to solitary prayer that is performed with a deep feeling of dire need. In this sense, the place, the sophistication of the outward performance, the number of participants, or the supplicants’ loud voice can by no means be the criteria for a successful prayer.
One must be aware that a loud voice in prayer is not an element that makes it heard by Allah. As already mentioned, Allah, the All-Knowing, knows even our inner thoughts and He is closer to us than our jugular vein. In this sense, it is needless to raise our voice so as to be heard by our Lord Who is close to us. One can either pray secretly or in a tone of voice audible only to oneself.
From the verses below we understand that both while praying or going about our daily business, a person needs to use his or her voice at a moderate level:
Be moderate in your tread and lower your voice. The most hateful of voices is the donkey’s bray. (Surah Luqman: 19)
Say: “Call on Allah or call on the All-Merciful, whichever you call upon, the Most Beautiful Names are His.” Do not be too loud in your prayer or too quiet in it, but try to find a way between the two. (Surat al-Isra: 110)
As the verses reveal, the form of worship described in the Qur’an is far from ostentation. It is not performed to impress people: the sole purpose is the due fulfillment of one’s duty towards the Creator. The Qur’an emphasizes this point strongly. In verses related to prayer, there are strong references to “calling on Allah, making one’s religion sincerely His,” which means, performing one’s prayer to earn Allah’s good pleasure alone and not seeking any other purpose. We can see this from verses such as the following:
He is the Living—there is no god but Him—so call on Him, making your religion sincerely His.
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all the worlds. (Surah Ghafir: 65)
So call upon Allah, making your religion sincerely His, even though the disbelievers detest it. (Surah Ghafir: 14)
Say: “My Lord has commanded justice. Stand and face Him in every mosque and call on Him,
making your religion sincerely His. As He originated you, so you will return.” (Surat al-A’raf: 29)
Feeling Allah’s Existence While Praying
One of the essentials of prayer is having firm faith in Allah. In situations in which one feels desperate, people feel no doubt about Allah’s existence and His help. Yet a person ought also to feel Allah’s existence, might and grandeur while praying during times of ease. In fact, not only during prayer, but at every instant of daily life, a believer should retain this awareness. At every moment he must feel Allah’s existence and closeness and pray, for only someone who is cognizant of Allah’s existence acknowledges the meaning and importance of prayer. Prayer is an intimate and personal bond between people and Allah. Through prayer, people express all their troubles and wishes to Allah and implore Him to assist them. In return, Allah answers His servants’ prayer.
As said earlier, prayer in the Qur’anic sense can by no means be limited to a few rituals. As the verse “… remember Allah standing, sitting and lying on your sides.” (Surat an-Nisa: 103) maintains, one can bring Allah to mind and pray to Him at any time and under all conditions, without necessarily performing any particular ritual or ceremony. That is because what matters is not the outward performance but one’s sincerity.
Misunderstanding this strips prayer of its actual meaning and causes it to be perceived as a form of magic or spell. We can see this by the superstitious practices of some ignorant people such as fastening clothes to trees or blowing into water. It is well to remember that superstition is the opposite of the Qur’anic rationale. Instead of directly turning to Allah and asking for their needs from Him, these ignorant people devise some superstitious rituals or symbols and pray through these means. Meanwhile, they are unaware on whom they call. They attribute supernatural power to those objects they pray to, yet they fail to describe the nature of this power. This includes the superstitious practice of visiting tombs and praying to the dead to ask for help, whereas visiting tombs should be to remind us of death and the power of Allah.
A believer who complies with Allah’s command which says, “Remember the Name of your Lord, and devote yourself to Him completely.” (Surat al-Muzzammil: 8) turns to Allah alone, and submits and pleads to Him.
The Prophet Isa’s (as) Prayers
The Qur’an refers to Isa (as) as follows:
… His name is the Messiah, ‘Isa, son of Maryam, of high esteem in the world and the hereafter, and one of those brought near. (Surah Al Imran: 45)
In the Qur’an, Isa’s (as) disciples asked for a table of food from Allah. This event, which is related in Surat al-Ma’ida (Ma’ida means “table” in Arabic), is as follows:
And when the Disciples said, ”Isa son of Maryam! Can your Lord send down a table to us out of heaven?” He said, “Heed Allah if you are believers!” They said, “We want to eat from it and for our hearts to be at peace and to know that you have told us the truth and to be among those who witness it.” (Surat al- Ma’ida: 112-113)
Beneath this request lies the disciples’ desire to see a miraculous event. Isa (as) told them the superfluousness of this wish. However, they insisted, saying that this way their hearts would be at peace. Upon this, Isa (as) called to Allah and while doing this, remembered Him with His beautiful names. The Qur’an states this prayer of Isa (as) as follows:
‘Isa son of Maryam said, “Allah, our Lord, send down a table to us out of heaven to be a feast for us, for the first and last of us, and as a Sign from You. Provide for us! You are the Best of Providers!” (Surat al-Mai’da: 114)
Allah answered Isa’s (as) call and commanded Him:
Allah said, “I will send it down to you but if anyone among you disbelieve after that, I will punish him with a punishment the like of which I will not inflict on anyone else in all the worlds!” (Surat al-Mai’da: 115)
Isa’s (as) other prayer conveyed in Surat al-Ma’ida shows us how he asked for forgiveness and protection for his disciples:
And when Allah says, ”’Isa son of Maryam! Did you say to people, ‘Take me and my mother as gods besides Allah?'” he will say, “Glory be to You! It is not for me to say what I have no right to say! If I had said it, then You would have known it. You know what is in my self but I do not know what is in Your Self. You are the Knower of all unseen things.”
“I said to them nothing but what You ordered me to say: ‘Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.’ I was a witness against them as long as I remained among them, but when You took me back to You, You were the One watching over them. You are Witness of all things. If You punish them, they are Your servants. If you forgive them, You are the Almighty, the All-Wise.” (Surat al-Mai’da: 116-118)
The Prophet Muhammad’s (saas) Prayers Related in the Qur’an
The Prophet Muhammad (saas), who is praised in the Qur’an with the verse, “Indeed you are truly vast in character.” (Surat al-Qalam:4) spared some of his night-time for the remembrance of Allah and worshipping. This is expressed in one of the verses as follows:
Your Lord knows that you stay up nearly two-thirds of the night—or half of it, or a third of it— and a group of those with you. Allah determines the night and day. He knows you will not keep count of it, so He has turned towards you… (Surat al-Muzzammil: 20)
The Qur’an relates to us the Prophet Muhammad’s (saas) love for believers. In the following verse, Allah commands him to ask for forgiveness for believers:
It is a mercy from Allah that you were gentle with them. If you had been rough or hard of heart, they would have scattered from around you. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them, and consult with them about the matter. Then when you have reached a firm decision, put your trust in Allah. Allah loves those who put their trust in Him. (Surah Al Imran: 159)
Many verses refer to the Prophet Muhammad’s (saas) prayers. One of them reads as follows:
Say, “O Allah! Master of the Kingdom! You give sovereignty to whoever You will You take sovereignty from whoever You will. You exalt whoever You will You abase whoever You will. All
good is in Your hands. You have power over all things.” (Surah Al Imran: 26)…
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