The Reality of Prayer

Prayer is in reality a Light. The person praying becomes illuminated with this Light when he stands hand-folded in the presence of Allah and recites the verses and sacred words of the Holy Qur'an. This light brings before your eyes clearly the hidden evils and vices which used to affect your life without being felt, with the obvious result that they now attract your attention and make your heart disturbed and disgusted. You have now to find out if the eruption of these evil emotions and ill thoughts are intentional or unintentional. They are undoubtedly unintentional, because you do not at all like them, but consider them to be a hindrance in your prayer. Notwithstanding this disgusting situation, there is no disturbance in the apparent performance of the elements of the prayer for which alone you have been made responsible and for no more than this. When you have performed satisfactorily the elements of the prayer. you have, in fact, completed your prayer. As regaras the uncontrollable evil thoughts and ideas, they have no effect on the performance of the prayer. So rest assured that your prayer is complete and acceptable. At the end of the prayer you should also repent for the undesirable thoughts which were beyond your control. Now you have played your part and you need not worry any more.

You should also consider that it is only during prayer that foul thoughts and ideas assail you. Why do they not come upon you during your activities other than prayer? It seems as if the prayer assumes the central position. We have come to know that these uncontrollable thoughts and ideas contain some advantages for you. One of these advantages may be that you realize your inherent weaknesses and this realisation in turn, creates in you a sense of repentance and softening of the heart which urge you to seek, in all humbleness and submission, Allah's pardon. Thus to turn to Allah in repentance is a most desirable and welcome trend in a servant of Allah.

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