Sunday, June 21, 2015

Why we Muslims pray the way we pray....

An onlooker (Muhammad Asad -- before Islam), unfamiliar with the Islamic mode of prayer, asked a simple Muslim:

"Might it not be better only to look into one's self and to pray to Him in the stillness of one's heart? Why all these movements of your body?"

This was his response....

1. 'How else should we worship God? Did He not create us both, soul and body, together? And this being so,should man not pray with his body as well with his soul? Listen, I will tell you why we Muslims pray the way we pray.

2. We turn toward the Kaaba, God's holy temple in Mecca, knowing that the faces of all Muslims, wherever they may be, are turned to it in prayer, and that we are like one body, with Him as the center of our thoughts.

3. First we stand upright and recite from the holy Qur'an, remembering that it is His word, given to man that he may be upright and steadfast in life.

4. Then we say "God is the Greatest,"  reminding ourselves that no one deserves to be worshipped but Him; and bow down deep because we honor Him above all, and praise His power and glory.

5. Thereafter we prostrate ourselves on our foreheads because we feel that we are but dust and nothingness before Him, and that He is our Creator and Sustainer on High.

6. Then we lift our faces from the ground and remain sitting, praying that He forgive us our sins and bestow His grace upon us, and guide us aright, and give us health and sustenance.

7. Then we again prostrate ourselves on the ground and touch the dust with our foreheads before the Might and the Glory of the One.

8. After that, we remain sitting and pray that He bless the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him) who brought His message to us, just as He blessed the earlier Prophets; and that He bless us as well, and all those who follow the right guidance;and we ask Him to give us the good of this world and of the good of the world to come.

9. In the end we turn our heads to the right and to the left, saying,"Peace and the grace of God be upon you" -- and thus greet all who are righteous, wherever they may be.

10. It was thus that our Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) used to pray and taught his followers to pray for all times, so that they might willingly surrender themselves to God -- which is what Islam means -- and so be at peace with Him and with their own destiny.' [The Road to Mecca by Muhammad Asad]

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