Religious Concepts

Gems of the Promised Messiah & Imam Mahdi (as) – The Concept of Two Matters Essential for Prayer

True worshippers know well that a concept of these two matters is essential for prayer: first, that God Almighty has the power to foster and to develop and to bestow mercy and reward and that these perfect attributes of His are always in operation; and secondly, that man can achieve nothing without the help and support of the Divine. These two concepts are such that when they are established in the heart at the time of prayer they work such a change in the condition of the worshipper that, being affected by them, an arrogant one falls on the earth and tears start running from the eyes of a haughty hard-hearted one. This is the machine that puts life in a heedless dead person. Through these two concepts every heart is drawn towards prayer. This is the spiritual means through which the soul of a person turns towards God and observes its own weakness and the need of the help of God. Through it a person arrives at such a stage of selflessness in which no sign of his own opaque existence remains and the glory of a Great Being shines forth and that Being appears as All-Merciful and the Support of every being and the Remedy of every ill and the Source of every grace. At last, a condition of being lost in God manifests itself in consequence of which a person is left with no inclination towards any part of creation, or towards his own self, or towards his own designs, and is wholly lost in the love of God. By the manifestation of that reality, one’s own existence and the existence of the rest of creation appear as naught. This condition is called the straight path by God, which a servant has been instructed to seek through the supplication:

ٱهۡدِنَا ٱلصِّرَٰطَ ٱلۡمُسۡتَقِيمَ


That is to say: Bestow upon us that path of losing of self and of unity of God and love of God which has been indicated in the previous verses and cut us asunder altogether from everything beside Thee.

In short, God Almighty has bestowed such true means upon man for creating eagerness in prayer that through their adoption a supplicant is transported from the consciousness of self to the world of non-existence. It should be borne in mind that the Surah al-Fatihah is not merely one of the many means for seeking guidance, but as has been established by the arguments that have been already set forth, it is the only means by the adoption of which prayer is offered with the eagerness of the heart and which the nature of man desires to follow under the urge of a natural demand.

The truth is that as God has appointed rules for other matters, there is a particular rule for prayer and that rule is set out in the Surah al-Fatihah. It is not possible that there should be eagerness in prayer unless the factors that inspire the heart with eagerness are present to the mind. Thus, the natural way of prayer is that which is set out in the Surah al-Fatihah. It is one of the excellences of that surah that it sets out prayer along with those factors that inspire it.


[1] Holy Qur’an, 1:6

Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), The Essence of Islam – Volume II (Tilford, Surrey: Islam International Publications Ltd., 2004), 231-233.