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Faith in Prayer

Faith in Prayer (Mahmud Mujir Asghar) The Messengers of God and their companions have always called upon their Creator in times of distress with full confidence that their prayers would be accepted. They were never disappointed. The Holy Quran provides many instances. The father of Abraham was an idolator who along with other idol worshippers severely rebuked Abraham for his worship of the One True God. He did not lose heart but prayed: “And I will pray unto my Lord. Maybe that in praying to my Lord I shall not be disappointed.” (19:14). Zachariah, the father of John the Baptist, was very old and anxiously wanted a son although he knew his wife was old and barren. Nevertheless he prayed to God: “When he called upon his Lord in a low voice he said, ‘My Lord, my bones have indeed become feeble and my head is all aflame with hoariness but never, my Lord, have I been unblessed in my prayer to Thee.” (19:4,5). Jacob grieved much over the loss of his son Joseph but continued praying for forty years. He said to his other sons: “Despair not of the mercy of Allah; for none despairs of Allah’s mercy save the disbelieving people.” (12:88). Although there appeared to be no apparent hope that Joseph would ever turn up again his faith in prayer never wavered: “Surely I perceive the scent of Joseph, even though you take me to be a dotard.” (12:95). At moments of great affliction the Prophets of God and their companions 38 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS never complained nor did they seek help and guidance from anyone other than God. We read how Job turned to God in his affliction: “And remember our servant Job, when he cried unto his Lord: ‘Satan has afflicted me with toil and torment.'” (38:42). Here Satan can mean a cruel and tyrannical idol worshipper as was the case with the ruler of the land in which Job lived. Similarly Jacob turned only to God in his grief: “I only complain of my sorrow and my grief to Allah, and I know from Allah that which you know not.” (12:87). It is also pertinent to mention that whenever an evil design was planned against a Prophet he always sought guidance and protection from God. When Abraham was threatened and almost thrown into the blazing fire he called on nobody except God: “And he said, ‘I am going to my Lord. He will surely guide me.'” (37:100). Similarly when Pharaoh and his hosts seemed to be about to catch up with Moses and the fleeing Israelites, his companions said “We are surely caught.” Moses replied: “Never!” said he, ‘My Lord is with me; He will guide me to safety.’ ” (26:63). The Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) and his companion Abu Bakr took refuge in a cave while migrating from Mecca due to severe persecution. Their pursuers reached the entrance of the cave. Abu Bakr feared they would be discovered but the Holy Prophet comforted him with the words: “Grieve not, for Allah is with us.” (9:40). The enemy decided not to enter the cave. It should be remembered carefully that acceptance of prayers depends to a great extent on the acceptance of the appointed Prophet of the time and also that of his successors. Those persons should always pray for one another. God instructed the Holy Prophet: “Take alms out of their wealth, so that thou mayest cleanse them and purify them thereby. And pray for them, thy prayer is indeed a FAITH IN PRAYER source of tranquillity for them. And Allah is All Hearing, All Knowing.” (9:103). 39 It is for this reason that Ahmadi Muslims repeatedly request Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, fourth successor of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad – the Promised Messiah, for his blessed prayers. Most Excellent of Prophets What a noble man! What a comely man! His breath smells like the breath of flowers. God is visible in his face, Such are his virtues, such is his case. That is why he is loved. Indeed his virtues demand that he should be loved to the exclusion of all. Easy to access, noble, bounteous, friend of the God-fearing He excels all in the field of virtue. And he excels all in excellence and Nobility, in glory and the beauty of the Soul. Muhammad is the best of creatures, The soul of the nobles, the elect of the Elect. All noble virtues have found their limit In him. The blessings of all times have found Their place in him. By God, Muhammad is next to God. He is the pride of the pious, the holies. He is the pride of the men of virtue. He excels all those who were honoured Before him. Indeed excellence is a matter of virtue, Not of time. (Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad)