Prophet Muhammad — 66: Prayer in desperate situations
08 Apr 2011 01:31 GMT
 
By SHEIKH MUHAMMAD AL-GHAZALI Published: Mar 31, 2011 22:48 Updated: Mar 31, 2011 22:48 When a traveler gets back home and feels the warmth of reunion with his loved ones, he must thank his Lord, saying: “All praise be to God with whose blessings all good things are perfected.” This is a glorification that may be said in every pleasant situation. Members of his family should praise God and thank Him for returning him safely to them. It is reported that when the Prophet (peace be upon him) once arrived after having been on an expedition, he was received by his wife, Ayesha. She held his hand and said: “Praise be to God who gave you victory and support and has been kind to you.”

His companions felt that the Prophet was the most devoted worshipper, the one who trusted most to God’s grace, remembered and glorified Him most. Hence, it was natural that when they suffered something, they flocked to the Prophet requesting him to pray for them and hoping for good results.

Ayesha reports that people complained to the Prophet of drought. He gave instruction that a stand should be put up in an open area outside the city. He appointed a time for the people to gather there. He went out when the sun started to appear. He sat at the stand, glorified God and praised Him. He then said: “You have complained of drought and delayed rainfalls, although it is its season. God Almighty has commanded you to pray to Him and promised you to answer your prayers. All praise be to God the Lord of all the worlds, the Lord of grace, the Ever-Merciful, the King of the Day of Judgment. There is no deity other than God. He does what He wills. Our Lord, You are God and there is no deity other than You. You are rich and we are poor. Grant us rain, and let it contribute to our strength and make it a reminder for us.” He then lifted his arms up to a point when his armpits were visible. He then turned to face the other side, and turned his robe on the other side as he continued to raise his arms. He then moved toward the people, came down and led a congregational prayer of two rak’ahs. God sent a cloud and there soon was lightning and thunder. This was followed by a rainfall, by God’s will. By the time he returned to the mosque, there were running streams. He said: ‘I bear witness that God is able to accomplish anything, and that I am God’s servant and messenger.’”

A young man was talking to me in arrogance when he said: “Do you have a rational proof of God’s existence?’ Laughing, I said: “I have the proof of concrete experience.” In answer to his question about what I meant by concrete experience, I said that a child brought up in an orphanage knows by rational evidence that he has a father even though he never saw him. A legitimate child does not know such evidence, because he experiences his father’s kindness and tenderness every day. He knows his father by concrete experience. I have prayed God to grant me certain things which He alone can give, and He, out of His grace and generosity, granted them to me. How can I be ignorant of Him? A stray dog appreciates kindness: how can it fail to be appreciated by a rational human being?

Those companions of the Prophet who suffered the drought which threatened their livelihood and their very existence could do no better than to seek Muhammad’s help. He did no more than bring them together into the open space where they all joined in a humble prayer, seeking God’s grace in what is known as the ‘prayer for rain’. They hardly finished the prayer before a heavy rainfall started. How strong would these people’s belief be after that? It goes beyond the theoretical stage to something more profound. Then, all that the Prophet said after it rained was: “I bear witness that God is able to accomplish anything, and that I am God’s servant and messenger.” The testimony here is far more than normal conviction.

The young man told me: We have learned that matter neither perishes nor can it be invented. This principle shakes faith altogether, but what you told me goes straight against it.” I said: “Those who wrote this have only mentioned a half truth, and it is distorted at that. It is the Creator of matter who has neither a beginning nor an end. You and I came into real existence after we were non-existent. We are not everlasting. Who brought us into our mothers’ abdomens?  Could those organs within the abdomen make an embryo and ensure that the baby will cry once it begins to breathe after it comes out? Those materialists can only come out with such farcical arguments.

 

Reproduced from Arab News



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