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    Principles and fundaments
    [ Principles and fundaments ]

    ·15 Tips to Earning Rewards from Allah
    ·The Pillars & Conditions For a Marriage To Be Valid In Islam
    ·The Virtues of Hijab
    ·Human Rights In Islam
    ·The Islamic Banking
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    ·Gender Equity in Islam

    Posted on Friday, November 25 @ 04:20:00 EST by admin

    General Topics Every prophet, as related in the Qur'an, was sent to a society that was known for a certain feature. These societies denied the messengers sent to them and grew more and more insolent. The messengers were assigned with calling these disbelieving societies to the true religion, Allah's straight path, and making them turn their attention to the hereafter.

    This was truly a difficult task. Aware that people would react negatively, the messenger sent to that community initially was all alone in assuming the noble duty of summoning people to the true religion, a religion which until then was not known to people or, if it was recognized, was not embraced by them. This task also included risks that put that messenger's life in jeopardy. For his calling them to Allah, people would torture him, commit treachery against him or, hating him more than anyone, attempt to kill him. The messenger could not be sure who would listen to him; even his own family might not have faith in him. Meanwhile, he was held responsible only to Allah and this was a heavy responsibility that had to be discharged under all circumstances… Whether people embraced Allah's religion and thus became people worthy of Paradise was not that messenger's ultimate responsibility; that was up to Allah; the messenger's only mission was to convey the message, a mission that has no parallels with anything else we know of. To be on such an assignment, against a society that is alien to the very idea, is indeed a grave task.

    In reality, Allah exercises absolute control over everything in this world, so the messengers were not deterred or frightened by the numbers of disbelievers nor the power they held, aware that they were ultimately insignificant beside the power of Allah. So, thanks to the trust they put in Allah, every messenger accomplished their mission. Allah praises this superior character trait of His messengers in the Qur'an. The Qur'an reminds us that Allah's help is always at hand and that He protects His prophets from people's cruelty. In the Qur'an, Allah calls our attention to this fact while relating a danger the Prophet Muhammad (saas) went through on his migration from Mecca to Medina:

    If you do not help him, Allah did help him when the disbelievers drove him out and there were two of them in the Cave. He said to his companion, "Do not be despondent, Allah is with us." Then Allah sent down His serenity upon him and reinforced him with troops you could not see. He made the word of the disbelievers undermost. It is the word of Allah which is uppermost. Allah is Almighty, All-Wise. (Surat at-Tawba: 40)

    In the Qur'an, Allah praises the Prophet's (saas) closeness to Him under all circumstances:

    You have an excellent model in the Messenger of Allah, for all who put their hope in Allah and the Last Day and remember Allah much. (Surat al-Ahzab: 21)

    Prophets ask for help only from Allah. From the time they are assigned their mission, the prophets' one and only purpose becomes fulfilling their duty and summoning their peoples to Allah's straight path. Their aspirations surely matched their purpose, for which reason we see the best examples of pure and sincere prayers in their supplications.

    Examples of some of the prophets' prayers, which have been recorded in the Qur'an, are described in the following pages.

    The Prophet Nuh's (as) Prayers

    In the Qur'an, Allah praises the Prophet Nuh's (as) patience while he was summoning his people to Allah's religion. The Prophet Nuh (as) carried out a resolute struggle against his people who approached him with enmity. His turning to Allah in prayer under all circumstances provides an exemplary role model for believers. The Prophet Nuh (as) described his situation to Allah and prayed as follows:

    He called upon his Lord: "I am overwhelmed, so help me!" (Surat al-Qamar: 10)

    In another verse, the Prophet Nuh's (as) prayer is related as follows:

    Nuh said, "My Lord! Do not leave a single one of the disbelievers on earth! If You leave any they will misguide Your servants and spawn nothing but more dissolute disbelievers. My Lord! forgive me and my parents and all who enter my house as believers, and all the men and women of the believers. But do not increase the wrongdoers except in ruin!" (Surah Nuh: 26-28)

    Allah answered the Prophet Nuh's (as) prayer and commanded him to prepare for the Flood that was to come. Even though there was no sea or lake around, he set off to build an ark upon Allah's order.

    While he was building the ark, his people continued to ridicule him. The Prophet Nuh (as) ignored them and continued to build the ark. Allah relates this in the Qur'an as follows:

    He began to build the Ark and every time some nobles of his people passed him by, they ridiculed him. He said, "Though you ridicule us now, we will certainly ridicule you as you do us." (Surah Hud: 38)

    Ultimately, Allah's promise came true and the Flood began:

    So We opened the gates of heaven with torrential water and made the earth burst forth with gushing springs. And the waters met together in a way which was decreed. We bore him on a planked and well-caulked ship, which ran before Our eyes-a reward for him who had been rejected. (Surat al-Qamar: 11-14)

    One of the people who drowned during the Flood was the Prophet Nuh's (as) son who was called to embark on the ark by his father before the Flood struck. But the son claimed that the mountain in which he planned to take refuge would protect him and thus refused his father's call. (Surah Hud, 43)

    In the Qur'an, Allah relates to us the Prophet Nuh's (as) request to Allah upon his son's death:

    Nuh called out to his Lord and said, "My Lord, my son is one of my family and Your promise is surely the truth and You are the Justest of Judges."

    He [Allah] said, "Nuh, he is definitely not of your family. He is someone whose action was not righteous. Do not, therefore, ask Me for something about which you have no knowledge. I admonish you lest you should be among the ignorant." (Surah Hud: 45-46)

    While the Prophet Nuh (as) had called on Allah for the destruction of his people, he also wanted Him to protect the believers. However, his son was not a believer. Recognizing his mistake, the Prophet Nuh (as) felt regret and turned to Allah for His forgiveness:

    He said, "My Lord, I seek refuge with You from asking You for anything about which I have no knowledge. If You do not forgive me and have mercy on me, I will be among the lost." (Surah Hud: 47)

    The Prophet Ibrahim's (as) Prayers

    The Prophet Ibrahim (as), who built the Ka'ba where millions of Muslims today go on Hajj (pilgrimage), is mentioned in the Qur'an as "a community in himself." (Surat an-Nahl:120) In compliance with Allah's commands, together with the Prophet Isma'il (as), his son, the Prophet Ibrahim (as) built a house so that believers could congregate at certain times of the year and remember Allah. The Qur'an refers to this house as the Ka'ba. These two noble men built this house as an act of worship and meanwhile called on Allah as follows:

    And [mention] when Ibrahim built the foundations of the House with Isma'il [saying]: "Our Lord, accept this from us! You are the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing." (Surat al-Baqara: 127)

    The place where the Ka'ba was built has grown into a city (Mecca) today. For this house, the Prophet Ibrahim (as) prayed as follows:

    And when Ibrahim said, "My Lord, make this a place of safety and provide its inhabitants with fruits-all of them who have faith in Allah and the Last Day," He [Allah] said, "I will let anyone who becomes a disbeliever enjoy himself a little but then I will drive him to the punishment of the Fire. What an evil destination!" (Surat al-Baqara: 126)

    The Prophet Ibrahim's (as) prayers were not oriented only towards his own time but also intended for succeeding generations:

    Our Lord, make us both Muslims submitted to You, and our descendants a Muslim community submitted to You. Show us our rites of worship and turn towards us. You are the Ever-Returning, the Most Merciful. Our Lord, raise up among them a Messenger from them to recite Your Signs to them and teach them the Book and Wisdom and purify them. You are the Almighty, the All-Wise. (Surat al-Baqara: 128-129)

    Another of the Prophet Ibrahim's (as) prayers shows how he sought ways to draw closer to Allah:

    When Ibrahim said, "My Lord, show me how You bring the dead to life." He asked, "Do you not then have faith?" He replied, "Indeed I do! But so that my heart may be at peace." He said, "Take four birds and train them to yourself. Then put a part of them on each mountain and call to them; they will come rushing to you. Know that Allah is Almighty, All-Wise." (Surat al-Baqara: 260)

    The Prophet Ibrahim's (as) wish to witness how Allah resurrects the dead was not because of poor faith. On the contrary, he was a man of perfected faith, yet he aimed fully to comprehend the truth in which he had faith. He, in a quite sincere manner, wanted to see Allah's miracle and Allah granted this frank wish.

    The Prophet Ibrahim's (as) father was a pagan. The Prophet Ibrahim (as) conveyed Allah's message to him, but his father rejected it. Despite this fact, the Prophet Ibrahim (as) asked Allah to forgive his father:

    He said, "Peace be upon you. I will ask my Lord to forgive you. He has always honoured me. I will separate myself from you and all you call upon besides Allah and I will call upon my Lord. It may well be that, in calling on my Lord, I will not be disappointed." (Surah Maryam: 47-48)

    It may seem strange that a prophet would ask Allah to forgive a disbeliever, so the Qur'an tells us why the Prophet Ibrahim (as) made this prayer:

    It is not right for the Prophet and those who have faith to ask forgiveness for the idolaters-even if they are close relatives-after it has become clear to them that they are the companions of the blazing fire. Ibrahim would not have asked forgiveness for his father but for a promise he made to him, and when it became clear to him that he was an enemy of Allah, he renounced him. Ibrahim was tender-hearted and forbearing. (Surat at-Tawba: 113-114)

    The Prophet Ibrahim (as), the builder of the Ka'ba where millions of believers visit today, prayed for his sons, Isma'il, Ishaq and all believers:

    Our Lord! I have settled some of my offspring by Your Sacred House in an uncultivated valley. Our Lord! Let them establish prayer! Make the hearts of mankind incline towards them and provide them with fruits, so that hopefully they will be thankful. Our Lord! You know what we keep hidden and what we divulge. Nothing is hidden from Allah either on the earth or in heaven. Praise be to Allah Who, despite my old age, has given me Isma'il and Ishaq. My Lord is the Hearer of Prayer. My Lord! Make me and my descendants people who establish prayer. My Lord! Accept my prayer. Our Lord! Forgive me and my parents and the believers on the Day the Reckoning takes place. (Surah Ibrahim: 37-41)

    As is seen, in his prayer, the Prophet Ibrahim (as) remembered Allah's attributes and also gave thanks to Him. What he asked from Allah were those things that would draw him nearer to Allah and help him be forgiven in the hereafter.

    The Prophet Lut's (as) Prayers

    The Prophet Lut (as), who is mentioned in the Qur'an as a prophet who was given "right judgment and knowledge," (Surat al-Anbiya': 74) conveyed Allah's message to his people for long years. However, his people, who transgressed Allah's limits and practiced homosexuality, always reacted negatively to him:

    And Lut, when he said to his people, "Do you commit an obscenity not perpetrated before you by anyone in all the worlds? You come with lust to men instead of women. You are indeed a depraved people." The only answer of his people was to say, "Expel them from your city! They are people who keep themselves pure!" (Surat al- A'raf: 80-82)

    The Prophet Lut's (as) people not only refused Allah's messenger but also openly challenged him. Over years, the Prophet Lut (as) summoned them to Allah's religion, and in the face of their intransigence, he called on to Allah thus:

    He said, "My Lord, help me against the people of corruption!" (Surat al-'Ankabut: 30)

    Allah answered the Prophet Lut's (as) call and the insolent people around him perished:

    We will bring down on the inhabitants of this city a devastating punishment from heaven because of their deviance. We have left a Clear Sign of them behind for people who use their intellect. (Surat al-'Ankabut: 34-35)

    As this example reveals, prayer may not always be for the good of individuals or happiness in this world and the next. As in the example of the Prophet Lut (as), many prophets also prayed for disbelievers' destruction.

    The Prophet Ayyub's (as) Prayers

    In four sections of the Qur'an, there is reference to the Prophet Ayyub (as), who displayed an exemplary patience that sets an example to all believers. The Prophet Ayyub (as), who was a chosen servant to whom Allah revealed (Surat an-Nisa: 163), was afflicted with a serious illness. Yet, his patience and trust in Allah never abated. With such a noble attitude, he is a role model for all believers to follow:

    ... We found him steadfast. What an excellent servant! He truly turned to his Lord. (Surah Sad: 44)

    As well as the disease with which he was afflicted, the Prophet Ayyub (as) was also subjected to Satan's whisperings. However, he sincerely turned to Allah and sought His help:

    Remember Our servant Ayyub when he called on his Lord: "Satan has afflicted me with exhaustion and suffering." (Surah Sad: 41)

    Another verse relates the Prophet Ayyub's (as) heartfelt imploration thus:

    And Ayyub when he called out to his Lord, "Great harm has afflicted me and You are the Most Merciful of the merciful." (Surat an-Anbiya': 83)

    Allah answered the Prophet Ayyub's (as) call. As we read in Surat al Anbiya':

    We responded to him and removed from him the harm which was afflicting him and restored his family to him, and the same again with them, as a mercy direct from Us and a Reminder to all worshippers. (Surat al-Anbiya': 84)

    Allah puts believers to test in a number of ways. The Prophet Ayyub (as), who was a true servant of Allah, was also tested with a severe problem. In this life, similar troubles may also befall other believers. Consequently, a believer who encounters such a situation must always be aware that Allah does not put a burden on a soul greater than it can bear, no matter what the severity or the duration of that trouble may be.

    The Prophet Yusuf's (as) Prayers

    The Prophet Yusuf's (as) story conveys many good examples about prayer. The Prophet Yusuf (as) displayed all the signs of a strong faith with the trust, submission and loyalty he showed to Allah in the face of all his troubles.

    The Prophet Yusuf's (as) difficulties (and those of his father, the Prophet Ya'qub (as)) began with the Prophet Yusuf (as) being thrown into a well by his jealous brothers. His father, the Prophet Ya'qub (as) maintained his submission to Allah in spite of the distressing loss of his son, Yusuf:

    They [Yusuf's brothers] then produced his shirt with false blood on it. He [Ya'qub] said, "It is merely that your lower selves have suggested something to you which you did; but beauty lies in showing steadfastness. It is Allah alone Who is my Help in face of the event that you describe." (Surah Yusuf: 18)

    As the verse shows, the Prophet Ya'qub (as), upon seeing his son's bloody shirt, said that he had to remain "steadfast" and thereby displayed an attitude of patience unique to a Muslim. Meanwhile, the Prophet Yusuf (as), who was left to die in the depths of a well, was miraculously rescued by a caravan passing nearby. The group rescued him thinking that they would be able to sell him, and regarded him as a piece of merchandise.

    When the Prophet Yusuf (as), who was purchased as a slave by an Egyptian vizier, grew into maturity, Allah granted him "knowledge and right judgment." (Surah Yusuf: 22)

    The Qur'an relates how the vizier's wife wanted to seduce Yusuf (as) and when he rejected her advances, she threatened him with imprisonment. Thereupon, the Prophet Yusuf (as) prayed :

    He said, "My Lord, the prison is preferable to me than what they call on me to do. Unless You turn their guile away from me, it may well be that I will fall for them and so become a man of ignorance." (Surah Yusuf: 33)

    As is seen in the verse, in his prayer, the Prophet Yusuf (as) sincerely made his situation clear to Allah. The Prophet Yusuf (as), who was imprisoned, then started to convey Allah's message to the people in prison:

    [Yusuf said:] "My fellow-prisoners, are many lords better, or Allah, the only One, the Conqueror? What you serve apart from Him are only names which you and your forefathers have made up, there is no mandate for them from Allah. Discretion belongs only to Allah. His Order is to worship none but Him. That is in truth the straight and upright religion, but most of mankind simply do not know." (Surah Yusuf: 39-40)

    After spending long years in prison, the vizier's wife confessed that the Prophet Yusuf (as) was innocent, and he was released. (Surah Yusuf: 51-54)

    After all that he had been through, the Prophet Yusuf's (as) prayer was accepted and the sequence of events that began with his being thrown into a well ended with his being placed in authority over the treasures of Egypt:

    And thus We established Yusuf in the land so he could live in any place he pleased... (Surah Yusuf: 56)

    This way, the Prophet Yusuf (as), who held power in the country, gave thanks to Allah Who released him from prison and prayed to Him. His wish was to die as a Muslim and to be one of His true servants in the hereafter:

    My Lord, You have granted power to me on earth and taught me the true meaning of events. Originator of the heavens and earth, You are my Friend in this world and the Next. So take me as a Muslim at my death and join me to the people who are righteous. (Surah Yusuf: 101)

    The Prophet Shu'ayb's (as) Prayers

    The Prophet Shu'ayb (as), who was sent to the people of Madyan, called his people, who transgressed Allah's limits, to have faith in Allah. (Surat al-A'raf: 85)

    The answer of the people of Madyan to the Prophet Shu'ayb (as) was no different from that of the Prophet Nuh (as) and Lut (as). These people, who rejected the message conveyed by the Prophet Shu'ayb (as), threatened him and his adherents with exile:

    The ruling circle of those of his people who were arrogant said, "We will drive you out of our city, Shu'ayb, you and those who have faith along with you, unless you return to our religion…" (Surat al-A'raf: 88)

    Upon the insensitive and intimidating attitude of his people, the Prophet Shu'ayb (as) put his trust in Allah and turned to Him in prayer:

    We would be inventing lies against Allah if we returned to your religion after Allah has saved us from it. We could never return to it unless Allah our Lord so willed. Our Lord encompasses everything in His Knowledge. We have put our trust in Allah. "Our Lord, judge between us and our people with truth. You are the best of judges." (Surat al- A'raf: 89)

    Ultimately, what befell the people of the Prophet Lut (as) and Nuh (as) also happened to the people of Madyan. The Prophet Shu'ayb (as) called on Allah and upon His command, the people who rejected Allah's messenger perished:

    So the earthquake seized them and morning found them lying flattened in their homes. As for those who denied Shu'ayb, it was as if they had never lived there. It was the people who denied Shu'ayb who were the lost. (Surat al-A'raf: 91-92)

    The Prophet Sulayman's (as) Prayers

    One of the most telling attributes of the Prophet Sulayman (as) was the great power he held. Allah granted him also many superior talents. Exercising control over jinn, and even talking to animals were among his superior abilities. His understanding of the language of animals is related in the Qur'an as follows:

    Sulayman was Dawud's heir. He said, "Mankind! We have been taught the speech of birds and we have been given everything. This is indeed clear favor." (Surat an-Naml: 16)

    The Prophet Sulayman (as), who gave thanks to Allah for the superiority granted to him, turned to Allah in prayer:

    ... "My Lord, keep me thankful for the blessing You have bestowed on me and on my parents, and keep me acting rightly, pleasing You, and admit me, by Your mercy, among Your servants who are true." (Surat an-Naml: 19)

    Apart from the Prophet Sulayman's (as) special talents, he was granted ample material wealth. In return for this, he gave thanks to Allah and prayed thus:

    He said, "My Lord, forgive me and give me a kingdom the like of which will never be granted to anyone after me. Truly You are the Ever-Giving." (Surah Sad: 35)

    In previous pages, we stressed that believers must avoid limiting their prayers to personal wishes or mundane desires. In fact, the Prophet Sulayman's (as) asking for "a kingdom the like of which will never be granted to anyone" is far from being a mundane wish: it is, in fact, a wish intended for the hereafter. We can understand this also from the verse, "... Truly do I love the love of good with a view to the glory of my Lord." (Surah Sad: 32)

    If a person puts their material resources into use to seek Allah's good pleasure and if this wealth draws them nearer to Allah and makes them remember Allah, then there is no reason to feel hesitant about asking for worldly blessings, for these blessings are the means to drawing them nearer to the hereafter.

    The Prophet Zakariyya's (as) Prayers

    Three surahs in the Qur'an refer to the Prophet Zakariyya's (as) prayers. When he grew old, he asked Allah for a successor who would uphold faith amongst his people after his death. Being too old a man to have a child and having an infertile wife, he called on Allah as follows:

    When he called on his Lord in secret and said, "My Lord, my bones have lost their strength and my head is crowned with white, but in calling on You, My Lord, I have never been disappointed. I fear my relatives when I am gone and my wife is barren, so give me an heir from You to be my inheritor and the inheritor of the family of Ya'qub, and make him, my Lord, pleasing to You." (Surah Maryam: 3-6)

    Then and there Zakariyya called on his Lord and said, "O Lord, grant me by Your favor an upright child. You are the Hearer of Prayer." (Surah Al Imran: 38)

    And Zakariyya when he called out to his Lord, "My Lord, do not leave me on my own, You are the Best of Inheritors." (Surat al-Anbiya': 89)

    As the verses above highlight, the Prophet Zakariyya (as) called on his Lord secretly. This is one of the most evident signs of sincerity. Indeed, Allah answered his prayer which was truly heartfelt:

    We responded to him and gave him Yahya, restoring for him his wife's fertility. They outdid one another in good actions, calling out to Us in yearning and in awe, and humbling themselves to Us. (Surat al-Anbiya': 90)

    Zakariyya! We give you the good news of a boy named Yahya, a name we have given to no one else before. (Surah Maryam: 7)

    The angels called out to him while he was standing in prayer in the Upper Room: "Allah gives you the good news of Yahya, who will come to confirm a Word from Allah, and will be a leader and a celibate, a prophet and one of the righteous." (Surah Al Imran: 39)

    According to another verse, the Prophet Zakariyya (as) was in awe at the notion of having been granted a son despite his old age. The angel whom Allah sent to give him glad tidings of a son reminded him of Allah's might:

    He said, "My Lord! How can I have a boy when my wife is barren and I have reached advanced old age?" [An angel] said, "It will be so! Your Lord says, 'That is easy for me to do. I created you before, when you were not anything.' " (Surah Maryam: 8-9)

    In previous sections, we emphasized that Allah answers His servants' prayers and that He is the sole friend and helper of people who wholeheartedly call on Him. This being the case, Allah granted a son to the Prophet Zakariyya (as), even though it seemed impossible.

    The Prophet Yunus's (as) Prayers

    In the Qur'an, Allah refers to the Prophet Yunus (as) as follows:

    Yunus too was one of the Messengers. When he ran away to the fully laden ship and cast lots and lost. Then the fish devoured him and he was to blame. (Surat as-Saffat: 139-142)

    The Prophet Yunus (as) abandoned his people to whom Allah sent him as a prophet. As these verses convey, he got on a ship, where he "cast lots and lost." As we understand from the Qur'an, the Prophet Yunus (as), who could not persevere in the task Allah had given to him and abandoned his people, was thrown out of the ship to the sea where he was swallowed by a fish. In regret, the Prophet Yunus (as) turned to Allah in prayer, as in:

    … "There is no god but You! Glory be to You! Truly I have been one of the wrongdoers." (Surat al-Anbiya': 87)

    In return for his sincere prayer, Allah miraculously rescued him:

    We responded to him and rescued him from his grief. That is how We rescue the believers. (Surat al-Anbiya': 88)

    Then, Allah sent the Prophet Yunus (as) to an obedient society:

    We sent him to a hundred thousand or even more. They had faith and so We gave them enjoyment for a time. (Surat as-Saffat: 147-148)

    In previous pages, we said that Allah may answer a prayer in the form of a "cause and effect," or if He wills, He may miraculously answer a prayer. This is easy for the Lord of the heavens and earth and everything in between. In the Prophet Yunus's (as) case, Allah removed all seeming obstacles and saved him from a fish's stomach. This is a striking example showing that people should never despair of Allah's forgiveness and be steadfast in their prayers. As long as one wholeheartedly turns to Allah, he will encounter a definite response.

    The Prophet Musa's (as) Prayers

    Allah sent the Prophet Musa (as) to the Children of Israel as a messenger. When he was still a baby, his life was put in jeopardy. Pharaoh ordered all male children killed and the females spared for slavery. Allah inspired his mother to save him. She followed what was revealed to her and put him into a chest and sent it floating down the Nile. Pharaoh and his family found Musa (as) and adopted him as their own son. (Surat al-Qasas: 7-8) When Musa (as) grew into adulthood in Pharaoh's palace, Allah granted him "judgment and knowledge." (Surat al-Qasas: 14)

    The Qur'an provides an account of an event that led the Prophet Musa (as) turn to Allah in prayer:

    He entered the city at a time when its inhabitants were unaware and found two men fighting there-one from his party and the other from his enemy. The one from his party asked for his support against the other from his enemy. So Musa hit him, dealing him a fatal blow. He said, "This is part of Satan's handiwork. He truly is an outright and misleading enemy." (Surat al-Qasas: 15)

    Upon this incident, the Prophet Musa (as) asked for forgiveness from Allah and promised Him he would not support evildoers again:

    He said, "My Lord, I have wronged myself. Forgive me." So He forgave him. He is the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Merciful. He said, "My Lord, because of Your blessing to me, I will never be a supporter of evildoers." (Surat al-Qasas: 16-17)

    When the news about this incident was heard, the prominent people of the city planned to kill the Prophet Musa (as). Under this circumstance, the Prophet Moses (as) again turned to Allah in prayer:

    So he left there fearful and on his guard, saying, "My Lord, rescue me from the wrongdoing people!" (Surat al-Qasas: 21)

    Allah answered the Prophet Musa's (as) prayer and led him to a secure place. Meanwhile, he never lost his bond with Allah and implored to Him:

    When turned his face in the direction of Madyan, he said, "Hopefully my Lord will guide me to the right way." When he arrived at the water of Madyan, he found a crowd of people drawing water there. Standing apart from them, he found two women, holding back their sheep. He said, "What are you two doing here?" They said, "We cannot draw water until the shepherds have driven off their sheep. You see our father is a very old man." So he drew water for them and then withdrew into the shade and said, "My Lord, I am truly in need of any good You have in store for me." One of them came walking shyly up to him and said, "My father invites you so that he can pay you your wage for drawing water for us." When he came to him and told him the whole story he said, "Have no fear, you have escaped from wrongdoing people." (Surat al-Qasas: 22-25)

    These sequence of events led the Prophet Musa (as) to settle in Madyan, where he established a family. After about 8-10 years, Musa (as) and his family left Madyan. On his way to the valley of Tuwa, where he was destined to receive Allah's first revelation, Allah commanded him to go to Pharaoh to convey His message. However, the Prophet Musa (as) felt concerned and told Allah frankly that he was afraid, hesitant and insecure:

    He said, "My Lord, I killed one of them and I am afraid they will kill me; and my brother Harun is more eloquent than me so send him with me to support me and back me up. I fear they will talk me out of it." (Surat al-Qasas: 33-34)

    As we learn from the Qur'an, it was in Musa's (as) nature to feel excited from time to time and he was afraid that this character trait would hinder him from fulfilling his duty of conveying the message. For this, he turned to Allah in prayer:

    He said, "O Lord, expand my breast for me and make my task easy for me. Loosen the knot in my tongue so that they will understand my words. Assign me a helper from my family, my brother Harun. Strengthen my back by him and let him share in my task, so that we can glorify You much and remember You much, for You are watching us." (Surah Taha: 25-35)

    In return for the Prophet Musa's (as) sincerity in his prayer, Allah took him under His protection and told him:

    He [Allah] said, "We will reinforce you with your brother and by Our Signs will give you both authority, so that they will not be able to lay a hand on you. You and those who follow you will be the victors." (Surat al-Qasas: 35)

    The Prophet Musa's (as) miracles made some of Pharaoh's magicians and a small group of young people embrace faith. Meanwhile, Pharaoh and the majority of his people insisted on denial. The Prophet Musa (as) prayed as follows:

    Musa said, "Our Lord, You have given Pharaoh and his ruling circle finery and wealth in the life of the world. Our Lord, is it so they may lead [us] off from Your way? Our Lord, obliterate their wealth and harden their hearts; they do not have faith until they see the painful punishment." He said, "Your request is answered, so go straight and do not follow the way of those who have no knowledge." (Surah Yunus: 88-89)

    Following the Prophet Musa's (as) prayer, Pharaoh and all the disbelieving people around him were destroyed and the Children of Israel left Egypt. After a while, leaving his tribe under Harun's care, Musa (as) went to Mount Sinai, where he was to receive Allah's revelation. Upon receiving the revelation, he asked Allah:

    "… My Lord, show me Yourself so that I may look at You!.." (Surat al-A'raf: 143)

    Allah answered the Prophet Musa's (as) wish as follows:

    "You will not see Me, but look at the mountain. If it remains firm in its place, then you will see Me." But when His Lord manifested Himself to the mountain, He crushed it flat and Musa fell unconscious to the ground. When he regained consciousness he said, "Glory be to You! I repent to You and I am the first of the believers!" He said, "Musa, I have chosen you over all mankind for My Message and My Word. Take what I have given you and be among the thankful." (Surat al-A'raf: 143-144)

    During Musa's (as) absence, Harun (as) led the Children of Israel. Meanwhile, the unbelievers among Musa's (as) people took advantage of his absence. Insolent to Harun (as), they built a statue of a calf and worshipped it. Upon this, Musa (as) chose the believers in his tribe and together with them, he set off to the appointed place Allah had revealed to him previously. Yet, before reaching there, they were terribly shaken. Musa (as) asked for forgiveness both for himself and the believers traveling with him:

    … "My Lord, if You had willed, You could have destroyed them previously and me as well. Would you destroy us for what the fools among us did? It was only a trial from You by which You misguided those You willed and guided those You willed. You are our Protector so forgive us and have mercy on us. You are the Best of Forgivers. Prescribe good for us in the world and the hereafter. We have truly turned to You." He [Allah] said, "As for My punishment, I strike with it anyone I will. My mercy extends to all things but I will prescribe it for those who do their duty and pay alms, and those who believe in Our Signs." (Surat al-A'raf: 155-156)

    The most telling attributes of the Prophet Musa's (as) prayers related in the Qur'an are his sincerity and frankness. He prayed to Allah sincerely and asked for help from Him and by Allah's will, what befell him made him grow into a prophet holding great power.

    One of the most important attributes of prayer is sincerity and that it be heartfelt. At this point, one of the obstacles that may mislead one is, out of feelings of embarrassment towards Allah, disinclination to confess one's sins and flaws to Him. This attitude may make some people pray very "formally" and, either out of embarrassment or pride, hinder them from divulging their troubles to Allah, although He knows our every sin, mistake, and any irrational or erroneous attitudes or thoughts.

    This being the case, what we need to do is to turn to Allah in sincerity and frankness and share our every secret with Him. The inner awe one has for Allah is definitely not an obstacle that will turn the relation between Allah and His servant into "formality," but an encouragement that will draw him closer to his Lord and make him more submissive and sincere to Him.

    The Prophet Isa's (as) Prayers

    The Qur'an refers to Isa (as) as follows:

    … His name is the Messiah, 'Isa, son of Maryam, of high esteem in the world and the hereafter, and one of those brought near. (Surah Al Imran: 45)

    In the Qur'an, Isa's (as) disciples asked for a table of food from Allah. This event, which is related in Surat al-Ma'ida (Ma'ida means "table" in Arabic), is as follows:

    And when the Disciples said, ''Isa son of Maryam! Can your Lord send down a table to us out of heaven?" He said, "Heed Allah if you are believers!" They said, "We want to eat from it and for our hearts to be at peace and to know that you have told us the truth and to be among those who witness it." (Surat al- Ma'ida: 112-113)

    Beneath this request lies the disciples' desire to see a miraculous event. Isa (as) told them the superfluousness of this wish. However, they insisted, saying that this way their hearts would be at peace. Upon this, Isa (as) called to Allah and while doing this, remembered Him with His beautiful names. The Qur'an states this prayer of Isa (as) as follows:

    'Isa son of Maryam said, "Allah, our Lord, send down a table to us out of heaven to be a feast for us, for the first and last of us, and as a Sign from You. Provide for us! You are the Best of Providers!" (Surat al-Mai'da: 114)

    Allah answered Isa's (as) call and commanded Him:

    Allah said, "I will send it down to you but if anyone among you disbelieve after that, I will punish him with a punishment the like of which I will not inflict on anyone else in all the worlds!" (Surat al-Mai'da: 115)

    Isa's (as) other prayer conveyed in Surat al-Ma'ida shows us how he asked for forgiveness and protection for his disciples:

    And when Allah says, '''Isa son of Maryam! Did you say to people, 'Take me and my mother as gods besides Allah?'" he will say, "Glory be to You! It is not for me to say what I have no right to say! If I had said it, then You would have known it. You know what is in my self but I do not know what is in Your Self. You are the Knower of all unseen things."

    "I said to them nothing but what You ordered me to say: 'Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.' I was a witness against them as long as I remained among them, but when You took me back to You, You were the One watching over them. You are Witness of all things. If You punish them, they are Your servants. If you forgive them, You are the Almighty, the All-Wise." (Surat al-Mai'da: 116-118)

    The Prophet Muhammad's (saas) Prayers Related in the Qur'an

    The Prophet Muhammad (saas), who is praised in the Qur'an with the verse, "Indeed you are truly vast in character." (Surat al-Qalam:4) spared some of his night-time for the remembrance of Allah and worshipping. This is expressed in one of the verses as follows:

    Your Lord knows that you stay up nearly two-thirds of the night-or half of it, or a third of it-and a group of those with you. Allah determines the night and day. He knows you will not keep count of it, so He has turned towards you… (Surat al-Muzzammil: 20)

    The Qur'an relates to us the Prophet Muhammad's (saas) love for believers. In the following verse, Allah commands him to ask for forgiveness for believers:

    It is a mercy from Allah that you were gentle with them. If you had been rough or hard of heart, they would have scattered from around you. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them, and consult with them about the matter. Then when you have reached a firm decision, put your trust in Allah. Allah loves those who put their trust in Him. (Surah Al Imran: 159)

    Many verses refer to the Prophet Muhammad's (saas) prayers. One of them reads as follows:

    Say, "O Allah! Master of the Kingdom! You give sovereignty to whoever You will You take sovereignty from whoever You will. You exalt whoever You will You abase whoever You will. All good is in Your hands. You have power over all things." (Surah Al Imran: 26)

    As is the case with all the other prophets, prominent people in Mecca also threatened the Prophet Muhammad (saas) and he was exposed to the whisperings of Satan. In such situations, he asked Allah for relief. As the Qur'an narrates:

    Say: "My Lord, I seek refuge with You from the goadings of the satans, and I seek refuge with You, my Lord, from their presence." (Surat al-Muminun: 97-98)

    The last verse of the Surat al-Muminun conveys one of the Prophet's (saas) prayers:

    Say: "My Lord, forgive and be merciful! You are the Best of the Merciful." (Surat al-Muminun: 118)

    Some of the prayers of the Prophet (saas) as we learn from the hadiths are as follows:

    OAllah, grant us good in this world and the good in the Hereafter and save us from the torment of the Fire. (Muslim)

    There is no god but Allah, the One, having no partner with Him. Sovereignty belongs to Him and all the praise is due to Him, and He is Potent over everything. OAllah, grant me pardon, have mercy upon me, direct me to righteousness and provide me sustenance. (Muslim)

    OAllah, I seek refuge in You from the trial of Hell-Fire;and from the torment of Hell-Fire, and from the trial of the grave and torment of the grave. OAllah, wash away my sins with snow and hail water, purify my heart from sin as is purified the white garment from the dirt, and keep away at a distance the sins fro me as yawns the distance between the East and West;OAllah, I seek refuge in You from sloth, from senility, from sin, and from debt. (Muslim)

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