Hundreds of thousands of people are born every day. They all start a new life with a magnificent creation of eyes, hands, ears, hearts, brains and all their other organs. Allah causes a person to grow in the mother’s womb from a tiny cell; nerves and veins soon cover the entire body. The heart starts beating, the liver and kidneys gradually form. The bones form in a most glorious manner. Allah expects just one thing from the person created with such great care through a combination of hundreds of thousands of details over the course of nine months: Sincerity.
Sincerity is a powerful key that opens all doors. People are only valuable in the sight of Allah when they are sincere and pure, when their hearts burn with love of Him alone. The totally sincere believer lives for Allah and breathes his last breath for Him. The brief life of this world is simply a transit point for him. He never forgets for a moment that his true home is in the hereafter, and he is never distracted for a moment by this world.
“Say: ‘My salat and my rites, my living and my dying, are for Allah alone, the Lord of all the worlds’,” (Qur’an, 6:162)
The heart of a sincere servant is always with Allah. Allah comes to his mind as soon as he rises in the morning, and all the blessings during the course of the day are by Allah’s leave alone. A believer knows that he is always in need of Allah’s mercy, and he shows this by giving thanks.
Prayer is a fine observance by which believers can express their gratitude while avoiding showiness. It is very important for a Muslim to prostrate himself before Allah five times a day in the full knowledge of his helplessness before Him, in the most punctilious manner because by fulfilling his religious observances, constantly remembering Allah and obeying the Qur’an, a believer can show that he never forgets our Lord. In prostrating himself and bowing, he praises Allah in the finest words.
“Recite what has been revealed to you of the Book and establish prayer. Prayer precludes indecency and wrongdoing. And remembrance of Allah is greater still. Allah knows what you do.” (Qur’an, 45)
“This is a Book We have sent down and blessed, confirming what came before it, so that you can warn the Mother of Cities and the people around it. Those who have faith in the Hereafter believe in it and safeguard their prayer.” (Qur’an, 6:92)
As with all his observances, a devout believer shows his deep love of Allah in prayer. He rises for the morning prayer with great enthusiasm. During the day, he stops what he is doing and prays again with great zeal. Prayer is a fine observance that the human soul is created to love. In the same way that a believer enjoys a fine view, looking at a beautiful face or hearing loving compliments, so he feels the same delight in discharging his religious obligations. Prayer leads to self-confidence. It produces a deep and unshakeable bond between him and Allah. Five times a day, the believers bow to their best friend and confidant. This is a powerful and special friendship that never abandons the believer. Our Lord is alongside him in good days and in bad, in sickness and in health, in poverty and in want. The believer turns to his Lord, his friend and creator, with great enthusiasm and passion, and prostrates himself before Him. Praising Him with His finest names bestows an ineffable beauty and peace on the soul.
It is this kind of powerful sincerity that becomes the believer. There are people who say they believe but who regard praying as a burden, who rise unwillingly to pray and who neglect it or put it off yet when it comes to their own interests, these people leap out of bed first thing in the morning and would climb the highest mountains if necessary; when it comes to their own interests, they never forget, neglect or postpone anything. Yet despite all these things they neglect, Allah witnesses their insincerity at every moment. He sees what they do, even if they do not realize it. He knows what is in their hearts, and distinguishes between the sincere and insincere in the finest manner in the hereafter.
“The hypocrites think they deceive Allah, but He is deceiving them. When they get up to pray, they get up lazily, showing off to people, and only remembering Allah a very little.” (Qur’an, 4:142)
One must pray with the same joy and zeal as our Prophet (peace be upon him). Allah adorns the life of Muslims with prayer. This simple observance allows them to earn endless merit. Our Lord certainly does not need our worship; the whole universe already prostrates itself to Him and remembers Him with the finest names but we need to give thanks to our Lord and show him our deep love and respect.
There are also people in the End Times who say they believe but turn their backs on prayer. They deprive themselves of the beauty that prayer bestows on the soul of the believer, of the honor of bearing the mark of prostration on their foreheads. However, there are also believers in the End Times who pray with passion and zeal and who ignore all condemnation. They never cease to pray, no matter what. Prayer is an essential part of their lives; they live for prayer and they discharge that obligation with the utmost sincerity until their last breaths, in the hope of being among those who will enjoy Allah’s approval in the Hereafter.
When asked why they are there, the first thing the residents of hell will say is, “Because we did not pray.” Believers must not therefore fall into this trap of the satan; they must see the potential terrible consequences of ignoring this duty. They must devoutly show their gratitude to Allah and love of Him by praying five times a day. Even if there is no one else around them who prays, and even if no one sees them do it, they must make not the slightest concession on prostrating themselves. They must seek shelter in the infinite and matchless forgiveness and love of Allah.
“Everything in the heavens and everything in the earth belongs to Allah. He forgives whoever He wills and punishes whoever He wills. Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Qur’an, 3:129)