“Glory to Him who journeyed His servant by night, from the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque, whose precincts We have blessed, in order to show him of Our wonders. He is the Listener, the Beholder.” (Qur’an 17:1)
“Perform the prayer at the decline of the sun, until the darkness of the night; and the Quran at dawn. The Quran at dawn is witnessed. And keep vigil with it during parts of the night, as an extra prayer. Perhaps your Lord will raise you to a laudable position. And say, “My Lord, lead me in through an entry of truth, and lead me out through an exit of truth, and grant me from You a supporting power.”. And say, “The truth has come, and falsehood has withered away; for falsehood is bound to wither away.”. We send down in the Quran healing and mercy for the believers, but it increases the wrongdoers only in loss.” (Qur’an 17:79-82)
Many believe that Muslims only pray five times a day. However, Muslims have many supplications throughout the day. There are supplications that are said before Muslims, eat, embark on a journey, or even sleep.
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The ‘sublime oral tradition’, or hadith, reports that the Blessed Prophet Muhammed, (saw), received the five times daily prayer of Islam during his mystical ascension through the heavens into the glorious (Garden of Essence). During this journey, the Noble Prophet was able to contemplate angels performing each of the various movements of prayer.
Prayer is a gift from the Creator, displayed first through angelic beings, rather than springing from human intellect, will or initiative. It is reported that The Prophet of Islam proclaimed, “Prayer is the ascension of the faithful.”
Prayer is more of a way of intimate discussion with the Creator than an offering to the Creator. The Creator does not ask for or need any offering. Prayer exists beyond the kingdom of personal will. Rather, it is the key to the kingdom of Divine Will.
The Blessed Prophet Muhammed, (saw), could have brought back from his ascension any gift from the infinite Divine Treasury. Since he returned with prayer, we can infer that it is most precious.
For Muslims, prayer is ordained by the Creator as the most effective way to unfold the fullness of our humanity. The Creator does not need our prayers but offers the prayer to us as His supreme gift.
The Muslim prays not only from a sense of obligation but as an act of tender responsiveness, just as a lover desires to fulfill every wish of the beloved.
The unified lines of prayer, with the intention of the hearts in perfect alignment as well, produces such an experience of spiritual power and communion, it as though all humanity were standing together in prayer.
To humble oneself and prostrate during prayer is to plunge directly into the ocean of Divine Mercy.