WHY DO WE PRAY?
by Dr. Suhaib Hasan
Zayed Centre for New Muslims - U.A.E.
After a long and hectic day at work, how difficult it is for a tired person to go out to the mosque and concentrate on his prayers to Allah, the Almighty. Snuggled up in a warm and cozy bed, how difficult it is to get up at the call of the Mu'adhin: "Come to prayer! Come to success!"
The famous doctor and philosopher, Ibn Sina (Avicenna), recalls such a moment in his life. One cold and icy night, he and his slave were resting at an inn in a remote part of Khurasan. During the night, he felt thirsty, so he called to his slave to bring him some water. The slave had no desire to leave his warm bed, so he pretended not to hear Ibn Sina’s call. But finally, after repeated calls, he reluctantly got up and went to fetch the water.
A little while later, the melodious sound of the azaan (call to prayer) filled the air. Ibn Sina began to think about the person calling the people to prayer. "My slave, Abdullah, he mused, has always respected me and admired me. He seizes any opportunity to lavish praise and affection on me, but tonight he preferred his own comfort to my needs.
On the other hand, look at this Persian slave of Allah: He left his warm bed to go out into the chilly night, he made ablution in the icy water of the stream, and then he ascended the high minaret of the mosque to glorify Him Whom he truly serves: "I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah. I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah."
Ibn Sina records: "I learned the essence of true love, that love which results in complete obedience." The love of Allaah demands total and unconditional obedience. Allah, the Almighty says: Say [oh, Muhammad!]: "If you love Allah, follow me: Allah will forgive you your sins, for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful" [Surah 3:31]