The Superiority of Prayer
Source: Ain-al-Hayat, By: Allama Muhammad Baqir Majlisi
Abu Dharr(r.a.) relates from the Prophet of Allah (S), The light and coolness of my eyes is prayer (Salat). The prayer is as dear to me as a hungry person wanting food or a thirsty person wanting to have water. The hungry and the thirsty person are sated when their need is fulfilled but my desire for prayer is never satisfied. I am not born in celibacy (rahbaniat). I love women and the fragrances. But the pleasure for my eyes is in prayer. A person who offers twelve optional prayers in addition to the mandatory prayers everyday, will compulsorily find a place in the Heaven. When a pious person stands up for prayer, blessings will be showered on him from the Firmament.
Man should be thankful of the bounties of Allah and keep doing penitence for his faults. He should strive to earn legitimate livelihood that Allah has promised him. Imam Muhammad Al-Baqir (as) says that at the time of the last Haj, the Prophet (S) had observed that a person doesn’t die till he has consumed the last morsel of sustenance earmarked for him. Striving for livelihood is necessary for every person but he has to be contented that Allah is providing the sustenance to him. This is the sign of strong Faith. One should have a firm belief on, “As sayee minni wa itmam min Allah.” (This will be like the modern time adage;’ man proposes and God disposes.) One should thank Allah for His bounties. If someone is an agent for providing this sustenance, the person should also be thankful to him but it is very essential to always be thankful to Allah for providing the daily bread essential for living. It is in fact His blessing that he makes another person the agent for providing livelihood to him.
The Prophet of Islam (S) has said, “O Abu Dharr! If a person understands that he is the worshipper of the Greatest Allah, then there is no question of his committing any sins whether the minor ones or the major. O Abu Dharr! In the world my dearest thing is prayer. If man knows that he is prostrating to the Greatest he will never bring up his head from the prostrated position.”