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Edifying, Spiritual and Mental Effects of Prayer

By: Majid Khosroshahiyan

Introduction
Worship is one of the best ways that links man with God, the Author of the Universe. When man needs a power beyond the realm of matter, he appeals to his Lord, the Omniscient, Omnipotent and Merciful. Worship to God brings a heartfelt link between man and his Maker. It edifies our minds and morality. It protects our soul and mind against such polluting factors as polytheism that face us in our every day life. The same as our bodies become begrimed as a result of contact with the physical world and we have to wash and clean them. So is the case with the soul becoming contaminated by our evil, uncontrolled desires: Vanity, complexes resulting from failure and frustration, rancor and revenge and we have to purify it.
Pollution of soul and mind deviates man from the straight path to the path of moral depravity and makes him turn away from God

Prayer Brings Spiritual and Mental Serenity
When man prays to God most humbly, he feels peace of mind and spiritual power. Worship to God if effected in the right manner, having contemplated the subtle meanings of the Qur’anic verses that prayer is fraught with, belittles for us preoccupation with this world. In one word, prayer to God is annihilation in Him.
William James, philosopher and psychologist, believes that faith in God is the panacea for all our troubles. Religion is the breath of life for us all.
Cyril Burt, another psychologist observes prayer to God is a garden of bliss we enter that would not open to us should we forget our Maker.
Alexis Karl has also proved that prayer to God is the source of vitality, and in some cases can even lead to the cure of physical ailments.

Supplicate God for Guidance
In the opening sura of the Qur’an we supplicate God to show us the straight path. This is the most important point we Muslims ponder in our prayers and in our close commune with him. Suppose we are aboard a boat on a river. The natural coastline does not allow the boat to deviate from its route. Supplicating God to show us the straight path is within the religious framework and thus we benefit from what He has bestowed upon us. Turning away from the right path provokes His wrath. The Qur’an says: This is the scripture whereof there is no doubt, a guidance unto those who ward off evil, who believe in the unseen and establish worship and spend of that we have bestowed upon them and who believe in that which is revealed unto thee (Muhammad) and that which was revealed before thee, and are certain of the Hereafter. These depend on guidance from their Lord. These are the successful” (verses 2-5, Sura “The Cow”)

Getting Closer to God
When man believes God is Merciful unto His worshippers he feels closer to Him, so closely that he talks to Him. The more we know God, the more we talk to Him, we pray to Him for His mercy to be extended over us all. The closer we get to Him, the more we put our faith and trust in Him.

Supplications that Follow Prayers
After prayers we continue to supplicate and this gives us a longer peace of mind. In his prayers man communes with God and supplicates Him for help out of his sufferings. Such close commune with his Lord, grants man more serenity. To voice our grievances while in worship, raises hope in man that his Lord would hear his call for help. The Qur’an says: Pray unto Me and I will hear your prayer” (verse 60, Sura “The Believer”)
To put trust in God and call for help would relieve your sufferings.
The Qur’an says: And say: My Lord! Cause me to come in with a firm incoming and to go out with a firm outgoing. And give me from Thy presence “sustaining power” (verse 80, Sura: “The Children of Israel”)

Permanent Presence of God in Our Hearts
The Qur’an says: O You who believe! Remember Allah with much remembrance. And glorify Him early and late. He it is Who blesses you, and His angels (bless you), that He may bring you forth from the darkness unto light; and He is Merciful to the believers” (verses 41-43, sura “The Claws”)
Remembrance of God brings permanent presence of God in our hearts.

Prayer as a Barrier to Deviations
The Qur’an says: Recite that which has been inspired in you of the Scripture and establish worship. Lo! Worship preserves you from lewdness and inequity, but verily remembrance of Allah is more important. And Allah knows what you do. (Verse 45, sura “The Spider”).
Worship causes us to know God and feel closer to Him. It bars us from doing wrong and from going astray. A faithful man is immune from mental strains, depression, anxiety, social deviations, transgression and addiction. A pious man feels that through prayer to God, he will have spiritual and mental felicity.

Prayer Incites Patience in Facing Problems
Faith in the omnipotence of God and invoking Him makes one steadfast. The Qur’an says: O you who believe. Seek help in steadfastness and prayer. Lo! Allah is with the steadfast” (verse 153, sura “The Cow”)
The Qur’an who says: Who say, when a misfortune strikes them: Lo! We are Allah’s and lo! Unto Him we are returning” Such are they on whom are blessings from their Lord, and mercy. Such are the rightly guided” (Verses 156 and 157, sura “The Cow”. Again the Qur’an says: Seek help in patience and prayer; and truly it is hard save for the humble-minded” (verse 45, sura “The Cow”)
Attar Neishaburi, the Persian poet says:
“Remember God in whatever you do
“Never put Him out of your mind
“If you seek help, seek from Him
“For this is the best refuge to turn to.”
Translated by Abulhassan Quds Sharifi

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