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February 15, 2021

Some Aspects of the Islamic View about Prayer (Supplication or Du’aa)

At Universal Level

The physical universe is operating exactly as Allaah planned and executed through the physical laws of nature that came into force along with the initiation of the process of creation at the instant of big bang. Those laws are the Taqdeer (predetermination) of the universe and everything in it. Islamic teachings indicate that no prayer (supplication) can affect those laws.

At the Terrestrial Level

The earthly systems that affect human life are also all automated through the physical laws of nature and are predetermined Taqdeer. Allaah SWT lets them operate as designed without interference; however, in a few exceptional cases, He may overrule them, as needed, to show a miracle for His messengers or to grant a special prayer (supplication) of some extraordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. The examples of miracles of Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (pace be upon them) are well-known, one example of the later is when people of Madeenah were desperate for rain due to an extended period of drought; so, when the Prophet came out for sermon, they asked him to pray. As soon as he prayed, clouds suddenly appeared and it start raining heavily before his sermon was finished.

When it comes to day to day matters of the life of human beings, physically, they are subject to biological and physical laws in the predetermined way (Taqdeer); but other than that, they are totally free to make their own decisions and choices and execute their decisions according to the resources available to them. This freedom is granted by Allaah SWT and He never does anything to interfere in their freedom to make their decisions and choices. There used to be one interference that Allaah used to make after sending a messenger. After a predetermined period of respite to allow people to reflect upon the message of the messenger and make an informed choice to accept him or reject him, the rejecters of the messenger were destroyed. But since the advent of the Prophet (Muhammad), even that has been discontinued. As he was the last Prophet and the Last Messenger of Allaah, nothing of that sort can happen anymore after him.

Currently, all systems operating in human societies, continue to operate without any intervention of any sort from Allaah. The only exception is if someone prays for help, and has already done whatever is humanly possible for that person to do to achieve what he is praying for, then, Allaah helps them only if that help will not affect anyone else’s independence and freedom to make decisions and choices. To grant such help, Allaah SWT uses His angels who utilize built in mechanisms in the natural systems to do what needs to be done. If the person has not done his best to do what humanly could have been done or if the acceptance of his prayer will interfere with anyone else’s freedom, then, the prayer is not accepted. However, it is still counted as an act of worship.

In Islam, the essence of prayer (supplication or du’aa) is acknowledging Allaah as the Lord and Boss of one’s life. That is why it is considered an act of worship.

Posted in Clarifications on February 15, 2021 by Ayub Hamid

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Deen

Deen

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