How Our Prayers are Answered?
The reality of the prayer is that it is making a connection with the maker of the major decisions in the throne. That is, as Allah carries out his creation in the way He likes; so too is His foreordaining of things-weather abolishing or confirming them-is linked to the wish of the servant himself in regards to changing his fate! It is known that blocked ways are such in regards to us, the incapable mortals, not in regards to whom who has in His hand the Tablet in which matters are blotted out or confirmed.
Every phenomenon in this existence has its rule. People control a big part of these rules, by Allah’s will. Prayer (invocation of God) is one of these phenomena, which has its rules, causes and hindrances. Knowledge of that helps the servant get a speedy answering. The religious writings have mentioned many of these. The following are samples:
First: Being certain of Allah’s generosity and having a good opinion of Him is a reason for answering. When praying, we are commanded to believe that our need is just behind a door. Let us imagine how certain he would be who knows that what he is asking is at the door and that all he needs to get is a small key, which opens the big gates!
Second: praying pushes the waves of calamity back before they cover man. It is clear that the prayer made during ease -to ward off the foreordained calamity- is more likely to be answered than the one made after the establishment of the hardship. The first indicates reliance on the Lord to bring about welfare, while the second is a natural reaction, even of someone whose relationship with the Lord is not good, to any hardship.
Third: Praying is undoubtedly a requirement for the answering. However, Allah delays answering the disobedient servant’s prayer because of his vices. It is said that Allah has remains of subsistence, which He gives to whosoever He wishes. However, man commits vices because of which he is exempted from that subsistence, as said by the Prophet (PBUH). Whose fault it is in this case?
Fourth: How nice it is when operating prays to Allah privately, seeking intimacy, without having a certain need. The Koran describes Abraham as ‘compassionate, clement’. Imam Baqir interpreted ‘compassionate’ as the one that abases himself before Allah when he prays and when he is alone in a desolate land.
Fifth: Man must not restrict his prayer to major demands, because Allah commanded Moses (A.S) to ask for whatever he needed even if it was his sheep’s fodder or his dough’s salt. Clearly, this is a way of encouraging frequent connection with Allah and referring to Him in every detail so that man does not think of himself as being able to do without his Lord in any stage of his life, which is the first step to transgression.
Sixth: It is necessary that man be in an appropriate shape for praying like; wearing a perfume, facing Qibla (direction of Mecca), performing an ablution, donating beforehand, devotion, crying or pretending to cry, frequently saying the prayer until it is answered, giving priority to fellow Moslems and generalizing the prayer. Why not pray to Allah in the plural rather than the singular form; for all it takes is changing the pronoun!
Seventh: The expression, ‘Allah is embarrassed’ is seldom mentioned in The Tradition except when it comes to the answering of prayers! Contemplate on this Hadith so that you become more certain of Allah’s kindness and generosity.
Imam Baqir (A.S) said: “ No man stretches out his hands to Allah (asking Him) but it makes Allah embarrassed to return it empty, until He fills it with what He wills of His bounty and mercy. Therefore, when anyone of you prays, he should not put down his hands until he wipes his head and face with them.
Eighth: some Hadiths cite a strange explanation for the delaying of the answering. Do you believe that Allah delays answering the prayer of the righteous servant just because He likes to hear his vice? If anything, this show how deep is Allah’s love to His praying servants while He is not in need of them. It was reported that Allah delays the answering in longing to the righteous servant’s prayer saying:“ It is a voice I like to hear”, and He hastens answering the hypocrite’s prayer saying: “ It is a voice I hate to hear”. Could this love be compared to any other kind of love?
Ninth: It is really a loss for a man to be unoccupied and healthy and not bother to mention his Lord. How many hours do us waste waiting for something, driving a vehicle or tossing and turning in bed! Are we not included in the Prophet’s saying:“ The laziest of men is the one who is healthy and unoccupied and does not mention Allah with a lip or a tongue”!
It is emphasized in The Tradition that we do not make our gatherings, on which we spend a lot of money and time in some cases, a cause for evil consequences on Doomsday. The Prophet said: “No people gather in a gathering and not mention Allah or pray for their Prophet (PBUH), but their meeting brings them evil consequences”. Isn’t this sorrow enough as a chastisement on Doomsday?
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