Philosophy of Prayer By -Wasequzzaman Mubashshir


Undoubtedly the main reason behind all sorts of moral degradations is taking place of Godlessness in human character and lack of value based education. In Islam, worshipping God doesn’t only mean saying prayer five times going to the mosque rather it is more than this though misconception has become widespread all around. When the matter of prayer comes into consideration, concentration must also be put on having a well-organized worldly life going beyond the moment spent in mosque. Does the concept of saying prayer going to the mosque in Islam not contain any significance then?
It is the tendency of most of the Muslims either to oversimplify the Islamic doctrines or to give birth to an orthodox ideology based on the dogmatic interpretation of Islamic doctrines but they often forget that the entire Muslim Ummah has been ordered to follow a moderate path by the Almighty Himself (Al Quran, 2:143). But unfortunately some sects from the Muslims either start to over politicize the Islamic principles without understanding the inner meaning and the spiritual dimension of Islam or they overemphasize the spiritual dimension without paying any heed to the economic, social and cultural aspects of Islam. Therefore, both an oversimplified version of Islam and the creation of an orthodox image of Islam are highly problematic as they go against the basic tenets of Islam.
Aesthetics is a very significant branch of Western Philosophy which covers a vast area of it. According to the description provided in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “While everyday aesthetics includes spectator-oriented aesthetics, a major part constituting a major flow of everyday life is our active engagement with doing things by handling an object, executing an act and producing certain results, all motivated by aesthetic considerations.” When the matter of prayer in Islam comes into question the concept of aesthetics becomes very much relevant here as one of the branches of aesthetics solely deals with beauty and prayer in Islam certainly contains such kind of beauty which is higher in nature and unique. From which angle prayer is considered something beautiful? Prayer is beautiful since it ensures the beauty of mind and heart and protects it from all kinds of evil thoughts and ill feelings. This beauty cannot be seen by the eyes rather it can only be felt by the heart and only a man with insight bears the capacity to feel it using his own wisdom.
In Islam saying prayer and purifying and beautifying the mundane affairs are seriously interconnected to each other and one cannot be thought of by excluding the other. As Islam is considered as the religion of completeness it is mandatory to fulfill each and every command of Islam honestly and sincerely otherwise any kind of deviation will give rise to serious contradictions. Saying prayer five times accurately makes the believer confident and more energetic to lead his worldly life upholding his honesty and purity of character. Just like the river water’s washing away all the dusts from the body prayer also cleans the dirt of the mind and soul and ultimately helps a man to maintain a lifestyle as a person with clean image.
When a person keeping good intention enters into a beautiful mosque, enjoys the dazzling beauty with insight for a long time, performs ablution, stands on the cool floor of the mosque, says the mandatory (Fard) prayers at first and then the additional prayers for sure it is going to bring some changes in him and give him relief from the bad habits because of which he almost forgot in his previous days to sleep peacefully and to have an altruistic thinking always. Language is an inseparable part of human civilization and truly a great blessing from the Most Merciful. Even He is so kind that He has taught us the method to make our positive claims to Him in the form of requests through several Quranic verses generally called as the verses of supplication and these are the actual language to communicate and reach very close to Him. The calm and quiet atmosphere of the mosque provides that golden opportunity to make secret communication with the most beloved Lord through the proper means showed by him.
Silence is something obvious to pray realizing its true meaning and spirit. The more a person will spend his time in a chaotic situation the more he will be incapacitated by psychological illness and thus will fail to concentrate upon building a sound relationship with the Most Gracious. Therefore, silence is a condition precedent to have a fruitful saying of prayer and to have a better impact of prayer on mind and heart. Considering the significance of silence for meaningful prayer the genius Rumi said, “Be silent, only the hand of God can remove the burdens of your heart.”
Spirituality is a must to make the life well-organized and more meaningful. Without spirituality neither the purity of character can be achieved nor is it possible to know the real meaning and object of life. The most important is that prayer in Islam is essential to nurture humane values in mind and heart. A believer can achieve completeness when he continuously keeps himself within a balanced lifestyle and nurtures moral values in him. It must be kept in mind that these values cannot be achieved overnight rather they require frequent practice of spirituality and regular performance of good deeds. Only then a believer can see the face of true knowledge and wisdom.
Siratul Mustakim (the straight path) is there to get salvation from all kinds of frustration and ignorance. Human being is always in need of peace but without paying any heed to the beautiful God-directed path he just hankers after baseless things thinking that peace is there and ultimately divorces morality from their life and starts to live in the darkness. Value based education is a must for getting relief from mental slavery. There may be alternative to everything but there is no alternative to good education. The main underlying philosophy of prayer is to ensure the learning of values and ethics for every believer and inquisitive seeker through enlightening and broadening their mind and thinking pattern so that in the ultimate situation they can prepare themselves as a force of enlightened and good human beings in true sense.

The writer is a student of Law at Eastern University.