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The Prophet's Prayer

The Prophet Muhammad was passionate in his submission to God.

It is related by H{usayn son of Imam Ali who spoke on the subject of the humility of the Apostle of God during his prayers saying: 'He would weep until his prayer mat became wet with tears for fear of God, but not because he had sinned for he was without sin.' On the subject of his great humility during prayer, MuUrif son of Abdull"h ibn al-Shukhayr relates of his father that he said: 'I saw the Prophet praying and his chest was humming as a boiler hums.' 75 This is an indication of the reverberation in the Prophet's chest of the sound of his weeping.

In a tradition, the Prophet's wife speaks of the strength of his commitment to God saying: 'The Apostle of God used to speak with us and us with him. When the time came for the prayer though, it was as if he did not recognise us nor we him.' 76

Commander of the Faithful Imam Ali points out the importance of prayer to the Prophet and his commitment to it when he says in a tradition: 'The Apostle of God, may Allah bless him and his family, took great pains with his prayer even after he had been promised Paradise. This was due to God's words: eAnd order your family to prayer and persevere in it. 77 He used to order his family to prayer and make himself steadfast in it.' 78 The Prophet due to a tremendous yearning to stand before God in prayer would await for the time of prayer to arrive with intense longing. He would say to Bilal the muezzin. 79
who would give the call to prayer: 'Give us comfort O Bilal,' 80 as he found his comfort in prayer and turning towards God. He persisted in worship for so long that his feet became raw, and in turning to God, and in his thankfulness for the great bounties he received from Him. When he was asked about his relentless endeavour, he said: 'Am I not to be a grateful servant?' 81

When Omm Salamah, the Prophet's wife, was asked about the Apostle of God's prayers at night she said: 'There is no comparison between your prayers and his. He would pray then he would sleep for the same amount of time as he had prayed. Then he would pray for the same amount of time that he had slept. Then he would sleep for the same amount of time that he had prayed. Then he would rise in the morning.' 82

The Prophet himself in a speech to his close companion AbY Dharr al-Ghif"r: 83, spoke of the extent of his connection and commitment to God by way of prayer when he said: 'O AbY Dharr, God has given me happiness through prayer and has made prayer beloved to me just as food is beloved to a hungry person and water to a thirsty person. Except that if a hungry person eats he becomes full and if a thirsty person drinks he becomes satiated, but I will never have my fill of prayer.' 84


75. The Morals and Etiquettes of the Prophet (akhl"q al-nab: wa "d"buhu); p. 178

76. ibid; p 178

77. The Holy Qur'an; ?"h" (20): 132

78. The Path of Eloquence, Speech no. 199

79. More properly 'mu'adhdhin.' (Translator's note)

80. Traditions of the Prophet (sunan al-nab:); p.268.

81. Tafs:r al-Burh"n of al-Ba9r"ni; vol.3, p.29. Qum edition.

82. al-waf" bi-a9w"l al-muNUaf"; vol.2, p.505.

83. Abu Dharr became one of the most devout sincere companions of the Prophet Muhammad, and the latter confirmed his sincerity and honesty when he said, "There is no one under the sky, and over the land, more truthful than Abu Dharr.", as quoted in Sunan al-Tarmadhi, chapter al- Manaqib, hadith # 3737; Musnad Ahmad, hadith # 6232; Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 22, p 330.

84. Traditions of the Prophet (sunan al-nab:); p 268

Adopted from the book : "The Prophet Muhammad; a Mercy to the World" by : "Ayatullah Muhammad Sadiq al-Shirazi"

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