Channel: Bilal Philips
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Salam Alaikum rahmatullah wa barakato
This is another verse from the Quranic reflections series. And it is from Surah Al Baqarah.
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Oh, people worship your Lord, Who created you, and those before you, in order to become mindful of God. This is verse 21.
The first point of reflection
from this verse is that the very first command in the Quran, this is there are no commands before this, this is the very first command from Allah, Allah saying, do this.
This very first command is to worship him.
Which is, of course, the second pillar of Islam
is after belief in Allah, the very next pillar is to worship Allah. And this is very important, especially for those of us who are in contact with new Muslims, people just converting to Islam,
to make sure that
we established the importance right from the very beginning, because I've met many, you know, new Muslims, quote, unquote, new Muslims, they've been in Islam for a year, two years, and they still haven't established their prayer, they still don't know really how to pray, and that and
because it was never made clear to them, the importance of it as the second pillar of Islam. So what should be done is that, after giving the declaration of faith after they have made their declaration of faith,
then the very next thing we should do,
of course, we've already explained to them what it meant and all the things connected with it. But the very next thing that we should do is to show them how to make wudu.
Demonstrate for them, let them do it along with us. And take them to the next prayer.
You can lead them in the prayer, they can stand beside you.
Or depending on the circumstance, whether you make an GEMA or it's almost time for the next prayer in the masjid, you take them to them, take them with you to the masjid. And of course they don't know how to pray. From the time you've given them the or the ticket from them the declaration of faith, they've made their declaration.
You can't be expected to have taught them salah, it's going to take some time. But the point is they can just do as you do. That's all that's required of them.
Just to remember God and stand, do the movements that we do, bowing etc.
they just follow us. But they understand from the very beginning that prayer is critical.
The second point of reflection
is that God deserves our worship, because He created us, as well as our forefathers those who came before us.
As the creator of course, he deserves praise because what is worship about? It's about praising God and requesting of God
through our worship. Our prayers are either praising him,
for what He has granted us He's given us or it is asking him for our needs,
our desires, our wishes.
So when we direct our prayers to God,
he ultimately is the one
who will answer them anyway.
So directing our wishes, desires or wants, etc. to those around us.
It's God who is going to answer it, possibly through them. There's no harm in doing so. But the more we can be direct to God, the better.
The third principle is the fundamental purpose of worshiping God.
It's mentioned here in the verse, it is to develop mindfulness of God, to be conscious of God
in all the affairs of our lives.
By being conscious of God, in our various affairs, we will make sure that the deeds and the thoughts and the actions and the efforts that we make are pleasing to God,
pleasing to God, meaning, good,
beneficent. So this is the second point of reflection, that ultimately the purpose is to develop a continual
remembrance of God. And that's why Islam according to what Allah has revealed to the Prophet salallahu Alaihe Salam
requires the followers to pray five times a day.
Some people raise an issue.
Why don't you just pray, when you feel like praying, when you have the desire to pray, because if you're praying, when you don't really have a desire, then it means you're praying like a robot. You're just going through, you know, doing these motions at this time, set time, so and so. So your heart is not really in it.
So isn't it better to pray, when your heart is in it when you have that feeling, and need?
Desire? Sounds nice. But the problem is that if you don't have that feeling, anytime today, then you don't pray today.
And this week, if you didn't have the feeling, then you don't pray this week, this month, if you don't have the feeling
that you don't pray, and it can go on months and months and months. And usually, when is it that we come? We need to pray when calamity strikes.
So, you know, we are just reactive, there is no ProAction from our part.
We're not making the effort without something behind us.
So, establishing those times of prayer, dividing our day up, around a framework of prayer is to help to make prayer.
A natural part of our lives.
but at the same time, conscious worship. So that's why they come Rama to lie he will wear barakato