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Pillars of Islam 4 – Prayers Form And Significance – Part 1

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Jamal Badawi

Channel: Jamal Badawi

Series:

Episode Notes

Episode Transcript

© No part of this transcript may be copied or referenced or transmitted in any way whatsoever. Transcripts are auto-generated and thus will be be inaccurate. We are working on a system to allow volunteers to edit transcripts in a controlled system.


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In the Name of God, the beneficence, the Merciful, the creator and Sustainer of the universe, peace and blessings upon his servant and messenger Muhammad, wherever amin I greet you with the greetings of all the prophets from Adam until the present time. The greetings of peace Assalamu alaikum, which means peace be unto you. I'm your host Hama Rashid. Our program is Islam and focus. I have with me on the program, Dr. Jamal battery of St. Mary's University. Welcome to the program, brother Jamal, and today's program, we will be continuing our discussion of the topic of prayer or slot. This is our fourth program in this series. And more specifically, today, we will be looking at how prayer is

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actually conducted. And why rather, perhaps before we go into the actual demonstration for those of our viewers who perhaps didn't catch us last week, and to make the connection between last week's program which dealt with the preparation for players a lot, could you just highlight the main points that we talked about last week in our program? Certainly, the first thing we emphasize last time was the importance of the prayers. And he said that this is the second most important pillar of Islam after the confession of faith, believing in God.

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And that leaving prayers is regarded in Islam as a major sin, out of neglect. But leaving prayers in with an attitude of belittling its importance is actually akin to this believe it destroys the remaining line between believers and unbelievers so much emphasized in the Quran. We also indicated that, in the Day of Judgment, the first thing we are held accountable for God is whether or not we kept this regular prayers. And that the prayers is not necessarily limited to the ritualistic part of it or the format part of it. But when properly understood, it has a very far reaching impact on the attitudes, behaviors and the life of the believer.

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The second major point was to trace the history of prayers. And he said that, according to the Quran, all prophets or major prophets, at least in the past has been ordained to maintain and keep prayers, we found evidence in the Quran, about prayers being prescribed on prophets, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Jesus, Ishmael, Ahmed, we there was mentioned also of Mary, the mother of Jesus peace be upon all of them.

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So that shows that prayer has been the basic common

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belief and requirement of believers history. The third point we were talking about the preparations for the prayers. And we said that in addition to evolution,

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cleanliness, which was described in the program before that, there is also a requirement to have proper coverage of the body modesty and we describe the minimum requirements for males and females. We also mentioned that the place where the person is supposed to pray should be clean. It does not mean that the Muslim must always pray in a specific building, or house of worship. We call this the prophet of Islam, Muhammad peace be upon him indicating that the whole earth is like house of worship. Of course, there are mosques where people are urgent. But whenever the person gets the time of the prayer that has no access, you can pray anywhere in the office.

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Anywhere that will be proper. And we said also that when one prays he should direct his face towards the cover. And the significance we described historically as the first house on Earth, to be built for the worship of the one God, because it was built originally by Prophet Abraham, with the help of his son, Ishmael. The last point we discussed was the number of those prayers and said the Muslim is supposed to keep those prayers five times every day, one adult,

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that's the person right.

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The second prayer is at noon. The third one is in the afternoon. That's midway between noon and sunset. The fourth is immediately after

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sunset. And the fifth is the night prayer, usually about an hour and a half or so, after sunset and extends for the rest of the night. And we ended with the code of prayer, you would ask me what it means.

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So this is basically the preliminaries of getting ready for the prayers. Okay, well, I wonder I'm sure most people are curious. Now, I wonder if perhaps we could now get to the how the salata the prayer is actually done in the actual movements and so on. Could you demonstrate that for us? Sure. Of course, the assumption I'm making now is that the carpet shears are the direction where I'm facing for the prayer is the direction of carpet. With this in mind, and assuming again, the previous preparation that I had evolution, which I did, and ready for it, one can start describing what it means.

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Of course, this kind of government is not the senate an absolute requirement, I was going to ask you that whether or not it was required. No, it's not an absolute requirement, because when Islam required modesty and proper coverage, so that a person would be devoted in his prayers. This applies both to males and females, perhaps for females, they have to cover more for obvious reasons. But it is more desirable also, for me, it's when they pay to have proper care. So it's not an absolute requirement. I mean, I could just play with this. But this is even make it more appropriate. The head cover also would be desirable to have, but it's not a must, before the

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now, when the person starts performing the prayers. Each prayer is composed of the number of units. Each unit is called Raka.

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I just described one of those units.

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Before one starts the prayer he has first to think in his own heart, and have the intention to pray that he's now standing before God, worshiping him supplicating to him in full obedience and submission to him. Once this intention is there, the person raises both his hands in this way and say, Allahu Akbar,

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Allahu Akbar, means God is the Greatest, and then the right hand, is put over the left hand.

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After this, the minimum to be recited. While this standing position is a short chapter in the Quran, which is the first chapter that appears in just a few lines. This would be the cited white standing in the prayer and making recitation, actually for the entire duration of the prayer.

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A Muslim is not supposed to look around, for example, or talk to other people. Of course, I'm only showing you when I pray, actually, I shouldn't talk like this. One would not eat or drink, it's total devotion and concentration.

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A person need not necessarily close his eyes, but it is desirable simply to keep looking at the place where the prostration on the floor will be made, I'd be showing that in a way. So that then we say, Allahu Akbar is the beginning, minimum recitation of the first chapter of the Quran.

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And then one raises his hand again and say Allahu Akbar, God is the greatest and prostate. In this frustration, he is the person with bent himself so that his hands would be holding the knees this way. And the most appropriate position is that the back should be straight. In other words, the back should be straight like that. The head should neither be too high or too low, just in the same level, with the with the body. There is certain supplication that's also mentioned in this we can get into explaining that.

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And then the person says something I loved him and Hamida, which means

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God hears those who praise him. Oh, my lord. All praise are all thanks or God to you. And then comes perhaps the most beautiful moment in the prayer, which shows the complete humility and submission to God. And this is even greater frustration. When the person falls down, preferably getting down like this, with the toes direct facing the, the direction of the cover, and then coming with the knees like that. And then both hands would be underneath the ears, with the forehead and the nose, touching the ground or the floor like that.

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While in that position, there's also suffocation describe again, and then setting again, for a short while, and then repeating, again, the same frustration in this way.

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And that would be the end of the first unit called.

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You mentioned raqa, or units, how many units are required in the salon or in the prayer, it ranges between two to four, depending on the the time of the date, the time what the prayer is performed, for example, the early morning prayer, the one between dawn and sunrise for sunrise is composed of two additions,

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the known prayers, the afternoon prayers, and the late the night prayers, of these three are four units each.

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The prayer which is performed immediately after sunset, is composed of three addition. So in the order of the day, it's 2443, for a total of 17 minutes, but of course, divided on five, the five prayers that's performed, gentlemen,

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I like to

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look at the the way of performance a lot, as you've just demonstrated, go back and look at some of the movements and perhaps I have you explained the significance of some of the movements. First of all, I wonder if you could just explain the significance of

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the raising of the hands at the beginning of the salon.

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Okay. Usually we use as humans the hands as symbol of power,

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the hand that we used to do things to accomplish things, intellectual or physical otherwise,

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it is the hand also that sometimes used to

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by way of force, but sometimes when we really are using force, we defer to the use of hands. So it's fair to power, human power.

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And when we raise that hand, in the time of prayer, it symbolizes that, oh Lord, we are really gifting to you, we are submitting to you that any power that you have bestowed on us, physical, intellectual, or otherwise, is all in your hand, you are greater than,

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in fact, the very lifting of the hands like this is almost like a year, but consciously not yet, or surrender under pressure. That's why you prefer the word submission, I eat, I submit to you.

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There is another meaning of so that when you raise your hand like this, then put your hand the very lifting, or raising of the hand is almost like throwing the word behind your back, that now I am going to concentrate and focus on devotion and worship to God. I'm not going to think about other things. Like I said before, I will not talk about people around me or talk to other people or thinking of eating or anything, I'm only thinking about God devoting to him. So I'm throwing all of those

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words behind me.

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And then you put your hand, even the putting of the hands like this. It's also simple. That in front of you, oh Lord, I am humbled. I am weak. I am nothing, if you will, in this beautiful discourse. And nothing. I can't do anything without your without your support.

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So it kinda is really beautiful meaning and now you notice also that when you raise your hand, I said that you say, Allahu Akbar, or God is the greatest, the greatest. And that shows again, the nature of snap, where

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the physical movements, the utterance of the time, are consistent, out together, integrated, integrated, so this full harmony between the movement of glorification and the utterance of verification, to get when you pray before

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when you were going through your explanation, then you talked about the first chapter of the Quran being recited. And I wonder if perhaps, you could explain why you didn't take the time to explain to us what what the wording was. I wonder if you could do that. Now, you just explained to us what it says. Right? Well, of course, that's very important chapters. And as I indicated earlier, in each unit, not in each period, each unit of prayer,

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it is mandatory to recite that chapter. So there must be really

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the OR gates significance. Actually, it's regarded as sort of the mother of the book as the cornerstone of the crime. The reason being is that in this first chapter, the branch short as it may be, it contains perhaps the most beautiful certainly

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Question that anyone really can ever think of.

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Let me go briefly through the

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few verses that chapters have tried to explain what is the first one,

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or the first part of the chapter.

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And the Name of God, the beneficence, the most.

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The significance of this is that it teaches the believer that anything that he does, he or she does, should be done in sincerity, and only in the name of God that God has appointed us as trustees on this earth. And anything that we do, by way of worship or other activities in life should be done in his name, because it is by his permission, that he gave us this power to do these things.

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So this does not only apply to prayer, actually, a Muslim should recite this first part, in the name of God, the Beneficent, merciful, whatever he studying in this activity.

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And then the second verse, it says, hamdu lillahi, Rabbil aalameen. Praise be to God, Lord, of the words of the universe.

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First of all, it says, Praise be to God or thanks, are due to God. And this reminds us when we stand before God, that one of the purpose of prayers is Thanksgiving, that He has given us boundless,

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boundless

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benefits and bounces, which we cannot really count, to give us health,

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property, food and everything that we have in this. So we all,

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as humans, when somebody gives you a bar of chocolate, or a piece of candy, or a piece of candy, you say thank you. How about he who created the whole universe, who is the original giver of all of those boundaries, so the least, to say at the beginning, is to give him thanks for this lesson.

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The second part of that verse, it says, Blessed be to God, the Lord of the Universe, are words. And this is a beautiful reminder of the universality of Islam, that there is only one God, there is only one humanity. And God is not only the God of certain tribes, or group of people, or people even who are claiming to belong to one religion or the other, that is the Lord that the entire humanity, not only humanity, actually says words, and product, or universe.

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So that's, in a way, even though it's very brief,

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is a revolution against all types of false various that people established between human beings, the various that are based on geographic location, nationalistic

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orientation, a geologists, race, differences between races between sexes, based on wealth, or social status, that's for the Muslim, this doesn't mean anything, because there's only one God is on the one brotherhood that is the entire humanity. In very brief

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words, this whole meanings are embodied

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in the third, on the next verse, it says, medically omitted, sorry, the next one is, man

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are two words that reflect

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on mercy, the mercy of God. One of them, Rahim means merciful.

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Man is a beautiful word that is not exact, there is no exact equivalent in English, usually translated as beneficence.

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But the Arabic grammar also could mean the source of nursing that not only is God merciful, but he is the source of honors, he is mercy.

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And this is very important because it shows the orientation of the Muslim that even though there are so many divine attributes of God that appears in the Quran, omnipotent, omnipresent, and all that there's always mentioned, of course, about God as just God and God, but the most cherished quality of God that the Quran emphasizes, and that's the evidence that you find in the chapter repeated 17 times, at least every day of

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the beneficence

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reflecting the orientation of Muslim image of God, as merciful God.

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The next one says medically omitting that God is the Owner of the Day of Judgment. So it reminds us that our life here is not senseless, is not endless, that there is a day of judgment where we stand before God and that he would be the sword judge. It says Horner he'd be the sole judge to hold us accountable for our lives on earth. And then it goes on Yeah, cannot do it. Yeah. Can Stein you alone, God, do we worship and your help alone.

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Do we see.

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And that was logically from the previous verses. Because if we acknowledge God as the Lord of the Universe, who is the ultimate judge, then it follows that he is the only one who is worthy of worship and devotion. And the one who is really should be sought after for to fulfill our desires and needs and to remove our anxieties. The next one is Dennis ceramista, show us the straight path. It's a kind of application and what is the application, then ask him to be guided, all other things would follow and follow the place once you get in the right path. And then it describes that as in the form versus serata, levina and naantali.

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Oh Allah, or God Guide us to the straight path, the path of those on whom you bestowed Your mercy, not the past of those who earned your anger, or those who were led astray. And that make a big distinction between the only straight path because again, we know mathematically that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line straight, a straight line, which is our straight path, which is clear, concise, no complexity, no returns, straight, man to get type of relationship. That path is made quite distinct in the remaining parts of the chapter, that it is distinct from the path either of those who earned the anger of God except as those who totally rejected God,

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unbelievers, or even the past of those who might have believed, but called about been misled. Those have been led astray, either because of excesses or mixing, pure sinful revelation with other philosophical doctrines, and ideas, and then it ends with the word Ameen in Arabic, which is equivalent, more or less meaning to the English term in let's make up here. So if you really reflect on the meaning of this very short

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chapter in the Quran, what can say, quite simply, it is perhaps the most beautiful, concise, and universal application, which can strike chords with any video, anywhere. And anything. Show me any photo of any good faith would have any disagreement with any of this concise, beautiful expression of supplication. So there's a good reason why it's required.

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When the individual or the Muslim resizes as part of the salon or the prayer, does he or she feel that God is actually listening to this, and responding to this prayer? Absolutely. This is one of the main characteristics of Muslim prayers. There's no intermediary, even prophets are not regarded as intermediate person is praying directly to God. God is listening to him. Maybe the best way to answer that question is to quote one saying, peace be upon him, in which he said that God's indicated or said that he has divided this chapter into two parts, one for us, one for him. And then he continues, he says, when we say,

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Praise be to God,

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the Lord of the Universe, God would respond to him. And he says, My servant, thank me.

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When the believer says,

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To him, the Beneficent the merciful, God, we say, My servant, praise me. When the believer says, that God is the Owner of the Day of Judgment,

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God would respond, my servant, glorified me. And then we need Besides, only you do we worship and only your help, do we see, God would respond for whatever my art my servant asked, he will get at which means that any remaining part of the verse which guide us into the straight path and so on, is already accepted by God.

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Now, when you were talking earlier, you mentioned that the recitation of this first chapter of the Quran is the minimum requirement in each of the records or the units of the practice of the prayers. Are there other things other additional things that

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may be added or are required to be added to an additional note the bare minimum is recitation of the first chapter of the Quran. But in addition to this, before reciting this chapter of the Quran, when one starts the place, a lot of work but at the beginning, there are various applications that were suggested by the prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, one can select any of them. Let me cut you part one, because some of them are long, some are short, despite the one it says like this. I turned my face to he who created the heavens and earth

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Submitting uprightly to him. And I am not of those who associate others or other deities with him. Very, my prayers, my rituals, my life, and my death are all for God, Lord of the Universe, there is no partner with him. So am I or didn't, and I'm not, I am. And I am of those who submit that the word of God, that's at the beginning, there are other good foots application like that, which is basically that I direct my face to God, I seek your help your forgiveness.

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In addition to this, after the person besides the first chapter of the Quran, it is desirable also, to recite an additional portions from the Quran, it could be a short chapter, or it could be a portion of a longer chapter, depending on the time and the circumstances of the individual. An example of this would be one of the very short chapter in the plan, for example, number 112. very brief, it says in the translation, say, He is the one and only God on whom all depends or God is the Sustainer of the universe. He gets not, nor was he begun, and there is none, that is comfortable unto him. This like but like I said, you could decide much bigger chapter, depending on the

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flexibility

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depend upon the knowledge of the individual Muslims, how much of the quality, time and devotion You see, there's a great deal of excellence, you can do the prayers all in a few minutes, you can do it in much longer period of time, I'm sure, in a few minutes and every month remaining in today's program that a lot of the viewers of the program, are probably wondering why the prayers of a lot have so many movements or include the movements that they do, like the castration and frustration and so on. Do these movements carry any significance? What a great deal of significance we can perhaps touch on that. But perhaps there are a few other things perhaps we can

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touch on at some other time. But they do at least I can give one today. It reflects the prayer reflects the whole nature and philosophy of Stanford's life, attitude towards life.

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That human being is composed mainly of structural aspects, intellectual and physical. Islam does not see these elements as in conflict, there is no inherent conflict that could stand between these three, but that these three should be all harmonize together and brought together and submitted together.

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So in the prayers, first of all, like I indicated before, one feels that he is in the presence of God, he plans himself beforehand, to explain place, devote his attention, think only about God when he faced and this is one of the greatest experience of spiritual ecstasy. Nobody really can describe it. And this one really tested feeling that you're communicating directly with them.

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Now, beside that spiritual part, a person's mind is not absent.

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Because he's required to think about what he decides. And like I said before he decides from the ground up is full of wisdom, knowledge, and one should always think about what is recycling. So the intellect is participating in the prayers. Well, not only this, the physical and material is not excluded, that the body itself in harmony and complete synchronization with the spiritual feeling, and intellectual thinking is also participating in the expression of this humility, submission. And

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I think we've exhausted the time that we have available for our program today. Perhaps Next week, we'll come back and we'll continue this little bit further. We want to thank you for watching the Islamic focus program Assalamu alaikum, peace be unto you. See you next time.