A man came and asked his friend, ‘Would Your Lord answer your prayer if you ask for a loaf of bread’. The friend nodded his head positively. The man again insisted, “Do you really think so?”. This time the friend began to beat around the bush and began to justify saying. ‘well you see….’. The man then posed him another question, ‘When you are not sure of a loaf of bread, then how can you ask Him for paradise’?

The congregation at the mosque remained breathless as the khutba proceeded while their worldly thoughts receded. The subject of hereafter is not that silly after all. Without the Last Day Accountability, our lives would become almost meaningless.

Al hamdu lillah. There are many among the Ummah who pray five times a day. But are our prayers really PRAYERS? For most of us, prayer is the time when we get an opportunity to browse through our memory bank. We remember everything at a time when we’re supposed to forget everything except our Lord. That is the time when we suddenly feel that the air conditioner is running in low/high mode.

Our heads begin to itch
To which
Our hands are eager
To reach
All the noises around
We fetch

Lack of concentration in prayer makes it almost equivalent to non-prayer. It is indeed strange how certain people start scanning their surroundings while in prayer.

Ibn Qayyim al Jawzi (ra) has categorized those in prayer into five categories-

One, who does not pray at all

Two, who prays, who prays not. Basically who eagerly follow the ‘Convenience Islam’ who does not want Islam to ‘interfere’ in their public life. They do prayers as per their convenience.

Three, those who, of course, pray. But their prayers are full of distraction.

Four, those who concentrate completely in their worship.

Five, whose coolness of eyes lies in salah.

Now, be honest. Let us evaluate our position.

In the era when the major corporate houses are overvaluing their stock (Worldcom, Enron, AOL, Imclone, Kmart, Arthur Anderson) let us be honest and honest, with outmost trust.

Do not over value. Do not under value. Just at par value.

Value yourself keeping in mind that moment when we stand reading our deed-record, a moment when we will be profusely sweating and sweating which would be suffice to quench the thirst of 40 camels!

We seek His forgiveness who Loves to forgive. We ask His blessings who love to bless His love.

The Imam did not have to speak in a noise ear-breaking, his soft voice was heartbreaking. Noble words don’t have to be shouted. Today’s religious talks are too aversive, full of terror and finding in others much error.

But yes, there was something positive, for Jaihoon to take back as an inspiring motive-

The Imam said thus-

Once at Madina
was seated Muhammad Mustafa
Along with his sahaba…
When he was explaining
The after-death adhaab
About angel’s sawaal
And man’s jawaab
When al Farooq
The son of al Khattaab
Asked if his faith was suffice
To provide the response.

Then did Mustafa say – ‘ There will be among my Ummah who will question back at the angels after they answer their questions.’ When angels ask, ‘Who is your Lord’, they will reply, ‘Allah. Who is your lord?’

Let Jaihoon end this topic with the words of his mentor, who did philosophically ponder –

“Whatever maybe the final state of man it does not contemplate complete liberation from finitude as the highest state of human bliss. The ‘unceasing reward’ of man consists in his gradual growth in self-possession, in uniqueness, and intensity of his activity as an ego. Even the scene of ‘Universal Destruction’ immediately preceding the Day of Judgment cannot affect the calm of a full-grown ego. ‘And there shall be a blast on the trumpet, and all who in the heavens and all who are in the Earth shall faint save those in whose case God wills otherwise. (Quran – 39:69) [Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, pg 117]

Written about the experience of last Friday’s khutba. The text of Hadith may have slight variations.