For 1200 years the Muslims have been meditating and praying and over 100 "Muslim" dynasties have come and gone. When will we learn that it is only through positve action that positive results will occur. Seventh largest this, ninth largest that; unless you use these in the corect manner they are only statistics to help a few politicians keep beguiling the masses.
Pray for Pakistan! When the Quran says stay away from satans handiworks:-
5:90 O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Intoxicants and gambling and games of chance, sacrificing animals on stones (altars of idols) and forecasting the future by such means as arrows, raffles and omens (all) is an immoral handiwork of Satan. Refrain from it that you may prosper.
We are still being told to believe in mind numbing, intellect suppressing acts of worship when we should be doing acts of "following Divine Commandments".
The Qur’an has said that the "praying" concept of dua is wrong and a product of the time when man was in his infant stage and was unaware of the law of causality: the Qur’an clarified that:
1) Everything in the universe is operating according to the order created by God; He never change His laws: walan tajeda sunnatillahi tabdeelah: 33:64 you will not find any of God’s laws to change.
2) It is God’s law which is operative in man’s world too: he who strives as much under these laws will succed proportionately: laisa lil insaana illa ma sa’a; wa unna sa’yahu saufa yura: 53:39-40 there is nothing for man other than what he woprks for; and the result of his efforts will soon be made manifest.
At the same time, the Qur’an has made it clear that simply by praying (and not making any effort), his concept about God is wrong and he can never be successful: surah Raad says: lahu dawatul haq: that human invitation which can produce successful results; which can be said to be based on haq or truth, is the invitation to come towards the Lord that is, which is according to : yad oona min doonehi la yastajee buna lahum bish shaiyi: and those who attach their wishes to others beside God, that is, believe that by leaving aside the Laws of God, they can succeed on the basis of their superstitions, then they are wrong: these self created forces can never fulfill their wishes: such people can be likened to kabasiti kaffiyahi ilal ma-ee liyab lugha fa hu wama huwa bi-balighihi: as if a man sits beside a river and prays that the water may come into his mouth ; the water will never come into his mouth: as such, wama dua-ool kafireena illa fi zalaal: 13:14 those who deny God’s ayats or God’s sayings, their praying can never produce results: do you not see that walil lahi mun fis samawaati wal ardi tau-an wa karha: …13:15 everything in the universe even willy nilly has to operate according to the Laws of God: then how can man be an excveption to this?
As such, according to the Qur’an, praying to God means praying to the Laws of God for help: that is, by obeying it , to find the desired results: this fact has been clarified at various points in the Qur’an: for example, in surah Momineen: wa qaala rabbikumud ooni astajib lakum: your Sustainer says, call out to me: I will respond to your call (the meaning will be explained a little further ahead) : after this, it is said, innal lazeena yastakbiroona un ibadati sayad khuloona jahannama daakhireen: hell (jahannam): this explains what is meant by calling out to God; it means to accept to obey him and His superiority: 40:60 Verily, those who rebel against My obedience, they will be demeaned and enter His obedience and superiority : and His answer to the call means for man’s efforts to bear fruit: this fact has been described at another place as innama yu’minu bi-ayatil lazeena iza zukkiru biha kharru suj-jadan wa sabbahu bihamdi rabbihim wa hum la yastakbiroon: 32:15 those who have eeman on Us, (have faith in us or beleive Us) are those who gladly bow their heads (in subservience) when they are presented with our orders; and are engaged in establishing and making praiseworthy the program given by their Sustainer: and they do not defy these orders: tata-jaafa junubuhum unil mazaji-eh yad-oona rabbehum khaufan wa tam’un wa mimma razakna hum yunfeqoon: 32:15, 16 they are so busy in this work that they do not even consider sleep: are awake at night: and thus call on their Rab (Lord) for removing their problems and for His benevolence: because they know that their efforts will cause good resuls: and what destruction will follow if the orders are disobeyed: whatever We have given them, is kept open (available) to the human race (for their welfare): surah Almomin says: fad-oohu mukhliseen lahuddeen:…. 40:65
When you call out to God, then call him with full and complete obedience only for Him: surah Shura says: wayas tajeebul lazeena aaminu wa aamilus swalehaat…..42:26 He responds to the call of those people who believe on His laws and work according to them: this shows too, what calling to God and His response means: surah Airaaf says: ud-oo rabbakum tazarruanw wa khufyah innahu la yuhibbul mo’tadeen 7:55
Call your Sustainer with complete equanimity of heart and soul: so that the call comes from the core of your heart : remember that those who rebel against His laws and cross the limits (hudd), are disliked by Him: this also shows that by calling Him means obeying Him: the next ayat explains this: wala tufsedu fil ardi ba’da islaheha; wad-oo hu khaufan wea tama’a; inna rahmatillahi qareebum minal muhsineen: 7:56-57 that is, do not create ripples in society after it has become smooth or calm ; and call out to God for banishing your problems and ills and for acquiring benefits; remember that those who maintain the balance in society, God’s benevolence is very near to them:
Here God’s Rahmat or Benevolence is said to be ‘near’: in surah Baqarah God Himself is said to be near: wa iza sa-alaka ibadiyanni fanni qareeb; oojeebu fawatad dayi iza da-aan; and when my bandey (slaves) ask you about Me, tell them I am not far from them, and am very near: closer than their ragey jaan i.e. jugular vein: 50:16 thus they should obey Me and believe in the veracity of my laws so that they find the path to their destinations:
This also makes explicit that calling out (praying) to God means obeying Him: and the response to that call is the results of those efforts.
In surah Namal, first the attention has been drawn to various elements of the universal system as to how everything happens according to God’s order (system); then, the group of momineen has been addressed which was passing through very difficult times in its initial stages of establishing God’s orders: and was calling out at every step for help from God: mata nasrullah: 2:62 when will God’s help come? They were told (through the wahi, of course) am mun mujeebul maztarru iza da’au wa yakshifus soo-a wa yaj-alokum khulafa-al ard……: 27:62 (excepting God) who can hear or answer your cries for help; and remove your worries and difficulties, and grant you the rule on this earth but the rule on earth can only be gotten as a result of your deeds:24:55 thus, do not worry, keep working according to God’s laws, he will turn your helplessness into dominance; and if you continue on this path (the path of God) then Our cosmic forces will save you from the harmful machinations of your opponents: 40:7 not only the group of momineen was told this but the prophets too: in surah Yunus,in Hazrat Moosa’s tale, Hazrat Moosa and his brother Haroon, who was also a prophet, Pray to God to confront Firoun (the pharoah) successfully , they are told that: qad ujeebat da’au takuma fastaqeema: 10:89 the prayers of you both have been accepted i.e. continue with your program (as given by God) with steadfastness : obviously if the acceptance of prayer meant only that whatever you have asked for is given to you, (or you will get it), then after that there was no need for any effort : but here it has been said that your prayer has been accepted, therefore, be steadfast in your program : this makes it obvious, that Hazrat Moosa and his brother Haroon were told only that their prayers are according to God’s laws, and now they should strive to achieve those ends with steadfastness and they would surely succeed.
The above explanations make it clear that calling out to God means obeying his orders and laws: the Prophet SAW was also asked to ‘pray’: qul innama ado rabbi wala ushriku behi ahada: 72:20 tell them that I only call out to my Rab (Lord) and do not include anyone else with Him i.e. do not include anyone in His Supreme authority: 18:26
After this Qur’anic meaning of ‘dua’ or prayer, there is no cause left for the doubts and tribulations mentioned earlier asbout ‘dua’:
The Qur’an also relates the things similar to what we mean by ‘dua’ in the ordinary sense: rabbana waghfir lana zunubana wa israafana fi amrina wa sabbit aqdaamana wansurna alal qaumil kaafireen: 3:146 O, Sustainer, (Lord), protect us from our faults and transgressions: give solidarity to our feet (us) and give us success over the nation of kafireen (Deniers): that is such prayers (dua) in which a man desires fulfillment of his wishes; these prayers are actually a manifest of the intensity of his wishes: this intensity creates a kind of a change in his personality which give vent to his latent capabilities and they go to work for him: consider the meanings of the words Adayituh and ad dawayi given earlier: first of all a man must desire that which is according to God’s laws ( and not the obverse); then he should create intensity in his wishes: this will create a revolutionary condition within himself: and the result is indeed surprising: note that the Qur’an has also said that your wishes must be according to the laws of God or you may wish for something which in reality harmful for you : 17:11
It can be argued that by praying revolutionary changes are created in man himself which help him to attain his goals, then what is the difference in calling out to God or praying to Him? It is correct that man’s latent capabilities are aroused in this way, but the aim is not only to raise the latent forces or capabilities as such: the first thing is to determine the aim for which they are aroused: that is, the purpose for the attainment of which the effort is being made: and what sort is that aim? Then, what are the means to achieve it: and what will the purpose if attained be employed towards? A momin (that is, one who follows the Qur’an) decides all matters under the orders of God, therefore he keeps God before him from first to last: his wish or desire is also a link in this chain: therefore he calls out to God for its attainment too: every thing takes place as per God’s laws: so much so that the latent forces in man are aroused too as a result of His laws: another point to be noted here is: God has bestowed man with that a personality with the proper development of which (to the extent that is humanly possible) can arouse the qualities which when unbounded, are attributable to God: in this manner God’s personality becomes the standard for the development of the human personality: by praying to God ( by calling out to Him) a man wants to arouse the qualities within himself that will help him attain his goal; this is the difference between ‘praying to God’ and arousing intense desire in oneself.
We now come to the prayings of the prophets which are mentioned in the Qur’an: prophet hood is quite different from ordinary human matters: we can not understand anything about it: we only understand the message that they have brought to us and their obedience is our duty: as far as God talking to them in response to their prayers is concerned, it does not happen with ordinary human beings : God does not talk to anyone except the prophets: and to believe that He does, even after the last Prophet SAW, is blasphemy.
The concept that if God does not listen to our pleadings, therefore, someone close to God be requested to pray for us before God is not correct:
As per the Qur’an, no power can interfere between God and His bandey (slaves): to believe so is a big sin: to reach God or to take one’s pleading to God, no via media is required: every human being by obeying God’s laws can reach God or take his voice to Him: (to see the meaning of waseela [means] go to relevant heading): and His laws are obeyed by remaining within the bounds of a Qur’anic society: that is the reason that the prayers that God has taught the momineen are mostly collective such as in 1:5, 7 : 2:201, 3:7, 3:146, and 3:192 etc).
The ayat mentioned above of the surah Baqara i.e.: waiza sa-alaka ibadi anni fa inni qareeb: 2:186 when your followers ask you about Me, tell them that I am very near : or ya nahnu aqrabu ilaihi min hablil wareed: 50:16 I am closer to man than his jugular vein: these ayats contain hints to His imminence and transcendence: He is closer to every human being than his jugular vein: this shows that God is present everywhere in the universe: but not present like something is bound to some place: since our senses are unable to grasp how God can be present somewhere in space without occupying some space , therefore it has been said in the Qur’an that: la tudrekuhul absaaru wahuwa yudrikul absaar: 6:104 human eyes cannot comprehend it: but it is encircling or comprehending human sight: but we can comprehend His laws and can observe their results too: therefore the Qur’an has said we are connected to God’s laws: we call out to His laws and when we act according to His laws, then He answers our call by bringing the desired results that we have called for.
As far as God’s knowledge is concerned: the thing that we term as past, present or future, have no place according to the laws of God: before God ,all, the past, present and the future too are revealed at the same time: there is a sort of Eternal now:
That is, He is aware of future events or that will take place in the future (future for us) as if they are taking place now: but it makes no difference as to our intent or authority which we have been given by God: nor is the fact affected that whatever happens to us is the result of our own deeds: everything is taking place before God: He also knows what we will do: but he does not interfere with our intent or authority: we do what we want: and face whatever results our own deeds bring: if we act according to God’s laws then we get good results: if we go against these laws then we suffer: nobody has the power to do wrong and reap good results: to observe God’s laws is to call out to Him or pray to Him and to get good results means our prayers have been answered.