6- Worship And The Prayers by Ustad Bediüzzaman Said Nursi r.a (1873-1960)
The Ninth Note of the
Know that prophethood in mankind is the summary and foundation of man’s good and perfections; the True Religion is the index of prosperity and happiness; belief is a sheer, transcendent good. Since in this world a shining beauty, an extensive and exalted good, an evident truth, and superior perfection are apparent, self-evidently truth and reality lie in prophethood and in the hands of prophets. While evil, misguidance, and loss are with those who oppose them.
Of the thousands of merits of worship, consider only the following: the Prophet (PBUH) unites the hearts of those who affirm Divine unity in the prayers of the Festivals and of Friday, and prayers performed in congregation. And he brings together their tongues in a single phrase. This is in such a way that one man responds to the sublime address of the Pre-Eternal Worshipped One with the voices, supplications, and invocations uttered by innumerable hearts and tongues. Strengthening each other, assisting each other and uniting, those voices, supplications, and invocations display so expansive a worship before the Godhead of the Pre-Eternal All-Worshipped One that it is as if the globe of the earth is reciting the invocations, offering the supplications, and performing the prayers with its regions, and conforming with its climes to the command of
And be steadfast in prayer,(2:43, etc.)
which was revealed with glory and tremendousness from beyond the heavens. Through this mystery of unity, man, a miniscule, powerless creature in the universe like a particle, in respect of vastness of worship becomes a beloved servant of the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth, His vicegerent on earth, the earth’s ruler and chief of the animals, and the result and aim of the universe’s creation.
Yes, if the voices of hundreds of millions of people proclaiming “God is Most Great!” after the five daily prayers, and particularly in the Festival Prayers, unite and come together in the Manifest World as they do in the World of the Unseen, the globe of the earth in its entirety becomes a huge human being. Since the “God is Most Great!” it proclaims with a mighty voice is equal to its own greatness, the believers in Divine unity proclaiming “God is Most Great!” at the same instant in unison becomes like a mighty “God is Most Great!” uttered by the earth. It is as though the earth is shaken with a great tremor through the invocations and glorifications of the World of Islam at the Festival Prayers. Proclaiming “God is Most Great!” with all its regions and climes, it forms its intention with the pure heart of the Ka’ba, its qibla, and on its uttering “God is Most Great!” with the tongue of Mount Arafat in the mouth of Mecca, that single phrase assumes a form in the air in the cave-like mouths of all the believers in all parts of the earth. Just as through the echo of the words “God is Most Great!” innumerable “God is Most Great’s” come into being, so too that acceptable recitation and invocation causes the heavens to ring out and resounds rising and falling in the Intermediate Realms.
We praise and glorify and exalt to the number of the particles of the earth the All-Glorious One, Who made the earth thus prostrate to Him in worship, glorifying and exalting Him, and made it a mosque for His servants and cradle for His creatures. And we offer praise to Him to the number of beings that He made us members of the Community of His Noble Messenger (Peace and blessings be upon him), who taught us worship of this kind.
A Question from Treatise On Nature,
We hear many lazy people and those who neglect the five daily prayers ask: ‘What need has God Almighty of our worship that in the Qur’an He severely and insistently reproves those who give up worship and threatens them with such a fearsome punishment as Hell? How is it in keeping with the style of the Qur’an, which is moderate, mild and fair, to demonstrate the ultimate severity towards an insignificant, minor fault?”
The Answer: God Almighty has no need of your worship, nor indeed of anything else. It is you who needs to worship, for in truth you are sick. As we have proved in many parts of the Risale-i Nur, worship is a sort of remedy for your spiritual wounds. If someone ill responds to a kindly doctor who insists on his taking medicines that are beneficial for his condition by saying: “What need do you have of it that you are insisting in this way?”, you can understand how absurd it would be.
As for the severe threats and fearsome punishments in the Qur’an concerning the giving up of worship, they may be likened to a king who in order to protect his subject’ rights, inflicts a severe punishment on an ordinary man in accordance with the degree that his crime infringes those rights.
In the same way, the man who gives up worship and ritual prayer is violating in a significant manner the rights of beings, who are like the subjects of the Monarch of Pre-Eternity and Post-Eternity, and is in fact acting unjustly towards them. For the perfections of beings are manifested through the glorification and worship performed by that aspect of them which is directed towards their Maker. The one who abandons worship does not and cannot see this worship. Indeed, he denies it. Furthermore, beings occupy an exalted position by reason of their worship and glorification, and each is a missive of the Eternally Besought One, and a mirror to the Names of its Sııstainer. Since he reduces them from their high positions and considers them to be unimportant, lifeless, aimless, and without duties, he is insulting them, and denying and transgressing their perfections.
Indeed, everyone sees the world in his own mirror. God Almighty created man as a measure and scale for the universe. And from the world He gave a particular world to each person. This world He colours for him in accordance with his sincere beliefs. For example, a despairing, lamenting, weeping person sees beings as weeping and in despair, while a cheerful, optimistic, merry person sees the universe as joyful and smiling. A reflective man given to solemn worship and glorification discovers and sees to a degree the certain, truly existent worship and glorification of beings, while a person who abandons worship through either neglect or denial sees beings in a manner totally contrary and opposed to the reality of their perfections, thus transgressing their rights.
Furthermore, since the one who gives up prayer does not own himself, he wrongs his own soul, which is a slave of its True Owner. His Owner delivers awesome threats in order to protect His slave’s rights from his evil-commanding soul. Also, since he has given up worship, which is the result of his creation and the aim of his nature, it is like an act of aggression against Divine wisdom and dominical will, and he therefore receives punishment.
In Short: The abandoner of worship both wrongs his own soul, which is the slave and totally owned property of Almighty God, and wrongs and transgresses the rights of the perfections of the universe. Certainly, just as unbelief is an insult to beings, so is the abandonment of worship a denial of the universe’s perfections. And since it is an act of aggression against Divine wisdom, it is deserving of awesome threats, and severe punishment.
Thus, it is to express this deservedness and the above facts that the Qur’an of Miraculous Exposition chooses in a miraculous way that severe style, which, in complete conformity with the principles of eloquence, corresponds to the requirements of the situation.