9- “Are steadfast in prayer” from Signs of Miraculousness ” by Ustad Bediüzzaman Said Nursi r.a (1873-1960)
“Are steadfast in prayer” from Signs of Miraculousness “Are steadfast in prayer”‘(2:3) onsider this: the positioning [of this phrase and its relationship with the previous one] is as clear as daylight. For the salāt being specified rather than other physical good works indicates that they are an index of all meritorious acts and a sample of them, and that they reflect them -like the Fatiha is an index of the Qur’an and man is an index of the world. For in one sense the salāt include fasting, the Hajj, zakót, and the other forms of worship; and they include the worship of all creatures, both innate and voluntary; some of the angels bow in worship, others prostrate, and yet others stand, and some stones prostrate in worship, and some trees stand, and some animals bow down.
The verbal form “(lit. they perform) yuqímüna” is used instead of ‘al-muqîmurt’ (the active participle) in order to thrust before the mind’s eye of the listener this extensive vital action, this heedfulness of the spirit, in the world of Islam, and to alert his imagination to this admirable and orderly situation in all the regions of humanity, and to arouse in him the desire to do likewise. For if someone observes the effect of a bugle call on soldiers dispersed and lost among the people, how it arouses them, summoning them to gather together and take up pleasing, orderly positions, he himself will feel inclined to join them. Just the same is the call to prayer of Muhammad (UWBP) among the people in this bleak world. “And God’s is the highest similitude.”
The use here, the place for conciseness, of the prolix “are steadfast in prayer (yuqïmüna al-şalai)” in place of ‘yuşallün,’ indicates the importance of complying with the meaning of ‘performing’ (al-iqama) the salāt, such as performing them correctly, and regularly, and seriously, and preserving oneself [from distractions etc.], and increasing demand for them in the market of the world. Ponder over this, and understand too that the salāt are an elevated link, a lofty relationship between the bondsman and the Pre-Eternal Monarch, and an honourable act of service. It is characteristic of this relationship that it captivates the spirit. The ‘pillars’ of the salāt comprise numerous mysteries which have been expounded in works like al-Futūhāt al-Makkiya. One of these is that the conscience loves them. They are a summons of the Pre-Eternal Maker to the pavilion of His presence five times a day and night to commune with Him, as a sort of Ascension. This is such that everyone’s heart should yearn for it. The salāt perpetuates in the heart the idea of the Maker’s sublimity and makes the mind conscious of it so as to induce obedience to the divine laws of justice and compliance with the dominical order of things. Man is in need of this because he is human and because he is by nature civilized. So alas for those who give up the salāt! What a loss the lazy suffer! And O, the ignorance of those who do not know their value! And those who do not deem them worthwhile, they should go elsewhere, the targets of general disgust!