Speaker Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V(aba) Mirza Masroor Ahmad (atba)

The Philosophy of Prayers & Supplications for Protection

Friday Sermon delivered by
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V(aba)

Friday Sermon delivered at Masjid Mubarak, Islamabad, Tilford, UK on APRIL 5, 2024

Friday Sermon delivered at Masjid Mubarak, Islamabad, Tilford, UK

The Philosophy of Prayers & Supplications for Protection

After reciting TashahhudTa‘awwuz and Surah al-Fatihah, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad(aba) reciting the following verse from the Holy Qur’an:

‘Or, Who answers the distressed person when he calls upon Him, and removes the evil, and makes you successors in the earth? Is there a God besides Allah? Little is it that you reflect.’ (The Holy Qur’an, 27:63)

His Holiness(aba) said that in the previous sermon, wisdom, philosophy and manner of prayer were presented in light of the Promised Messiah’s(as) teachings. His Holiness(aba) said that the same topic would continue in this sermon.

His Holiness(aba) said that ‘distress’ does not simply refer to one who is anxious, rather it is one who has no other way. Hence, when supplicating before God, we must do so in a manner expressive of the fact that we have nowhere else to go, and it is only Allah the Almighty Who can help us.

His Holiness(aba) said that even at the Community level, it should be understood that it is only Allah the Almighty who can help us, for example with the situation of Ahmadis in Pakistan; it is only Allah who can bring about ease.

Allah Listens to the Prayers of the Distressed

His Holiness(aba) said that one of the signs for God’s existence is that He does listen to the prayers of the distressed. As such we must bring about this condition within our prayers. Prayers are all we have, in fact it is only through prayers that the state of the Muslim world today can improve. Furthermore, every Ahmadi should understand and strive to establish the condition of distress in their prayers, for it is then that their prayers will achieve acceptance.

His Holiness(aba) quoted the Promised Messiah(as) who said that until one prays constantly in a state of distress, then prayers are not accepted. In fact this state of distress is a requisite for prayers to be accepted.This state connotes that one wholeheartedly understands that there is no other path or way except that of Allah the  Almighty. It is when a person establishes this state in their prayers that they will find acceptance.

His Holiness(aba) further quoted the Promised Messiah(as) who said that we must pray a great deal in order to be protected. Prayers can protect one like a person who is being chased but is able to find a fort to take refuge in. Similarly can a person find refuge and safety from Satan through prayers. Hence, it is vital that we focus on offering prayers. His Holiness(aba) said that there are many prayers in the Holy Qur’an, the traditions of the Holy Prophet(sa), those we have learned from the Promised Messiah(as) and the prayers that we offer in our own tongues; all of these are necessary so that we may attain safety and protection from the circumstances that prevail today. In some places we cannot freely profess our faith, our devotion to the Holy Prophet(sa), recite the Holy Qur’an or fulfill other religious rites. Satanic forces are constantly lying in wait to take action against Ahmadis so that in their estimation they may receive a reward.

His Holiness(aba) said that recently, the murderers of an Ahmadi martyr were apprehended. When questioned, they said that they were taught in their madrasah (religious college) that the easiest way to get to paradise is to kill an infidel, and since they consider Ahmadis to be infidels they seek to kill them. In reality, they incur the wrath of God. However, in any case, we must strive to bring about the state of being distressed in our prayers.

His Holiness(aba) said that he will repeat various prayers; these prayers should always be pondered over, understood and repeated. These are prayers in addition to the prayers we offer in our tongues, as the Promised Messiah(as) said that prayers which are offered by a person in their own words also find acceptance.

His Holiness(aba) said that the Holy Prophet(sa) said that the difference between someone who remains occupied in the remembrance of God and one who doesn’t is like the difference between the living and the dead. On another occasion, the Holy Prophet(sa) said that prayer not only protects from calamities which have befallen a person, rather they also protect against future calamities.

Prayers from the Holy Qur’an

His Holiness(aba) said that the first prayer he would mention is Surah al-Fatihah. Not only is this recited during prayers, but this should also be repeated aside from that as well. The Promised Messiah(as) said that reading Surah al-Fatihah with focus and sincerity purifies the heart, removes darkness and grants certainty, drawing a searcher for the truth towards the threshold of God. Hence, one can draw nearer to God by constantly and focusedly reciting the Holy Qur’an.

His Holiness(aba) said that there is another prayer in the Holy Qur’an:

رَبَّنَا اٰتِنَا فِی الدُّنۡیَا حَسَنَۃً وَّفِی الۡاٰخِرَۃِ حَسَنَۃً وَّقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

‘Our Lord grant us good in this world as well as good in the world to come, and protect us from the torment of the fire.’ (The Holy Qur’an 2:202)

His Holiness(aba) quoted the Promised Messiah(as) who said about this prayer that the connection that a believer has with this world enables them to achieve higher ranks in the sight of God, because their actual goal and purpose is the faith. Thus, even their worldly affairs are ultimately for the sake of their faith. This teaches the valuable lesson that the world should not become one’s ultimate purpose. Thus, the good in this world mentioned in the prayer refers to such good in the world that leads to good in the hereafter. Thus one should always strive to give precedence to the faith over the world, and whatever they strive to attain of the world should be to improve their faith.

His Holiness(aba) said that there can be fire even in this world – the weapons used in wars effectively cast fire, hence we should pray that Allah the Almighty protects us from this fire as well. Ahmadis should pray a great deal for themselves and the world.

His Holiness(aba) said that another Qur’anic prayer which should be oft-recited, especially these days is:

رَبَّنَا اَفۡرِغۡ عَلَیۡنَا صَبۡرًا وَّثَبِّتۡ اَقۡدَامَنَا وَانۡصُرۡنَا عَلَی الۡقَوۡمِ الۡکٰفِرِیۡنَ

‘O our Lord, pour forth steadfastness upon us, and make our steps firm, and help us against the disbelieving people.’ (The Holy Qur’an, 2:251)

His Holiness(aba) said that no fear should cause us to falter. Then another Qur’anic prayer that should often be recited is:

 رَبَّنَا لَا تُؤَاخِذۡنَاۤ اِنۡ نَّسِیۡنَا اَوۡ اَخۡطَاۡنَا ۚ رَبَّنَا وَلَا تَحۡمِلۡ عَلَیۡنَا اِصۡرًا کَمَا حَمَلۡتَہٗ عَلَی الَّذِیۡنَ مِنۡ قَبۡلِنَا ۚ رَبَّنَاوَلَا تُحَمِّلۡنَا مَا لَا طَاقَۃَ لَنَا بِہٖ ۚ وَاعۡفُ عَنَّا ٝ وَاغۡفِرۡ لَنَا ٝ وَارۡحَمۡنَا ٝ اَنۡتَ مَوۡلٰٮنَا فَانۡصُرۡنَاعَلَی الۡقَوۡمِ الۡکٰفِرِیۡنَ

‘Our Lord, do not punish us, if we forget or fall into error; and our Lord, lay not on us a responsibility as Thou didst lay upon those before us. Our Lord, burden us not with what we have not the strength to bear; and efface our sins, and grant us forgiveness and have mercy on us; Thou art our Master; so help us Thou against the disbelieving people.’ (The Holy Qur’a, 2:287)

His Holiness(aba) said that another prayer in order to strengthen faith is:

 رَبَّنَا لَا تُزِغۡ قُلُوۡبَنَا بَعۡدَ اِذۡ ہَدَیۡتَنَا وَہَبۡ لَنَا مِنۡ لَّدُنۡکَ رَحۡمَۃً ۚ اِنَّکَ اَنۡتَ الۡوَہَّابُ

‘Our Lord, let not our hearts become perverse after Thou hast guided us; and bestow on us mercy from Thyself; surely, Thou alone art the Bestower.’ (The Holy Qur’an, 3:9)

Prayers of the Holy Prophet(sa)

His Holiness(aba) said that he would now mention some prayers of the Holy Prophet(sa).

His Holiness(aba) said that once Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) asked the Holy Prophet(sa) to teach him a prayer that he should recite in his supplications, to which the Holy Prophet(sa) replied:

‘O Allah, I have greatly wronged my soul, and there is none who can forgive except You, so forgive me and have mercy on me. Surely You are the Most Forgiving, Oft-Returning with Mercy.’

His Holiness(aba) said that once a Bedouin asked the Holy Prophet(sa) to teach him something that he should say, to which the Holy Prophet(sa) said:

‘There is none worthy of worship except Allah, He is One and has no partner. Allah is the Greatest, the Most Pure. He is the Lord of All the Worlds. There is no strength, nor ability except in Allah, the Mighty, Wise.’ Then the Holy Prophet(sa) further taught, ‘O Allah forgive me, have mercy on me, guide me and provide for me.’

His Holiness(aba) said that in another narration it is recorded that whenever someone accepted Islam, the Holy Prophet(sa) would teach them the following prayer:

‘O Allah forgive me, have mercy on me, guide me, protect me and provide for me.’

His Holiness(aba) said that this is the prayer offered between the two prostrations in prayer. However, some people seem not to offer this prayer because of how quickly they go back into the second prostration. It is because they do not realise the importance of this prayer. Hence, not only should we pray for worldly things, but we should pray for our spiritual improvement and nourishment as well.

His Holiness(aba) said that another prayer of the Holy Prophet(sa) is:

‘O Allah, there is none worthy of worship except You. O Allah I seek Your forgiveness for my sins, and seek Your mercy. O Allah, increase me in knowledge, and let my heart not become perverse after you have guided me and grant me Your mercy.’

His Holiness(aba) said that whenever the Holy Prophet(sa) was worried about something he would say:

‘O Living and Self Subsisting God, by Your mercy I cry for help.’

His Holiness(aba) said that another prayer of the Holy Prophet(sa) is:

‘O my Lord, forgive me and have mercy on me, and guide me towards the path that is most right, most firm.’

His Holiness(aba) said that if this is what the Holy Prophet(sa) was praying, then it shows us the degree to which we should be offering the same prayer.

His Holiness(aba) said that another prayer taught by the Holy Prophet(sa) is:

‘O Allah, I seek Your refuge from the torment of the grave and seek Your refuge from the disorder of the antichrist, and I seek Your refuge from the troubles of life and the troubles of death. O Allah, I seek Your refuge from sin and financial difficulty.’ Someone asked the Holy Prophet(sa) why he sought refuge against financial difficulty to which the Holy Propheet (sa) replied, ‘When a person falls into financial difficulty he lies when he speaks and breaks the promises he makes.’

His Holiness(aba) said that the Holy Prophet(sa) was free from all of these things, and certainly he was making these prayers for his people to be saved from these things. His Holiness(aba) said that we should analyse ourselves to see if we are adhering to that which we are praying for. Hence this prayer should be offered in order to be safeguarded against these things and in order to continue receiving bounties in this world from God.

His Holiness(aba) said that the Holy Prophet(sa) also taught a prayer [as mentioned above] for being safeguarded against the antichrist which was to appear at the time of the Messiah, and is currently at its heights in our times. Hence, the adherents of the Promised Messiah(as) should especially offer these prayers.

His Holiness(aba) said that once, the Holy Prophet(sa) instructed for the following prayer to be recited:

‘O Allah, we seek from You the very good which which Your Prophet Muhammad(sa) sought. We seek Your refuge from every evil which Your Prophet Muhmamad (sa) sought Your refuge from. You are the true Helper; we pray unto You Alone. Without the help of Allah we possess not the capability of virtue, nor the strenght to safeguard against the attacks of Satan.’

His Holiness(aba) said that if we offer this prayer then not only will be increase in our love for the Holy Prophet(sa) but all comprehensive prayers will also begin to emanate from our hearts.

His Holiness(aba) said that if the Holy Prophet(sa) perceived a threat from a certain nation then he would pray:

‘ O Allah, we come to you to overcome them and seek Your refuge from their evil.’

His Holiness(aba) said that Ahmadis should especially recite this prayer these days; may Allah keep us safe from the evil of the enemies.

(These are just some examples of the prayers of the Holy Prophet(sa) presented by His Holiness)

Prayers Taught by the Promised Messiah(as)

is Holiness(aba) said that he would mention some prayers taught by the Promised Messiah(as) as well.

His Holiness(aba) said that in response to how we can create greater attention towards God, the Promised Messiah(as) advised that one should constantly strive in prayer. They should not become satisfied with  prayer that is merely offered on the surface, rather they should constantly pray whilst standing, ‘O God, the All Powerful and Mighty, I am sinful so much so that the poison of sin courses in my body. Forgive my sins by Your grace and bounty and forgive my shortcomings and soften my heart. Establish Your awe and fear and love in my heart so that my hard heartedness may be removed and I may be able to focus in prayer.’

His Holiness(aba) said that on one occasion the Promised Messiah(as) said, ‘O my Beneficent, O my God, I am an unable servant of Yours, sinful and forgetful. You have observed me commit wrongdoing after wrongdoing, yet bestowed bounty after bounty. You observed sin after sin, yet bestowed fabour after favour. You have alway covered my faults and furnished me with countless of Your blessings. Now too, have mercy upon a incapable and sinful person such as myself and forgive my boldness and ingratitude. Save me from this grief, for there is no escape except in You.’

His Holiness(aba) said that in his view, this prayer should be recited every day. We should ponder upon the fact that the Promised Messiah(as) wrote this prayer in a letter addressed to the First Caliph(ra). Considering his stature, we should consider the great attention with which we should recite this prayer. If it was written to the First Caliph(ra), then we must recite it even more. If this prayer is recited with sincerity of heart, then it will draw the blessings of God.

His Holiness(aba) said that once the Promised Messiah(as) prayed, ‘O Lord of All the Worlds, I cannot thank You for Your favours. You are extremely Merciful and Kind. You have bestowed upon me great favours. Forgive my sins so that I am not ruined. Imbibe my heart with pure love for You so that I may be granted life. Cover my faults and enable me to do those things which please You. I call upon Your beneficence and seek refuge from incurring Your wrath. Have mercy, have mercy, have mercy. Save me from the calamities of this world and the hereafter, for every grace and bounty rests in Your hand.’

His Holiness(aba) said that another prayer which the Promised Messiah(as) wrote at the beginning of his book A Message of Peace is:

‘O my Almighty God, my Beloved Guide! Show us the path which leads the righteous and the sincere to Thee. And save us from treading the path which leads to carnal desires, malice, spite and worldly pursuits.’ (A Message of Peace, p. 5)

His Holiness(aba) quoted the Promised Messiah(as) who said that one should continue offering prayers and adopt humility. Prayers that are offered merely as lip service have no effect. Rather, one should supplicate in their own words with great humility. The Promised Messiah(as) then said, ‘O Lord of All the Worlds, I cannot thank You for Your favours. You are extremely Merciful and Kind. You have bestowed upon me great favours. Forgive my sins so that I am not ruined. Imbibe my heart with pure love for You so that I may be granted life. Cover my faults and enable me to do those things which please You. I call upon Your beneficence and seek refuge from incurring Your wrath. Have mercy. Save me from the calamities of this world and the hereafter, for every grace and bounty rests in Your hand.’

His Holiness(aba) said that if we wish for all of these prayers to be accepted, then we must offer durood (prayer for sending salutations upon the Holy Prophet(sa)) a great deal, for it is in doing so that our prayers can reach the stage of acceptance.

His Holiness(aba) prayed that may we be enabled to offer these prayers and also offer prayers with true sincerity and also offer prayers in our own words. May we be able to truly establish that state of distress in our prayers which cause prayers to emanate from the depths of the heart. We should pray for the blessings of Ramadan to be everlasting. May we continue to reap the blessings of this Friday prayer and all subsequent Friday prayers.

Prayers for the World

His Holiness(aba) urged for those imprisoned due to their faith wherever they may be in the world, that Allah may procure the means for their release. May Allah save us and our future generations from the ill effects of war. His Holiness(aba) said that not only does it seem as if a war is on the brink, in fact it seems a world war has already begun. However, the world leaders are not worried because they think that they will remain safe while the people will die. However, these leaders are not safe either. These are exactly the ploys of the antichrist in which the masses are being duped. People have started raising their voices, however in any case these ploys have led people astray from God. The ultimate result of this will be the wrath of God. Therefore, Ahmadis especially must focus on offering prayers to remain safe from all of these ploys.

His Holiness(aba) said that the world war has begun and the war has crossed the Palestinian borders, in Syria for example where the Iranian embassy was attacked, which was a great offense under any law. The world is silent only because Israel was the perpetrator, however this will cause the war to spread further. Voices have only started being raised when aid workers were killed, however these same people were silent when innocent Palestinians were losing their lives. Now they have realised what the pain feels like.

His Holiness(aba) said that we should pray that Allah protects humanity and enables us to do justice in offering prayers.

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