Prayer and the Conditions for its Acceptance – Seyh Muhammed Muta El-Haznevi

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All our praises and glorifications is for Allah, the lord of the worlds. May His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad, his family and his companions. May Allah bless our Sheikh, guide and teacher. May Allah let us benefit from his prosperity and barakah. May He increase his maqam and rank. May Allah bless all His wali and salehservants. May He let us gather in His presence with His compassion and mercy together with them under the guidance of our holy prophet.

My brothers and sisters! I salute you all with the most beautiful salaam that is blessed by Allah; I salute you with the salaam of Islam. May His peace, mercy and barakah be upon all of you.

My dear brothers and sisters! I feel and realize very deeply that my brothers and sisters who are the followers of our Sheikh feel pain, sorrow, grief and concern for this weak servant of Allah for I had a heart attack and am suffering some health problems. I suffered a truly serious and critical heart attack. If it were not for the grace of Allah; it I was not supported by the praters of Muslims, my friends, and the followers of our Sheikh, the consequences of this attack could have been very grievous and painful. The doctors prescribed me a must and full-time rest. They said that I should not get tired. Nevertheless, I told myself: without seeing my brothers and sisters who are the followers of our guide, what would be the life for me? How can I bare to stay away from the followers of my dear father, my respected Sheikh?

I, this destitute servant, am here with you as all my weakness and sickness is carried along me. I came in the presence of yours in order to ease and fulfill my longing. I came here to see you participating this memorial program for our Sheikh and guide Shahid ul Haramayn Sheikh Muhammed Haznevi who spend his valuable life for the deen of Allah to spread; who devoted his year preaching and guiding Muslims; who gave up his life by rushing from one mascid to another, from one city to another, from one country to another and even from one continent to another in order to teach Islam to people; imbed the love of Allah and His Nabi into the hearts of people; educate them on the principles of righteousness, sincerity, mutual tolerance, compassion, solidarity and charity. Hence my heart and soul can be relieved.

The life of our Sheikh was full of beneficial and virtuous works. Each moment of his life was spent in the way to spread morality. He built many madrasahs to teach Islamic sciences. Thousands of wise scholars graduated from these madrasahs. He built many mascids for people to worship to Allah, Lord of the worlds. He established dergahsin various countries. He served to spread pure, true, clear and clean Islamic Sufism that is cleared of all kinds of ignorance. Therefore, thanks to him, we lived a period comparable to those of Junayd of Baghdad, BayazidBastami and Shah Nakqshbandi. May Allah be pleased by them all.

Actually, even if I tell you about the character of our Sheikh for hours, I cannot give him the credit he deserves. This glorious view in front of our eyes, this grand crowd filling this place is nothing but the reflection of the outcome of the endeavor and works of our Sheikh. This view proves that he guided you very well. He guided you to Allah and to the truth. His works bear fruits now in a most beautiful way. Thanks to be to Allah, his endeavors produced magnificent results.

And you, my dear brothers and sisters; you rushed here to show your loyalty and commitment to your Sheikh. You came here to reflect your sincerity to a great guide who spent his life on preaching and showing you the right path.

My dearest brothers and sisters! If we carefully look at the fragmentation and misery, weakness and frailness that Muslims are suffering from and how they are distanced from the deen of Allah; and if we consider the sad realities of these days that there is hatred and hostility between Muslims instead of love and brotherhood, there is separation and fragmentation instead of unity and togetherness, we will see that there are a great deal of problems and failures that we choose to ignore.

Undoubtedly, this is also a matter of pleading and praying to Allah, who is Generous and Compassionate, who is the one to solve our problems and ease our worldly troubles. Indeed, our beloved Prophet (pbuh) would seek refuge in Allah when he was faced with a problem. And thus Allah the Almighty would remove the problems of him and his companions. There are some people who claim that they pray to Allah but they cannot get any respond for their prayers. My brothers and sisters, Allah the Almighty says in His Quran that: ?Call upon Me; I will respond to you.? that is true. However, I wonder if we pray as we fulfill the conditions that our beloved Prophet thought us to have Allah responding our prayers.

In one of his hadith, our Prophet said: ?Verily Allah the Exalted is pure. He does not accept but that which is pure. Allah commands the believers with what He commanded the Messengers. Allah the Almighty has said: “O you Messengers! Eat of the good things and act righteously” [23:51-53]. And Allah the Almighty also said: “O you who believe! Eat of the good things that We have provided you with” [2:167-172]. Then he (the Prophet) mentioned (the case of) the man who, having journeyed far, is disheveled and dusty and who stretches out his hands to the sky (saying): “O Lord! O Lord!” (while) his food was unlawful, his drink was unlawful, his clothing was unlawful, and he is nourished with unlawful things, so how can he be answered?”

Hence, the Messenger of Allah explains in this hadith of his that one of the important factors that affect the acceptability of prayers is eating lawfully and staying away from suspicious things.

Abdullah ibn Abbas relates the following hadith: ?This Verse was recited in the presence of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh): ?O mankind! Eat of that which is lawful and good on the earth.?[Al-Baqrah 2:168]. Then Sad bin AbiWaqqas (r.a.) stood up and said, ?O Messenger of Allah, supplicate to Allah to make me someone whose prayers are answered.? The Messenger of Allah SAWS said, ?O Sa’d, Eat lawful food and you will be someone whose prayers are answered. And by the One Who has Muhammad’s soul in His Hand, a servant tosses a morsel of unlawful (food) into his inside, and because of it, Allah Almighty does not accept from him a deed for forty days. And any servant whose flesh grows from ‘Suht’, then the Fire is most appropriate for it.”

My brothers and sisters, we see some people that face any kind of problem, the world seems too tight to him even it is broad in reality and he cannot find somebody who will relieve him; they turn to Allah in this troublesome situation, they pray and beg to Him to remove their problems, accept their prayers and realize their will. But they earn from interest. How come these people, the acceptance of whose prayers are blocked by unlawful commerce and major sins, hope that their prayers will be accepted? Do not they know that the unlawful profit is the biggest obstacle for the acceptance of their prayers?

Honorable Muslims! It is related that when Ibrahim ibnEdhem (r.a.) went to Basra, people gathered around him and said:

Oh EbuIshak,Allah the Almighty says Call upon Me; I will respond to you? [40:60] in His Holy Quran, but we supplicate and we are not answered. On this, Ibrahim ibnEdhem answers:
Oh people of Basra, Allah would not accept your prayers, because you are tested with ten things and you lost it:
First, you know Allah, yet you do not obey Him,
Second, you recite the Qur’an, yet do not act according to it,
Third, you proclaim that you love Muhammad yet you abandon his Sunnah,
Forth, you know Shaitan, yet you have agreed with him,
Fifth, you proclaim your love for Paradise, yet you do not act to gain it,
Sixth, you say “Indeed death is true”, yet you have not prepared for it,
Seventh, you point out the faults with others, yet you do not look at your faults,
Eighth, you eat of that which Allah has provided for you, yet you do not thank Him,
Ninth, you proclaim your fear the Fire, yet you do not prevent yourselves from sins,
Tenth, you bury your dead, yet you do not take a lesson from it.?

My dear brothers and sisters, what if each of us consider these ten issues that Ibrahim ibnEdhem was talking about and find their projections in their own lives? Do we reciprocate with what we are asking?

We all believe in Allah and His uniqueness, we all know He is the One who created us and feeds us and we believe that He is the One we should worship to. However, do we really worship Him as we should, or are we faulty in this? Besides, we believe that Holy Quran is the book of Allah that He sent to Prophet Mohammed, that there are some orders and prohibitions in it; however, do we follow the orders and avoid the prohibitions?

My brothers and sisters, we all claim that we love our beloved Prophet. We say: ?Mohammed (pbuh) is most dearest to me and he is in my heart.? However, are we following his sunnah? We all know that Shaitan is enemy to us. Indeed, Allah the Almighty says on this: ?Indeed, Satan is an enemy to you; so take him as an enemy.? [35:6] However, do we take him as our enemy and are we getting away from his way that would take us to fire?

My dear brothers and sisters, there is not one of us who does not wish to go to paradise on the Day of Judgment, is there? Well, did we ever pay for it? Let us not forget that our beloved Prophet reminds us repeatedly that the property of Allah is not cheap and says: ‘ Be careful, the property of Allah is very expensive and very valuable; His property is His Jannah.’

We all also know that death is a reality. No matter how long or short we live, it is not possible to avoid and safe from death. And it is not possible to go to jannah that we wish for the most before passing through the bridge of death. In this case, do we use the days of our life as an opportunity and conduct good deeds that will save us after death?

My dear brothers and sisters, except from those who are honored by Allah, we all suffer from a disgusting illness: backbiting. Allah the Almighty says: ‘Do not backbite on each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it.’ [49:12] He forbids backbiting sharply and compares backbiting with eating the flesh of a dead body. Unfortunately, most of the meetings today are fancied by backbiting and flavored by gossip.

Allah the Almighty says in Holy Quran: If you should count the favor of Allah, you could not enumerate them and draws our attention to the favors He is doing on us. I wonder if we are adequately graceful for these magnificent favors? As you know, being grateful means using them according to the consent of Allah.

My dearest brothers and sisters, we all believe in the horror of the fire of hell and are afraid of it. It is known that we cannot even bear the heat of a cigar here in this world. And Allah the Almighty says in Holy Quran: O you, who have believed, protect yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and Stones. [66:6] and warns us. But do we work hard enough to protect ourselves and our kin from the hell fire? On the other hand, there is not a single day that we do not hear of the death news of tens or hundreds of people from various parts of the world. Do we take lessons from this news and are we preparing for the afterworld?

Honorable Muslims, if most of the people are not watch out whether their food or clothes are lawful or unlawful, and if we are suffering from the illnesses that Ibrahim ibnEdhem was warning about, how can we accept our prayers to be accepted?

O Allah! Protect us from unaccepted prayers, unfavorable actions, hearts holding no fears, eyes not filling with tears and stomachs not feeling full! Oh Lord! Grant us lawful food and barakah. Keep ud away from unlawful as you keep the east from the west. Oh Allah! Do not keep your mervy away from us. Remove all troubles, dissensions and calamities from ummah of Mohammed. Oh the most Compassionate of all! Guide us to your deen in the best way with your wisdom and grace.

My honorable brothers and sisters, at the end of this preach, I most sincerely thank to everyone participating in this blessed meeting, I pray Allah to render you all happy and successful. May our Almighty Lord turn all kinds of troubles you face in this way to happiness both in this world and in the other.

Oh Allah! Embrace our Sheikh and the ones who are inherited to the other world with him with your mercy. Show mercy to our dead and dead of all believers. Our Lord is able to cope with anything. May peace be on our beloved Prophet and his companions.

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