وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُواْ لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُواْ بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ ﴿١٨٦﴾

A Blessed Friday to You, Brothers and Sisters!

There is a great blessing in this mortal world which gives us peace, makes us stronger in the face of adversity, and keeps our ideals for the future alive. This blessing is “prayer.”

Honorable Believers!

Prayer is the discovery of existence. When we pray, we realize our needs, our limits, our physical and spiritual resources. We express that we are aware of our boundaries and power, the reason for our creation, and our responsibilities. We know ourselves, we know our Lord. We earn our Lord’s favor as He enjoins in the Quran:

قُلْ مَا يَعْبَأُ بِكُمْ رَبِّي لَوْلَا دُعَاؤُكُمْ which means “Say, ‘What would my Lord care for you if not for your prayer?’”[i]

Brothers and Sisters!

Prayer is the demonstration of us being servants to Allah. We express with our prayers that we acknowledge Allah’s will and decree. All our worship is essentially supplicating to Him expecting His favor. We know that prayer is what instills spirit and meaning to all worship. Worship, or the believer’s mentality, becomes complete with prayer. That’s why our Prophet (s.a.w.) said

الدُّعَاءُ مُخُّ الْعِبَادَةِ or “Prayer is the essence of worship.” [ii]

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

Prayer is both an invitation and accepting the invitation. Our Lord calls us to pray by enjoining, اُدْعُونِي أَسْتَجِبْ لَكُمْ“Call upon Me; I will respond to you.”[iii]And He blesses us with good news of answering our prayers saying,

اُج۪يبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ اِذَا دَعَانِۙ “I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he calls on Me.”[iv] All we have to do is to prayer to our Lord with this mindset. And ask for His favor, assistance, abundance, and forgiveness.

Brothers and Sisters!

Prayer is not the humble begging of a lazy, irresponsible, senseless, coward person. On the contrary, it is the epitome of determination, effort, and good intention. Prayer is not just uttering the same sentences. Reflection is the mind’s prayer. Love and mercy are the heart’s prayer. Asking for forgiveness, on the other hand, is only the tongue’s prayer. But the tongue’s prayer will be futile if the mind and heart don’t pray. As a matter of fact, our Prophet (s.a.w.) says: “Pray to Allah sincerely believing it will be answered. Allah does not respond to prayers from a frivolous and indifferent heart.”[v]

Friday Prayer - Jumuah Khutba 「Those Who Forgot Allah Will Be Forgotten」
Friday Prayer – Jumuah Khutba 「A Believer’s Invocation: Prayer」

Honorable Believers!

Prayer means meeting our brothers and sisters. It means solidifying our brotherhood and love for the Ummah. We cannot act selfish when we pray. We cannot only think for ourselves. We pray also for brothers and sisters around the world knowing praying on their behalf will be accepted. Because the Prophet (s.a.w.) told Caliph Umar who asked for permission to go to the Hajj: “O brother! Make us partners in your prayer, remember us.” [vi]

Brothers and Sisters!

May the Almighty never spare us the abundance and power of prayer. May He grant us to be among the happy ones whose prayers are answered. Come! Let us supplicate to our Lord on this blessed time of Friday with the prayers our Beloved Prophet taught us:

“O Allah! We ask of You the right path, piety, dignity, and generosity of the heart.”[vii]

“O Allah, we seek Your shelter against mischief, sedition, and bad character.”[viii]

“O Allah, we seek refuge in You from knowledge that is of no use, from heart that does not tremble, from soul that is not satisfied, and from prayer that is not answered.”[ix]

“O Lord! Grant us goodness in the world. Grant us goodness in the Hereafter. Protect us from the torment of the Fire.”[x]

[i] Al-Furqan, 25/77.

[ii] Tirmidhi, Deavât, 1.

[iii] Ghafir, 40/60.

[iv] Al-Baqarah, 2/186.

[v] Tirmidhi, Deavât, 65.

[vi] Ibn Majah, Menâsik, 5.

[vii] Muslim, Zikir, 72.

[viii] An-Nasa’i, İstiaze, 21.

[ix] Muslim, Zikir, 73.

[x] Al-Baqarah, 2/201; Bukhari, Deavât, 55.