The Secret Beyond Matter

In the Name of Allah, the All-merciful and Most Merciful


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It is a Great Generosity of Allah to Believers That He Answers Their Prayers

Prayer is a great manifestation of the name All Merciful and Most Merciful and a huge generosity to believers, for it allows believers to tell Allah of their sincere faith and love, as well as the fear and respect they have for Him. By praying believers can show their submission to Allah, their only friend and advocate, ask for and expect help from Him alone. In societies that do not practice the religion's morality, praying to Allah has been complicated by various myths and superstitions. Although people always want to approach Allah, they have set certain times and means for this. Allah warns people about these superstitions:

Indeed, is the true religion not Allah's alone? People who take protectors besides Him (say): "We only worship them so that they may bring us nearer to Allah." Allah will judge between them regarding the things about which they differed. Allah does not guide anyone who is an ungrateful liar. (Surat az-Zumar, 3)

Those who say that there are various ways to pray make religion appear difficult and divert people from the straight path. But the Qur'an tells us that Allah is always very close: "We created humanity and We know what his [or her] own self whispers to him [or her]. We are nearer to him [or her] than his [or her] jugular vein" (Surat al-Qaf, 16) That is, a person may approach Allah at any time and pray for assistance, for His endless mercy answers sincere prayers. People must pray with a sense of His being and closeness, because only those who are aware of Allah's existence understand prayer's real meaning and importance: establishing a warm and special bond between Allah and His servants.

Their sides eschew their beds as they call on their Lord in fear [respect] and ardent hope.
(Surat as-Sajda, 16)

People seek His aid in everything, and Allah answers their prayers. There is no need to wait for a particular time to pray or to use special forms, for Allah can hear prayers at every moment and in every place. A person can pray as he goes from one place to another, comes downstairs, does his shopping, prepares a meal, watches television, rides in an elevator, waits in a certain place, goes to bed, gets up in the morning, has breakfast, drives his car—in short, in every place and at every time—and expresses his desires to Him. It is enough for people just to think something, because Allah knows all that is hidden in the human heart. Believers pray with the knowledge that Allah hears, sees, and knows their thoughts, regardless of how fleeting they might be. A believer prays with the knowledge that Allah hears him, sees him, and knows his thoughts. He knows that the Lord even knows his most fleeting thoughts and can do his acts of worship as he wishes without regard for place or time. The simplicity that Allah has given for something as important as worship is an act of generosity toward a believer.

When we think of prayer, we imagine it as a verbal offering of praise to Allah, a confession of sins, and an expression of one's own needs and those of other believers. To do this, people must be sincere.

Those who have a sense of Allah's majesty, fear His punishment, and desire to win His favor turn to Him honestly and sincerely. In the same way, those who submit to Allah and accept Him as their friend and helper tell Him of their every anxiety and pain. Like Jacob (pbuh), believers tell Allah of such matters and seek His assistance and goodness: "I (Jacob) complain of my grief and sorrow to Allah alone" (Surah Yusuf, 86). While he is praying, what is important is that person's spiritual condition, intention and sincerity.

Prayer is a great blessing, and believers engage in it to protect themselves against despair and to ask for patience, strength, and endurance. Knowing that Allah always creates everything for the best purpose, they know that their prayers will be answered in the best possible way. As the holder of the only true power that exists, Allah will answer the believers' prayers if they turn to Him, seeking ease:

… He Who responds to the oppressed when they call on Him, removes their distress, and has appointed you as inheritors of Earth. Is there another deity besides Allah? How little you pay heed! (Surat an-Naml, 62)

Your Lord says: 'Call on Me, and I will answer those who are too proud to worship Me will enter Hell abject.' (Surah Ghafir, 60)

Indeed, this limitless possibility is a display of His mercy. Many Qur'anic verses tell us that He is close to human beings, will be the advocate for those who turn to Him, and will answer the prayers of those who call upon Him. Allah is closer to His servants than their jugular veins and calls everyone to pray to Him. To ask help from Allah in prayer is a grace from Allah and a great blessing He has given to humanity. The Qur'an says:

If My servants ask you about Me, I am near. I answer the call of the caller when he [or she] calls upon Me. They should, therefore, respond to Me and believe in Me so that, hopefully, they will be rightly guided. (Surat al-Baqara, 186)


Your Lord says: "Call on Me, and I will answer you. Those who are too proud to worship Me will enter Hell abject." Allah appointed the night for you so that you might rest in it, and the day for seeing. Allah pours out His favor on humanity, but most people are not thankful. (Surah Ghafir, 60-61)


We created humanity and know what his [or her] own self whispers to him [or her]. We are nearer to him [or her] than his [or her] jugular vein.
(Surah Qaf, 16)

Believers should think more about this mercy and blessing and strive to earn His favor. This ease is a boundless possibility, and Allah, Who always fulfills His promises, promises to grant whatever people ask, if it accords with His will for them. And Allah certainly does not go back on His promises. In the Qur'an the Lord tells us that He grants the prayers of prophets and sincere believers. He says the following about Zachariah (pbuh):

We responded to him and rescued him from his grief. That is how We rescue the believers. And Zachariah, when he called out to his Lord: "My Lord, do not leave me on my own, although You are the Best of Inheritors." We responded to him and gave him John, restoring for him his wife's fertility. They outdid one another in good actions, calling out to Us in yearning and in awe, and humbling themselves to Us. (Surat al-Anbiya, 88-90)

When people come face-to-face with an unexpected disaster, suffer from a terrible disease, enter great trial or, in short, feel helpless, the first thought that comes to their mind is to turn to Allah. There is only one reason for this: They are certainly aware that only Allah can really help them…they are aware that even if they do their best, all their options for survival have run out. At such times, they are completely sincere. But when the difficulty passes, many of them return to their former ways. They may convince themselves that they are not helpless and not in need of Allah's assistance or they may live as if they were unaware that they will die one day. However, if they encounter another disaster or difficulty, they turn to Allah again. Their unrepentant and ungrateful attitude returns when their troubles end, for the apparent normality of their condition helps them forget their former helplessness. But Allah Who is the Most Just will surely pay them for their ungratefulness. A related verse Allah reveals is as follows:

Say: "What has My Lord to do with you if you do not call on Him? But you have denied the truth, so punishment is bound to come." (Surat al-Furqan, 77)

Indeed, prayer is an opportunity and blessing offered to everyone. The arrogant pride of those who reject Allah draws them into rebellion against Him, which causes them to be deprived of the blessings of prayer and live in anxiety, pain, and despair. Far removed from Allah's mercy, their lives are the earthly recompense of their arrogance toward Him. But they will receive the real return for their haughtiness in the Afterlife. Allah says in the Qur'an;

So call upon Allah,
making your religion sincerely His.
(Surah Ghafir, 14)

Your Lord says: "Call upon Me, and I will answer you. Those who are too proud to worship Me will enter Hell abject." (Surah Ghafir, 60)

However, believers understand Allah's mercy and thus possess one of the greatest blessings: the hope of gaining His mercy. Aware of their helplessness, they believe that He sends everything to them for a good purpose. They are certain that every created thing needs Allah, that He knows everything, and that no thing or person has any strength apart from His will. They show their recognition of these truths by expressing their weakness and submission to Him through prayer. They know that Allah will answer their prayers in His own way, that He will give them their deepest longings or even most fleeting desires (provided that they are in accord with that person's particular destiny), and that He will always protect and care for them. Therefore, the believers will always obtain His mercy in this world and the Hereafter.

Believers who experience such comfort and hope will never give way to despair and hopelessness, while unbelievers do. They know the comfort and contentment of taking refuge in Allah, and the joy and delight that this gives their hearts. This is one of the greatest blessings, for it causes people to live humble and moral lives and leads them to turn to Allah. They know that Allah is with them when they pray, and draw near to Him in sincerity when they encounter difficulties. They firmly believe that He hears them and is preparing an eternal and incomparable Paradise for them. Bediuzzaman Said Nursi explains this deep submission:

... He Who responds to the oppressed when they call on Him, and removes their distress, and has appointed you as successors of Earth. How little you pay heed! (Surat an-Naml, 62)

The most important aspect, the most beautiful aim, the sweetest fruit of this is this: "The one who offers the supplications knows that there is Someone Who hears the wishes of his heart, Whose hand can reach all things, Who can bring about each of his desires, Who takes pity on his impotence, and answers his poverty." And so, O impotent, needy man! Do not neglect a means like supplication, which is the key to the treasury of mercy and to an inexhaustible strength. Cling to it! Rise to the highest peaks of humanity! Include in your supplications those of all the universe, like a king! Say, From You alone do we seek help. (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, The Words, Twenty-Third Word)


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