Fourth Word

[1]بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

[2]اَلصَّلاٰةُ عِمَادُ الدِّينِ

If you would like to completely understand – in the level of two times two equals four – how precious and crucial is prayer and how cheap [it is] and obtained with a low cost; and how feeble-minded and harmful is the prayerless man, look and see this short allegory:

One time, a great ruler sends two servants of his– giving each of them twenty four gold coins – to a two month away private and beautiful farm for [the purpose of] settlement. And orders them “pay your travel and ticket expenses with this money. Also, buy some necessary things for your house there. In a distance of a day, there is a station. A car, a ship, a train, and an airplane are found [there]. They are boarded depending on [one’s] capital.”

The two servants leave after taking their lesson. One of them was pleasant so that he spent a portion of money until [he reached] the station. However, within that spending he obtains such a beautiful business that will please his master, so that his capital rises from one to a thousand. Since the other servant is unfortunate and purposeless, he spends twenty three of his gold coins until [he arrives at] the station. He loses them, giving them to such things as gambling. [Only] a single gold coin of his is left. His friend tells him “Look here, give this Lira for a ticket. So that, in this long path, you will not be left on foot and hungrey. Also, our master is generous; maybe he will show mercy, [and] forgive the mistake you made. They will let you in the airplane as well. We will go to our place of residence in one day. Otherwise you will be forced to travel hungry, on foot, [and] alone in a two month desert. If this man were to get stubborn and not give that single gold coin of his to a ticket which is equivalent to a treasure key and instead spends it for sinful entertainment for a temporary delight; wouldn’t even the most mindless man understand how very mindless, harmful, and unfortunate he is?

Thus, o prayerless man! And o my soul who does not enjoy prayer!

As for that ruler, [He is] our Lord [and] Creator. As for those two servant travelers; one is religious [and] performs his prayers with eagerness; the other are heedless (ghafil) prayerless people. As for those twenty four gold coins, they are the twenty four hours of life in each day. As for that special farm, it is heaven. As for that station, it is the grave. As for the journey, it is the human journey that will go to the grave, the gathering (hashr), [and] eternity. According to [one’s] actions [and] according to [one’s] strength of refraining from sin (taqwa) they pass through that long path at various levels. A portion of the people of taqwa [i.e. those who refrain from sin] pass through a path of a year in a day, like a lightning. And a portion of them pass a distance of fifty thousand years in a day, like imagination. The Qur’an of glorious significance points to this truth with its two verses. As for that ticket, it is prayer. A single hour is sufficient for the five prayer times with ablutions. If one were to spend his twenty three hours for this very short worldly life and not spend a single hour of his for that long eternal life; how much of a loss he would suffer, how much of a harm he would do to himself, and how much he would act contrary to the mind. Because if the mind accepts to give half of one’s property to a lottery gambling which a thousand men participate – though the possibility of success is one out of a thousand – then not giving one property out of twenty four to an everlasting treasure [where] success is assured by a possibility of ninety nine percent; wouldn’t a man who considers himself reasonable understand how contrary to the mind and reason it is to act [as such] and how far he strays from the mind?

However the soul and the heart and the mind have a great comfort in prayer. Also, it is not that heavy of a duty to the body. Also, other permissible worldly acts of one who prays take the form of worship with a nice intention. In this way he may invest his whole it capital of life to the hereafter. In a sense, he preserves temporary life.

[1] In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate

[2] The Prayer (salat) is the pillar of religion [Tirmidhi, Iman 8; Ibn Majah, Fitan 12; Musnad, 5:231, 237]