The Power of Prayer

wpid-photo-editing_cloud20150508.jpg.jpeg

Every morning at the crack of dawn, I look forward to the time in which I pray. It is a time when I contemplate my life, review what I have done and seek guidance on how I should proceed further.

Prayer, salat, supplication or whatever you might call it is your personal conversation with God. There are many characterizations of this gesture. Some may dress a certain way. Others may stress that it be performed in a language not understood by all, simply a repetition of verses. It may argued that its structure is tantamount to its conveyance. I would humbly submit regarding the issue of form over substance, the latter of the two takes priority.

It is, I repeat, your conversation with God! I only hope that your sentiments are from the heart, most sincere and occur on a fairly regular basis.

The contents of a good prayer should include gratitude and a request. It should express gratitude acknowledging the excellence and favors of the One to Whom we address our prayer. We may not realize just how much we have to be thankful for, from the air we breathe to life itself…

Life is better when one shows gratitude. It sets you in the right attitude and may protect you from temptations. It has been said that “God turns to man when man turns to God.”

The other crucial element is the request. The vicissitudes of life can be overwhelming. We must acknowledge that we do not control all things and that a little help may be warranted. Only through the remembrance of God and His role in all our lives can matters truly be placed in their proper perspective. One’s request may be to seek guidance on how to make someone’s life better.

On a personal note, as I get older, I feel the need to express gratitude for all that has happened to me, both good and bad. I have come to believe that all experiences are just trials and challenges instituted by God to help me better myself, to make me stronger. He is the Guardian, Sustainer, Provider and Nurturer of all things!

There have been times in my life when I have achieved much success. There were other times when my will to see future days waned. I was happy for God’s intervention when it was most needed. Now I view each setback as an opportunity to regroup and continue to press forward. Now I begin to understand the importance of having faith. I accept all challenges and take them all in stride…

Today, after I pray for me, my family and my friends, I find myself praying for a better world. I pray for world peace and harmony (http://wp.me/p2hekR-v). I believe we each have the sense of a divine presence within us. If we concentrate collectively, if we each make an extra effort, anything is possible!

Won’t you join me in this prayer? It costs you nothing and the potential for rewards are immeasurable…

Advertisements

Feeling it …

While perusing Pinterest the other day, I came across an interesting poster, which seemed to capture the state I was in.  The past few days have been both enduring and wonderful at the same time.

An old friend recently commented that I seemed to “move with a Zen-like quality” as I interacted with those who stepped before me during Kendo Keiko. I was simply trying to conserve energy while I was in the middle of my fast. I did not want to pass out due to the smothering temperatures at the gym where we practice, not to mention the heat generated within my armor and lack of fluid intake.

Some might say that this was a foolhardy effort on my part, but one does not practice a martial art for 30 plus years and then stop because of in climate weather conditions.

I have been in a good mood lately. I offer greetings to strangers. I smile at everyone. I truly believe that if we just clear our eyes, we will see that the world is a beautiful place. I feel the introspection. How can I explain the feeling?

Ramadan14

Bliss…

When I can read a thought and experience uncontrollable tears of joy.

 

Thinking pleasant, uplifting thoughts…

Mail Attachment

When I last checked it was 106 F in NYC. Today is the ninth day of Ramadhan. For those of you who are not aware, Ramadhan (also known as Ramadan or Ramzan) is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. It is a period of prayer, fasting, charity-giving and self-accountability for Muslims in the United States as well as the rest of the world. The first verses of the Qu’ran were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) during the last third of Ramadhan, making this an especially holy period.

The period when Muslims end their fast at the end of each day is called Iftar. There are no special foods that need be eaten to break one’s fast, but your body may have special nutritional needs which should be met. Traditionally, a lot of Muslims will end their daily fast by consuming a few dates. This is a staple fruit found in the Middle East that is an excellent source of fiber, sugar, minerals and carbohydrates. This will generally aid the body in maintaining health.

The important thing is to avoid over-eating! Meals should consist of some vegetables, salads, chicken or fish or lean meat such as lamb or beef, grains such as rice, bread or pasta, and a serving of fruit. Drinking lots of water is very important and cannot be overstressed!

One must remember that this is a time of introspection. It should be about cultivating better character and humility. It is about learning that one can “do without,” and reconnecting with God (SWT).

For some reason, I feel particularly “amorous” today. Everyone gets a smile from me, today. It is far too hot to exert the energy to be grim. I will place a bowl of ice cubes and water outside for the wild animals that may be hanging out in the neighborhood. Most of all, I will think pleasant, uplifting thoughts today.

I think there is a lesson to be learned during this harsh weather. We all suffer to some degree, some more than others. We can all endure the plight a little better with just a slight gesture from others. All it takes is a smile or a bowl of water for a few stray animals. Try it! You will feel better…

Islam, Karma and the Seven Flies

I was making myself breakfast today just as any other day when I noticed that there were seven flies in the kitchen. Normally, the kitchen is bug free but there they were flying around the ceiling about to make a nuisance of themselves. I saw that one of the windows was slightly cracked open and postured that this was the way they entered the kitchen.

I wanted to eat my meal without having to experience the annoyance of these insects. Warily, I consumed my meal and watched them with the precision of a Hawk! It seemed as if they wanted to leave the kitchen but had lost their way. They flew close to the window’s opening but I wondered if perhaps if they perceived it too narrow to exit? I proceeded to open the window slightly more. Eventually all seven flies flew out the window.

I thought about this with great introspection as I finished my meal. It tasted wonderful! Allah (SWT) is Creator of all things, great and tiny. He tests and challenges us all the time. There are lessons everywhere! I believe there are Signs all around us. We must clear our minds and open our hearts to see them. I also believe that one should never give up hope. “As one window closes, a thousand more may open.” We must continue to persevere.

There are times when we may relinquish just when victory or salvation may be just around the corner! The flies were so close to the opening of the window but it seemed as if they choose not to venture out. My gesture of opening the window a little wider enabled them to escape unharmed on this particular day.

My actions cost me nothing but created harmony around me in that brief moment. Perhaps, that is a lesson as well…