ABDUL RASHID is a member of the Ottawa Muslim community, the Christian-Muslim Dialogue and the Capital Region Interfaith Council.
The faculty to meditate is a Divine blessing on human beings. The prophets of God spent considerable time in meditation and contemplation. Islamic emphasis on meditation can clearly been by even a cursory glance through the Holy Qur'an.
It invites humanity, again and again, to use this faculty and ponder, contemplate on all that is in and around us (80: 18-32, 86: 5-7).
Meditation guides us towards those realities that we cannot experience through our ordinary senses. The foremost among these is the unity of our Creator, glory be to Him. The Qur'an describes the various facets of the working of the universe (2: 164, 3: 190, 7: 54, 37: 20-27). This opens and strengthens a connection between God and the human being.
There are many forms of meditation in Islam. The most common mode of meditation is to remember and praise God Almighty. "For without doubt, in the remembrance of God hearts find satisfaction" (13: 28).
However, all meditation practices among Muslims revolve around the fundamental obligation of the five daily prayers, which constitute a meditation of the highest order.
The Holy Prophet said that we should visualize the presence of God when we stand to offer the prayer. It is this attitude accompanied by deep contemplation of Divine words being recited during the prayer that send the believer into bowing and prostrating and ends with salutations of peace.
We are told the "recitation (in the morning prayer) is ever witnessed" (17: 78). A Muslim scholar says "the 'witness' to which the Qur'an refers here is the spark of God-given illumination in man's own soul - the beginning of the inner perception at the time when the darkness and stillness of night begins to give way to the life-giving light of day, so that prayer becomes a means of attaining to deeper insight into the realm of spiritual truths and, thus, of achieving communion with all that is holy."
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