Fifth Warning by Badiuzzaman Said Nursi Regarding Prayers
O my world-worshipping soul! Does your slackness in worship and remissness in the prescribed prayers arise from the multiplicity of your worldly occupations, or because you cannot find time due to the struggle for livelihood? Were you created only for this world that you spend all your time on it?
You know that in regard to your abilities you are superior to all the animals, but in regard to procuring the necessities of worldly life you cannot compete with even a sparrow. A sparrow learns about all of the conditions of its life in a few weeks. However, you can learn to walk only after a year. So why can you not understand that your basic duty is not to labour like an animal, but to strive for a true, perpetual life, like a true human being.
In addition, the things you call worldly occupations mostly do not concern you, and are trivial matters which you meddle in officiously. You neglect the essential things and pass your time acquiring inessential information as though you were going to live for a thousand years. For example, you squander your precious time on worthless things like learning what the rings around Saturn are like or how many chickens there are in America. As though you were becoming an expert in astronomy or statistics.
If you say: “What keeps me from the prayers and worship and causes me to be lax is not unnecessary things like that, but essential matters like earning a livelihood,”
Then my answer is this: if you work for a daily wage of one hundred kurush, and someone comes to you and says: “Come and dig here for ten minutes, and you will find a brilliant and an emerald worth a hundred liras.” If you reply: “No, I won’t come, because ten kurush will be cut from my wage and my subsistence will be less,” of course you understand what a foolish pretext it would be.
In just the same way, you work in this orchard for your livelihood. If you abandon the obligatory prayers, all the fruits of your effort will be restricted to only a worldly, unimportant, and unproductive livelihood.We will be no different from the man who loses a diamond worth hundreds of thousands lira for fear that ten lira will be reduced form his wages.But if you spend your rest periods on the prayers, which allow your spirit to relax and heart to take a breather, you will discover two mines which are an important source, both for a productive worldly livelihood, and your livelihood and provisions of the hereafter.
In Short:O my soul! Know that yesterday has left you, and as for tomorrow, you have nothing to prove that it will be yours. In which case, know that your true life is the present day. So throw at least one of its hours into a mosque or prayer-mat, a coffer for the hereafter like a reserve fund, set up for the true future.
Know too that for you and for everyone each new day is the door to a new world. If you do not perform the prayers, your world that day will depart dark and wretched, and will testify against you in the World of Similitudes. For everyone, every day, has a private world out of this world, and its nature is dependent on the person’s heart and actions. Like a splendid palace reflected in a mirror takes on the colour of the mirror; if it is black, it appears black; if it is red, it appears red. Also it takes on the qualities of the mirror; if the mirror is smooth, it shows the palace to be beautiful, and if it is not, it shows it to be ugly. As it shows the most delicate things to be coarse, so you alter the shape of your own world with your heart, mind, actions, and wishes. You may make it testify either for you or against you. If you perform the five daily prayers, and through them you are turned towards that world’s Glorious Maker, all of a sudden your world, which looks to you, is lit up. Quite simply as though the prayers are an electric lamp and your intention to perform them touches the switch, they disperse the world’s darkness and show the changes and movements within the confused wretchedness of worldly chaos to be a wise and purposeful order and a meaningful writing of Divine power. They scatter one light of the light over your heart, and your world on that day is illuminated through the light’s reflection. It will cause it to testify in your favour through its luminosity.
The work we have prepared about the value of prayer ends here. We have used the Risale-i Nur Collection by Badiuzzaman Said Nursi as reference. We have simplified and explained some parts but we should confess that we have not been able to be as impressive as him. Therefore, we invite you to read the original Risale-i Nur Collection and read the truths through the pen of Badiuzzaman Said Nursi.
O Lord! Make us love all kinds of worship especially prayer for the sake of Your mercy and give us strength and enthusiasm to perform them. Put the pleasure of worshipping you into our hearts. Grant us the bounty of being close to you and take pleasure from your dhikr. Regard this work as atonement for the sins of our brothers who contributed to it and who watch it. Amin…