Friday Prayer

اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ بِجَمِیعِ مَحَامِدِه کُلِّهَا عَلَی جَمِیعِ نِعَمِهِ کُلِّهَا… اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ مالِکِ الْمُلْکِ مُجْرِی الْفُلْکِ مُسَخِّرِ الرِّیاحِ فالِقِ الاْصْباحِ دَیّانِ الدّینِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمینَ اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ عَلی حِلْمِهِ بَعْدَ عِلمِهِ وَالْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ عَلی عَفْوِهِ بَعْدَ قُدْرَتِهِ وَالْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ عَلی طُولِ اَناتِهِ فی غَضَبِهِ وَهُوَ قادِرٌ عَلی ما یُریدُ
All praise be to Allah with full gratitude for all His bounties. … All praise be to Allah: the master of the sovereignty, Who allows arks to flow [on seas], Who controls the winds, Who causes the day to break, Who administers the authority, and Who is the Lord of the worlds. All praise be to Allah for His forbearance despite His full knowledge. All praise be to Allah for His amnesty despite His full power. All praise be to Allah for the length of His respite during His wrath, while He is able to do whatever He wills.
و نشهد أن لا اله الا الله وحده لا شریک له، و أَنَّ محمداً عبده و رسوله ارسله بالهدی و دین الحق لیظهره علی الدین کله و لو کره المشرکون
We bear witness that there is no god but Allah. He is one and has no partners. We bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger, whom He sent with guidance and the religion of truth that He may make it prevail over all religions, though the polytheists should be averse.
اوصیکم عبادالله و نفسی بتقوی الله و اتباع امره و نهیه، و اخوفکم من عقابه
I enjoin you, servants of Allah and myself, to have fear of God and comply with His commands and forbiddances, and warn you against His retribution.

Attributes of Prophet Muhammad in the Quran
8. Vigilance and Midnight Supplications
In Surah al-Israʾ, God commands the Prophet to stay vigilant at night and supplicate to God during midnight. The Quran states:
وَمِنَ اللَّيْلِ فَتَهَجَّدْ بِهِ نَافِلَةً لَكَ عَسَى أَنْ يَبْعَثَكَ رَبُّكَ مَقَامًا مَحْمُودًا
And keep vigil for a part of the night, as a supererogatory [devotion] for you. It may be that your Lord will raise you to a praiseworthy station. (Israʾ, 79)
The spirit of humility and acts of reverence in a person are signs of their awareness of the existence of a great power and an infinite source of knowledge within the being, highlighting their dependence on that sublime position. This sense of dependence on the higher power leads one to become humble, and this humility manifests itself in the form of worship and devotion. However, not all worshippers are the same. There are various types of worshippers:
• Some respond to their sense of dependence in order to fulfill their needs and gain benefits, or out of fear of divine punishment.
• Others, with deeper knowledge and insight, worship the divine because of their perception of absolute perfection and their love for the divine.
It should be noted, however, that differences in motivations will not impact the sanctity of the action or the divine reward for it. As the Quran says:
وَلِكُلٍّ دَرَجَاتٌ مِمَّا عَمِلُوا وَلِيُوَفِّيَهُمْ أَعْمَالَهُمْ وَهُمْ لَا يُظْلَمُونَ
For everyone there are degrees [of merit] pertaining to what he has done: He will recompense them fully for their works, and they will not be wronged. (Ahqaf, 19)
The Commander of the Faith Imam ʿAli categorizes worshipers of God into three groups:
إِنَّ قَوْماً عَبَدُوا اللَّهَ رَغْبَةً فَتِلْكَ عِبَادَةُ التُّجَّارِ، وَ إِنَّ قَوْماً عَبَدُوا اللَّهَ رَهْبَةً فَتِلْكَ عِبَادَةُ الْعَبِيدِ، وَ إِنَّ قَوْماً عَبَدُوا اللَّهَ شُكْراً فَتِلْكَ عِبَادَةُ الْأَحْرَارِ
A group of people worshipped Allah out of desire for reward surely, this is the worship of traders. Another group worshipped Allah out of fear; this is the worship of slaves. Still another group worshipped Allah out of gratefulness; this is the worship of free men. (Nahj al-Balagha, aphorism no. 237)
Moreover, Imam ʿAli describes his own worship and devotion to God as follows: “I have never worshiped You out of greed for Your Paradise, nor out of fear from Your Fire, but I found You worthy of being worshiped so I worshiped You” (ʿAwali al-liʾali, vol. 1, p. 404).
As Shaykh Bahaʾi eloquently expresses in his poem:
O poor man! Learn the wisdom of ‘I have never worshiped…’
From the words of the king of men.
A worshipper who seeks reward for his devotions
Deserves to be called a non-worshiper.
For how long do you want to expect rewards?
What better reward do you seek, my dear,
Than the fact that, out of His grace,
He created you to serve Him?
Despite all of your impurity, He did not undervalue you.
He bestowed upon you the honor of servitude.

Surah al-Muzzammil can be viewed as a guide for self-development and human spiritual well-being. The opening of this Surah addresses the manner of the Prophet’s worship at night, explaining that it occurs around half of the night—between one-third to two-thirds of the night. Moreover, these verses emphasize that vigilance or nightly worship of God is effective in furthering the Prophet’s purposes:
O you wrapped up in your mantle! Stand vigil through the night, except for a little [of it], a half, or reduce a little from that or add to it, and recite the Quran in a measured tone. Indeed soon We shall cast on you a weighty discourse. Indeed the watch of the night is firmer in tread and more upright in respect to speech, for indeed during the day you have drawn-out engagements. So celebrate the Name of your Lord and dedicate yourself to Him with total dedication. Lord of the east and the west, there is no god except Him; so take Him for your trustee, and be patient over what they say, and distance yourself from them in a graceful manner. (Muzzammil, 1-10)
According to these verses, vigilance should not end with the mere performance of prayers. Rather, it should be accompanied by the recitation of the Quran “in a measured tone” so that one can comprehend all of its words and meanings. Just as the servant speaks to God through prayers, God speaks to the servant through the Quran. In this way, a mutual communication is established.
Surah al-Muzzammil concludes with a verse indicating that the Prophet and a group of believers stayed vigilant at night. This verse provides the necessary instructions for spiritual growth:
Indeed your Lord knows that you stand vigil for nearly two thirds of the night—or [at times] a half or a third of it—along with a group of those who are with you. Allah measures the night and the day. He knows that you cannot calculate it [exactly], and so He was lenient toward you. So recite as much of the Quran as is feasible. He knows that some of you will be sick, while others will travel in the land seeking Allah’s bounty, and yet others will fight in the way of Allah. So recite as much of it as is feasible, and maintain the prayer and pay the zakat and lend Allah a good loan. Whatever good you send ahead for your souls you will find it with Allah [in a form] that is better and greater with respect to reward. And plead to Allah for forgiveness; indeed Allah is all-forgiving, all-merciful. (Muzzammil, 20)

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