The power of prayer

Last week I offered Friday prayers at a mosque I had not been before. I witnessed something that was quite disheartening and sad.

It so happened that after the Jama’at was over, a person stood up in the middle of the rows and started begging. He complained about some tragedy that he and his family went through and asked for help, money, donations from his muslim brothers.

What made me think was that he was present inside a mosque, a place where you are closest to God. Mosque is the house of God, they say. So you are standing in the house of God and you are asking for help from other people, instead of praying to God. Do you think God is going to appreciate this act, where begging is forbidden at first place? Don’t you believe in prayer? Don’t you know that a prayer that comes from the depths of the heart is never left answered? Yet, that man was not praying to God.

This sheer display of lack of faith made me restless for quite a while.

21 Comments so far

  1. mansoor (unregistered) on October 12th, 2006 @ 2:31 pm

    aren’t we being sensitive umar?! Unfortunately, there is no way to screen the faithful and faithless before entering a mosque, a faithless person can just as easily enter.

    Plus, mosques are where these beggars are usually in full force! Im surprised u’ve never encounted beggars before…?

  2. umar (unregistered) on October 12th, 2006 @ 2:38 pm

    i agree… anyone can enter a mosque… there is no restriction… but i was disturbed by this particular incident because the person started begging immediately after the jamaat was over… while the moulvi sahab was still reciting the prayers… it was quite distracting… and no i havent seen that happening very often… i have mostly seen beggars sitting outside the mosque.

    I don’t even know if that person was for real or a professional begger, but begging inside the mosque was quite disturbing for me.

  3. Haseeb A (unregistered) on October 12th, 2006 @ 4:28 pm

    This happens everyday at our mosque. ppl get up after prayers and start begging or a person with lots of miswaaks will aproach and instead of selling, will want to tell u his story!
    We need to improve our economy and establish a welfare system. This begging and that begging (Worldbank, IMF) has GOT TO END

  4. Saamia (unregistered) on October 12th, 2006 @ 6:14 pm

    Well guys this could be looked at from an entirely different perspective. He came to mosque to ask Allah for help right than well Allah can’t just hand him the money some of us need to help him out too in his time of misery. So he asked his fellow worshippers. I totally agree that it was wrong of him to beg inside the mosque but maybe who knows he didn’t have anywhere else to go and anybody else to ask for help.Just my point of view.

  5. yo yo (unregistered) on October 12th, 2006 @ 6:58 pm

    UMAR..In Pakistan life is tough for the poor. Try wearing their clothes for a day and see how many options you have.

    Allah has created means (like jobs, money) to meet our ends. Prayers are to ask Allah for help. But it doesnot mean one should sit on the road and wait for some angel to bring them food.

    As for begging in ithe mosque. If the request is genuine and the person is unable to get help from established places like EIDHI then there is nothing wrong in it.

  6. SS (unregistered) on October 12th, 2006 @ 9:18 pm

    So besides praying we are not supposed to do anything else in the Mosque, right? I heard that Our last prophet SAWS used to sit in the mosque and discuss issues with Sahaba, also listens to complaints and judge disputes. What’s wrong people??

  7. A N (unregistered) on October 12th, 2006 @ 9:42 pm

    @ umar with due respest i would like to say something.ISLAM teahces to hide ppl’s lifestyle or to be more precise AYAB .because as muslims we shud try to help ppl in need rather than discussing about them in public.ALHAMDULILLAH ppl like you and me are in good condition thats why its easy for us to say that just imagine the condition of that person who was asking for some brother its not a good idea to discuss somones misery in public.instead we should become the WASEELA for those ppl who are in need.

  8. Imran (unregistered) on October 12th, 2006 @ 9:50 pm

    what omer meant was begging inside mosque… you want to discuss issues you have pertaining to Islam, or need more indepth knowledge you are most welcome to do so … its the begging which omer pointed out. Begging in Islam is not allowed. And another thing is that ask Allah and he will surely give it to you.

    While I was in my school years, I needed Rs.500 very badly and I didnt want to ask my family (for some obvious reasons), what I did was pray from the bottom of my heart, and the reason for I needed the money was gone … after that whenever I needed anything, I always prayed and one way or another my need was fulfilled, and I could actually feel my prayers were accepted.

    same way if this person who was begging for money worship to Allah and ask his help and then ALSO work on his own Allah will help him out. It is not that you just sit down and do nothing and keep on asking Allah for help. For He helps those who help themselves.

    And as for the authenticity of the begger IMHO it was a professional begger because near my house a new Masjid was built and the very first day this type of begger came with the same story of how his family came in some sort of accident and know he has young daughters whom he need to get married and all this …

  9. a n (unregistered) on October 12th, 2006 @ 9:51 pm

    One more thing i would like to add .we are all the creatures of AALLAH so we are not the judge .There are lots of ppl in the world who are suffering from so many things .dont you think bro that they are not praying ?dont you think that they are not asking ALLAH ?so if ALLAH SWT blessess us with what have we asked him and if he doesnot blesses any other person you think its because that person is not asking enough?

  10. umar (unregistered) on October 12th, 2006 @ 11:17 pm

    people, its all about faith… havent you heard that if you pray to God he will give you from sources u have never imagined… all you need to do is pray… and of course who says one should only pray and not do anything else… thats plain stupid… but begging is still forbidden… if someone is really needy, they should first ask for help from relatives, close friends, and so on… begging in streets (or mosque) like this is not something that I can appreciate. And before someone points fingers at me, I do help someone if I come across an actual case… and by the grace of God I have donated a lot.

  11. yo yo (unregistered) on October 12th, 2006 @ 11:54 pm

    I need 1 billion dollars with peace of mind
    true love
    I can send you the whole list via email. But please pray for me man..You seem to have a good connection..LOL..

  12. KhiTorPit (unregistered) on October 13th, 2006 @ 1:08 am

    The question was not ‘to beg or not to beg’ the question was to beg from the ppl in the house of Allah (Masjid), where you can beg from Allah. Well, in my opinion no one should be allowed to beg or to do any thing which distracts prayers. Anyways.

    There was a statement given before Ramadan through govt. officials that no beggars would be allowed to enter into Khi, whoever will be seen on streets will be handed over to Edhi, there was another statement passed that all the road construction work will be done before Ramadan to avoid hassle.
    Can you see beggars (outsiders) and construction on the streets ?

  13. Saamia (unregistered) on October 13th, 2006 @ 1:13 am

    Forget Imran the whole of Pakistan will pray for you. As long as you pray for a Lambroghini for me, a private jet for Karachi traffic, 24 hours of electric supply, and 5 tons of cleannn water. I will definitely include you in my prayers. (:

  14. Salman Ahmed (unregistered) on October 13th, 2006 @ 2:06 am

    Shabash You all greedy people!

  15. Alam (unregistered) on October 13th, 2006 @ 3:46 am

    dont fo to mosque, if u dont likt the environ there, OK?

    Thats what i did 10 years ago, and i am a happy man :)

  16. alybaba (unregistered) on October 13th, 2006 @ 7:00 am

    See this is why I really have no faith when it comes to religion. This poor man and a billion like him have prayed for years, yet nothing has come to them. Generations of people have prayed from the heart and have unable to lead a decent quality of life. Either there is no god to answer their prayers, or he refuses to.

  17. Captain's Log (unregistered) on October 13th, 2006 @ 7:54 am

    First of all asking for one self is strictly prohibited in Islam very clearly but you could ask for other causes.

    There is a hadith that no prayers are refused, Allah either gives you some better replacement or pushes away some hardships for them or some times He saves it for a judgement day.

    There is another Hadith on judgement day , people would be surprised how they have got such a positive balance and Allah would reply “These are your prayers that were not answered in the world” and all men would say that hey Allah I wish you could have refused my all prayers and save it them today(judgement day).

    Any how it comes to one beliefs.

    May Allah shows us the path which could lead us to success.

  18. Jamal Shamsi (unregistered) on October 13th, 2006 @ 10:10 am

    Begging to ALLAH is we all do.

    Begging to mankind in the House of ALLAH, is SHIRK, it shows how weak the EMAN is.

  19. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on October 13th, 2006 @ 10:51 am

    Umar can you please tell me how are different than those ‘professional beggers’? Do you want to claim that only THOSE beggers seek others help and we are all pious muslims spend all the time to seek God’s help when in trouble? Don’t we invite some captain shab,khan shab and other ‘Big Men’ so that they could be helpful? Don’t we try our best to please our bosses? Offcourse people who are busy in shopping these days durng Iftar and Taraweeh times are not beggers.

    Those Professional beggers are still better than us. Atleast they visit a mosque, they might get hidhayat by God after experincing environment of Masjid. Think about those who are busy in some so called Iftar or dinner party during prayers timings. Think once my friend.

    ..Indeed are Signs for a people that are wise” (Quran,2:164).

  20. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on October 13th, 2006 @ 10:55 am

    Seems everyone here is “momin here”. I am really feeling like a kafir now.

  21. Saamia (unregistered) on October 13th, 2006 @ 2:15 pm

    Hey don’t give me shabash for bein greedy i was just havin some fun and Vo Vo was the one who started it.

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