The Hon. Elijah Muhammad's Teaching On Muslim Prayer And Jummah Service

Friday, June 29, 2012Mustafaa Abdul Muhammad

"The prayer service is divided into two parts, one to be said in private and the other to be performed in congregation, preferably in a Mosque. While the private part is meant simply for the development of the inner self of man, the public part has other ends as well in view: ends, that, indeed, make the Islamic prayer a mighty force in the unification of the human race.

In the first place, this gathering of all people living in the same vicinity five times daily in the Mosque, is a help to the establishment of healthy social relations. In the daily service these relations are limited to a narrow circle, i.e., to members of the same neighborhood. But the circle becomes wider in the weekly Friday service which gathers together all Muslim members of a particular locality and becomes still wider, in the two great "Id" gatherings.

Thus, prayer promotes social relations between the different sections of the Muslim community. Far more important than this, however, is the leveling of social differences brought about by means of congregational prayer. Once within the doors of the Mosque, every Muslim feels himself in an atmosphere of equality and love. Before their Maker they all stand shoulder to shoulder, the king along with his poorest subject, the rich arrayed in gorgeous robes, the beggar clad in rags.

Nay, the king or rich man standing in a back row will have to lay his head, prostrating himself before God, at the feet of a slave or a beggar standing in the front. There could be no more leveling influence in the world. Differences of rank, wealth and color vanish within the Mosque and quite a new atmosphere, an atmosphere of brotherhood, equality and love, totally different from the outside world, prevails within the holy precincts.

To be able to breathe, five times daily, in an atmosphere of perfect peace in a world of strife and struggle, of equality where inequality is the order of the day, of love amidst the petty jealousies and enmities of daily life, is indeed a blessing. But it is more than a blessing; for it is the great lesson of life. Man has to work amidst inequalities, amidst strife and struggle amidst scenes of hatred and enmity, and yet he is drawn out of these five times a day and made to realize that equality, fraternity and love are the real sources of human happiness.

The time spent on prayer is not, therefore, wasted even from the point of view of active humanitarianism; on the contrary, the best use of it is made in learning those great lessons which make life worth living. And these lessons of fraternity, equality and love, when put into practice in daily life, serve as foundations for the unification of the human race and of the lasting civilization of mankind.

In fact, the five daily congregational prayers are meant, among other things, to carry into practice the theoretical lessons of equality and fraternity for which Islam stands; and, however, much Islam may have preached in words the equality of man and the fraternity of the community of Islam, all this would have remained a dead letter, had it not been translated into the everyday life of man through the institution of five daily congregational prayers."

~The Hon. Elijah Muhammad's teaching on prayer in Islam and Jummah prayer service as related in Message To The Black Man 1965 ~

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