Reviewing: Muhammad AbdulRaoof. The treatise by Imam ibn Hanbal, the Imam of the Hanbali school of juristic reasoning, renowned for his steep knowledge, was written several hundred years ago to the inhabitants of a town where the Imam stayed for a period of time.
Treatise on Prayer, By Saint Catherine of Genoa
It contains a full and clear description of the prayer and includes detailed observations of the mistakes, which Imam Ahmad observed during his time in that town. It was and remains an invaluable work for all Muslims. Detailing as it does many common errors made during prayers, some of which are serious enough to invalidate the act of worship.
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Is not he thy Father that hath bought thee? We must honour him, we must fear him, 1.
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Neither ought we to fear any thing so much as to displease him. We must love him, and Christ his Son, John 8. John 5.
We are to imitate our heavenly Father, Matt. Luke 6.
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We must patiently and meekly bear afflictions as fatherly chastisements, Heb. Otherwise we shew ourselves to be bastards rather then sons. We must trust in him, Psal. For though we call upon God as our Father, and yet do not obey him, nor honour him, nor fear him, nor love him, nor follow him, nor submit ourselves to his chastisements, nor trust in him, we shew ourselves not to be the children of God, but rather of the Devil. And John also saith, 1. In this the children of God are known and the children of the devil.
Whosoever doth not righteousness is not of God; neither he that loveth not his brother. See Deut. But for what others? For all men , 1. We are therefore to pray for the whole brotherhood, which is the universal Church, and the whole company of the faithful, Psal. O pray for the peace of Jerusalem. For the universal Church, I say, militant upon earth. For unto the present estate of the Church militant our Saviour doth accommodate this prayer: as, that we may do the will of God upon earth as it is in heaven; that he would give us our daily bread; that he would forgive our sins, and not lead us into temptation.
When as therefore this prayer is used amongst the Papists for the dead, they shew themselves not impious only but also ridiculous. Uses concerning Prayer. First, whereas Christ commandeth us to call God Father not only of other faithful and elect but also ours, he requireth in us when we are to pray a true and justifying faith whereby we are persuaded that God is our Father in Christ, and the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry in our hearts, Abba, Father. Therefore that special faith which the Papists call presumption, whereby every Christian man believeth that he is adopted in Christ, reconciled to God, and justified by him, and that for his sake both himself and his prayer is accepted of God, Christ requireth in this place.
For unless I be persuaded that the Lord is not only the Father of the rest of the faithful and elect, but also my Father, I cannot in truth call him our Father. Unto prayer therefore we must bring faith, without which it is impossible to please God. Therefore as we ought to bring faith towards God, so also charity towards men, that without wrath and dissension we may lift up pure hands unto Go d, 1. But is it not lawful to say sometimes, My Father, My God, and to pray for ourselves in particular or for some others? It is lawful in private prayers to call God thy Father, so that thou dost not arrogate any thing peculiar to thy self besides or above other faithful men.
For this is the voice of justifying faith especially in the time of temptation, when the faithful man may seem forsaken of God to apply unto himself in particular that which commonly belongeth to all the faithful, Psal. John The Lord instructeth his people thus to call him, My Father , Jer.
For as when we are commanded to do good to all, but especially to the household of faith, Gal. Now the prayer of the Church the Lord who is most gracious unto it is ready to hear, Deut. Therefore this serveth, as for instruction, teaching us our duty in calling upon God for one another, so also for our comfort, assuring us that others in like sort pray for us, and that we are partakers of all the prayers of the whole Church and all the members thereof.
Fourthly, the hypocrisy of those is condemned who say with the Jews, John 8. W e have all one Father, God ; but neither have faith in God, nor charity towards men, nor any fellow-feeling of other men's wants, nor any true desire of their good; who say, Every man for himself, and God for us all.
Uses concerning our lives. Seeing we have all one and the same Father, Matt.
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For if God be the Father of us all, then are we all brethren. Which word of love ought to tie us with the bond of love, and break off all dissension, Gen. And surely if we love not our brethren, the love of God is not in us: For he which loveth him that begetteth, loveth also those that are begotten, 1. And, Whosoever saith that he loveth God and hateth his brother, he is a liar , 1. John 4. Therefore where is not brotherly love there is not the love of God; where is not the love of God there is no faith; and who hath not faith is not the son of God. I have not encountered any other service, either online or brick-and-mortar establishment, that offers items of the same exquisite quality as your sacramentals.
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Ahmad ibn Hanbal’s Treatise on Prayer (Salah)
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