A lady sent the following quote from Al-Mawaqif by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Jabbar al-Niffari to Hazrat Amirul Momineen, Khalifatul Masih Vaa:
اُدْعُنِيْ فِيْ رُؤْيَتِيْ وَلَا تَسْئَالْنِيْ، وَ سَلْنِيْ فِيْ غَيْبَتِيْ وَلَا تَدْعُنِيْ
“Pray to Me while I see you instead of begging of Me. Beg of Me when I am not present, instead of praying to me.”
She then asked what the difference was between praying to Allah the Exalted and begging of Him.
Huzooraa, in a letter dated 1 July 2020, gave the following reply to this question:
“The statement in the above-mentioned book of mysticism is neither a command of the Holy Quran, nor a principle based on any hadith. This is merely a quote from the author of this book.
“There is no difference between praying and asking Allah the Exalted according to the Holy Quran and the hadith. Allah says in the Holy Quran:
ادۡعُوۡنِيۡۤ اَسۡتَجِبۡ لَكُمۡ
“[‘Pray unto Me; I will answer your (prayer).’ (Surah al-Mu‘min, Ch.40: V.61)]
“Here, Allah the Exalted has not said that your prayers should not contain any supplication.
“Then, the Holy Prophetsa said in a qudsi hadith that Allah the Exalted descends to the lower heavens in the last third of every night and declares:
مَنْ يَدْعُونِي فَأَسْتَجِيبَ لَهُ مَنْ يَسْأَلُنِي فَأُعْطِيَهُ
“[‘Is there anyone to pray to Me, so that I may respond to his prayer? Is there anyone to ask Me, so that I may grant him his request?’ (Sahih Bukhari, Kitab al-Tahajjud, Bab ad-du‘ai wa s-salati min akhiri l-laili)]
“In this hadith, Allah the Exalted is commanding both to pray and to ask at the same time.
“Then, the Holy Prophetsa said in another hadith that one was the nearest to Allah the Exalted in the state of prostration. ‘So, pray abundantly (in this state).’ [Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-Salat, Maa yuqaalu fi r-ruku‘i was-sujood]
“Here too, the Holy Prophetsa did not mention any such prohibition that one’s prayers should not contain any questions.
“The Promised Messiahas has also advised us in his writings that we should submit all our religious and worldly needs to Allah the Exalted. Hence, in one of his poems he states:
حاجتيں پوری كريں گے كيا تِری عاجز بشر
كر بياں سب حاجتيں حاجت روا كے سامنے
“‘What needs of yours would helpless men fulfil? You state all your needs to the Fulfiller of Needs.
“Then with reference to the text in the book under discussion, it is also worth asking as to when Allah the Exalted is not present before us? He is always Omnipresent.
“Thus, in my opinion, there is no difference between praying to Allah and supplicating to Him. From a rational point of view, the phrase could at most be interpreted as meaning that when a person is afraid of being seen by others, he avoids doing evil, as is evident from the example of CCTV cameras in modern times.
“Thus, whenever a person thinks that no one is looking at them and Satan tries to lure them to some evil, then they should immediately worry about their faith and should bow down before God Almighty and supplicate at His threshold for the security of their faith.”