It ought to be remembered that an individual can only observe and fully experience Prayer, in the true sense, with the help of supplication. To implore of anyone or anything besides Allah is diametrically opposed to a believer’s indignation, because only Allah is worthy of being implored in supplication. Know for certain that until a person abases themselves completely and does not beseech Allah the Exalted alone, and does not implore Him alone, they cannot be deemed a true Muslim and a true believer in the actual sense. The very essence of Islam is that all of one’s faculties – whether inner or external – must always lay prostrate at the threshold of Allah Almighty, just as a large engine fuels many other parts. In the same way, until a person’s every action and movement is not made to follow the overall power and control of the engine, how can they believe in the divinity of Allah the Almighty? Until this is so, can such an individual call themselves “one who is ever inclined to God”, in the true sense when reciting the words:
اِنِّیۡ وَجَّہۡتُ وَجۡہِیَ لِلَّذِیۡ فَطَرَ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَالۡاَرۡضَ
(I have turned my face towards Him Who created the heavens and the earth.)
If a person reinforces their words through action and turns towards God, then undoubtedly such a one is a Muslim; they are a believer and one who is ever inclined to God. However, one who implores anything or anyone besides God and submits to others as well, ought to remember that they are most unfortunate and deprived. For a time will soon come when they will no longer be able to submit to Allah the Almighty, even with empty words or hollow gestures. Another cause which gives rise to the habit of abandoning Prayer and becoming indolent is that when an individual inclines towards that which is besides Allah, the faculties of the soul and heart forever remain bent in that direction in the manner of a tree (whose branches are bent in a certain direction and then left to grow in that shape). The hearts of such people become so rough and hard that they solidify, like a rock, in the very manner of the branches I have just described. After they harden, they cannot be bent in any other direction. So too is the case with a person’s heart and soul, which continue to move further away from God with every passing day.
Therefore, to forsake Allah the Almighty and ask of another is a very dangerous thing and makes the heart tremble. This is why it is absolutely necessary to regularly observe the Prayer, so that first and foremost, it becomes a deep-rooted habit and a person becomes inclined to turn towards Allah. Then gradually a time comes when one attains to a state in which they become completely detached from all other relations to the exclusion of Allah; and in this state, they become the recipient of divine light and derive pleasure in Prayer. I reiterate most emphatically that I unfortunately do not have the words with which to fully describe the evils in turning towards anything that is besides Allah. There are those who will submit to people and beg them with flattery. This rouses the jealousy of God Almighty because this is no different than “praying” as it were, to other human beings. Thus, God Almighty distances Himself from such an individual and casts them away from Himself.
I can describe the likeness of this in broad terms – although this is not the same thing – but one can clearly understand. For example, an honourable man who possesses indignation could never bear to see his wife engaged in intimate relations with another man. Just as this man would consider such a vile woman to be worthy of death – in fact, often such honour killings of the sort do happen to occur – so too is the nature of God’s fervour and jealousy. Man’s servitude and supplications must be devoted to Him alone. God cannot approve of anyone other than Him being declared worthy of worship or that anyone besides Him be implored. You must keep this in mind! I reiterate that you must take heed of this point! To submit to anything other than Allah is to move away from God. Whether one uses the word “Prayer” or the term “oneness of God” it is all the same, because the practical expression by which an individual proclaims the oneness of God is through the formal Prayer.
Furthermore, the Prayer is unblessed and devoid of benefit when it is not observed with a spirit of self-effacement and humility and when it is empty of a heart that is ever inclined to God.
(Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, Malfuzat, Vol. 1, pp. 163-164)