“And when (O Messenger) My servants ask you about Me, then surely I am near: I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he prays to Me.133So let them respond to My call (without hesitation), and believe and trust in Me (in the way required of them), so that they may be guided to spiritual and intellectual excellence and right conduct.” (El-Baqarah, 186)
Prayer or supplication is the essence of worship or servanthood to God. What rises to God from the whole creation is prayer. It has kinds and degrees:
• The first kind is the prayer of all organisms, plant, animal and human, through the natural disposition of their bodies and their functioning in line with their duties in creation. This kind of prayer is always acceptable.
• The second kind is that which is uttered by all organisms, plant, animal and human, in the tongue of vital needs. God meets these needs just on time, with the exception that plants, and the animals relatively weaker and less intel- ligent (as compared to others, such as wolves and foxes), are nourished more easily than the others. The more powerful and intelligent and more self-subsist- ing a creature is, the greater hardship it suffers to get nourishment. All that a baby has to do in order to procure its need is cry.
• The third kind of prayer is that which is done by human beings. This falls into two categories:
• The first category is the active prayer. It means complying with the laws that God has set for life. For example, a farmer’s plowing the soil is knocking on the door of Divine providence. A patient’s going to the doctor’s is appealing to God for cure. This kind of prayer is usually accepted.
• The second category is the verbal prayer that we do. This kind of prayer is also answered. But answering is different from accepting. God answers all the prayers done sincerely. However, He answers sometimes by giving whatever is asked for, sometimes by giving what is better, sometimes by postponing giving to the afterlife, and sometimes by not giving at all, since it will not turn out in favor of the one who prays. The way that God answers a prayer depends on His Wisdom.