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Embracing Spiritual Connectivity Through Modern Technology

The website www.herkul.org introduces innovations within a certain program framework on its smart phone and tablet applications. Among these innovations, what caught my attention the most was the “Common Prayer.” Why?

What you are about to read will be lines filled with subjective evaluations based on feelings. Those who ask, “What do we care about your feelings?” can stop reading here and engage themselves in another task they find more beneficial to avoid wasting their time.

There is a belief among our people. I have heard this from many people during my years as a preacher. To put it simply, “If a person can pray, Allah has accepted them into His court and will accept their prayer, for He has opened the doors of His court to them. If they cannot pray, it means those doors are not open to them. In this regard, those who can pray should be aware that they are fortunate, knowing that they have been accepted into the court of the Almighty Creator, and should pray accordingly.”

I have heard the same thing for those who pray and those who do not. If a person performs prayers, the doors of that sublime court have been opened to them; if they do not pray – and I emphasize, if they do not pray – it means that those sublime doors are closed to them.

I do not believe in the thoughts expressed by these sentences. I know they are not compatible with the fundamental values of Islam because I know so. Now, if I wanted, I could list dozens of verses and hadiths one after another. You can also find these verses and hadiths with a simple Google search. Just type “Verses and hadiths about prayer.”

On the contrary, I believe that if a person cannot pray, if they always say the same things in their prayers behind every prayer, and if this situation leads them to new quests, then personally, I think this situation is as valuable in the eyes of Allah as being able to pray for minutes or even hours with love and enthusiasm. Furthermore, I believe that the agony caused by not being able to immerse oneself in prayer and the effort to force oneself will eventually lead them to different places.

I saw the “common prayer” section of herkul.org as an important refuge for such people whom I can describe, so to speak, as living in a state of constriction. Imagine this: you’ve woken up in the dead of night, performed two rakats of prayer, then taken a prayer book in your hand and started praying. Or you’re holding a rosary, bowing your head, like a typical beggar, mentioning Allah in His presence. But you’re alone. How much can you concentrate and how long can you sustain this state?

Now imagine this: you’re in a large circle of remembrance. Only this circle isn’t comprised of 100-200 people gathered in the same place. They’re from all over the world. Thousands of people. And together, you touch the same string, make the same remembrance, the same prayer, and the sum of your voices rises to the heavens like a great cascade. Here, the only thing you do besides remembrance is to visualize this scene in your mind and think of yourself as sitting in a circle consisting of thousands of people.

Moreover, as you progress in reciting each word of the creed, each salutation, it’s like counting beads, you see on the screen how the number progresses. You see how many people are in that circle with you. Believe me, this scene gives such peace to a person that after a while, you forget to count the beads and merge with that spiritual state, not wanting time to pass, not wanting that moment to end. When you say “enough” and look at the clock, sometimes minutes have passed but you’ve lived through hours in those minutes, or hours have passed and you haven’t noticed.

I will say you must try it. Especially during the hours when everyone is asleep, as stated in the hadith where Allah descends to the lowest heaven, saying, “Is there anyone seeking forgiveness that I may forgive them? Is there anyone making supplication that I may answer them?”

I am immensely thankful to our friends who, by using modern technology, have put such an opportunity in the palms of our hands and turned the earth into a circle of remembrance.

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Dr. Ahmet Kurucan is a an author and scholar focusing on Islamic Studies and Law.


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