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Some effects of pray in purification of soul and acquiring ethical virtues PDF Print E-mail
Written by safinah   
Wednesday, 04 October 2017 00:25

Forough Al-Zaman Aghdaee

Faculty Member, Islamic Azad University-South Tehran branch

Abstract: According to holy verses and traditions, pray has significant effects on purification of soul and acquiring moral virtues and spiritual states. In the following, a number of the most important effects has been offered.

Key words: pray, educational effect, prohibition of evils

The encouraging and leading effect of remembrance of God and pray

The soul of pray and supplication and its goal and philosophy, more than anything else, is the remembrance of God which is expressed as “ Zikr-ullah” (ذکر الله ) in Quran. It is apparent that this remembrance of God is not a superficial act which is carried out even by tyrants of the present era. But it means a kind of remembrance which is rooted in the depth of our heart, and more than a simple thought, is the doors to thinking and movement, resulted in constructing personality and guidance of human beings. Imam Sadiq interpreted this verse like this:

"ذکر الله عند ما احل و حرم"

To remember God and be fearful of Him, not to oppress people or not to evade responsibilities and to respect other’s rights when in dilemmas is the meaning of “remembrance of God.” This is the very soul of pray, its goal and its philosophy. And this is the answer to this question: why should we pray?

Imam Riza pictured the philosophy of prayer and its secrets: the secrets of pray as a daily activity are:

a. Of its educational aspect is to get closer to God and to confess to His role in training human beings rather than role of other phenomena especially human beings.

b. From benefits of pray is to fight idol-worshipping and ignorance and to get closer to freedom, independence, rights and dignity in the light of His Mercy.

c. The other goal of pray is to feel humbleness and obedience while standing in front of God. Through this, the spirit of law-obedience and rule observance will flourish in people’s souls.

d. The other lesson of pray is to learn honesty, to confess to one’s sins and errors, and to ask God to forgive us.  It helps us put steps in the path of repentance and compensation, and construct our personality and avoid justifying mistakes, disobedience or seizing others’ rights or irresponsibility.

e. The other goal of pray is that human beings each day and night put his forehead on the ground to show his politeness to the greatness of God , and to live a proper life .

f. The other lesson is: human beings do remember God in all times and be wise, do not let the dust of ignorance darkens his heart, and not be poisoned by arrogance nor trample other one’s rights.

g. In addition to these points, repeating this repeated plan of praying will cause “remembrance of God” sticks to ones’ mind. Therefore, that person hesitates evil actions so he will not exchange modesty and freedom with tyranny. This remembrance can prohibit him from sins.

The effect of pray in wiping out arrogance

The mania of arrogance and the devastating pain of egotism, from one hand, is a barrier on the way of human being’s growth and perfection and on the other hand is of the fatal drives towards cruelty, violence and tyranny; a weapon against security and freedom. Pray and remembrance of God- which is the soul of pray and its goal and philosophy, can break the idol of egotism and arrogance, heal the maniac of egoism, wipe out tyranny; in fact, when human beings kneel down in front of God thirty-four times a day, and find himself the most insignificant jot in front of His Majesty, and see death and life, happiness and all things belong to Him and all people at His Powerful Hand, so there would remain no place for arrogance and disobedience. The great role model of pray, Imam Sajjad, in order to manifest some rays of philosophy of supplications’ sun said,

فرض الله الایمان تطهیرا من الشرک، و الصلوه تنزیها عن الکبر و ....

God sets faith to purify you from dualism and tyranny. And pray is to eradicate pest of arrogance from you

And Fatimah, the unique and wise lady said regarding the philosophy of Ahkam that

جعل الله الایمان تطهیرا لکم من الشرک و الصلوه تنزیها لکم من الکبر و ...

God puts faith because of your purification from signs of dualism and tyranny; and pray is to eradicate the pest of arrogance.

One of the goals and philosophies of pray and supplications is to fight with arrogance and ignorance seriously and the result of it, pray and remembrance of God will put the goal of creation in perspective of a wise prayer. To put goal of life in perspective can stop superficial look at life, it can give caution to human being to recognize the gem of his soul, realize his real place and think about the place he has come, the place he is going to, and to know he is responsible towards himself, his God, society, history, era and people of his time and later. What is his responsibility? For what should he attempt? This perspective can avoid his falling into the well of darkness of arrogance. A look at the details of pray and its parts and sentences and by contemplating on the deep meanings of pray this point can become clear.

The constructive role of pray in washing dusts away

In some verses and traditions, this intricate educational point has been referred to by examples. For example, if we consider sins and oppression as wounds hurting soul of human beings, making it injured, paralyzed and bothered, a real pray is the medication for these painful wounds, a medication which sooth its harmful effect, the remembrance of God will eradicate the rust on the mirror of soul and polish it. As a result, pray and remembrance of God is a means to get to the high level of repentance and a determination to make up for and wash the results of sins and attract forgiveness of God. Holy Prophet in description of constructive role of pray and clearing effect of pray said,  “tell me if there is a river of clear water running in front of your home and one of you washes himself in it for five times a day, would any dirt leave?” People said, “No”. He said, “This river does the same as what every day five-times prays [do with your soul].”

The effect of pray in cherishing love and intimacy

Pray as it is the remembrance of God and a sign of His love, is a way to cherish spiritual values and a means to flourish morality and human ethical code and a means to soar to the summits of perfection; it is because pray broadens horizons of human attitudes and elevates him from the tight and limited materialistic and mundane world to the reality of the world; it can make human beings monotonous with the universe, intimate to the world and lighten up His love in the soul of human beings. In traditions, pray is mentioned as a mean to get closer to God and a ladder to elevate to the court of God and as a love-creating tool. Imam Ali said in this regard, “pray and remembrance of God is a means for each fearful person to get closer to the court of God.” And it is narrated from imam Sadiq that who said, “in rokou of pray, the politeness of a monotheist servant of God in front of God becomes clear and its Sajdeh, there is a way to get closer to God and find spiritual closeness to Him.

The effect of pray in prohibition of injustice and sins

The sincere pray and supplication are that very strong dam which can control wild forces and let them be controlled by a wise and moral person; because pray gives power to the spirit of faith in God and the resurrection day, implant the sapling of being responsible in the soul of human beings and we know this faith and responsibility are the strongest dams against the outburst and flood of these forces. They can give control and proper managing power to a determined person. This is what the hero of the most beautiful stories, i.e. story of Josef said,

وَمَا أُبَرِّئُ نَفْسِي إِنَّ النَّفْسَ لَأَمَّارَةٌ بِالسُّوءِ إِلَّا مَا رَحِمَ رَبِّي إِنَّ رَبِّي غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ

Yet I do not consider my soul was innocent, surely the soul incites to evil except to whom my Lord has mercy; indeed, my Lord is Forgiving, the Most Merciful.” (12: 53)

And also in Quran we read,

إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ تَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنْكَرِ

“Prayer keeps one away from indecency and evil.”(29:45)

In the interpretation of this verse, this story has been given, “a young person did his pray when Prophet did his pray and follows him in his pray. But in his private life, he also commits sins. Some people reported his sins to Prophet. Prophet told them eventually his pray will lead him to the right path and will stop him from sins and wrong doings. After a while people witnessed Prophet was right.”

The effect of pray in motivating human beings to observe people’s rights

A person who commits himself to pray and oblige himself to repeat this spiritual plan daily, should be very careful in observing people’s rights and tries not to suppress, threaten or be unjust towards others whether by his hand, his tongue, his pen, his planning, so on and so forth. Imam Sajjad said in this regard, “pray has this right over you that you know it is a means by which you enter the feast of God, standing in His court. So when you know this, it is proper to be similar to a servant who is humble, wishful, needy, fearful, hopeful, desperate, crying, honoring greatness of God, pray calmly and with dignity, speak beautifully, requesting for freedom from Fire of hell which is because of [your own] sins, say your pray from bottom of your heart and obey its rules and rights.” According to imam Sajjad pray should be performed by these conditions and its rights and limitations should be obeyed. Truly, if a person sees pray like this and performs it in this way, several times a day, will not learn to consider people’s rights? Therefore a real pray – which is the code of a purified love (between God and human beings)- creates motivation to obey God’s rules and people’s rights. And this is the achievement and philosophy of pray in Quran and traditions.

The educational effect of pray

Looking at the various traditions about pray, we can infer that there is a close relationship between acceptance or non- acceptance of pray and some actions of us. These actions have a basic role in moral growth or moral decline of human beings. Here we refer to some of them: the holy Prophet said, “the pray of a drunk person will not be accepted for forty days unless he repent.” And also, “anyone who backbites a good man or woman, God will not accept his pray and fast for forty days unless the person who was backbit forgives him.” And also, “ anyone who eats Haram food, for forty days, his pray will not be accepted, for forty days his pray and request will not be answered, and any meat which grows by that hiram food, deserves the fire of hell.” And also, “if a wife bothers her husband, her pray and good deeds will not be accepted by God even though she fasts every day; and if she helps her husband and satisfy him, God will forgive her.”

From imam Ali we read, “God will not accept the pray of anyone who does not pay Zakat and [does not returns] whatever he owns people.” From imam Sadiq, it is narrated, “anyone who fabricates a lie, its penalty is he will not be given Tufiq (honor) to say night pray.

In fact, pray not only causes psychological health, but also will elevate human beings in his life.

The effect of pray in strengthening the spirit of order and organization:

Another achievement of pray is that it can flourish the spirit of tidiness – which is a secret of success- in life of people and help him to plan and behave based on planning: due to the fact that pray can teach people to be punctual, to say pray in its proper time, and know that to be disorganized in this regard can lead to his pray being unaccepted. In addition to it, pray can teach him to observe rules and regulations of other religious practices. These are all some effects of pray individual-wise, but if prays are performed in groups, the achievements could be multiplied.

Ali (a.s.), in the last moments of his life and in his last message, advised everyone: “I advise you, all my children and relatives and anyone who receives my will to have fear from God and be organized and tidy in his life.” In addition to the effect of pray in edification and gaining moral virtues, this worshipping act has significant effects which are very important such as: self-building, cleaning, observing people’s rights, discipline and punctuality, controlling wishes, equilibrium and tranquility, respecting God, peace, making up for sins,…. From these points, we can conclude that if we want to have a sound society immune from any immorality and disorder, noticing the very influential and various functions of pray in building up people of a society and the role of this obligatory action in training ideal people who live based on orders of God, this obligatory action, i.e. pray, should receive more attention and the value of it be clarified more in society to enjoy an ideal and lovable society.


No one can enjoy the true meaning of life unless he/she finds a source to refer to in life, not only in problems and hard days of life but also when he/she wants to answer his/her innate need of getting to perfection. In the world, we are in the need of attaching to an indefinite source, otherwise feeling of emptiness will overcome us. As we have studied, this need is answered by pray, which is channel to connect God. But this channel not only can answer our inborn need of connecting to an infinity but as we said can make great changes in our life, of course this change and these changes will happen if we pay attention to pray, i.e. a real pray can give people equilibrium, peace of mind, motivation and brings order in their life. As we have mentioned, it is a good means to unite people and make good changes in people’s life. words of our infallible imams can be considered as good sources of finding ways and characteristics of a real pray.