Chapter 5: The Prayer

Sources of Witnesses

Speaking about the prayer in the life of Al-Khonsari actually has a special taste. He, as it is said, worships Allah as if he sees him openly. There are no curtains between him and his Lord when he stands towards “the first House established for the people”.

Then his spirit flies into the heaven penetrating the covers, it is, the moment of connection…the connection between the spirit and its Creator.

The prayer becomes a flowing stream where Al-Khonsari washes himself five times a day, until his spirit turns absolutely white.

One day Al-Khonsari has been asked about the state that befalls Him during the prayer, he replied saying:

“When I stand to perform the prayer, I feel as if I am meeting Allah face to face, and speaking to him”.1

The High Position of the Prayer

Islam always insisted on the prayer, since it has been regarded as the route or ascent of a believer towards his Lord. It is the Mu’min's religion column, and anything beyond it would be accepted by Allah if it has first been accepted.

During the prayer, the essence of man's worshipping Allah and his submission towards him appear evidently. It shows clearly who the servant is and who is the Master and Supreme Being. Who is the creature and who is the Creator. Briefly, it is a real school where man can recognize how to live the martyrdom, so he worships Allah as if he sees him.

Therefore, prayer is in fact, a state of presence and evidence. A prayer that has no heart presence becomes a mere prayer being performed without ablution. So, when the jurists refuse to attest a prayer without ablution, in the same time mystics reject it without real presence.

Presence is the essence of the prayer and its sense. It is the spring that washes away the dirtiness of hearts and spirits, enabling them to fly in a heavenly and divine sphere.

Prayer is the moment when one can meet Allah, his beloved, a meeting which one must live with all his members, with all his existence.

The First Night

As previously said, some scholars have nominated Al-Khonsari as Marji', and his continuing Al-Ha’iri's lectures was the first step, while leading the prayer in Faydhiyyah school has been regarded as the second step.

Let's listen to the narration of Sheikh Mujtaba Al-'Iraqi who relates his memories about the first night for performing the prayer:

“After recommencing, Al-Ha’iri's lectures, we thought about a suitable place to perform the prayer under Al-Khonsari’s leadership, where as he was performing it in the quarter (mahalleyeh Takya Khoroos) in a small mosque. The late Ayatullah Sayyid Ahmad Al-Khonsari used to perform prayer in two places, in Faydhiyyah school and in Bazaar, so some friends suggested that I go to Sayyid Ahmad to urge him to evacuate one of the places for Sayyid Muhammad Taqi. When he agreed, I chose Faydhiyyah school, and requested him to inaugurate the school with his leading to be an imitation. He agreed on that too. It was indeed a divine blessing night, full of faith and sincerity towards Allah. Al-Khonsari recited holy verses with a submissive voice, until when he reaches, “Thee only we serve; to Thee alone we pray for succour” one can feel that he speaks frankly with Allah, a feeling that was sensed by the whole attendants, and I have heard Ayatullah Araki mentioning this point in various occasions”.2

Even those who were known to their intransigent attitude didn't hesitate to perform the prayer under Al-Khonsari's leadership. 3

“Occasionally, Sayyid gets there late. In that case, Hajj Sayyid Rohullah Al-Khomeni 4 who is one of the Hawzah teachers acts as a representative of Al-Khonsari”.

The Friday Prayer

Ayatullah Al-Khonsari began to continue the researching lectures of his master regarding "Prayer'', so when he reached the subject which is relating with Friday Prayer and according to previous researches regarding the same subject, he got a complete satisfaction that performing the Friday Prayer is indeed (obligatory precaution).Yet a political smell maybe sensed in issuing such fatwa, which formalizes an important part of his personality, since the Friday Prayer has a serious role in establishing the political structure of Islam.

After a long time of neglecting this essential rite, again it has been performed in 1320 S.H. (1941 AD.), in the yard of Faydhiyyah school, with the presence of different Imam of Jum'a from different Iranian cites to attend that holy rite, giving a significant merit to one of the most momentous rites of Islam.

The huge number of performers urged the organizers to perform the Friday Prayer in Masjid Imam Hasan 'Askari (a.s.). 5

People, then, tasted a wonderful feel of spirituality, and this initiation encouraged many other cities to perform the Friday Prayer.

The Prayer Sermon

Al-Khonsari, as he always used to, attached greater importance to Prayer as a pillar of Islam religion…since resuscitating Prayer means the resuscitation of the religion in the people's hearts. Therefore, once he invited orators in a gathering and spoke to them saying:

“Allah has bestowed his favours on you by eloquence and fluency. So, these pulpits of you can highly influence the people. Give therefore, the prayer a fair share of your sermons, by specifying a particular oration for it, clarifying its importance and displaying the rank it owns.

Unfortunately, we are nowadays witnessing that people are no more concerned with the prayer which regrettably has become meaningless and marginal subject in their opinion, paying no simple attention to it”.

Well away, Al-Khonsari found no one to lend on car to his sermon or realises his purpose.

  • 1. Hawzah Magazine, no.12 .p .28.
  • 2. Hawzah Magazine, no36.
  • 3. 'Ulama-e Mu'asiroon,p312.
  • 4. The Late Imam (Quddisah Sirruh).
  • 5. An ancient masjid in Qom, built nearly 1000 years ago.