Thursday, March 7, 2019

‘Mahmud’s Aameen’: Prayers for Children

The power of sublime Prayers

‘It is He who accepts the prayers of those who believe and do good works, and gives them more than their due reward, out of His grace...He sends down in due measure whatever He will, for He is well aware of His servants and watchful over them: it is He who sends relief through rain after they have lost hope, and spreads His mercy far and wide. He is the Protector, Worthy of All Praise.’ [Surah Al Shura, 42:27-29]

In shaping the destiny of man and in guiding his spiritual life, invocations to the Lord Almighty have a significant role to play. The lives of prophets and saints, in all their varied circumstances and unusual settings through history, bear wonderful testimonial to the eternal truth about the fulfillment of sublime prayers. Perhaps the finest example of the enduring vitality of Divine invocations would be the sprouting of the magnificent garden of Islam in the barren land of Arabia. Long ago, in a corner of the world, away from his non-believing people, Hadhrat Ibrahim (as) had made fervent supplications for the righteousness and spiritual progress of the generations to come and for the flourishing of the message of Tawheed, the life-mission of all virtuous souls. And the Qur’an records his soulful prayers for the benefit of spiritual seekers of all times. For instance, the Book of God teaches that while re-building the Ka‘bah with his pious son Hadhrat Isma‘il, Hadhrat Ibrahim (as) offered the following prayer:

"Our Lord, make us submissive to You and make of our offspring a people submissive to You. And show us our ways of worship, and turn to us with mercy; for You are Oft-Returning with compassion and are Merciful.

And, our Lord, raise up among them a Messenger from among themselves, who may recite to them Thy Signs and teach them the Book and Wisdom and may purify them; surely, Thou art the Mighty, the Wise.’" (Surah Al Baqarah, 2:129-130)

"My Lord, make me observe prayer and my children too. Our Lord, accept my prayer. Our Lord, grant forgiveness to me and to my parents and to the believers on the day when the reckoning will take place". (Surah Ibrahim, 14:41-42)

The Qur’an alludes that the great blessing of Islam was bestowed upon the Arab people as the evergreen path of God thanks to the tireless supplications of their father, Hadhrat Ibrahim (as). Allah (swt) accepted the fervent supplications of Hadhrat Ibrahim (as) for the spiritual guidance of his progeny by raising an Elect among them, and the Book of God says:

He it is Who has raised among the Unlettered people a Messenger from among themselves who recites unto them His Signs, and purifies them, and teaches them the Book and wisdom, although they had been, before, in manifest misguidance; And among others from among them who have not yet joined them. He is the Mighty, the Wise. That is Allah’s grace; He bestows it on whom He pleases; and Allah is the Master of immense grace.” (Surah Al Jumu’ah, 62:3-5)

The Holy Prophet of Islam Hadhrat Muhammad Mustafa (sa) himself also believed in the need for, and the wondrous powers of, prayers and Divine supplications. It is no simple coincidence, then, that in Islamic sacred tradition, prayer is the very heart-beat of spiritual life. In the grand prophetic mission of Hadhrat Muhammad (sa), the instrumentality of Divine invocations had a central role to play: it provided great solace and respite for the Holy Prophet (sa) from the searing trials of life; also from the many 'fires' lit up by the disbelievers over a greater part of his spiritual mission. The Promised Messiah (as), the servant of God who all his life bore witness to the ever-living path of sublime invocations and the acceptance of prayers, noted the great legacy of Islam, especially on how the Holy Prophet (sa) ushered in a profound spiritual transformation in the outlook of the peoples through the instrumentality of prayer and steadfastness: 

"Have you any notion of the strange things that happened in the desert of Arabia when hundreds of thousands of the dead were revived within a short time and those who had been misguided through generations put on divine colour, and those who were blind obtained sight, and those who had been dumb began to speak of the understanding of the Divine, and the world underwent a revolution which had never been seen or heard of before. It was the supplications during dark nights of one who had lost himself in God which brought about this transformation, and manifested such wonders as appeared impossible in the case of that unlettered and forlorn prophet. Send down Thy blessings and peace O Allah on him and his people according to the amount of grief and sorrow he felt for his fellows and pour down upon him the light of Thy mercy for ever." (Barakat-ud-Du‘a, Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 6, pp. 10-11)

Mahmud Ki Aameen”

On 7 June 1897, the Promised Messiah Hadhrat Ahmad (as) published a poem entitled ‘Mahmud Ki Ameen’. When the Urdu Poem was composed, Hadhrat Ahmad (as) had three little sons at home: Mahmud Ahmad, Bashir Ahmad, and Shareef Ahmad. The poem was written to celebrate Divine Praise through fervent invocations when his eldest son Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad (b.1889) turned eight and completed the reading of the Holy Qur’an for the first time, the son who went on to become the second caliph of the Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya and served the community with distinction over a tumultuous period of half a century (1914-1965). 

Speaking about the poem 'Mahmud Ki Aameen', the Late Mirza Anas Ahmad Saheb who translated it into English noted the following: 

Reading it, one hears the singing of the Praise of the Lord; the anguished sighs of the most devoted Heart, 'the wailing and crying' of the purest Soul at the threshold of God; and one finds its refrains so pregnant with the Exaltation of, and prayers to, the Almighty. It is the epitome of the most comprehensive prayers ever offered to God. In short, it is one of the most precious gems that the Promised Messiah has bequeathed to us. May peace and blessings of Allah be on him. May each of us have the fullest share of the blessings of it. Aameen’. 

The Qur’an clearly and plainly tells us: Wealth and children are an ornament of the life of this world. But enduring good works are better in the sight of thy Lord in respect of immediate reward, and better in respect of future hope.'-[Surah Al Kahf, 18:47] Hence, the moral education and spiritual training of children, and the appropriate deployment of our resources in the best of ways, is critical to build the grand future of a spiritual community. Following in the footsteps of the great prophets and saints of the past, may Allah (swt) enable each one of us to appreciate and discharge our manifold responsibilities to God and people in the best of ways by invoking the power and blessings of supplications in favour of our children and their children, Insha-Allah, Aameen.

To read ‘Mahmud Ki Aameen’ in English, click here