Media Review: Prayer and One World

(Thought for the Day, BBC Radio, 15 March 1982)

The Islamic Guardian (UK), April to June 1982 Issue (Vol. 3, No. 2, p. 26)

The speaker on the day in question in this regular short talk, Rev. John Newbury, made mention of a Christian prayer-book, published by the World Council of Churches, which contains a number of prayers each about some particular countries. The book is so used, we were told, that at any time all its users around the world are saying the same prayer; and going through this book thus, prayers are said by all for all countries of the world over a period of time. The speaker also noted the title of another similar book, which was The World at One in Prayer.

We note that the first, and the only successful, attempt to unite the world through prayer was made by the religion of Islam as long ago as 1400 years. It devised a prayer-arrangement with a common form, common language, and common times for all people on earth. It prescribed such a manner for performing these prayers that brings together the white and the black, the high and the low, the Aryan and the Semitic, the Westerner and the Oriental, the rich and the poor, and makes them stand together as one brotherhood of equality before God. And it established the most world-uniting institution and act of worship that has ever existed, in the form of the annual Pilgrimage to Makka [Mecca], providing a literal example of the World at One in Prayer.

Even when praying alone, a Muslim has the whole world in his mind, for one of the first sentences of the set Muslim prayer is: “All praise is due to Allah, the Rabb of all the worlds [The Holy Quran, 1:1].” Rabb, generally translated as Lord, more accurately means Provider or Fosterer unto perfection. So, the Muslim recalls numerous times every day that the Being he worships and calls upon is not his god, not a deity displaying racial or religious bias in his favour, but One Who is Just to all equally.