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Prayers of the Pious
By Omar Suleiman
Published by Kube Publishing Ltd (UK), in association with Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research (USA) [www.kubepublishing.com]
Year of Publication: 2019
Pages: 128

Prayers of the Pious, an inspirational collection of prayers and reminders, is a wonderful companion for anyone who wishes to connect with the Divine. In this book, Shaykh Omar Suleiman provides us with thirty short prayers taken from the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and the early generations of Muslims, each with a short reminder to deepen the impact of the prayer in our lives. The Shaykh is the founder and president of the Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research and Professor of Islamic Studies at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, USA.
The book developed out of a series of lessons that the Shaykh recorded as part of the Yaqeen Institute during Ramzan in 2018. Each day, he took a prayer from one of the pious predecessors, mostly from the Companions of the Prophet, and explained about how to call upon our Creator in a way similar to how they called upon Him.
Duas must flow out of the heart, reflecting a deeply personal conversational relationship with God, we learn from this book. A personal dua is what in Arabic is called munajat (intimate conversation). God does not care if it rhymes or how it sounds or in what language we call out to Him. What’s important is how sincere it is. And this book provides many such examples of very beautiful personal duas. It is an invitation to us to develop the same practice of making duas from our heart, based also on our own particular situations and experiences.
Here is an illustration of someone making a deeply personal dua that the book recounts. Uways al Qarni was a man that the Prophet spoke about but never met. He told his companions that if they ever met this man, because of his closeness to God, they should ask him to ask God to seek forgiveness for them, and he gave a description of Uways. The Prophet (Pbuh) said that Uways had leprosy and he requested God to cure him from the leprosy, except for a piece the size of a coin, a dirham. Uways did that because it was a reminder of the pain that he had suffered and the need to always be grateful to God to have cured him. That’s what Uways al Qarni gained from his hardship that deep relationship with Allah which he never wanted to forget, even as he wanted to be cured from his leprosy.
Prayers of the Pious provides spiritual gems that serve as valuable wisdom and practical advice for the soul. By reading this short work with an attentive heart, the reader can hopefully cultivate love for God and live life with gratitude and contentment. It is a very useful guide for deepening one’s prayer life and one’s level of God-awareness.