A lot of matters were presented about relationship between morals and Sharia from the point of view of Quran and narrations. However, since praying is emphasized as one of important bases of the religion in all of the religions of God and is considered as a necessary affair in the religion, it seems that matters should be presented about relationship between this obligation of God and morals and spirituality.
It can be understood from the verses and the narrations that persons have been created for this main purpose in order to achieve the reality. Exalted God has considered all of grounds of achieving the reality for human. One of means that has the most important role in the religion is praying. In fact, praying is the most means and the string of achieving the reality and God and it is completely clear that if a person achieves such a situation, he or she has gained the basis of spirituality that is closeness to God and the spiritual life. Hence, it has been narrated that Imam Hasan Asgari (peace be upon him) narrated
«إِنَّ الْوُصُولَ إِلَى اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ سَفَرٌ لایُدْرَكُ إِلَّا بِامْتِطَاء اللَّیْلِ مَنْ لَمْ یُحْسِنْ أَنْ یَمْنَعَ لَمْ یُحْسِنْ أَنْ یُعْطِیَ(1)
''Closeness to God is a travel that persons are pleased to achieve only through praying and paying attention to devotions related to night''.
It has been said that Imam Bagher (peace be upon him) stated
'' Praying is as important as if someone fulfills it and it is accepted by God , his or her other deeds will be accepted by merciful God'';
« أَوَّلُ مَا یُحَاسَبُ بِهِ الْعَبْدُ الصَّلَاةُ فَإِنْ قُبِلَتْ قُبِلَ مَا سِوَاهَا و ان رُدَّت رُدَّ ما سِوَاهَا(2)
Praying is important because this obligation of God helps human to ascend the peak of spirituality and morals and it is considered as the best treatment for healing spiritual and mental problems. Likewise, praying can somewhat determine the faith and the monotheistic rank of human because persons can observe the beauty of God with their hearts and senses through praying and every day they present the reality of paying attention to exalted God several times and show the rank of closeness to God and lovers show their spiritual presence to their beloved creator.
Praying has an absolute role in unity and rightness. A believer that prays can achieve the highest rank and the peak of spirituality that is assurance paying attention to the names and the attributes of God;
(3) « وَ اعْبُدْ رَبَّكَ حَتَّى یَأْتِیَكَ الْیَقینُ»
This matter is presented in the Islamic mysticism in detail; if persons want to achieve the reality and beautiful inner, they should pass the path of Sharia and the rules of God because Sharia is only means of achieving reality and spirituality until the last moment of the life. Hence, this is a false imagination that if someone achieves certainness, reality and the peak of spirituality through Sharia, he or she will be needless of Sharia and the path because even if a person achieves the peak of spirituality, there will be some ranks in the peak of spirituality that involve knowing the way of living and Sharia more than the past. Moreover, threats appear in each rank differently; hence, we need shelter and resort more so that persons can resort to him in each stage and rank. And God shelters persons in all stages of religious path as this point has been clarified in this verse of sacred Surah of Hamd
«(4) إِیَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَ إِیَّاكَ نَسْتَعینُ»
Praying that is fulfilled carefully with all of its conditions increases the presence of heart and faith in God and fascinates human the beauty and the greatness of God. Persons with such presence and attention get object lesson from tortures descended upon others as this important point has been emphasized in this sacred verse
« إِنَّ فی ذلِكَ لَذِكْرى لِمَنْ كانَ لَهُ قَلْبٌ أَوْ أَلْقَى السَّمْعَ وَ هُوَ شَهیدٌ(5)
''Definitely, there are object lessons in these tortures for persons that have conscious hearts or listen them carefully''.
If there is not such a spiritual mood for persons, they will face to serious threats; as a consequence, their hearts will not be influenced any more as it is referred in the following sacred verse
« كَلاَّ بَلْ رانَ عَلى قُلُوبِهِمْ ما كانُوا یَكْسِبُونَ » (6)
And it has been narrated from Imam Bagher (peace be upon him);
«مَا مِنْ عَبْدٍ إِلاّ وَ فِی قَلْبِهِ نُكْتَةٌ بَیْضَاءُ فَإِذَا أَذْنَبَ ذَنْباً خَرَجَ فِی النُّكْتَةِ نُكْتَةٌ سَوْدَاءُ فَإِنْ تَابَ ذَهَبَ تِلْكَ السَّوَادُ وَ إِنْ تَمَادَى فِی الذُّنُوبِ زَادَ ذَلِكَ السَّوَادُ حَتَّى یُغَطِّیَ الْبَیَاضَ فَإِذَا غَطَّى الْبَیَاضَ لَمْ یَرْجِعْ صَاحِبُهُ إِلَى خَیْرٍ أَبَداً وَ هُوَ قَوْلُ اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَ: كَلَّا بَلْ رانَ عَلى قُلُوبِهِمْ ما كانُوا یَكْسِبُونَ (7)
'' The hearts of all persons are white, but when they commit sins, a black point covers it and if persons repent , it will be removed. However, if persons commit a lot of sins that cover the whites of their hearts, they will not have benevolent hearts any more''. This matter has been expressed in this sacred verse
كَلَّا بَلْ رانَ عَلى قُلُوبِهِمْ ما كانُوا یَكْسِبُونَ».
If a person that prays as the most important way of achieving spirituality pays attention to exalted God, God will pay attention to him as well as Imam Bagher (peace be upon him) narrated that the messenger of God( peace of Allah be upon him and his descendants) stated
«إِذَا قَامَ الْعَبْدُ الْمُؤْمِنُ فِی صَلَاتِهِ نَظَرَ اللَّهُ إِلَیْهِ أَوْ قَالَ أَقْبَلَ اللَّهُ عَلَیْهِ حَتَّى یَنْصَرِفَ وَ أَظَلَّتْهُ الرَّحْمَةُ مِنْ فَوْقِ رَأْسِهِ إِلَى أُفُقِ السَّمَاءِ وَ الْمَلَائِكَةُ تَحُفُّهُ مِنْ حَوْلِهِ إِلَى أُفُقِ السَّمَاءِ وَ وَكَّلَ اللَّهُ بِهِ مَلَكاً قَائِماً عَلَى رَأْسِهِ یَقُولُ لَهُ أَیُّهَا الْمُصَلِّی لَوْ تَعْلَمُ مَنْ یَنْظُرُ إِلَیْكَ وَ مَنْ تُنَاجِی مَا الْتَفَتَّ وَ لَا زِلْتَ مِنْ مَوْضِعِكَ أَبَد
When a believer stands to pray and pays attention to God with his or her heart, God pays attention to him and as long as his or her praying lasts, God considers him or her under the umbrella of his mercy and the height of this umbrella of mercy is from above the head of this worshiper until the horizon of the sky. (8)
Praying as a duty toward God has a lot of social and personal effects in making relationships and as it promotes the spirituality of human in a personal area, it has an important role in making relationship between human and God and persons with each other.
In this matter, we have concentrated on praying that has a deep relationship with morals and spirituality and it is possible to transfer this relationship to all of the rules of God and Sharia. In other words, all of the rules of God leave such effect on the soul and the spirit of the society and persons and establish safety and comfort in the society. Hence, as praying is to deal with virtues and to avoid vices, attributes (whether good or bad) influence the acceptance of praying by God. As it has been said in a narration, if a person has little vanity in his or her inner and hypocrisy and pretension include his or her intentions for praying, their praying will have no value and even in some cases, it is not accepted from jurisprudence aspects. Very important point that should be paid attention deeply is that there is a deep relationship between moral regulations and jurisprudence religious regulations from the aspect of acceptance and ignoring them causes that no devotions have their own places. Such an important matter can be understood if the verses and the narrations related to this matter are paid attention more.
In conclusion, all of the rules of God such as praying, fasting and Hajj and even rules that are considered from financial aspects such as Khoms (Islamic tithe) and Zakat (alms) have very deep prelateship with the area of morals and spiritual matters and if their customs are paid attention and acted, the society of human will experience and observe the moral society of the religion.
One of matters that are emphasized in the religion of the Islam involves religious jurisprudence rules and paying attention to the orders and the prohibitions of God because persons have to accept the rules of God in order to foster their talents and abilities and to achieve desirable perfection.
Moreover, moral rules should be emphasized in the Islam because there is a close relationship between religious jurisprudence rules and moral rules. In other words, each rule influences the other one. For example, fasting is one of necessary rules in the Islam and all of the Islamic religions have accepted it as a necessary affair in the religion. As it has been said in the narration, fasting is one of basics of the religion. This rule of God has a lot of effects on the social and personal life and the afterworld.
It is confirmed in this verse that there is a reliable relationship between fasting and belief in God. In other words, a Muslim that fasts strengthens his or her belief in God. This belief in God provides a ground that persons can benefit from the customs and the secrets of this rule of God. Relationship between fasting and thanking or relationship between fasting and bliss is referred in other verses; each one expresses this reality that there is a deep and close relationship between them.
This reality can be understood from relationships between religious and moral rules that first, these two rules have mutual effect on each other and are related to each other. Second, there are kinds of necessities and obligations in both of them. Consequently, both of them have crucial roles in the happiness and the perfection of persons.
As a general, it can be said that Quran determines religious jurisprudence rules according to the benefits and the disadvantages of actions and their effective results on the promotion and the growth of the personality of human and has considered them obligatory and has considered the effects of these rules the formation of moral affairs. Moreover, we can insist on this claim that most of moral affairs are considered as the purposes of jurisprudence. Paying attention to most of the verses of Quran, we can understand that Quran emphasizes on this belief.
The effect of praying on the formation of moral values:
In this part, it is appropriate to refer to a deep relationship between prayer and most of moral affairs. Praying includes rules, customs and secrets and each one includes a lot of matters and discussions. Paying attention to the effects of praying, we can understand this important point that praying has a crucial role on training the soul of human and helps human to get closer to God. Moreover, it gets persons away from vices such as vanity and jealousy, strengthens the soul of human and saves human from the temptations of Satan. Praying also strengthens the modesty and humility of human and promotes their religious and spiritual position. All of these effects have been mentioned in verses and narrations. This important matter can be understood from these effects that praying as an important obligation has an important role in growing virtues and avoiding vices.
But we can claim that morals and religious values are effective in improving culture, providing good relationships among persons in the society and modifying their relationships as much as it provides a ground to implement religious and legal obligations such as devotions, trades and social rules.
In fact, the society without moral principles separates from social and personal personality of human and can never recognize its responsibilities properly and follows them. Hence, Quran obliges a Muslim to fulfill obligations and considers giving them up the cause of deprivation of happiness and bliss. Quran has such rules in relation to morals and emphasizes on moral rules such as religious jurisprudence rules and law rules so that the society of human moves in the path of happiness decently and achieves desirable perfection.
1. Behar Al-Anvar( T_ Beirut) v 75 p 380
2. Behar Al-Anvar( T_ Beirut) v 7 p 267
3. Al-Hijr( 15)/ verse 99
4 . Al-Fatiha ( 1)/ verse 5
5 . Qaaf ( 50)/ verse 37
6 . Al-Mutaffifin( 83)/ verse 14
7. Osul Kafi v 2 p 273
8 . Vasael Al-Shie v 4 p 32 a 5