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The Power of Prayer

6 spiritual leaders offer advice on how you can pray

Amina Wadud leads a Friday prayer service in Oxford, England.

Amina Wadud leads a Friday prayer service in Oxford, England. — Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

AMINA WADUD

Muslim scholar and activist

Although we have two kinds of prayer in Islam — purely personal prayer and obligatory, formal, ritual prayer — there is strong emphasis on the latter. Ritual prayer five times a day is really a kind of supplication. Supplication allows a person to be "present" in whatever circumstances they find themselves:  joyous or sad, in need or in celebration. For many people, God is the Ultimate — that which is greater than oneself. Formal prayer connects us humble beings to that Ultimate. In the first kind of prayer, God is called to us. In the latter, we are called to God. 

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