The Teaching of Hazrat Inayat Khan

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The idea, therefore, is that prayer becomes living if it is offered from a living heart; from a dead heart, prayer has no meaning, and is dead. There is a story of an Arab that he was running to the mosque where the Prayer of God was being offered, but before he could arrive the prayers were finished. On his way he met a man coming from the mosque, and asked him: "Are the prayers finished?" The man replied that they were finished, and the other sighed deeply and said, "Alas!" Then the man asked: "Will you give me the virtue of your sigh in exchange for the virtue of my prayers?" And the other agreed. Next day the simple man saw the Prophet in a dream, who told him that he had made a bad bargain, for that one sigh was worth all the prayers of a lifetime, for it was from the heart.