-8-

"When My servants ask you about Me, I am always near. I answer their prayers when they

pray to Me. The people shall respond to Me and believe in Me, in order to be guided."

2:186

To implore and beseech God are indeed unquestionable expressions of Worship. By imploring God we acknowledge our belief in Him and that He alone is able to answer our prayers. The definite link between imploring God and worshipping Him is made evident in the following verse:

"Your Lord says, "Implore Me and I will respond to you. Surely those who are too arrogant to worship Me will enter Hell forcibly" 40:60

The words "Implore Me" and "Worship Me" in this verse confirm that "Imploration" is indeed an essential expression of worship. God, being the Most Gracious, encourages the believers to implore Him (2:186) so that He may bestow on them His mercy.

When imploring God, the believers are advised to address Him either as God or by any of His beautiful names:

"Say, "Implore God or implore the Most Gracious, whichever name you chose for to Him belongs the admirable names." 17:110

Since "Imploration" is an expression of Worship, and since we must worship God alone, it follows that we should implore God alone. The Quran is quick to ascertain this command:

"Therefore, implore God devoting all worship to Him alone, even if the disbelievers dislike it." 40:14

"All "Masajid" (places of worship) belong to God, so do not call on or implore anyone besides God." 72:18

"You shall not implore beside God what possesses no power to benefit you or harm you. If you do you will be a transgressor." 10:106

The following verses specifically address those who implore and call on their dead idols (saints, messengers of God......etc.) for help:

"Those you implore besides God are God"s servants just like yourselves. Go ahead and implore them, let them respond to you if you are right." 7:194

".......those you implore besides Him do not possess as little as a seed"s thin coating. If you call on them they cannot hear you, but even if they heard you they would not respond to you and on the day of Resurrection they will surely disown you." 35:13-14

To conclude, believers are encouraged to implore God often and to implore Him alone, for the act of "Imploration" is indeed a true expression of worshipping God.