He was tested by his tempting self that incites him to commit evil, and corrupting desires, and by shaytan. All of whom urge him to waste his share. So Allah, in His Infinite Mercy decreed one salaat after another to grant the slave the opportunity of renewing his Imaan and toning for lost opportunities. Also, He placed between the prayers an interval for rest out of wisdom and mercy. He granted each of His slave’s limbs a chance to express his devotion and He made the fruit, or essence of salat, devotion towards Allah. He made the reward of salat the nearness towards Allah which he experiences, and also gaining His honor in the world and the Hereafter. And He made the slave stand before Him as a reminder of his standing before Allah on The Last Day.
Just as one of the main fruits of fasting is the purification of the soul, one main fruit of Zakat is the purification of wealth, for Hajj is the gaining of Divine Forgiveness, for Jihad is surrendering the soul which Allah bought from His slaves for Paradise, for the main fruit of salat is devotion to Allah, and this one quality combines all the above mentioned advantages of all deeds of worship.
This is why the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa salam) never said that the coolness of his eyes was in fasting, Hajj or Umrah.
Instead he said, “…the coolness of my eyes is in prayer”. This implies that his heart only found ecstasy once he entered the prayer, just as the lover finds joy in the company of his beloved, and the terrified one finds peace in a sanctuary. When the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa salam) felt fatigued by the worldly labor, he would simply say: “O Bilal bring us the comfort of Salat”…
To be continued…
Now two matters remain regarding the slave.
Allah’s commands regarding his state, outwardly and inwardly and the enjoining of devotion. Firstly, by submission to what Allah has destined for him (the reference is to al hukm ut takweeni), and secondly, deeds that the slave performs as worship for his Lord (the reference is to al hukm ut tashreeiee).
And both matters demand surrender of the spirit to Allah, and the word Islam has been derived from the word taslim (surrender).
When he submits to his Lord’s decree, both takweeni and tashreeiee, by upholding the rights of devotion, and restraining his desires or lusts, he is called a Muslim.
When his heart finds peace in the remembrance of Allah, the speech of Allah, and in His Love, he then attains serenity in (worshipping) Allah, and draws near to Allah and he achieves his heart’s delight and he gains utmost felicity by Allah’s Grace. He is in Allah’s Protection because of his faith, and it is essential that he fulfill both matters, for without them he has neither spiritual life, success, nor felicity.
To be continued…
When he raises his head from sajdah, he sits back on his knees and his focus must be on Allah’s Generosity, Boundless Bounty and the intensity of his need for Allah’s Grace and Tenderness. Thus, he casts himself upon Allah’s Mercy, begging Allah to forgive him, have mercy upon him, and grant him well-being, guidance and provision.
Then when he sits back for tashahud, he resembles a pilgrim during his farewell tawaaf, and his heart experiences the anguish of parting from his Lord and returning to the worldly distractions and pursuits that prevent him from standing before his Lord. His heart had already tasted the agony of this separation before he started his prayer. Then in salat his heart savored the exquisite ecstasy of nearness to Allah, and tasted the bliss of salat, and the feeling of well being.
So now his heart experiences desolation at the thought of termination of that joy, and he wishes that his salat could be continued till the Day of Judgment. For he knows he is parting from The One who has always granted him felicity, and he is returning to the company of those who have invariably troubled him, hurt him and pained him. The pangs of agony at the termination of salat are only experienced by one whose heart is spiritually alive with Allah’s remembrance, Love, and who is fully aware of the dangers of people, and how the heart suffers stifling suffocation and spiritual darkness, and loses the opportunity for good deeds and ears sins in their company.
To be continued…
When he does qiyam, his focus must be on Allah’s Glory, so he turns neither left nor right. When he utters takbeer, his focus must be on Allah’s Might and Majesty, and during the opening, his focus must be on praising Allah’s Qualities and Perfection. When he seeks refuge in Allah from Satan, his focus is on Allah’s strength and the reliance that Allah alone can protect him from his foe. When he recites the Quran, his focus must be reflecting on the Divine Speech as though he could see Allah. Some scholars say: “Allah has manifested Himself to His slaves in His speech.”
People have varying degrees and tastes. Among them is the one who sees with both eyes, the one-eyed, the blind and deaf and the bleary-eyed during his recitation and salat (these are the spiritual levels). And during recitation he must focus on Allah’s Being, His Qualities, Commands, Prohibitions, His deeds, His Laws and His names. When he goes into ruku he must focus on Allah’s Grandeur and His Majesty. This is why he utters reverently, ‘Transcendent is my Majestic Lord.’
Then when he lifts his head from ruku, he must concentrate on the praise of his Lord, and that He alone has power to bestow or deprive.
When he does sajdah, his focus must be on drawing close to Allah and utterly abasing himself before Him, and expressing his complete need and poverty before Allah.
To be continued…
Know that the secret of salat, its soul, its essence and its core is the slave’s outpouring of adoration and devotion to Allah. Just as it is not allowed for him to physically face a direction other than the Qiblah, in the same way it is not permitted that his heart should focus on anyone other than Allah. He should make the Ka’aba, Allah’s House, the Qiblah of his face and body, and the Lord of the Ka’aba, the Qiblah of his heart and soul.
Allah’s turning towards the slave is commensurate with the slave’s turning towards Allah. If he turns aside, Allah will also turn aside from him. As he deals, so shall he be dealt with.
Devotion in Salat has three degrees:
- The slave’s devotion to Allah, within his heart, which protects him and purges him of desires and satanic whisperings and distracted thoughts which would nullify the rewards of his salat.
- The slave’s overwhelming awareness of Allah, so he worships Allah as though he can see Him.
- The slave’s understanding of Allah’s speech and the slave hood of salaat, so that he fulfills its right of reverence and devotion.
Only by attaining all three degrees, does he truly establish salat, and Allah’s turning towards him is commensurate with that.
To be continued…
Then when he has completed his salaat, he can ask his need. Firstly, he is told to send Durood upon the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa salam), for that is the best and most effective means of gaining acceptance for dua.
It is narrated by Fazala bin Ubaid, that the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa salam) said:
“When one of you makes a dua, he should begin by praising Allah and then send durood upon His Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa salam), and then he should ask for his need.”
Then he should make dua at the end of his salat. And the etiquette is to begin with Allah’s praise, then the durood and then the dua at the ending of the salaat. This is similar to the response of one who hears azaan; he should repeat the words of the muezzin and he should say,
“I am content with Allah as a Lord and Islam as a way of life, and Muhammad (salallahu alayhi wa salam) as a Prophet.”
He should ask Allah to grant His prophet(salallahu alayhi wa salam) the right of intercession, and the merit and to grant him the praiseworthy station. Then he should read durood and state his need. These are the five sunnahs regarding the response that we must give to the azaan.
To be continued…
This is a blind man’s journey of his conversion to Islam. It might seem a bit long but it will be worth it, inshaAllah. Below the video, I’ve shared what I’ve learnt from this story because this story was highly motivating for me. (Watch the video first).
- The first thing obviously, is that he is blind. He was born blind. He never saw any color. Close your eyes for a moment (preferably in a dark room) and imagine having no eyes at all.
How many times have I thanked Allah just for my eyes? Thanked Him just because I can see? Just because I can hear? Smell? Touch? Walk? And how many times out of mere gratitude have I been obedient to Him? Prayed (salah) just because He gave me these blessings?
- We complain of the cold weather, the hot weather, even the mild weather. Imagine those people living most of the time in -40 degree temperature. Having snowstorms in June.
- If we have a disabled child or friend, or just a weak one, how do we treat him/her?
Abu Hafsah’s mom told him his eyes could not see but he was not blind. Get the impact of these words? She did not let him make his inability to see, an excuse for him. How do I encourage weak people around me?
- He could do loads of things at a very young age. He grew up tough. How many of us think we lack the opportunity, time, skills to do stuff?
- He was blind. He is blind! Think about it. But what did he accomplish? What has he accomplished up till now? Do I still have an excuse of not being able to do dawah? Of calling people toward Allah?
- The trouble he had to go to for being a Muslim. We are born Muslims. We did not have to struggle for it. Are we really doing what we should in return for it? We could at least put our efforts in doing what a Muslim should after being blessed with Islam.
- He wanted to be a Muslim, but for almost five long years he could not find even a single Muslim who would help him!!!!
He says do not the Muslims realize we need this?? (Islam, the best religion and way of life).
Do you realize he is just one person we are talking about. What about millions of others waiting out there just one call away from acceptance? If we are still not doing dawah, (calling people toward Allah) I don’t know how will we save our face on the Day of Judgment. Save yourself and people from the fire please.
- As with every convert to Islam, he said he asked for guidance. Guidance is something which you do not get unasked.
If you have not said this till now, say it sincerely: O Allah! Guide me to the straight path. Show me my purpose of life and help me fulfill it.
- We say, ‘we can’t learn Arabic, it is just so impossible. Listened to him reciting the Quran? He knew nothing of it in his childhood. You still think you cannot learn it?
- He was mesmerized and overwhelmed when he listened to the recitation of the Quran. Know that the recitation of Holy Quran is a very powerful thing. It influences, softens and changes hearts. Learn it the proper way. Recite for your own-self and for others too.
- We forget to smile when we have to face even tiny problems. See him joking and making others happy? Let us try it too. =)
Please share whatever you have learned in the comments section below. May Allah reward you.