There is a mighty difference between one for whom salaat is like a cage, imprisoning his body and his heart in suffocation, and the one for whose heart salaat is sheer ecstasy and delight for his body, and a fragrant garden of beauty for his soul. As for the first, salaat is a prison for his soul, and it’s preventing his body from its destructive desires, or it may be a precious chance to gain forgiveness for sins or Divine Mercy depending upon the share of devotion. Or he can be punished for deficiencies in its performance.
As for the one in the second category, for him, salat is like a garden in which he finds his heart’s peace and soul’s delight, repose for his tired body, a garden for his soul. So he is in utter ecstasy, experiencing a special nearness to Allah, and in an exalted station bestowed upon him by Allah, and he will be granted such elevation as a unique bounty coupled with the reward for salaat.
For kings grant their special nearness as a special reward. For example the magicians said to Pharoah,
“Will we have a reward if we succeed?” (26:41)
“Yes and you will be of those brought near” (7:114)
So Allah has promised them reward and nearness to Himself and that is the greatest felicity.
To be continued…