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When he reverently utters, Allahu Akbar, his heart and tongue are in perfect unison, and Allah is greater in his heart than all else, and he confirms this belief with his tongue. Allah is more mighty in his heart than everything else. His takbeer is true, for nothing in his heart diverts him from Allah.
If anything in his heart distracts him from Allah, it just shows that, that object is more important for him than Allah. So his takbir becomes mere lip-service because his heart is focused on other than Allah and revered other than Allah. It is only when the heart obeys the tongue in takbor, that the person sheds all arrogance, which is a negation of his slave-hood, and it prevents him from focusing on other than Allah. And when Allah is with him and greater in his heart than anything else, then his takbir prevents him from these two disasters which are the greatest barriers that can arise between him and Allah, (arrogance and heedlessness.) So when he says,
“Glory be to Allah and by your praise. Blessed is your name and exalted is your station and there is no God but you,” and praises Allah as His right, he emerges from his state of heedlessness (ghafla). For heedlessness is a veil between him and Allah. He utters the majestic words of glorification with which a Mighty King is addressed when you enter His presence, and this praise is a preface to asking fulfillment of his need. Underlying these words is the inherent etiquette of devotion and reverence as will procure for him the divine attention, pleasure, and divine fulfillment of his needs.
Before he begins his recitation, he seeks Allah’s protection from the accursed devil. For satan is most desperately trying to humiliate the salve and degrade him while he stands in the most exalted position ever conferred upon man, and also the most beneficial for him in this world and the hereafter. Thus satan does his utmost to make him lose the honor and felicity of salaat. If satan is unable to cut off his physical performance of salaat, he will cut his heart off and cast within his heart all sorts of evil whisperings that distract him from upholding the rights of slave hood before Allah. So the slave is commanded to seek Allah’s protection against satan, so that his standing before his Lord may be protected, his heart may come to life, and it may be illuminated with understanding the speech of Allah, his master. For Allah is the cause of his spiritual life, of his success and happiness. Therefore, satan is most desperate to debar him from achieving the goal of recitation. Since Allah knows the envy of the satanic enemy of man, and he also knows the weakness of the salve before satan. Allah has commanded him to seek refuge and protection in Him, and seeking Allah’s protection from satan’s enmity will suffice him. It is as though the slave is being told,
‘You are helpless before this ancient enemy, so seek My protection. I will protect you from him. And seek My help, I will help you against him and protect you and suffice you against him.’
To be continued…