Devotion in Various Acts in Prayer

Devotion in Various Acts in Prayer

The devotion of standing upright before Allah in prayer comes into effect when the slave devotes his attention to the Greatness of Allah and His Attribute of Self-subsistence, as this will ensure that he turns neither his face nor his eyes from side to side.

The devotion of the statement “Allah is the Greatest” by which the slave commences the prayer is realized when the slave devotes his attention and focus to Allah’s greatness, glory, and exaltation.

Devotion in Various Acts in Prayer

Devotion in Various Acts in Prayer

Opening Supplication: The devotion of the opening supplication happens when the servant extols and glorifies and praises Him profusely, ascribing to Him all that befits Him and declares His transcendence above everything that does not befit Him, and praises Him for His Attributes and Perfection.

Ta`awudh (seeking Allah’s protection from Satan): The devotion of taking refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan is realized by having confidence and faith that Allah shall support him, protect him and aid him against Satan.

 Recitation: The devotion of reciting the Qur’an lies in the slave’s endeavor to learn about Allah through His Words as if trying to see Him through His revelation. One of the righteous Salaf said: Allah manifests Himself to His slaves through His Speech (i.e. Qur’an). It is, however, the case that the degree of devotion while reciting and praying varies from one person to another, and the difference between them is like the difference between the one whose both eyes are sound and unimpaired, and the one-eyed individual, the blind person, the deaf person, etc. in their levels of perception. The slave should be as heedful as possible to His Essence, Attributes, Actions, Commandments, Laws, and Names.

Ruku`: The devotion of bowing down is contained in being mindful to the Greatness and the Pride of Allah, Exalted be He. For that reason, it is prescribed for him to say while he is in the state of bowing down, "Glory to my Lord, the Most High". 

Raising up from the ruku`: After he rises up from his bowing stance, he should focus his attention upon glorifying and praising Allah repeatedly, so as to manifest his servitude to Him, the One in whose Hand is the sole authority to bestow and deny.

When the servant falls into prostration, he ought to focus his attention on feeling his nearness to Him, overwhelmed in humility in the hope that He forgives him, guides him, sustains him, protects him and bestows His mercy upon him. Then, when he raises his head and adopts the sitting posture, his inner condition takes on a different nature, one that is similar to the condition of the pilgrim when he performs the last circumambulation because at that point, his heart begins to realize that he is about to complete his prayer and with it leave this blessed condition that he is experiencing and that soon he will be returning to the dreariness of his worldly affairs that he had detached himself from just before standing before his Lord. Once again he will be subject to the feelings of pain and anguish that his heart endured before he started praying, all of which melted away as soon as he commenced his prayer. At that point, his heart rushes to enjoy the nearness of Allah for the last time, to bask in His grace, and to be saved from the disruptiveness of his worldly affairs.

The feeling of bitterness he endures is due to his recognition that all this lasts only as long as he is praying. At this stage, the heart cannot but feel burdened and troubled knowing that all this is about to end and that he is about to return to these worldly affairs and concerns. This agitates the slave to the point that he starts wishing that this prayer were the final act of his life. Not to mention the slave’s awareness that as soon as he finishes praying, he will resume communicating with those who bring him nothing but concerns, worries, and harm after he had been invoking and supplicating his Lord. However, this kind of feeling cannot be experienced except by those whose hearts are alive with the remembrance and love of Allah and who are cognizant of the negative effect that mankind leaves on their hearts. This is because interacting with people puts him in the way of harm and worries, agitates his heart and makes him overlook or miss good deeds, not to mention causing him to commit more sins. More importantly, it distracts him from invoking Allah, the most High.

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Source: Quoted with slight modifications from Ibn Al-Qaiym The Inner Dimensions of the Prayer

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The Secret of Prayer Lies in Devotion to Allah

The Secret of Prayer Lies in Devotion to Allah

The secret and the essence of Salah (prayer) is to devote oneself to Allah while praying. Just as the `abd (slave)  should not turn his face away from the direction of the Qiblah (direction of prayer), he should also disallow his heart from giving attention to anything except his Lord. Therefore the salve should let the Ka`bah – the House of Allah – be the direction of his body and face, and let Allah be the direction of his heart and soul. Allah shall give His attention to His slave in proportion to the level of his devotion and focus in Prayer. Thus, if he turns away from Allah (by becoming unmindful), He too shall turn away from him – truly, as you judge, shall you yourself be judged.

Devotion in Prayer is of three levels:

1- The devotion of the heart: This level safeguards the heart and rectifies its affairs from the sickness of desires and the whispers of Satan, as well as all thoughts that may nullify his Prayer or lessen its reward.

2- The devotion of Ihsan: This level is when the slave is mindful of Allah in his prayer to the degree that he becomes as if he worships Him while seeing Him.

3- The devotion of understanding: This level is reached when the slave reflects upon and comprehends the meanings of the words of Allah (i.e. Qur’an) that he recites. And, when he contemplates the details of the worship (i.e. prayer) in order to pay its due right in humility and tranquility. Even if we ponder about Surat Al-Fatihah, there is so much to think and ponder about that one can get overwhelmed. Scholars have explained seven different levels of understanding of this surah and written volumes and volumes of books on this surah alone. If this one surah requires this much pondering, then how about the whole Qur’an and what Allah Almighty has legislated for us to recite in our prayer.

If the slave successfully reaches these three levels, he will have truly established and performed his prayer in the most perfect manner and in return, he will receive the full attention of Allah.

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Source: Quoted with slight modifications from Ibn Al-Qaiym The Inner Dimensions of the Prayer

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How to Wake up for Night and Fajr Prayer

How to Wake up for Night and Fajr Prayer

Wake up for Fajr Prayer!

The Night Prayer is the habit of the true believers who turn to Allah, complain to Him their affairs, and ask Him for His favor. It is one of the greatest worships that strengthen one’s faith and encourage one to do the good deeds and avoid the bad ones. There are many texts that explain the virtues of Night Prayer:

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The best of prayer after the obligatory (five) prayers is night prayer” (Muslim)

Fajr (Dawn) Prayer

A Muslim must strictly observe offering Fajr prayer due to the fact that angels are sent down by Allah Almighty to witness the Fajr prayer offered by a Muslim. Allah says:

Establish prayer at the decline of the sun [from its meridian] until the darkness of the night and [also] the Qur’an of dawn. Indeed, the recitation of dawn is ever witnessed. ( Al-Israa’ 17:78)

In this short video, Sheikh Ahmad Saeed provides some tips that could help the Muslim to wake up at night:

1- Do not eat food after `Isha’ Prayer,

2- Take a nap after the Dhuhr Prayer which is a missed Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him)

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Source: Digital Mimbar Youtube Channel.

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