Prayer – Namaaz

Namaaz-e-Haqeeqi (True Namaaz) purifies the heart from the pollution of aliens and opens up the door of spiritual mysteries (asraar). Namaaz is the substratum (mahl) for secret discussion and the abode of love and sincerity. During Namaaz the fields of the heart expand for spiritual mysteries and the stars of celestial light (Anwaar) dazzle therein.

The hearts of the chosen servants of Allah are perpetually absorbed in His remembrance. However, association with people and tending to natural needs produce a kind of ghaflat (carelessness) and a relationship with beings other than Allah. As a result, the hearts become contaminated. But when they engross themselves in Namaaz, their hearts are cleansed of the foreign pollution. The Divine Perception is then again restored to their hearts in accordance with their respective ranks.

When the foreign veils are removed from their hearts, thus eliminating the impediments, the doors of hidden Divine Mysteries and the secrets of Divine Knowledge open up on their hearts during Namaaz. Thus, their Namaaz becomes the substratum for communion with their Rabb. Their hearts becomes imbued with sincerity and love, leaving no room whatever for anything besides Allah.

Their hearts expand for the intake of Divine Mysteries. There remains then not the slightest vestige of fear or constriction in their hearts. For these illustrious servants, anwaar (celestial illumination) glitter like stars in their Namaaz. They perceive this illumination with the eyes of the heart.

Every Mu’min should strive to perform such Namaaz (as described above).

When Allah Jalle Shaanuhu discerned the strain you experience in ibaadat, he designed a variety of different acts of ibaadat for you. When he saw enthusiasm for ibaadat, he forbade you therefrom because your concern should be with perfection of Namaaz, not only with the external form of Namaaz. Every performer of Namaaz does not perform it with perfection.

Man of weak constitution (by nature) tires of doing the same act for a length of time. Prolonged performance makes the act difficult. His heart feels no strain in a variety of acts. He is therefore, better equipped to accomplish them. It should be understood that it is incumbent on the bandah to perpetually apply himself to the worship of Allah.

In view of this disposition of man, Allah Ta’ala designed a variety of acts of ibaadat for him. He has not decreed perpetual observation of any one act of ibaadat because the bandah would tire of it, e.g. if it was decreed that the bandah be in the state of Namaaz at all times, certainly he would become exhausted. The heart of the bandah now remains in ibaadat on account of the variety of the acts of ibaadat such as Namaaz, Tilaawat, Hajj, Zakaat, Qur’baani, Roza, Thikr, etc. His heart does not become bored because the taste of every ibaadat is different.

In this way, the entire time is spent in ibaadat without the bandah tiring and becoming bored. He, therefore, does not abandon ibaadat.

In opposition to the condition of tiring and becoming bored, is the trait of greed and enthusiasm. When this trait exceeds the limit, the act is corrupted. For example, when there is extreme enthusiasm for Namaaz, it will be difficult to discharge it with all its rights, e.g. extreme enthusiasm will cause him to refrain form wudhu (so that he remains engrossed in Namaaz), or he will recite the Qur’aan hastily without humility and reflection. In view of this disposition in man, Allah Ta’ala has forbidden him from Namaaz and other ibaadaat at certain times so that man does not plunge headlong on any deed in haste and with excessive enthusiasm. He has decreed Namaaz at appointed times so that the bandah resolves to execute it with perfection. Haste and enthusiasm lead to only the external form of Namaaz. Between the form and the perfect Namaaz, there is a great difference.

In view of your weakness, Allah Ta’ala has reduced the number of Namaaz and knowing your need for His grace, He has increased His aid and thawaab. He has reduced the number from fifty to five while awarding thawaab for fifty.

On the night of Mi’raj initially fifty Namaaz were made obligatory. On the repeated request of Rasulullah ( r ) the number was reduced to five. The reduction was granted on account of our weakness. We would not have been able to steadfastly perform fifty Namaaz daily. Since man is in need of Allah’s grace, the thawaab of fifty Namaaz was retained.

Worship has been decreed at appointed times to ensure that laziness and uncertainty do not constitute obstacles. The time for ibaadat has been extended so that you enjoy some choice and latitude.

Allah Ta’ala has fixed times for the acts of ibaadat which He has decreed obligatory, e.g. Namaaz and Roza. If these acts are performed within the prescribed limits of the time, they will be fulfilled. If the time lapses, the ibaadat is lost.

If fixed times were not prescribed for ibaadat and if its performance was left to our discretion and choice, laziness would have set in. We would have said:

“As soon as I am over with this work, I shall perform Namaaz.”

Or we would have performed the Namaaz of several months in a couple of days. In this way the ibaadat would be lost.

The time fixed for Namaaz is not so short that one is obliged to perform it immediately on the entry of the time otherwise it would become qadha. On the contrary, the time has been so extended to entertain your free choice. You may perform it at any time during the duration of the valid time. The benefit and wisdom for this are to ensure our serenity for the ibaadat. At the approach of the time we may make preparations for Namaaz in peace and without haste. The extended time enables us to terminate our other activities in an orderly manner in preparation for Namaaz. These benefits would have been lost if extended times were not granted for Namaaz. Namaaz would then have been performed hastily and without peace of mind. The soul of Namaaz, viz. Hudhoor-e-Qalb (concentration / presence of the heart) would then have been non-existent.

In view of man’s natural propensity of failing in the correct execution of his duties of worship, Allah Ta’ala has enchained him by decreeing worship obligatory on him. In other words, Allah Ta’ala has driven man towards His obedience with the chains of His compulsion. Your Rabb indicates surprise at those people who reach Jannat fettered in chains.

In every state and circumstance, worship for Allah Ta’ala and the display of Uboodiyat (the state of slavery) are imperative and incumbent on the servants of Allah. This is the demand of intelligence whether Allah Ta’ala decrees ibaadat obligatory on us or not, because the duty of the slave is slavery regardless of whether his master commands him or not. But, on account of man’s indolence and defects regarding the rendition of ibaadat, Allah Ta’ala, out of His boundless mercy, decreed the duties of ibaadat obligatory on His servants. Along with this He notified them of His Promise of Jannat for His obedience. He further warned the transgressors of the chastisement of Jahannum.

The similitude of this imposition (of ibaadat as a waajib duty) is like a chain which is tied around the neck of a prisoner. The prisoner is taken by means of the chain in any direction one desires irrespective of the prisoner’s wishes. Similarly, by decreeing Taa-at (Obedience) waajib, Allah Ta’ala draws the indolent ones towards worship and obedience. He does so precisely on account of His mercy and love, just as a guardian trains and punishes his ward who perpetrates wrong. He does not permit the child unbridled freedom to do as he pleases. The child is thus compelled to do duties he dislikes and to abandon detestable characteristics whether he likes it or not.

It is surprising that some servants have to be drawn towards Jannat by means of chains. In other words, they find it difficult to render A’maal-e-Saalihah (righteous deeds). Since these deeds have been imposed on them as compulsory duties they oppose their desires in the execution of righteousness and gain entry into Jannat.

While ostensibly Taa-at and Khidmat have been decreed obligatory on you, in reality your entry into Jannat has been made incumbent and ensured.

In appearance Allah Ta’ala has made obedience and service to Him compulsory. This conveys the impression that Allah Ta’ala derives benefit from the bandah’s obedience and service whereas He is independent and is in no need of anything. The benefit of Ibaadat accrues to us. Thus, the imposition of ibaadat on us is in actual fact ensuring our entry into Jannat. Sunhaanallah! How boundless is His Rahmat!

Regarding the statement of Rasulullah ( saws ),

“The coolness of my eyes has been put in Salaat.”,

it was asked: ‘Is this rank exclusive with Rasulullah ( saws ) or do others to enjoy a share in it?’

In reply, the author said:

“Undoubtedly, the coolness of the eyes and the pleasure of the heart which are derived from the perception (mushaahadah) of the beauty, splendour and grandeur of Allah Ta’ala, are in proportion to the deeper knowledge (irfaan) which the heart has of Mash-hud-e-Haqeeqi (The True Being of Perception). No one’s irfaan is equal to the irfaan of Rasulullah ( r ). Therefore, no one can experience coolness of the eyes to the degree of Rasulullah’s experience.”

The reason for our contention that the coolness of Rasulullah’s eyes is on account of the perception (mushaahadah) of Jalaal-e-Mash’hood (Divine Beauty), is Rasulullah’s own statement, “in Salaat” ( فى الصلوة ) . By these words he has indicated what we have contended. He did not say, “with Salaat” ( بالصلوة ) because the coolness of his eyes could not be possible without his Rabb. How could it be possible when he guided others to this stage? Also, by means of his instruction,

“Worship Allah as if you are seeing Him”,

he is commanding others to acquire this lofty stage. The vision of Allah accompanied by perception of anything besides Allah is an impossibility.

If someone argues that the coolness of the eyes in Namaaz is sometimes on account of the grace and favour of Allah Ta’ala, why then will the eyes not be cooled as a result (of the Divine Favour)? In fact, Allah Ta’ala, Himself says:

‘Say – Be pleased only with the grace and mercy of Allah.’,

then understand that for the one who reflects on the mysteries and subtleties of (Allah’s) Kalaam, this very aayat indicates the answer (for the above argument). The aayat says:

“On this, people become pleased.”

The aayat does not say:

‘O Muhammad! You be pleased on it.’

The meaning thus is: ‘Instruct the people to be pleased with Allah’s grace and favour.’ This meaning is also indicated in another aayat which says:

“Say (O Muhammad! I am pleased with Him.), then leave them playing in their futility.”

Rasulullah ( saws ) had said: “The coolness of my eyes has been put in Salaat.”

In other words: ‘I experience great pleasure and happiness in Salaat.’

Someone had asked the author whether this rank was exclusive with Rasulullah (saws ) or do others too have a share in this experience? In reply the author (rahmatullah alayh) said that coolness of the eyes, happiness and pleasure of the heart in Namaaz are experienced as a result of perceiving Divine Beauty and Splendour. This is experienced by the Ahl-e-Ma’rifat (the Auliya of lofty ranks). The pleasure experienced in Namaaz will be in proportion to the ma’rifat which one possesses of Allah Ta’ala. It is apparent that Rasulullah’s ma’rifat surpasses the ma’rifat of all, hence, he experienced greater pleasure and coolness of the eyes than everyone else.

This answer means that pleasure and coolness of the eyes in Namaaz are not exclusive with Rasulullah (saws), but others too enjoy this experience in lesser degree according to their ranks.

This pleasure and coolness of the eyes are experienced in Namaaz by a man who is not afflicted with nafsaani and shaitaani thoughts. A man who is afflicted with such thoughts will not experience coolness of the eyes in Namaaz.

It was contended that the cause of Rasulullah ( saws ) experiencing pleasure and coolness of the eyes in Namaaz was his perception of Allah and not because of the Namaaz itself. The reason for this contention is that the Hadith

جُعِلَتْ قُرَّةُ عَيْنِى فِى الصَّلوةِ

indicates this because it is said:

“In Namaaz is the coolness of my eyes.”

In other words, while in the state of Namaaz Rasulullah ( saws) derived pleasure on account of Divine Perception. He did not say: “The coolness of my eyes is with Namaaz,” because such coolness was not attainable from ghairullah (objects besides Allah). It is evident that Namaaz itself is also ghairullah. How is it possible for Rasulullah’s eyes to find coolness in ghairullah when he, himself has instructed us to worship Allah Ta’ala in such a manner as if we are seeing Him?

When the servant attains this stage, there remains then nothing for him other than Allah. His attention is completely diverted from all others. Even his actions and existence pale into annihilation. Since Namaaz is an act of the bandah, it too is ghairullah (an object besides Allah). As such it becomes oblivious to him. At that time (in Namaaz) the coolness of the eyes and spiritual pleasure are experienced only because of Divine Presence.

It is argued that coolness of the eyes and spiritual pleasure are attainable from Namaaz itself because Namaaz is the consequence of Allah’s grace and mercy, hence the bandah who is in love with Allah will necessary derive spiritual pleasure from the performance of Namaaz. Furthermore, pleasure with Allah’s fadhl (kindness, grace) has been commanded by Allah Ta’ala. He thus says (in the Qur’aan):

“Say (O Muhammad!) They should be happy with the fadhl and rahmat of Allah.”

In view of Namaaz also being Allah’s fadhl and rahmat, there will be happiness and pleasure in it.

The answer to this argument is:

The aayat (quoted above for this argument), itself indicates the answer. The instruction is that the people should be pleased with only fadhl and rahmat. The aayat does not command:

“O Muhammad! Become happy with it.”

Thus, the meaning of this answer is that while people become happy with the fadhl, rahmat and ihsaan (favour) of Allah, you, O Muhammad, should be happy with Allah Himself. This view is substantiated elsewhere (in the Qur’aan) where the instruction is:

“Say (O Muhammad!) Allah! Then leave them to play in their conjecture.”

In other words: “Say that I am pleased with Allah.” Then leave them to play in their conjecture.”


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