Inner Dimensions Series | Part 6 | The Essence of Salah

Each of the two groups˺ will be ranked according to what they have done so He may fully reward all. And none will be wronged.  [Surat Al Ahqaf: 19]

In the previous blog post, we saw examples of the three types of people and the ones who are mindful of Allah سُبحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ are the ones who achieve His closeness through their striving and the actions of their limbs. 

Let us now look at what makes Salah such an important act of worship in its essence in a believer’s life. 

The Essence of Salah in the life of a believer

 

Salah is a complete and comprehensive act of worship. It is organized into a combination of segmented steps, each step and action within these segments correspond to the condition we experience outside of the salah. 

As humans beings, it is within our nature to incline towards forgetfulness and heedlessness, which results in disconnection from Allah سُبحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ. We are prone to overlooking our sins, while our hearts remain unaffected by them. 

We are usually prone to falling into this condition of negligence in the gaps between each prayer, while we are engaged with the Dunya. 

By falling into this condition, we deliberately create a barrier between Allah سُبحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ and ourselves and choose to throw ourselves into the hands of our ardent enemy becoming his puppet and turning ourselves into slaves of our base desires, in the process rejecting to be the slave of our Creator. 

We take our desires as our god, we choose to lead ourselves onto the path of sadness, anxiety, and all sorts of disturbances of the heart. This is hidden from our awareness, we do not see that it is the choices we have made that have brought us to this place of discontentment with our life. 

Salah is a mercy from Allah because it cleanses us of this filth we accumulate within the gaps that we are away from it, it brings stability to our hearts and restores the connection with Allah سُبحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ, five times a day, Alhamdulillah. 

The essence of salah is that it inclines the heart back to where it belongs- towards Allah سُبحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ

Focus on the inner dimension of prayer

 

Our focus on the inner dimension is the focus on our heart, answering the question, where is our heart when we pray? 

Imagine you were to meet an official to get an important task done and at the time of this meeting you pick up your phone and start checking your Instagram-how do you think the official would react? 

This is exactly what we do in our prayer:  we stand in front of The King of the kings, The Most High, mentally scrolling through the Dunya, yet through His Mercy and Compassion, He responds to our distracted pleas and half-hearted du’aas. 

When Allah سُبحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ responds to these low-quality prayers and supplications, what kind of response would the one who is mindful and fully immersed in his worship receive?  The difference is like that of the one who wins a gold medal and the one who wins a consolation prize. 

Salah as a means to seek guidance

 

The Prophet (ﷺ) said: Allah سُبحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ says: The first of his actions for which a servant of Allah will be held accountable on the Day of Resurrection will be his prayers. If they are in order, then he will have prospered and succeeded: and if they are lacking, then he will have failed and lost. If there is something defective in his obligatory prayers, He سُبحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ will say:  See if My servant has any supplementary prayers which he may be compensated with the defectiveness in his obligatory prayers. And the rest of his actions will be judged similarly.  [At-Tirmidhi (also by Abu Dawud, an-Nasa’i, Ibn Majah and Ahmad)]

Salah is a means through which we seek guidance to remain upon the Sirat al mustaqeem. The need for guidance is the most significant of all human psycho-spiritual needs, hence Allah سُبحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ made it incumbent upon us to ask for it several times within the prayer. 

It is not enough to desire guidance and not be receptive to receiving it, our actions and intentions need to be in alignment with this desire. It is not enough to simply want guidance while repelling it through our actions. 

There are various facets of guidance that we need to be aware of when we ask Allah سُبحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ for it. The ones whom Allah سُبحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ has guided are distinguished based on their Eeman (faith), their ’Ilm (knowledge) and their Amaal (deeds), by learning these aspects we are not only gaining awareness of what we asking for but also in being mindful of receiving it through our deeds and actions In Shaa Allah. 

When asking for guidance, seek: 

  • Sound and beneficial knowledge.
  • It’s implementation.
  • Allah’s counsel in every decision through Istekhara. 
  • Recognition of your potential to become a better slave of Allah. 
  • To do deeds that will draw you closer to Allah سُبحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ
  • To repent from sins, deviated beliefs and insincere intentions that would distance you from Allah سُبحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ

 

What is the one thing you are taking away from here today that you would start working on right away? 

Let me know in the comments In Shaa Allah. 

If you are benefiting from this series, do share it with your friends and family. 

 

You can read part 5 here: 

Inner Dimensions Series| Part 5 | Examples of the Three Types of People

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Until next time. 

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