Tuesday 19 November 2013

Every Rakaat of Salaah: A Flight to Allah Ta’ala

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Our respected Shaykh, Hadhrat Moulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (Rahmatullahi ‘Alayh) had presented to us, a unique analogy in explaining the reality and beauty of Salaah.

Salaah has been described as: “As-Salaatu Mi’rajul Mu’min” – the Ascension of the Believer. In the light of this description, Hadhrat Moulana (Rahmatullahi ‘Alayh) used the analogy of flight travel.

Before take-off, an announcement is made to wear one’s seatbelt, the “fasten seat belt” light is turned on, directing to the same, and the screen in front of one’s seat, shows the passenger how neatly one end of the buckle goes into the other. If passengers are heedless of these safety measures, they may have to contend with some injury at the time of take-off, or during turbulence, etc.

Similarly, when it comes to Salaah, we have been taught to ‘buckle' up! …The Sunnah  manner when folding the hands is:

  • The palm of the right hand should be placed on the back of the left palm.
  • The small finger and the thumb of the right hand should form a circle around the wrist of the left hand – neatly.
  • The middle three fingers should be placed flat over the forearm.
  •  And one should position the hands below the navel.

(This is the manner in which males place their hands in Salaah)

Whilst the aeroplane will only be flying to an altitude of about 8000 / 9000 metres, we are taking off for a flight to Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu.  

Negligence in “buckling up” will result in loss of concentration, and stray and wayward thoughts – which will then enter our minds.

On nearing our destination, when traveling by plane, the captain announces that all should prepare for landing. …In regard to Salaah, we will not be landing in any other city or country on planet earth; rather our destination is Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu. Our flight is a spiritual one, which transfers us to the Court of Allah Ta’ala. SubhanAllah!

From the position of Qiyaam, we move into the posture of Ruku. We bow down, holding our hands firmly on our knees - in preparation for “landing”.

…As we traverse distance with a physical journey of this world, our anticipation and happiness increases. So too, as the Musalli covers “distance” – moving from Qiyaam, to Ruku, to Qauma – his anticipation increases, knowing that the destination is approaching, is nearing.

After fulfilling the posture of Ruku and Qauma, we move down – “landing” at the ‘feet’ of Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu – so to speak. (Allah Ta’ala is free of shape and form).

The Hadith states : “A person in Sajda is nearest unto Allah.” 

We gently place both knees on the ground.[1] Thereafter we place both the hands, with our fingers close together, on the ground.[2] We then present our head, showing our complete submission and complete surrender before Allah Ta’ala.

This is our beautiful landing before Allah Ta’ala. This prostration is what grants us extreme closeness and establishes a deep bond with Allah Ta’ala.

The Qur’aan Sharief says[3]:

'Wasjud Waqtarib'
“…But prostrate and draw near [to Allah ].”
[Surah Al-Alaq 96 : 19]

Allah Ta’ala is directing us to Sajdah, informing us that in Sajdah, we will attain great and immense closeness to Him.

So this is our Salaah, our Mi’raj : Every Rakaat of every Salaah is a flight which takes us directly to Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu. SubhanAllah.

Our good fortune and privilege is that this opportunity is afforded to us five times a day and more, with Sajdah being made twice in every Rakaat. SubhanAllah! If only we would recognize Allah Ta’ala’s Benevolence and Generosity in giving us the honour and favour of drawing near to Him so many times, and enjoying the sweet pleasure of being close Him - The Only True Beloved.

The postures of Salaah, which are Mustahab (preferable), have so much value in them – Allahu Akbar! What then about the Sunnats, Waajibaat and Faraa’idh? …What a priceless gift has Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu given us in Salaah[4].  

May Allah Ta'ala grant us the Taufeeq of appreciating and of improving our Salaah, such that we too experience the sweet pleasure of Sajdah, and of being so close to Allah Ta'ala. 

[1] Shami-Vol.1, pg. 398 and Tahtaawee- pg.145
[2] Shami-Vol.1  and Tahtaawee- pg.145
[3] By reading this Ayat, Sajda becomes Waajib (obligatory)
[4] This is the method of Salaah for males.

By Hadhrat Moulana Abdul Hamid Saheb (Daamat Barakaatuhum)