Archive for the ‘Ibn Qudamah al Maqdisee’ Category

It is also desirable for the worshipper to make his heart present during all the matters which are related to the prayer. When he hears the call of the mu’adhdhin he should liken it to the call on the Day of Judgement and set out to answer it with vigour and determination. Let him consider (the reality of) what he is responding to and in what state his body comes to the prayer. When he has covered himself (for the prayer) he should realise that the purpose behind it is to conceal the shamefulness of his body from the creation. Let him also realise his deficiencies and defects and the scandals and disgraces of his inner self which none can know except the Creator and which none can cover or hide. Only remorse, modesty and fear can expiate for them. When he faces the qiblah he has turned his face from all other directions to the direction of the House of Allaah and yet turning his heart to Allaah is more befitting than that. Just as he cannot face the qiblah without turning away from all else besides it, likewise the heart cannot turn to Allaah without turning away from all that is besides Him. When you make the takbeer (i.e., say, ‘Allaahu Akbar), O worshipper, do not let your heart treat your tongue as having lied, because if there is something greater than Allaah in your heart then you have lied. Beware also that your whim and desire is greater (than Allaah) which would be proven by your preference to go along with it (rather) than to give obedience to Allaah, the Exalted. When you seek refuge, know that seeking refuge means recourse to Allaah, the Sublime. When you do not seek refuge with your heart (as well), then your words are futile and ineffective. Understand the meaning of what you recite. Make this understanding present with your heart when you say: “All praise belongs to Allaah the Rabb of all the Worlds.” Bring to mind His Benevolence when you say: “The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.” And His Might and Grandeur when you say: “Master of the Day of Judgement.” And likewise (understand the meaning) of everything that you recite. We have already reported about Zuraarah ibn Abee ’Awfaa (may Allaah have mercy on him) that when he recited in his prayer: And when the Trumpet is blown (a second time). he fell to the ground, dead. This did not occur except that he imagined and pictured that situation and it brought destruction upon him. Try to feel modesty in your bowing and humility in your prostration because in such a position you have placed the soul in its proper place.

In the prostration you have returned the limbs to their place of origin, upon the dust from which they were created.

Understand also the meaning of the remembrances with inclination and zeal. Know that performing the prayer with these internal conditions is a cause-of the purity of the heart from adulteration and pollution, of obtaining the light by which the Might and Greatness of the One Who is worshipped is realised and of discovering His secrets and none understands them except those grounded in knowledge (the scholars). As for the one who is standing performing the external actions without knowing their significance or meanings he will not realise or discover any of the above, rather he will reject its existence.

~Ibn Qudamah al Maqdisee: chapter 6 of Ibn Qayyim’s path to guidance

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