The Path To Guidance

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  • The Path To Guidance

  • 5
    Chapter Five

    "I have Divided the Prayer Between Myself and My Servant"

    Aboo Hurairah  said, “I heard the Prophet (PBUH) say, ‘Allaah, the Mighty and Sublime, has said: I have divided the prayer between Myself and My servant into two halves. And My servant shall have what he has asked for. When the servant says:

    All praise belongs to Allaah the Lord of all Creation. Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, says, "My servant has praised Me." And when he says:

    The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, says, "My servant has extolled Me." And when he says:

    Master of the Day of Judgement. Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, says, "My servant has glorified Me..." and on one occasion He said, "My servant has submitted to My power." And when he says:

    You alone do we worship and from You alone do we seek help. He says, "This is between Me and My servant, and My servant shall have what he has asked for." And when he says:

    Guide us to the Straight Path, the Path of those whom You have favoured, not of those upon whom is Your anger, nor of those who are astray. He says, "This is for My servant, and My servant shall have what he has asked for."” 27

    Ibn al Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, "And when he says, All praise is due to Allaah, the Lord of all Creation ..." he pauses for a short while waiting for the response of his Lord, "My servant has praised Me." Then when he says, "The Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy"…he waits for the response, "My servant has extolled Me." And when he says, "Master of the Day of judgement..." he waits for the response, "My servant has glorified Me."

    It is the delight of his heart, the pleasure of his eye and the joy of his soul that his Lord says about him, "My servant..." three times. By Allaah! If the fumes of desire-and the darknesses of the soul were not upon the hearts, they would have flown out of happiness and joy that their Lord, Maker and Deity says, "My servant has praised Me, My servant has extolled Me and My servant has glorified Me."

    Then there would have been space in his heart to witness (the reality) of the three names which are the basis of all the Beautiful Names and these are: Allaah, ar-Rabb and ar-Rahmaan.

    When he says, "Master of the Day of judgement..." he witnesses the glory which befits none but the King, the Truth, the Manifest. So he witnesses a very powerful and compelling King, to Whom the whole creation has yielded, to Whom the faces are humbled, to Whom the creation humbles itself, and to Whom every possessor of power and honour submits. He witnesses with his heart a King (Who is) upon the Throne of the Heaven.

    And then he says, "You alone do we worship and from You alone do we seek help..." in which lies the secret of the creation and the affair of the world and the hereafter, and which contains the loftiest of goals and the most excellent of means (of approach to Allaah). The loftiest of goals is enslavement to Allaah and the most excellent of means is His help and assistance. There is no deity deserving of worship in truth except Him and there is no helper in His worship besides Him. Therefore, His worship is the greatest of goals and His aid is the loftiest of means.

    And these words contain the two types of tawheed and they are Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah and Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah. Devotion to Allaah comprises His names ar-Rabb and Allaah, so He is worshipped on account of His Uloohiyyah, 28 help is sought from Him on account of His Ruboobiyyah 29 and He guides to the Straight Path on account of His Mercy. The first part of the soorah (i.e., Soorah al- Faatihah) therefore, mentions His names Allaah, ar-Rabb and ar- Rahmaan for the purpose of the one who seeks His worship, help and guidance. He is alone in being able to bestow all of that. There is no one who can aid others in Allaah's worship besides Allaah and none can guide (to the Straight Path) except Him.

    Then the caller, with the speech of Allaah, "Guide us to the Straight Path..." realises his extreme need for this (guidance). He is never in need of any other thing as much as he is of this guidance. He is in need of it in every moment and at every glance of the eye.

    Then Allaah makes it clear that the people of this Guidance are those who have been specified with His favour, not those upon whom is His anger, these latter ones are they who know the Truth but do not follow it, not those who are astray, and who worship Allaah without knowledge. Both of these groups share with each other in speaking about His creation, His command and His Names and Attributes without knowledge. The path of those upon whom is His favour and blessing is different from that of the people of falsehood with respect to knowledge and action.

    When he finishes from this praise, supplication and tawheed, he has been ordered to end it with `aameen' which is a seal (to his supplication) and with which the aameen of the angels in the sky coincides. This aameen is from the beautification of the prayer, just like the raising of the hands is a beautification of the prayer, a following of the sunnah, veneration of the command of Allaah, worship by the hands and a sign of the transition from one pillar (of the prayer) to another.' [Taken from As-Salaatu wa Hukmu Taarikihaa, pp.171~172].

    27 Reported by Muslim, Maalik, at-Tirmidhee, Aboo Daawood, an-Nasaa'ee and Ibn Maajah.
    28 Uloohiyyah: A term denoting that Allaah is the only One to Whom all forms of worship should be directed in truth, whether actions of the heart (feelings), words and statements or actions of the limbs. The word Ilaah is derived from it, meaning:

    something that is adored, worshipped, turned to i.e., an object of worship, subservience and adoration. There is nothing else besides Him who deserves that, and this is the meaning of the testimony, ‘Laa ilaaha ilallaah (There is no Ilaah which is deserving of worship/subservience except Allaah), the truth and certainty of which every Messenger came to establish. Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, says: Your Ilaah is but one Ilaah. [Soorah an Nahl (16):20]

    And He alone is the Ilaah (of those) in the Heavens and the Ilaah (of those) in the Earth. [Soorah az-Zukhruf (43):84]. Invoke not, or pray to any Ilaah along with Allaah. There is no Ilaah but He. [Soorah Qasas (28):88].

    29 Ruboobiyyah: A term denoting the absolute sovereignty and kingship of Allaah over the heavens and the earth and whatever is between them. It has three aspects to it:

    (i) Khalq (creativity): Allaah by Himself makes everything from nothing.
    (ii) Mulk (possession): Allaah by Himself owns everything and
    (iii) Amr (administration): Allaah by Himself, controls and directs everything that He creates and all that He owns. Some of the proofs for these are:

    He has the creation and His is the command/administration. Blessed be Allaah the Rabb of all Creation. [Soorah al-A'raaf (7):54]. Allaah is your Rabb. He owns everything and those whom you call upon besides Him do not own even the white stringy strand on a date-stone (such a minute possession). [Soorah Faatir (35):13].

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