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The Importance of Salat and Meeting Allah

The highest aim and goal of the divine scholars and those who tread the path of worship is the meeting with Allah and vision of the divine, a meeting which can neither be expressed in words nor penned on paper. For, a vision of the divine is the work of Allah Himself. And the work of Allah, like His Being, does not have any method (kaifiyyah) like other mortals, and therefore it cannot be expressed. He introduced Himself to His servants and manifested His Own Self on their hearts. By setting aside the veils of negligence and forgetfulness, ignorance, disobedience, immorality, evil ethics, etc. a person prepares his heart to receive this divine manifestation. Purity of heart and sincerity in intention, illuminates the divine light further and becomes the cause for the servant to achieve great heights in the field of divine recognition and reach his ultimate goal i.e. meeting with Allah.

Imam Zainul Abidin (‘a) invokes,

“O Allah! Make us tread the path that leads to Your meeting, and make us travel on the road that is nearest to You… attach us with those servants of Yours who are in haste to reach You. Those who incessantly knock on Your door, and worship only You in the night…You have fulfilled their desire by allowing them Your meeting, and You have filled their hearts with Your love, and have quenched their thirst with Your pure drink. Thus, because of You, they enjoyed the taste of Your supplications (munajat) and have achieved their farthest aims (i.e. Allah)… Then only You, O Allah, are my aim. And my being awake and up in the nights is only because of You and not for anybody else. Your meeting is my love and Your sight, my desire. Your vision is my only need.” (Bihar ul Anwar, vol. 94, p. 148)

In another supplication, the same Imam (‘a) pleads,

Nothing can quench my thirst but Your attachment, and nothing can extinguish my burning desire but Your meeting. And nothing can extinguish my craving for you except seeing Your face (wajh), and my restlessness cannot be done away with but by gaining proximity to You…and My sorrow cannot be dispelled except by being near to You.” (Bihar ul Anwar, vol. 94, p. 150)

Imam Baqir (‘a) declares,

“Then surely the Messenger of Allah (‘s) is the gate of Allah, without whom He cannot be approached. He (‘s) is the path, if somebody walks on it, will lead to Allah (Mighty and Glorified be He). After him, the same applied for Amir al Muminin (‘a) and the Imams (‘a) following him, one after the other…” (Usul al Kafi, vol.1, p. 198)

In a Hadith al Qudsi, Allah the Almighty declares,

“O Ahmad! Piety (wara’) opens the doors of worship for a worshipper. Then through it, he is honored in the eyes of the people and gains attachment with Allah (Mighty and Glorified be He).”(Bihar ul Anwar, vol. 77, p. 27)

The aforementioned traditions have discussed about meeting, uniting and vision of Allah that leads to the contentment and softening of the heart. According to Imam Baqir (‘a), treading the path of the Holy Prophet (‘s) and his ahl al bayt (‘a) is the cause of this meeting, uniting and vision.

Therefore, this status cannot be achieved but by following the course charted out by the Messenger of Allah (‘s) and through the mastership of his infallible progeny (‘a). Hence, whoever intends to undertake the journey of the levels and stages of recognition and to reach to its highest grade i.e. meeting and seeing the Truth and finding His Lord, he must fasten on to the Holy Prophet (‘s) and his Ahl al bayt (‘a). He should see to it that his deed conform to the divine commands {which are the medium for following the Holy Prophet (‘s) and Ahl al bayt (‘a)}and should not take a single step without their permission. If he fails to do so, he will never be able to reach to his destination. And if he is steadfast in this path, Allah the Almighty will fulfil His promise and grant him his desire. Evidently, as the manifestation and recognition of Allah increases, humility, modesty, obedience, gratitude, remembrance, attention, glorification, praising, etc. in the service of his Lord and God also increases. His compliance and submission to the divine laws increases and he performs all his actions sincerely and purely in Allah’s way and none else. Obviously, any act that bears the color of Allah and is performed only for Him, will never be ruined. Allah the Almighty declares,

“Everything will be destroyed save His face.” (Quran, 28: 88)

Imam Baqir (‘a) explains this verse thus,

“Allah is greater than to be described with a face. But it (the word ‘face’) means, ‘Everything will be destroyed except His religion and face is by which a thing is approached.” (Tauhid, p. 149)

In the traditions of the Ahl al bayt (‘a), meeting with Allah has also been implied for death. Allama Majlisi (may Allah be satisfied with him) in his magnum opus, “Bihar ul Anwar”, volume 6, page 124, has brought traditions explaining the above concept under the chapter, “The Love of Meeting Allah and In Condemnation of Fleeing from Death”. In some traditions, ‘meeting with Allah’ has also been interpreted as resurrection and being brought out from the graves on the day of judgement for questioning and examination of one’s deeds in this world.

Amir al Muminin Ali ibn Abi Talib (‘a) explains,

“And His word, ‘Nay! They are unbelievers in the meeting of their Lord’ (Quran, 32: 10) implies ‘raising’. Then Allah (Mighty and Glorified be He) has named it as His meeting. And He has remembered the believers “those who expect to meet their Lord,” (Quran, 2:46) means ‘they are sure that they will be raised, brought together and rewarded and punished accordingly. Thus, meeting does not suggest physical vision. Meeting indicates raising. And whenever the word ‘meeting (with the Lord)’ has come in the Book of Allah, interpret it as ‘raising’.”(Tauhid, p. 267)

Hence, from the above, we can draw the following conclusion:

The meeting with the Lord can be achieved both in this world as well as the hereafter. The only difference is that as in the hereafter, all the veils will be set aside, people will rise from the sleep of negligence and there won’t remain any room for disbelief and hypocrisy. But as this world is the abode of examination and test, veils and negligence act as a barrier in this meeting with Allah. And in order to achieve this unison, as mentioned earlier, man has to bear tremendous pains and act with utmost steadfastness so that he may succeed in setting aside these coverings. Summing it up, Amir al Muminin (‘a) says,

“Even if the curtain is raised, my certainty will not increase.” (Bihar ul Anwar, vol. 46, p. 134)

Adapted from the book: "Salat; The Mode of Divine" by: "Ayatullah Mirza Mahdi Isfahani"

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