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Times of Salat

Times of Salat

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Know that the people of knowledge and of observance pay attention to, and take care of, the times for the Salats according to the depth of their knowledge of the Sacred State of the Lord, and according to their longing for supplication with the Creator, Honoured be His Name, as these times are for supplication and meeting Allah.

Those who are attracted by the Beauty of the Beautiful, and are fond of the beauty of eternity, and are drunk with the cup of affection, and are in a state of ecstacy by (drinking) a goblet from "alastu"? (Am I not ...?) [167], are delivered from both worlds, closing their eyes against the regions of existence and joining the Majesty of the Sanctity of Allah's Beauty. To them the Presence is continual, and they do not forget, even for a single moment, remembrance, contemplation, perception and observance.

The people of knowledge, virtues and honourable learned souls, and of good disposition, would prefer nothing to supplication to Allah. They demand supplication and privacy with Allah. They take glory, honour, virtue and knowledge to be in supplication and remembering Allah. Should they look at the universe and the world, their look would be gnostic. In the world they are in quest of Allah and want Him. To them, all beings are the manifestations of Allah and the charms of the Beautiful: "l love the whole world as the whole world is from Him." [168] They watch for the times of the salats with all their hearts, and eagerly wait for the time of supplication to Allah, preparing themselves to be present at a fixed time to meet Him. Their hearts are present, and from the Presence [mahdar] they demand the Present, as they respect the Presence [mahdar] for the sake of the Present. They believe that servitude is association and sociability with the Absolute Perfect, and their eagerness for worship is due to this fact.

And those who believe in the invisible and the other world, and are fascinated by the generosity of Allah, the Exalted, and who would not change the eternal heavenly blessings and the everlasting pleasures and the permanent cheerfulness for mundane perishing chances and the temporal, incomplete and suspected delights, at the times of worship -which is the seed of the blessings relating to the other world -they prepare their hearts and perform it whole-heartedly and anxiously. They wait for the times of the salats -which are the times for getting the results and winning the treasures -and take nothing for the eternal blessings. As their hearts are aware of the invisible world and they cordially believe in the eternal blessings and the continual pleasures of the Hereafter world, they fully utilize their time and do not waste it. Those are the owners of Paradise and the lords of grace in which they will remain forever.

Those groups that have been mentioned, and the others which have not been mentioned, obtain pleasure from worshipping itself, in proportion to their ranks and their knowledge. They never feel the heaviness of the obligations, but it is we, the helpless, who are in the chains of hopes and desires, and in the fetters of whims and wishes, drowned in the overflowing dark sea of the world of nature, where neither a smell of affection and love has reached the sense of smell of our spirit, nor has our heart's sense of taste tasted any delicacies of knowledge and virtue. We are neither of the people of gnosticism and vision, nor of the people of faith and tranquillity. We take the divine worship to be a heavy obligation, and regard supplication unto Allah a burden. We trust nothing but this world, which is a manger for animals, and are attached to nothing except to this house of nature, which is the seclusion place of the unjust. The eye of our heart's insight is blind to the Beauty of the Beautiful, and the taste of our spirit is void of the taste of gnosticism.

The master of the circle of the people of knowledge, and the gist of the people of affection and truth says:" I spend the night with my Lord Who feeds me and gives me to drink." [169] O Lord! what a night which Muhammad (SA) spent in the House of Private Intimacy with You! What food and drink were those which You, with Your own hand, fed that honourable being and freed him from all worlds! It is proper for that master to say: "I have with Allah a time which is not within the capacity of any favourable angel and prophet." [170] Was that time of the times of this world and the other world? Or was it the time of the Privacy of "qaba qausayn" (the distance of two bows' length) and discarding the two worlds? Moses, the interlocutor with Allah, fasted for forty days and could attain to a meeting with Allah, and Allah said: "So, the appointed time of his Lord was complete forty nights." [171] Yet, he could not attain to a meeting like Muhammad's, and it cannot be compared with that of him. In the meeting place Moses was told: "Take off your shoes" [172], which is interpreted to mean "affection to family", while the Seal of the Prophets was told to love' Ali. In my heart, of this secret, there is a firebrand, of which I would not talk. You yourself, from this brief, read its detailed talk.

Notes:

[167]. This is a reference to the ayah: "and made them bear witness against their own souls: 'Am I not your Lord?' They said: 'Yes, we bear witness"' (Surah An'am: 172).

[168]. By the world I am pleased, since the world is pleasant by Him, I love the whole world, as the whole world is from Him. (by Sa'di)

[169]. Wasai'lush Shi'ah, vol. 7, p. 388, with a slight difference. Al-Bukhari's Sahih, vol. 4, "Book of Wishes", p. 251. Maulawi, in a couplet says: As "I spend the night with my Lord" became knowledge, "He feeds and waters" afterwards became porridge.

[170]. 'Awaliyul La'ali vol. 4, p. 7, hadith 7. Biharul Anwar, vol. 18, p. 360, "Book of the Prophet's History", ch. on "Proving the Mi'raj".

[171]. Surah al-'Araf: 142.

[172]. "I am your Lord; take off your shoes"," Surah Ta-Ha: 12.

 

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