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On Watching Over the Time

On Watching Over the Time

Dear, you too, are to seize this opportunity for supplication, as available and according to the possible measure, and apply its cordial disciplines, informing your heart that the origin [mayah] of the eternal Hereafter life, the source of the spiritual virtues and the capital of the unlimited generosities are in the Proximity to and Intimacy with Allah, the Exalted, and in supplication to Him, especially in the Salat which is a spiritual mixture [ma'jun] prepared by the hand of Allah's Beauty and Majesty. It is the most comprehensive and perfect worship among all types of servitude. So, take care, at your best, to keep its times, and select its virtuous times, for in them is a sort of luminosity not found in other times. In those times you are to lessen, or even sever, your heart's engagements, and this can be achieved by arranging your times and assigning special times for the Salat, which guarantees the eternal Hereafter life for you, such that in those assigned times you would have nothing else to do, and the heart could have no other attachments that might rival the Salat, and the heart can be prepared and made present with ease.

Now I am going to relate some of the hadiths about the conditions of the infallibles (the Imams) (AS), as needs be, so that contemplating their conditions may lead to being awake, and perhaps the importance of the situation and seriousness of the state can be recognized by the heart and it be awakened from its sleep of negligence.

Some wives of the Messenger of Allah (SA) were quoted to have said that "The Messenger of Allah (SA) used to talk to us and we used to talk to him. But when the time for the salat arrived he appeared as if he did not know us and we did not know him, as his attention was completely directed to Allah." [173] It is said that Amirul Mu'minin ' Ali (AS), when it was time for the salat, used to writhe and tremble. Asked once about his uncommon state, he said: "The time has come for the trust which Allah, the Exalted, offered to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, but they refused to carry it and were afraid of it". [174] Sayyid Ibn Tawus (may his spirit be sanctified) says, in Falahus sa'il, that when Imam Husayn (AS) used to perform the Wu'du, he changed colours and his joints trembled. Asked about the reason, the Imam said: "When one is going to stand before the Owner of the arsh, his colour is ought to turn pale and his joints to tremble". [175] Imam Hasan had a similar condition. [176] It is narrated that Imam as-Sajjad (the fourth Imam) (AS) used to get pale at the arrival of the time of the wudu '. He was once asked: "What is this state which happens to you whenever you want to perform the wudu '?" He said: " Do you not know before whose presence I am to stand '? [177]

If we, too, think a little and tell our veiled and discarded heart that the times of the salats are the times of being present at the Holy Threshold of the Owner of Majesty, the times in which Allah, the Exalted, the Master of the Kings and the Absolute Great, invites His helpless and worthless servant to supplication, admitting him to His House of Generosity, so that he may win the eternal happiness and permanent pleasures and cheerfulness, we will have pleasure and cheerfulness, according to our level of knowledge when the time of the salat arrives. If the heart understands the greatness and the importance of the situation, there will be fear and dread in proportion to the extent of its understanding of the greatness. But as the hearts of the holy men [auliya'] and their conditions are different, according to the gracious and the overpowering manifestations and feeling the greatness and mercy, sometimes their longing for the meeting, and their feeling the mercy and beauty excite them to display pleasure and cheerfulness, and they hail: "Relieve us, O Bilal!" [178] And sometimes (divine) manifestations of Greatness, Power and Sovereignty, drive them to ecstasy, trembling and shivering.

In short, O you helpless! The cordial disciplines of the times are in preparing yourself for entering into the Presence of the Master of this world and the Hereafter, for conversing with Allah, the Almighty and Most High. So, cast a glance at your weakness, helplessness, humility and indigence, and at the Greatness, Glory and Majesty of the Sanctified Essence, Glorified be His Majesty, in Whose court of Greatness the prophetic Messengers and the favourite angels go into rapture, and confess their incapability, humility and wretchedness. Having so looked, and taught your heart, it would feel afraid and you regard yourself and your worship trivial and worthless. Then, contemplate the extent of the mercy, complete kindness and all-embracing affection of His Sacred Essence, to realize that such a helpless servant, with all his impurities and wretchedness, is invited to His Sacred Court, received by the ceremonies of sending down of angels, heavenly Books and Prophets and Messengers (AS), who call him to the meeting of intimacy, without this helpless possible servant having any previous aptitude, or there being imaginable, in this invitation to His Presence, any benefit for Him -we take refuge with Allah -or for the angels of Allah and the Prophets (AS). It is natural, however, that the heart is pleased with this contemplation, and it is filled with hope and expectancy. Therefore, with steps of fear and hope, desire and dread, prepare yourself for the Presence and have ready the required provisions for the Attendance, the most important of which is to attend the Meeting [mahdar] with a shy and fearing heart, feeling broken, humiliated, weak and helpless, and believing yourself unworthy to worship and servitude and to be admitted into the Presence, and regarding that giving you permission to enter into worship and servitude was only because of the general mercy and the all-inclusive kindness of the One, the Almighty and Glorified. If you put your humility before your eyes, and humbly and heartily submitted to the Sacred Essence of Allah, and if you considered yourself and your worship worthless and trivial, Allah, the Exalted, would be kind to you, raise you and bestow upon you of His graces.


[173]. Mustadarkul Wasa'il, "Book of as-Salat" , chs. on "The Acts of the salat", ch. 2, Hadith 17.

[174]. Ibid., Hadiths 5 and 14.

[175]. Sayyid Ibn Tawus (may his spirit be sanctified) has stated this point in his Falahus Sa'il, quoting al Lulu'iyat, concerning the conditions of Imam Hasan ibn 'Ali (AS)

[176]. Biharul Anwar, vol. 77, p. 346, "Book of purification", chs. on "Wudu"', ch. 34, Hadith 34, quoting Falahus Sa'il.

[177]. Mustadarkul Wasa'il, "Book of as-Salat", chs .On "The Acts of the salat, ch. 2, Hadith 35.

[178]. al Mahajjatul Bayda fi Tahdhibil ahya " val. 1, p. 377. (Bilal was the Prophet's mu'adhdhim, or the caller for the salat), Maulawi, in a couplet, says: The soul is perfect and perfect is its call, The Chosen One said: "Relieve us, O Bilal!"


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