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Experiencing Salah Seriesfull course
To begin, let’s start with some basics… What does salah even mean and why do we do it?
Linguistically, salah means a supplication or request, and comes from the root word “sillah”, or connection. It refers to the ascension of a believer in their quest to connect to Allah ﷻ. It’s a connection that creates a link for us between this lowly life and our ultimate purpose in reaching Him most High. We perform salah, or pray, in order to remind ourselves of this ultimate purpose. Allah tells us in the Quran: “And establish the prayer for my remembrance” (Surat Ta-Ha (20) Ayah 14). So we stand daily five times to reestablish our connection to Him and recenter our focus on Him.
If though, that goal of reaching Allah is too vast for you, at the very least, prayer can act as a means of preventing sins. Allah tells us “And establish the prayer, for surely the prayer prevents one from evil and wicked deeds” (Surat Al-Ankabut (29) Ayah 45). Knowing that we will have to stand in front of our Judge with our secrets laid bare in a few moments should make us wary about what we are about to do. Sins should feel heavy.
Take a second now to ask yourself …
Does your current salah stop you from commiting sins? Do you feel yourself reconnecting to Allah?
What’s more, these experiences of salah are meant to be entry level. A true seeker of Allah goes beyond simple prevention of sin. They experience true presence before their Lord: khushu. They are humbled and overwhelmed in front of Allah. They are stilled by their love and humility, so much so that it reverberates throughout their limbs. Ibn Katheer mentions that khushu means completely emptying the heart, focusing on Allah alone, and not preferring anything over that intimate moment you are sharing with Him.
This is real salah. If your prayers don’t feel like this then what are you doing?? If you want your prayers to feel like this, make a promise to yourself in front of Allah that you’ll begin this journey and you will persist until you are able to meet Him in this life with full presence before the next. I’m on that journey with you. Until next time, may Allah bless.