Spiritual Dimension

In Preparation for the Greatest Pillar of Salah

We just completed a beautiful station of Salah, the Ruku’ [bowing]. The Ruku’ [bowing] is the prelude to Sujood [prostration]…from one posture of submission, to a greater, more complete posture of submission! But before the Sujood [prostration], comes another beautiful station of Salah – and that is, the standing after the Ruku’ [bowing]. The Prophet said, “Allah does not look to a servant’s Salah if he does not straighten [upright] his back between his Ruku’ [bowing] and Sujood [prostration].” Therefore, that motionless, peaceful calm maintained in the other parts of Salah must be especially maintained here as well… allowing for the bones to return to their joints, for he also told us that “The worst thief is the one who steals from his Salah” [by rushing through it]. The Prophet used to stand in this part of the prayer a length equal to that of his Ruku [bowing]’.

سَمِعَ اللهُ لِمَنْ حَمِدَهُ
“May Allah answer he who praises Him”

Yet as we rise for this stand, this time it is not “Allahu Akbar” that we call out, but instead, “Sami’a-Allahu liman hamidah”. Why? Remember what we said? That any dua/request made before The King is only proper and acceptable when preceded by praise and much extolling, right? Just as the Fatihah starts out with praise before the greatest dua is made [Ihdina-Sirat-Al-Mustaqeem], the same holds true here. For we are about to enter upon the greatest pillar of Salah the Sujood [prostration]!.. in which we will be the closest we can ever be to Allah! And during which, the duas/supplications, are always answered! “Sami’a-Allahu liman hamidah” therefore, signals us to praise Allah much before we are to make our duas when in Sujood [prostration]. And so what do we say upon that signal, once we have risen?

رَبَّنَا وَلَكَ الْحَمْدُ حَمْدًا كَثِيرًا طَيِّبًا مُبَارَكًا فِيهِ

We begin our praise: “Rabbana walaka-alhamd “ [Our Lord, for You is all praise!]. We can add, “hamdan katheeran tayyiban mubarakan feeh!” [An abundant beautiful blessed praise!]. The Prophet was once leading in prayer. When he said “Sami’a-Allahu-liman hamidah”, one of the companions behind him added the above extension, “hamdan katheeran tayyiban mubarakan feeh!”. When the prayer was finished, the Prophet turned to his companions and asked, “Which one of you just said those words?” And the man replied “Me, ya Rasulallah.” The Prophet commented, “I just saw thirty something angels racing to write it first!”

مِلْءَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمِلْءَ الأَرْضِ ، وَمِلْءَ مَا شِئْتَ مِنْ شَيْءٍ بَعْدُ
“[Praise] that fills/abounds the heavens, fills the earth, fills all that is between them, and fills all else of what You have willed [to be]!”

We can go a step further and say the above dua. The “all else” implies the rest of creation that for us humans is beyond our imagination and grasp [Like the Throne, the Kursi, etc..] With those words, we are humbly admitting our limitations in knowledge in comparison to that of Our Creator.

This variety of sayings available to us helps us to regularly renew our focus in Salah, for better concentration. Let us praise and praise, and praise some more…We will never be able to praise Our Lord enough…For no one can ever praise Allah the complete praise justly due to Him, save for one…Do you know who that one is? It is Allah Himself! Only He can praise Himself the complete due praise! For there are attributes and qualities belonging to Allah that we cannot even imagine nor have they been revealed to us or to any other creation! Attributes, the knowledge of which lies with Him alone, a Magnificence completely beyond our scope!