Worship Allah as though you can see Him
After a good ninety minutes of strenuous football on a rainy day; upon an awfully muddy pitch; surely you would require triple maybe quadruple the amount of washing powder to rid of all the muck.
‘What is life but a game of cricket?’ Allah Almighty Himself says, “The life of the world is but a sport and a pastime”. (Q47:36) Throughout a human’s life, he sins and darkens the soul, but then comes Ramadan to wash away his sins, but keeping in mind this month too just as a washing machine requires divine washing powder to cleanse the soul of all its dirt (sins).
Following are two extraordinary prayers, the first two of which cleanse the soul of all sins, and the last of which ascend the soul to an heavenly abode, and it will be said to him ya ayyatuha al-Nafs al-Mutma’innah “O content soul come back to your Lord, well-pleased, well-pleasing. So, enter among My (special) servants, and enter My Paradise.” (89:27-30)
(1) Salat al-Tasbih
It is recorded in Sunan Abi Dawud and other books of hadith that the prophet Muhammad (PBUH) once said to his uncle `Abbas (R.A.): O Abbas! O my uncle! Shall I not give you a gift? Shall I not show you something by means of which Allah Ta`ala will forgive your sins, the first and the last of them, the past and recent, the unintentional and the intentional, the small and huge, the secret and open?
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) then taught him Salah al-Tasbih. Furthermore he advised him that it be offered daily, if possible. If not then every Friday or once a month or once a year or at least once in one’s life time. Subhaanallaahi wal-hamdulillaahi walaa ilaaha illallaahu wallaahu akbar.
(2) Salat al-Tahajjud:
‘Salat al-Tahajjud’, what can one say regarding this momentous prayer, it is the greatest prayer after the fara’idh. Some exclaim, “None reach the level of wilayah (friendship with Allah) except through the path of the night prayer”. True success, sincerity, understanding, and a heavenly abode have all been promised through Tahajjud, which is evident from the lives of Sahaba (R.A.).
Allah Almighty says, “Verily, the rising by night is very hard and most potent and good for governing oneself, and most suitable for (understanding) the Word (of Allah)” (73:6). Crying to Allah Alone, asking for only His help at this time of the night whilst the world is fast asleep is definitely deserving of the characteristics mentioned in the Qur’an.
`Abdullah ibn Salam (The High Priest/Rabbi of Yathrib) reported: The first words I heard prophet Muhammad (PBUH) say were: ‘O people, spread the salutations, feed the people, keep the ties of kinship, and pray during the night while the others sleep, and you will enter Paradise in peace.’” (Al-Tirmidhi.)
Salman al-Farsi quoted the prophet Muhammad (PBUH) saying: “Observe the night Prayer; it was the practice of the righteous before you and it brings you closer to your Lord and it is penance for evil deeds and erases the sins and repels disease from the body.” (Al-Tabarani)
It becomes manifest through the incredible lives of the Sahaba that the performance of Tahajjud had become a widespread phenomenon. This notion speaks for itself from the analysis of a Christian spy, who was sent to watch the movements of the Sahaba before a battle:
The Christian spy in the presence of Qubuqular, “hum bi al-layli ruhban wa bi al-nahari fursan- they are valiant horsemen by day and tranquil monks by night”.
I have drawn upon prayer particularly as this for me embodies worship, it is through prayer that I can connect with the divine presence, as Allah instructed Prophet Musa ‘Aqim al-salat li dhikri’ – establish prayer to remember Me! And the prayer must have ‘sifat al-ihsan’ – the quality of Ihsan as the Prophet responded to Jibril’s question of ihsan: Worship Allah as though you can see Him, and if this is not the case then indeed He certainly sees you.