The Philosophy and Secrets of Prayer

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SHAFAQNA- After the first verse, the worshipper reads: All praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Universe. Thus, he establishes that every praise and extol is for Allah, the Exalted, because He, the Glorified, is the Lord of the Universe. Every perfection and beauty is a manifestation of His upbringing. When the worshipper reads this verse and sees the signs of Allah’s Lordship and nurture in his own self and the world, the heaven, the earth, the minerals, the plants, the animals and the human beings, he realizes that the praise is relevant to Him.

The presence of the signs of His nurture in all creations, from the lowest being to the highest, shows that His mercy is for both the ordinary and the special. Hence, the worshipper says a second time: The Beneficent, the Most Compassionate.

After absorbing Allah’s favour and His mercy, the worshipper remembers His justice and says: Master of the Day of Judgment.

The compensation of the servants on the Day of Judgment is necessary for the establishment of justice, because man’s disobedience to Allah exceeds His sacredness. Exceeding the sacredness of the Endless cannot be compared with the disobedience of others. Thus, the Possessor of eternal greatness must possess eternal sacredness.

The disobedience of the One Whose right and favour upon humanity is countless and unlimited must be penalized with what is suitable.

The sin which a man commits against his Lord is not a simple matter as some think, because the strength a man exhausts in it is a result of the world, since his life is connected to the world. Therefore, the sin a man commits implies dishonesty against what the whole universe is striving for.

Hence, it is necessary that there must be record, accountability and compensation with justice on that Great Day, which Allah has described as: O people! Guard against (the punishment from) your Lord; surely the violence of the hour is a grievous thing. On the day when you shall see it, every woman giving suck shall quit in confusion what she suckled, and every pregnant woman shall lay down her burden, and you shall see men intoxicated, and they shall not be intoxicated but the chastisement of Allah will be severe.13

Nonetheless, His justice is absolute mercy, because the punishment from the Beneficent over disobedience cannot be compared with what the servant deserves over the tyranny, due to his insolence against the Lord of the Great Throne. Glory be to Him, Who is Generous and Honourable in His obedience and His disobedience.

Indeed, when a gnostic worshipper reads: Master of the Day of Judgment, his being trembles. This is why when the Imam of the Gnostics, the Beauty of the Worshippers, ‘Ali ibn al-Hussein (A.S) used to reach here, he would repeat this verse and cry until he almost died.14

Surely, the two verses: The Beneficent, the Most Compassionate and Master of the Day of Judgment, give the worshipper the two wings of fear and hope. With these two he comes to know the mercy of Allah and His honour. With the first one he perceives the compensation and punishment, while with the second one he desires forgiveness and reward.

Taken from Branches of Faith (Furu’ al-Din) by Ayatullah al-Uzma Shaykh Hussein Vahid Khorasani

Notes:

13. Holy Qur’an, 22: 1-2.

14. Al-Kafi: vol. 2, pp 602.

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