Thursday, July 19, 2007,2:28 am
'. . . Disciplines of the Prayer. . .'
Know that for the salat, besides its form, there is a meaning and apart from its exterior it has an interior, and as the exterior has its disciplines, neglecting which would render the outer form of the salat invalid or incomplete, likewise its interior has cordial spiritual disciplines, neglecting which would render the spiritual salat invalid or incomplete; while observing them would inspire the salat with a heavenly spirit. These disciplines of the prayer are penned by Imam Khomeini in his book 'Adabus Salaat'. Lately on AIM forums, a few members got together and started AIM Reading Group, which was a positive step in terms of discussions about different topics and books. The members voted to study 'Adabus Salaat' as their first assignment. What I have stated in this blog post are my words coupled with a few extracts from other people's posts from the forums.

Introduction

The introduction penned by Hassan Khomeini relates to the whole idea of Submission in Islam. The first paragraph sums up a point of Submission to the Almighty Allah and then moves on to describe how one should live his life in this temporary world. The way I see it is that it describes the life of a momin in a nutshell. Then the writer has talked about the different aspects of the life of Imam Khomeini and has related them to the first paragraph and linked them with the duties and the responsibilities of a momin. Not to apply a political tone to my post but in regards to the condemnation from the West about certain aspects and decisions of Imam Khomeini's life were due to the difference in ideology between the West and that of Imam Khomeini. To sum it up in one sentence I would say the difference was because the West is a spiritual desert hence the concept of submission to a Greater entity is lost while what we find in the life of Imam Khomeini is the opposite. I think in his life Imam Khomeini had attained that level of Marifa where he knew what this life was all about and what is expected in this temporary world.

There is no doubt that the revolution which Imam Khomeini led is related to the religious outlook as described in the first two paragraphs by the author. Every aspect of the revolution had a touch of knowledge, spirituality or piety to it. When Imam Khomeini gave his first speech on 15th Khordad or when he returned back to Iran in 1979 there was always an element of believe in Him [Allah].

'. . .With a calm soul, a confident heart, a cheerful spirit and a conscience full of hope in Allah's favour. . .'

I think the above statement relates to the Ayah in Surah Fajr which talks about the nafs mutmainna. The way Imam describes the death is the way we find the description of nafs mutmainna in texts. Furthermore in my view maybe what Imam khomeini is relating is the death which comes before the physical death. I think one way to describe it would be how one should spiritually de-attach themselves from this world which would be a way of death too and the description which is stated by Imam Khomeini about death is from the point of de-attachment till the physcial death. I hope that makes sense :unsure:

Dedication 1:

I remember once my teacher described to me that the life of a man can be represented by a drawing of a mountain, the peak of the mountain would represent youth while the two bases would be the birth and death. I think that is what Imam Khomeini is relating to his son about the shortcomings. As he has passed through that stage where he knows his shortcomings he is advising his son to make sure he does not do the same during his life. I guess another way of describing this would be like how parents have high aspirations from their progeny and expect their progeny to out do them and be better than them so I think it is a sense of fatherhood too which is the reason for relating such things to his son. Another point to note here is that he is not advising his son while hiding the fact that he has shortcomings infact he has admitted to that, something which relates to a Hadith which goes along the same lines that one who advises another person but does not take heed from it is living under complete ignorance - Imam Ali [as]

In his message to his son Imam Khomeini stresses the need to avoid selfishness and glory. I think the reason for this is that selfishness would lead to greed and having that would make one evolve in an egoistical manner as well as make one the slave of his/her nafs. Glory would restrict evolution of the mind, body and soul and hence the path of spirituality would become blocked. Some of the greatest Ulemas of the past generation have stressed on this point that one should remove the need to be glorified or feel a sense of pride in order to progress spiritually, something which is very sound advice as demonstrated in the another book of Imam Khomeini.

In regards to the last question I think intention holds the key to every action. If for instance the intention is corrupted then the action preformed from that intention would be corrupted too as well as the effort in that action would not be whole due to the fact that the intention is corrupted. So right intention would lead to right action and hence the right action would be the more rewarding one.

Perfection of intention is something highlighted always yet I still fail to endorse it, and excuse myself for doing actions, even though they are good, by ignoring the selfish worldly pleasures I enjoy by it. Imam Khomeini's hard work for the Islamic republic of Iran is nothing anyone can ignore, and is reflected in all his teachings and actions, and all that is spoken of him. Making such an instruction to his son shows the purity of his intentions and the strength of his soul.
Kawther
Dedication 2:

The couplet which is written in the beginning of the dedication is something which I found to be very interesting. One of the things which I derived from it relates to the notion mentioned earlier in the thread about an accepted prayer being the criteria for other deeds to be accepted.

Imam Khomeini prays that his daughter in law becomes one of the musallin even though she preforms the actions of the prayer is because he wishes her to realise the essence and the secrets of the prayer. Like the hadith of the Imams [as] which talk about that the prayer being for Allah alone as He is the one who deserves to be worshipped, I think that is what Imam Khomeini is praying for that may his daughter in law be blessed with that level of marifaat in regards to worship. Plus having perfection in prayer would lead to the acceptance of other actions hence the emphasis on this title.

About the hadeeth, "My heart is sometimes covered (as if with unmindfulness), so I ask forgiveness from Allah seventy times every day", and his comment that "discerning Allah in multiplicity [is] opacity with respect to Allah": you're right, there is a lot of weight in these few simple words, and it isn't immediately easy to grasp. I'll start by explaining imam Khomeini's comment, then work back to the hadeeth:

Discerning Allah in multiplicity - this means shirk (multiplicity as opposed to unity), in this particular context I believe it refers to putting other things or desires on the same level of importance as Him. If you do this you will have opacity with respect to Allah, that is, your vision with respect to Him will be clouded, unclear and opaque. So, the statement translates to mean "Assigning other things the same importance as Him makes you lose clear sight of Him. It is important to note here that shirk has a wider definition than praying to another God: anything you spend all your time and effort on is in effect what you are living for, which is also a partner to the God whom you should be living for.

The hadeeth of the Prophet (saw) then shows us how to behave when worldly things lure our attention and imagination so that we become engrossed in them so much we become unmindful of Allah: asking for forgiveness 70 times in a day helps you remember Allah again, and dismiss anything else which takes over your thought and effort so much it pulls you away from Allah.
Blissful

Lastly I came across this hadith which relates quite well to this book.

The Noble Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) has said: “The good deeds of one who, without any appropriate excuse does not offer his prayer until its time passes away, are annulled.” He then said: “The divide between a believer and disbelief is the abandonment of prayers.”

Biharul Anwar, Volume 82, Page 202

Even though prayer in our normal day lives makes up less than an hour yet the importance of it is very vast. I think having a sense of perfection in prayer would lead to a greater level of certainty in regards to other aspects of religion.

I have also included a link to the downloadable copy of the book as well as a link to the actual discussion on the AIM forums:

- Adabus Salaat - Reading Assingment 1


- Adabus Salaat - Downloadable Copy of the Book

Maay Allah grant us all the ability to keep our intentions pure, and accept our imperfect acts.
 
posted by Ya_Baqiyatullah
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1 Comments:


  • At 1:19 pm, July 19, 2007, Anonymous Akbar Hussain

    Jazakallah khayr brother, I have heard much about this book and look forward to being able to read it in its entirety.

    To comment on the notes, the part referring to the opposing perspectives between Khomeinism and its Western critics highlights the concept of "backwardness", how each side would see the other as backwards, one from a materialistic point of view, the other from a spiritual one.

    A similar pattern rises again with the discussion of the nafs-ul-mutmainnah. The notes compare this to a "death", whereas I would have thought "freedom" would be a more appropriate term, because it refers to one who undoes the shackles that tie them to wordly matters. This links well to the final part referring to what is commonly known as the smaller shirk, because these are the same things to which one would ultimately give importance over the prayers.