Home > Akhira Oriented, Self Transformation > Ibn Qayyim: Man with regard to prayers is of 5 types

Ibn Qayyim: Man with regard to prayers is of 5 types


Cross-Post: http://islamiology.wordpress.com/2009/05/09/ibn-qayyim-man-with-regard-to-prayers-is-of-5-types/

Mankind, with regard to the performance of their prayers, are on five levels:

The First: This is the level of one who is negligent and wrongs his soul. He is the one who falls short in performing wudu properly, performing the prayer on time and within its specified limits, and in fulfilling its essential pillars.

The Second: This is the level of one who guards his habit of offering his prayers on time and within their specified limits, who fulfils their essential pillars and performs his wudu with care. However, his striving (in achieving the above) is wasted due to disturbances in his thoughts during prayer that distract him and turn his attention to other preoccupations and concerns.

The Third: This is the level of one who guards his prayers within the specified limits, fulfils their essential pillars and strives within himself to repel the disturbances in his thoughts and extraneous concerns. He is busy struggling against his enemy (Satan) so that Satan does not steal from the prayer. Because of this, he is engaged in (both) prayer and struggle (jihad).

The Fourth: This is the level of one who carries out the prayer, completing and perfecting its due rights and essential pillars, who performs it within its specified limits and with his heart fully engrossed in safeguarding its rights and specified limits, so that nothing of his prayer is wasted. His whole concern is directed towards its performance, its completion and its perfection – as it should be. His heart is immersed in the prayer and in servitude to his Lord, the Exalted.

The Fifth: This is the level of one who carries out the prayer like the one mentioned above. However, on top of this, he has taken and placed his heart in front of his Lord, looking towards Him with his heart in anticipation, filled with His love and His might, as if he sees and witnesses Allah. The misgivings, thoughts and preoccupations have vanished and the veil between him and his Lord is lifted. The difference between this person and others with respect to the prayer is greater than the distance between the heavens and the Earth. This person is busy with his Lord, delighted with Him.

The people whose performance of prayer is at the first level will be punished, those at the second will be held to account, those at the third will have their sins and shortcomings expiated, those at the forth fourth will be rewarded, and those at the fifth will be close to their Lord, because they will receive the portion of the one who makes his prayer the delight and pleasure of his eye. Whoever makes his prayer the delight and pleasure of his eye will have the nearness of his Lord made the delight and pleasure of his eye in the Hereafter. He will also be made a pleasure to the eye in this world, since whoever makes Allah the pleasure of his eye in this world, every other eye will become delighted and pleased with him.

(Ibn Qayyim al Jawziyyah)

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