In addition to Zikr and Presence of Heart, the spiritual elements of Salat include:
– Knowledge (Tafaghoh), and Awareness (Tafahom)
– Reverence (Ta’zim)
– Awe and Fear (Heybat and Khauf)
– Hope (Reja)
– Humility (Khoshu)
Tafaghoh (Knowledge) and Tafahom (Awareness)
The person who prays to God and praises Him must be fully cognizant of the inner meaning of the prayer and remembrance of God, and in enunciating the words of the prayers, his intent must be to discover the subtlety of their meaning.
Imam Reza (peace be upon him) has said: “Prayer is total attentiveness, for all attention is due to Him.” He has also said: “Prayer is renunciation of all other than God and attention to his consent.”
The meaning of knowledge, according to the sayings of Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) is: “Knowledge is not obtained through scholarship but it is a light that God shines in the heart of whomever He desires.”
Reverence in salat is the result of cognition, and it signifies the servant’s absolute presence in the glory and magnanimity of his Lord, and his beholding the Almighty in His grandeur and glory, enfolding his own existence.
The Holy Qur’an states: “Therefore believe in God and His Messenger and the Light which We have revealed.” ( Holy Qur’an 64:8)
Heybat and Khauf (Awe and Fear)
Awe and fear are the confirmation of witnessing the greatness of God.
The Almighty God has said: Those who truly fear God, among His servants, are those who have knowledge.” (Holy Qur’an, 35:28)
This means it is the wise who is humble in the presence of God. Therefore, the devotion of the ignorant and common man is devoid of knowledge and cognition, and has no spiritual substance or value, and the non-believer’s prayer has no validity because he is not cognizant of God Almighty, although he may claim belief in Islam.
It is well known that the pallor of awe was seen on the faces of most of the holy Saints (peace be upon them) as they performed their ablutions and prepared for prayer. When asked of this state they responded: “Whoever is cognizant of He to whom prayer is offered will be in such a state of awe.” This is the perfect state of humility for it is based on knowledge and cognition. This is the summit of humility, with certainty of knowledge and cognition.”
Those are the ones who have cognized the greatness of God, and are in fear of losing the granted love and freedom.
Hope is knowledge and certainty in the grace and generosity of God, and His bestowing of mercy, favor and beneficence, and belief in God’s gifts and blessing.
Hazrat Ali-ibn Abutaleb (peace be upon him) has said: “Hope is the heart’s closeness to the Creator’s grace and its joy is the promise of union with Him.”
Zolnoun-al Mesri has said: “The Sufi becomes more humble each day, for each hour he is closer to the Beloved.” Whoever is aware and present in his heart is detached from outside, and his mental powers and senses are not distracted by superfluous actions during prayer.
– Sadegh ANGHA, Hazrat Shah Maghsoud, Al-Salat, the reality of Prayer in Islam, M.T.O. Shahmaghsoudi Publication®, Riverside, CA, USA, 1998, pp 5-8.