How Do Muslims Feel the Acts of Prayer?
Name of Questioner: Mark
Date: 6-5-2015 12:37:00 PM
What are the acts of prayer? How could one feel them?
Thank you very much for your question. It is our pleasure to answer it.
When the Adhan (call to Prayer) is proclaimed, it reminds one of the horrors of the Summons on the Day of Resurrection.
So, a Muslim has to spare no time in fully preparing to respond. Those who hasten to answer this call are the ones who will receive gentle summoning on the Day of the Great Review.
A Muslim should review his or her heart; if he or she finds it elated and eager to respond, they can expect the summons to bring them glad tidings on the Day of Judgment. That is why the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to address Bilal (may Allah be pleased with him) saying: "Delight us by the Prayer, O Bilal!" (Abu Dawud)
Performing the ritual cleansing (wudu or ghusl), makes a praying person sure to also tend to the cleanliness of their inner being, which lies at the heart of all these. In cleaning inner being, they should use in the place of water repentance and remorse for excesses, and a resolve not to perpetrate them in the future. Thus, cleansing the inner being is a priority, for it is the place where the Lord, Almighty Allah, will be looking.
Covering Private Parts
When in Prayer, a praying person should make sure that certain parts of their body are covered from the eyes of other humans. This should be attended by dealing with one’s internal shameful spots, those unworthy secrets of the soul that are beheld only by Allah the Almighty. One should beware of these faults and know that nothing will escape the sight of Allah the Almighty.
Facing the Qiblah
In this, one turns his face away from all other directions and set it toward the Ka`bah. Moreover, he or she should turn their heart away from everything else other than Allah the Almighty, directing it towards Allah the Almighty. This is the whole point of the practice!
This means holding oneself erect—in body and in spirit—in the presence of Allah the Almighty. The head which is the highest part of the body should be bowed down as a reminder of the need to keep the heart meek and humble, free of arrogance and pride.
When forming the intention, the Muslim should resolve to be responsive to Allah the Almighty by performing the Prayer in full conformity with His commands, by doing it properly, by avoiding things that invalidate or detract from its wholeness, and by doing all this for the sake of Allah alone, hoping for His reward and fearing His punishment, seeking His grace and favor by His leave.
When making takbir (Allah is Greatest), the heart must be inundated with the meaning of takbir. One should feel in the heart that nothing whatsoever is greater than Allah the Almighty.
Reciting the Quran
People fall in three categories when it comes to the Quran recitation: (a) those who move their tongues unconsciously (b) those who are conscious of the movement of the tongue, understanding the meaning while listening as if to a person outside themselves; this is the degree of `those on the right', (c) those who start from awareness of the meaning, then use the tongue to give expression to this inner consciousness.
Bowing (ruku`) indicates a renewed affirmation of the supreme greatness of Allah the Almighty. In bowing, the praying person confirms his submissiveness and humility, striving to refine his inner feelings through a fresh awareness of their own impotence and insignificance before the might and grandeur of their Lord, the Almighty. To confirm this, they seek the aid of their tongue, glorifying Allah the Almighty and testifying repeatedly to His Supreme Majesty. When raising from bowing, they become full of hope that He will be merciful towards them. Thus, they say: “Sami`a Allahu liman Hamidah” (Allah hears those who give thanks to Him." Acknowledging the need to express gratitude, you immediately add:”Rabbana wa laka Al-Hamd” (Grateful praise to You our Lord!)
Then the praying person goes down in prostration. This is the utmost point of submission, for when one prostrates one brings the highest part of their body—i.e. the face—down to meet the most lowly of all things, the dust of the earth. When one places oneself in this position of lowliness, he or she should be mindful of the fact that they belong to there, from dust they were created and to dust they will return. At the same time one should renew one’s inner awareness of Allah's majesty, repeating: "Subhana Rabbiya Al-`Azim” (Glory to my Lord Most High!)
Sitting and testifying
When the Muslim sits to make the testimony (Tashahhud), he should do so decorously. He declares that all the Prayers and good deeds he performs are for the sake of Allah the Almighty, and everything belongs to Him. Such is the meaning of at-Tahiyyat. He inwardly aware of the Prophet, and of his noble person, as he says: "Peace be upon you, O Prophet, as well as Allah's mercy and blessing." He understands that the Prophet will return an even more perfect greeting to him. Then he salutes himself and all Allah's righteous servants. Then he testifies to the Unity of Allah the Almighty, and to the mission of Prophet (peace be upon him).
End of Supplication
One has to be sure to supplicate at the end of the ritual Prayer and before Tasleem, imploring and entreating with meekness and humility, confidently hoping to be answered. It is advisable that one includes parents and the other believers in one’s supplications.
Finally, and with the intention of concluding the Prayer, one says Taslim (saying As-salamu a`alaykum to conclude the prayer) to the angels and the others present. It is a sense of gratitude to Allah the Almighty for having enabled him to complete this act of worship. It is like saying farewell to this Prayer, and that he may not live to make another one.
I hope this answers your question.