Sunday, August 28, 2005

How to pray well—Hatim al-Asamm explains... (SunniPath)

How to pray well—Hatim al-Asamm explains...

Abu Nu`aym relates in Hilyat al-Awliya [8.74], with his chain of transmission to Rabah ibn al-Harawi:

Isam ibn Yusuf passed by Hatim al-Asamm—one of the great early masters of the spiritual path—while he was speaking to a gathering. Isam said, “O Hatim! Do you pray well?” Hatim replied, “Yes.”

Isam asked him, “How do you pray?”

Hatim responded,

I fulfill the Divine Command;

I walk with reverent awe;

I enter the prayer with intention;

I give the opening takbir with magnification of Allah;

I recite the Qur’an in a distinct and measured recitation, with reflection;

I bow with reverence;

I prostrate with humility;

I sit for the tashahhud completely;

I give salams according to the proper way and sunna.

Then I consign the prayer to Allah (Mighty and Majestic) with sincerity. And I return to myself in fear, fearing that the prayer will not be accepted of me. I hold fast to this way with resolve, until death.”

Isam said, “You can teach, for you indeed pray well.”

And Allah alone gives success.

Translated by Faraz Rabbani

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