Today’s pace of life has created an imbalance in many people’s priorities, especially in diminishing spiritual fulfilment. Seldom do we find contentment or a sense of purpose in our daily routine; Masjid’s are running on the hollowness of its congregations, homes have become dry of personal uplift – thisv is due to a distinct lack of understanding of what our prayer means and what it demands of us.
Prayer is a fundamental act of worship every Muslim strives to prefect, and it is the first thing about which Allah will question mankind on the Day of Judgment. It is the domain of tranquillity for the devote and the coolness of their eyes. It is the garden of the worshipers, and the test of the sincere ones. It is truly a divine Mercy that Allah has gifted His believing servants with, honoured and dignified them to seek His nearness through it.
Imam Ibn Qayyim’s ‘Asrar al-Salah’ is from among powerfully inspiring works that take the reader through a vivid journey of the stages of prayer and their profound spiritual significance – combined with the physical actions that symbolise submission, surrender and humility to Allah. The author identifies impediments to achieving khushu’ in prayer, and beautifully explains some profound benefits and wisdom behind actions performed therein and the words proscribed. He also adds a concise note on the psychological effect of listening to the magnificence of the Qur’an and strikes a comparison with music and its depravity and decadence.
The rich literary style used by Ibn Qayyim itself is a delight to behold – and the translator has successfully maintained some of that imagery in the translation. This work will provide the reader with a unique insight into the prayer and its inner dimensions. It will be a truly uplifting experience that will reflect in the refreshing new light we see our prayer. Lackluster attitudes will be eliminated, especially of those who see prayer as a mere ritual of releasing themselves from its obligation, and will enliven us to become more careful and attentive within it.