In Which Category Do You Belong?
Ibn al-Qayyim (raḥimahullāh) described ṣalāh as the scale by which you can measure yourself. Ṣalāh is a measure of your progress in your journey to Allah (subḥānahū wa taʿālā), measuring whether you lag behind or are far into your journey on this path to Him. It is a guage of your īmān and your honesty with Him.
1. Will Be Punished
• He is negligent in his wuḍū and the prescribed times
• He is negligent in the limits and essential pillars of the prayer
2. Will Be Held Accountable
• He safeguards the times, limits, outward pillars and wuḍū
• However, he is distracted by the devils’ whispers
3. Will Be Forgiven
• He upholds the limits and essential pillars
• In ṣalāh, he is in a constant battle with the devils, trying to ward off their whispers.
4. Will Be Rewarded
• He stands in prayer, perfecting its rights, limits and pillars
• His heart is engrossed in safeguarding its limits and rules. His focus remains fully on performing the prayer as it ought to be, completely and perfectly.
5. Will Be Close To His Lord
• He stands in prayer and establishes it as the fourth does, but along with this, he places his heart before his Lord. In this state, he beholds his Lord – ever vigilant before Him, filled with His love and glory – as if, seeing Him, he is physically present before Him.
• Therefore, the distractions and the whispers vanish, as the veil is lifted between him and his Lord.
The difference between this person in his prayer and everyone else is as vast as the distance between the heaven and the earth, for he is occupied solely with his Lord, in which he finds his source of sheer delight.