A Journey Beyond Our Limits
الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
“[All] praise is [due] to Allah, Lord of the worlds”
So with “Alhamdulillah”, we have affirmed Allah’s ultimate perfection and thanked Him for all that we are and all that He is. Now, most of us have received that Power Point email which zooms us out in powers of 10 from the cell world of a tiny plant leaf…all the way out to the planets, stars and galaxies that make up what lies beyond our planet earth, in this breathtaking universe! Now instead of starting out with that small leaf, start the zoom out process with the image of yourself as you stand before Allah in Salah. As you ponder over this image, think first of all of the physiological systems within your own body running in beautiful order to sustain you [blood system, immune system, nervous system, hormones, heart beats, respiration, firing neurons, skin cells, liver cells, spleen, kidneys, etc]. Move out now to what’s around you. The marvels of our plant world, the animal world, the seven seas, the insect world, the microbial world. Further out to what surrounds you. The miraculous precision of the planets and our sun - our solar system, our galaxy. Further out still to the infinite star constellations, nebulas, galaxies. Now what about the world of the unseen? The world of the angels, the jinn and whatever life that lies out there that we have not been able to reach.
This may not be the end of it, but we have reached the limits of our knowledge, so start zooming back down. Back through all of that and back to where you were standing in prayer. Would you say you’re just a speck in Allah’s canvas above? Nowhere even close.....You are no longer even visible in relation to the magnificent size of Allah’s universe! And imagine, this is just our heaven. The Quran tells us there are six more! And Allah presides above all of that! And He is The One and Only, orchestrating the perfect order and function of it all!
How do you feel now as you stand before Him, praising Him and speaking to Him? How do you feel now being answered by Him as you recite every ayah? Do you still have it in you to defy some of His commands? Can you imagine yourself ever daring to commit another wrong against such Majesty and Might? Against such Omnipotence and such Sovereignty? How about against such Love? How much love must He have for us to select us out, given our insignificance in the canvas of His creation, for this beautiful exchange and these beautiful terms of endearment that are in Salah?
After all, He has blessed us with the ability to answer the call to prayer and stand before Him. That’s an honor unlike any other! How can we not give our best? Can we ever turn our backs on prayer again knowing we are missing out on such a privilege!?
The Prophet tries to help us understand the Grandeur before which we stand... He says that the foot of Allah’s Throne [al-Kursi] extends over the heavens and the earth. And the seven heavens in comparison to Allah’s Kursi, is like a small ring cast in the spans of a desert! And The Kursi, in comparison to the Throne itself, is a measure like it!
The next time you stand for prayer, view yourself from above and far away, so you can truly taste the meanings behind “Rabbil Aalameen” [Lord of the worlds!]