Today, Friday prayers are literally designed to drive people away from the mosque!
The Friday salats that were originally two rakahs in the times of the Rasul of Allah (saw) have been increased to twenty rakahs by those who are unconscious of the reality! Add to that the long sermons that don't even serve the purpose of religion, you have a perfect method to make people flee from the mosque!
In the times of the Rasul (saw) after the iqama, the second call to salat would be made, after which the Rasul would go to the khutbah and deliver the new revelations or make explanations on previous revelations. After this two rakahs of salat would be performed and the Friday prayer would end.
All additional rakahs other than the two original rakahs have been made up later and they are not in any way based on the Quran or the teachings of the Rasul of Allah (saw)!
In fact, the advice of the Rasul of Allah (saw) “Keep the sermon short, the salat long” has been totally reversed the other way.
The sermons have been turned into long and irrelevant self-gratification talks and the salat itself has been reduced to only the recital of a few verses.
Additionally, how one ties his hands or places them when sitting, how one dresses besides the minimum amount that must be covered has NOTHING to do with whether or not ones salat is accepted. All of the conditions that have been enforced in this regard have been made up later based on narrow-minded perception.
The warning “He who turns his face away from my sunnah…” has nothing to do with the customs and cultural practices of those days, it has nothing to do with how one sits or stands or how one dresses. But it has everything to do with the TEACHINGS of the Rasul of Allah (saw) regarding the PRINCIPLES OF FAITH!
There is detailed explanation on what the word ‘sunnah’ means in my book “READ” for those who are interested.
Religion and religious values comprise timeless realities in the sight of Allah called sunnah. In order to make it easier for the people to understand these absolute timeless realities and shape their lives accordingly they have been exemplified as sunnah.
On the other hand, claims such as “If other thoughts appear during salat then your salat is not accepted” is complete nonsense. Of course, other thoughts may appear, and your salat is still accepted regardless!
Even if one gets distracted while reciting the verses the positive energy produced from the recital of these verses is still uploaded to the spirit via the brain. For the circuits in the brain are active simultaneously and each fulfill their own purpose. Unfortunately, we aren’t even aware of most of the functions of the brain. But the fact that we don't know does not change anything in terms of its execution.
We know that while we drive our car we can also listen to the radio, watch the road, converse with others in the car and digest our food all at the same time! All of this and more is organized by the brain!
This is why the energy accrued from the verses that are recited during salat is uploaded to the spirit whether you are aware of it or not, allowing you to stock life energy and information needed in the afterlife while you are in this world.
This is the aspect of salat that is beneficial to everyone.
Besides this, there is a group of people referred to as the “hawass” who examine the teachings of Sufism in depth. The hawass experience salat.
In order to experience salat one must first understand the meaning of the name Allah.
The common people who don't give much thought to the inner meanings of these teachings translate the word of unity as “There are no other gods besides Allah, Allah is the only God”!
With this primitive understanding there is always a god to blame, and the reality of Allah is never recognized. Duality remains; Allah becomes a name given to a god, and Muhammad (saw) is appointed ambassador to Allah. This is the understanding of the common.
As for the deeper meaning of the word of unity perceived by the hawass:
La ilaha illa Allah means “There is no other existence besides Allah”!
As I have explained in Muhammad’s Allah, this perception requires the comprehension of the UNITY of existence and hence the non-existence of the illusory self. This is the understanding of the hawass…
If you recognize the non-existence of your illusory self and that the only reason you think it exists is because of your conditioning then you will conceive the reality that there is only Allah in every iota of existence.
The meaning of the verse: “So wherever you turn, there is the Face of Allah (you are face to face with the manifestation of Allah’s Names)” will become apparent to you…
All forms of duality will be removed: all concepts of bad, enemy, ugly etc. will diminish, only beauty and perfection will remain, each with their specific purpose…
This is the perception of the hawass that enables the experience of salat…
The important point here is that the consciousness that allows this experience is first formed outside of salat, then continues in the form of salat.
The experience one has at this level when they proclaim “Allahu Akbar” in order to commence salat is inexplicable. Here are some verses that point to this truth:
“So, woe to those who pray (out of custom),
Who are heedless (cocooned) of (the experience of the meaning of) their salat (which is an ascension [miraj] to their innermost essential reality; their Rabb).”