“They (the believers) are in the experience of duly observing Allah in their prayer (salat).”
AWE is what one feels when they recognize the grandeur of Allah and the non-existence of their illusory identity in the sight of this infinite supremacy!
Those who can’t sufficiently comprehend the meaning of these verses make nonsensical claims like, “Your salat is not accepted because you can’t cleanse yourself from the world and connect to Allah while praying". The truth couldn’t be further from this. Even if salat is performed at the most basic level, it is sufficient to protect you from eternal suffering in the afterlife.
If you don't reach the experience of awe, your salat will not become an experience of ascension, you will not experience uniting with Allah, but it is still salat and equips you with the energy you need in the afterlife.
There are two purposes behind religious recommendations:
- To protect one from various forms of suffering in the afterlife
- To unite with Allah while living in this world
These are two different things and should not be confused.
Salat without awe is not ascension but it will still protect one from the suffering of the afterlife.
To make this an excuse and say “since I can’t perform salat at the level of ascension I may as well not do it at all” is the greatest ignorance, deprivation and deception!
It is not any different to saying “I can’t eat a cheesecake so I may as well not eat anything and starve to death!”
Now let us talk a little more on the experience of salat:
We say “Allahu Akbar” when we begin salat and raise our hands while in an upright position so that our hands and feet face the front. It does not matter how high you raise your hands and whether or not it touches your ears, as long as your hands are raised parallel to the body and the palms are facing the front. The meaning of this is I have pushed to the back and removed all of the veils between me and Allah!
The purpose of saying the Takbir, i.e., “Allahu Akbar” is to re-affirm the reality that Allah possesses such infinite knowledge and power that there is nothing outside this eternal existence.
So, imagine you begin your salat with this consciousness… With the consciousness of the oneness and greatness of Allah, the knowing that it is only Allah who is present in every cell, atom and subatomic particle comprising the universe…
Thus, the experience of salat begins…
“Certainly, I have turned my face (my consciousness) cleansed from the concept of a deity (Hanif), toward the Fatir (He who creates everything programmed according to its purpose) who created the heavens and the earth, and I am not of the dualists.”
Say, “Indeed my salat (prayer, introspection), my practices (to attain closeness to Allah), my life and everything I am to live through my death, is for Allah, the Rabb of the worlds (they are for the manifestation of the qualities pertaining to Allah’s Names).
“The concept of duality cannot be conceived in regards to HU! I have been commanded thusly; I am the leader of those who experience submission!”
Then you recite “Subhanaka wa bihamdika” to certify that every iota of existence is engaged in the taspih of Allah, that He is free from all concepts of inadequacy, that everything He does is perfect and everything He created is for the purpose of displaying perfection…
You confirm that Allah alone best comprehends and evaluates Himself for there is nothing other than Allah to perceive and comprehend Allah! To exalt something, one must first recognize and understand it. Hence it is impossible for us to evaluate and exalt Allah…
In fact, our very attempt to do so is to attribute inadequacy to Allah!
In reality only and only Allah can know, understand and evaluate Himself, this is the meaning of “hamd”!
After this you say “Audhu billahi minash shaytanirrajeem” to seek refuge in Allah from all misleading thoughts and delusive ideas generated by the jinn…
“B’ismi Allah ar-Rahman ar-Rahim”
By the one who is denoted by the name Allah (who created my being with His Names in accord with the meaning of the letter ‘B’), the Rahman, the Rahim.
And while apparently this is being recited through your tongue, in actuality it is Allah who is confirming this through you!
Allah, through your tongue, confirms the reality that it is He who is the creator and the Rabb of the worlds, that it is He alone who administers the worlds with His infinite power and knowledge!
Hence, with the recognition of your non-existence your illusory self is removed, whereby only Allah remains and manifests His meanings through you!