It is said, “Prostration is the closest state of the servant to Allah.”
What is prostration, how is it the closest state to Allah?
It is also said, “There is no veil between the servant and Allah in the state of prostration” …
“In the state of prostration!”
On the day of resurrection at the place of gathering (mahshar) an announcement is going to made:
“Prostrate to Allah”
Some are going to prostrate and many are going to attempt to prostrate but are going to fail; they’re going to fall to the ground like a piece of wood! Their back is going to become straight almost like concrete! No matter how hard they try they are not going to be able to prostrate.
Just like in this world, some don’t prostrate simply because they don’t want to, and some want to but can’t!
There also those who “pray” and perform “Salat” but they don’t prostrate!
What does it mean to prostrate?
Prostrating to Allah means to comprehend and observe that there is no other existence besides the Absolute One.
It is to actively claim, “I don’t exist, only Allah exists”
The meaning of prostration is “Existence pertains solely to Allah, the Wahid al-Ahad.”
To be able to prostrate, not just with the body but with your consciousness, your spirit and entire being, you have to contemplate on the reality that the only existence is that of Allah’s, “we” don’t exist, nothing other than Allah exists.
By “we” I’m making a reference to the verse “Iyyaka nabudu”.
If you can achieve this state of conscious prostration then you will sit up and like the Rasul of Allah (saw) you will say:
“Waghfuanna, waghfirlana, warhamna” and add “wahdina” if you like!
After you say this, you will go down to perform your second prostration for being allowed to recognize the meaning of your first prostration, and again say, “Subhana Rabbial ala” or “subhanallahi wa bihamdihi” three times.
Thus, with this prostration of gratitude you will complete one rakah of your salat!
The first prostration is to recognize your inexistence and nothingness, the second prostration is to thank Allah for allowing you to see and experience this!
The reason why, after we recite the Quran in standing position and bow, we prostrate twice, is because with the first prostration we complete the rakah and with the second we thank Allah for allowing us to experience this completion.
This is the salat of the “hawass” (the exceptional ones) according to my understanding.
Beyond this is the salat of the “hassul hawass” (the exclusively exceptional ones) who have reached a state of ascension towards Allah, which is a constant state of salat experienced by the high ranked elevated saints.
1- Salat that is “performed” ...
2- Salat that is “experienced” ...
3- “Constant” salat...
What is constant salat?
I have stated that true salat is essentially one that is “experienced.”
If at the end of this experience one is able to perfect it with prostration, he can reach a state of elevation after which “ascension” (miraj) will take place.
“Ascension” is to observe Allah through the state of closeness so extreme such that anything more is unattainable (Kab-ı kavseyn or ev edna).
In other words, it is to reach a state of annihilation, as if the illusory ‘constructed’ identity has never been ‘constructed’ and only the sole presence of Allah the Everliving One with all His Names and Attributes is observed.
With the experience of ascension, one annihilates his illusory self and becomes everliving through the Divine Eternal One. The individual completely merges with and becomes the One, and continues his life in this state.
When people saw the Rasul of Allah (saw) they would say, “He is just like us, he too eats and drinks like us, he too walks through the market like us, what is his difference?” Yet he was the Rasul of Allah (saw) who had reached the state of ascension and was in a constant experience of the divine reality!
Those who look from the external level and see the ones who are in a constant state of salat think they are just like themselves, little do they know however, that in the guise of that being is only the manifestation of the Names of Allah, the Eternal One.
This is the state of those who “die before death” who experience doomsday at the level of consciousness and manifest the verse “to Him you shall return”, i.e. they return to Allah from whence they were created!
It is a state of completion, the return to the absolute source, Allah!
This is the constant salat experienced by the muqarriboon (those who have attained the state of divine closeness)!
I do not know how else I can explain this. It is something than can only be understood through experience. There is no other possible way to discern it.
So, this is salat, the second pillar of Islam!