The second pillar of Islam after the ‘Word of Unity’ which I have explained in detail in Muhammad’s Allah, is ascension!
After witnessing and confirming with the word of unity the Oneness of Allah, one must ascend to and unite with Allah.
This is why the second pillar of Islam is “ascension.”
You may say, “The second pillar of Islam is salat, how can it be ascension?”
Simply because salat is ascension!
The Rasul of Allah (saw) says,
“Salat is the ascension of the believer.”
The whole purpose of salat is to experience ascension through consciousness, via the vehicle of salat!
Here are the five spiritual goals behind the five ‘physical’ pillars of Islam:
- The word of unity: To know Allah
- Salat: To unite with Allah
- Fasting: To experience your nothingness in the sight of Allah (fanafillah)
- Hajj (pilgrimage): To gain gnosis (bakabillah)
- Zakat (alms giving) To share with others the blessings received by Allah.
I wanted to take this opportunity to draw your attention to an important topic that is often overlooked…
There are specific practices that have been recommended to us by the Rasul of Allah (saw) as the requisites of the System and Order called religion.
However, we know that there is a purpose behind every practice. The question, “Why am I doing this?” is an inquiry into the purpose of the practice.
But there is a means of fulfilling every purpose.
We must realize that all of the recommended practices are a means to an end!
The ‘means’ that we’ve been notified of as the Pillars of Faith are for the purpose of preparing us for the eternal afterlife!
Yet sadly the masses have taken the means as the purpose! The actual purpose is totally overlooked! Their brains have been blocked with the means, unable to understand the purpose behind them…
Here I’m reminded of the words of Yunus Emre:
“The reality is an ocean, shariah is a boat;
Many do not dive into the ocean from this boat!”
That is, many are so occupied with the means that they don't reach the purpose!
I repeat, every means is for a purpose!
All of the practices recommended as the Pillars of Islam, are simply tools and techniques to enable us to reach a particular outcome!
This is why while we engage in these practices, we must always be cognizant of the purpose behind them!
Some may say, “The reason why we do these is to fulfill the orders of Allah, that is the purpose!”
If it were that simple, the Quran would have consisted only of 5-10 commands without addressing the human intellect!
“Will you still not contemplate?”
“Will you still not use your intellect?”
“Will you still not observe with insight?”
There would be no need for these and some 6300 other verses!
This is why while we duly engage in the recommended practices we must understand and reach the objective behind it!
The physical application of salat is also one of these tools and must be fulfilled with the consciousness of reaching its designated purpose!
The Rasul of Allah (saw) says,
“Salat is the pole (true north) of religion”
What does this mean?
While a very small minority of the people lived in houses built with mud-bricks in those days, the great majority lived in tents… Tents have a main central pole and just as that pole holds the tent up, he exemplified, salat is like the pole of one’s faith and religion!
So long as one does not experience salat as an ascension, he cannot truly testify the “Word of Unity” that he utters and therefore cannot live by it. He cannot go further than the level of knowledge!
Certainty through knowledge (ilm al-yakeen) is to understand the secret behind the Word of Testimony. Certainty through observation (ayn al-yakeen) is the ascension aspect of salat! Certainty through experience (haqq al-yakeen) is fasting… Until this point it is fanafillah… Baqabillah is giving alms (zakah)!
Perhaps you’re going to find this strange and maybe even refuse to accept it because nobody ever explained it like this before… But I caution you my friend, do not do wrong to yourself by refusing this knowledge!
With certainty through knowledge, one testifies to the Oneness of Allah, and that Muhammad (saw) is the Rasul and servant of Allah through knowledge…
As a result of this testimony, if he performs his salat based on this knowledge then ascension will begin to take place…
As a result of this ascension, he will unite with Allah!
And as a result of this, his constructed identity, his illusory self will dissolve and only the ONE will remain!