"How to Tast the True Beauty of Salah" Part 4
So what really happens at “Allahu Akbar”?
Have you ever wondered why we start our prayer with “Allahu Akbar”? Why don’t we say Subhanallah”, for instance? “Allahu Akbar” is the key phrase because with it we affirm that Allah, before Whom we are about to stand, is greater than anything occupying us at that moment. He is greater than our job, greater than our business, greater than our sleep, our bills, our family and our children, greater than all that troubles or preoccupies us.
And why do we raise our hands with it? We raise our hands to throw all of that behind us. We raise our hands, as a gesture of complete surrender.
When one stands to pray Allah commands, “Raise the veils from between Me and my servant!” From the instant you proclaim “Allahu Akbar”, Allah now sets His Beautiful Glorious Face to yours ready and engaged, with you. And He doesn’t turn away from you… unless you do- That’s when either you turn away with your head/sight, or drift in heart and mind back to worldly matters. And if you turn or drift, He calls to you: “(you turn) To what is better than I??” and orders for the veils, to draw back down.
Upon “Allahu Akbar” and as we proceed to recite; any bad deeds committed by our faculties suddenly begin to float up… up until they reach our head and shoulders. Subsequently, with every Ruku (bow) and Sujood (prostration) we move to, these sins fall off and away, scattered and gone! (All the more reason for us to hold in those humbling positions longer before our Lord.)
Are you still drifting? This is why we repeat these great words, “Allahu Akbar” as we move to each position. It is a reminder, and a new chance to refocus.
Note: This series is a compilation of the Ramadan 2008 e-mail series, “Taste It!” by Mona Hubbi, which summarized the popular lectures “How to Taste the True Beauty of Salah” presented by Mishari Al Kharraz at the Grand Mosque of Kuwait- Summer 2008.