Part 15 - In Preparation for the Greatest Pillar of Salah
The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wassalla said, “Allah does not look to a servant’s Salah if he does not straighten (upright) his back between his rukuu and sujood.” Therefore, that motionless, peaceful calm maintained in the other parts of Salah must be especially maintained here as well… allowing for the bones to return to their joints, for he also told us that “The worst thief is the one who steals from his Salah” (by rushing through it). The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wassallam used to stand in this part of the prayer a length equal to that of his rukuu’.
But as we rise for this stand, this time it is not “Allahu Akbar” that we call out, but instead, “Sami’a-Allahu liman hamidah” (May Allah answer he who praises him).Why?
Remember what we said? That any duaa/request made before The King is only proper and acceptable when preceded by praise and much extolling, right? Just as the Fatiha starts out with praise before the greatest duaa is made (Ihdina-Sirat-Al-Mustaqeem), the same holds true here. For we are about to enter upon the greatest pillar of Salah the Sujood! In which we will be the closest we can ever be to Allah! And during which, the duaas/supplications, are always answered!
“Sami’a-Allahu liman hamidah” therefore, signals us to praise Allah much before we are to make our duaas when in Sujood. And so what do we say upon that signal, once we have risen? We begin our praise: “Rabbana walaka-alhamd “ (Our Lord, for You is all praise!). We can add, “hamdan katheeran tayyiban mubarakan feeh!” (..An abundant beautiful blessed praise!).
The Prophet was once leading in prayer. When he said “Sami’a-Allahu-liman hamidah”, one of the companions behind him added the above extension, “hamdan katheeran tayyiban mubarakan feeh!”. When the prayer was finished, the Prophet sallallahu alaihe wassallam turned to his companions and asked, “Which one of you just said those words?” And the man replied “Me, ya Rasulallah.” The Prophet commended, “I just saw thirty something angels racing which of them will write it first!”
The variety of sayings available to us helps us to regularly renew our focus in Salah, for better concentration.
Let us praise and praise, and praise some more. We will never be able to praise Our Lord enough… For no one can ever praise Allah the complete praise justly due to Him, save for one... Do you know who that one is? It is Allah Himself! Only He can praise Himself the complete due praise! For there are attributes and qualities belonging to Allah that we cannot even imagine nor have they been revealed to us or to any other creation! Attributes, the knowledge of which lies with Him alone, A Magnificence completely beyond our scope!