Level of Prayer…where do we stand? Monday, Jun 30 2008 

Ibn al-Qayyim (رحمالله) said:
And mankind, with regard to their performance of prayer are in five levels:

The First: The level of the one who is negligent and wrongs his soul: He is the one who falls short in performing wudu properly, performing the prayer upon its time and within its specified limits, and in fulfilling its essential pillars.

The Second: The one who guards his prayers upon their proper times and within their specified limits,
fulfills their essential pillars and performs his wudoo with care. However, his striving (in achieving the above) is wasted due whisperings in his prayer so he is taken away by thoughts and ideas.

The Third: The one who guards his prayers within the specified limits, fulfills their essential pillars
and strives with himself to repel the whisperings, thoughts and ideas. He is busy struggling against
his enemy (shaytaan) so that he does not steal from the prayer. On account of this he is engaged in
(both) prayer and jihad.

The Fourth: The one who stands for the prayer, completes and perfects its due rights, its essential pillars,
performs it within its specified limits and his heart becomes engrossed in safeguarding its rights and specified limits, so that nothing is wasted from it. His whole concern is directed towards its establishment, its completion and its perfection, as it should be. His heart is immersed in the prayer and in enslavement to his Lord the Exalted.

The Fifth: The one who stands for the prayer like the one mentioned above. However, on top of this, he has taken and placed his heart in front of his Lord (عز وجل), looking towards Him with his heart with anticipation, (his heart) filled with His Love and His might, as if he sees and witnesses Allah. The whisperings, thoughts and ideas have vanished and the coverings which are between him and his Lord are raised. What is between this person and others with respect to the prayer, is superior and greater than what is between the heavens and the earth. This person is busy with his Lord (عز وجل), delighted with Him.

The First type will be punished,
the second type will be held to account,
the third will have his sins and shortcomings expiated,
the fourth will be rewarded and
the fifth will be close to his Lord, because he will receive the portion of the
one who makes his prayer the delight and pleasure of his eye. Whoever makes his prayer,the delight and pleasure of his eye, will have the nearness to his Lord (عز وجل) made the delight and pleasure of his eye in the hereafter. He will also be made a pleasure to the eye in this world since whoever makes Allah the pleasure of his eye in this world, every other eye will become delighted and pleased with him.

So, what level are you?
Source: Excerpted from Ibn al-Qayyim’s book al-Wabil al-Sayyib

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Still Alive! Monday, Jun 30 2008 

Yes I am! Those who were wondering what happened…well I went to visit home, the H-town…i.e. Houston!! Can u believe it, I went there after 1.5 years!!!

It was a very nice trip. Originally I went there for 2 weeks but ended up staying for 4 weeks instead. I must say that once anyone had the opportunity to live in Houston no other place, at least in US, can be as enjoyable. One thing both me and my husband agreed on is that if our move to over-seas doesn’t work out, we are definitely going back to Houston inshaAllah!

My elder brother, with his family, joined me in Houston from Saudi. It was fun and kids had a blast with their cousins. My mother, of course, treasured every moment with her children and grand-children. The toughest moment for me was to leave my mother when I was coming back.

My brother flew with me along with his family and stayed here for 10 days. We were touring outside most of the days.  The next day after my brother left, Allah azzawajal blessed us with more guests. They stayed with us until Sunday.

So, today was my first “normal” day! I think me and kids will take this whole week to get back on schedule and get over all the tiredness.