Salaam and Greetings of Peace:
Try this. Look up at the star filled night sky and say “Allah!”
Don’t ask for anything. It is not a prayer in the usual sense. It is simply invoking the name of God with reverence, out of the quiet blessing of being allowed this miracle of life. So what happens? To me, a calmness comes over my mind and body, as if peaceful endorphins are suffusing my being. And it is not only the uttering of the Name that does it. If you look at a ground when saying it, the effect is not the same.
It is the upward glance, the raising of our eyes to the starry heavens that gives one a sense of the vastness and eternity that is God. This upward glance is perhaps a selfish one, a wanting to know God is watching over you, and that you can call to him as the Friend, though He does not answer in voice. Yet, it never fails to fill me with hope, and is part of what I had in mind when writing the Intention post.
Now consider the prostration of prayer. How low do you bow your forehead to the ground?
You may think that everyone bows equally low, as all foreheads touch the ground. But do you bow as low as the Prophet (pbuh)? Or Moses, or Jesus (the peace and blessings of God be upon them)
Lately I have been considering the Prophetic Bow. What causes them to be worthy of God speaking to them and allowing them to actually see Him? And all I can see as the difference between them and you and me is the quality of their intention through their character. Mercy, kindness, compassion, honesty, generosity, fairness, and love, and the greatest of these is love, which encompasses all the other qualities. Out of love, we are merciful, kind, compassionate, honest, generous, and fair. The more one has these noble traits of character, the closer one is to God-awareness. Perhaps that is the difference in our prostration and theirs. The more we are ruled by our self-absorbed nafs, the harder it is to prostrate completely in submission.
There is a story of the great Hasidic Rabbi, Yisroel ben Eliezer, the Baal Shem Tov. Somebody asked him, “Why does nobody seem to see God anymore?” To which he replied, “Because there is nobody left who can bow that low…”
Allah knows the Truth.