Meaning And Effect Of Testifying To The Tawhīd And The Messengership (Of The Prophet)
Know that testifying to the Oneness (of Allah) and to Prophethood in the adhān and iqāmah which belong to the salāt and prepare the situation to enter in it and in the tashahhud which is going out of annihilation [fanā'] to subsistance [baqa'], and out of unity [wahdat] to multiplicity [kathrat], at the end of the salāt remind the sālik servant of the fact that the reality of the salāt is the taking place of the real Unity [tawhīd], and that testifying to the Oneness (of Allah) is of the inclusive states, which accompany the sālik from the beginning of the salāt till its end. There is also in it the secret of the “Firstness” and “Lastness” of Allah, the Glorified and Most High. Further, there is the great secret of the sālik's journey from Allah to Allah:
“…as He created you at first, so shall you return.”1
Therefore, the sālik must pay attention to this object at all states, bringing the truth of Allah's Oneness and Divinity to his heart, making it a divine ascending journey so that his testimonies may become real and purified from hypocrisy and polytheism.
In testifying to the Prophethood there may be a hint at the fact that the support of the Absolute Guardian and the Seal of the Prophets in this mi'rāj of behavior [mi'rāj-i sulūkī] is of the inclusive states, to which the sālik must pay attention in all states, so that the secret of the appearance of the “firstness” and the “lastness,” which are of the states of guardianship, becomes clear to the worthy people.
It must be noted that there is a difference between the shahādah (testifying) at the beginning of the salāt and the testifying in the tashahhud, because the former is a testimony before the sulūk, a devotional [ta'abbudī] or a contemplative [ta'aqqulī] testimony, whereas the latter is after the return, and it is either a realizational [tahaqquqī] or a confirmative [tamakkunī] testimony. So, the testimony in the tashahhud is of great danger, because it includes the claim of realization [tahaqquq] and confirmation [tamakkun], and of returning to multiplicity unveiled.
And as this lofty state is not possible for persons like us, nor is it expected under our present condition, behaving ourselves in the presence of the Creator is to remember our shortcomings, humility, failure, inability and distress, and, in a state of shamefulness, we are to face the Holy threshold and plead:
O Allah! Of the states of the holy men [awliyā'], the steps [madārij] of the Chosen [asfiyā'], the perfection of the sincere and the sulūk of the sāliks we have no share but a few words. Instead of striving for high states we are satisfied with idle talk, of which there avails nothing in quality nor in spirituality. O Lord! Loving this world and its attractions bars us from the Holy Court and the presence of your intimacy, unless you, with your hidden kindness help us, the helpless, so as to make up for what has passed, that we may rise from our sleep of negligence and find our way to Your Holy Presence.
- 1. Sūrah al-A'rāf 7:29.