Delicacies And Secrets Of The Rukū, Sujūd And Their Cordial Disciplines

It is stated in Misbāh ash-Sharī'ah that as-Sādiq ('a) said: “No servant bows in the rukū' for Allah, in a true way, unless Allah adorns him with the light of His Brilliance, and shades him with the shade of His Majesty, and clothes him with the gown of His chosen friends. The rukū' is first and the sujūd is second. The one who performed the first is fit for the second. The rukū' is politeness, and the sujūd is proximity.

So, the one who is not well-mannered, is unfit for proximity. Therefore, perform the rukū' like the one who is submitting to Allah with his heart, humble and afraid under His Sovereignty, drooping to Him his limbs like the one who is afraid and grieved for what one loses of the benefit of those who perform the rukū'. It is narrated that ar-Rabī' ibn Khuthaym used to keep indulged in a single rukū' all the night till dawn.

In the morning he would raise his head and say: 'Oh, the sincere ones have passed us and we are left behind.' Complete your rukū' by levelling your back, and rebuke yourself for being vigilant in serving Him except with His help. Protect your heart against Satan's whispers, deceits and traps. Allah, the Exalted, raises His servants as much as they show humility to Him, and He guides them to the principles of humility and submission as much as His Greatness knows of their secrets.”1

This noble hadīth contains signs, good tidings, disciplines and instructions, as “adorning” with the “light of Allah's Brilliance,” being under the “shade of Allah's Majesty” and wearing the “gown of Allah's chosen ones” are good tidings of attaining to the state of learning the Names:

And He taught Adam all the names.”2

Of that state is the taking of the state of attributive annihilation and the state of wakefulness, because Allah's adorning the servant with the state of “the light of His Brilliance” means taking him to the state of Names, which is the reality of teaching man. Taking him under the shade and shadow of “Majesty,” which is of the Names of Power, and placing him in His Court, refer to annihilating the servant of himself.

After this state, clothing him in “the gown of the chosen ones” is survival after annihilation. From this it is realized that the sujūd is self-annihilation, as is said by the people of knowledge. The rukū' is first, and it is these states, and the sujūd is second, which is nothing but the state of annihilation in the Essence.

It is also realized that the Absolute Proximity, which happens in the sujūd, is not accessible except through the true rukū'. Whoever wants to be fit for the second, must acquire the discipline of the rukū' and its proximity.

After stating the delicacies and secrets of the rukū' and sujūd, he refers to their hearty disciplines to suit the middle class. These are among the general matters, which we have referred to in the Preliminaries; and some of them belong to rukū'. Now, as most of these things have already been stated, we leave out further explanation.

Concerning Raising the Head from the Rukū

Its secret is the return from wuqūf (standing) in the multiplicity of names, as it is said: “The perfect monotheism is the negation of ascribing attributes to Him,”3 because after the awakening from the annihilation in the Names [fanā'-i asmā'ī], the sālik servant witnesses his failure and shortcoming, since the beginning of Man's sin which is to be compensated for by his offspring is the inclination toward the multiplicities of names, which is the inside of the “tree.”

Having understood the sin of himself, who is Adam's offspring, and the sin of Adam, who is his origin, he would recognize his state of humility and need, and get ready to remove the sin by way of behaving with humility in 'the presence of Allah's Majesty. He would then stand erect out of this state, and with the takbīr after the rukū' he would remove the multiplicities of names, and, empty-handed, he would comprehend the state of humility, helplessness and the earthly origin.

The important discipline in this respect is to find out the state's great significance, and to have the heart to taste it through complete remembrance, and strive to attend [tawajjuh] to His Essence, forsaking attending [tawajjuh] to oneself, even to one's state of humility.

Know, dear, that complete remembrance of the Haqq (Allah), and absolute turning, with the inside of the heart, to the Holy Essence, will open the heart's internal eye, through which meeting Allah the pleasure of the eyes of the walīs [awliyā'] takes place:

And those who strive hard for Us, We will most certainly guide them in our ways.”4

  • 1. Misbāh ash-Sharī'ah, p. 12; Bihār al-Anwār, vol. 89, p. 108. 
  • 2. Sūrah al-Baqarah 2:31.
  • 3. Usūl al-Kāfī, vol. 1, p. 191, “The Book of Monotheism,” ch. on “General Hadīths on Monotheism,” hadīth 6.
  • 4. Sūrah al-'Ankabūt 29:69.