The Disciplines Of Tashahhud

It is stated in Misbāh ash-Sharī'ah that Imām as-Sādiq ('a) said: “The tashahhud is extolment of Allah, the Most High. So, be His servant in your inside and submit to Him in your act, as you are His servant in (your) saying and claim. Join the truthfulness of your tongue to the purity of the truthfulness of your inside, as He has created you a servant and ordered you to worship Him with your heart, tongue and organs, and to carry out your servitude by His being your Lord, believing that He has in His grip all the creatures; so, they take no breath nor a glance except by His power and will, and they are incapable of performing the least act in His Domain except by His permission and will. Allah, Almighty and Glorious, says:

And your Lord creates what He wills and chooses. They have not the choice. Glorified is Allah and Exalted above all that they associate (with Him).”1

So, be a thankful servant by act, as you are a remembering servant by word and claim. Join the truthfulness of your tongue to the purity of the truthfulness of your inside, for He has created you. He is High above being a volition and will to anybody except with His own prior volition and will. So, use servitude to be contented with His judgment, and use worship to perform His commands. He has ordered you to send blessing upon His Prophet (s).

So, join blessing Him to blessing him, and obeying Him to obeying him and testifying Him to testifying him. Take care not to miss the blessings of admitting his sanctity, in which case you will be deprived of the benefit of his blessings, as He ordered him to ask forgiveness for you and intercede for you, if you performed your duty concerning the obligatory and the forbidden acts, the laws and good manners, knowing his great position with Allah, Almighty, Most High.”23

There are, in this noble hadīth, hints at the cordial disciplines of worshippings and their truths and secrets, as he says that the ”tashahhud” is praising Allah, Almighty and Most High. Formerly, however, we have said that all worshippings in general are praising Allah, either by a Name or Names, by one of the manifestations or by the origin of the Ipseity [asl-i huwiyyat].

At the head of the disciplines he refers to the fact that since you apparently show servitude and claim to be a worshipper, in your secret you are also to be serving so that the secret cordial servitude may spread to the acts of the organs, and that the word and act be the plan of the secret and the inside, and the truth of servitude may spread through all the organs, internal and external, and each of the organs, may have a share of the tawhīd.

The tongue of the praiser of Allah conveys the praising to the heart, and the sincere and monotheist heart conveys the tawhīd and sincerity to the tongue. He seeks Lordship inside the truth of servitude, forsaking egotism and conveying Allah's divinity to the heart. He knows that the control of the servants is in the hands of Allah, the Exalted, that they have no power to breathe and to see except through the power and will of Allah, the Exalted, and that they are unable to do anything in the domain of Allah, however slight, except with the permission and will of His Holy Essence, as He has said:

And your Lord creates what He wills and chooses. They have not the choice. Glorified is Allah and Exalted above all that they associate (with Him)” (28:68).

On conveying this grace [latīfah] to the heart, your thanking Allah will be implemented and it will spread through your organs and acts. And, as the tongue and the heart should, in servitude, be coordinating, the truthfulness of the tongue and the purity of the secret of the heart should, in this unity of acts, be joined together, because Allah, Almighty and Most High, is the Creator and there is no effective factor but He, and all wills and volitions are shadows of His prior eternal will and volition.

After observing the disciplines of testifying to the Oneness and Divinity of Allah, one turns to the holy state of the absolute servant, Last of the Prophets, paying attention to the priority of the state of “servitude” to the state of “prophethood,” since the state of servitude is the preliminary to all the states of the sāliks, and the prophethood is a branch of servitude.

As the Final Messenger is a true servant annihilated in the Haqq (Allah), to obey him is to obey Allah, and testifying to his prophethood is connected to testifying to Allah's Oneness. The sālik servant should take care not to fall short of obeying the Messenger, as it is obeying Allah, lest he may be deprived of the blessings of worshipping, which is attainment to the Holy Court, with the help of the Absolute Guardian. And let him know that there will be no admission to the Holy Court and the place of intimacy without the help of the Patron, the Messenger of Allah (s).

  • 1. Sūrah al-Qasas 28:68.
  • 2. Misbāh ash-Sharī'ah, ch. 17, on ”The Tashahhud.”
  • 3.