Takbirat ul Ihram and the Invocation of Attention
When the worshipper finishes with his purification, Adhan and Iqamah and prepares himself for the adoration of his Lord, by saying “Allahu Akbar”- an element of Salat, he imposes on himself its prohibitions. That is, till he does not terminate his prayers with the salam, he prohibits certain things for himself, among them being turning away his attention from Allah the Almighty.
And as Takbirat ul Ihram marks the commencement of prayers, the worshipper while reciting it, should at least intend that whatever he will do during the performance of this action, will be only and only for the obedience of Allah.
Insofar as he continues with this intention in his prayers and does not divert his concentration from it, he will find the reality of prayers and realise the worship of Allah the Almighty in himself. In fact, this only is the spirit and substance of prayers.
Before uttering the Takbirat ul Ihram, it is worthy that he recites the invocation of attention (doa-e-tawajjoh) which, in the narration of Abdullah Ibn Jafar Himyari (received in the tawqee’ of Imam of the Time (May God hasten his re-appearence) is as follows:
وَجَّهْتُ وَجْهِيَ لِلَّذِي فَطَرَ السَّمواتِ وَ الأَرْضَ حَنِيفاً مُسْلِماً عَلى مِلَّةِ إِبْراهِيمَ وَ دِينِ مُحَمَّدٍ وَ هُدى أَمِيرِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ. وَمَا أَنَا مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ. إِنَّ صَلاَتِي وَ نُسُكِي وَ مَحْيَايَ وَ مَمَاتِي لِلّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ. لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ. وَ بِذلِكَ أَمِرْتُ. وَ اَنَا مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ. اَللّهُمَّ اجْعَلْنِي مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ.
“I turn my face towards the One Who has created the heavens and the earth, being upright and submissive, on the nation of Ibrahim and the nation of Muhammad and the guidance of Amir al Mu’minin. And I am not of the polytheists. Surely, my prayers, my sacrifice, my life and my death are (only) for Allah, the Lord of the worlds. There is no partner unto Him. And thus have I been commanded. And I am from those who submit. O Allah! Make me from those who submit.”1
How great it is if somebody utters these words, synchronizes his heart with his tongue, and gives his words a practical shape in its truest sense, really turns his heart towards Allah, and removes all other thoughts from his mind.
Yes! How good indeed is the servant who, at any given moment of his life, does not do anything or commit any deed against the wishes of his Master and Lord and even goes to the extent of dying in His cause. If at all he does commit some sin or transgression, he immediately begs Him for forgiveness and seeks His refuge.
May Allah make us, and all the friends of the Ahlul Bayt (‘a), from those who submit to His wishes and may He not turn His attention away from us even for a moment.
- 1. al Ihtijaj, vol. 2, p.7; Wasa’il al shia, vol. 6, p.25