a gift to the Undying All-Beauteous One, the Enduring All-Glorious One the blessed salutations and benedictions of all creatures. And through greeting God’s Most Noble Messenger, he renews his allegiance to him and proclaims his obedience to his commands. In order to renew and illuminate his faith, he observes the wise order in this palace of the universe and testifies to the unity of the All-Glorious Maker. And he testifies to the Messengership of Muhammad the Arabian (Peace and blessings be upon him), who is the herald of the sovereignty of God’s dominicality, the proclaimer of those things pleasing to Him, and the interpreter of the signs and verses of the book of the universe. To perform the Maghrib prayer is this. So how can someone be considered a human being who does not understand what a fine and pure duty is the prayer at sunset, what an exalted and pleasurable act of service, what an agreeable and pleasing act of worship, what a serious matter, and what an unending conversation and permanent happiness it is in this transient guesthouse?
At the time of ‘Isha at nightfall, the last traces of the day remaining on the horizon disappear, and the world of night enfolds the universe. As the All-Powerful and Glorious One, The Changer of Night and Day, turns the white page of day into the black page of night through the mighty disposals of His dominicality, it recalls the Divine activities of that All-Wise One of Perfection, The Subduer of the Sun and the Moon, turning the green-adorned page of summer into the frigid white page of winter. And with the remaining works of the departed being erased from this world with the passing of time, it recalls the Divine acts of The Creator and Life and Death in their passage to another, quite different world. It is a time that calls to mind the disposals of The Creator of the Heavens and the Earth’s awesomeness and the manifestations of His beauty in the utter destruction of this narrow, fleeting, and lowly world, the terrible death-agonies of its decease, and in the unfolding of the broad, eternal, and majestic world of the hereafter. And the universe’s Owner, its True Disposer, its True Beloved and Object of Worship can only be the One Who with ease turns night into day, winter into spring, and this world into the hereafter like the pages of a book; Who writes and erases them, and changes them.
Thus, at nightfall, man’s spirit, which is infinitely impotent and weak, and infinitely poor and needy, and plunged into the infinite darkness of the future, and tossed around amid innumerable events, performs the ‘Isha prayer, which has this meaning: like Abraham man says: “I love not those that set,”1 and through the prayers seeks refuge at the Court of an Undying Object of Worship, an Eternal Beloved One, and in this transient world and fleeting life and dark world and black future he supplicates an Enduring,