Everlasting One, and for a moment of unending conversation, a few seconds of immortal life, he asks to receive the favours of the All-Merciful and Compassionate One’s mercy and the light of His guidance, which will strew light on his world and illuminate his future and bind up the wounds resulting from the departure and decline of all creatures and friends.
Temporarily man forgets the hidden world, which has forgotten him, and pours out his woes at the Court of Mercy with his weeping, and whatever happens, before sleeping –which resembles death– he performs his last duty of worship. And in order to close favourably the daily record of his actions, he rises to pray; that is to say, he rises to enter the presence of an Eternal Beloved and Worshipped One in place of all the mortal ones he loves, of an All-Powerful and Generous One in place of all the impotent creatures from which he begs, of an All-Compassionate Protector so as to be saved from the evil of the harmful beings before which he trembles.
He starts with the Sura al-Fatiha, that is, instead of praising and being obliged to defective, wanting creatures, for which they are not suited, he extols and offers praise to The Sustainer of All the Worlds, Who is Absolutely Perfect and Utterly Self-Sufficient and Most Compassionate and All-Generous. Then he progresses to the address: “You alone do we worship.” That is, despite his smallness, insignificance, and aloneness, through man’s connection with The Owner of the Day of Judgement, Who is the Sovereign of Pre-Eternity and Post-Eternity, he attains to a rank whereat he is an indulged guest in the universe and an important official. Through declaring: “You alone do we worship and from You alone do we seek help,” he presents to Him in the name of all creatures the worship and calls for assistance of the mighty congregation and huge community of the universe. Then through saying: “Guide us to the Straight Path,” he asks to be guided to the Straight Path, which leads to eternal happiness and is the luminous way.
And now, he thinks of the mightiness of the All-Glorious One, of Whom, like the sleeping plants and animals, the hidden suns and sober stars are all soldiers subjugated to His command, and lamps and servants in this guesthouse of the world, and uttering: “God is Most Great,” he bows down. Then he thinks of the great prostration of all creatures. That is, when, at the command of “Be!,” and it is,1 all the varieties of creatures each year and each century – even the earth, and the universe – each like a well-ordered army or an obedient soldier, is discharged from its duty, that is, when each is sent to the World of the Unseen, through the prostration of its decease and death with complete orderliness, it declares: “God is Most Great,” and bows down in prostration. Like they are raised to life, some in part and some the same, in the spring at an awakening and life-giving trumpet-blast from the command
Qur’an, 2:117, etc.