Reciting the Basmalah and the Fatiha (the opening chapter of the Quran), in the upright position, is the act of attesting to the truth that ‘uprightness’ is only possible and appropriate when applied as the vicegerent of Allah. To not read these verses is a form of associating partnership with Allah (shirk), where one runs the risk of indirectly associating his own being as a partner to Allah.

Contrarily, prostration is the renunciation of the self and the declaration of “I am not, You are!”

‘Bowing’ then is the middle point of both positions and it is the declaration “I know that I am naught, I know intellectually that I’m inexistent and that only You exist, but this knowledge isn’t sufficient to eliminate my identity and enable me to have a practical experience of this reality, due to this, I ask for your forgiveness…”

The knowledge of Unity (wahdat) was not imparted to previous communities; this higher reality was exposed to Muhammad’s community (to the people of today). This being said, it was also conspicuous that not everyone will achieve the exuberant experience of true prostration. Hence, out of compassion, bowing was given as an alternative so that those who may not be able to experience the reality of prostration can at least bow down in humility, and intellectually accept their nothingness.

At the state of closeness to Allah, when the disclosure of divine attributes takes place during prostration, any wish is Allah’s command. As;

“Indeed, Our word to a thing when We intend it to be, is to say ‘Be,’ and it is.” (Quran 16:40)

Since this is the case, let us turn to Allah.

Let us pray to be protected from the Antichrist of the illusory self and the captivity of our fake identity. Let’s ask to be bestowed with the enlightenment of His Reality and Unity. And whatever state or addiction may be impeding our spiritual growth let’s genuinely ‘want’ to be freed from its enslavement, so that we may finally rise in consciousness and Unite with the One.

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