Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) wrote the following:
In the name of ALLAH, The Beneficient, The Merciful,
May the prayer and the salutations be upon our Master Muhammad, his family and his companions,
Here is some general advice for all the brothers from the poor servant of ALLAH The Most High, Ahmed ibn Mohamed Tidjani el Hassani, may ALLAH grant him his kindness and grace in both abodes,
May the prayer, the peace and the mercy of ALLAH be upon you.
Know that, may ALLAH have mercy upon you, know that man was only created in this world to adore ALLAH (The Glorified, The Exalted) and fulfil His commandments and abandon that which He forbids. Indeed the faithful fulfilment of the commandments of ALLAH The Most High, and respect for His Law are part of the most essential obligation and the greatest orientation towards ALLAH (The Glorified, The Exalted). This was decreed by both the Divine Station and the Prophetic Law.
Indeed, ALLAH (The Glorified, The Exalted) said: “And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” (Sourate 51, verse 56)
And ALLAH (The Glorified, The Exalted) said: “Did I not enjoin upon you, O children of Adam, that you not worship Satan - [for] indeed, he is to you a clear enemy - And that you worship [only] Me? This is a straight path.”(Sourate 36, verses 60 and 61)
And ALLAH (The Glorified, The Exalted) said: “Indeed this, your religion, is one religion, and I am your Lord, so worship Me.”(Sourate 21, verse 92)
And ALLAH (The Glorified, The Exalted) said: “And obey Allah and the Messenger that you may obtain mercy.”(Sourate 3, verse 132)
And ALLAH (The Glorified, The Exalted) said: “These are the limits [set by] Allah , and whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger will be admitted by Him to gardens [in Paradise] under which rivers flow, abiding eternally therein; and that is the great attainment. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger and transgresses His limits - He will put him into the Fire to abide eternally therein, and he will have a humiliating punishment.”(Sourate 4, verses 13 and 14)
And other verses on this subject.
The most important commandment of ALLAH (The Glorified, The Exalted) is that you must maintain the five prayers respecting all the rules, requirements and obligations. This is laid out in the Imams books. Upholding their well-known conditions and perfecting the renowned obligations, and also giving the necessary weight to good posture both when bowing and prostrating as was prescribed by the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) in the following authentic words: “[…] then you bow until you become peacefully still in your bowing position, then you rise and stand up straight. Then you prostrate until you are peacefully still in your prostration and then you rise and sit up straight. Then you prostrate until you are peacefully still in your prostration. » Then he says: “Do likewise for the rest of the prayer.””
Be extremely careful not to fall into the error into which people fall due to the lack of attention regarding the perfection of their prayer. Indeed, they peck like a cockerel pecking seeds and this invalidates their prayer as explained by the authentic prophetic words about the man who conducted himself in this way and to whom he said: “Go back and pray because you have not prayed.” He had prayed three times with the same attitude that is to say in a hurry to perform his bow and his prostration, and the fourth time, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) taught him the way to proceed mentioned previously.
Certainly, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: « Pray as you have seen me praying. » He assumed an attitude of perfect calm when bowing and prostrating. According to the Law, this state of tranquillity is defined as the fact of being immobile and not agitated: that is to say that when a person is bowing or prostrating, when he reaches the bowing or the prostrating position, he should relax in this position for as long as it takes to recite distinctively three formulas of glorification and no less.
This is the minimum required for this attitude of calmness. Whosoever reduces this, will have corrupted his prayer. It is to this that refers the information stipulating that when a person concludes his prayer, an angel catches it and rolls it up as we would roll up clothing of someone and hit him on the face.
The Law requires that a person does for his prayer what he does for his sleep: that is to say, when sleep overcomes him, he hastens to sleep and abandons all other activities. Then he sinks peacefully into sleep without any rush to diminish it or to wake up. This is how a person should pray. He should conduct himself regarding the prayer by weighing the weight of its accomplishment, giving himself entirely to it, abandoning all that distracts him from it, and then he should perform it respecting all the aforementioned conditions.
As for he who accomplishes the prayer in a hurry, without caring about the calm immobility in his bowing and prostration in the way that we have explained, his prayer will not be accepted. It is to this that refers the prophetic words stipulating that the first thing that ALLAH will observe among the servant’s deeds is his prayer. If his prayer is accepted, then all other deeds will be taken into consideration, and if his prayer is not accepted, then ALLAH will take none of his deeds into consideration.
Then, to accomplish the prayer, it is essential to perfect the state of ritual purification: that of the body, the clothes and the place. The servant should learn the rules concerning purification by the perfect washing of the limbs for the minor ablutions (udhu) and for the whole body for the major ablutions (ghusl). Indeed, these days, most people overlook the washing of their limbs for purification and do not seek to perfect it. Consequently, their prayer is invalid. We can notice this when observing people during the minor ablutions. There is no doubt that he who corrupts his purification has also corrupted his prayer.
Similarly, if a person does not achieve perfect peace when bowing and prostrating, who does not perfect his posture when rising from the bow, or who does not perfect his sitting posture between the two prostrations, then his prayer will be invalidated. Therefore, beware of falling into anything that could degrade the validity of the prayer, because, without doubt, prayer is to faith and the deeds of faith what the spirit is to the body. Thus, if there is the spirit then there is life in the body, but if the spirit disappears then life will also disappear.
Then, after the prayer, one should maintain the accomplishment of the fast of the month of Ramadan, fulfilling all the conditions of the fast, and taking care not to break the fast with unlawful foods because it is an offense to the Religion.
I advise you to uphold the five prayers in congregation, under the condition that the Imam perfects his bow and his prostration as we have seen previously. Otherwise, it is not authorized to pray behind him. I also enjoin you to perfect your learning of the Fatiha el Kitab, reciting it properly in the prayer in the way that it was revealed without “cheating”, and certainly, the Fatiha is to the prayer what the supporting pillar is to the house, so take care of it.
You should maintain the fulfilment of the Zakat with the outmost care. You must respect all its rules as well as bringing together all its (necessary) conditions, and complying with the rates defined in the detailed books of jurisprudence[…]”
End of the first part. To be followed.
Zaouiya Tidjaniya El Kubra d’Europe