How to pray well — Hatim al-Asamm explains…

Abu Nu`aym relates in Hilyat al-Awliya [8.74], with his chain of transmission to Rabah ibn al-Harawi:

Isam ibn Yusuf passed by Hatim al-Asamm — one of the great early
masters of the spiritual path — while he was speaking to a gathering.
Isam said, “O Hatim! Do you pray well?” Hatim replied, “Yes.”

Isam asked him, “How do you pray?”

Hatim responded,

I fulfill the Divine Command;

I walk with reverent awe;

I enter the prayer with intention;

I give the opening takbir with magnification of Allah;

I recite the Qur”an in a distinct and measured recitation, with reflection;

I bow with reverence;

I prostrate with humility;

I sit for the tashahhud completely;

I give salams according to the proper way and sunna.

Then I consign the prayer to Allah (Mighty and Majestic) with
sincerity. And I return to myself in fear, fearing that the prayer will
not be accepted of me. I hold fast to this way with resolve, until
death.”

Isam said, “You can teach, for you indeed pray well.”

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