There are seven stages of Salaah, viz:
1. Salaah of the Body:
Salaah of the body is that all the Arkaan are meticulously conformed to, with relish and Shauq. The Faraa-idh, Wajibaat, Sunan, Mustahbbaat, Aadaab should be executed with the body in absolute humility and without any unnecessary movements. Qiyaam, Ruku, Qaumah, Sujood, Qaidah and even the Salaam should be performed with the body in such a manner that the body is totally in submission to Allah Azza Wajal.
The benefit of Salaah of the body is that the body will be trained to abstain from sin.
2. Salaah of the Nafs:
This stage is when the Salaah is performed in a manner that a person intentionally avoids any worldly thoughts. Just like a person should not scratch his body, so should he not scratch his brain and imagination, etc.
The benefit of Salaah of the nafs is that the nafs will dis-attach itself automatically from the love of the world. This person may be even a millionaire but his heart will be free from the negligible effects of wealth.
3. Salaah of the Heart:
Salaah of the heart means that a person avoids negligence. Hadhrat Rahmatullaahi Alayh said that if a person intentionally brings thoughts to his mind, he should punish his Nafs by repeating the Salaah. A Musalllee has a choice: He is either unmindful of negligence or he takes steps to avoid it.
The benefit of this little Mujaahadah is that the Nafs will avoid wrong worldly thoughts even when it is busy in its worldly affairs. The heart is trained in Salaah to avoid any and all forms of negligence.
4. Salaah of the Rooh:
The Salaah of the Rooh is a Salaah in which one only gazes at Allah Ta’ala. This Salaah prevents one from gazing at anything else.
The benefit of this Salaah is that one is trained NOT to gaze at any human for any benefit or to ward of any harm.
5. Salaah of the Sirr (inner self):
The Salaah of Sirr is that a person not only directs his gaze but he directs his thoughts only to Allah Ta’ala. Throughout the Salaah his Rooh cries out in bliss and yaad (remembrance) of his Rabb. Entertaining even a thought of a makhlooq is more repugnant to him then eating ghinzeer.
The benefit of this Salaah is that one is trained to immediately “connect” to Allah Ta’ala with the thoughts whether one is happy or grieved.
6. Salaah of Khafi (reality):
Salaah-e-Khafi means to perform the Salaah with total inaabat in body and soul. In this Salaah, a person has left the world, his family, his wealth, etc. He has returned to Allah Ta’ala in the condition of that of the day he was born.
The benefit of this Salaah is that a person’s soul is exposed to reality. There is no hindrance in his perception of reality and the realities cemented in him that everything is perishable. This stage propels him to Haqq and expels from him the delusions which spring forth from merely that which is visible. He sees what others see not. He hears what others hear not. He perceives what others perceive not. He feels what others feel not.
7. Salaah of Akhfaa (Spiritual vision):
This is a Salaah wherein a person “sees” Allah Ta’ala (Hadhith of Ihsaan). The person is gone for Me’raaj. This is the highest form and stage of Salaah. He is close to Allah Ta’ala by a span of a bow or two.
The delight of this Salaah is such that it cooled the eyes of Nabl Salallaahu Alayhi Wasallam.
The delight is such that Jannah pales into comparison.
Did Haji Imdaadulllah Saheb Rahmatullahi Alayh not say:
“If Allah Ta’ala asks me on the Day of Qiyaamah what I wish for, I will request a Musallaah to perform Salaah under His Arsh.” Subhanallah! Not Jannat, not Hoors, not delicious food or exquisite clothing —just a Musallah.
May Allah Ta’ala grant us the taufeeq to make Fikr of Salaah our biggest Fikr in Life. (Ameen)