98:5-6 They were commanded only to worship God, purify the religion for Him as unswerving ones, and to perform the prayer and pay the alms tax; that is the enduring religion.
In this verse, God commands the servants to worship and to have self-purification in worship. Self-purification in worship does the work of color in jewels. A jewel without color is a worthless stone. Worship without self-purification is to knock oneself out without reward. Self-purification is a fire lit up in the faithful person’s breast such that everything less than the Real that enters the breast is burnt away. With the rope of self-purification, his hands are tied back from forbidden things, so he touches nothing but the licit. He does not look upon others with the eyes and does not think about this world and the afterworld in the breast. The strength of appetite acquiesces to him. The purifier is he in whom his own soul is bewildered. He has bid farewell to avarice, and niggardliness has been put to flight. The root of envy has been pulled out of his breast, and he is a brother to the world’s people. He has put pride out of his head, donned the clothing of humility, and loosed the tongue of good advice. The rose of tenderness has bloomed and the causes of dispersion have left his road. When his feet reach this point, he has reached the top of the road of self-purification.
One of the pillars of worship is to perform the obligatory and recommended acts, as He says: “And to perform the prayer and pay the alms tax; that is the enduring religion.” The lasting religion is that they should put the prayer on its feet at the proper time. They should perform the stipulations and pillars. They should have humility and humbleness in their hearts: those who are humble in their prayers [23:2]. They should keep God’s gaze before their eyes, for “The praying person is whispering with his Lord.” At the time of the takbīr, he should turn his face to the world of magnificence. He should give flight to Satan with the words, “I seek refuge in God.” He should hunt auspiciousness and blessing with the net of in the name of God. He should make the Surah al-Fātiḥa the key to good things. By reciting the surah He should take on the conduct of the angels.
In the row of the prayer, he should remember the rows of the folk of limpidness. In the bowing, he should be reverent, in the prostration reach the place of witnessing, and in the bearing witness, He should contemplate the Real. He should send the ease of blessings to the spirit of the Prophet, and with his own greeting of peace make people safe from his trial. Someone who prays like this is following the Messenger, and prayer like this demands to be accepted. Its result is the approval of the forgiving Lord. “God approves of them, and they approve of Him. That is for him who fears his Lord” [98:8].