Contributed by Jameel Kermalli,
It is said that The Commander of the Faithful, ‘Ali (AS) used to writhe and tremble when it was time for the Prayer. Asked once about his uncommon state, he said:
The time has come for the trust which Allah, the Exalted, offered to the heavens, the earth and the mountains, but they refused to carry it and were afraid of it.
(Mustadrak Al-Wasa’il, Book of Prayer, Chapter 2, Tradition 14)
This is in direct reference to the following verse of The Qur’an:
Verily, We offered the trust to the Heavens, the earth and the mountains, but they refused to bear it, and were afraid thereof, and man undertook it. Verily he was (proved) unjust, ignorant.
(Qur’an – Chapter 33, Verse 72)
Whenever the Infallible (AS) used to stand before Allah (SWT) in Prayer, their limbs trembled, and because of the intensity of fear, even the number of their breaths could be counted. They used to become restless as if bitten by a snake, and Prayer was offered as though there would never be another chance to offer another Prayer.
Muhammad, son of Ya’qub, quoting Al-Sadiq (AS) in Furu’ Al-Kafi, Volume 3, Page 300, Tradition 4 says:
My father used to say, when ‘Ali, son of Al-Husayn (AS) used to stand for the Prayer, he looked like a trunk of a tree, nothing of which would move unless the wind would move it.
In Al-’Ilal, Aban ibn Taghlib, quoting Muhammad, son of ‘Ali ibn Al-Husayn:
I said to Al-Sadiq (AS): ‘I noticed that when ‘Ali, son of Al-Husayn (AS) stood for the Prayer, his color changed.’ He said to me: By Allah (SWT), ‘Ali ibn Al-Husayn knew before whom he was standing.
(Wasa’ilush-Shi’ah, Volume 4, Page 685, Chapter 2, Tradition 4)
This is an excellent precedent for us from the Infallible (AS) whose every word and action were in accordance with the pleasure of the Almighty. It is truly meritorious to be able to convince yourself that the Prayer you will be offering may be your last one and that you may not have a chance to say another Prayer. This behavior can be maintained only in pious people, and piety and the fear of Allah (SWT) are the two qualities you should endeavor to possess.
In ‘Uddatud-Da`I, it is stated:
The imploring moaning of Ibrahim (AS) used to be heard from a mile’s distance, such that Allah (SWT) praised him by saying: ‘Ibrahim was mild, imploring, penitent’.
When performing his Prayer, a sound of fizz like that of a boiler was heard coming from his chest. A similar sound was also heard from the chest of our Prophet (S). Fatimah (AS) used to pant in the Prayer because of her fear of Allah (SWT).
(Mustadrak Al-Wasa’il, Chapter 2, Tradition 15)