The Meaning of the Sighting of the Exalted Creator
Source: Ain-al-Hayat, By: Allama Muhammad Baqir Majlisi
We must know that the sighting of the Exalted Creator is of two types, namely, 1) sighting with the eyes and 2) sighting with the heart. In the view of the devout persons sighting through the heart is more important than sighting with the eyes. It must be your experience that many a time the eye can make a mistake about the object sighted. For example from a fast moving carriage one gets the illusion that the trees are fast running in the opposite direction. This, as you know, is contrary to the fact. But, in the case of sighting through the heart there will not be any element of error.
Someone asked Amir’ul-Mu’mineen ‘Ali (as) if he has sighted Allah whom he worshipped. He replied, “If I had not seen Him, I would never have worshipped Him. But I have not seen Allah with these eyes because they have no such faculty. I have witnessed Allah with the eyes of my heart and the firmness of my Faith in Him.”
Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (as) was asked by someone, “O son of the Prophet! How to create khudu wa khushu (humility and fear of Allah) in prayer?”
The Imam (as) replied, “During prayer keep your eyes focused on the point where you prostrate with your forehead.”
Again someone asked the Imam (as) the same question and he told him that during the prayer he should have the thought in his mind that he might die immediately after the prayer.
After some more days another person asked the Imam the same question. The Imam said that during the prayer the person should concentrate on the thought that he is witnessing Allah; but since Allah does not have any physical appearance, He cannot be seen with the eyes. The thought must be there during the prayer that Allah is looking at the worshipper.
A thought comes to the mind that the Holy Imam (as), instead of giving three different replies, could have given only one reply, which he thought was the best. But this thinking is wrong. As a matter of fact, the Imam was replying to every individual keeping his capability in mind. The reply given to the third and the last person is for the knowledgeable, and the most knowledgeable are the Infallible members of the Prophet’s progeny. They are on record praying to Allah thus, “We have not been able to justify Your Mystic knowledge.