Khushoo in Salaah

By far, one of the most challenging topics I’ve written so far, not becuase the topic was tough but mainly because of the Satan’s waswasa. He was whispering “You, hypocrite, you don’t have khushoo in every salah, its not a regular feature, then why are you preaching/advising others about the same?” I had to tell him “I’m trying to obtain khushoo and I hope inshaAllah others would try too after reading this piece, so shooooo!!”

So, here it is:

When I was given this topic, I started mentally rewinding all the series and lectures, books or articles I had heard/read about khushoo and its importance in salah. However, what I soon realized was that it didn’t matter how much I read or how many lectures I listened to, the effect of having khushoo only lasted for a few prayers and was not a consistent element in my salah.

For those who are not really sure what khushoo is, its most often translated as sincerity and concentration during salah, where you focus only on speaking with your Creator and not getting distracted by worldly affairs.

A famous speaker portrayed a very powerful and beautiful definition of khushoo. He said khushoo is a feeling when your limbs and mind become numb, when you can’t think or hear about anything else around you because you are standing in front of the King, the Master and speaking to Him. He referred to this numbness as something similar to what students would go through if they were summoned in front of the Principal’s office: the fear in their hearts and the numbness that engulfs their mind for a split second.

Sadly, there have been instances when I rush through the salah and sometimes even forget if I am praying the 3rd rakat or the 4th one! In trying to figure out where I was going wrong repeatedly, I narrowed down on the following points, which I hope would helps you to develop khushoo when you pray next time, insha’Allah.

1. Get into the groove even before prayer begins: Imagine how we would plan for a meeting or an interview. We would begin with checking if we are dressed properly, if our papers are ready and if we have perfected our speech. We would probably even repeat the speech many times over to make ourselves look prepared and confident.

Imagine the amount of pre preparation we should undergo in order to talk in front of the Lord of the Heavens and the Earth! So, in order to focus in salah, let us prepare even before we actually start praying.

Condition your mind and nafs to get into the groove by:

· Repeating after the adhaan

· Reciting the dua after adhaan

· Doing wudhoo with concentration

· Dressing nicely! (You are presenting yourself in front of your Lord, remember?)

· And, most importantly, pray on TIME.

2. Learn something new: Try learning a new short surah, or maybe even a few lines from a long surah. Recite the same after fatiha. This way you are automatically forced to concentrate on reciting something new. In turn, you will be keeping your heart and mind vigilant. This is an extremely powerful tool to prevent your mind from wandering away into thinking about other inconsequential matters while praying.

3. Don’t steal while praying: 

Abu Qutaadah (may Allah subhaana wa ta’aala be pleased with him) said: “The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said: ‘The worst type of thief is the one who steals from his prayer.’ He said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, how can a person steal from his prayer?’ He said, ‘By not doing rukoo’ and sujood properly.’” [1]

When treating salah as a boring form of physical movement, we tend to rush through to get over with it! But, we lose the blessings of performing salah here. While performing sujood, spend a couple of minutes extra to make dua. Bow your heart along with your body and submit to the Highest Power. Allow humility and peace to enter your heart and mind while praying rather than being worried about what meal to prepare.

While getting up from sujood, sit up straight and then go back into sujood position slowly, rather than slamming your forehead to the ground in quick succession. Feel relaxed and allow each bone in your body to feel at ease.

Salah gives you a free ticket to talk to the King of Heavens and the Earth, acknowledge the fact that it is a graceful and powerful meeting!

4. Learn the language: Well, the main reason why most of us find it difficult to concentrate in salah is because we fail to realize the magnanimity of the occasion, fail to realize whom we are speaking to and in most cases, don’t even understand what we are reciting because most of us are not native Arabs.

The best way to develop khushoo is to learn the language. If you don’t find time or means to learn Arabic, you can start by learning the meaning of the surahs that you generally recite during prayer. Try listening to the tafseers of those surahs and you will automatically realize the beauty of each letter mentioned in the Holy Book, helping you concentrate on every single word being uttered in salah, making you crave for more, insha’Allah.

5. Perfect your relationship with Allah : Allah says,

“… and establish prayer for My remembrance” [Surah Taha 20:14]

This is the Lord, the All Mighty, All Powerful asking us to pray so that we remember Him. Is there any instant when we forget our own families or kids? Now, how is it that we forget the Creator, the one who created our families and kids?

You might be wondering why I am talking about perfecting our relationship with Allah subhaana wa ta’aala on the same lines as that of khushoo. Ever noticed how close we get with friends when we get to know them better? A phone call or an online chat with them becomes more important than anything else. Imagine how much more engrossed we would be if we could develop the same kind of relationship (if not more) with our Lord ?

Our Rabb provides even after our disobedience, He loves us more than our own mothers do, He descends down during the last part of the night waiting to see if His slaves ask anything from Him, so isn’t it time we perfect our relationship with Him?

Understanding and allowing His Mercy and Love to enter our hearts will make our hearts humble, filling it with unimaginable love, automatically making us yearn for more chances to speak to the King, the All Merciful and Oft Forgiving, with complete concentration!

Start thinking about Allah subhaana wa ta’aala throughout the day and it will be easier to talk to Him when you are given 5 chances to do so. Take the first step, and He will come running towards you!

6. Defeat Satan: 

“Then I (Satan) will come to them from before them and from behind them and on their right and on their left, and You will not find most of them grateful [to You].” [Surah Al-A’raf 7:17]

Satan has promised to annoy us and take us away from the straight path. We are given a challenge here to submit ourselves to our Lord and not let the Satan win. Salah is probably the most perfect time for Satan to distract us and he does end up succeeding on more occasions than one. Suddenly, an unfinished work seems more important and his whispers start getting louder. Crush the satanic whispers from within.

Stay away from haram, do not waste ‘free’ time, read beneficial books and do not make your mind a piece of meat for the Satan to devour upon. Keep Satan at bay when you are not praying and you will automatically be successful in cutting out his whispers while praying insha’Allah.

7. Diversify your dua list: Most of the time, we end up asking the same set of duas with an added ‘demand’ here and there according to the situation we are in. Notice how we always have something new and exciting to share with our friends everyday? But, why is it that we tell the same stuff everyday to our Lord? Speak to Him with zeal, enthusiasm and humility. Start diversifying your dua list. Increase your time in sujood and make dua, don’t rush to finish tasleem and walk out. Ask dua constantly to increase khushoo levels.

Want to be successful? Here’s how: “Certainly will the believers have succeeded: They who are during their prayer humbly submissive (khaashi’oon)” [Surah Al-Mu’minun 23: 1-2]

In the above verses, Allah subhaana wa ta’aala says those who have attained khushoo (khaashi’oon) are indeed successful. He doesn’t call them religious, He calls them successful. Notice the choice of words here?

When you manage to discipline your nafs, mind and heart in front of the Highest Power, it becomes easy to discipline yourself within the boundaries of Islam while dealing with worldly matters too, making you successful here and in the hereafter!

Know that you’ve experienced a small percentage of khushoo when:

· You can only hear the words which you are uttering to our Lord,

· When external noises are muted,

· When every single worry in your heart ceases to exist,

· When the beauty of Allah’s Mercy and the magnanimity of talking to Him subhaana wa ta’aala fills your heart with awe, so much so that you don’t want to complete your prayer and let the beautiful meeting end,

· When your limbs get soaked in numbness,

· When you feel sad that your meeting and one-on-one conversation with Allah subhaana wa ta’aala is coming to an end during the last rakat,

· And, when you cry (without feeling embarrassed that someone might see you), making you yearn for the next salah!

May Allah subhaana wa ta’aala make us of those who are successful. May Allah subhaana wa ta’aala make us of those who are the chosen ones in His eyes. May Allah subhaana wa ta’aala allow our hearts to taste the sweetness and beauty of this blessed religion. May Allah subhaana wa ta’aala make us of those who develop khushoo in every single prayer we are allowed to perform until our last breath! Ameen.

Reference: 1. Reported by Ahmad and al-Haakim, 1/229; Saheeh al-Jaami’, 997.

Originally published in Habibi Halaqas: http://www.habibihalaqas.org/2012/05/khushoo-in-salaah.html

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About Nasmira

Asalamualaikum !! =) A proud Hijabi, Writer, Nutritionist, Artist.. Click the link below and take a sneak peek into my world! =)
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12 Responses to Khushoo in Salaah

  1. x@hu says:

    Masha Allah, excellent points! :) I already read this on Habibi Halaqas, but then it made me all depressed because Khushoo and I always play hide and seek :(

    I’ll have to say that diversifying the dua and surah list is the key. Otherwise everything’s on auto-pilot and the mind is in la-la land. Sometimes I really envy those who have the entire Qur’an to choose from. And what do we have? Ikhlas, Kauthar and Asr on constant loop! *shame face*

    • Nasmira says:

      Khushoo I believe, is not that easy to attain and it depends on the amount of sa’iyyat and hasanat we load in our account. I was even more guilty while writing the post but that again could be because of shaitan’s waswasa. When we acknowledge that we aren’t fulfilling our acts of worship properly, that could be a sign of eemaan in our hearts, so our hearts aren’t completely dead yet, alhamdulillah.
      In fact, more than memorizing new surahs, even listening to tafseers of the ones we know adds a lot of weight to our concentration.
      Mind being in auto pilot mode: I couldn’t have said it better myself! subhanAllah!!

  2. CommonMuslim says:

    Mashallah. May Allah bless you with 10 times of reward you gain on this post. ameen.
    I couldn’t agree more on the learning the language part. Its very easy and mathematical to learn.
    “…allowing His Mercy and Love to enter our hearts will make our hearts humble, filling it with unimaginable love…” is very true. Every spiritual act/intention starts from the heart. Its highly necessary to fill it with powerful light of mercy and blessings. We deliberately avoid this situation, just to be among those who continue enjoy following desires; or, Its the fear satan inculcates in us that we have to abandon all the fun and take a black & white path (or similar ways) when we submit to Allah; indeed the one who enjoys His Mercy get addicted to the tranquility within and is always ready and eager to meet his Lord.

    • Nasmira says:

      mashaAllah!! That was an excellent comment from you akhi!
      That’s true, taking the first step is hard and sticking on to it is even harder, but more the effort, more the blessings.May Allah swt make us of those!
      Ameen to your dua!

  3. safdarprime says:

    the ayah from surah al’araaf, i desperately needed it right now.

  4. Assalamualaykum wr wb sis,
    Wonderful post, mashaAllah! Loved the way you’ve ended it. The points under “Know that you’ve experienced a small percentage of khushoo when:” were very much needed!! JazakAlalhu Khayran! :D

  5. ummkhaleel says:

    Masha’Allah well written sis! The points that you gave sounds easy but difficult to implement :( (no, not your fault it’s difficult to implement!) Sigh – this is still a jihad for me but I’m going to work on the pointers listed above insha’Allah! :)

    • Nasmira says:

      Alhamdulillah! Do let me know if you found it helpful sis!
      From what I’ve seen…its easy to implement but difficult to stick to…khushoo depends on the hasanat and sayyi’at and our eemaan levels and every other thing combined…so definitely the biggest struggle to stay focussed while praying..but inshaAllah..may Allah (swt) make us of the khashioon…Ameen :)

  6. Ashraf says:

    As Salamu ‘Alaikum,

    In my opinion, first we need to build the Yaqeen on the Kalima. If this becomes easy, everything becomes easy.

    To bring the Ihsan in our ibadah is very difficult, I was reading a book ‘Shairah and Tariqa’ by Ml. Zakriya; when I read about the Ihsan of Sahabas – I got inspired and surprised.

    IHSAN is “It is to worship Allah as though you see Him, and though you do not see Him, you know that He sees you.”

    • Nasmira says:

      Wa alaikum salaam wr wb!
      Thanks for dropping by and sharing some gems.
      That’s an excellent point you’ve made..when the foundation is strong.. everything else will automatically fall in place, subhanAllah.

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