Sunday, September 20, 2015

How to develop Khushoo in Salah

Khushoo can be translated as humility and devotion in prayer.  It is also often translated as sincerity and concentration during Salah. It means wholeheartedly fighting off any distractions or insinuating thoughts (waswaas) that enters our minds when we should be entirely focused on worshiping Allah.

Uthman bin 'Affan reported: I heard Messenger of Allah (SAW) saying, “When the time for a prescribed Salat is due and a Muslim performs its Wudu' and its acts of bowing and prostration properly with khushoo, this Salat will be an expiation for his past sins, so long as he does not commit major sins, and this applies for ever.”  Reported by Muslim, Riyad as-Salihin, Book 9, Hadith 1046

When Iblis, the enemy of Allah, vowed to mislead and tempt the sons of Adam (peace be upon him) he said, “Then I will come upon them from their front side and from their behind, and from their right and from their left. You will not find most of them grateful.(7:17)

The Shaytan is our enemy, and one of the aspects of his enmity is his whispering insinuating thoughts (waswaas) to the worshiper at prayer so as to take away his khushoo, confuse him in his prayer, cause him to lose the reward for it and deprive him of the joy of worship.

Allah say’s in the Quran: “Success is really attained by the believers. Who concentrate their attention in humbleness when offering Salah (prayers)” (23:1-2)

The reward recorded is in proportion to the degree of khushoo. Narrated by Ammar b. Yasir said: I heard the apostle of Allah (SAW) say: “A man returns after saying his prayer while a tenth part of his prayer, or a ninth part, or an eight part, or a seventh part, or a sixth part, or a fifth part, or a third part, or half of it, is recorded for him.” Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 2, Hadith 789

Ibnul Quyyim (Allah have mercy upon him) who is known to be the ‘spiritual’ heart doctor said, explaining the difference between the Khushoo of true faith and the Khushoo of hypocrisy, “The Khushoo’ of true faith is when the heart feels aware and humble before the greatness and glory of Allah, and is filled with awe, fear and shyness, so that the heart is utterly humbled before Allah and broken, as it were, with fear, shyness, love and the recognition of the blessings of Allah and its own sins. So no doubt the Khushoo of the heart is followed by the Khushoo of the body. As for the Khushoo of hypocrisy, it is something that is put on with a great show, but there is no Khushoo in the heart.”

Allah says in the Quran, “And seek help in patience and As-Salat (the prayer) and truly it is extremely heavy and hard except for Al-Khashi'un” (2:45)

Here are a few tips to gain Khushoo:

Prepare Yourself
  • Repeat the words of the Muaddhin during the Adhan
  • Say the dua after the Adhan
  • Perform proper Wudu with care
  • Wear nice and clean clothes, you are presenting yourself in front of your Creator
  • Cover your awrah properly
  • Go early if you can
  • If you need to answer the call of nature, get that done
  • If you are hungry and food is ready, eat first and do not rush
  • If you are extremely tired, get some rest first
  • Move calmly to the place of prayer
  • Ensure that the place of prayer is clean and tidy
  • Use a simple prayer mat without prints or designs
  • Pray (if possible) with a sutrah in front of you
  • Avoid places where there is a lot of noise or distractions

During your Salah
  • Recite in proper order in a distinct and measured tone - And recite the Qur’an clearly with tartil (73:4). Narrated Al-Bara' ibn Azib: The Prophet said: Beautify the Qur'an with your voices. Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 8, Hadith 1463
  • Pause at the end of each ayah
  • Reflect upon the meanings of the words which are related to the prayer
  • Keep your gaze at the place of prostration
  • Do not steal from your Salah, move at a measured pace during prayer
  • Do not yawn
  • Remember death and what awaits us after death
  • Pray with Ihsaan, you are speaking to your Lord
  • Pray As If It's Your Last Prayer

Additional Tips
  • Learn to recite with proper tajweed
  • Try to learn and recite various surahs, adhkaar and duas recited in prayer
  • Do not being excessively occupied with the affairs of the world
  • Try not to be distracted, by sights, sounds or thoughts and minimize any likelihood of disturbance
  • Do not recite in a way that you disturb others in Salah
  • Be humble at the Masjid, you are there to pray Salah, not pick a fight
  • Be patient with other
  • If you are forgetful at anytime during your Salah, do Sajda al-sahw (two prostrations of forgetfulness)

The one who prays with khushoo will feel lighter at the end of his prayer, as if his burdens have been lifted and he is refreshed.

Narrated Jubair bin Nufair:  .. The first knowledge to be removed from the people will be Khushoo
Jami at-Tirmidhi, Vol. 5, Book 39, Hadith 2653

It was narrated from Anas that: The Prophet (SAW) used to say in his supplication: “Allahumma inni a'udhu bika min 'ilmin la yanfa'u, wa qalbin la yakhsha'u, wa du'a'in la yasma'u, wa nafsin la tashba'u. 

(O Allah, I seek refuge with You from knowledge that is of no benefit, a heart that has no khushoo, a supplication that is not heard and a soul that is not satisfied.)”

Then he would say: 'Allahumma inni a'udhu bika min ha'ula'il-arba' (O Allah, I seek refuge with You from these four.)'" Sunan an-Nasa'i, Vol. 6, Book 50, Hadith 5472

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