“Certainly will the believers have succeeded: They who are during their prayer humbly submissive.” (Al-Muminoon 23:1-2)
Salah is one of the main pillars of Islam and the most rewarding act. It delineates the difference between a Muslim and a non-Muslim. In order to reap maximum benefits from Salah it is imperative to perform it with humility. Read on to find out how one can attain Khushu and in return, the pleasure of Allah (swt).
The Arabic word used for humility in Salah (swt) is Khashi’oon, which is from the root word Khushu which means to bow down and express humility. It is a condition of the heart as well as the body. Khushu of the heart is to fear Allah (swt) and stand in awe of His powerful being while Khushu of the body is to bow down one’s head in humility and lower one’s gaze and voice in His presence. In Salah, one is required to show Khushu of both the body and the heart.
It has been reported that when the Prophet (sa) once saw a person offering his prayer as well as playing with his beard, he said: “If he had Khushu in his heart, his body would have shown it.” (Hakim)
How to perform Salah with Khushu – a few pointers
- Learn the meaning of Salah (the meaning of the Arabic text) so that you know what you are reciting.
- Learn new chapters and their meanings that you can recite in your Salah.
- Prepare yourself for Salah by quietly listening to the call for prayer. Then perform proper ablution and cover your Satar.
- Remember that Salah is a dialogue between you and Allah. Allah (swt) is not only listening to your prayer, but replying and rewarding you for every verse you utter.
- Pray in solitude.
- Avoid looking sideways, folding or shaking off dust, yawning or any such action.
- Prayer should be offered in a relaxed and composed manner. One should not hurry.
- Worship Allah as if you see Him. It is established in a Hadeeth that Gabriel asked the Prophet (sa): “Tell me about excellence in faith.” He replied: “It is to worship Allah as though you see Him, and though you do not see Him, you know that He sees you.” (Bukhari) This implies that the worshipper engages in his worship with an acute awareness of the fact that he is presenting himself before his Lord (swt) as though he sees Him. He will be absolutely sincere in his worship and his heart will be full of humility, awe, and fear.
- Remember that Allah (swt) is watching you as long as you pray with concentration.
- Convince yourself that this is your last Salah! What would be the condition of the heart if we pray keeping this in mind. The Messenger of Allah (sa) said: “When you stand up to pray, perform your prayer as if it were your last…” (Ahmad)
- It is important to remember the saying of the Prophet (sa): “If a man performs two
Rakats of Salah without the distraction of any worldly thought, all his previous sins will be forgiven.” (Bukhari)
If we really want to check our faith and level of Khushu, we should look at our Salah. If our Salah is stopping us from sins, this means there is Khushu. However, if we continue sinning after regularly performing prayers, it is clear indication that our heart is deprived of Khushu. It is mentioned in the Qur’an:
“…Verily Salah prevents from Al-Fahsha (great sins of every kind and illegal sexual intercourse) and Al-Munkar (disbelief, polytheism and every kind of evil wicked deed)…” (Al-Ankabut 29:45)
Your improved and more disciplined life will in turn help the quality of your prayer to increase even more. The two should continuously reinforce each other.
Read the introductory article to the series here.