بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
In the last Recover Ramadan post, I spoke about how important the salah (prayer) is.
There are two aspects of the salah: the outward actions and the inward actions.
The outward actions (i.e. that of the limbs and the tongue) all have to be in accordance with the salah of the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam).
What about the inner actions? Well, that would be the actions of the heart.
That’s where the khushoo issue comes in. Khushoo, simply put, is the humility that one feels in salah.
You know, it’s that feeling. We all read about it and dream of attaining it. The key word here is dream.
Many people just think “Insha-Allah, one day I’ll pray with khushoo” and don’t take the steps that are necessary to achieve it.
What kind of steps do we need to take?
Well, I think that can be divided into two parts:
1) Just before and during the salah.
2) Outside the salah.
As for the first part, that involves many steps. I’ll just mention one.
Pay attention to what you are saying.
Yes, that’s it. Just focus and try to ponder over what you’re saying. Remember that Allah is watching you.
Just try this simple step and see how it goes. Whenever I focus on the salah, I get a different feeling.
In order to do this, you’d have to 1) understand the words of salah and 2) mix it up once in a while.
Mix up what, you ask? You know, vary the short surahs after Al-Fatihah (it doesn’t always have to be Surah Al-Ikhlaas, you know) and the various adkhar (supplications) in rukoo (bowing) and sujood (prostrating).
That was the easy part. The second step is much more difficult.
See, khushoo in salah is ultimately attained by having khushoo outside of it.
The reason that it’s so difficult for us to remain focused on Allah for a mere 15 minutes is because many of us don’t focus on Him the entire day.
How is it that we can forget about Allah for the whole day and then expect to be close to Him in prayer? Do we really think it’s as easy as flipping a switch?
No, it isn’t. The person who has forgotten Allah outside of prayer will not be allowed to remember Him in prayer. It’s as simple as that.
We all claim that the salah is very important to us so let’s ask ourselves some questions:
1) Do we constantly supplicate to Allah to grant us khushoo in our salah?
2) Have we made attaining khushoo in salah a priority in life?
3) Did we try to figure out how we can improve the quality of our salah?
4) Did we try to do some research on some ways that we can attain khushoo?
5) When we pray without khushoo, does it leave us feeling saddened and disgusted with ourselves? Or do we just let it go?
6) Does our entire day revolve around the salah? Do we plan all our days according to the prayer times?
7) Has our salah improved us as people? Has it brought us closer to the Lord of the Worlds?
We need to remember one thing: it is possible to attain khushoo. However, we need to change our attitudes, put in the required effort and keep slogging away until we get there, insha-Allah.
And even if we don’t get there, then at least when we are questioned on the Day of Judgment, we can say that we tried.
I mentioned the need to work on our salah in the last Recover Ramadan post.
The thing that ALL of us need to work on most with regards to our salah is…the presence of our heart.
Where is it? In the salah? Enjoying it? Savouring it?
Judging by how popular those “how to get khushoo in salah” articles are, I think many of us are just going through the motions with regards to our prayers.
And that’s very dangerous because the salah is the first thing that we will be asked about on the Last Day. If that’s not up to the mark then…
So, what do we do?
Well, we need to struggle until we get there. It’s as simple as that.
For starters, we could read another one of those “khushoo” articles and then implement what it says.
Here’s a nice, thought-provoking one by an earlier scholar:
The Presence Of The Heart In Relation To The Prayer – Imaam ibn Qudaamah al-Maqdisee
Still looking for ways to focus in salah and get that wonderful feeling of khushoo (humility)?
Try this book by Imam Ibn Rajab (rahimahullah): Humility in Prayer.
I haven’t had a chance to read all of it but I learnt a lot by just skimming through the book.
Also, Imam Ibn Rajab is a fantastic author. Too bad he lived centuries ago…