Abu Dardaa was reported to have said to one of the companions:
“If you wish I’ll tell you what the first type of knowledge taken from people will be—it is Khushoo—the fear of Allaah, humility, submissiveness, such that if you enter a Jaami’ah masjid, you will not see a single man who has khushoo.” [Sunan al-Tirmidhi 2653, graded Sahih by al-Albani]
Do you struggle with this too?
Many of us do.
So, you want to improve your khushoo? Then follow this series of posts where I hope to discuss the basic steps we can take to improve the quality of our daily engagement with the Creator. But first, we start with some things we have to know, or refine as the case may be.
What you’re actually doing.
Of course, you know it is salaah, the second pillar of our deen, the five daily obligatory act of worship.
But, have you ever thought of it in ways like these below?
- As one of the greatest forms of remembrance of Allaah subhaanahu wa ta’ala? Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
Verily, I am Allaah! La ilaha illa Ana (none has the right to be worshipped but I), so worship Me, and perform As-salat for my remembrance. [Surah Ta-Ha: 14]
And in some verses, it was pointed out like this:
And remember the Name of your Lord every morning and afternoon [i.e. offering of the Morning (Fajr), Zuhr, and ‘Asr prayers]. [Surah al-Insan: 25]
- As a personal conversation between your Rabb and you, devoid of any kind of mediator? As pointed out in this Hadith Qudsi of how Allaah responds to us in salaah.
On the authority of Abu Hurairah (radhi’Allahu ‘anhu), the Prophet (SAW) said; “Allaah the Exalted said, ‘I have divided the prayer (Surah Al-Fatihah) into two halves between Me and My servant. A half of it is for Me and a half for My servant, and My servant shall acquire what he asked for.
If he says, ‘All praise and thanks be to Allaah, the Lord of existence,’ Allaah says, ‘My servant has praised Me.’
When the servant says, ‘The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.’ Allaah says, ‘My servant has glorified Me.’
When he says, ‘Master of the Day of Judgment.’ Allaah says, ‘My servant has glorified Me.’
When he says, ‘You (alone) we worship, and You (alone) we ask for help.’ Allaah says, ‘This is between Me and My servant, and My servant shall acquire what he sought.’
When he says, ‘Guide us to the straight path. The way of those on whom You have granted Your grace, not (the way) of those who earned Your anger, nor of those who went astray.’ Allaah says, ‘This is for My servant, and My servant shall acquire what he asked for.’
[Sahih Muslim 395]
Salaah is indeed a great privilege, isn’t it?
And to think that we have this grand opportunity to ourselves, at least five times every day, is something to be grateful for. It is supposed to be the comfort of a believer’s eyes and not a routinary chore or a burden, as we sometimes think of it.
Anas ibn Maalik narrates that the Prophet (SAW) said: The coolness of my eye lies in salah [Musnad Ahmad]
Maybe if we stop thinking low of salaah just because we do it every time, and start thinking of it as a great matter which it actually is, and feeling full of awe for this opportunity Allaah grants us, then maybe we will start keeping our focus more, feel more humility and start experiencing the sweetness of it. Salaah is actually a great matter.
Consider this report of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib
When the time for prayer came, ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib would be visibly shaken, and the colour of his face would change. It was said to him, “What is the matter with you?’ He said, “By Allaah, there has come the time of the amaanah (trust) which Allaah offered to the heavens and the earth, and the mountains, but they declined to bear it and were afraid of it, but I bore it” [cf. Al-Ahzaab 33:72].
So why have we been misusing or underutilising this great opportunity? Indeed, the first thing to work on is our mindset about salaah. How do you feel when the call to prayer is made? What comes to your mind, even though you are in the middle of work? Do you even bat an eyelid? Or do you grunt inwardly and think ‘is it time again?’
Who you’re facing.
He is Allaah, the Lord of all that exists. One whom a batch of seventy thousand angels worship daily and one batch does not get the chance of another turn till the Day of Recompense.
Narrated by Maalik ibn Sasaa: “…Then I was shown Al-Bait-al-Ma’mur (i.e. Allah’s House). I asked Gabriel about it, and he said, this is Al Bait-ul-Ma’mur where seventy thousand angels perform prayers daily and when they leave they never return to it (but always a fresh batch comes into it daily).’… [Sahih al-Bukhari 3207]
Allaah is the Self-sufficient One. He is in need of nothing, and everything is in need of Him. The One who ascends over His arsh—Throne above the seven heavens as it fits His Majesty. His is the Dominion, capable of all things. When He intends something, He only says ‘be’ and it will be. And He invites you to Himself five times daily without no mediator, He listens and responds to your utterings during salaah. So why do I still fail to fully show up while in front of His Majesty, why do you still fail to?
Till next week, in shaa Allaah, when we look at two more things to know, to improve our khushoo in salaah, but before then, I highly recommend that you read this free book on how we mothers specifically can improve our salaah despite kids’ distractions.