Salah (prayer) is one of the best ways to achieve Allah’s ultimate guidance and mercy. While all Muslims are generally aware that salah is obligatory five times a day, many of us do not submit this divine duty with the required pace of fidelity to Allah.
“And seek help through patience and prayer, indeed, it is difficult except for humbly submissive (to Allah).” Quran 2:45.
Many people, even though well-aware of the importance of khushoo (humility, focus and submissiveness in salah), get distracted by worldly affairs and forget that they are speaking to the King of Kings, the Creator of all His creation, and sometimes even forget the order of rakats (units of prayer) in salah. We spend a great amount of attention to detail when it comes to standing in front of dignitaries and our bosses, we talk to them with reverence and dress up in a respectful and pleasing manner. But we often do not extend the same level of goodness and etiquette when conversing with the Most Supreme, Allah.
Do we really need to develop khushoo in salah? Is our distracted salah sufficient to please Almighty Allah? Before understanding what khushoo is, first let us understand the significance of salah. Khushoo can be truly developed when we understand the significance of salah. For women as well, concentration in prayer is also produced by some unique circumstances, such as pending household duties, demanding children and other concerns.
Don’t be satisfied with salah just by making it valid, or the bare minimum to ‘pass’. Make your prayer feel something for Allah. Let us recall a hadith where Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was once sitting in the masjid with some of his Companions, when a Muslim came and offered salah.Later he came to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and upon greeting, the Prophet said go back and pray because you have not prayed. So the man walked back and prayed again and when he finished he came to the Prophet and greeted with salaam, the Prophet (PBUH) said, go back and pray for you have not prayed. This was repeated three times and the man desperately said ‘Oh Messenger of Allah, teach me to pray. I have not prayed better than this’. The mistake the man was doing was that he was rushing through his salah, and not taking the time to actually think and focus about it.
Are we praying our salah the way this man did? Or are we really focusing on Allah as the Prophet (PBUH) said? Here we have to ponder regarding khushoo in salah.
Khushoo in salah brings peace in salah; peace in salah brings peace in life. Khushoo is an Arabic word that means dedication in everything one does. Khushoo in salah means to pray to Allah from the depth of our hearts, with full attention, while knowing the meaning of what we are reciting. The heart is the main site of khushoo, which in turn stimulates the whole body to perform. The highest level of achievement with Allah is directly related to highest level of khushoo in salah in our daily worship.
Let us discuss how to develop khushoo in salah: