Salah Performed With Khushu’And Khudhu’
Al-Qiyaam (standing upright), recitation of the Qur’an, Ruku’ (bowing down), Sujud (prostration), Qa’dah(sitting between the two Sujud) and other things are like numerous parts for the body of Salah, while the Khushu’ and Khudhu’ are like its soul. Body void of soul is meaningless. It is, therefore, compulsory to perform Salah with presence and submission of heart along with submission of every part of our bodies, so that our Salah is offered with its soul, i.e. Khushu’ and Khudhu’. Submission of heart means to intentionally keep the heart free from insinuating thoughts and try to imagine the Greatness and Majesty of Allah. Submission of the body parts is that you do not look here and there, do not adjust your hair and clothes. Instead, you should look perfect embodiment of fear and humility, as you generally look before a ruler.
The Holy Qur’an and Ahadeeth of the Prophet (PBUH) repeatedly teach man to perform Salah with all solemnity and haveKhushu’ and Khudhu’, asSalah in actual sense is that which is performed so. For such Salah, Allah grants man success in this world as well as in the Hereafter. The following verses from the Holy Qur’an and Ahadeeth shed light on this fact. Allah says in the Qur’an:
“Success is really attained by the believers who concentrate their attention in humbleness when offering Salah”, (Surah Al-Mu’minun: 1, 2).
“Seek help through patience and prayer. It is indeed exacting, but not for those who are humble in their hearts”, (Surah Al-Baqarah: 45).
“Take due care of all the prayers, and the middle prayer (Asr), and stand before Allah in total devotion”, (Surah Al-Baqarah: 248).
Abu Hurairah(RA) narrates that the Prophet (PBUH) said:"When you hear the ‘Iqamah’, proceed to the prayer with calmness and dignity and do not rush. Pray what you can (with congregation) and complete what you miss", (SahihBukhari).
Abu Hurairah (RA) narrates:“Allah's Messenger (PBUH) entered the mosque and a person followed him. The man prayed and went to the Prophet (PBUH) and greeted him. The Prophet (PBUH) returned the greeting and said to him, "Go back and pray, for you have not prayed." The man went back and prayed in the same way as before, returned and greeted the Prophet (PBUH) and said, "Go back and pray, for you have not prayed." This happened thrice. The man said, "By Him Who sent you with the truth, I cannot offer the prayer in a better way than this. Please, teach me how to pray." The Prophet (PBUH) said, "When you stand for prayer say Takbir and then recite from the Holy Qur'an (of what you know by heart) and then bow till you feel at ease. Then raise your head and stand up straight, then prostrate till you feel at ease during your prostration, then sit with calmness till you feel at ease (do not hurry) and do the same in all your prayers”, (SahihBukhari).
UthmanibnAffan (RA) narrates:“I heard the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) say: “When the time for a prescribed prayer comes, if any Muslim performs ablution well and offers his prayer with humility and bowing, it will be an expiation for his past sins, so long as he has not committed a major sin; and this applies for all times”,(Sahih Muslim).
Uqbahibn Amir (RA) narrates that the Prophet (PBUH) said:"Whoever performs Wudu' and does it well, then prays two Rak'ahs in which his heart and face are focused, the paradise will become compulsory for him",(Sunan Abu Dawood).
Abu Dhar al-Ghifari (RA) relates that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “Allah remains paying attention to the slave in his Salahas long as the slave does not divert his attention. But when he diverts his attention, Allah too diverts His attention from him”, (SunanNasai).
It is narrated by Abu Qatadah(RA) that the Prophet (PBUH) said:“The worst kind of thief is one who steals from his prayer.” The companions said, “O Prophet of Allah (PBUH) how can someone steal from his prayers?” He (PBUH) said, “He does not perform the Ruku’ of the prayer nor its Sujood properly”, (Al-Tabrani&Musnad Ahmad).
In this Hadith, the Prophet (PBUH) has termed offering Salah without solemnity and calmness as the ‘worst thievery’.
Ammar ibnYasir (RA) relates that The Prophet (PBUH) said:“Verily, a man will leave from (his Salah) and only a tenth of his Salah is written for him, a ninth, an eighth, a seventh, a sixth, a fifth, a forth, a third, half”, (SunaAbu Dawud,SunanNasai&SahihIbneHibban).
Abu Hurairah (RA) reports that the Prophet (PBUH) said:“Verily, Allah does not even look to the Salah of the person who does not settle his spine straight between Ruku’ and Sujud, i.e. Qoma”,(Musnad Ahmad).
Hudhaifa (RA) said:"I saw a person not performing his Ruku’ and Sujud perfectly. When he completed the prayer, I told him that he had not prayed." I think that Hudhaifa added (i.e. said to the man), "Had you died, you would have died on a tradition other than that of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)", (SahihBukhari).
JaabirIbnSamurah (RA) relates that once the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) came out of his house towards the Companions(RA) and said:"Why is it that I see you all raising your hands as though they are the tails of stubborn horses? Be tranquil in Salah",(Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth 430).
Abdullah ibn Abbas (RA) narrates that The Prophet (PBUH) said:"I have been ordered to prostrate on seven (bones) and not to tuck up the hair or garment", (SahihBukhari).
Abdur Rahman (RA) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) prohibited from pecking like a crow, and spreading (the forearms) like a wild beast, and fixing a place in the mosque like a camel which fixes its place,(Musnad Ahmad, SunanNasai, SunanIbneMajah&SahihIbneHibban).
Abu Darda (RA) is reported to have said: “The first thing to disappear from the people will be Khushu’. Soon, many people will come to the mosque, but you will not find any of them having Khushu’”,(Sunan Al-Tirmidhi).
Khushu’: How to develop it in Salah?
Abu Hurairah (RA) narrates that the Prophet (PBUH) said:“When Satan hears the call to prayer, he turns back and breaks the wind so that one cannot hear the call being made, but when the call is finished he turns round and distracts (the minds of those who pray), and when he hears the Iqamah, he again runs away so as not to hear its sound and when it subsides, he comes back and distracts (the minds of those who stand for prayer)”, (Sahih Muslim: chapter: Virtues of Adhan).
Thus, he reminds the person in Salah of numerous affairs. He reminds the things which the person in Salah did not recall before starting Salah, until he does not remember as to how many Rak’ahs he has yet completed.
The first agenda of Satan is to keep man away from Salah, as it is the most virtuous act among all the acts of obedience to Allah. But when a slave of Allah, making all the efforts of Satan useless, begins Salah(that is the most beloved act to Allah), the Satan tries to deprive him from the soul of Salah, i.e.Khushu’ and Khudhu’. Therefore, he reminds the man in prayer of numerous worldly affairs to deprive him from the soul of the Salah, as explained in the above Hadith. All the Muslims, therefore, should adopt the measures which may help them perform Salah with Khushu’ and Khudhu’.
The Holy Qur’an and Ahadeeth mention some measures to develop Khushu’ and Khudhu’ in Salah. Man can remain safe from the Satan, in case these measures are truly adopted; and consequently, his Salah will be performed with Khushu’ and Khudhu’.
Before you begin Salah:
Note: Never dress in tight clothes. Wearing tight clothes has been prohibited in Ahadeeth. Also, men should not hang their lower garments below the ankles. Ahadeeth give strict warnings against the people hanging their lower garments below the ankles.
After you have begun the Salah:
Note: Remembering Allah excessively too plays important role in gaining Khushu’ and Khudhu’ in Salah. You should, therefore, remain mindful of remembering Allah in each morning and evening, as it drives the Devils away and weakens their energy. It also purifies the heart from the pollution of sinning.
An important request: The most important and fundamental condition for gaining Khushu’ and Khudhu’ in Salah and making it acceptable is al-Ikhlas (sincerity), as the acceptance of the acts depends on the intention. The first Hadeeth of SahihBukhari goes thus:"The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended.”
Therefore, the fundamental motive behind performing Salah, whether it is Farz or Nafl, must only be to gain the pleasure of Allah. Salah must not be performed just to build a virtuous reputation, as it has been termed in the Hadeeth as a fitna(danger) bigger than the fitna of Dajjal and a kind of shirk (associating partners with Allah).
The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Should I not inform you of that which I fear for you even more than the dangers of Dajjāl? It is the hidden shirk: A person stands to pray and he beautifies his prayer because he sees the people looking at him”, (SunanibnMajah: Chapter: Al-Riyawa al-Sum’ah).
ShaddadibnAus (RA) says that he heard the Prophet (PBUH) saying: “Whoever performed Salah for show off, he committed an act ofshirk”,(Musnad Ahmad: vol. 4, p. 125).
May Allah enable us all to perform Salah with Khushu’ and Khudhu’, Amen!
Mohammad Najeeb Qasmi (www.najeebqasmi.com)
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