In the name of Allah The most gracious The most merciful
Salaah is the greatest of the practical pillars of Islam, and khushoo’ in prayer is required by sharee’ah. When Iblees, the enemy of Allaah, vowed to mislead and tempt the sons of Adam and said “Then I will come to them from before them and behind them, from their right and from their left…” [al-A’raaf 7:17, interpretation of the meaning], one of his most significant plots became to divert people from salaah by all possible means and to whisper to them during their prayer so as to deprive them of the joy of this worship and cause them to lose the reward for it.
The site of khushoo’(in the body) is the heart, and its effects are manifested in the physical body. The various faculties follow the heart: if the heart is corrupted by negligence or insinuating whispers from Shaytaan, the worship of the body’s faculties will also be corrupt.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Successful indeed are the believers, those who offer their salaah (prayers) with all solemnity and full submissiveness.” [al-Mu’minoon 23:1-2] – i.e., fearing Allaah and in a calm manner. Khushoo’ means calmness, serenity, tranquillity, dignity and humility. What makes a person have this khushoo’ is fear of Allaah and the sense that He is always watching. (Tafseer Ibn Katheer, Daar al-Sha’b edn., 6/414). Khushoo’ means that the heart stands before the Lord in humility and submission. (al-Madaarij, 1/520).
Making a show of khushoo’ is condemned.
Hudhayfah (may Allaah be pleased with him) used to say: “Beware of the khushoo’ of
hypocrisy.” He was asked, “What is the khushoo’ of hypocrisy?” He said, “When the body shows khushoo’ but there is no khushoo’ in the heart.” Fudayl ibn ‘Ayaad said: “It was disliked for a man to show more khushoo’ than he had in his heart.” One of them saw a man showing khushoo’ in his shoulders and body, and said, “O So and so, khushoo’ is here” – and he pointed to his chest, “not here” – and he pointed to his shoulders. (al-Madaarij, 1/521)
Allaah tells us
(interpretation of the meaning): “And seek help in patience and al-salaah (the prayer), and truly it is extremely heavy and hard except for al-khaashi’oon [i.e., the true believers, those who obey Allaah with full submission, fear much from His Punishment, and believe in His Promise and in His Warnings]” [al-Baqarah 2:45].
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The first thing to be lifted up (taken away) from this ummah will be khushoo’, until you will see no one who has khushoo’.” (Al-Haythami said in al-Majma’, 2/136: It was reported by al-Tabaraani in al-Kabeer, and its isnaad is hasan. See also Saheeh al -Targheeb, no. 543. He said it is saheeh).
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah
(may Allaah have mercy on him) explained the things that help us to have khushoo’:
“Two things help us to [develop khushoo’]: a strong desire to do what is obligatory, and weakness of distractions.With regard to the first, the strong desire to do what is obligatory: [this means that] a person strives hard to focus on what he is saying and doing, pondering on the meanings of the Qur’an recitation, dhikr and du’aa’s, and keeping in mind the fact that he is speaking to Allaah as if he sees Him, for when he is standing in prayer, he is talking to his Lord.
With regard to the second, weakness of distractions:
This means striving to push away all distractions that make you think of something other than the prayer itself, and warding off thoughts that keep your mind off the purpose of the prayer. This is something which differs from one person to another, because the extent of waswaas has to do with the extent of one’s doubts and desires and the heart’s focus and dependence on what it loves, and its efforts to avoid what it dislikes.”
Preparing oneself for prayer properly
By repeating the words of the adhaan after the muazzin;
By pronouncing the du’aa’ to be recited after the adhaan:
Reciting du’aa’ between the adhaan and the iqaamah;
Doing wudoo’ properly, saying Bismillaah before it and making dhikr and saying the du’aa’after it,
Using siwaak to cleanse and perfume the mouth that is going to recite Qur’aan in a short while, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Purify your mouths for the Qur’aan.” (Reported by al-Bazzaar, who said: we do not have it with any better isnaad than this. Kashf al-Astaar, 1/242. Al-Haythami said: its men are thiqaat. 2/99. Al-Albaani said: its isnaad is jayyid. Al-Saheehah, 1213);
Wearing one’s best and cleanest clothes,
We should also prepare ourselves by covering our ‘awrah properly, purifying the spot where we are going to pray, getting ready early and waiting for the prayer, and making the rows straight and solid, without any gaps, because the shayaateen come in through the gaps in the rows.
The means of developing Khushoo’ in Salah includes:
Moving at a measured pace during prayer
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to move at a measured pace during salaah, allowing every bone to return to its place.
Abu Qutaadah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘The worst type of thief is the one who steals from his prayer.’ He said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, how can a person steal from his prayer?’ He said, ‘By not doing rukoo’ and sujood properly.’” (Reported by Ahmad and al-Haakim, 1/229; Saheeh al-Jaami’,997).
Abu ‘Abd-Allaah al-Ash’ari (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, ‘The one who does not do rukoo’ properly, and pecks in sujood, is like a starving man who eats only one or two dates; it does not do him any good at all.’” (Reported by al-Tabaraani in al-Kabeer, 4/115. In Saheeh al-Jaami’ it says, hasan).
The one who does not move at a measured pace in his prayer cannot have khushoo’ because haste is a barrier to khushoo’ and pecking like a crow is a barrier to reward.
The means of developing Khushoo in Salah Includes:
Remembering death whilst praying
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Remember death in your
prayer, for the man who remembers death during his prayer is bound to pray properly, and
pray the prayer of a man who does not think that he will pray any other prayer.”(al-Silsilat al-Saheehah by al-Albaani, 1421. It was reported from al-Suyooti that al-Haafiz ibn Hajar classed this hadeeth as hasan).
Pausing at the end of each aayah
This is more helpful in understanding and thinking about the meaning, and it is the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him),Reciting in slow, rhythmic tones (tarteel) and making one’s voice beautiful when reciting
Knowing that Allaah responds to prayers
The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When any one of you stands to pray, he is conversing with his Lord, so let him pay attention to how he speaks to Him.” (al-Haakim, al-Mustadrak, 1/236; Saheeh al-Jaami’, 1538).
Praying with a barrier (sutrah) in front of one and praying close to it
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When any one of you prays, let him pray facing a sutrah, and let him get close to it.”(Reported by Abu Dawood, no. 695,1/446; Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 651)
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When any one of you prays facing a sutrah, let him get close to it so that the Shaytaan cannot interrupt his prayer.” (Reported by Abu Dawood, no. 695, 1/446; Saheeh al- Jaami’, no. 650).
The Sunnah in getting close to the sutrah is to have three cubits between it and the spot where one prostrates, or to allow enough space for a sheep to pass between the two, as is reported in the saheeh ahaadeeth. (Al-Bukhaari; see al-Fath, 1/574, 579).
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) advised the one who is praying not to allow anyone to pass between him and his sutrah. He said: “When any one of you is praying, he should not allow anyone to pass in front of him, and he should prevent him as most as he can. If he insists, he should fight him, for he has a companion [i.e., shaytaan] with him.” (Reported by Muslim, 1/260; Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 755).
Placing the right hand on the left hand on the chest
The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “We Prophets were commanded… to place our right hands on our left hands in prayer.” (Reported by al -Tabaraani in al-Mu’jam al-Kabeer, no. 11485. Al-Haythami said: Al-Tabaraani reported it in al-Awsat and its men are the men of saheeh. Al-Majma’,3/155).
Ibn Hajar (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “The ‘ulamaa’ said: the meaning of this
posture is that it is the attitude of the humble petitioner, it is more likely to prevent fidgeting, and it is more conducive to khushoo’.” (Fath al-Baari, 2/224).
Looking at the place of prostration and the finger
It was reported from ‘Aa’ishah that “the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to pray with his head tilted forward and his gaze lowered, looking at the ground.” (Reported by al-Haakim, 1/479. He said it is saheeh according to the condition of the two Shaykhs [al-Bukhaari and Muslim], and al-Albaani agreed with him in Sifat al-Salaah, p. 89).
When a person sits for Tashahhud, he should look at the finger with which he is pointing as he is moving it, as it was reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon
him) “would point with the finger next to the thumb towards the qiblah, and focus his gaze upon it.” (Reported by Ibn Khuzaymah, 1/355, no. 719. The editor said: its isnaad is saheeh. See Sifatal-Salaah, p. 139). According to another report he “pointed with his index finger and did not allow his gaze to wander beyond it.”(Reported by Ahmad, 4/3, and by Abu Dawood, no. 990)
Moving the index finger
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “It is more powerful against the Shaytaan than iron” (reported by Imaam Ahmad, 2/119, with a hasan isnaad, as stated in Sifat al -Salaah, p. 159)
The Sunnah in pointing with the forefinger so that it should remain raised and moving,
pointing towards the qiblah, throughout the Tashahhud.
Performing sujood al-tilaawah when reciting an aayah where this is required
Sujood al-Tilaawah in prayer is very important because it increases khushoo’. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And they fall down on their faces weeping and it adds to their humility [khushoo’].” [Qur’an al-Israa’ 17:109].
It is important to maintain the practice of sujood al-tilaawah, especially since it causes annoyance to the Shaytaan and suppresses him, thus weakening his hold on the worshipper.
Abu Hurayrah said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘When the son of Adam recites a sajdah, the Shaytaan goes away weeping, saying,
“Woe to him! He was commanded to prostrate and he prostrated, so Paradise is his; I was ordered to prostrate and I disobeyed, so Hell is my fate!”’” (Reported by Imaam Muslim in his Saheeh, no. 133).
Seeking refuge with Allaah from the Shaytaan
The Shaytaan is our enemy, and one of the aspects of his enmity is his whispering
insinuating thoughts (waswaas) to the worshipper at prayer so as to take away his khushoo’ and confuse him in his prayer.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) taught us the following methods of combatting the wiles of Shaytaan and getting rid of his waswaas:
Abu’l-‘Aas (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that he said, “O Messenger of
Allaah, the Shaytaan interrupts me when I pray, and I get confused in my recitation.” The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “That is a shaytaan whose name is Khanzab. If you sense his presence, seek refuge with Allaah from him, and spit [dry spitting] towards your left three times.” [Abu’l-‘Aas] said: “I did that and Allaah took him away from me.”(Reported by Muslim, no. 2203)
Thinking of how the salaf were when they prayed
This will increase one’s khushoo’ and motivate one to follow their example. “If you were to see one of them when he stood up to pray and started reciting the words of his Master, it would cross his mind that he was standing before the Lord of the Worlds, so he would be filled with overwhelming awe.” (Al-Khushoo’ fi’l-Salaah by Ibn Rajab, p. 22).
Knowing the advantages of khushoo’ in salaah
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no Muslim man who, when the time for a prescribed prayer comes, he does wudoo’ properly, has the proper attitude of khushoo’, and bows properly, but it will be an expiation for all his previous sins, so long as they were not major sins (kabeerah). And this is the case for life” (Reported by Muslim, 1/206, no. 7/4/2)
The reward recorded is in proportion to the degree of khushoo’, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “A slave may pray and have nothing recorded for it except a tenth of it, or a ninth, or an eighth, or a seventh, or a sixth, or a fifth, or a quarter, or a third, or a half.” (Reported by Imaam Ahmad; Saheeh al-Jaami’, 1626).
Sins will be forgiven if you concentrate properly and have full khushoo’, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When a slave stands and prays, all his sins are brought and placed on his head and shoulders. Every time he bows or prostrates, some of them fall from him.”(Reported by al-Bayhaqi in al-Sunan al-Kubraa, 3/10; see also Saheehal-Jaami’).
The one who prays with khushoo’ will feel lighter when he finishes his prayer, as if his
burdens have been lifted from him.
Striving to offer du’aa’ at the appropriate times during the prayer, especially in sujood
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“Whoever does not call on Allaah, Allaah will be angry with him.” (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, Kitaab al-Da’waat, 1/426; classed as hasan in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 2686).
It was reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to make du’aa’ at specific places in the prayer, i.e., in sujood, between the two prostrations and after the Tashahhud.
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “The closest that the slave can be to his Lord is when he is prostrating, so increase your du’aa’ [at that time].” (Reported by Muslim, Kitaab al-Salaah, Baab maa yuqaalu fi’l-rukoo’ wa’l-sujood. No. 215). And he said: “… As for sujood, strive hard to make du’aa’ in it, for it is bound to be answered for you.” (Reported by Muslim, Kitaab al -Salaah, Baab al-Nahy ‘an qiraa’at al-Qur’aan fi’l rukoo’ wa’l-sujood, no. 207).
Removing anything that may distract the worshipper
Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “ ‘Aa’ishah had a decorated, colourful curtain which she used to cover the side of her house. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to her, ‘Take it away from me, because its decorations keep distracting
me when I pray.’” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, Fath al-Baari, 10/391).
Al-Qaasim reported that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) had a cloth with
decorations on it, which she used to cover a small sunken alcove (used for sleeping or storage). The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to pray facing it, and he said, ‘Take it away from me, because its decorations keep distracting me when I pray.’ So she took it away and made pillows out of it.” (Reported by Muslim in his Saheeh, 3/1668).
Another indication of this is the fact that when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) entered the Ka’bah to pray in it, he saw two ram’s horns. When he had prayed, he told ‘Uthmaan al-Hajabi, “I forgot to tell you to cover the horns, because there should not be anything in the House to distract the worshipper.” (Reported by Abu Dawood, 2030; Saheeh al-Jaami’, 2504).
Adhkaar to be recited after prayer
These also help to strengthen khushoo’ in the heart and reinforce the blessings and benefits of the prayer. Without a doubt, one of the best ways of preserving and protecting a good action is to follow it up with another. So the one who thinks about the adhkaar that come after the prayer will find that they begin with seeking forgiveness three times, as if the worshipper is seeking forgiveness from his Lord for any shortcomings that may have occurred in his prayer or his khushoo’. It is also important to pay attention to naafil (supererogatory) prayers, because they make up for anything lacking in the fard (obligatory) prayers, including any failure with regard to khushoo’.
Not praying in a garment that has decorations, writing, bright colours or pictures that will distract the worshipper
‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) stood up to pray wearing a checkered shirt, and he looked at the patterns in it. When he had finished his prayer, he said, “Take this shirt to Abu Jaham ibn Hudhayfah and bring me an anbajaani (a garment with no decorations or checks), because it distracted me when I was praying.” According to another report: “These checks distracted me.” According to another report: “He had a checkered shirt, which used to distract him whilst he was praying.” (Reports in Saheeh Muslim, no. 556, part 3/391).
It is better not to pray in a garment that has pictures on it, and we should be especially careful to avoid garments with pictures of animate beings, like many garments that are widely available nowadays.
Not praying when there is food prepared that one wants to eat
The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Do not pray when there is food prepared.” (Reported by Muslim, no. 560).
Not praying when one needs to answer the call of nature
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “There is no prayer when there is food prepared or if one is suppressing the urge to expel waste matter.” (Saheeh Muslim, no. 560). Without a doubt, this trying to suppress the urge takes away khushoo’. This ruling also applies to suppressing the urge to pass wind.
Not praying when one feels sleepy
Anas ibn Maalik said, “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If any one of you feels sleepy when he is praying, he should sleep until he [is rested enough to] know what he is saying,” i.e., he should take a nap until he no longer feels drowsy. (Reported by al-Bukhaari, no. 210).
Not praying behind someone who is talking (or sleeping)
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade this; he said: “Do not pray behind one who is sleeping or one who is talking.” (Reported by Abu Dawood, no. 694; Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 375. He said, a hasan hadeeth).
Al-Khattaabi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “As for praying behind people who are talking, al-Shaafa’i and Ahmad ibn Hanbal considered this to be makrooh, because their talk distracts the worshipper from his prayer.” (‘Awn al-Ma’bood, 2/388).
Al-Bukhaari, may Allaah have mercy on him, quoted the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah in his
Saheeh, Baab al-Salaah khalf al-Naa’im: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to pray whilst I was lying across from him on his bed…” (Saheeh al-Bukhaari, Kitaab al-Salaah).
Mujaahid, Taawoos and Maalik thought it makrooh to pray facing someone who was
sleeping, lest he expose something that would distract the worshipper from his prayer. (Fath al-Baari, ibid.)
If there is no risk of that happening, then it is not makrooh to pray behind someone who is sleeping. And Allaah knows best.
Avoid disturbing others (Not disturbing others with one’s recitation)
The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “All of you are speaking to your Lord, so do not disturb one another, and do not raise your voices above one another when reciting” or he said, “in prayer.”(Reported by Abu Dawood, 2/83; Saheeh al- Jaami’, no. 752). According to another report, he said, “Do not compete with one another in raising your voices when reciting Qur’aan.” (Reported by Imaam Ahmad, 2/36; Saheeh al-Jaami’,1951).
Not turning around during prayer
The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was asked about turning away during prayer, and he said: “It is something that Shaytaan steals from a person’s prayer.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, Kitaab al-Adhaan, Baab al-Iltifaat fi’l-Salaah).
Not raising one’s gaze to the heavens
The Prophet said: “When any one of you is praying, he should not lift his gaze to
the heavens, lest he lose his sight.” (Reported by Ahmad, 5/294; Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 762).
Not spitting in front of one when praying
He also said: “When any one of you stands up to pray, he should not spit in front of himself, because he is talking to Allaah – may He be blessed and exalted – as long as he is in his prayer place; and he should not [spit] to his right, because there is an angel on his right. He should spit to his left, or beneath his feet, and bury it.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, al-Fath, no. 416, 1/512).
Trying not to yawn when praying
The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If any one of you feels the urge to yawn during prayer, let him suppress it as much as he can, lest the Shaytaan enter…” (Reported by Muslim, 4/2293).
Not putting one’s hands on one’s hips when praying
Abu Hurayrah said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade putting the hands on the hips during prayer.” (Reported by Abu Dawood, no. 947; Saheeh al-Bukhaari, Kitaab al-‘Aml fi’l-Salaah, Baab al-Hadhr fi’l-Salaah).
It was reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said that this posture is how the people of Hell rest; we seek refuge with Allaah from that. (Reported by al-Bayhaqi from Abu Hurayrah. Al-‘Iraaqi said, its isnaad appears to be saheeh).
Not letting one’s clothes hang down (sadl) during prayer
It was reported that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade letting one’s clothes hang down during prayer or for a man to cover his mouth.
(Reported by Abu Dawood, no. 643; Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 6883. He said, this is a hasan hadeeth). In ‘Awn al-Ma’bood (2/347) al-Khattaabi said: “Al-sadl: letting one’s clothes hang down all the way to the ground.” (It was reported in Marqaat al-Mafaateeh 2/236): “Al-sadl is completely forbidden because it has to do with showing off, and in prayer it is even worse.”
The author of al-Nihaayah said: “It means wrapping oneself up in one’s garment, leaving one’s hands inside and bowing and prostrating in it.” It was said that the Jews used to do this. It was also said that al-sadl meant putting the garment over one’s head or shoulders, and letting its edges come down in front and over one’s upper arms, so that a person will be preoccupied in taking care of it, which reduces khushoo’, unlike garments that are tied up properly or buttoned, which do not distract the worshipper or affect his khushoo’. These kinds of clothes are still to be found nowadays in some parts of Africa and elsewhere, and in the way some Arabian cloaks are worn, which distract the worshipper and keep him busy adjusting them, retying them if they become loose and so on. This should be avoided.
The reason why it is forbidden to cover one’s mouth was explained by the scholars as being because that prevents a person from reciting Qur’aan and doing sujood properly. (Marqaat al-Mafaateeh, 2/236).
Not resembling animals
Allaah has honoured the son of Adam and created him in the best way, so it is shameful for the son of Adam to resemble or imitate animals. We have been forbidden to resemble or imitate a number of postures or movements of animals when we pray, because that is contrary to khushoo’ or because it is ugly and does not befit the worshipper who is praying.
For example, it was reported that the Messenger of Allaah said, “Be straight in the prostrations and none of you should put his forearms on the ground (in the prostration) like a dog.” (Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 12, Number 785: )
source: Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid
Source : Islamicline