Allaah - Subhaanahu wa Ta'aalaa - said:
The Believers will prosper. Those who have khushoo within
their prayers [Mu'minoon 23:1-2]
and He - Taa'aalaa - also said:
And stand before Allaah with a devout frame of mind [Baqarah
Abu Hurairah (ra) said: The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam)
prayed one day, turned aro und and said: "O so and so! Do you not
beautify your prayer? Does not the one wh o performs prayer when he does
so look at how he prays? Indeed he prays for hims elf."
This khushoo is perfected by a number of matters some of which are within
the pr ayer itself and others outside of it. Amongst such matters are:
1. Remembrance of Death
Anas (ra) said: The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam)
said: "Remember death within your prayer because when a man remembers
death in his prayer is strives to beautify h is prayer and pray the prayer
of a man who does not think that he will perform another prayer after it.
Take caution and and an excuse is sought for every affa ir."
The Messnger of Allaah (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam)
has ordered the muslim to remember death during his prayer. This is because
it is a means of beautifying the prayer. The thought of death creates apprehension
in the souls and by it the actions are sealed. What comes after it is even
more frightening. Where is the escape from the compressio n of the grave?
And what will our response be when we are questioned in the grav e? Futhermore,
we do not know where our destination is, to a garden whose width is as
that of the heavens and the earth or to the fire whose fuel is men and
Thus does the servant imagine the visions of death and what comes after
it, so h e prays the prayer of a man who doesn't think that he will perform
a prayer afte r it. He, therefore, beautifies his prayer, counts himself
amongst the dead, pr epares his shroud, writes his will and returns the
rights to those who own them. When he wakes up he does not wait for the
evening and when he reaches the eveni ng he does not wait for the morning.
In this manner he comes to perform the prayer, humble, submissive and
weeping. B etween fer and hope he faces the Hereafter and he bids farewell
to the world. It is a farewell prayer and a prayer of farewell. By it he
says farewell to his fa mily, parents, brothers and his dearest and nearest
ones, in fact the whole World.
And here he says "Allaahu Akbar" - Allaah is Greater - indeed
He is greater than every single thing. He belittles this world and deems
it insignificant. Then he makes one of the opening supplications and says
"O Allaah make my sins distant from me as you have made the the east
and west distant from each other." He visu alises the remoteness of
the east from the west then he brings to mind whatever he can from among
his sins and mistakes which his back carries. He fears that he will meet
Allaah - Subhaanahu - in this state and that death will pass him befo re
he has repented; so he calls with this supplication, certain and convinced
th at it will be answered.
He reflects upon the meaning of all that he utters during his prayer,
bringing t o mind the greatness and might of Allaah - Ta'aalaa - in his
heart, tears wellin g from his eyes because Paradise and Hellfire have
become evidently closer to hi m than his shoelace. He personifies the saying
of the Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam): "Pray
a f arewell prayer as if you see Him and though you do not see Him, He
certainly sees you."
It is essential to be observant of Allaah - Ta'aalaa - so that the matter
of pra yer is set aright and that the world is placed behind our backs.
If a person kne w that his words are being heard and that they reach the
King without a doubt wh at then will he say? And how will he speak? Will
you not see him weighing his le tters and words? How will it be for the
one who stands erect in front of the All -Hearer the All-Seer and All-Knowing,
the One from Whom no secret is hidden?
Abdullaah ibn Shikhkhir (ra) said: I saw the Messenger of Allaah
(sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) praying with us and in his
chest was a humming/buzzing sound, due to his weeping, like that of a cooking
kettle (when it boils).
The weeping of Umar (ra) could be heard from the last row as been reported
in Bukhaaree. Abdullaah ibn Shaddaad said: I heard the sobbing of Umar
while I was in the last row and he was reciting: "I complain of
my grief and sorrow to Allaah alone." [Yoosuf 12:86]