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]
As for Abu Bakr (ra), the people could not heat his recitation in the
prayer due to his weeping just as Aa'ishah (ra) has described when she
said: "The Messenge r of Allaah (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam)
said while he was in his (final) illness: "Call upon Abu Bakr to lead
the people in prayer". Aa'ishah said: "I said: When Abu Bakr
stands in y our place the people are not able to hear due to weeping so
call Umar and let hi m lead the people". He (the Messenger) said:
"Call Abu Bakr and let him lead the people". Aa'ishah said to
Hafsah: "Say to him (the Messenger) that when Abu Bak r stands in
your place the people cannot hear him due to weeping so call Umar an d
let him lead the people." Hafsah did that and the Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam)
said: "Indee d you are like the companions of Yoosuf. Call Abu bakr
and let him lead the peop le in prayer." Hafsah said to Aa'ishah:
"I was never to gain any good from you."
In another narration: "Abu Bakr is a sorrowful man. When he
stands in your place he is not able to pray with the people."
2. Reflecting upon the Meanings of the Words which are related to the
When he says "Allaahu Akbar" he brings to mind the meaning
of these words and th e greatness and might of Allaah the Exalted which
they contain. When he seeks re fuge in Allaah from Shaytaan - the accursed
- he reflects upon the meaning of se eking refuge and that it entails recourse
to and holding onto Allaah, the All-He aring Who hears the servant, the
All-Knowing Who knows what the Shayaateen whisp er. He brings to mind that
with this (seeking refuge) he opens the door toevery good and closes the
door to every evil. In the same manner does he reflect upon the meanings
of Bismillaah..., the Tasbeeh (Subhaanallaah) and the sending of pr ayers
upon the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam).
It is essential to turn to the books of Tafseer and sayings of the scholars
unti l a person understands what exactly he is saying and that is saying
what he unde rstands. This is for all of his prayer, he strives to achieve
that in accordance with his capability and strength.
3. Abandoning sins and disobedience.
Allaah the Exalted said:
Indeed Allaah does not change the condition of a people until
they change what is in their souls [Surah Ra'd 13:11]
Disobedience is a barrier which stands in front of khushoo' in the prayer.
Included in this disobedience is clinging to a woman possessing evil manners
and not divorcing her or giving a fool power to dispose of his wealth or
giving a loan without it being witnessed. The Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam)
said: "There are three who call upon Allaah - Azzawajall - but
are not answered: A man under whom is a woman of evil nature and he does
not divorce her, a man who is owed something by another but who did not
call anyone to be a witness over it and a man who gives a fool his wealth."
Allaah the Exalted also said: And do not give to the foolish their
Also included in this is the disobedience the wife shows to her husband
and the slave who has run away from his master, as occurs in the hadeeth:
"There are two whose prayer does not go beyond their heads: A servant
who has fled from his master until he returns and a woman who disobeys
her husband until she returns."
Likewise obeying Allaah in abundance increases khushoo' in the prayer
and adds t o its beautification. Among the things which bring this about
are: Being mercifu l to orphans, stroking their heads and feeding them.
In this regard, the Messeng er (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam)
said: "Do you wish that your heart should become soft and that
you obta in your need? Show mercy to the orphan, stroke his head and give
him from your f ood. Your heart will become softened and your will acquire
4. Avoiding too much laughing as it is fatal to the heart and its khushoo'
There occurs in the hadeeth: "...Indeed too much laughing kills
5. Choosing suitable actions
This is from a number of different aspects:
- In that they are halaal/lawful, because Allaah does not accept but
the lawful and wholesome. Consuming unlawful property repels the supplication
and prevents khushoo'.
- That these actions do not oppose the times of prayer. If that is the
case, a man will start to make decisions for himself by allowing himself
to delay the pr ayers or even making them up if he misses the time in which
they are to be perfo rmed. He may also ask someone who will give him such
- That he tries to find out - according to his capability - those actions
which are not strenuous or exacting, so that he enters into the prayer
with a humble and repentant heart. The one who is tired and overworked
must refresh his mind a nd this is at the expense khushoo' in the prayer.
The Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) has commanded
us that when supper is served and the iqaamah has also been pronounced
for the prayer, we begin with the supper until we have finished from it.
This is because of the hearts occupation with the provisions o utside of
the prayer. Ibn Umar (ra) reported from the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam)
that he said : "When the meal of one of you is served and the prayer
has commenced, begin wit h the meal first and do not hurry until you have
finished from it."
6. Not being excessively occupied with the affairs of the world.
This is because it will most certainly be at the expense of the Hereafter.
Take, therefore, from the world that which will cloth you, your family
and your child ren. If your work is done in the morning it will suffice
you. There is nothing w hich necessitates work in the evening. If you receive
a consistent amount of bus iness which brings you profits in abundance
there is no need for becoming entang led with a variety of trades, dividing
your mind thereby, making you forget the rights of your Lord and destroying
the rights of your self, your family and your dependants.
7. Reciting the Qur'aan abundantly.
Also what has been established from among the various remembrances and
supplicat ions from the Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam)
as well as reading the heart-melting traditions an d stories. These soften
the heart and make the Shaytaan distant.
8. Coming to the prayer early.
So that his zeal for the prayer does not force him to hurry towards
the mosque a nd therefore enter the prayer while he is disturbed or muddled.
Abu Qataadah (ra) said: The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam)
said: "When you come to th e prayer you must come to it at ease and
with tranquility and do not come to it hastily. Whatever you catch of the
prayer, pray it and whatever you miss complete it."
Also Abu Hurairah (ra) said: The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam)
said: "When the praye r is recompensed for do not come to it hastily
but come to it with ease, in tran quility. Whatever you catch of it pray
it and whatever you miss complete it. Ind eed when one of you comes to
perform the prayer he is engaged in prayer."
9. Straightening of the rows, making them level and filling the gaps.
This is because the gaps in the rows are the residing places of Shaytaan
and the places where he stands. In a hadeeth there occurs: "Join together
in the rows as Shaytaan stands between the gaps."
The Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) used to
say when straightening the rows of the Companions (r a): "Be equal
(level) and do not separate lest your hearts separate." He also used
to say: "Either you must straighten and make level your rows or Allaah
will cause your faces to be separated."
In the absence of the straightening of the rows, making them level and
filling t he gaps is the separation of the faces and hearts, an impairment
to Eemaan and k illing of khushoo'. Conversely, in the straightening of
the rows and their being level is the perfection of the prayer and its
beautification as the Messenger ( sas) said: "... as the straightening
of the rows is from the perfection of the prayer" and also his
(sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) saying: "... as the straightening of the rows is from the
beauty of prayer."