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Lesson Khushoo' (having a sense of humility and submissiveness) in the Prayer

Having a sense of humility and submissiveness is the very essence of the prayer, and it is one of its most important qualities. In this lesson, you will learn about the meaning of khushoo' and the ways that help to obtain it.

  • Awareness of the meaning of khushoo' in prayer.
  • Learn about the ways that help to obtain khushoo'.

Khushoo' in the Prayer

It is the reality of the prayer and its essence. It means the presence of the praying person's heart before Allah in the prayer with humbleness and humility, cognizant of what they say of verses, supplications and remembrances.

Khushoo' in the prayer is among the best acts of worship and the most glorious acts of obedience. Because of this, Allah stressed in His Book that it is from the attributes of the Believers, as He Glorious and Exalted said ﴾The Believers have succeeded. Those who, in their prayer, have khushoo') [Al-Mu'minoon: 1-2].

And they who have khushoo' in prayer taste the pleasure of worship and faith. Because of this, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ says «The prayer has been made the coolness of my eye» (An-Nasa'i: 3940). Coolness of the eye meaning the utmost joy, happiness, affection, fondness, and pleasure.

The Means That Help With Khushoo' in Prayer

1. Preparation for the Prayer and Readiness for It

And that it is by hastening to it in the mosque with regards to the men; performing the sunnahs that precede the prayer; wearing fine, suitable clothing; and walking to it with composure and tranquility.

2. Keeping Away All Preoccupations and Nuisances

So they do not pray as something that preoccupies them is before them of pictures and amusements, or as they hear that which preoccupies them of sounds. And they do not come to the prayer as they need the bathroom and not while they are hungry or thirsty in the presence of food and drink. All of that in so the mind of the praying person becomes clear, and they be preoccupied with the great matter that they will approach and that is their prayer and private conversing with their Lord.

3. Serenity in Prayer

The Prophet ﷺ used to bow and prostrate with tranquility, so much so that each bone would return to its place, and he ordered the one who rushed his prayers to take his time in all the postures of the prayer, and he forbade being hasty and compared it to the pecking of crows.

And the Prophet ﷺ said «The worst people in stealing is he who steals from his prayer». They said "Oh Messenger of Allah, and how does he steal from his prayer?" He said «He does not complete its bowing nor its prostration» (Ahmad 22642). The one who does not settle in their prayer is not able to have khushoo', because the speediness eliminates the khushoo' and the crow's peck eliminates the reward.

4. Awareness of the Greatness of Whom They Will Stand Before

So they remember the greatness of the Creator and His Glory; their soul's weakness and its humility; that they stand before their Lord and supplicate to Him meekly, humbly, and abjectly; and they remember what Allah prepared for the Believers in the afterlife of reward and what He prepared for the polytheists of punishment, and they remember their standing before Allah in the afterlife.

The people praying think about Allah hearing them, giving them, and answering their supplications. In this way, they achieve attentiveness in the prayer according to how much they reflect on this. They are also closer to being among those that Allah praises in HIs statement: (Truly Prayer is burdensome for all except the devout, who realize that ultimately they will have to meet their Lord and that to Him they are destined to return.) [Surah Al-Baqarah:45-46]

5. Meditating on Quranic Verses and Other Prayer Utterances and Responding toThem

The Quran was revealed to be reflected on: (This is a blessed Book which We have revealed to you, [O Muḥammad], that they might reflect upon its verses and that those of understanding would be reminded.) [Surah Sad:29]

How does reflection take place?

This can only be achieved by understanding the meaning of the Quranic verses, invocations, and supplications recited in prayer. Meditation on the meaning of what one recites as well as on one’s own condition, is bound to increase one’s humility in prayer and even move one to tears. Such emotional effect becomes evident with every verse to which one listens, as the Quran states: (They are those who, when reminded of the revelation of their Lord, do not turn a blind eye or a deaf ear to it.) [Surah Al-Furqan:73]

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