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Pillar of Islam

Khushoo

Khushoo

Salat the 2nd pillar of Islam after Shahadah, is one of the most important acts of worship, as it is a conversation with Allah, the Supreme Creator, Lord of the Worlds. There are 5 daily prayers with Jumma every Friday.

Please share this message to your friends, family members and other seeking pleasure of Allah only.

One of the most important conditions required for successful salat is Khusu, which is spiritual concentration. During the prayer, the Muslim humbles himself before Allah, acknowledging that he depends on Allah, Who is the Independent Being and does not need anything from him, thus he expresses his poverty. He only focuses on Him leaving all worldly thoughts.

Unfortunately, there are many Muslims who do not pray with khushoo, feel lazy, and unwilling to pray. Some do not have humility, and instead, rush to finish it.

May Allah forgive me if I have erred in any matter and may He makes this article beneficial for all of my brothers and sisters and me.

What is Khushoo?

Khushoo is an Arabic word referring to humility, humbleness, and calmness. In Salat, the khushoo is spiritual concentration, to which a Muslim leaves all worldly thoughts and needs, and put all focus on Allah alone. Submitting to Him, feeling fearful of Him from his body and heart.

Allah tells us that the successful believers are among those who submit themselves fully to Him, in their salats.

قَدۡ أَفۡلَحَ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنُونَ

Certainly, will the believers have succeeded

ٱلَّذِينَ هُمۡ فِى صَلَاتِهِمۡ خَٰشِعُونَ

They who are during their prayer humbly submissive

Surah Mu’minun 1-2

Hazrat Qayyim said regarding khusu

“The khushoo’ of true faith is when the heart feels aware and humble before the greatness and glory of Allah, and is filled with awe, fear, and shyness so that the heart is utterly humbled before Allah and broken, as it were, with fear, shyness, love and the recognition of the blessings of Allah and its own sins. So no doubt the khushoo’ of the heart is followed by the khushoo’ of the body. . (Al-Rooh, p. 314)

The rewards of your salat depends on your khushoo.

It is important that you focus on having as maximum khushoo as possible. It is reported in different ahadith.

“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).

Hazrat Ibn Abbas said regarding the khushoo

“You will only have from your prayer that which you focused on.”

and Prophet peace be upon him also 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;)

Happiness is earned in Salat with full khushoo…

“The Messenger of Allah said: ‘In this world, women and perfume have been made dear to me, and my comfort has been provided in prayer.'”

Sunan an-Nasa’i 3939

How does one get khushoo?

There are many ways of getting Khushoo:

1. See yourself as a slave of Allah, and be certain that you will meet Him.

First, the Muslim should acknowledge that he depends on Allah alone and that he will meet Him on Day of Judgement. We will be accountable for all of our deeds we have done, good or bad. This includes our prayers.

He should know that this worldly life is only temporary and that Hereafter is real and eternal. He should remind himself of this verse.

وَمَا خَلَقۡتُ ٱلۡجِنَّ وَٱلۡإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعۡبُدُونِ

“And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me”

Surah Adh-Dhariyat 56

2. Repeat what the Mu‘adh-dhin says:

It is sunnah to repeat what the Mu’adh-dhin.

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: When the Mu’adhdhin says: Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, and one of you should make this response: Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest; (and when the Mu’adhdhin) says: I testify that there is no god but Allah, one should respond: I testify that there is no god but Allah, and when he says: I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, one should make a response: I testify that Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger. When he (the Mu’adhdhin) says: Come to prayer, one should make a response: There is no might and no power except with Allah. When he (the Mu’adhdhin) says: Come to salvation, one should respond: There is no might and no power except with Allah, and when he (the Mu’adhdhin) says: Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, then make a response: Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest. When he (the Mu’adhdhin) says: There is no god but Allah, and he who makes a response from the heart: There is no god but Allah, he will enter Paradise.

Sahih Muslim 385

I heard Muawiya bin Abi Sufyan (repeating the statements of the Adhan) while he was sitting on the pulpit. When the Mu’adh-dhin pronounced the Adhan saying, “Allahu-Akbar, Allahu Akbar”, Muawiya said: “Allah Akbar, Allahu Akbar.” And when the Mu’adh-dhin said, “Ash-hadu an la ilaha illal-lah (I testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah)”, Muawiya said, “And (so do) I”. When he said, “Ash-hadu anna Muhammadan Rasulullah” (I testify that Muhammad is Allah’s Apostle), Muawiya said, “And (so do) I”. When the Adhan was finished, Muawiya said, “O people, when the Mu’adh-dhin pronounced the Adhan I heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) on this very pulpit saying what you have just heard me saying”.

Sahih Bukhari 914

These are very beneficial, for they keep you prepared for the prayer, as you are going to meet your Creator, which then will give you khushoo. In sha Allah.

3. Recite the supplication after making your wudu.

“Ash-hadu an la ilaha ill-Allahu wahdahu la sharikha lahu, wa ash hadu, anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa Rasuluhu”

“I testify that there is no one worthy of worship but Allah, He is Alone and has no partner and Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.”

Reference: Abu Dawood 169 and Sahih Muslim 234a

“Allahumma aj’alni minat-tawwabina waj’alni minAI-mutatahhrina”

“Oh, Allah! include me among those who repent and those who keep themselves pure.”

  Reference: Bulugh al-Maram 57

“Subhanaka Allah humma wa bihamdika, ashhadu anlaa ilaaha illa anta, astaghfiruka wa atoobu ilaik”  

“Glory be to You, O Allah, and praise; I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but You, I seek Your forgiveness and turn to You in repentance.”

Reference: An-Nasa’i, ‘Amalul-Yawm wal-Laylah, p. 173

3. Use Miswak

It is one of the great sunnah, abandoned by many muslims in favor of toothbrush and toothpaste. Prophet peace be upon him stressed on the use of miswak.

Abu Hurairah narrated that :

Allah’s Messenger said: “If it were not that it would be difficult on my nation, then I would have ordered them to use the Siwak for each prayer.”

Jami` at-Tirmidhi 22

Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq said:

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: `The siwak is purifying for the mouth and pleasing to the Lord.”

Musnad Ahmad 62

4. Take your adornment (etc wear best clothing)

Whenever we are invited to meet the President or when there is a business talk going on, we would naturally try to take our best adornment we have right now, such as wearing luxurious suits, applying perfume, etc. But when it comes to meeting our Creator, we don’t really prepare ourselves, even in fajr, we would just pray in our pajama instead. We should try to prepare ourselves for salat, by wearing good clothing and perfumes only intended to seek Allah’s pleasure.

Allah says in Quran:

يَٰبَنِيٓ ءَادَمَ خُذُواْ زِينَتَكُمۡ عِندَ كُلِّ مَسۡجِدٍ

O Children of Adam, take your adornment at every masjid.

Surah A’raf 31

So therefore we should try our best to look good only for the pleasure of Allah.

5. Spending your time doing dhikr, and reading the Quran, and other beneficial acts.

Remembrance of Allah relaxes our hearts, even during times of hardship. We should try spending our time remembering Allah, such as Subhan Allah, (Allah is free from every error), Alhamdulillah (Praise be to Allah), La ilaha illallah (There is no god but Allah).

The Quran is the best Dikhr, which many people left reciting. When you read it, especially if you know Arabic, you will see that it has a beautiful theme, it tells you about who Allah is, how you worship Him, and living according to His laws, it warns you about the Day of Judgment, which can keep you feel humbled before Almighty Allah.

إِنَّا نَحۡنُ نَزَّلۡنَا ٱلذِّكۡرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُۥ لَحَٰفِظُونَ

Indeed, it is We Who sent down the Qur’an and indeed, We will be its guardian.

Surah Al-Hijr 9

We should stay away from useless activities that keep us stuck longer as these may take our khushoo away and our thoughts may become filled with such activities.

6. Start war against Shaytan the cursed.

Shaytan has promised that he will try to mislead Children of Adam

قَالَ فَبِمَآ أَغۡوَيۡتَنِى لَأَقۡعُدَنَّ لَهُمۡ صِرَٰطَكَ ٱلۡمُسۡتَقِيمَ

[Satan] said, “Because You have put me in error, I will surely sit in wait for them on Your straight path.

ثُمَّ لَأَتِيَنَّهُم مِّنۢ بَيْنِ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِمْ وَعَنْ أَيْمَٰنِهِمْ وَعَن شَمَآئِلِهِمْۖ وَلَا تَجِدُ أَكْثَرَهُمْ شَٰكِرِينَ

Then I will come to them from before them and from behind them and on their right and on their left, and You will not find most of them grateful [to You].”

Surah Al-A’raf 17

And he will try his best to annoy us in salats by throwing out any thoughts and whisperings. So we should fight him.

It is sunnah to seek refuge with Allah from shaitan the outcasted when in salat before starting to recite Surah Fatiha.

7. Try to feel that you are in front of your Creator when praying to Him.

This is actually proven from the hadith.

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) saw sputum on the wall of the mosque in the direction of the Qibla and scraped it off. He faced the people and said, “Whenever any one of you is praying, he should not spit in front of him because in the prayer Allah is in front of him.”

Sahih Bukhari 406 and Sahih Muslim 547 a

Therefore, you should pray as if you are in front of Allah, your Creator, Who does not need you, but it is you who needs Him most… Always try your best to stay humble and do not do foolish movements such as looking around, or up to the sky, fiddling with your beard and hair, looking at your watch, etc…

8. Pray as if it is your last prayer

Prophet peace be upon him gave us beautiful advice.

“A man came to the Prophet (ﷺ) and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, teach me but make it concise.’ He said: ‘When you stand to pray, pray like a man bidding farewell. Do not say anything for which you will have to apologize. And give up hope for what other people have.’”

Sunan Ibn Majah 4171

9. Dont hasten the prayer

Often we get stressed or feel worried about some of our worldly works, thus we end up being hastily in the prayer. This is not acceptable.

Brothers, do you not realize that everything is controlled by Allah? why don’t you know that prayers are most important and bring you closer to Allah? Do you not realize that the worst of thieves are actually those who steal the prayers?

It is reported in ahadith

(Prophet peace be upon him said) “the worst of thieves is the one who steals his prayer.” They said, “How does he steal his prayer, Messenger of Allah?” He replied, “He does not do ruku or sajdah properly.”

Muawatta Imam Malik 406

“The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) forbade three things: Pecking like a crow, spreading (the forearms) like a beast of prey, and a man having a place in the mosque in which he usually offers the prayer, like a camel has a place to which it usually goes.”

Ibn Majah 1496

Abu Hurairah narrated:

“Allah’s Messenger entered the Masjid, and a man entered and offered Salat. Then he came to give Salam to the Propet. He returned the Salam to him and said: ‘Go back and perform Salat, for indeed you have not prayed.’ So the man returned to pray as he had prayed. Then he came to give Salam to the Prophet. He returned Salam to him, then [Allah’s Messenger] said: ‘Go back and perform Salat, for indeed you have not prayed’ until he had done that three times. So the man said to him: ‘By the One who sent you with the Truth, I do not know any better than this, so teach me.’ So he said [to him]: ‘When you stand for Salat then say the Takbir, then recite what is easy for you of the Quran. Then bow until you are at rest while bowing, then rise up until you are at rest sitting. Do that in all of your Salat.'”

Jami` at-Tirmidhi 303

10. Remember that Allah talks about you when you are reciting Surah Faitha.

It is one of the most beautiful part of Salat that your Creator talks about you… Subhan Allah…

It was said to Abu Huraira: At times we are behind the Imam. He said: Recite it inwardly, for he had heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) declare that Allah the Exalted had said: I have divided the prayer into two halves between Me and My servant, and My servant will receive what he asks.

When the servant says: Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the universe, Allah the Most High says: My servant has praised Me.

And when he (the servant) says: The Most Compassionate, the Merciful. Allah the Most High says: My servant has lauded Me.

And when he (the servant) says: Master of the Day of judgment, He remarks: My servant has glorified Me and sometimes He would say: My servant entrusted (his affairs) to Me.

And when he (the worshipper) says: Thee do we worship and of Thee do we ask help, He (Allah) says: This is between Me and My servant, and My servant will receive what he asks for.

Then, when he (the worshipper) says: Guide us to the straight path, the path of those to whom Thou hast been Gracious not of those who have incurred Thy displeasure, nor of those who have gone astray. He (Allah) says: This is for My servant, and My servant will receive what he asks for.

Sahih Muslim 395 a

11. Make small pause between the verses and reflect on its meaning.

It is sunnah to make a small pause between verses so that you reflect on its meaning which helps you to gain more khushoo. In sha Allah.

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) used to recite: “In the name of Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds; Most Gracious, Most Merciful; Master of the Day of Judgment,” breaking its recitation into verses, one after another.

Abu Dawood 4001

Reading Tafsir also helps you to understand about Quran better.

12. Learn Arabic, the language of Quran

Quran was revealed in Arabic language. When one learns the language, he will find so much beautiful things about Quran. By explaining the Quran in another language, it’s no longer Quran. Allah says:

إِنَّآ أَنزَلۡنَٰهُ قُرۡءَٰنًا عَرَبِيًّا لَّعَلَّكُمۡ تَعۡقِلُونَ

Indeed, We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur’an that you might understand.

Surah Yusuf 2

The Salaf (3 generations of Islam, Prophet’s companions, then Tabien, and then Taba Tabien) used to enjoin the non-Arabs to learn Arabic.

Ubay ibn Ka’b (رضي الله عنه) said:
“Teach Arabic (i.e. Arabic grammar) like you teach the memorisation of the Qur’aan!”

Abu Bakr as-Sideeq (رضي الله عنه) said:
“That I recite and forget (a portion) is more beloved to me than to make a grammatical mistake!”

Umar ibn al-Khattab (رضي الله عنه) once passed by a group of archers who missed their targets. He reprimanded them, and they responded that they were only beginners, but they made a grammatical mistake in phrasing their response. He told them, “Verily, your mistakes in (Arabic) grammar are more difficult for me to bear than your mistakes in archery!”

(Quotes from Lughat al-Qur’aan by Abu Ubadah Ibrahim ibn Muhammad, pps 15-20)

‘Abdullaah bin Zayd An-Numayri reports that Al-Hasan Al-Basri said:

“They (the heretics) were destroyed by their inability in Arabic.”

Al-Bukhaari, At-Taareekh Al-Kabeer 5/99.

Al-Imaam Ash-Shaafi’i said:

“People didn’t become ignorant and didn’t differ amongst themselves except because they left Arabic and leaned towards the language of Aristotle.”

Quoted by As-Suyuti in Sawn Al-Mantiq p15.

As-Suyuti said on p22 of the same book:

“I have found that the Salaaf before Ash-Shaafi’i indicate what he did: that the cause of heresy is ignorance of the Arabic language.”

So according to the Salaf, those who are not native speaker of Arabic (including me) are obligated to learn the Arabic.

13. Memorize some of surahs especially the small one

These help you to learn more and to achieve full khushoo. For 2 rakats sunnah prayer, it is sunnah to recite Surah Kafiroon and then Ikhlaas.

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that in the two Rak’ah before the Fajr, the Prophet (ﷺ) used to recite:

“Say: ‘O you disbelievers!” [Al-Kafirun (109)] and “Say: Allah is One.” [Al-Ikhlas (112)]

By reflecting on these surahs, you reject all forms of kufr and shirks, and accept the Oneness of Allah, believing in His beautiful and Perfect attributes.

14. Straighten the rows.

This is most ignored obligatory command, Prophet peace be upon him commanded us to straighten rows. It is reported in ahadith.

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Straighten your rows as the straightening of rows is essential for perfect and correct prayer. “

Sahih al-Bukhari 723

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Straighten your rows or Allah will alter your faces.”

Sahih al-Bukhari 717

Prophet peace be upon him said that the shaitans enters the rows like small sheeps

“Make your rows solid and close together, and keep your necks in line. By the One in Whose Hand is the soul of Muhammad! I can see the shaitan entering through the gaps in the rows as if they are small sheep.”

Sunan an-Nasa’i 815

It is also a great sunnah for man to take the first row. As for the women, they should be in the last rows, to avoid any temptation.

Abu Hurairah narrated that:

Allah’s Messenger said: “The best rows for the men are the first of them, and the worst are the last of them. And the best rows for the women are the last of them, and the worst are the first of them.”

Jami` at-Tirmidhi 224

15. Say Ameen behind the Imam when he says the ameen too at the end of the Surah Fatiha.

“The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘When the Imam says: Not (the way) of those who earned Your anger, nor of those who went astray, say: ‘Amin’ for the angels say Amin and the Imam says Amin, and if a person’s Amin coincides with the Amin of the angels, his previous sins will be forgiven.'”

Sunan an-Nasa’i 927

16. Say Rabbana Wa Laka hamd when the Imam says “Sami Allah liman Hamidah

Narrated Rifa’a bin Rafi Az-Zuraqi:

One day we were praying behind the Prophet. When he raised his head from bowing, he said, “Sami`a l-lahu liman hamidah.” A man behind him said, “Rabbana wa laka l-hamdu, hamdan kathiran taiyiban mubarakan fihi” (O our Lord! All the praises are for You, many good and blessed praises). When the Prophet completed the prayer, he asked, “Who has said these words?” The man replied, “I.” The Prophet said, “I saw over thirty angels competing to write it first.” Prophet rose (from bowing) and stood straight till all the vertebrae of his spinal column came to a natural position.

Sahih al-Bukhari 799

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that:

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “When the Imam says: ‘Sami Allahu liman hamidah (Allah hears the one who praises Him),’ then say: ‘Rabbana wa lakal-hamd,’ (Our Lord, and to You be the praise).’ Whoever says that and it coincides with the angels saying it, his previous sins will be forgiven.”

Sunan an-Nasa’i 1063

17. Repeat verses as to ponder on its meaning again and again.

The Prophet peace be upon him used to do this.

It was reported that he spent a night repeating one aayah until morning came. The ayah was (interpretation of the meaning): “If you punish them, they are Your slaves, and if You forgive them, verily You, only You are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.”[al-Maa‟idah 5:118].

(Reported by Ibn Khuzaymah, 1/271 and Ahmad, 5/149; Sifat al-Salaah, p. 102)

18. Place the Sutrah

It is sunnah to place the sutrah infront of you, so that you don’t feel disturbed. Sutrah also prevents the people from crossing infront of you.

Narrated Sahl ibn Abu Hathmah:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said: When one of you prays facing a sutrah he should keep close to it, and not let the devil interrupt his prayer.

Sunan Abi Dawud 695

19. Place the right hand over your left hand in Qiyam position

Narrated Sahl bin Sa`d:

The people were ordered to place the right hand on the left forearm in the prayer. Abu Hazim said, “I knew that the order was from the Prophet (ﷺ) .”

Sahih al-Bukhari 740

According to the scholars, this is sign of humility.

Imam Ahmad (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked about the meaning of placing one hand on top of the other when standing in prayer. He said: “It is humility before the Almighty.”

(Al-Khushoo‟ fi‟l-Salaah by Ibn Rajab, p. 21).

Ibn Hajar (may Allah 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).

20. Keep your gaze strict on the place of prostration

It was reported from Aa‟ishah that

“The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah 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-Bukhariand Muslim], and al-Albaani agreed with him in Sifat al-Salaah, p. 89)

21. Look at your index finger and keeping gaze on it, while moving it during Tashahudd.

This is one of the most ignored sunnah

It is reported in hadith:

then he (Prophet Peace be upon him) held two of his fingers together and made a circle, and raised his forefinger, and I saw him moving it and supplicating with it.”

Sunan an-Nasa’i 889

Abd Allah b. al-Zubair narrated the above-mentioned tradition on the authority of his father saying:

He (Prophet peace be upon him) kept his look fixed on the finger he was pointing.

Sunan Abi Dawud 990

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “It is more powerful against the Shaytan than iron”

(Reported by Imaam Ahmad, 2/119, with a hasan isnaad, as stated in Sifat al-Salaah, p. 159)

i.e., pointing with the forefinger during the Tashahhud is more painful to the Shaytan than being beaten with a rod of iron, because it reminds the slave of the Unity of Allah and to be sincere in his worship of Him alone, and this is what the Shaytan hates most; we seek refuge with Allah from him.”

(al-Fath al-Rabbani by al-Saa‟idi, 4/15).

22. Offer Sujood-Al-Tilaawah when you recite an Ayat of Prostration:

Umar bin Al-Khattab recited Surat-an-Nahl on a Friday on the pulpit and when he reached the verse of Sajda he got down from the pulpit and prostrated and the people also prostrated. The next Friday Umar bin Al-Khattab recited the same Sura and when he reached the verse of Sajda he said, “O people! When we recite the verses of Sajda (during the sermon) whoever prostrates does the right thing, yet it is no sin for the one who does not prostrate.” And Umar did not prostrate (that day). Added Ibn `Umar “Allah has not made the prostration of recitation compulsory but if we wish we can do it.”

Sahih al-Bukhari 1077

Abu Salama b. ‘Abual-Rahman reported:

Abu Huraira recited before them:” When the heaven burst asunder” (al-Qur’an 84:1) and performed prostration. After completing (the prayer) he informed them that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) has prostrated himself at it (this verse).

Sahih Muslim 578 a

It also annoys Shaitan, thus making his hold weak.

Abu Hurayrah said:

“The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “When the son of Adam recites a sajdah, the Shaytan 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) and Ibn Majah 1105

23. Understand how the Salaf prayed and how they had khushoo

The Salaf were the best generation, for their piety, beautiful manners, wisdoms and knowledge. It is important that we follow their footsteps so that we follow the Straight Path. They had such level of khushoo, that we could never be able to match. But still, we should try to follow their examples.

Mujaahid (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “When one of them stood in prayer, he would be too fearful of his Lord to allow his eyes to be drawn to anything, or to turn aside or to fidget by playing with pebbles or anything else or to think of any worldly matter, unless he forgot, during prayer.”

(Ta‟zeem Qadr al-Salaah, 1/188)

When Ibn al-Zubayr stood up to pray, he would be like a stick (i.e., immobile) with khushoo‟. Once he was prostrating when a missile from a catapult was launched at him, when Makkah was being besieged, and part ofhis garment was torn away whilst he was praying, and he did not even raise his head. Muslimah ibn Bashshaar was praying in the mosque when part of it collapsed, and the people got up [and fled], but he was praying and did not even notice. We have heard that one of them was like a garment thrown on the floor; one of them would end his prayer with the colour of his complexion changed because he had been standing before Allah. One of them would not know who was standing to his right or left when he prayed. One of them would go pale when he did wudoo‟ for prayer, and it was said to him, “We see that when you do wudoo‟ a change comes over you.” He said, “I know before Whom I am going to stand.” When the time for prayer came, „Ali ibn Abi Taalib would be visibly shaken, and the colour of his face would change. It was said to him, “What is the matter with you?‟ He said, “By Allah, there has come the time of the amaanah (trust) which Allahoffered to the heavens and the earth, and the mountains, but they declined tobear it and were afraid of it, but I bore it [cf. Al-Ahzaab 33:72].” When Sa‟eed al-Tanookhi prayed, there would be tears rolling down his cheeks onto his beard. We heard that one of the Taabi‟een, when he stood up to pray, his colour would change, and hewould say, “Do you know before Whom I am going to stand and with Whom I am going to talk?” Who among you has fear and respect like this?

(Silaah al-Yaqazaan li Tard al-Shaytan, Abd al-Azeez Sultaan, p. 209)

24. If you have urge to relieve yourself, do so.

Because it can disturb your khushoo easily, thererfore you should relieve yourself first.

The Messenger of Allah forbade a man to perform prayer when he was suppressing (the urge to urinate or defecate).

Ibn Majah 617

25. Avoid praying when you feel sleepy.

When one is sleepy, he loses his awareness, and sometimes he may end up cursing himself accidentally. Therefore it is best to take a rest if you feel sleepy.

Allah’s Messenger said: “When one of you is sleepy and he is performing Salat, then let him lie down until the sleep is gone from him. For when one of you performs Salat while he is sleepy, perhaps he wants to seek forgiveness but he curses himself.”

Jami` at-Tirmidhi 355

26. If you feel hungry and a food has been served, eat it first before going for prayer.

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: When the supper is served to any one of you and the prayer also begins. (in such a case) first take supper, and do not make haste (for prayer) till you have (taken the food).

Sahih Muslim 559 a

27. Get rid of anything that could distract your khushoo.

Example, pictures, colorful decoration, TV.

It was narrated that ‘Aishah said:

“In my house there was a cloth on which were images, which I put in a niche of the house, and the Messenger of Allah [SAW] used to pray facing it. Then he said: ‘O ‘Aishah, take it away from me.’ So I took it down and made it into pillows.’

Sunan an-Nasa’i 5354

Any loud places such as people making alot of noises, arguing with each other must be avoided too.

28. Avoid praying on prayer mat with designs disturbing the khushoo and wearing garment with designs.

The Apostle of Allah (ﷺ) prayed in a garment which had designs over it, so he (the Holy Prophet) said: Take it to Abu Jahm and bring me a plain blanket from him, because its designs have distracted me.

Sahih Muslim 556 a

29. Don’t pray behind sleeping person or those talking.

Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said: Do not pray behind a sleeping or a talking person.

Although there is a hadith.

Narrated `Urwa:

The Prophet (ﷺ) prayed while Aisha was lying between him and his Qibla on the bed on which they used to sleep.

Sahih al-Bukhari 384

Some scholars among the Salaf thought it is makruh to pray behind a sleeping person because the person could expose something. But if there is no risk about it, then no problem in praying behind the person. Allah knows best.

30. Avoid smoothering the ground

Mu’aiqib reported the Prophet (ﷺ) as saying ;

Do not remove pebbles while you are praying; if you do it out of sheer necessity, do it only once to smooth the pebbles.

Sunan Abi Dawud 946

The reason is to keep maintainng the khushoo, by avoiding making extra movements.

31. Avoid distracting the people with your recitation.

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) retired to the mosque. He heard them (the people) reciting the Qur’an in a loud voice. He removed the curtain and said: Lo! every one of you is calling his Lord quietly. One should not trouble the other and one should not raise the voice in recitation or in prayer over the voice of the other.

Sunan Abi Dawud 1332

32. Avoid looking at the heaven and around.

‘A’ishah said:

I asked the Messenger of Allah(ﷺ) about looking to the sides during prayer. He said: It is something which the devil snatches from a servant’s prayers.

Sunan Abi Dawud 910

It was narrated that Anas bin Malik said:

“The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) led his Companions in prayer one day. When he had finished the prayer he turned to face the people and said: ‘What is wrong with some people that they lift their gaze to the heavens?’ He spoke severely concerning that: ‘They should certainly abstain from that or Allah will snatch away their sight.’”

Ibn Majah 1044

33. Avoid yawning while in the prayer

It is not good manner, and as well shaitan will laugh when you yawn.

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Yawning is from Satan and if anyone of you yawns, he should check his yawning as much as possible, for if anyone of you (during the act of yawning) should say: ‘Ha’, Satan will laugh at him.

Sahih al-Bukhari 3289

34. Avoid spitting on direction of Qibla

It is against the proper manner of Salat, as you are speaking to Allah.

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) saw some sputum in the direction of the Qiblah of the mosque. He turned to the people and said:

“What is wrong with one of you that he stands facing Him (meaning his Lord) and spits in front of Him? Would anyone like to be faced by someone who spits in his face? If anyone of you needs to spit, then let him spit to his left, or let him do like this in his garment.”

Ibn Majah 1022

35. Avoid putting your hands on the hip

Abu Hurairah narrated:

“The Prophet (S) prohibited that a man to pray with his hands on his hip.”

Jami` at-Tirmidhi 383

“I prayed beside Ibn Umar and put my hand on my waist, and he did this to me-knocked it with his hand. When I had finished praying I said to a man: ‘Who is this?’ He said: “Abdullah bin Umar.’ I said: ‘O Abu Abdur-Rahman, why are you angry with me?’ He said: ‘This is the posture of crucifixion, and the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) forbade us to do this.'”

Sunan an-Nasa’i 891

36. Avoid letting your lower clothing go below the ankles

Our Prophet peace be upon him prohibited us to do this.

Abu Hurairah said:

“The Messenger of Allah [SAW] said: ‘Whatever of the Izar comes below the ankles is in the Fire.'”

Sunan an-Nasa’i 5330

37. Avoid coming to the masjid with bad smell (resulted from eating onions, leek, or smoking)

It is offensive to the worshippers and could disturb their khushoo due to their bother of the bad-smelling. It also offends the angels.

Jabir b. ‘Abdullah reported the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) saying:

He who eats of this (offensive) plant, i. e garlic, and sometimes he said: He who eats onion and garlic and leek, should not approach our mosque for the angels are harmed by the same things as the children of Adam.

Sahih Muslim 564 c

38. Pray two rakats Tahyyiat prayer before sitting down

It can be any sunnah prayer including the two rakat Sunnah of Fajr.

Narrated Abu Qatada bin Rabi Al-Ansari;:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “If anyone of you enters a Mosque, he should not sit until he has offered a two Rakat prayer.”

Sahih al-Bukhari 1167

It is like a warmup for the Farz. It makes you prepared for better khushoo.


May Allah grant us full khushoo. We depend on Him, He is Independent Being and does not need us. We seek His help to achieve the joy found in Salat.

Alhamduillah

For learning how to perform prayer. the article here is available.

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