#24 – Building Khushu’ in One’s Salah
Jan 17 – 23, 2022
Jumaada Thaaniyah 14 – 20, 1443


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Building Khushu' in One's Salah

What have Allah and His Messenger said about

Building Khushu' in One's Salah

قَدْ أَفْلَحَ ٱلْمُؤْمِنُونَ۝ ٱلَّذِينَ هُمْ فِى صَلَاتِهِمْ خَـٰشِعُونَ ۝
Successful indeed are the believers. Those who offer their Salat (prayers) with all solemnity and full submissiveness.

[Surah Al-Muminoon, Ayah 1-2]
ٱتْلُ مَآ أُوحِىَ إِلَيْكَ مِنَ ٱلْكِتَـٰبِ وَأَقِمِ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ ۖ إِنَّ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ تَنْهَىٰ عَنِ ٱلْفَحْشَآءِ وَٱلْمُنكَرِ ۗ وَلَذِكْرُ ٱللَّهِ أَكْبَرُ ۗ وَٱللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَصْنَعُونَ۝
Recite, [O Muḥammad], what has been revealed to you of the Book and establish prayer. Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing, and the remembrance of Allah is greater. And Allah knows that which you do.

[Surah Al-‘Ankabut, Ayah 45]
عَنْ حُرَيْثِ بْنِ قَبِيصَةَ، قَالَ قَدِمْتُ الْمَدِينَةَ فَقُلْتُ اللَّهُمَّ يَسِّرْ لِي جَلِيسًا صَالِحًا ‏.‏ قَالَ فَجَلَسْتُ إِلَى أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ فَقُلْتُ إِنِّي سَأَلْتُ اللَّهَ أَنْ يَرْزُقَنِي جَلِيسًا صَالِحًا فَحَدِّثْنِي بِحَدِيثٍ سَمِعْتَهُ مِنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم لَعَلَّ اللَّهَ أَنْ يَنْفَعَنِي بِهِ فَقَالَ سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ ‏ “‏ إِنَّ أَوَّلَ مَا يُحَاسَبُ بِهِ الْعَبْدُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ مِنْ عَمَلِهِ صَلاَتُهُ فَإِنْ صَلُحَتْ فَقَدْ أَفْلَحَ وَأَنْجَحَ وَإِنْ فَسَدَتْ فَقَدْ خَابَ وَخَسِرَ فَإِنِ انْتَقَصَ مِنْ فَرِيضَتِهِ شَيْءٌ قَالَ الرَّبُّ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ انْظُرُوا هَلْ لِعَبْدِي مِنْ تَطَوُّعٍ فَيُكَمَّلَ بِهَا مَا انْتَقَصَ مِنَ الْفَرِيضَةِ ثُمَّ يَكُونُ سَائِرُ عَمَلِهِ عَلَى ذَلِكَ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ وَفِي الْبَابِ عَنْ تَمِيمٍ الدَّارِيِّ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى حَدِيثُ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ غَرِيبٌ مِنْ هَذَا الْوَجْهِ ‏.‏ وَقَدْ رُوِيَ هَذَا الْحَدِيثُ مِنْ غَيْرِ هَذَا الْوَجْهِ عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ وَقَدْ رَوَى بَعْضُ أَصْحَابِ الْحَسَنِ عَنِ الْحَسَنِ عَنْ قَبِيصَةَ بْنِ حُرَيْثٍ غَيْرَ هَذَا الْحَدِيثِ وَالْمَشْهُورُ هُوَ قَبِيصَةُ بْنُ حُرَيْثٍ ‏.‏ وَرُوِيَ عَنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ حَكِيمٍ عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم نَحْوُ هَذَا
Huraith bin Qabisah narrated: “I arrived in Al-Madinah and said: ‘O Allah! Facilitate me to be in a righteous gathering.'” He said: “I sat with Abu Hurairah and said: ‘Indeed I asked Allah to provide me with a righteous gathering. So narrate a hadith to me which you heard from Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) so that perhaps Allah would cause me to benefit from it.’ He said: ‘I heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) say:
“Indeed the first deed by which a servant will be called to account on the Day of Resurrection is his Salat. If it is complete, he is successful and saved, but if it is defective, he has failed and lost. So if something is deficient in his obligatory (prayers) then the Lord, Mighty and Sublime says: ‘Look! Are there any voluntary (prayers) for my worshipper?’ So with them, what was deficient in his obligatory (prayers) will be completed. Then the rest of his deeds will be treated like that.”

[Jami` at-Tirmidhi 413]
حَدَّثَنا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللهِ الحَضْرَمِيُّ، ثنا يَحْيى بْنُ زَكَرِيّا المُعَلِّمُ، ثنا أبُو مُعاوِيَةَ، عَنْ لَيْثٍ، عَنْ طاوُسٍ، عَنِ ابْنِ عَبّاسٍ ﵄، قالَ: قالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ ﷺ: «مَن لَمْ تَنْهَهُ صَلاتُهُ عَنِ الفَحْشاءِ والمُنْكَرِ، لَمْ يَزْدَدْ مِنَ اللهِ إلّا بُعْدًا
The Messenger of Allah is reported to have said: “Whosoever’s prayer does not prevent them from committing vile deeds and immoralities, it [their prayer] only distances them from Allah”

[Al-Tabarani 11025]

The Purpose of Salah

It is imperative for you to know that salah is, without any doubt, the domain of tranquility for devotees (muhibbin), the enjoyment of the souls of the monothiests (muwahidin), the garden of the worshippers (‘aabidin), the essence of enjoyment of the humble ones (khashi’in), the test of the sincere ones (sadiqin), and the scale measuring the mettle of those embarking the right path (salikin). It is truly a devine Mercy that Allah has gifted to His believing servants that He has Guided them to, and acquainted them with. He delegated His truthful and honest Messenger, Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), to deliver this gift to His believing servants in order that they may attain a noble status with Him. Through its means He dignifies, honors and showers them with His Mercy, and allows them to win His Nearness. He bestows upon His believing servants all this although He is in no need of them, He just wants to lavish them with this gracious gift to show His Favour upon them and bring their hearts and bodies altogether into His servitude.

The Internal Condition of The Prayer

There are many works signifying the internal condition of the prayer, but they can be gathered under six points:

1) The presence of the heart: This means that the heart is made void from any other thoughts, and the mind should be connected to the actions and words [of the prayer] only. When there is no concern other than it [the prayer], the mind is concentrated and the heart remembers what it is engaged in.

2) Understanding [of words uttered]: Understanding of the words uttered enjoins the presence of the heart, as sometimes it may be that the heart is present with the words but not with the meanings [of these words uttered]. Thus, [it is important] the heart should comprise of the knowledge of the meanings for the words uttered as well.

3) Honor [of Allah]: This enjoins both the presence of the heart and understanding of the words uttered. This is a state of mind and is produced from the acquaintance of two things: The first is the recognition of Allah (SWT) and His Glory. This is a principle of faith because whoever does not have firm belief of the Glory of Allah (SWT) will not be encouraged to submit to His Honor. The second is the recognition of the helplessness and insignificance of oneself. From the acquaintance of these two things, submission [to Allah], humbleness, and consciousness of Allah (SWT) arises and as a result the honor for Allah (SWT) is developed.

4) Awe [of Allah]: This is the condition of the mind which arises from the recognition of Allah’s power, His rewards, and His punishment. If Allah were to destroy everything in the past and the present, his sovereignty would not be reduced even by the slightest. In general, the more the knowledge of Allah increases, the more the fear and awe for Allah will increase.

5) Hope: This arises out of the recognition of the benevolence and generosity of Allah, His comprehensive blessings, His creation, and His truthfulness in his promise of paradise through salah. When one attains conviction of His promise and attains the recognition of his Generosity, there is no doubt that Hope [in Allah] will arise.

6) Shame: This arises from the feeling of deficiency in one’s worship [of Allah], and from the knowledge of one’s weakness to fulfill the right of Allah (SWT).

[Adapted from Ihya Uloom Al-Din by Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (d. 505H), Dar Al-Faiha/Dar Al-Manhal Publisher (2020) Edition (p.g 487 – 490)]

Servitude in al-Takbir

The ‘abd (of Allah) is then ordered to stand with his face in the direction of the qiblah all the while having his heart facing Him as well (being fully attentive to Him) so as to renounce his previous state of rebellion and to stop turning away (from his Lord). The slave (of Allah) should therefore stand before his Master in humility and submission calling for His Compassion with his hands thrown at his sides and his head low, while at the same time his heart is fully attentive to Him in a state of humility, as he devotes all his senses to His service and glorification by declaring with his tongue and proclaiming in his heart that He is the Greatest, which is to express that Allah is greater than anything he may have in his heart. And he affirms this statement by dismissing everything except Allah from his heart so his heart is completely occupied with Allah and nothing else. This is because occupying himself with anything else would connote that he finds what he is busy with is of more importance or greater than Allah. Indeed, a person whose heart is busied with what distracts him from Allah (in salah) is someone whose heart does not conform to the statement made by his tongue declaring Allah is the Greatest. Having the heart in harmony with the tongue when saying that Allah is the Greatest will strip the heart from the attire of arrogance as such a garment does not befit the state of his enslavement to Allāh. Furthermore, it would prevent the heart from thinking of anything except Allāh. This is because the rights of these two words; Allāh is Greater than everything (no Vail), and the resolve to establish his servitude to Allāh through the takbir protects the heart from the aforementioned defects (being occupied with something else other than Allāh and wearing a garment that does not befit the servitude to Allāh).

Servitude in al-Istiftah

سبحانك اللهم و بحمدك

He then glorifies Him and praises Him in repetition with what befits Him, he comes out of the state of heedlessness that stands as a barrier between him and Allah. Then, he greets and praises with expressions that befit His Kingship when someone enters upon Him, to glorify Him and as a prelude to his own needs and requests that he hopes the Kind to grant. This is why praising over and over again is considered from the etiquettes of expressing one’s servitude to Allah and glorifying Him, and the means whereby the ‘abd receives the attention of Allah as well as His pleasure and approval to fulfill his requests.

The State of the ‘abd in al-Qira’ah and al-Isti’adhah

As he is about to recite the Qur’ān, he precedes it by seeking refuge in Allāh from the accursed Satan who never spares any effort in his tireless endeavor, to bring about the downfall of the ‘abd (of Allāh) – especially when the ‘abd is in a station of utmost honor (i.e. șalāh) while seeking to perform the single most beneficial deed for this life and the Hereafter. Hence, he (Satan) is fervently determined to prevent the ‘abd (of Allāh) from praying by any means; failing to do so he wants to see to it that at the very least, his heart does not benefit from it (i.e. the salāh) by casting into his heart all sorts of whispers and thoughts to distract it from fulfilling the duties of servitude to Allāh. Therefore Allāh has ordered His slave to take refuge in Him from Satan (before starting his recitation in salāh) to assure the safety of his salāh, so that his heart may be revived and illuminated by the understanding he acquires from contemplating the words of Allāh as He is the Master in whose hand is the success, grace and life of his heart. This also explains why Satan is keen to distract his heart from understanding the words of Qur’ān when recited.

The State of the ‘abd in al-Fatihah

A person should pause a little at the end of each ayah he recites from al-Fātiḥah to wait for the response from his Lord; as if he is waiting to hear Him to say, “My abd has praised Me” when he recites;

ٱلْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ ٱلْعَـٰلَمِينَ
“All Praises and thanks are due to Allāh, the Lord of all Worlds”

and “My abd has extolled Me” after reciting;

ٱلرَّحْمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
“The All-Merciful, The Most Merciful’’

and “My ‘abd has has glorified Me” after reciting;

مَـٰلِكِ يَوْمِ ٱلدِّينِ
Master of the Day of Judgement

and “This is between Me and My ‘abd and My ‘abd shall have what he requested” after reciting;

سبإِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ
“You Alone we worship and You Alone we ask for help”

Only the one who has experienced the true taste and sweetness of salāh can realise that no other statement could ever replace the takbir and al-Fatiḥah in șalāh, just as how no acts can ever replace the standing, bowing down, and prostration in șalāh. This is because each act and each statement in salāh has a unique effect and comprises a distinctive experience, besides its representation of the worshipper’s servitude to Allāh.

The statement of Allāh;

ٱلْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ ٱلْعَـٰلَمِينَ
“All Praises and thanks are due to Allāh, the Lord of all Worlds”

confirms the perfection of Allāh’s Names and Attributes, and declares His transcendence above every defect and shortcoming, be it in respect to His Names, Attributes or Actions. All His Actions comprise Wisdom, Mercy, Justice and Benefit, and all his Attributes are Perfect and Lauded, and all His Names are Supreme and Beautiful.

The Meanings of Al-Hamd

The praise entitled to Him fills up this worldly life and the Hereafter as does the heavens and earth and all that is between them and contained within them. The entire universe utters His Praise. The creation, its affairs, existence and non existence as well as its sustainability owe themselves to His Praiseworthiness. Truly, everything exists just to praise Him for it is the objective and purpose of every creature. Every object in existence attests to the praise that He is entitled to; the Messengers He sent and the Books He sent down entail that He be praised; the creation of Paradise and Hell calls for praising Him. Paradise inhabited with its people and Hell inhabited with its people testify to the praise He is entitled for.

The obedience and disobedience of mankind have not transpired except to testify to the praise Allāh is worthy of. The leaves of trees would not fall nor would atoms move, had it not been for His praise. Exalted be He, is praised for His Essence even if none of His slaves had ever praised Him, just as He is the One and Only Ilāh even if none of His slaves had been monotheists – and He is the true Ilāh worthy of worship even if none of His slaves had believed in Him.

Keeping this in perspective it is evident that it is actually He who praises Himself on the tongue of His slaves, because when a person praises Him it is only due to His permission that such praise is uttered by their tongues, and is established in their heart through his permission. Truly, to Him is all the praise and to Him belongs everything; in His Hand lies all goodness; He is the absolute controller of everything, all that is apparent or hidden. This is only a brief glimpse of the countless aspects of servitude to Allāh included in this statement al-ḥamd, it is only a drop of water out of the ocean of the knowledge of what servitude to Allāh comprises and entails.

[‘Asrar al-Salah wa’l-Farq Wa’l-Mawaazanah bayna dawq al-Salah wa’l Sama’, Imam ibn Qayyim al_Jawziyyah [d. 751H], English Translation (Inner Dimensions of the Prayer) by Ayman ibn Khalid (pg 17 – 36), Dar as-Sunnah Publishers]

Spiritual Reminders

A Conversation with Allah in Salat.
Imam Muslim narrates in his Sahih: In Hadith Al-Qudsi Allah (SWT) says:

قَسَمْتُ الصَّلاَةَ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَ عَبْدِي نِصْفَيْنِ وَلِعَبْدِي مَا سَأَلَ

” I have divided the prayer into two halves between Me and My servant, and My servant will receive what he asks.’

Here’s the conversation between your Sustainer and you every time you stand in front of Him reciting this beautiful surah:

You say: (‏ (الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينPraise be to Allah, the Lord of the universe.

Allah the Most High says: (حَمِدَنِي عَبْدِي) My servant has praised Me.

You say: الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ)‏) The Most Compassionate, the Merciful.

Allah the Most High says: (أَثْنَى عَلَىَّ عَبْدِي) My servant has exalted Me.

You say: (مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ) Master of the Day of judgement.

Allah the Most Exalted says: (مَجَّدَنِي عَبْدِي) My servant has glorified Me. Sometimes He would say: (فَوَّضَ إِلَىَّ عَبْدِي) My servant entrusted (his affairs) to Me.
You say: (إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ) You alone do we worship and You alone we ask for help.

Allah Almighty says: (هَذَا بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَ عَبْدِي وَلِعَبْدِي مَا سَأَلَ) This is between Me and My servant, and My servant shall have what he has asked for.

You say: (اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا الضَّالِّينَ) Guide us to the straight path, the path of those to whom You have favored, not the path of those who earn Your anger nor the ones who go astray.

Allah the Most High says: (هَذَا لِعَبْدِي وَلِعَبْدِي مَا سَأَلَ) This is for My servant, and My servant will receive what he asks for.

[Sahih Muslim, Book 4, Hadith 41]



The Qiyam of The Prophet (SAW)
It was narrated that Hudhaifah said:
“I prayed with the Prophet (ﷺ) one night. He started to recite Al-Baqarah and I thought, ‘he will bow when he reaches one hundred,’ but he carried on. I thought, ‘he is going to recite the whole surah in one rak’ah,’ but he carried on. He started to recite An-Nisa’ and recited (the whole surah), then he started to recite Al Imran and recited (the whole surah), reciting slowly. When he reached a verse that spoke of glorifying Allah (SWT), he glorified Him. When he reached a verse that spoke of supplication, he made supplication. When he reached a verse that spoke of seeking refuge with Allah, he sought refuge with Him. Then he bowed and said: ‘Subhana Rabbiyal-Azim.(Glory be to my Lord Almighty)’, and he bowed for almost as long as he had stood. Then he raised his head and said: ‘Sami Allahu liman hamidah (Allah hears those who praise Him)’, and he stood for almost as long as he had bowed. Then he prostrated and started to say: Subhana Rabbiyal-‘Ala (Glory be to my Lord Most High),’ and he prostrated for almost as long as he had bowed.'”

[Sunan an-Nasa’i 1664]

Sunnah Acts

Tahajjud Salah
‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported:
When Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) missed the optional night Salat (Tahajjud) due to pain or any other reason, he would perform twelve Rak’ah during the day time.



Dua of Ibrahim (AS)
رَبِّ ٱجْعَلْنِى مُقِيمَ ٱلصَّلَوٰةِ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِى ۚ رَبَّنَا وَتَقَبَّلْ دُعَآءِ
My Lord, make me an establisher of prayer, and [many] from my descendants. Our Lord, and accept my supplication.

[Surah Ibrahim, Ayah 40]

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