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Tuesday, June 7, 2022

How to develop Khushoo ( Humility / focused concentration ) when offering Salat

Most of us offer prayer in one form of the other and talk to God, our Creator as He has ordained us so. Muslims too, like followers of all Divine Religions, offer prayer called As Salt in Arabic. They offer As Salat five times a day as against weekly prayers by Jews and Christians. Although we carry out the drill every day, but are we really praying for usually many thoughts plague our minds while we are praying and more often than not we lose concentration and aren't humble in our prayer.

Since we are talking to Allah, though we do not see Him, but we are certain sure that He is seeing us praying and listening to us. Therefore we must show the best of our humility so that we are listened to. Unless we empty our mind and concentrate solely on our prayer, we could not have been talking to Allah. In all humility, our sole focused attention and concentration should on talking to Allah. And at this time, no foul thinking should ingress our mind to take away our attention. So how do we achieve Khushoo " خشوع " ( humility  /  focused concentration ) when offering Salat?  Allah says ab

Let us understand what Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) says about Khushoo in the second verse of Surah 23. Al-Muminun:
قَدۡ اَفۡلَحَ الۡمُؤۡمِنُوۡنَۙ‏ 
(23:1) The believers have indeed attained true success
الَّذِيۡنَ هُمۡ فِىۡ صَلَاتِهِمۡ خَاشِعُوۡنَ ۙ‏ 
(23:2) those who, in their Prayers, humble themselves;
That is those believers who are humble in their prayers have attained true success for unless we show humility to our Creator in every walk of our life, specially the As Salat, how can our arrogance win us success. 

Khashiun " " خَاشِعُوۡنَ " " in the text is from khushu " خشوع " (to bow down, to express humility) which is a condition of the heart as well as of the body. Khushu of the heart is to fear and stand in awe of a powerful person and khushu of the body is to bow his head and lower his gaze and voice in his presence. In Salat one is required to show khushu both of the heart and of the body, and this is the essence of the Prayer. It has been reported that when the Prophet (peace be upon him) once saw a person offering his Prayer as well as playing with his beard, he remarked: If he had khushu in his heart, his body would have manifested it.
 
Explaining the second verse, Ibn e Kathir notes that "(Khashi`un " خَاشِعُوۡنَ ") means those with fear and with tranquility.'' It was reported from `Ali bin Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him, that Khushu` means the Khushu` of the heart. Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, "Their Khushu` was in their hearts.'' So they lowered their gaze and were humble towards others. Khushu` in prayer is only attained by the one who has emptied his heart totally, who does not pay attention to anything else besides it, and who prefers it above all else.

Yusuf Ali  puts it this way: Humility in prayer as regards (1) their estimate of their own worth in Allah's presence, (2) as regards their estimate of their own powers or strength unless they are helped by Allah, and (3) as regards the petitions they offer to Allah.

Qur'an Wiki explanation: “Who humble themselves in their prayer.” They feel the reverence associated with prayer, as they stand up to address God, and their hearts are thus filled with awe, which is, in turn, reflected in their features and movements. Their spirits feel God’s majesty as they realize that they stand in His presence. Thus, all their preoccupations and distractions disappear. Their thoughts and feelings are all concentrated on their discourse with Him. In His sublime presence, they are heedless of all their surroundings. They see and feel nothing but His majesty. Their minds and hearts are purged of even the slightest alien thought or feeling. In such a situation, a stray atom is reunited with its source, a wandering spirit finds its way, and a heart that has been long in isolation finds its company. Thus, all values, concerns and considerations diminish, except for the ones that are related to God in some way.

Please listen to an enlightening lecture by eminent Muslim scholar Nouman Ali Khan on how to develop Khushoo when offering salat:
About the scholar: Nouman Ali Khan, born to a Pakistani family, is an American Muslim speaker and Arabic instructor who founded the Bayyinah Institute for Arabic and Qur’anic Studies, after serving as an instructor of Arabic at Nassau Community College. He has been named one of the 500 most influential Muslims in the world by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre of Jordan.

May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us develop Khushoo and induce in us humility so that we offer our salat with complete focused concentration and be listened to. Ameen 

You may refer to our reference page: As Salat / Prayers for any Q&A you may have with regard to prayers.

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