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Khushoo' in Prayer

Extracts of Ibn Rajab & Ibn Qudaamah

category: Prayer


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Allaah the Exalted said: "The Believers will prosper. Those who are humble and submissive in their prayers (khaashi'oon)."

Below are some examples which we should read with contemplation and thought so that we see the manner of the prayer of those who have been set as an example for us.

Al-Hasan said: "When you stand for the prayer stand with a devout frame of m ind as Allaah has commanded you. Beware of forgetfulness and turning (your your attention) away so that while Allaah looks at you, you are looking at other thin gs besides Him. You ask Allaah for Paradise and seek refuge in Him from the Hell fire while your heart is not present and you are not aware of what your tongue i s uttering."

Ibn Seereen said: "They (those before him from among the companions and taab i'een) used to love that a man looks at the place of prostration in his prayer."

Maimoon bin Mahraan said: "I never saw Muslim bin Yassaar turning around in his p rayer. Once a section of the mosque fell down. The people in the market got scar ed on account of that yet he was still in the mosque engaged in his prayer and d id not turn away from it (his attention did not escape from it)."

In another narration: "Muslim bin Yassaar was praying one day in the mosque of Ba srah and a part of the mosque fell down. The people gathered around due to it an d he did not even realise until he had finished from his prayer."

When Abdullaah bin Zubair used to pray it was as if he was a branch of a tree due to his khushoo', and birds used to stop on him thinking he was a branch.

People used to think that ar-Rabee' bin Khaitham, due to his constant lowering o f the gaze and keeping his head low (in the prayer), was blind. He used to live behind the house of Abdullaah ibn Mas'ood for twenty years and when his slave girl used to see him she would say: Your blind friend is coming, and Abdullaah used to laugh at her speech.

Ali bin al-Humraan would turn red whenever he performed wudhoo. It was said to him: "What is it that you recall while performing wudhoo?" He said: "Do you know in front of whom I wish to stand?"

It was said to Aamir bin Qais: "Do you not forget in the prayer?" He said: "Is hadith (i.e. talk) more loved by me than the qur'aan that I become more occupied with it? Having secret conversations with the Beloved drowns all other feelings."

Some of the Salaf used to say: "The prayer is from the Hereafter so when you enter it you leave the world."


Among the things that bring about Khushoo' in the Prayer is the remembrance of death


Anas (ra) said: The Messenger of Allaah (saw) said: "Remember death within your prayer because when a man remembers death in his prayer is strives to beautify his 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 affair."

The Messenger of Allaah (saw) 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 compression of the grave? And what will our response be when we are questioned in the grave? 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 sto nes.

Thus does the servant imagine the visions of death and what comes after it, so he prays the prayer of a man who doesn't think that he will perform a prayer after it. He, therefore, beautifies his prayer, counts himself amongst the dead, prepares 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 evening 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 family, 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 visualises 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 to mind the greatness and might of Allaah - Ta'aalaa - in his heart, tears welling from his eyes because Paradise and Hellfire have become evidently closer to hi m than his shoelace. He personifies the saying of the Messenger (sas): "Pray a farewell 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 prayer 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 letters 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?

[Taken from Al-Khushoo fis-Salaat of Ibn Rajab and Mukhtasir Minhaaj il-Qaasideen of Ibn Qudaamah]

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