The means of developing Khushoo'
Striving to gain that which gives and strengthens khushoo’
This can be achieved in several ways, such as the following:
Preparing oneself for prayer properly
- By repeating the words of the adhaan after the muezzin;
- By pronouncing the du’aa’ to be recited after the adhaan: “Allaahummah Rabba haadhihi’l-da’wati’l-taammah wa’-salaati’l-qaa’imah, aati Muhammadan il-waseelata wa’l-fadeelah, wab’ath-hu’l-maqaam al-mahmood alladhi wa’adtah (O Allaah, Lord of this perfect call and the prayer to be offered, grant Muhammad the privilege (of interceding) and also the eminence, and resurrect him to the praised position that You have promised)”;
- Reciting du’aa’ between the adhaan and the iqaamah;
- Doing wudoo’ properly, saying Bismillaah before it and making dhikr and saying the du’aa’ after it, “Ash-hadu an laa ilaaha ill-Allaah wahdahu laa shareeka lah wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa rasooluhu (I bear witness that there is no god except Allaah alone, with no partner or associate, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and messenger)” and “Allaahummaj’alni min al-tawwaabeena waj’alni min al-mutatahhireen (O Allaah, make me of those who repent and make me of those who purify themselves)”;
- Using siwaak to cleanse and perfume the mouth that is going to recite Qur’aan in a short while, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Purify your mouths for the Qur’aan.” (Reported by al-Bazzaar, who said: we do not have it with any better isnaad than this. Kashf al-Astaar, 1/242. Al-Haythami said: its men are thiqaat. 2/99. Al-Albaani said: its isnaad is jayyid. Al-Saheehah, 1213);
- Wearing one’s best and cleanest clothes, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “O Children of Adam! Take your adornment (by wearing your clean clothes) while praying…” [al-A’raaf 7:31]. Allaah is most deserving of seeing us “take our adornment” for Him. Clean, pleasant smelling clothes are also more comfortable and relaxing, unlike clothes for sleeping or working in.
We should also prepare ourselves by covering our ‘awrah properly, purifying the spot where we are going to pray, getting ready early and waiting for the prayer, and making the rows straight and solid, without any gaps, because the shayaateen come in through the gaps in the rows.
Moving at a measured pace during prayer
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to move at a measured pace during salaah, allowing every bone to return to its place. (Its isnaad is classed as saheeh in Sifat al-Salaat, p. 134, 11th edn. Ibn Khuzaymah also classed it as saheeh as mentioned by al-Haafiz in al-Fath, 2/308). He commanded those who were not doing their prayer properly to do this too. He said, “None of you has prayed properly until he does this.” (Reported by Abu Dawood, 1/536, no. 858).
Abu Qutaadah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘The worst type of thief is the one who steals from his prayer.’ He said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, how can a person steal from his prayer?’ He said, ‘By not doing rukoo’ and sujood properly.’” (Reported by Ahmad and al-Haakim, 1/229; Saheeh al-Jaami’, 997).
Abu ‘Abd-Allaah al-Ash’ari (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, ‘The one who does not do rukoo’ properly, and pecks in sujood, is like a starving man who eats only one or two dates; it does not do him any good at all.’” (Reported by al-Tabaraani in al-Kabeer, 4/115. In Saheeh al-Jaami’ it says, hasan).
The one who does not move at a measured pace in his prayer cannot have khushoo’ because haste is a barrier to khushoo’ and pecking like a crow is a barrier to reward.
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