How to Develop Khushoo (Devotion) In Salah
Every Muslim knows that Salah (congregational prayer) is obligatory to perform five times a day. Despite knowing its great importance being the most important task to do after one`s faith in Allah SWT and His Messenger (PBUH), most of us do not carry out this auspicious duty with required level of submissiveness and loyalty to the Almighty, Who himself calls His servants to seek for His Assistance through requests and persistence on their faith.
The above stated Ayah shows that Salah is indeed one of the best ways to achieve Allah`s decisive guidance But, many Muslims also complain about lack of serenity in their lives, when actually they fail to attract the attention of the Exalted One by lacking dedication in their acts of veneration of the Almighty Lord. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) used to pray the Gracious God the following supplication:
“O Allah, I seek refuge with You from a heart that has no khushoo’…” (Tirmidhi)
Khushoo is an Arabic word, which means “having humility and dedication” in everything one does. It is the main constituent of prayers, without which one cannot attain the necessary level of Taqwa in daily worships.
Now let us discuss some of the many possible ways to achieve Khushoo in Salah:
1) Developing a Habit of Praying on Time
Punctuality and time management are the keys to success in every walk of life. Let us take an example of a college student, who needs to be present in its class before it is started in to listen to and absorb the whole lecture better. A little delay in entering classroom could lead to missing out on some crucial information which could be the baseline for understanding the whole session.
Similarly, a Muslim also needs to take out adequate amount of time for congregational Salah and make a routine to performing it on its set occasion. As, the main purpose of prayers is to gain Allah`s Help and tranquility of mind, therefore, one does not know at which instance the Almighty likes one`s manner of praying and accepts its plea.
It is narrated on the authority of Abdullah bin Mas’ood (R.A), who said:
“I asked Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) which deed was the best.” He (the Holy Prophet) replied: ‘The Prayer at its appointed hour……” (Muslim)
By acting upon the advice of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), one should pray as early as possible as it is considered as the best deed. Delaying matters, especially Salah would only result in laziness and rustiness of heart and soul, which are complementary to devotion.
2) Preparing for Prayers Properly
It is highly advisable to having performed wudu (ablution) from home, and walking towards the mosque in a state of complete cleanliness. One should also repeat the words of the Adhan (Call to prayer) as it is considered as the right of the Muazzin (Caller towards Salah) to replicate its words. This would ensure one`s preparedness for Salah before it has actually started, and resultantly leading to developing attachment to prayers.
3) Eliminating all Distractions
As, Namaz is the act of standing in front of Allah SWT in gratitude, and asking for His Mercy, so one should be free from all kinds of inner and outer interruptions. Most of our prayers do not count because of our negligence and thinking about worldly matters. Therefore, in order to get the best out of Salah, one needs to enter masjid with nothing running at the back of its mind.
4) Having Clear Conscious and Seeking Allah`s Refuge from Shaitaan
It is narrated on the authority of Amir al-Mu’minin (Leader of the Believers), Umar bin al-Khattab (R.A) that he heard the Messenger (PBUH) of Allah saying as:
“Actions are according to intentions, and everyone will get what was intended. Whoever migrates with an intention for Allah and His messenger, the migration will be for the sake of Allah and his Messenger. And whoever migrates for worldly gain or to marry a woman, and then his migration will be for the sake of whatever he migrated for.” (Bukhari & Muslim)
The above mentioned Hadith clearly indicates that purpose behind performing any task decides the nature of its outcome. So, in order to benefit from Salah, one needs to be mindful of its consciousness of praying. If it seeks Allah`s forgiveness and mercy, then it should made up its mind accordingly before starting praying.
Also, many of our prayers go off track because of satanic thoughts while standing in Salah. So, one should recite “Audhu Billahi mina-Shaitan-nir-Rajeem” which means “I seek refuge in Allah SWT from the accursed Shaitaan”.This would lead to proper concentration while praying.
5) Reciting Verses Slowly
Namaz needs to be carried out with steady pace, as hastiness in any matter is considered to be the act of Satan by the holy Prophet (PBUH).
“Deliberation is from Allah, and haste is from Satan.” (Tirmidhi)
So, while praying, one needs to recite the Quranic lines gradually, and stop at each interval to be able to adopt the quality of Allah, i.e. Thoughtfulness. Indeed, when one takes on way of God, it would only increase the inner peace of mind at every step of Salah.
Note – If you do not know how to read and recite the verses of Quran, you can join Quran Tutorfor online Quran learning classes.
6) Giving each Position its Due Right
As, prayer is the direct method of interacting with Allah SWT, so one is required to remain in a complete state of gratefulness and gratitude towards Him so that it could fulfill the due rights of Salah. For this, one should give proper time to each and every position in Rakats, like in Rukoo and Sujood, one could ask the Almighty for His forgiveness and blessings especially in the latter case, when a Muslim is closest ever to Allah SWT.
7) Focusing on Whom one is Speaking In Front of
Salah is different from other religious duties in a sense that it is the way of direct contact with the Gracious Lord. So, great care should be taken in its execution and one should maintain a constant state of submissiveness to God.
8) Remembering one`s death
To get the best out of Salah, one needs to suppose that it might well be its last ever prayers, as death is inevitable and can occur at any time. This would increase the level of meekness in one`s worship and will eventually become the cause of getting Khushoo from it.
9) Knowing the meaning what is being said
Prayers are only accepted when one knows what it is being asked for. As, Salah is the best form of supplication, so one should know the actual meaning of every line that is being said in Namaz in order to benefit from the true spirit of Salah.
10) Reciting Allah`s Greatness after prayers
Immediately after finishing obligatory Namaz, it is the time for asking and gaining from the countless bounties of Allah SWT, and His Clemency, so one should use this instance in the best way by adoring the Lord through His Dhikr (Remembrance). The Holy Prophet (PBUH) is reported to have said:
“Glorify Allah (by saying Subhaan Allah), praise Him (by saying al-hamdu Lillah), and magnify Him (by saying Allahu akbar) thirty-three times after each prayer.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
So, through venerating, admiring and amplifying the Great Status of the Almighty, one realizes and admits its humbleness in front of God, which leads to grabbing His attention and eventually results in increased devotion in worship.
In short, Salah is a very special kind of prayer in front of Allah SWT, which requires a great degree of seriousness from a Muslim. Khushoo (dedication) in Namaz is down to one`s own intention, and giving due right to every single task involved in this holy job. May Allah Almighty give us all the aspiration to develop right kind of attitude in carrying out Salah in the best prescribed way! Aameen!