Here are some simple ways by which you can make your salah more meaningful
By Salma Ameen
Colombo, Sri Lanka
She looked at her watch and breathed a sigh of relief … she still had time to pray Asr.
“Better late than never,” she thought to herself.
Saying “Allahu akbar” she entered into salah, the serenity embracing her as she completed her first raka’ah.
A thought flitted through her mind: how amazing it is to have a Lord who takes care of all her affairs and sets things in order!
Then another: My college work has been piling up.
Her thoughts wandered to the upcoming annual college meet.
“Subhaana Rabbil Azeem,” she heard herself utter and silently reproached herself as she remembered she was in salah.
She rose from rukoo’ only to remember the deadline for her assignment was tomorrow. It was half-done and then forgotten.
Now in sujood – the closest position to her Lord – she thought, “Uh oh … which raka’a am I in?”
Jabir bin ‘Abdullah(رضي الله عنه) narrated that :
Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “The key to Paradise is Salat, and the key to Salat is Wudu’.” (1)
We don’t have to pretend like we have never been in Heera’s position.
We know how it feels to be hounded by worldly thoughts while in Salah.
The question is: why?
Why can’t we be focussed when Allah asks only a few minutes from our lives? Why can’t we feel the sweetness of our salah? Why is it that the sahabas forgot about dunya in their salah while we remember ours?
When a man stands up to perform prayer, Allah turns His Face towards him until he turns away or he commits an evil Hadath.’”(2)
Khushoo’ in itself means humility; humility in salah. The hadith mentioned above should trigger within us a connection, a celestial link with our Maker and instil within us a fear of losing this divinity.
Let us look at ways in which we can improve our khushoo’. Time to turn that brain to notepad mode and keep intention to pick a few points and practice them in your upcoming salah.
- Perfect your wudu
“The key to paradise is salah and the key to salah is wudoo” (1)
While making wudū’ how often do we get distracted by those large mirrors placed in front of us? We’re performing wudoo and simultaneously thinking about the new spot on our face. Focus!
The azaan is being sounded while you are busy with work. Do you stop what you are doing and hurry for salah? If not, it is high time you started. Praying on time doesn’t just benefit you in improving the quality of your salah but also makes you punctual in worldly affairs.
- Get your head in the game.
Before starting, clear your mind from all schedules, meetings, friends and other distractions. Remind yourself you are entering into a portal of divine space. In your hand you hold the blessed key to paradise. Why let it rust?
- Take time in each posture.
Salah is not a marathon you have to complete. Ponder over the recitation of the Qur’an; take some time to study a few ayaat daily and recite them in salah.
- Look within
Okay, so you have been doing your best to maintain khushoo’ in your salah, but it seems to be an impossible task. Reflect on how you have been lately. Did you nod along to a juicy gossip and contribute? Did you listen to too much music? How often did you recite the Qur’an? After every sin a layer forms on one’s heart weakening the Iman, thus the sweetness of the Qur’an won’t move you and salah eventually becomes mere exercise.
“When the believer commits sin, a black spot appears on his heart. If he repents and gives up that sin and seeks forgiveness, his heart will be polished. But if (the sin) increases, (the black spot) increases. That is the Ran that Allah mentions in His Book: “Nay! But on their hearts is the Ran (covering of sins and evil deeds) which they used to earn.” [83:14] (3)
- Have a daily dosage of Imaan boosters:
Listen to an Islamic lecture, read a page from the Qur’an, start offering voluntary prayers, help a friend, follow a sunnah.
Trust me, in one way or the other you will improve your khushoo’ if you make a clean intention and ask Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) for help.
Make the intention right here, right now to perfect your salah. After all, it is the first deed that will be accounted for on the Last Day.
May Allah make it easy for all of us to attain khushoo’ in our salah and not leave this world in any state but being a Muttaqee. Allahumma Ameen!
- Jami` at-Tirmidhi 4 Vol. 1, Book 1, Hadith 4 Grade: Hasan
- Ibn Majah Vol.1, Book 5, Hadith 1023 grade:Hasan
- Ibn Majah Vol. 5, Book 37, Hadith 4244