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Coming Home: Khushoo’

Photo by Samuel Ferarra

What Is Khushoo?

Khushoo’ is the state of the heart when it stands before its Lord in full submission, humility, and intense concentration; it also represents the tenderness of the heart, as well as its tranquility, humbleness, and love for Allah (SWT).

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said,
“The khushoo’ of true faith is when the heart feels aware and humble before the greatness and glory of Allah, and is filled with awe, fear, and shyness so that the heart is utterly humbled before Allah and broken, as it were, with fear, shyness, love and the recognition of the blessings of Allah and its own sins. So no doubt the khushoo’ of the heart is followed by the khushoo’ of the body”. (Al-Rooh, p. 314)

Photo by Jeremy Yap

What Does The Prophet Say?

When the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) saw a man who did not pray in a calm and unhurried manner – rather he pecked his way through the prayer – he instructed that man to repeat his prayer, and said: “Pray, for you have not prayed.” Praying in a calm and unhurried manner is one of the most important aspects of khushoo’.

How Do We Attain It?

To feel a connection with our Lord we must first make space for Him. We can do this by preparing early for our prayers. Proper wudu, making sure our space is clean, and recitation of the call to prayer with time to spare, is an excellent start.

We can make space for our connection with Allah (SWT) by removing any physical distractions from our view or senses. Turn your phone on silent, remove anything that does not have to do with your prayer out of sight and out of mind.

Out of mind means that we must also take a moment to make space for Allah (SWT) by removing thoughts that are unrelated to our worship. This can be difficult for some of us especially when we have a busy day or week ahead of us. A great way to clear your mind is breathwork and simple mediation techniques.

Photo by Lesly Juarez

Mindfulness Hack

Before your next prayer try this. Breath in for 5 counts, hold for 5 counts, breath out for 5 counts, and repeat. Notice your heart, body, and mind reach a calm state, make your intention to connect with the True One, and then stand up and begin salat. If you notice thoughts come into your mind that are not related to Allah (SWT) then acknowledge them and think you will address these after your prayer is complete.

Most importantly, beyond all the practicalities, the key to khushoo’ is the state of our hearts.

 “The whole journey of faith is the realization of the divine closeness. It is not traveling to the divine presence but rather an unveiling of the divine presence”.

Abdul Hakim Murad

From the humbling of the heart to the knowledge of the unseen, we are aware that Allah sees everything, and we submit ourselves before him in awe.

Encouragement

No matter what stage you are at with your prayer, whether it is just beginning to learn the movements or memorizing longer surah or perfecting the Sunnah prayers, know that Allah (SWT) is with you in each moment. Connection with Him is vital and is possible at any stage. Just do your best and let Allah (SWT) do that rest, for He is with you wherever you are.

“And when My servants ask you, (O Muhammad), concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me (by obedience) and believe in Me that they may be (rightly) guided.” (Al-Baqarah [2] : 186)

Photo by Ray Henness