Salah structures our day, keeps us grounded and is the key to bonding to our Creator. However, more often than not, our minds wander and we end up not being completely present when performing it. This is what Khushu is about!
What is Khushu?
Khushu refers to a state of humility, softness and calmness when submitting ourselves to our Creator. You know that main goal of Sheytan is to lead us astray? He cannot stand us being close to Allah and finding peace and purpose in worshiping Him. That is why his waswasah (Whispers of the Shaytan) also happens during those precious moments.
If you’re wondering how important Khushu is, it is worth going back to Surah Al Mu’minun which starts with these two verses:
قَدْ أَفْلَحَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ
Qad aflaha almu’minun,
“Truly, to a happy state shall attain the believers:
الَّذِينَ هُمْ فِي صَلَاتِهِمْ خَاشِعُونَ
Allatheena hum fee salatihim khashi’oon
those who humble themselves in their prayer, ...”
How can I gain Khushu in Salah?
It is fair to say that nowadays, our brains are constantly overstimulated, leading most of us with trouble to fully focus on any tasks for longer periods of time. However, this doesn’t mean there aren’t sustainable changes we can make to improve not only how our brains work, but also how our hearts feel.
As a matter of fact, this is where you should start: take time to evaluate the state of your heart. Do it now, with us:
How are you feeling? (Please take 1-2 minutes and then continue to read)
How’s your connection to Allah? (1-2 minutes)
Do you feel close to the principles of Islam and to our Prophet (saws)? (1-2 minutes)
If most of the responses to these questions are negative, then work on this first! In order to have Khushu in Salah, we need to be in a state where our heart needs it just like our bodies need to be fed, but for that we need to rejuvenate our love for our deen so we can crave the spiritual growth and genuinely get excited about these five daily dates with Allah. You can do that by increasing your knowledge of Islam, surrounding yourself with righteous people, reconnecting with the Quran and listening to talks on the topic.
Our second piece of advice would be to actually make salah a special moment and prepare for it correctly: it all begins with the moment you hear the adhan or see the notification for prayer. Have discipline and keep reminding yourself that everything else can wait. Get up and start focusing on wu’du (ablution) which is such an important step. Prophet Muhammad (saws) even said: “None of you approach ablution and rinse his mouth and nose but that the sins of his face, mouth, and nose fall away.” (Sahih Muslim, 832)
Once you’ve completed your ablutions, go to a quiet place. Creating a prayer corner for yourself would be ideal, but either way, just make sure there’s minimal to no distractions. Wear clean and beautiful clothes that also make you excited and honored to stand in front of Allah teala.
All you have to do after that is fully enjoy the moment: this is a time for meditation, for sharing your worries, your doubts and your regrets with the One who matters the most, to ask for forgiveness, but also for what you wish to receive, both in this life and the next one. This is what Khushu is about: being present in the moment when praying and consciously taking this time so that you heart and mind feel rahat.
May Allah keep us steadfast in praying and allow us to fully appreciate this wonderful gift He gave us.
May your heart always be rahat.