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Al Khushoo - Humbelness

Written by: by Imran Hussein :: (View All Articles by: Imran Hussein)
  1. Introduction:
  2. The Need for Emphasizing al-Khushoo'
  3. The Importance of al-Khushoo'
  4. Bringing Home the Reality
  5. Necessary Steps to Develop al-Khushoo'
  6. Other Profitable Prescriptions for Humbling the Heart
  7. Conclusion


All Praise are for Allaah Alone and Salutations are for His Messenger, Muhammad (S), his companions and his family and all those who follow them with Ehsaan.

What follows:

Salaah (Prayer) as is defined by the Scholars of Islaam is an act of worship consisting of specific sayings accompanying specific actions, at specific times. It begins with "Takbeer" and ends with "Tasleem".

This sacred and noble act of Salaah maybe divided into separate but interrelated components.

First: The body or the external aspects of the Salaah (Prayer). This comprises of its mechanical components and includes purification, standing, bowing, prostrating, sitting, recitation of the Qur'aan and all the other apparent aspects. All these aspects must be performed correctly before anyone's Salaah can be said to be Sahih (correct). This aspect is dealt with in all its details in the books of Fiqh.

Undoubtedly, those who translate and write about Islaam in English have excellent works that would assist Muslims in understanding performance of the external aspect of the Salaah (i.e. the body of the Salaah). However, very little time is spent on emphasizing the importance of consciousness of Allaah in the Salaah. Consequently, what we find is, that most of the translated and written works deal with the rules governing the various components of external aspect of Salaah. Due to this lack of emphasis on Al-Khushoo' by the various authors its significance has therefore, been also de-emphasized by the average worshipper.

The importance of the external aspects of the Prayer cannot be de-emphasized and we must warn our brothers and sisters that if they are negligent in learning the outward manifestations of the Salaah that this can lead to destruction. All aspects of the Prayer must be well understood so that they can pray as the Messenger of Allaah (S) did.

He (S) commanded:

"Pray as you see me pray." [Bukhaaree]

This command directly relates to the outward aspects of the Salaah. Hence all Muslims must make every effort to know how the Prophet (S) prayed, so that we can obey this command of his.

However, this work is not related to the external aspects so much time would not be spent here dealing with the Fiqh (rules governing the performance) of Salaah.

This short exhortation should suffice to create an interest in our brothers and sisters so that they would make much more effort to learn all aspects of Salaah properly.

Second: The spirit or the internal aspects of the Salaah which comprises of:

Purity of Niyyah (intention)

Al-Khushoo' which means being completely solemn, submissive and humble to Allah (T) during our performance of Prayer.

Muslims should at no time make their prayers ritualistic. However, the sad thing is that most of us have unconsciously fallen prey to this. The following narration will help us to understand this.

Jubair bin Nufair narrates from `Aus ibn Maalik that the Messenger of Allaah (S) looked towards the sky and said: "It is now the time when knowledge shall be raised up."

So a man from the Ansaar called Ziyaad ibn Labeed said: "O Messenger of Allaah! Will knowledge be raised up, when it has been established and the hearts have stored it?"

The Messenger of Allaah (S) said: "I used to regard you as the best man of understanding among the people of Madinah; did the Jews and the Christians not have the Tauraat and the Injeel? So what benefit did this bring them?"

[Nasaa`ee, Ahmad, Al-Haakim, Ibn Hibbaan].

After reporting the Hadeeth, Jubair said, I later met Shaddaad ibn `Aus, so he said: "`Aus has spoken truthfully. Shall I not inform you of the first part of the knowledge that will be taken up?" I said: "Of course." He said: Khushoo` (humility and consciousness) in prayer, until you will not see one attentive worshipper."

It is when the external and the internal aspects of the Salaah are properly combined that it manifests itself through the personality of the one performing the Salaah as is stated by Allaah, the All-Knowing:

"Verily, Salaah (Prayer) prevents from Al-Fahshaa (i.e. illegal sexual intercourse) and Al-Munkar (disbelief, polytheism or every kind of wicked and evil deed)." [Al-'Ankaboot 29:45]

The above ayah clearly declares that the person who prays should not find within himself any of these two characteristics. This is so because when someone performs Salaah with consciousness and humility, then this Salaah works as a check for him, and in turn helps him to keep away from doing evil deeds.

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