How to Develop Khushu` in Prayer

Mohamed Ali's mosque in old Cairo, Egypt.

Comprehending the language of the Salah is the fastest way to experience khushu` and therefore turning our Salah into an experience.

Have you ever found yourself in a difficult situation? Have you ever found yourself in extreme need of something? Have you ever found yourself hurt by something that someone said to you or did to you?

If your answer to any of these questions is ‘yes’ and probably ‘yes’, then what is the solution? What can you do with any of these circumstances?

The answer or the solution is actually really simple, one word solution and word answer; that is Salah (ritual prayer). Salah is the means to ease our difficulty, to fulfill our needs, to heal the wounds that we have been walking around with for so long, to lift the confusion from our minds, hearts, and our lives.

But another question, I have been praying Salah for ten, fifteen, or ten years, Salah does not serve that purpose in my life, Salah has not been playing this role in my life. It is not serving that purpose or receiving the fruits and benefits of Salah. So, how would I go about the experience of Salah? How can I feel the power and magnitude of Salah? How can Salah enrich my life?

Surprisingly, that also has one a word answer and that word is khushu`. It is a word that in the Qur’an and Hadith. It is a word that we have heard khutbahs about, heard lectures on, read books and articles. It is a word that we find on websites, and all around us [the talk of khushu`].

The million-dollar question is how we get khushu`? I understand that khushu` is important and I need it, but how would I actually implement and develop khushu` in my Salah?

The best, quickest, and most efficient way of implementing khushu` in our Salah is actually very simple and that is understanding what we say and what we read in our Salah Comprehending the language of the Salah is the fastest way to experience khushu` and therefore turning our Salah into an experience. A very quick example of this is Surat Al-Fatihah (the 1st chapter of the Qur’an). There is a hadith qudsi and it’s a part of the meaning for prayer how, when we recite Surat Al-Fatihah, every ayah that we read and recite with comprehension, devotion, and sincerity, the Almighty Allah responds to us. It is a dialogue we experience with our creator, but the sad thing is we have been completely oblivious to this wonderful opportunity and this amazing experience so far in our entire life.

This is the motivation and inspiration behind meaningful prayer vocabulary in the Salah and what I am actually asking you here is to take one weekend in your lifetime. Dedicate it to learning the intrecities beauty of the words we recite in the Salah.

We will take each and single word from the adhkar (remembrance of Allah), the supplications, and the different words and phrases that we recite in the different parts of the Salah. We will take them word for word. We will go to the root of the word. We will study the derivatives, and take a look at where these words occur in  the Qur’an and the Sunnah, and what meanings and implications they carry. We will gain a complete and a thorough understanding of each and every single word in the Salah. I am talking about everything; from the opening supplication to the tashahhud, the salawat on the Prophet, the supplications all the way to even the supplication of qunut, the supplication of Istikharah.

And then after totally understanding each and every single word, we would then take a look at the eloquence that these words create when they are placed together in a complete statement. This is what we in sha’ Allah ( if Allah wills) would be dedicating the entire weekend to. And by means of this we will finally be able to really understand what the Prophet (peace be upon him) meant when he said: “the coolness of my eyes has been placed in Salah.” That is what we will understand from what he was talking about.

Once again, what I am asking you is for one weekend and think about this. We have been praying for ten, twenty, thirty, or may be for forty years; how much time has gone by without even understanding what I am saying in the Salah and what I am saying and begging of my Creator, my Lord, and my Sustainer. And just take one weekend out to drastically improve our experience of Salah. May Allah make this a means of benefit to all of us and grant us the success and the ability to pray as the Prophet prayed.

Enjoy this talk with Sheikh Abdulnasir Jangda.

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