Offering Our Salaah Perfectly.
وَاسْتَعِينُوا بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلَاةِ ۚ وَإِنَّهَا لَكَبِيرَةٌ إِلَّا عَلَى الْخَاشِعِينَ
“And seek help in patience and in salaah. Truly it is extremely heavy and hard except for Al-Khashi’un (those who have devotion).” (Surah Baqarah 2: 45)
Khushoo’ means devotion, humility, awe and the full awareness of Allah. Rasulullah (SAW) told us that it would be the first thing taken from his nation, so much so, that when one entered the Masjid, one would not be able to find anyone there who possessed Khushoo’. All of us can identify with this Hadith of Rasulullah (SAW) from what we have seen of others and from what we can acknowledge in ourselves. There are strategies, set forth in the examples of Rasulullah (SAW) and his companions, that if implemented will increase us in Khushoo’ and enable us to perform the salaah perfectly. There are numerous examples, but let us take a look at the following: preparing for salaah; waiting for the salaah; reciting the Qur’an correctly and remembering death. If any one of us were invited to meet with someone who is important, like the president of the company for which we worked, he would make sure that his hair and clothing were neat and clean. He would take special care to make sure that he smelled and looked his best. How many of us roll out of bed in the mornings, barely making the proper wudu, and feeling perfectly fine in standing in front of the Lord of the Universe in our pj’s. Rasulullah (SAW), advised us to wear our best clothes when going to the Masjid to offer salaatu Jumuah. Rasulullah (SAW) also taught us to make the wudhu properly. When we make wudhu, we should pay attention to what we are doing, and not go about it haphazardly, because it serves not only to cleanse us, but also to prepare us mentally for the task we are about to perform.
When we finish with our wudhu, we should sit quietly and wait for the Mu’adhin to pronounce the time for the salaah. We should not be talking or joking or catching up on work or school assignments, but we should be repeating his words and contemplating them in our hearts. Between the Adhan and the Iqama is the best time to make du’aa to Allah. By staying mindful of Allah before the salaah, it will be easier to do so within it. At the start of the first takbeer, we should be aware that Allah is watching over us. Even though we can not truly see Him, we should be aware that He sees us. He knows if we are truly present, in our minds and hearts or not. One of the ways to be truly present in the prayer is to recite the Qur’an properly and with understanding. Rasulullah (SAW) would recite the Qur’an one verse at a time in a slow and methodical manner. He never rushed his recitation. Allah says:
أَوْ زِدْ عَلَيْهِ وَرَتِّلِ الْقُرْآنَ تَرْتِيلًا
“Or a little more; and recite the Qur’an in slow, measured rhythmic tones.” (Surah Muzammil 73: 4)
When the companions stood in salaah, they would sweat and shake and cry, out of fear and hope in Allah. We, on the other hand, go through our salaah like robots, with our hearts and minds busy somewhere else. The best way to cure this is to remember death. If you knew this was your last salaah, how would you perform it? This level of attentiveness and awareness of Allah is what we should be striving for, every time we stand to make the salaah. For the believers, the first thing they will be called to account for on the Day of Judgment will be their salaah. If this is in order, then the rest of their affairs will be in order. Inshallah by developing Khushoo’ in our salaah , we would able to offer our salaah perfectly, and in doing so we can safeguard our affairs in this life and the next.Aameen.