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Khushoo` and Beautification of the Prayer
  How To Maintain Khushoo' In Prayer
Author: Hussain al-Awaa'ishah
Source: As-Salaat Wa Atharuhaa Fee Ziyaadatil Eemaan (Trans Abu Iyaad)
Article ID : IBD060006  [29692]  
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Allaah - Subhaanahu wa Ta'aalaa - said:

The Believers will prosper. Those who have khushoo within their prayers [Mu'minoon 23:1-2]

and He - Taa'aalaa - also said:

And stand before Allaah with a devout frame of mind [Baqarah 2:238]

Abu Hurairah (ra) said: The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) prayed one day, turned aro und and said: "O so and so! Do you not beautify your prayer? Does not the one wh o performs prayer when he does so look at how he prays? Indeed he prays for hims elf."

This khushoo is perfected by a number of matters some of which are within the pr ayer itself and others outside of it. Amongst such matters are:

1. Remembrance of Death

Anas (ra) said: The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said: "Remember death within your prayer because when a man remembers death in his prayer is strives to beautify h is prayer and pray the prayer of a man who does not think that he will perform another prayer after it. Take caution and and an excuse is sought for every affa ir."

The Messnger of Allaah (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) has ordered the muslim to remember death during his prayer. This is because it is a means of beautifying the prayer. The thought of death creates apprehension in the souls and by it the actions are sealed. What comes after it is even more frightening. Where is the escape from the compressio n of the grave? And what will our response be when we are questioned in the grav e? Futhermore, we do not know where our destination is, to a garden whose width is as that of the heavens and the earth or to the fire whose fuel is men and sto nes.

Thus does the servant imagine the visions of death and what comes after it, so h e prays the prayer of a man who doesn't think that he will perform a prayer afte r it. He, therefore, beautifies his prayer, counts himself amongst the dead, pr epares his shroud, writes his will and returns the rights to those who own them. When he wakes up he does not wait for the evening and when he reaches the eveni ng he does not wait for the morning.

In this manner he comes to perform the prayer, humble, submissive and weeping. B etween fer and hope he faces the Hereafter and he bids farewell to the world. It is a farewell prayer and a prayer of farewell. By it he says farewell to his fa mily, parents, brothers and his dearest and nearest ones, in fact the whole World.

And here he says "Allaahu Akbar" - Allaah is Greater - indeed He is greater than every single thing. He belittles this world and deems it insignificant. Then he makes one of the opening supplications and says "O Allaah make my sins distant from me as you have made the the east and west distant from each other." He visu alises the remoteness of the east from the west then he brings to mind whatever he can from among his sins and mistakes which his back carries. He fears that he will meet Allaah - Subhaanahu - in this state and that death will pass him befo re he has repented; so he calls with this supplication, certain and convinced th at it will be answered.

He reflects upon the meaning of all that he utters during his prayer, bringing t o mind the greatness and might of Allaah - Ta'aalaa - in his heart, tears wellin g from his eyes because Paradise and Hellfire have become evidently closer to hi m than his shoelace. He personifies the saying of the Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam): "Pray a f arewell prayer as if you see Him and though you do not see Him, He certainly sees you."

It is essential to be observant of Allaah - Ta'aalaa - so that the matter of pra yer is set aright and that the world is placed behind our backs. If a person kne w that his words are being heard and that they reach the King without a doubt wh at then will he say? And how will he speak? Will you not see him weighing his le tters and words? How will it be for the one who stands erect in front of the All -Hearer the All-Seer and All-Knowing, the One from Whom no secret is hidden?

Abdullaah ibn Shikhkhir (ra) said: I saw the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) praying with us and in his chest was a humming/buzzing sound, due to his weeping, like that of a cooking kettle (when it boils).

The weeping of Umar (ra) could be heard from the last row as been reported in Bukhaaree. Abdullaah ibn Shaddaad said: I heard the sobbing of Umar while I was in the last row and he was reciting: "I complain of my grief and sorrow to Allaah alone." [Yoosuf 12:86]

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