Khushoo Salah

Khushoo Salah

How many times have you made Salah only to find yourself thinking about your kids, your job, your schoolwork, or even worse, something you saw on TV? Do you find it difficult to have khushoo in prayer? You’re not alone.

One of the biggest problems many Muslims have today is being able to focus in prayer, or having Khushu’. In today’s hectic world, it is very difficult to concentrate on during Salah and we often find ourselves thinking of various worldy things.

Being able to focus during our prayers in vital to becoming better Muslims. We will not move up through the levels of faith unless we are able to concentrate when praying to Allah.

Having Khushoo in prayer is a commandment from Allah as He has stated in His book:

Seek help in patience and prayer; and truly it is hard save for the khaashi-oon, Who know that they will have to meet their Lord, and that unto Him they are returning.

Chapter 2 Verse 44-45

And in another verse He says:

Successful indeed are the believers. Those who in prayer are khashi-oon.

chapter 23 Verse 1-2

These verses from the Book of Allah prove that Allah wants us to have khushoo’ in prayer, and those of us that do will achieve success and happiness in this life and the next.

We also have statements from Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) demonstrating the importance of khushoo’ and sincerity in salah.

Whoever does wudoo’ and does it well, then prays two raka’ateen focusing on them completely, will be forgiven all his previous sins.

Related by Bukhari

We cannot expect this great reward without having sincere focus in prayer.

Inshallah, it should be obvious from the evidence presented above that having khushu’ in salah is mandatory, and we should constantly strive to achieve it.

How To Have Focus In Prayer

There are many ways to help improve your focus in prayer. Many of these options have to be done during prayer. However, there are some things you can do outside of prayer to raise your khushoo’.

  • Control or limit outside disturbances.
  • Increase your good deeds.
  • Decrease your bad deeds.

Control Disturbances

This might sound obvious but is very important. How can anyone focus on their Lord and Creator when a television is playing in another room? This is even more disturbing when the television show that is playing is about foolish or forbidden topics (eg beer commercials, sitcoms about sex, sports etc).

Children are another major disturbance (at least in my household). Of course, you can’t put your children outside everytime you pray, but there are steps you can take to limit their noise. For example:

  • Teach your children to be quiet while you’re praying.
  • Encourage your children to pray with you. This is especially important if they’re older than seven.
  • Put away their your kids toys before prayer, especially the ones that are noisy.
  • Men should pray in the Masjid (mosque) as often as possible. This gives you an excellent chance to focus on your prayer.

Another major disturbance is cell phones going off during Salah. How often has one heard a cell phone ringing some crazy tune during Jumuah salah or while the Imam is delivering the khutbah (sermon).

It’s very simple. Just turn off your cell phone before you enter the Masjid.

Increse Your Good Deeds

Your faith is not constant. It goes up and down. Doing good deeds increases your faith, and those with more faith are bound to be more fearful of their Lord and more mindful of death.

This will bring us hope for the Mercy of Allah while also breeding fear of His wrath.

Hence, performing extra good deeds like reciting Quran, giving charity, making extra prayers, and performing voluntary fasts should also improve our focus in prayer.

Decrease Your Bad Deeds

If increasing good deeds will improve your concentration in prayer, then obviously decreasing your bad deeds will have the same effect.

When we commit sin, we open ourselves up for the Shaytan (Devil) and his whispers. If the noble companions had to struggle to ward off his plans, then how much more vulnerable are we?

Inshallah, let’s watch our sins, keep them to a minimum, and seek repentance when we fall short. This will also increase our faith and in turn, our khushoo’.

Methods to Improve Focus While Praying

There are many ways to improve your khushu’ during prayers also. In fact, there are really too many to list in this article. But we’ll discuss some of the easiest methods to implement.

  • Understand what you’re reciting.
  • Reciting different verses and duas.
  • Avoiding potential distractions while praying.

Understand What You’re Reciting

It is very difficult to concentrate on the words of Allah if you don’t know what you’re saying. For most Muslims, Arabic is not our first language. But that is no excuse. We can still learn the meanings of the words we’re saying.

Reciting the Quran with understanding is a great benefit in and of itself. But being able to fully understand the warnings, instructions, and orders from Allah while we’re praying is even more tremendous. So we should strive to learn some Arabic, or at least understand the translation of the Quranic verses we’re reciting.

And it isn’t just the Quran that we should try to comprehend. Throughout the prayer we say many other things during Ruku’ (bowing), Sajdah (prostration), and Tajlis (sitting). You can get the meanings of all of these duas and sayings at this page about Salah.

Many of these recitations are praising Allah or asking for His forgiveness. For example, in between the two prostrations, we say (the translation of which is):

My Lord forgive me and have Mercy on me!

How much more likely is it for Allah to respond to this call when we know what we’re saying and we’re saying it with conviction?

And when we rise up from bowing we state (the translation of which is):

Allah hears the one who praises Him. Our Lord! To You belongs the Praise!

This is a powerful statement. After all, we are stating that Allah hears the one who praises Him, and then we praise Him in the very next breath. But is it really praise if we say it and don’t know what it means and don’t mean it when we say it?

Reciting Different Verses and Duas

We should learn and recite as many different verses of Quran as we can in prayer. So every time we pray, we have to focus and remember a different section of the Quran rather than recite the same handful of verses everytime we pray. This will improve our concentration and help prevent the prayer from becoming a monotonous and repetitive exercise.

similarly, there are many other parts of the prayer that can be said in different ways. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon) did not always say the same thing everytime he prayed.

For instance, there are several different versions of the At-tashahuud, which is reciting while sitting in the second and last rakah (unit) of Salah. You should learn them and use them when you pray.

Avoiding Potential Distractions While Praying

There are still a few things that we can do to make it easier to have Khushoo’ while praying. These are things some of the most common distractions we face while making Salaah.

  • Use the bathroom before praying. And if the urge comes, break the Salah and answer the call of nature rather than try to hold it in.
  • Avoid wearing brightly colored clothing if you think it may distract you. And definitely do not wear clothing with pictures of people or animals.
  • Try not to smooth the ground, adjust your clothes, scratch your head, swat a fly, or anything of the other minor distractions that will inevitably come your way.

There are innumerable rewards and blessings in store for us with the proper Khushoo’, or focus and concentration in Salaah. Inshallah, this serves as a reminder to both you and me of the important aspect of Islam and we utilize these tips to bring us closer to Allah.

Related Articles:

The Prayer in Islam

How to Perform the Prayer in Islam

Levels of Faith

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26 Responses to Khushoo Salah

  1. Assalamu Alaikum
    jzk for ur usefull article however i have heard that there is a course called prayers beyond the motions that will be held in london for the first time soon ishAllah am planning to attend it!! 🙂 and its sponsored by a charity organisation as well which means part of the money will go for charity 🙂 … i searched abt the course and i found the following testimonial link!! 😀

    for more info u may check this event page on fb

  2. Assalamu alaykum waRahmatullahi waBarakatuh,
    MashaAllah. What a lovely article. I have some difficulties sometimes i’m unable to concentrate during salah….I guess we have to strive to our best of ability…

    jazakallah khair !

  3. Assalamoalaikum,
    mash’Allah nice article. The emphasis of ‘knowing’ what you are reciting is so so important. I was born into a muslim family, Alhamdullilah, however it was at the age of 18, praying in a masjid that i suddenly thought – what on earth am i doing???? moving my hands like such, bowing down etc… it just didn’t make sense. from that day, i started reading the meaning of the arabic verses and tried to implement it in my salah. i also stopped doing any kind of worship other then 5prayers and reading the Quran from beginning to end. Allah the most High, opened so many doors for me that they continue to open for me. mash’allah Tabarak’Allah.
    to all my brothers and sisters out there…lets not follow this religion blindly…by just being ‘called’ muslims…lets use our brains and start gaining knowledge for the betterment of the ummah!
    Umm Abdullah

    • Wa Alaikum Salaam Umm Abdullah,

      This was an interesting story you’ve shared. It is unfortunate that so many Muslims go through the motions of worship without truly understanding what it is we’re doing. And one of the easiest ways to do this is to simply learn the meaning of the words we’re saying.

      And we don’t have to speak fluent Arabic to do so (though that most certainly helps).

      Inshallah, more Muslims will read your comment and take your advice not to follow Islam blindly.

      I do encourage you to add some voluntary worship to your daily duties. These voluntary acts are important for getting us through the down times in our lives.

  4. Assalam O Alaikum wa Rahmatu LAAHI wa Barakatu
    Very interesting topics and excellent for the believers. Real massive!!!I refer to you channel constantly as I am often required to speak at functions.For example I wish to speak on “the protection of our Khushoo in Salaat” on a topic – (Getting closer to ALLAH SA).This will be at our Collective Dhikr which is usually every Jumeraat, InshaALLAH.
    JazakALLAH Khairan.

    • Wa Alaikum Salaam Mohamed Jamal Imran,

      Thank you for listening and enjoying this website. I’ll do my best to continue putting out useful information. I’m open to any feedback you may have as I know I’m not perfect. May Allah bless your efforts.

  5. Good nutrition is very important in keeping mind focus. I personally found taking cinnamon regularly a great help in keeping focus during Salat.

    • Thanks for your suggestion Arshad. That is a very observant point you made. Certainly, a person who eats healthy should have a clearer mind and be able to focus better in prayer.

      Perhaps that’s why some of us are able to focus better in Ramadan? Less junk food clogging up our system.

      Allah knows best.

  6. Asalamu Alikum
    I am woman by age 30 and i have one son and i am seperated from my husband. i have done this to me.. and i know may be when u read this you poeple will say i am wrong.
    my all family gone aborad all my bro and sister and there was no any one to take care of my old father.. he is very old and i came to his home and start taking care of him and my husband said if u dont want to come to my home back ok then be there and after that we r separted last from 3 years.. pls tell me any sugestion what to do? i do job and earn money for my son and my self and also for my father he is very old and sick he cant work and i dont know say some thing for me what to do he doesnt accept me…

    • Wa Alaikum Salaam,

      This is a difficult situation and there are no easy answers.

      I don’t think it’s a good thing for you to stay away from your husband for so long. You have a son with him and your husband is also separated from him as well. So everyone is losing in this situation.

      You are losing by not being with husband. Your son is losing by not being with his father. And your husband is losing by not being with his wife and son.

      It is certainly a good thing to take care of your father, but you have to weigh the costs of what you’re doing. Your husband is being forced to maintain the chastity of his marriage without being with a woman for several years. I think that is too difficult for him and most men. He might even consider this a case for divorce or taking a second wife or the worst thing, taking a girlfriend.

      Is there any way to bring your father back home with you? If not, can you pay someone to take care of him where he lives so you can go back home? Are there any facilities for elderly people where he lives? Does he have any other family members (aunts, cousins, uncles, etc) who can take him in?

      You have think of some way out of this situation. I understand it’s a terrible dilemma and there’s nothing easy about it. But sometimes, difficult decisions have to be made in life and this is one of them.

      May Allah make it easy for you and give you what’s best.

  7. Thank you for this thread. I’ve been reading about kushoo from a couple of sources now and I found out that a prayer without kushoo is next to nothing. Now when I look back in my life, for first, I didn’t even know what kushoo was and that it was obligatory, and secondly even though I have mostly tried to pray in the best of manner there haven’t always been kushoo in the prayer. So the question is, do I have to make up for all the prayers that didn’t have kushoo? In my lifespan that would mean about 20 000 prayers.

    • No you don’t have to make up these prayers. Very few of us will pray with perfect Khushoo. We all must try to do the best we can. I think it’s best to think of Khushoo as a journey, not a goal.

      It is something we’re always striving to get better at.

      This is another good reason for us to perform the Sunnah (voluntary or nafil) prayers as often as possible. Inshallah, these prayers may be accepted by Allah to fill in the gaps where our obligatory prayers fall short.

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