Ramadan Reflections: The Struggle for Khushu’

By Nurliyana Rahmat

I have been struggling to attain khushoo’ and it has left me feeling dejected for days. I felt disconnected and I can’t seem to understand how to recover from it. I made doa asking Allah and Allah answered it beautifully today. I received a Ramadhan journal from sister as a gift and as I flipped through the pages and indexes, something caught my eye “Khushoo’ Inspirations”. I went on reading the contents and I found this: “Khushoo’ in prayer happens when a person empties his heart for it (prayer), and focuses on it to the exclusion of all else, and prefers it to everything else. Only then does he find comfort and joy in it, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘… and my joy has been made in salaah.’”
(Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 5/456. The hadeeth is in Musnad Ahmad, 3/128 and Saheeh al-Jaami’, 3124). In Surah Al Baqara (2:45-46), Allah tells us: “And seek help in patience and As-Salat (the prayer) and truly it is extremely heavy and hard except for Al-Khashi’un [i.e. the true believers in Allah – those who obey Allah with full submission, fear much from His Punishment, and believe in His Promise (Paradise, etc.) and in His Warnings (Hell, etc.)]. (They are those) who are certain that they are going to meet their Lord, and that unto Him they are going to return.”

The meaning is that the burden of prayer is heavy indeed, except for those who have khushoo’. (Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 1/125). Khushoo’ is through the heart. It is by being fearful and humble in submission and Allah said these people are of those who have thorough conviction that they will return and meet Allah. The highest level of people with Khushoo’ is one who when he stands up to pray, he fulfils all the requirements of the prayer, and his heart is fully focused and alert lest he omit anything, and his concern is to do the prayer properly and perfectly. His heart is deeply immersed in his prayer and worship of his Lord and he takes his heart and places it before his Lord, looking at his Lord with his heart and focusing on Him, filled with love and adoration, as if he is actually seeing Him.

That waswaas and those thoughts diminish, and the barriers between him and his Lord are lifted. The difference between the prayer of this person and the prayer of anyone else is greater than the difference between heaven and earth. When this person prays, he is preoccupied with his Lord and content with Him.

I’ve never felt so loved and cherished than the moment Allah gifted me this book as an answer to my prayers and wallahi, this is Allah. This is Allah and I understand now somehow what it means to have a heart full of love and adoration for Allah. Pray like as if it’s your last. Pray knowing Allah is there with you, listening, looking and loving you. “Aren’t you excited to meet Allah through every prayer?”, Ustazah Shameem asked us some time back.

Allahumma inni a’udhu bika min qalbin la yakhsha. O Allah I seek refuge with You from a heart that has no khushoo’.


Join us for this upcoming class on Imam Ghazali’s Ihya Ulumuddin, taught by Ustaz Amin Yusoff. Register at: http://revivalofthedeen.eventbrite.sg