Monday, December 31, 2012

Submissiveness in Prayer (Al-Khushoo' Fis Salah)

Aasalmu alikum

Islam has placed great importance upon the performance of prayer, not only the physical act but the mental and spiritual role as well. What is this importance of prayer in the life and afterlife of a Muslim? What are the consequences of prayer?
The Importance of Prayer
1. The first thing you are required to do after pronouncing Shahadah is Salah. Salah is a primary pillar of Islam. In other words, it upholds one's Islam. Abandonment of prayer will negate a person's Islam. Without Salah, one becomes a Kaffir.
"Verily between man and between polytheism and unbelief is the negligence of prayer."Muslim
2. The performance of prayer, as well as the grade of performance, affects all other deeds in life. The Prophet, (saws), said:
"The first thing that the servant will be called to account for on the Day of Judgment will be Salah. If it is good, his deeds will have been good. If it is bad, his deeds will have been bad." At-Tabarani
Salah, performed correctly with khushoo' is the key to success and true faith. Allah, (swt), tells us:
"Successful indeed are The Believers, those who humble themselves in their prayers.Qur'an 23:1-2
Muslims, in general are very deficient in their Salah. These deficiencies range from small to severe, yet everyone suffers as a consequence. Prayer benefits the individual as well as the society. If this benefit is not gained, not only will the individual Muslim suffer but the society will face the loss as well.
The situation of today's Islamic society is not very optimistic and it is worsening. This is due to progression of sin and lack of repentance. In order to combat this we must return to the performance of obligatory acts and render them as they should be performed. This, especially in the case of Salah, will do much to improve the state of Muslims. Why be astonished at our deterioration if our own Salah is cursing us/ A "return to Islam", involves true, sincere repentance and obedience of Allah's commands, If believers don't stop sinning, punishment will come from Allah, (swt).

The Definition of Khushoo'

Khushoo', which may loosely be translated as submission, incorporates:
Absence of Haughtiness: This characteristic, which is found in most, constitutes pride and self-sufficiency. It must be completely removed. This does not mean that we must belittle ourselves to a state of worthlessness. It simply means that we should realise our deficiencies and eliminate any feeling of lack of need for Allah. We are in need of Him not He of us.
Humbleness: Once the self-pride and self-sufficient feelings are removed, Allah's greatness is magnified. We cannot but feel meek, insignificant, and submissive and thereby humble ourselves and acknowledge our true need for Allah(swt).
Acceptance of Commandments and Compliance Through Actions: This refers to the total surrender to the Creator, The owner of the Worlds.
Khushoo' is a complex of different morals, feelings, and intentions, all of which are directed to Allah, the fruit of which is compliance through physical actions, This constitutes true extraction of oneself from whatever may prevent this sincerity, feeling the Might and Glory of Allah, and feeling humility and the tremendous power of Allah coupled with complete poverty to Him only, (swt). It is to stand before Him with our hearts placed sincerely in His hands. Though this submission, this khushoo', is emphasised in Salah it should be characteristic of every intention, word, and deed we perform.
"Say: Verily, my prayer and my service of sacrifice, my life and my death are all for Allah, Lord of the Worlds." Qur'an, 6:162
The place of submission, true submission, is in the heart. It bears fruit in the different parts of the body; the eyes, tongue, hands, feed. In essence, our whole life should be a submissive prayer if we wish to be of the Muflihoon, the Successful:
"Successful indeed are the Mu-mineen, those who humble themselves in their prayer."Qur'an, 23:1-2
Submission, or khushoo', is most often mentioned with Salah, as it is the act of worship that is the common denominator of all other acts of devotion, e.g. Ihraam/Hajj, Sawm, Shahadah, expenditure of oneself, supplication and remembrance of Allah, Recitation of Qur'an, and acts of devotion of the heart, which are the most important Salah is the most important pillar of Islam after the Shahadah. It is a true action of Shahadah - Declaration of Faith. When we are praying we are directing ourselves to Allah confirming our belief in Tawheed. . Compare Salah to fasting. When we fast we abstain from the intake and output of many things other than food and drink, such as evil thoughts, words and deeds. Salah is similar act - the abstention of everything but prayer. Zakah, as well as Sadaqah, purifies us in our actions, as does Salah. Salah contains the best supplication:
"Show us the Straight Way."Qur'an 1:6
We recite this verse regularly in our prayer, at least seventeen times daily. How often do we recite it for the sake of recitation outside of prayer? We should do so more often. It is actually a complete prayer of supplication to Allah for guidance.
When you are bowing in rukoo' you praise Allah. When you are in prostration you are the closest you can come to Allah. It is here that you should supplicate and ask Him for your needs. All of your life's problems should come out in your prostration's, remembering that it is we who are in need of Allah not Him of us.
"The closest a servant comes to his Lord is in Sujood; therefore make excessive du'a, for it is most likely to be answered."Related by Muslim
When submission is truly established in the heart, only then will a Muslim be known as a humble person. Only through true submission of the heart will the rest of the body. - which carries out words and actions - comply with discipline to the commands of Allah. This is the true meaning of Islam - actual acceptance then compliance through obedience to and performance of whatever command Allah has commanded. So submission is not confined to Salah alone. Actually, submission is Islam. To understand this, we must grasp the deeper connotations of khushoo'.
A person may feel that he has khushoo' yet this is not apparent in his actions. This is not true khushoo'. Submissiveness and humbleness cannot possible end with prayer. It affects a person's entire attitude and action, not limiting itself to Salah. Many of today's Muslims feel that their level for Islam is sufficient.
When you advise them to improve themselves and their deeds they respond by saying that fanaticism is not necessary. They don't want to be labeled a 'fundamentalist'. Any person who feels satisfied with his level of Islam should remember the following ayah:
"Has not he time arrived for the Believers that their hearts in all humility should engage in the remembrance of Allah and the Truth which has been revealed (to them) and that they should not become like those to whom was given the Book aforetime? But long ages passed over them and their hearts grew hard? For many among them are rebellious transgressors."Qur'an 57:16
This ayah addressed the Companions of the Prophet (saws). Though they were pious, righteous and very devoted, Allah (swt) wanted them to improve themselves

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