Sunday, March 23, 2008

Calmness (Khushu') in Salah

"Doesn't the one who raises his head before the Imaam fear

that Allah turns his head into a donkey's head?"


Last week, my kids and I read together the above hadith after salah Maghrib.
I knew that some kids always want to play while we are doing salah. We have to try to explain the kids to calmness (khushu') in salah. By reading some of hadiths, the kids will learn why we have to calm or khushu' in salah.

Performing Salah is the second pillar of Islam, after saying Shahadah.

To performing salah, we need to learn:

  • Doing the wudu in the proper way
  • To do the salah in its time
  • To do it in congregation (jama'ah) - where the reward is 27 times than praying alone
  • To fulfill the six conditions of salah
  • To observe the proper manners (adab) of doing it such as submission and humility
  • To follow preferable actions (sunnah) in our salah

There are some of statements in Al Qur'an and Hadiths about Khushu' or calmness in salah.

In Al Qur'an

  • "And stand before Allah in a devout frame of mind." [2:238]

  • "Successful indeed are the believers. Those who offer their sholats with all solemnity and full submission." [23:1-2]

  • "And man is ever hasty" [17:11]

We should not in hurry when we are doing sholat.
If we are doing sholat in hurry, we are not going to have time to talk to Allah or to focus on what we are saying to Allah.
Sholat means being close to Allah. We should be calmness, peaceful, solemnity, and full submission when we offer the sholat. This is what it is called Khushu'.

In Hadith

  • The Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wasallam, said, "The worst of stealers are those who steal from their salahs." People asked: "O Messenger of Allah, how could one steal from his payer?" He said: "He would not bow down and prostrate completely" (Ahmad).

    How can a person stand before Allah in sholat and at the same time check the time in his/her cellphone or watch, straighten her cloth/scarft, look right and left?
    This is the way of the Saythan steals from his/her salah.

  • The Messenger of Allah sallallahu alayhe wasallam, said: "A man's salah is not correct until he straightens [makes level] his back during kneeling and prostration." (Abu Dawud).

  • The Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wasallam then said: "Do you see this man? Whoever dies while in this state [i.e. performing salah in this way], has died outside the creed of Muhammad. He performs his salah like a crow who pecks blood. Those who bow and prostrate as if they were pecking are like the hungry who eats but one or two dates, how can they satisfy his hunger?" (Ibn Khuzaymah) Huthayfah radhiallahu anhu saw a man hastening his bowing and prostration, he said: "You did not pray, and if you died, you would have died not on the innate nature that Allah has created Muhammad, sallallahu alayhe wasallam with." (al-Bukhari)

  • When the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wasallam, was asked about leveling the earth during prostration, he said: "Do not smoothen while you are praying, but if you really have to, do it only once to level the pebbles." (Abu Dawud)

  • The Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wasallam, said, "Patience is from Allah and hastiness is from Shaytan." (al-Bayhaqi).

  • The Prophet sallallahu alayhe wasallam has strongly warned against it, saying: "Doesn't the one who raises his head before the imam fear that Allah turns his head into a donkey's head?" (Muslim).

  • Al-Baraa Ibnu 'Azib radhiallahu anhu narrated that they were praying behind the Messenger of Allah sallallahu alayhe wasallam, so when he raised his head from kneeling he [al-Baraa] would not see anybody bending his back [to prostrate] until the Messenger sallallahu alayhe wasallam put his forehead on the floor, then people would fall in prostration behind him." (Muslim)

  • When the Prophet sallallahu alayhe wasallam advanced in age, and his movements became slower, he notified the Muslims praying behind him, saying: "O people, I became heavier, so do not precede me in kneeling and prostrating." (al-Bayhiqi).

  • Abu Hurayrah radhiallahu anhu narrated: "The Messenger of Allah sallallahu alayhe wasallam used to say takbir in salah when he stood up for salah, then he says takbir when he bows down., then he says takbir when he falls [in prostration], then he says takbir when he raises his head, then he says takbir when he prostrates, then he says it when he raises his head, then he would do the same during the whole salah, until the end, and he says takbir when he gets up from the sitting position after the second rak'a."(al-Bukhari).

We should remember that Allah initially commanded us to pray fifty times a day and it was eventually reduced to five times (with the reward of fifty).
Some of the reasons are:

  • the prayer times are very reasonably spread out throughout the day
  • it can even help us to manage our time
  • it can help us to manage our affairs, allowing the Muslim community to meet during congregation and care for and help each other which will lead in turn to solidarity.

Thus, the sholat five times a day should not be seen as a burden as some Muslims might regard them today.


Activities and Worksheets for kids to learn salah / praying:

  • Making the chart of salah.
  • Learn and practice salah five times a day.
  • Always try to do salah in time and in jama'ah/congregation at home or in masjid if it is possible.
  • Write about "What does Salah mean to me?"
  • Write about "The History of Isra' Mi'raj"
  • Write about "How to do Khushu' in Salah"

To watch videos: