How to Gain Khushu in Salah
Dr. Mamdouh N. Mohamed
Associate Professor at the American Open University

What is Khushu?
Khushu during Salah is misunderstood by some people as crying and weeping.
Rather, it is the presence of the heart during an act of Ibadah.
When a person’s heart is fully occupied with what he says or hears, he is in a true state of Khushu.

The concept of Khushu in Salah is very essential.

1- It is a vital factor in making a person successful in this life and in later life.

“Indeed, the believers, who have Khushu’ in their Salah, are the winners.” [Noble Quran 23:1-2]

2-It is a contributing factor to the acceptance of Salah.

3- It is a way to gain more rewards from the Almighty Allah; the more Khushu a person has, the more rewards he gets.

4- Without Khushu the heart cannot easily be purified.

Ways to Gain Khushu

A. Pre-Salah
1- A Muslim should know his Lord very well. Knowing whom one worships makes a person a better worshipper. Having clear and authentic knowledge about Allah increases His love in our hearts. Consequently, faith also increases.

2- Avoiding major and minor sins is very helpful in gaining Khushu, as the heart becomes more receptive to the words of Allah during and after Salah.

3- Reciting the Quran frequently and consistently softens hearts and prepares it for Khushu. Hard hearts do not gain Khushu.

4- Minimize attachment to worldly matters. Gearing one’s intentions towards the Afterlife helps against the temptations of life.

5- Avoid excessive laughter and useless arguments as they harden the heart and lead to heedlessness.

6- Stop working as soon as you hear the Adhan. When you listen attentively to the call of Salah repeat after the muezzin then offers the relevant supplication. This prepares you for a smooth transition from the business with worldly matters to the business with Salah.

7- Performing Wudu immediately after hearing the Adhan prepares you for the pending Salah. Wudu also works as a buffer zone before engaging in Salah.

8- Going to the mosque early for praying and continuing to mention Allah drives Satan away and helps them gain concentration.

9- The waiting time for the congregational Salah helps create a buffer zone between the state of mind before Salah and the state during Salah.

B. During Salah
1- The Iqamah itself is a final signal to the mind to be well prepared for performing the actual Salah. Remember what the messenger of Allah said to Bilal “Let us enjoy the comfort of the Salah.”

2- When you stand facing the Qiblah remember the following:
a. It might be the last Salah in your life. There is no guarantee to live longer to catch the next Salah.
b. You are standing between the hands of Allah, the Lord of the worlds. How can you be busy with something else?

c. The angel of death is chasing you.

3- Do not forget to make Istiadthah. It wards off Satan’s whispers.

4- Keep your eyes focused on the place of Sujud. This helps you gain more concentration.

5- When reciting the Fatihah, try to recall the response of Allah to you after every Ayah you say. (When you say: “al-Hamdu Lillahi Rabbil Alamin) Allah responds: “My servant praised me.” etc. This feeling of speaking to Allah puts you in the right mood for Khushu.

6- Beautifying the recitation of the Quran has a positive impact on the heart.

7- Recite the Quran slowly and reflect upon its meaning deeply.

8- It is recommended to change the Surah that you recite from time to time to avoid the mechanic-like state of repetition.

9- Alternate between the various authentic Sunan such as proclaiming a different opening supplication in every Salah.

10- Undoubtedly, understanding Arabic helps you focus on the intended meaning.

11- These forms of interactions are very helpful in keeping you focused.

12- When you prostrate, remember that this position brings you closer to Allah. Seize the opportunity to make sincere Duaa.
Invest these moments in making sincere supplications.

C- Post-Salah

1. When you make Taslim, make Istighfar to Allah as you might have made during Salah.

2. When you praise Allah, thank Him from the bottom of your heart that you have experienced the beauty of Salah in your heart. Getting used to this habit prepares you for the next Salah, as you will always be eager to focus in your prayer.

3. One perfection leads to another perfection. If someone perfects his Salah once, he would be self-motivated to continue on the same level.

4. Interact with the recited Ayahs;

a. if you hear an Ayah about Allah, glorify Him by saying “Subhanallah”;
b. If you hear an Ayah about Hellfire,
say “Audthu Billahi Minan-Nar”.

c. If you hear a command to make Istighfar, do it.

d. If you hear an Ayah that requests Tasbih, make Tasbih.

“May the Peace and Blessings of Allah be Upon You”
Praise be to Allaah, we seek His help and His forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from the evil of our own souls and from our bad deeds. Whomsoever Allaah guides will never be led astray, and whomsoever Allaah leaves astray, no one can guide. I bear witness that there is no god but Allaah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.