** One of the toughest forms of worship **
It is one of the (1) most important acts of worship in the life of a Muslim, (2) one of the most neglected, and (3) one of the toughest acts of worship out there, one that demands immense training till one’s heart is positioned in its domain;
= I refer to Al-Khushoo’ / Humility before Allah.
This isn’t necessarily something you physically do nor is it limited to Salaah, but an inward state that envelops your heart around the clock.
It is to walk the earth whilst truly feeling in need of Allah, that you’re helpless without His assistance and paralysed without His aid.
It is when you raise your head from prostration only to realise that your heart is still prostrating. It is to buy, sell, converse and socialise with others, whilst your heart quietly calls out,
“O Allah, do not leave me to my own devises, I am at your mercy.”
“O Allah, pardon my shortcomings, You see what others don’t see.”
“O Allah, I have not worshipped You as You deserve to be worshipped.”
Consider the words of Imam Ibnul Qayyim who said,
دخلت على الله من أبواب الطاعات كلها ، فما دخلت من باب إلا رأيت عليه الزحام فلم أتمكن من الدخول
“I have tried drawing closer to Allah by entering every possible door of worship, but every time I approached a door, I found it congested with people, and so I was unable to enter..”
[In other words, the popular acts of worship like prayer, fasting, charity, Da’wah, Qur’an and their likes are practised by so many, Alhamdulillah, and so it’s hard to compete. He continues and says]
حتى جئت باب الذل والافتقار ، فإذا هو أقرب باب إليه وأوسعه ، ولا مزاحم فيه ولا معوق ، فما هو إلا أن وضعت قدمي في عتبته ، فإذا هو سبحانه قد أخذ بيدي وأدخلني عليه
“… until I approached the door of humility and bankruptcy to Allah, where I found that it was in fact the quickest and widest of all doors to Allah, but to my surprise, I realised that there wasn’t any congestion at it nor were there any barriers. I placed my foot inside and at once, I was taken by the hand and allowed to walk inside.”
Getting the outward form of worship on point is easy, but that inner state of desperation, humility, and genuine need of The King is, according to Ibnul Qayyim, the missing jigsaw piece in the lives of the masses, the piece that makes all the difference.
Honestly, it’s not all about appearances, eloquent sermons and carefully crafted Islamic posts, but it’s about that secret relationship that exists between you and Allah which nobody else sees. A single atoms worth of this quality is dearer to Allah than mountains worth of deeds that are machinelike.
Practically speaking, how is this wonder of an act of worship to be attained?
(1) By knowing Him
Imam Ibnul Qayyim said: من عرف الله أحبه ولا بد
“Whoever knows Allah has to love Allah.”
Make a conscious effort to rediscover The One whom you claim you worship through the Qur’an, through the study of his names and attributes, and watch how the Khushoo’ within you that had been asleep will slowly begin to reawaken.
(2) By thinking about Him
Allah said: أَوَلَمْ يَنْظُرُوا فِي مَلَكُوتِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَا خَلَقَ اللَّهُ مِنْ شَيْءٍ
“Do they not look in the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all things that Allah has created..”
Allah said: قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَعِظُكُمْ بِوَاحِدَةٍ أَنْ تَقُومُوا لِلَّهِ مَثْنَى وَفُرَادَى ثُمَّ تَتَفَكَّرُوا
“Say: ‘I exhort you to one (thing) only: that you stand up for Allah’s sake in pairs and singly, and then to think ..”
This universe is an enormous Masjid built for your contemplation. When Ummud Dardaa was asked “which act of worship did you see your husband, Abud Dardaa, engaging in the most?”
She replied: التفكر والإعتبار / “Contemplation and deep thought.”
(3) By freeing up some space for Khushoo’
We have already established the Al-Khushoo’ is not an action of the outer, but one of the heart, and with this we understand why, for many of us, it’s so difficult to attain; because we haven’t left any space for it.
There’s only so much that the human heart can house, and if you’ve filled it with sins, distractions, addictions and perversions, then how will Khushoo’ finds its place when it’s constantly being evicted? Each and every one of us knows exactly where to start and what inner items need unloading.
(4) By begging Allah for it
Memorise the words of the Prophet PBUH this Ramadan:
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ الْعَجْزِ وَالْكَسَلِ، وَالْجُبْنِ وَالْبُخْلِ،وَالْهَرَمِ،وَعَذَابِ الْقَبْرِ،اللَّهُمَّ آتِ نَفْسِي تَقْوَاهَا،وَزَكِّهَا أَنْتَ خَيْرُ مَنْ زَكَّاهَا، أَنْتَ وَلِيُّهَا وَمَوْلَاهَا، اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ عِلْمٍ لَا يَنْفَعُ، وَمِنْ قَلْبٍ لَا يَخْشَعُ، وَمِنْ نَفْسٍ لَا تَشْبَعُ، وَمِنْ دَعْوَةٍ لَا يُسْتَجَابُ لَهَا
“O Allah, I seek refuge in You from incapacity, laziness, stinginess, cowardice, senility, the torment of the grave. O Allah, make my soul obedient and purify it, for You are the best One to purify it, You are its Guardian and Lord. O Allah, I seek refuge in You from knowledge that doesn’t benefit, and a heart that has no Khushoo’, and a soul that is not satisfied, and a Du’aa that is not answered.”
As millions all around the world bow and prostrate during this evening’s Taraaweeh prayers, ask yourself:
“I wonder how many, at this moment, are living the reality of Khushoo'”
-Ust Ali Hammuda