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Practical Steps to Gain Khushoo
Khushoo is a means and a consequence.
Khushoo is a consequence of true faith and yaqeen (certainity) upon the words of Allah [SWT] and on the accountability of our actions. It is a means to gain tranquility in this racing, tempting world and to make us worthy of entering Jannah.
Practical Steps to Gain Khushoo Outside Salah
• Constant Dua and Remembrance of Allah
Khushoo is, in its essential point, constant remembrance of Allah [SWT] and His Greatness. It’s not a garment you hop into for salah. It should exist 24/7. What is your first thought when you wake up? When you close your eyes can you be sure you’ll ever reopen them? Ask Allah [SWT] to bless you with khushoo.
Keep an adhkaar book with you wherever you go. Even before reading the Qur’an, you will need something to soften your heart. That is what adhkaar are for.
• Learn Arabic
Make effort to learn Arabic and, if you already know it, aim for a detailed understanding of the Qur’an and hadith. To illustrate the importance of making an effort to comprehend what you read allow me to draw a parallel.
Let’s say you have a wonderful painting; the colors are rendered with a mastery close to genius, the prospective is breath taking and the skillfulness used to depict the subject is revolutionary under every aspect. A critic offers to evaluate it. With closed eyes, he runs his fingers over the drawing, mentally calculates the weight and size of the painting, going so far as to smell the acrylic chromes you have used. He declares your piece to be quite interesting but refuses to open his eyes. Your talent is wasted on him: though it is in his ability to appreciate the art, he refuses to do so.
Now, how many times have you heard people enlisting the miracle the Qur’an? How many times have you been fascinated by the recitation of a Qari? And yet you cannot fully value its beauty until you commit to study the language it was written in.
• Read about the Companions
If you seek motivation from inspirational people, the Sahaba are the ones you will need to know about.
Bilal (may Allah [SWT] be pleased with him) was steadfast while enduring extreme torture. He was asked several years later why did kept repeating “Ahd, Ahd”. He replied that he would see that the Quraish would become furious when hearing him testify once more the oneness of God, punishing him even more severely. The harsher he was persecuted the more he would become conscious of the underlying fear of his master for the power of his beliefs which in turn motivated the slave to declared them ever vigorously. Suhayb Al Rumi gave up all of his health to the Mushrikeen in Mecca in exchange to being allowed to reach the Prophet [SAW] in Medina.
How could they bear these experiences? Weren’t they human? Weren’t they made of flesh and bones, subject to weaknesses and desires? Indeed, but their hearts were alive; khashioon to the Lord of the Worlds instead of human beings.
They found the truth and they would give up everything and sacrifice their own lives for it. And it’s this same sacrifice that granted them victory. In fact when Suhayb approached the outskirts of Medina, the Prophet greeted him by announcing: “Your transaction has been fruitful, O Abu Yahya. Your transaction has been fruitful”.
In addition, surround yourself with people that have a beneficial impact on you and remind you of Allah and encourage you to do good deeds
• Study and ponder the world around you
We often forget that our existence is a miracle, taking everything for granted and not seeing and reflecting. Think about children, for example. They have the most powerful capacity to marvel upon things. They explore, observe and listen. They are totally fascinated by what they are exposed to.
Growing up, most of us just grow dull. We miss out on what happens around us. If by looking at a full moon, a sunset, the variety of colors in the flowers or the order in the animal kingdom, we are not filled with awe, if we are unable to humble ourselves and whisper a sincere SubhanAllah, then we have forgotten that they are but signs of the mercy from Allah [SAW] reminding us of His supremacy.
There was a quote in my math book by Albert Einstein:
“God does not care about our mathematical difficulties, he integrates empirically”.
For quite some time I’ve thought about it with diffidence. Eventually though, I derived an interpretation, which might be completely biased, yet it allows me to appreciate the implications of the sentence. Look at the history of human kind: physiologist, mathematicians, astrologists, biologists, chemists – everyone busy in conjecturing, speculating and researching for centuries about the mechanism by which this universe is sustained. The more in depth you study a science, the easier it is for you to realize the ordered complex perfection that rules it, thus increasing your reverence towards the Creator. Had the sun been slightly closer or further from the Earth, life would have been impossible on it either because of extremely low or high temperature. The amount of rain that falls upon a soil makes a difference between a fertile terrain or a barren one. The percentage of nitrogen in the air, the ratio of hemoglobin to water in the blood – everything has a prearranged equilibrium.
“Glorify the name of thy lord, the Most High, Who creates, then makes complete, and Who measures (in due proportion), then guides” [Surah Al-A’ala, 87:1-3]
Reflect about the meanings and implication of the 99 attributes and names of Allah Azz wa Jall.
• Set yourself a regular routine to read or memorize the Qur’an.
“We have not sent down to you the Qur’an to cause you distress but only as a reminder for those who fear (have kashya of Allah)” [Surah Taha 20:2-3]
• Regular fasting
Consider it as a preparation for Ramadan, or more practically as a cleansing of the soul that will facilitate us to be more receptive to the commandment of Allah.
Do you have a few tips for us on how to improve Khusoo, or achieve greater submission? Share with us in the comments below and let us help each other rise above absentminded submission.
About the Author
Sister Jihan Anwar is an MIS student sharing her musings with the team at MuslimYouthMusings and working as a journalist at the National Yemen Newspaper.