in Prayer (Al-Khushoo' Fis Salah)
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.
Factors of Khushoo'
The Islamic definition of faith is: The belief in the heart, the words of the tongue, accompanied by actions of the body. All three must be found in a person to have true faith. The belief in the heart is evidenced by the actions which are performed, and the actions are accepted according to what is in the heart, so it's a combination of the two. They cannot stand alone. Faith is bound by the following precepts:
To pronounce the Shahadah as well as spread it to others.
To believe in
whatever we were told by the Prophet (saws). To believe the truth
of the complete knowledge and wisdom of Allah in what he has commanded
us to perform or abandon.
To perform good deeds and refrain from bad ones.
To comply and obey and accept.
"And they say; 'We hear and we obey; (we seek) Your forgiveness our Lord; and to You is the end of all journeys'."(Qur'an, 2: 285)
If these things are applied to Salah, along with firm belief in the importance and benefit of Salah, then it is sure, Insh Allah, to increase our khushoo' which will in turn increase our faith.
The main constituents of faith may be grouped under two important conditions:
Ikhlas - sincerity
Emulation - following the Sunnah
"Blessed be He in Whose hands is Dominion, and He has power over all things. He Who created death and life that He may try which of you is best in deed." Qur'an, 67:1-2
"Blessed in deed" involves sincerity and emulation of the Sunnah. No better advice is given to a brother Muslim than to tell him to fulfill these two things. Without them, he will have lived his life for nothing; all his deeds will have been lost. Through them, all deeds will be saved and protected, and by Allah's mercy, accepted.
Ikhlas, or sincerity, refers to the complete absence of shirk. It means not only performing Salah to fulfill the obligation, but to really feel your need, your poverty for it, and to purify ourselves, all out of total love for Allah, wanting to get nearer and nearer to Him, hoping for the highest level in paradise amongst the Muqarraboon, those close to Allah. The Messenger of Allah (saws) related the following:
"Allah the Almighty has said: Whosoever shows enmity to a friend of Mine, I shall be at war with him. My servant does not draw near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have imposed upon him, and my servant continues to draw near to Me with voluntary works so that I shall love him. When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes, and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask (something) of Me, I would surely give it to him; and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant it to him." Related by Al-Bukhari
Salah is indeed a gift. There are many who don't like Salah at all, and when they hear the Adhan they could car less. Those who find in Salah the benefits that Allah bestows upon His servants, who perform it as it should be performed, are joyful to be called to prayer. Be thankful and appreciative in your heart for the gift of being able to perform Salah.
One of the enemies of sincerity is admiration of one's self. Pride is a type of shirk, an association of oneself with Allah.
"He who has in his heart a mustard seed of pride shall not enter Paradise."Muslim
Never admire yourself or your deeds, particularly your prayer. Look to those who are better than you. This will encourage you and humble you.
As true sincerity is built mainly on true love, desire, and fear of Allah, the following will assist you in establishing your sincerity:
Knowing Allah (swt) by His names and attributes, appreciating His Lordship.
Ihsan: "To worship Allah as though you see Him, knowing that though you cannot see Him, He sees you."Muslim
To acknowledge religion and guidance as being from Allah.
"And you have no good thing but it is from Allah."Qur'an, 16:53
If it wasn't for Allah's guidance we would not be Muslims, so at least out of thankfulness we should be humble and sincere.
"But Allah has endeared faith to you and has made it beautiful in your hearts and he has made hateful to you unbelief, wrongdoing and rebellion; such indeed are those who walk in righteousness. A grace and favor from Allah; and Allah is full of Knowledge and Wisdom."Qur'an, 49:7-8
To look at our defective selves and actions. No matter how much we try, we will never be able to perform worship to the level that Allah deserves. This should build a competitive feeling in us, an ambition to do more, to try harder, hoping for Allah's mercy. This is what it means to feel complete poverty to Allah. As well, we should look to those who are better, who are very God-conscious and fearing. This will help to develop the desire for humility. Failure to apply reflective inspection to oneself will only serve to increase one's defects.
To appreciate the blessings bestowed upon us. Anas bin Malik related that on the Day of Judgement every servant will be presented with a record of is good deeds and a record of his bad deeds. Then he will be shown a record of all of the blessings he was given by Allah (swt) (such as sight, hearing, feeling, etc.). The Lord will say (to the blessings he granted his servant) "Take from the good deeds of my servant what you deserve." If only one of the blessings of Allah were to come forth and take what it deserves from the servants good deeds, there would be none remaining. (Al-Khushoo' fis Salah 'Abdullah Al-Jaar Allah)
"And He gave you (the faculties) of hearing and sight and understanding; little thanks do you give!"Qur'an, 32:9
Go and visit the sick, the very sick, that lie in the hospitals. You will deeply appreciate your seemingly simple blessings which will in turn increase your sincerity in worship.
Emulation of the Sunnah
Emulation is a required principle of every act of worship in Islam. The act you perform and the way you perform it cannot be a fabrication of your own which has no basis in the Sunnah. This is according to the Hadeeth of 'Ai-ishah (ra) who related the Prophet (saws) as saying:
"Whoever innovates something into this religion of ours which does not belong to it will have it rejected."Muslim
According to the words of the Prophet (saws): "Pray as you have seen me pray."
Prayer, as well as all other acts of worship, can only be considered perfect and complete if it is in accordance with the Sunnah of the Prophet (saws). They must be totally free of innovation. Otherwise they will be rejected by Allah (swt).
"The Day that the wrongdoer will bite at his hands, He will say, "Oh! Would that I had taken a path with the Messenger!" Qur'an 25:27
Recitation of the Qur'an and Remembrance of Allah (Dhikr)
"Don't speak a lot without remembering Allah, for verily speaking much without remembering Allah hardens the hearts. And the people who are most distant from Allah are those with hard hearts."Tirmidhi
Recitation of the Qur'an and Dhikr, accompanied by contemplation of the meaning is one of the most tremendous ways of softening one's heart.
"Allah has revealed the most beautiful Message in the form of a book, consistent with itself, repeating; the skins of those who fear their Lord tremble threat; then their skins and their hearts do soften to the remembrance of Allah."Qur'an 39:23
Recitation of the Qur'an and Dhikr is a protection from shaytan and a cause of tranquillity of the heart. Sadly, the hearts of today's Muslims are no longer sensitive to the Qur'an. If our hearts are really pure, then we never stop reciting Qur'an. 'Uthmaan bin' Affaan, radi Allaahu 'anhu, would pray Fajr then remember Allah in Dhikr. Then he would recite Qur'an till Dhuhr! If our hearts were purified, we would never stop reciting Qur'an:
"Those who believe and whose hearts find satisfaction in the remembrance of Allah; for without a doubt in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction." Qur'an 13:28.
"And remember Allah frequently that you may prosper." Qur'an 62:10.
Shaytan always works to distract us so we should always seek help from Allah by saying "Audthu billahi minash shaytan nirrajeem". The same can be applied in Salat. When you become so distracted in your prayer that you can't control it say "Audthu billah himinash shaytan nirrajeem" then spit lightly over your shoulder three times. 'Uthman bin Affaan related that he came to the Prophet (saws), and said:
"Allah's Messenger, Satan intervenes between me and my prayer and my reciting of the Qur'an and he confounds me." Thereupon, Allah's Messenger (saws), said, "That is (the doing of the Shaytan) who is known Khanzab. When you perceive its effect, seek refuge with Allah from it and spit three times to your left."Muslim
Make it a daily habit to examine your Salah critically. If there is any defect, repent and try to eliminate this defect, as sin without repentance blocks your way to success. Don't let Shaytan defeat you -just keep trying. Maintain a high spirit and ambition, holding firmly to your faith and seek strength only from Allah.
Consider the example of the Prophet (saws), who was protected from error, who has been guaranteed paradise. He would ask Allah's forgiveness 100 times a day. What then should be expected from us?
Assessment of oneself is not meant to instill a feeling of failure or incompetence. As long as your intention is to do good, you follow through with it, and you continue trying, the reward will be given to you.
"Verily! As for those who believe and do righteous deeds - certainly! We shall not suffer to be lost the reward of anyone who do his (righteous) deeds in the most perfect manner." Qur'an 18:30
Recognising your defects shouldn't pull your spirit down but should rather motivate you to improve. Remember that strength is the key to closeness with Allah.
"The strong Mu-min is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak Mu-min."Muslim
Comprehension and Contemplation
The renown scholar, Ibn Al-Qaym, has said that on two occasions the servant of Allah will be between the hands of Allah: On the Day of Judgement and in Salah. Whoever perfects his stand in this life will have an easy stand on the Day of Judgement.
A man came to the Prophet (saws)and said:
"Give me brief advice in which I don't need anything else. He said to Him: "When you pray, pray like a person who is saying farewell." Ibn Majah, Al-Hakim, and Al-Buhaqi
When you stand to pray and pronounce "Allahu Akbar", reflect upon the meaning of Allah's Greatness, hoping for His reward and fearing. His punishment. When you bow for rukoo' and say, Subhana Rabbi Al-Adheem strive to refine the inner feeling of your own impotence and insignificance before the Might and submission in prayer. Your words Subhanna Rabbi Al-A'alaa should be said with full awareness of your complete poverty to Allah. When you conclude your prayer, feel a sense of gratitude to Allah, for having enabled you to complete this act of worship. Imagine that you are saying this farewell prayer of yours and that you may not live to offer another like it.
Remembering The Last Day
Remember the hardness of the Day of Judgement when we shall all stand before Allah, fearful and ashamed of what we have to present to Him. It is for this reason we should avoid concerning ourselves so much with this life and concentrate on that which will be of benefit to us on that day, particularly acts of worship. Nothing else deserves the importance of remembrance of this day.
"And part of the night prostrate yourself to Him and glorify Him a long night through. As to these, they love the fleeting life and put away behind them a Day that will be hard."Qur'an 76:26-27
Those who ignore this Ayah love the world and are forgetting the heavy day that they will face. Consider the seriousness of the Day of Judgement. Remember death. Remember that your life here is only temporary and can be short.
"Seek help in patience and prayer; truly it is hard except for those who are humble. Who bear in mind the certainty that they are to meet their Lord and that they are to return to Him." Qur'an 2:45-46
Truly those who possess Khushoo', the Khashi'een, seek help in patience and prayer. They know and realise the importance of the Day of Judgement and appreciate that they will meet with their Lord.
This is a positive anxiety which pushes them to do more. They know that as long as they are alive they have a chance to do something to improve their stand on that Day. And they take advantage of each and every chance.
"If only you could see when the guilty ones will bend low their heads before their Lord (saying): Our Lord! We have seen and we have heard; now then, send us back (to the world) we will work righteousness, for we do indeed (now) believe." Qur'an 32:12
Following the Path of the Companions
The Companions of the Prophet (saws, were always shy and afraid to present a bad prayer to Allah. They were filled with fear that their deeds would not be accepted. Consider this in relation to their exquisite piety, as seen in the following stories from their lives:
* One whose leg was in need of amputation was faced with the difficulty of surgery without anesthesia. He was offered alcohol to help decrease the pain he would undoubtedly feel but he refused saying: Cut it off while I am in prayer. The amputation was completed while he was in Sujood.
* Muslim bin Yasaar was praying in the masjid when a portion of the building collapsed. He was completely unaware of the event due to his Salah.
* 'Amir bin 'Abdullah was one of the humble in prayer. He was asked: "Does anything come into your mind in your prayer?" He replied: "Is there something that is more beloved to me than Salah that should come to my mind." They said: "Verily, things come to our minds when we pray." He said to them: "Such as Paradise and the Maidens of Paradise and thing like this?" They said: "No. Our families and our wealth." 'Amir replied: "I would rather spears pass through my body than get that sort of thing in my prayer."
We should look to their level of concentration, love them for their deep faith and strength, and ask Allah to make us like them. They show us that the fundamental elements of prayer are not the mere rituals but rather humility and conscious awareness.
Knowing the Rewards and Punishments
One who has khushoo' benefits enormously whereas one who is lacking in khushoo' will suffer various consequences. By knowing the rewards associated with khushoo' and the punishments for the lack thereof, we may better conceive the importance of developing this very special aspect of Iman.
1. "Successful indeed are the Mu-mineen, those who humble themselves in their prayer."Qur'an 23:1-2
2.The right to enter Al-Jannah through Baab As-Salah - The door of Prayer.
3. Khushoo' will provide you relaxation and will become 'pleasing to the eye'. You will experience tranquillity and calmness. However, such things come only through jihad and patience.
"Truly man was created very impatient. Fretful when evil touches him. And niggardly when good reaches him. Not so those devoted to prayer. Those who remain steadfast in their prayer." Qur'an 70:19-23
4.It will become a source of strength and power and will serve as a protection from Shaytan and provide you with stability. Allah (swt), says:
"Seek help through Sabr (patience) and Salah."Qur'an 2:45
This is evident in the following Hadith:
"He (saws), when saddened by a thing, would seek refuge in prayer."Related by Ahmad and Abu Dawud
Whenever you are in need or trouble - pray!
5. Help's one's conscience and purifies and perfects other deeds. Indeed all of our actions, word and deed, are affected by our Salah. And, Subhan Allah, it works in two very simple ways. Submit more in Salah and you'll submit in other deeds...and vice versa!!!
"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 deed will have been bad." Related by Al-Tabarani
6. Perfects one's morals, manners, character and attitude. This is known as Husnul Khuluq.
"Verily Salah restrains from indecency and evil deeds" Qur'an 29:45
"There is nothing that weighs heavier upon the scale of a believer on the Day of Judgement as does Husnul Khuluq." Related by Al-Tabarani
7. Establishes for you a closeness to the Prophet (saws), on the Day of Judgement. The Prophet (saws), said:
the most beloved of you to me and the nearest to me on the Day of
Judgement are those with the best manners." Al-Tabarani
Rabe'ah bin Ka'ab said:
"I was with the Messenger of Allah (saws) one night, and I brought him water and what he required. He said to me: Ask (anything you like). I said: I ask your company in paradise. He (The Prophet (saws)) said: "Anything other than that?" I said: "That is all." He said: "Then help me to achieve this for you by devoting yourself often to prostration." Muslim
8. Brings you close to Allah (swt).
"Sujood is the closest you can come to Allah." Related by Muslim
9. The falling of sins from your body. The Prophet (saws) said:
"Verily when a Muslim performs Wudu properly, and then observes Salah five times a day, his sins fall off just as these leaves have fallen off.
He then recited the following ayat:
And establish regular prayers at the two ends of the day and at the approaches of the night; for those things which are good removes those things which are evil. That is a reminder for the mindful." Qur'an 11:114
10. The Love of and from Allah. This is the highest of rewards.
"My servant does not draw near Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have imposed upon him, and my servant continues to draw near Me with voluntary works so that I shall love him. When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes, and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask (something) of Me, I would surely give it to him; and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant it to him."
1. Life will be full of discomfort, agony and misery.
"But whosoever turns away from My Message, verily for him is a life narrowed down, and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Judgment." Qur'an 20:124
Sufferings in life may be evidence of one being upon the wrong path, or relief of sufferings a sign that one is upon correct guidance. A German man suffered continually from migraine headaches. No treatment was of any relief, despite his constant search. He happened upon a Muslim who was offering prayer. He was so interested that he waited to inquire as to what this act of worship was and to what religion it belonged. His interest in the prayer, and the religion which commanded such as an act, was due to the prostration - he had found that he could only obtain relief from his pain while in such a position as that which is assumed in Sujood. He eventually accepted Islam and has not, Subhan Allah, suffered from migraines since.
2. All deeds will be bad - a complete loss. If Salah is not performed, it will definitely affect our other deeds in life.
"The first thing that the servant will be called to account for on the Day of Judgement will be Salah. If it is good, his deeds will have been good. If it is bad, his deeds will have been bad." Related by Tabarani
3. Destruction of the bond of brother/sisterhood in Islam. If we are unable to develop khushoo' with our Lord how can we expect to care and feel for our brother Muslims? Without the benefits that are attained through khushoo', Muslims will part from each other and hatred will be given freedom to develop.
4. Depletion of morality and righteousness. Without submission and humbleness, we will be faced with a society of aggressive, self-centered personalities who have no concern for Allah and Islam.
5. Rejection from Allah. We know the great benefits of Allah's love. What will become of us, if He turns away from us?
"But, after them followed a posterity who lost Salah and followed after lusts; soon then will they face destruction." Qur'an 19:59
In the tafseer (explanation) of this Ayah it is mentioned that the phrase who lost Salah does not mean that they completely stopped praying, but that they delayed it, not praying it at the proper time.
Fulfilling our Bodies Needs
Stray thoughts may be prompted by something external. We should fulfill such bodily needs as necessary to concentrate and gain complete benefits from our Salah. We should sleep and eat well.
We should protect ourselves from the elements of weather so that cold and heat do not cause us discomfort.
Our clothing should be comfortable, not irritating. Our attention is caught by anything which happens to engage our eyes and ears. We should distance ourselves from noise as much as possible to avoid distractions that are possible to control.
We should seek guidance and help from Allah for proper and submissive prayer. The Prophet Ibrahim (as) used to make the following du'a:
Make me and my offspring of those who establish regular Salah. O
our Lord, and accept my supplication." Qur'an
To Act Upon and Spread Knowledge
We all have knowledge. Some have a little, some have a lot. We will be asked as to what we have done with it. Act upon it and use it for your benefit and the benefit of others. Offer what knowledge you have to others, even something as simple as telling someone to say Bismillah. The Messenger of Allah (saws) said:
"He who calls people to righteousness, there would be reward assured for him like the rewards of those who adhered to it, without their rewards being diminished in any respect. And he who called people to error, he shall have to carry the burden of its sin, like those who committed it, without their sins being diminished in any respect." Related by Bukhari
There is indeed great difference in he who learns and spreads what he learned and he who does not.
As the Prophet (saws) said:
The example of guidance and knowledge with which Allah has sent me is like abundant rain falling on the earth, some of which has fertile soil that absorbed rain water and brought forth vegetation and grass in abundance. Another portion of it was hard and held rain water and Allah benefited the people with it and they utilised it for drinking, making their animals drink from it, and for irrigation of the land for cultivation. And a portion was barren which could neither hold the water nor bring forth vegetation. The first is the example of the person who comprehends Allah's religion and gets benefit (from the knowledge) which Allah has revealed through me and learns and then teaches others. The last example is that off a person who does not care for it and does not take Allah's guidance revealed through me. Bukhari
It is without doubt that khushoo' in Salah is one of the greatest assets a Muslim can possess in his faith. It comes with struggle, perseverance, and patience and is obtained only by those who work for it, who really set their sights where they should be.
It is related
by Hatim bin Al-Asam that he said in answer to a question about
"When the time for prayer is at hand. I make a proper ablution, go to the spot where I attend to pray and sit there until all my limbs and organs are in a collected state. Then I stand up to perform my prayer, placing the Kabah between my brows, the bridge over Hell beneath my feet, Paradise to my right and Hell to my left, and the Angel of Death behind me, thinking all the while that this is my final prayer. Then I stand between hope and fear. I carefully pronounce "Allahu Akbar!" Then I recite the Qur'an harmoniously, bow in humility and prostrate myself submissively. I then sit back on my left haunch, spreading out the left foot, raising my right foot on the toes. I follow this with sincerity. Then I wonder whether or not my prayer has been accepted.
Excerpt from Inner Dimensions of Islamic Worship - by Al Ghazali