Fun!

Insights

It was an exquisite first touch. The ball was passed half a step behind me and coming at an angle. I was already in “First Gear”, ready to shoot off towards the opponent’s goal posts. Without a second thought, I turned my body slightly and using the inside of my foot half cushioned-half dragged the ball in front of me, between the two defenders facing me. It really was an exquisite first touch. With unparalleled acceleration over 20 metres, I shot past the two defenders like a rabbit dashing between two old sleeping foxes, like a Bullet Train bursting through fog. Only the keeper left to beat, and several ways to beat him. Kick the ball through his legs, fake a shot and breeze past his flat-footed form, one-two-three step-overs and past him, place it low to his side, chip it over him… The possibilities... I think I’ll just-“ASSALAAMU ALAIKUM WA RAHMATULLAH. ASSALAAMU ALAIKUM WA RAHMATULLAH.”

What? Salaah is already over?

And I can’t even remember anymore how I scored that goal…

How often has something like this happened to you? You approach salaah “relatively” focused, but as soon as you lift your hands and begin your salaah, your mind drifts-no, travels speedily and vividly to an old forgotten memory, an exciting new idea, a recap of the day’s activities or what dinner will be tonight. Some mundane thought that has no place your Communication with Allah. And then as soon as salaah ends it doesn’t feel as such an important thought anymore.

Abu Al-’Aas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that he said, “O Messenger of Allah, the Shaytan interrupts me when I pray, and I get confused in my recitation.” The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “That is a Shaytan whose name is Khanzab. If you sense his presence, seek refuge with Allah from him, and spit [dry spitting] towards your left three times.” [Abu Al-‘Aas] said: “I did that and Allah took him away from me.” Reported by Muslim.

What I (and you if you’re unlucky) lack in our salaah is a crucial little something called Khushoo’. I don’t have the expertise to define it, so here’s Ibn al-Qayyim to “explain” it.

“The khushoo’ of true faith is when the heart feels aware and humble before the Greatness and Glory of Allah, and is filled with awe, fear and shyness, so that the heart is utterly humbled before Allah and broken, as it were, with fear, shyness, love and the recognition of the blessings of Allah and its own sins.”

The aim of this series of articles will be to explore easy, practical ways to develop Khushoo’. One method a week for the next few weeks, so let’s try and perfect each.

photo credit: bismikaallahuma via photopin cc

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