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Beautiful Ṣalāh

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He awakes in the middle of the night with a purpose. Slowly, he gets out of bed and quietly slips off to the bathroom so not to awaken the others. Inside he feels refreshed as the cool water splashes on his face, arms and feet. Revived, he heads out with a purpose to his prayer room.

He has had a very difficult day with a lot of questions echoing in his head, but he did not complain to anybody, as he knows there is only One who can assist him. The One who ordered him to seek assistance through prayer and patience, so here he is, seeking assistance through prayer, while many others sleep.

He raises his hands above his shoulders and proclaims the greatness of his Creator “Allāhu Akbar!”, then folds them on his chest. Quietly, he seeks protection from the accursed Satan, and begins in the name of his Lord. He recites The Opening Chapter in beautiful rhythmic tones. He takes his time, knowing that after every verse, his Lord replies. “All praise is for Allāh, the Lord of the Worlds,” he begins. He can feel the response within him, “My slave has praised me!”

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“Most Gracious, Most Merciful,” he continues. “My slave has glorified me!” is the response. “Master of the Day of Judgment,” he affirms. “My slave has related all matters to me,” Allāh responds. “You alone we worship and You alone we ask for help,” he attests. Allāh’s reply fills his heart with hope and joy, “This is between me and my servant and my servant will have whatever he asks for!”

At this point, he breaks down into tears as he asks Allāh for the most important thing in his life, “Guide us to the straight path, the path of those who have earned your favor, not of those who have earned your anger or have gone astray!” He feels peace as he internalizes Allāh’s response, “This is for my slave and my slave will have what he asked for.”

He then recites further and feels Allāh’s guidance in every verse he recites. For whichever chapter of the Qurʾān he chooses to recite from, he is assured that he will find guidance as Allāh has testified, “this is the book in which there is no doubt, it is a guidance for those who are conscious of Allāh.” After completing his emotional recitation in which he pondered over Allāh’s wise and reassuring words, he bows in rukū and glorifies his Lord for His guidance and mercy.

He then stands up straight and praises Allāh as he prepares for his favorite part of the prayer: the sajdah! He proclaims the greatness of Allāh and goes straight down into prostration, indicating his full submission to his Creator. It is a position which signifies complete obedience and humility and it is the position in which a person is closest to their Lord.

He stays in sajdah for a long time with no intention of getting up soon. He glorifies his Lord, The Most High, multiple times then breaks down into tears and begins to ask for everything he needs. He stays like this for several minutes with only Allāh knowing what he is saying. He is praying; praying for everything he needs, praying for everyone he knows, praying for people he doesn’t know, praying for people who might even hate or harm him. He prays and prays, in complete submission to his Lord.

He then sits up to take a short break and seeks forgiveness for any shortcomings in his prayer, then goes back into prostration to glorify His Lord more and ask Him again for His endless bounties. After a few minutes, he stands up and repeats the entire cycle again.

Several minutes later, the humble slave returns to his bed at peace with his Lord, and at peace with creation. He recites his dua before sleeping and closes his eyes for a short nap, ready to tackle the challenges of life in the morning with full faith in his Lord.

This is alāh, true alāh. alāh based upon understanding, concentration, sincerity and submission. It was never meant to be a ritual, but rather a means of communication with our Creator and spiritual revival. May Allāh grant us all the ability, guidance and commitment to pray like this every day in all our prayers.

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Ismail Kamdar, a.k.a Abu Muawiyah, is the Head Tutorial Assistant of the Islamic Online University, and the host of Living Islam on Radio Al-Ansaar. He began his study of Islam at the age of thirteen, and has completed both the Alim course and a BA in Islamic Studies. He is the author of multiple books including Having Fun the Halal Way: Entertainment in Islam, Getting The Barakah: An Islamic Guide to Time Management and Best of Creation: An Islamic Guide to Self-Confidence.

20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Mashita

    May 18, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    Masha Allah, What a beautiful post. Jazakallah Khair for sharing, This May help, people like me who have no concentration some times when we pray!. May Allah Bless The Author and His family, Aameen!

  2. Pingback: Beautiful Ṣalāh | Sadif Raza Ditta

  3. Twahir Hussein Kassim

    May 18, 2012 at 3:31 AM

    Masha-a-ALLAH Shaykh Ismail. May Allah Insha-a-ALLAH guide us to perform such salah. ALLAH BARIK Shaykh for this beautiful reminder.

  4. Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

    May 18, 2012 at 9:13 AM

    May Allah (SWT) give all of us the ability to wake up in the middle of the night and to read our Salah with such focus. Aameen.

  5. Abdur Rahman

    May 18, 2012 at 9:24 AM

    Masha Allah tabarakallah. Short, inspiring and mind blowing. Jazakumullah Khairan for this and may Allah make it easy for us to have deep concentration in our Salah.

  6. Yasmin

    May 18, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    Jazakallah khair for this beautiful short story. It really inspired me to try to start praying the night prayer!

  7. asma

    May 18, 2012 at 10:11 PM

    alhamdulillah i experienced this and cant describe the sweetness of it…sometimes i wish the pain never goes away so i can always taste the sweetness of it…

  8. Shenaz

    May 18, 2012 at 11:41 PM

    JazakAllah Khiran for helping and sharing. I am always wondering what can help me stay focused on my prayers. This is a great way, slowly pondering upon each movement and every word from begining to end will greatly help me with staying in kushoo. InshAllah I will send this to other sisters.

  9. Mehdi Siddique

    May 19, 2012 at 1:56 AM

    Beautiful article Shykh. MashaAllah

  10. Aziza

    May 19, 2012 at 11:19 AM

    JazakAllah Khair for reminding us of the true beauty of salah and motivating us to attain it!

  11. taha

    May 19, 2012 at 11:36 AM

    masha allah what a brilliant article jazak allahu khair sir for sharing,inspiring and motivating us to offer salah with full of heart and deep concentration, may ALLAH reward you and bless you and your family……ameen!!!

  12. Ahsan Arhsad

    May 19, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    Subhanallah, this is the true purpose of salah, may Allah grant us the ability to get up at night and pray in a manner acceptable to HIm

  13. TSPMuslim

    May 26, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    I strive everyday to feel the sweetness of prayer, but lack understanding. May Allah grant me the knowledge and understanding of His message in the language it was revealed, ameen

    • Abu Muawiyah Ismail Kamdar

      May 27, 2012 at 3:09 AM

      Learning Arabic is one of the best ways to help gain Khushoo in Salah but it is not the only way.

      Even if a person doesn’t know Arabic they can still experience this by:
      1) Learning the translations and Tafseer of the basic Surahs they recite daily in Salah
      2) Learning important duas (with translation) to make during Salah
      3) Clearing mind of all distractions and making a firm intention to pray with Khushoo before beginning the prayer.

      I hope these points assist you.
      Barakallah Feek

  14. sf

    May 28, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    JazaakAllah Khair for sharing this beneficial post! May Allah(swt) grant us the tawfiq to achieve khushoo in our salaah. Ameen.

  15. Syed

    June 1, 2012 at 10:55 PM

    Mashallah….very beautifully framed into words which is usually very hard. Salah the beautiful gift to a Muslim!!
    Jazakallah

  16. John Harrop

    June 2, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    This article changed me, i want to submit properly to Allah all of the time

  17. Muna

    September 22, 2013 at 6:27 AM

    I am just mesmerized. May Allah purify our salah. jazakallahu khayr ..May Allah reward you abundantly.

  18. sana

    March 25, 2014 at 8:00 AM

    subhan allah soo soo beautiful,

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