Compiled by the Institute for Da’wah and Guidance in Ma’thr, Riyadh
All Praises belong to Allaah Alone and May the Peace and Blessings of Allaah be Upon the one who which there is no Prophet after,
From the things that make the Salaf better than any other generation from this Ummah is that they were from the first of generation, they are pioneers for us to follow and they also gave extreme importance to Salaah. Their level of Khushoo or humility within it was something distinct; they fulfilled the meaning and purpose of Salaah in their inner and outward appearances and actions. Therefore, as-Salaah had a huge impact on their manners and the way they behaved, no, rather it impacted their whole lives. Some of the following is a brief presentation on their attitude to Salaah and their humility within it.
The ways to gain Khushoo in Salaah
It is narrated that Ibn ‘Umar [May Allaah be Pleased with him] said about the statement of Allaah, the Most High:
“Those who offer their Salat (prayers) with all solemnity and full submissiveness” [Mu’minoon 23:2]
He said, “If you stand to pray, set your hearts to pray, lower your gaze to the place of Sujood and know! That Allaah is in front of you so don’t turn to your right or your left.”
[Ad-Durr al-Manthoor (6/84)]
The Khushoo of as-Siddeeq [May Allaah be Pleased with him]
Aboo Bakr as-Siddeeq [May Allaah be Pleased with him] used to often cry a lot in his Salaah until it came to a stage that he couldn’t recite any further. When the Prophet [Peace and Blessings of Allaah be Upon him] fell ill towards the end of his life, he said, “Make Abaa Bakr the Imaam to lead the people.” Aa’ishah [May Allaah be Pleased with her and her father] said in response, “Abaa Bakr is a soft man, when he recites he can’t control his tears.” [Agree Upon]
Verily, He is al-Farooq [May Allaah be Pleased with him]
This man is called al-Farooq, ‘Umar bin al-Khattab [May Allaah be Pleased with him], when the fire-worshipper, Aboo Lu’lu al-Maajoosee, came to assassinate him, ‘Umar was in Salaah and he was then stabbed and ‘Umar started to bleed. He didn’t realise that he had been stabbed during Salaah until ‘Umar went home and he only realised that he had been stabbed once the darkness of the morning had disappeared. So then he asked the people who were there in front of him, “Did the people pray?” they replied, “Yes.” So ‘Umar replied by saying, “There is no Islaam for the one who leaves as-Salaah.” Then he performed Wudhoo and prayed after wiping the blood off his face.
Khushoo of Ibn Zubayr [May Allaah be Pleased with him]
When ‘Abdullah Ibn Zubayr would stand to prayer, he would stand like a pole in prayer and when he would prostrate he would prostrate as though birds were sitting on his back. It would be like he was a wall or a trunk of a tree, he would not move in his Salaah. [al-Yaaqootah (Pg. 114)]
Khushoo of Muslim bin Yasaar [May Allaah have Mercy on him]
Muslim bin Yasaar [May Allaah have Mercy on him] wouldn’t move around when he would stand in prayer to the extent that once a part of his Masjid collapse and the people in the market became worried and scared, yet Muslim had not moved from his prayer.
Also, when he would enter his home, his family members would quieten down and when he would stand to pray they would then resume talking or laughing. This would happen because they knew that if they talked and joked with him then his heart would become preoccupied with them and he would often say, “My Lord! When will I meet You in a state of You being Pleased with me?” [At-Tabsirah (1/376)]
Their Remembering of the Fire
Aboo ‘Abdur-Rahmaan al-Asdee [May Allaah have Mercy on him] said, “I said to Sa’eed bin ‘Abdul-‘Azeez, ‘Oh Abaa Muhammad! Why do you display your crying whilst praying?’ And he replied to me by saying, ‘Oh the son of my brother! Why do you ask me about this?’ I replied to him by saying, ‘Oh my uncle! Perhaps Allaah will teach me something.’ And then he said, ‘I have never stood in prayer except that I see the Hell-Fire in front of me.’” [As-Siyaar (8/274)]
The Trickery of the Shaytaan
It is narrated that Haarith bin Qays [May Allaah have Mercy on him] that he said, “When Shaytaan comes to you whilst you are praying then say, ‘You are just an argumentative two-faced person!’ by doing this your Salaat will become longer.” [As-Siyaar 4/132]
Khushoo of ‘Alee ibn al-Hussayn [May Allaah have Mercy on him]
When ‘Alee bin al-Hussayn [May Allaah have Mercy on him] would finish making Wudhoo in order to pray he would become very anxious and worried, he would get chills and sometimes be faced with extreme anguish and when he was asked why this would happen he said, “Woe to you! Do you know Who I am about to face and what I am about to ask Him to save me from?” [Al-Hilyah (3/133)]
When ‘Umar bin al-Khattaab [May Allaah be Pleased with him] would see someone bending his neck down to look at his feet during as-Salaah he would hit that person with stones and he would say, “Woe to you! Humility is from your heart! (i.e. it’s not from tranquillity to bend your head in such a way).” [At-Tanbeeh al-Mughtareen (Pg. 16)]
Also, Fudayl bin al-‘Ayyaadh [May Allaah have Mercy on him] said, “We used to hate looking at a man who appears to be in a state of humility more than the humility that may be in his heart.” [Madaarij as-Saalikeen (1/559)]
Break my leg whilst I’m in Salaah!
When ‘Urwah bin az-Zubayr [May Allaah be Pleased with him] was afflicted with a cancer in his leg, doctors needed to amputate his leg in order for the disease not to spread. They asked if they could give me a form of anaesthetic so that the leg would become numb but he refused and said, “If it is necessary for you to cut my leg off then do it whilst I’m praying because that way I will not feel a thing.” So the doctors amputated him whilst he prayed without hearing from him a peep or feel from him a quiver. [Al-Bidaayah wa al-Nihaayah (9/102)]
The Pious in as-Salaah
Aboo Bakr bin al-‘Ayyaash [May Allaah have Mercy on him] said, “If I saw Mansoor bin al-Mu’tamar, Rabee’ bin Abee Raashid and ‘Aasim bin Abee al-Najood in Salaah, I would see their beards touch their chests and I would know that they are the pious in as-Salaah.” [Min Akhbaar as-Salaf (Pg. 56)]
Khushoo al-Ma’lee bin Mansoor [May Allaah have Mercy on him] in as-Salaah
One day Al-Ma’lee bin Mansoor was praying and a hornet nest fell on his head and he didn’t move until he finished his prayer. So people look at him and they saw his head had swollen severely due to the brutality of the stings he had received.
Oh you! Between the way you pray and they prayed is like the same distance in the generations between you and them! They knew the way to be successful so they held steadfast to the manners needed to be successful and because of this, they all got what they yearned for.
My brother! Having good manners in your Salah is a sign that you know your Master and if your body exceeding in manners is a sign that your heart is content. Above are some examples of those who were humble, so are you of them or are you from the negligent? [At-Tabsirah (1/376)]