How to humble in prayer

Since 2012-11-22

If you wanted to pray after your ablution and wanted to be humble in it, you have to take in considerations things that increase your humbleness.


We thank God who makes prayers such a relief and allows us to be rational, and His prayers be upon his prophet who said, " relief us by prayer Bilal".
« قم يا بلال فأرحنا بالصلاة»
As when our souls are overloaded with the pressures of life and at the point of exploding or suffocating, comes the prayer as an outlet where souls can breathe the taste of tranquility, throw the troubles of life away and become happy and calm. However, for a prayer we have to provide it with what makes us Humble…..

The Grace of Humbleness:

Our mighty God has praised humblers in many places in the Holy Qur'an as He Says; " Certainly will the believers have succeeded (1) They who are during their prayer humbly submissive (2) [Al Mo'menon 23:1- 2]

{قَدْ أَفْلَحَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ﴿١﴾الَّذِينَ هُمْ فِي صَلَاتِهِمْ خَاشِعُونَ﴿٢﴾}
Transliteration: Qad 'Aflaĥa Al-Mu'uminūna (1) Al-Ladhīna Hum Fī Şalātihim Khāshiūna (2)

And also: "And seek help through patience and prayer; and indeed, it is difficult except for the humbly submissive [to Allah])"[AL Baqara 2:45]

{وَإِنَّهَا لَكَبِيرَةٌ إِلاَّ عَلَى الْخَاشِعِينَ}
Transliteration: Wa 'Innahā Lakabīratun 'Illā Alá Al-Khāshiīna

And says;" […being] humbly submissive to Allah. They do not exchange the verses of Allah for a small price…" [AL Imran 3:199]

{...خَاشِعِينَ لِلّهِ لاَ يَشْتَرُونَ بِآيَاتِ اللّهِ ثَمَناً قَلِيلاً...}
Transliteration: Khāshiīna Lillāhi Lā Yashtarūna Bi'āyāti Allāhi Thamanāan Qalīlāan

And, “Indeed, they used to hasten to good deeds and supplicate Us in hope and fear, and they were to Us humbly submissive."[Al Anbiya’ 21: 90]

{وَيَدْعُونَنَا رَغَباً وَرَهَباً وَكَانُوا لَنَا خَاشِعِينَ}
Transliteration: Yadūnanā Raghabāan Wa Rahabāan Wa Kānū Lanā Khāshiīna

And says;" And they fall upon their faces weeping, and it [i.e., the Quran] increases them in humble submission.."[Al Israa 17:109]

{وَيَخِرُّونَ لِلأَذْقَانِ يَبْكُونَ وَيَزِيدُهُمْ خُشُوعاً}
Transliteration: Wa Yakhirrūna Lil'adhqāni Yabkūna Wa Yazīduhum Khushūāan

Also the prophet praised humbleness and referred to the grace of crying out of fearing God saying, "seven are taken in under God's shadow when there is no other shadow but His" and he mentioned from them, "one mentions his God when my oneself and bursts out into tears." [Agreed upon]

«سبعة يظلهم الله في ظله يوم لا ظل إلا ظله.... ورجل ذكر الله خاليا ففاضت عيناه»

The essence of humbleness as Ibn Ragab said, "The kindness of heart, its tenderness, submission, fragility and agony. As when heart humbles, it is followed by the humbleness of limbs and organs which normally follow the heart. Humbleness takes place only by a good knowledge of our Mighty God, His names and attributes. In general, heart achieves humbleness when one works for it while heart becomes harsh, heedless, if it neglected the reasons of humbleness.
One of the most important reasons of humbleness is standing between our Mighty God's hands but not any kind of standing, it is the one that our prophet(mercy be upon him) and his companies agreed upon. Humbleness increases or decreases according to the degree of following the reasons behind it.

And here are those reasons in details:

Before praying:

We are _my dear sister_ used to pray. That's why whenever we hear the prayer call, we rash to ablution and then stand to pray, while our minds are busy thinking in our life and problems, missing a lot of graces. Thus if you want to achieve humbleness you have to do the following:

When you hear al moazen; who calls for prayer, repeat what he says. But when he says: "come on to prayer"," come on to success" you should say: 'No strength or might but from Allah'
As our prophet –peace be upon him- said; "when you hear the caller to prayer repeat after him. Then send me God's blessings as who sends me one blessing God will bless him 10 blessings in return. And ask God to grant me 'Al Wasilla' which is a degree in paradise will only be given to one of God's subjects. Thus who prayed for me will deserve my intercession"

«إذا سمعتم المؤذن فقولوا مثل ما يقول، ثم صلوا علي إنه من صلى علي صلاة صلى الله عليه عشرا، ثم سلوا الله لي الوسيلة إنها درجة في الجنة لا تنبغي إلا لعبد من عباد الله، فمن سأل لي الوسيلة حلت له الشفاعة»

Then ask God for his grace and do your best with supplication as supplications are accepted between the call to prayer and the second call to start praying as the prophet –peace and blessings be upon him- said.
«الدعاء بين الأذان والإقامة لا يرد»
Then hurry to ablution following our glorious God's words; "O you who have believed, when you rise to [perform] prayer, wash your faces and your forearms to the elbows and wipe over your heads and wash your feet to the ankles" [Al Ma'eda 5:6]
{ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ إِذَا قُمْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلاةِ فاغْسِلُواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ إِلَى الْمَرَافِقِ وَامْسَحُواْ بِرُؤُوسِكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُمْ إِلَى الْكَعْبَينِ }
Transliteration: Yā 'Ayyuhā Al-Ladhīna 'Āmanū 'Idhā Qumtum 'Ilá Aş-Şalāati Fāghsilū Wujūhakum Wa 'Aydiyakum 'Ilá Al-Marāfiqi Wa Amsaĥū Biru'ūsikum Wa 'Arjulakum 'Ilá Al-Kabayni

And remind yourself of the grace of ablution as our prophet -peace and prayers be upon him- said; "Whoever performs ablution properly and prays, is forgiven for what between one prayer and another" [Narrated by Ahmed]

«من توضأ فأحسن الوضوء وصلى غفر له ما بينه وبين الصلاة الأخرى»
Proper ablution comes by performing it as our prophet-peace and prayers upon him- used to as he said: "who performed ablution as I do, and prayed Rakaatan without thinking to himself, all his previous sins will be forgiven" [Narrated by Muslim]
«من توضأ نحو وضوئي هذا ثم قام فركع ركعتين لا يحدث فيهما نفسه غفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه»

You may wonder: How could I perform ablution and pray without even talking to myself?
To that I would say; if you wanted to perform ablution, occupy yourself with saying what our prophet-peace be upon him- used to say when performing ablution which is (in the name of God). Then when you commence ablution, contemplate in each organ you wash and what sins it committed. If you do so, remember that ablution expiates sins and that misdeeds are cleared with ablution.
When you wash you face, remember that every sin your eyes looked at is cleared by water.
When you wash your hands, remember that every sin your hands assaulted is cleared by water.
When you wash your feet, remember that every sin you walked into is cleared by water.
Hence you finish ablution forgiven as our prophet said.

After that, when you come out of the washroom remember the great reward you obtained as dropping sins and advancing your degree in paradise. Also remember our prophet-peace be upon him-'s saying; "would I tell you of what makes God forgives your sins and improves you degrees in paradise?" They said of course our prophet, he said: "performing the ritual of ablution properly despite difficulties, the frequent goings to mosques, and waiting for the prayer after the prayer. This is your bond, this is your bond." [Narrated by Muslim]

« ألا أدلكم على ما يمحو الله به الخطايا ويرفع به الدرجات ؟قالوا: بلى. يا رسول الله ! قال " إسباغ الوضوء على المكاره . وكثرة الخطا إلى المساجد . وانتظار الصلاة بعد الصلاة . فذلكم الرباط " . وليس في حديث شعبة ذكر الرباط . وفي حديث مالك ثنتين " فذلكم الرباط . فذلكم الرباط»

Besides, remember that the organs of ablution will be a mark of you in the Day of Judgment that you will be recognized by. So you look to your organs that you washed earlier with a sense of happiness and felicity for God’s guidance.
Hence if you comes out after ablution, say that supplication to get its bless which came in our prophet’s –peace be upon him- saying; “any one of you would accomplish the ritual of ablution properly and say: ‘I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger’ that the eight doors of paradise would be opened for him to enter from wherever he wanted” [Narrated by Muslim]

«ما منكم من أحد يتوضأ فيبلغ - أو يسبغ - الوضوء ثم يقول: "أشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له، وأشهد أن محمدا عبده ورسوله"، إلا فتحت له ابواب الجنة الثمانية يدخل من أيها شاء»

If you do so in your ablution how could the devil touch you or even tempt you with his evil. Your heart is, in every single moment, attached to God throw following what His prophet said-may best blessings and full peace be upon him-

Preparing for a prayer before praying:

If you wanted to pray after your ablution and wanted to be humble in it, you have to take in considerations things that increase your humbleness.

Firstly, preparing with the tooth-stick:

One of the emphasized acts that our prophet used to do is Perfuming the mouth and cleaning the teeth using the tooth-stick by every ablution and before every pray which is detected from our prophet-peace be upon him- as he said; "Unless I would like to make things hard for my people, I would have ordered them to use the tooth-stick with every ablution" and in another narration "with every pray" [Agreed upon it]

«لولا أن أشق علي أمتي لأمرتهم بالسواك مع كل وضوء» وفي رواية: «عند كل صلاة»
This gives you vitality and teaches you to prepare for standing between mighty your God's hand.

Secondly, preparing with good clean clothing, perfuming and dismissing bad smells:

Dear sister, if you think of your coming to a prayer you will find that you don’t prepare for it as you do when preparing to meet any of your friends or guests .If before praying you remember that you are meeting the king of all kings, the lord of Mankind who ordered you to take your ornament by every mosque as he says: "O children of Adam, take your adornment [i.e., wear your clothing] at every masjid, and eat and drink, but be not excessive. Indeed, He likes not those who commit excess." [Al A'raaf 7:31]

{يَا بَنِي آدَمَ خُذُواْ زِينَتَكُمْ عِندَ كُلِّ مَسْجِدٍ وكُلُواْ وَاشْرَبُواْ وَلاَ تُسْرِفُواْ إِنَّهُ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْمُسْرِفِينَ}
Transliteration: Yā Banī 'Ādama Khudhū Zīnatakum Inda Kulli Masjidin Wa Kulū Wa Ashrabū Wa Lā Tusrifū 'Innahu Lā Yuĥibbu Al-Musrifīna

If you take that into consideration you will do your best preparing yourself before praying by putting on your best clothes and perfumes. And keep in mind that remembering that will bring about humbleness; as good deeds flow after each other .Moreover, clean clothes and pleasant perfumes put one in a state of self-tranquility. Unlike dirty clothes with offensive smells and sweat that put one in such an uncomfortable state. For sure they are not alike, who prays felling comfortable and that who feels uncomfortable.
In addition, know that if you obliged yourself to abandon whatever makes you uncomfortable during a pray no matter what does it cost you, it will be easy for you by the time and you will know that it needs preparations to pray.

Thirdly, preparing by covering your private parts:

One of the requirements of a valid prayer is covering your private parts which are your whole body except your face. You might ask: what does this have to do with humbleness?
The answer is: covering your private parts properly and tightly enables you to put each organ in its place during a prayer. Because if you don’t cover yourself tightly, for example, your veil may drop or move a little and thus you become busy fixing it every now and then. This may cause you to miss some 'SUNAN' in prayer
At the same time, you will be losing tranquility which no one can pray without. And you may also hurry to finish praying before your hair becomes uncovered. So you finish praying without supplications. Where is humbleness and where is tranquility while you are indulgent in other things?

Fourthly, preparing by moving away whatever disturbs you either in front of you, you wear or prostrate on.

You should choose a quiet place with little furniture and decorations. So don’t pray in front of a wall decorated with ornaments and colors. By the same token, the spot where you pray, if you truly want humbleness it should be clear of ornaments and colors. What people invented nowadays as praying on colored rugs with paintings on them ,like AL Ka'ba, is totally not accepted and against SUNNA.

Fifthly, preparing by choosing a place of moderate temperature, Avoid praying in a hot place:

Dear sister, if you want to sleep, eat or even receive guests, you look for a suitable place with moderate temperature. You do your best making it cooler when it is hot and warmer if it is cold. However, when you want to pray you sometimes don’t even care where to pray telling yourself; "they are only five minutes and I can endure hot. It doesn’t deserve the turn the conditioner on or looking for a cooler place to pray". Hence, you may endure indeed, but this will cost you out of humbleness. How could you comprehend your kneeling down or your prostrations? How could you comprehend your reciting of al Quran? It is as if prayer mere performance of certain movements which you are obliged to do. You perform them just to ease your conscience, you pray to relief yourself from praying not by praying.

Also, our prophet-peace and prayers be upon him- prohibited praying in strong hotness as he knew it would take humbleness away and reduces heart presence; he said; " make it cooler at noon" [Albani]

«أبردوا بالظهر»

The wisdom behind permission as the Imam Ibn al Qaeym said: (praying in strong heat deprives the prayer of humbleness and presence so he performs it unwillingly and weary. So it is wise of the legislator to order them to delay the prayer till it is cooler. One then can pray with full heart and achieves the essence of praying which is approaching our Glorious God.

Sixthly, preparing to pray in a quiet place away from noise and clamor.

If who prays is surrounded by people who are talking, neither his heart nor his mind will concentrate in his prayer. His heart and mind will be occupied as he may hear them talking about him and listen to them. Hence becomes unaware of his praying or what is he reading or even his supplications .Even if he was aware, sure his praying will be without humbleness at all.
So dear sister, choose yourself a quiet place, away from noise as much as you can.

Seventhly, preparing to pray by emptying your heart from whatever occupies it:

You should know, sister, that the heart gets occupied with many things. It is either grief or fear, joy or anything else. So if you want to pray, ask God for protection from the devil, do that from your heart not only using your tongue. If you find yourself coming to prayer while your heart is inattentive and occupied, read parts of Qur’an which you haven’t memorized before. Also you may read one or two of the prophet’s sayings either of intimidation or invitation. Read stories of the worthy ancestors and of their prayers. That would sharpen your eagerness and encourage you to follow them. And rejoice as if you do that seeking humbleness and submission for God and resisting devil, God will grant you your wish and become closer to you more that you approach Him.

Eighthly, preparing by waiting for prayer:

As waiting for prayer should be at mosques, it is for you at home, sister. If you accomplish your duties and have nothing to do for your husband or family that would occupy you, so if the prayer time is near you should perform ablution and sit where you pray waiting for the prayer. Glorify God, ask for his forgiveness, invocate Him and use the tooth-stick until the prayer call. After the prayer call and you repeat it, ask God to grant his Prophet ‘AL Wasilla’ and whatever supplication you want. Thus you gain great blessings. That act of waiting enables you to achieve humbleness as the heart enjoys invocating God and gets its light from His light. Doing so gets a great reward; it is just like stationing for God’s sake.

You should also know that when you come to pray, your heart becomes attached to the last thing you were doing before coming to pray. So if that last thing was invocating God and attaching yourself to Him, your heart will be attached to him in your prayer. As how could a heart attached to God not humble when standing between His hands?

Help your self-getting over its desires by reminding it of the grace of waiting for a prayer as came in al Hadith; “would I tell you of what makes God forgives your sins and improves you degrees in paradise?" They said of course our prophet, he said: "performing the ritual of ablution properly despite difficulties, the frequent goings to mosques, and waiting for the prayer after the prayer. This is your bond, this is your bond." [Declared Authentic by Al-Albani]

«ألا أدلكم على ما يكفر الله به من الخطايا ، و يزيد في الحسنات ؟ إسباغ الوضوء على المكروهات ، و كثرة الخطا إلى المساجد ، و انتظار الصلاة بعد الصلاة»

Ninthly, preparing for a prayer by considering your body and its need, and satisfying them before coming to pray:

The body has certain requirements like hunger which requires eating, thirst that requires drinking, while holding back and restraining physical needs require letting them down and relieving one's self. Nothing would annoy who prays more than feeling like that and trying to help it. So, if something like that happens to him, either he interrupt his prayer or finish it in hurry and pain. Thus he would have hurt himself and didn’t pray properly

Be careful sister that devil may tempt you to pray in that state to make you lose you humbleness by convincing you that you may miss the time or that your ablution may expire.

Here are some advices to help you getting over yourself and its laziness for performing ablution and hurrying to pray before it expires.
First: remember that if you prayed in that state it is as if you didn’t pray and will have to repeat it.
Second: make it a habit to perform ablution after every offensive incident.
Third: remind yourself of the prophet sayings "AL AHADEITH" that make frequent, proper ablution a desirable thing.

During prayer:

The first thing a prayer starts with is facing al kiblah and saying the sacred glorification "saying God is mighty". For how to humble in the sacred glorification, you have to raise your hands parallel to your shoulders or in front of your ears; your palm directed to al kiblah with your fingers stretched and joined together. Hence you feel total submission to the lord of universe.

Dear Muslim sister, God orders you of glorification and submission only to know your submission and approval to exchange the vain life with the permanent hereafter life.

Then you commence by saying the invocation, "Glory to you my God, thank to you my God. Your name is raised far above all. You are all superior; there is no lord but You".

If you became used to that invocation that you reached the degree of saying it and only realizing its end because you have already memorized it, so you don’t understand its words or meaning, you have to change it by any other commencement invocation.

Then ask God to protect you from devil, feeling the real meaning of God's protection which is heading to God and resorting to Him, as you seek humbleness in your prayer while devil wants to draft you away. Thus, if you want the rescue from devil and its temptations take refuge to God and He is more than enough for that. And be sure that God will protect you as long as you said that with faith and belief in God and His abilities, supremacy and dominance.

Then start in the name of God saying "In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate”; desiring to commence your prayer in the name of God and to praise his qualities that are appropriate for His might.

After that you start reading "al fatiha" with good recitation, refining your voice. The way for humbleness in its reading comes by:

  • Read it one verse by one verse. Fell while reading that you are talking to your God and he replies to you each time.
  • Take into consideration your mood before praying. If you were grieved, read verses that would help you carry the meaning of God's relieving for His patient subject_. If you were sad over your life, read verses that would make you uninterested in it and see how short it is. Thus you stop at every verse, if it is of mercy and comfort, you ask God to grant you his mercy. If it was of torture, you ask Him to protect you, as so on.

Remember to read as you are reciting, slowly and not in hurry. Make it an indicating citation, letter by letter. You should also refine you voice while reciting the holy Quran.

You have to comprehend what you read. You are asked by God to do, you intend to do and hurry to it. And what you are asked to forsake and forbidden from, you intend to give up and leave forever. This is the deep thinking that our God ordered us to do as He says: “Then do they not reflect upon the Qur’an, or are there locks upon [their] hearts?” [Muhammad 47:24]

{أَفَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْآنَ أَمْ عَلَى قُلُوبٍ أَقْفَالُهَا}
Transliteration: 'Afalā Yatadabbarūna Al-Qur'āna 'Am Alá Qulūbin 'Aqfāluhā

Humbleness in bending down:

When you come to bending down after you finish your reading; you raise your hands parallel to your shoulders or in front of your ears and you say the glorification. That with full submission to God as ordered you to bend down. And you think that our mighty God ordered you to stand between His hands and you came obedient and submissive. He ordered you to bend and bow down for His might that you did with total obedience and submission. You think in the glorification that God is greater than everything; greater than you that he submitted you to his glory, greater than any great or big. Everyone has to submit to Him and admit of His divinity. After that glorification, you have nothing to do put to say: "Glory is to my Lord, the Most High". Do your best while bending down with glorifying God with all kinds of glorifications as our prophet said: "while bending down, glorify your God"[Narrated by Muslim]

«فأما الركوع فعظموا فيه الرب»

Humbleness in prostration:

After that submission by bowing to Him and standing between His hands, you look to the ground with your eyes fixed to the spot of your prostration, not turning right or left. Then you fall down to the ground showing your submission to that kind of surrender. It is much stronger than the earlier.
Then you settle all your organs and your respect on the ground for the sake of the lord of Mankind as a kind of obedience to Him and His orders, humiliation and submission between His Hands. So your sinking to the ground with all your organs is that of who fears God and desires His rewards, acceptance, mercy and forgiveness. In nowhere one is closer to God than in prostration, nowhere the invocations are accepted better than prostration, and nothing erases sins and increases good deeds and degrees in heaven like prostration..

Then you sit and say the glorification, believing that indeed God is greater than everything. And you sit saying" God forgive me, God forgive me" and think that you are a sinner who needs forgiveness, a miserable who needs mercy, an indigent who needs help, a lost who need guidance, a sick who needs health, or a poor who needs possession.
Then you fall down to the ground again and repeat your glorifications and invocations as in the first time.

Humbleness in (Al tashahod); the certification:
If you reach al tashahod, and sit for it, you have to remember that you are uttering some great words between God's Hands; that God's Prophet taught his people. And you are saying all kinds of blessed greetings to our mighty God as He is the One deserving that. You also admit that all kinds of prayers all only given to God as no one else deserve any kinds of prayers either oral or physical.

Then you send greetings to our God's prophet-peace and prayers be upon Him- keeping in mind that he answers your greeting while in his grave. Also you emphasis your belief in him by saying" I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger". And you send God's prayers to him as a kind of gratitude since he is the reason for your guidance to that true religion and the straight path which saved you from hell.

You ask for God's protection from four things that you should always keep in mind all the time and all the circumstances: (hell punishment, grave punishment, the affliction of the false Christ and the afflictions of life and death)

Then you invoke God to give the graces of both this life and the afterlife and this is before the final getting, as came in (al sunna).

When you offer the final getting, it means you finish a humble, tranquil prayer that deserves a great reward. Ask God for forgiveness after that fearing that you might have missed something in it. Then commence the known after prayer supplications" God you are peaceful, grant us peace, glory is you and most generous"

Thus, we ask God to make us among those who are humble in their prayers, Fear Him in their actions and words witnessed or unseen. God is our only resort where we feel assured. Best prayers and peace be upon our prophet Muhammad, his family and his followers.

Translated by website


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