Khushu is a serious, major issue, which is impossible to achieve without the help of Allah. Being deprived of khushu is nothing short of a calamity. Hence the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, used to say in his du’a:
“Allaahumma innee a’oodhu bika min qalbin laa yakhsha’… (O Allah, I seek refuge with You from a heart that has no khushu…).” (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, 5/485, no. 3482)
Those who have khushu are of varying levels or degrees. Khushu is an action of the heart that may increase and decrease. Some people have khushu as great as the clouds of the sky, and others may finish their prayer without having understood anything at all.
When it comes to prayer, people are of five levels
The first is the level of the one who wrongs themself and is negligent. They do not do wudu properly, or pray at the right time or make sure they do all the necessary parts of prayer.
The second is one who observes the outward essentials of prayer, prays on time and does wudu, but they have lost the battle against their own self and are overwhelmed with waswaas.
The third is one who observes the outward essentials of prayer, prays on time and does wudu, and also strives against their own self and against waswaas, but they are preoccupied with their struggle against the enemy (i.e. the Shaytaan), lest he steal from their prayer, so thye is engaged in salah and jihad at the same time.
The fourth is one who when they stands up to pray, they fulfils all the requirements of the prayer, and their heart is fully focused and alert lest they omit anything, and their concern is to do the prayer properly and perfectly. This person’s heart is deeply immersed in the prayer and worship of their Lord.
The fifth is one who does all of that, but they take their heart and place it before their Lord, looking at Him with the heart and focusing on Him, filled with love and adoration, as if they are actually seeing Him. That waswaas and those thoughts diminish, and the barriers between them and their Lord are lifted. The difference between the prayer of this person and the prayer of anyone is else is greater than the difference between heaven and earth. When this person prays, they are preoccupied with their Lord and content with Him.
The first type is punishable; the second is accountable; the third is striving so they are not counted as a sinner; the fourth is rewarded and the fifth is drawn close to their Lord, because they are one of those for whom prayer is a source of joy.
Whoever finds their joy in prayer in this life, will find their joy in being close to Allah in the Hereafter, and will also find their joy in Allah in this world.
Whoever finds their joy in Allah will be content with everything, and whoever does not find their joy in Allah, will be destroyed by their feelings of grief and regret for worldly matters.” (al-Waabil al-Sayib, p. 40).
Finally, we ask Allah to make us among those who have khushu and to accept our repentance. Ameen. All praise be to Allaah, Lord of the Worlds.