Once, while addressing the students of Deen, Hazrat Moulana Muhammad Ilyaas (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) mentioned the following advice: The establishment of salaah is the means of reforming one’s entire life. However, the establishment of salaah will only take place once the various qualities of imaan mentioned in various aayaat of the Quraan Majeed are perfected. Some of these qualities are mentioned in the following verses:

قَد أَفلَحَ المُؤمِنونَ ﴿١﴾ الَّذينَ هُم فى صَلاتِهِم خـٰشِعونَ ﴿المؤمنون:٢﴾

Successful indeed are the believers, those who have khushoo’ (devotion and concentration) in their salaah.

In another verse of the Quraan Majeed, Allah Ta‘ala mentions:

الَّذينَ يُؤمِنونَ بِالغَيبِ وَيُقيمونَ الصَّلوٰةَ وَمِمّا رَزَقنـٰهُم يُنفِقونَ ﴿البقرة:٣﴾

Those who believe in the unseen, establish salaah, spend out of what We have provided for them.

At the end of this verse Allah Ta‘ala says:

أُولـٰئِكَ هُمُ المُفلِحونَ ﴿البقرة:٥﴾

They are the ones who are truly successful.

In the light of the abovementioned aayaat, one reaches the conclusion that one’s success is subject to the establishment of salaah, and the establishment of salaah is dependent on khushoo’. Without acquiring the desired level of khushoo’, one will not be able to succeed in bringing about the establishment of salaah. In some other verses of the Quraan Majeed Allah Ta‘ala shows us how to create the desired level of khushoo’ in our salaah. The way to obtain this khushoo’ is for one to increase the awareness that Allah Ta‘ala is watching him and create the conviction in one’s heart that he is standing before Allah Ta‘ala. An indication of this is found in the following verse:

وَإِنَّها لَكَبيرَةٌ إِلّا عَلَى الخـٰشِعينَ ﴿٤٥﴾ الَّذينَ يَظُنّونَ أَنَّهُم مُلـٰقوا رَبِّهِم وَأَنَّهُم إِلَيهِ رٰجِعونَ ﴿البقرة:٤٦﴾

Indeed it (salaah) is difficult except for those who possess khushoo’ (devotion and concentration in their salaah). They are those who have conviction and certainty that they are to meet their Lord, and that they are to return to Him.

The mention of aakhirat in this verse is not confined to bringing the conviction of the aakhirat but can also be applied to bringing the conviction of standing before Allah Ta‘ala during salaah and at all times. (Malfoozaat Hazrat Moulana Muhammad Ilyaas (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) pg. 104)