How Do I Pray Like Allah Is Seeing Me or I Am Seeing Allah?

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick

Question

How do I pray like Allah is seeing me or I am seeing Allah?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate. May Allah guide us to the belief and way of life that is pleasing to Him. Thank you so much for this treasured question.

The quality you describe and desire is called khushuʿ which roughly translates to humble submission before Allah. There are many recommendations from the sunna which will assist with improving one’s khushuʿ in prayer.

What is Khushuʿ?

The Quran describes khushuʿ in several places:

Allah says: “And seek help through patience and prayer; and indeed, it is difficult except for the humbly submissive [to Allah].” [Quran, 2:45]

Allah says: “Successful indeed are the believers, those who humble themselves in prayer….” [Quran, 23:1-2]

Khushuʿ is a type of awe-struck fear that compels one to submission before the grandeur of the one Feared (Allah). [Ibn ‘Ashur, Al-Tahrir wa Al-Tanwir]

One may develop khushuʿ by fearing, being in awe-of, and remembering the Ever-Watchful Allah. [Tafsir Ibn Kathir]

Khushuʿ Assisting Practices from the Sunna

There are sunna practices connected to the prayer that will assist one’s khushuʿ in the prayer.

Before the prayer – prepare early to pray at the beginning of a prescribed time in the masjid and congregation.

Prepare well by being thorough and conscious during ablution, walking to the masjid calmly, brushing the teeth (siwak), praying in the first row, listening to the words of the adhan (and fulfilling all related sunan thereof), praying all the preceding sunna prayers, and supplicating between the adhan and iqama.

Pray with all the recommended acts and states as recommended by the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) praying like its one’s final prayer (before death), keeping one’s gaze fixed on the place of prostration, reciting or listening to the recitation with the presence of one who is listening to the speech of God, move with moderate pacing in recitation and between positions, pause in each position, recite the recommended invocations, ponder about the meanings of the Quran and invocations, and connect with the feelings of each position and invocation throughout the prayer. [Ghazali, Ihya ‘Ulum al-Din]

Please refer to the following link for further details:
Presence of Heart in Prayer: A Reader

I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.
[Shayh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar, Shaykh Taha Karaan. 

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and pursuing his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.