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Surah Mumin'un, Verse 23:2, the word "khashiuna"


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Author Topic: Surah Mumin'un, Verse 23:2, the word "khashiuna"  (Read 70 times)
Ruhi_Rose
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« on: March 06, 2021, 06:15:36 am »

 



BismEm


"alladhīna hum fi salatihim khashiuna"  23:2.

Word to word translation:  'Those who (they) during their prayers (are) humbly submissive,'


As-Salam Alaykum everyone.   My husband wants some elucidation of Verse 23:2.  He was discussing about salah on phone with a friend, and that guy came up with a very stiff portrayal of etiquette during the process of salah by exaggerating the word "khashiuna" with many needless details such as literally standing like a soldier while offering salah, just moving your eyes not your head, not touching your face nor scratching your arms if you feel itchy, moving your feet only a centimetre or so if needed and so on.  But the word "khashiuna" as my husband has already studied carries a definition which is very simple and to the point,  that is, offering prayers with a spirit of humility and submission, and of course full concentration.   Indeed this is very important.  But  what kind of tafsir is this on not moving the head even an inch, not touching face or arms, not adjusting your sitting or standing position to make yourself more comfortable etc.  ??   Yes, indeed one should avoid being fidgety.   But why do some of these folks go to such lengths when Allah Almighty has clearly said not to exaggerate in religion, that He has not imposed any hardship in religion and not to make incorrect assertions?   (Ref. V.16:116 , V.22:78 and V.4:171). 


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Heba E. Husseyn
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« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2021, 11:11:31 pm »




You are absolutely right Sister. 

Let me mention, these interpolations come from Maududi's take and the Shariah philosophy.  Surely the term "khashiuna" in V.23:2 carries a very simple and yet important definition.  khashiuna = humbly submissive which is a self-explanatory expression.  But people who have twisted it, turning the tafsir quite labyrinthine.  

It's a beautiful Verse in which the Quranic term خَاشِعُونَ ("khashiuna") means to be humble, contrite and compliant toward Allah Almighty.  Such a spirit is essential at all times and especially while offering salah. The term "khashiuna" comes from the word 'khashu' which refers to expressing humility.  It's very straight and super articulation, and I am sure everyone understands it easily the moment they read the original Arabic of V.23:2 and then its translation.  

But the philosophy of some of our jurists has spun this expression so much that they have ended up defining V.23:2 in their commentaries as very stiff and far-fetched concept with the claim that the word 'khashu' has a deep connotation.  First, it sprouts from A. A. Maududi's tafsir, accepted by few other outlets. Though there are many Verses of the Noble Quran which Maududi has explained well, he has unfortunately exaggerated the tafsir of V.23:2.  His approach  has displayed the beautifully peaceful and restful act of offering salah as a tense process.  I wish tafsir writers would refrain from such interpolated commentaries amounting to misinterpretation of Verses. 

According to Maududi it's a condition of heart and body.  He explains 'khushu of the heart' as standing in "awe" and "fear" and 'khushu' of the body as "bowing the head, lowering the gaze and voice."  Maududi is of the opinion that the heart and mind spontaneously coordinate in 'khushu' which is no doubt true.  But then Shariah jumps in making the tafsir very rigid with a bunch of Shariah's own etiquette which Maududi has endorsed.

Quoting Maududi's affirmation on Shariah view of the term "khushu" ..

Quote:

According to this etiquette, one should neither turn to the right nor left, nor raise his head to look up. One may, however, look around from the corner of the eye, but as far as possible he must fix the gaze on the place where the forehead would rest in prostration.  One is also forbidden to shift about, incline sideways, fold the garments or shake off dust from them. It is also forbidden that while going down for prostration, one should clean the place where he would sit or perform prostration. Similarly it is disrespectful that one should stand stuffy erect, recite the verses of the Quran in a loud resounding voice, or sing them, or belch or yawn repeatedly and noisily.   If one is uncomfortable or hurting because of some object on the floor or o the prayer mat during Prayer, he may cast it aside by one hand, but moving the hand repeatedly or using both the hands for the purpose is prohibited.

Unquote:


Everyone knows that during prayers we need to adhere to a certain decorum.  The heart of a truly humble person always remains humble and their humility increases during salah.   But is there any need for Shariah to go to such lengths trying its best to make people  (particularly the new learners) keyed up and stressed over their sitting or standing positions during salah as if they are participating in a military ceremony?   The Noble Quran does NOT want worshippers to be stressed during salah.  On the contrary it wants them to be relaxed with humility and modesty which automatically brings the respect required. 

Maududi also adds ..  ..  "avoid thinking irrelevant things during the Prayer ... one should try his utmost that the mind and heart are wholly turned towards Allah" .. and this is Maududi's explanation of the harmony between khushu of the heart and body.  Well, is there anyone who doesn't know this.  Everyone is aware that during salah we must concentrate on our recitations and not allow our minds to wander.  We all know that the Noble Quran has emphasized in various Verses on the importance of proper focus on salah while offering it and the necessity of avoiding heedlessness.   But the habit of some of our commentators turning basic rules into complex matters through their own over-thinking is a very negative one. 
  

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Ruhi_Rose
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« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2021, 11:32:35 pm »



As usual, your analysis has helped to clarify much.   Thanks sis.   The approach is nothing unusual of some of our jurists.   I'll forward this to my husband, InshAllah.   Btw, is there any hadith to support this needless philosophy of jurists?
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« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2021, 12:15:29 am »




....  Btw, is there any hadith to support this needless philosophy of jurists?


There are several ahadith narrations with fabrications on "khushu" and it's a widespread topic in many mainstream circles with differing ideas and the needless complexity is quite endless.   There is a common topic titled "Virtues of Khushu" which includes many ahadith with sweeping presumptions e.g. a narration from Bukhari says “Whoever performs wudu and does it well, then prays two rakahs focusing on them completely, will be forgiven all his previous sins” and in another narration, “…will be guaranteed Paradise.”   As if the beloved Prophet (pbuh) would ever cross his bounds of authority and give such guarantees to anyone. 

There is another hadith without the mention of its source, quote "When the Prophet pbuh once saw a person offering his Prayer as well as playing with his beard, he remarked: If he had khushu in his heart, his body would have manifested it."  Unless someone was purposely trying to make light of salat by fiddling with his beard, the Prophet (pbuh) would never make such a comment if someone subconsciously toyed with his beard for a while.  Such things happen occasionally and they don't always symbolize lack of concentration. 

Certain small movements like pressing the edge of your clothes with your fingers, adjusting a ring in one of your fingers with another finger of the same hand, bending your head slightly from a straighter position etc. aren't unusual yet the person is fully focused on prayer .. to the extent that they are not even aware of these movements and after their prayer they won't be able to recall these trivial issues.

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« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2021, 12:23:20 am »



That's very correctly assessed and said brother TS. 

Furthermore, what do those people who have exaggerated 'Khushu' through their own philosophies say about coughing or sneezing or sniffling during salat?   What do they say about those folks who are unable to offer salat on the prayer mat and instead offer salat on the chair?   Often these people have various physical ailments like acute back problem, arthritis, heart issues etc.  It might be impossible for many of them to follow the Shariah etiquette as rigidly as it states.



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« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2021, 12:32:17 am »



Absolutely, these issues do occur and are unavoidable.  I would say, as long as such folks sincerely focus on their salat with the humility and submissiveness to Allah that is required, it's fine.    Allah Almighty knows the differing situations of everyone.  He knows everyone's intentions.  He is the final Judge, not the Shariah philosophy. 

As for coughing, sneezing and sniffing goes, it's totally fine.  No one coughs or sneezes purposely for fun.  It only happens when one is unable to control it.   

Another point the Shariah philosophy forgets is that if a person offering salah is compelled to ignore such benign natural impulses or movements including e.g. scratching one's face or hands or feet, it could lead to causing discomfort which will distract their concentration much more.

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« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2021, 12:35:52 am »



Exactly.    And as always, Shariah again overlooks intentions.   If someone is purposely fooling around, then even a single such movement would be wrong .. and no one can deceive Allah.   But if the intention is sincere, only focused on the worship of Allah, then these small movements (some may even be subconscious) are irrelevant. 
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« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2021, 12:37:57 am »



Agree totally.
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« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2021, 03:34:14 am »



Very informative thread.   Alhumdulilah.   Thank you dear sisters and brother for your very logical clarifications. 
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« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2021, 05:11:35 pm »



Btw, this also reminds me to clarify the misinterpretation of Verse 23:9 of Surah Mumin'un. 

"And they who carefully maintain their prayers -"  23:9  (Sahih International translation)

"And who pay heed to their prayers."  23:9   (Pickthall translation)



Yet, IqraSense has translated it in a blog as "and those who strictly guard their (five compulsory congregational) salawat (at their fixed stated hours)."   The Quran has not stated anywhere that the five salah must be congregational.   You can also check the original Arabic of V.23:9.  The five prayers are certainly obligatory and if you can offer them in congregation, fine, otherwise you offer them alone or at home. 

It is because of mistranslations like these spreading misinformation, that many people who may miss their congregation prayer or it may not be possible for them to offer in congregation, presume it's okay for them to miss their salah altogether .. often encouraging people to skip salah. 
 

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« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2021, 05:16:53 pm »



Thank you for this additional input Sister Heba.    Actually there are many (mostly traditional) circles who make it seem as if the 5 daily salats are congregational.  The fact is, while the 5 salats are surely obligatory, offering them in congregation is not obligatory, except the Jumm'ah salat.   
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« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2021, 05:17:43 pm »



True Sis ....
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