The Prophet talked about a man leveling the earth on prostrating, and said, “If you have to do so, then do it once.”
They used to pray on bare earth back then, so ‘leveling the earth’ was required. So if you’re leveling the earth or the mat you’re praying on, do it once only. Any more than that might disturb the khushoo` of your prayer or of those praying with you.
Narrated Anas bin Malik:
We used to pray with the Prophet in scorching heat, and if someone of us could not put his face on the earth (because of the heat) then he would spread his clothes and prostrate over them.
Women may use their dupattas for this purpose, and men should have spare hankies with them. :)
Hadith is a repeat, by the way. Read here.
The importance of slowing down in your Salah has been repeated multiple times in Bukhari up till now. And here it comes again:
Narrated Abu Qilaba:
Once Malik bin Huwairith said to his friends, “Shall I show you how Allah’s Apostle used to offer his prayers?” And it was not the time for any of the compulsory congregational prayers. So he stood up (for the prayer) bowed and said the Takbir, then he raised his head and remained standing for a while and then prostrated and raised his head for a while (sat up for a while). He prayed like our Sheikh ‘Amr Ibn Salama. (Aiyub said, “The latter used to do a thing which I did not see the people doing i.e. he used to sit between the third and the fourth Rak’a). IMalik bin Huwairith said, “We came to the Prophet (after embracing Islam) and stayed with him. He said to us, ‘When you go back to your families, pray such and such a prayer at such and such a time, pray such and such a prayer at such and such a time, and when there is the time for the prayer then only of you should pronounce the Adhan for the prayer and the oldest of you should lead the prayer.”
The time taken by the Prophet in prostrations, bowing, and the sitting interval between the two prostrations was about the same.
Anas said, “I will leave no stone unturned in making you offer the prayer as I have seen the Prophet making us offer it.” Anas used to do a thing which I have not seen you doing. He used to stand after the bowing for such a long time that one would think that he had forgotten (the prostrations) and he used to sit in-between the prostrations so long that one would think that he had forgotten the second prostration.
Discussion on it here.
Brothers and sisters, whatever you do, do NOT pray a ‘fast Salah’ like this person:
SunhanAllah! Someone give him the khushoo` pill!
Abu Humaid said: The Prophet (SAW) rose (from bowing) and stood straight till all the vertebra of his spinal column came to a natural position. [Taken from Chapter 127, volume 1 of the 9-volume version of Bukhari, translated by Muhsin Khan and published by Darussalam]
Anas used to demonstrate to us the prayer of the Prophet and while demonstrating, he used to raise his head from bowing and stand so long that we would say that he had forgotten (the prostration).
The bowing, the prostrations, the period of standing after bowing and the interval between the two prostrations of the Prophet used to be equal in duration.
Abu Qilaba said, “Malik bin Huwairith used to demonstrate to us the prayer of the Prophet at times other than that of the compulsory prayers. So (once) he stood up for prayer and performed a perfect Qiyam (standing and reciting from the Holy Qur’an) and then bowed and performed bowing perfectly; then he raised his head and stood straight for a while.” Abu Qilaba added, “Malik bin Huwairith in that demonstration prayed like this Sheikh of ours, Abu Yazid.” Abu Yazid used to sit (for a while) on raising his head from the second prostration before getting up.
In simple words, namaz mein takrein maarney se parhez kerein.
Give time to your body to settle after each change in position. It’s really important if you wish to bring khushoo` to your Salah.
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah’s Apostle entered the mosque and a person followed him. The man prayed and went to the Prophet and greeted him. The Prophet returned the greeting and said to him, “Go back and pray, for you have not prayed.” The man went back prayed in the same way as before, returned and greeted the Prophet who said, “Go back and pray, for you have not prayed.” This happened thrice. The man said, “By Him Who sent you with the Truth, I cannot offer the prayer in a better way than this. Please, teach me how to pray.” The Prophet said, “When you stand for Prayer, say Takbir and then recite from the Holy Qur’an (of what you know by heart) and then bow till you feel at ease. Then raise your head and stand up straight, then prostrate till you feel at ease during your prostration, then sit with calmness till you feel at ease (do not hurry) and do the same in all your prayers.
I feel like I’ve done a similar Hadith before on this blog, but I can’t seem to find it. Inna lillah!
Anyway, so this Hadith lays down the importance of khushoo` in prayer. To offer Salah calmly and slowly, giving each position some time. It’s important for your physical exercise as well as your spiritual ‘thing’. Calmness in your Salah will give a very nice feel to it. You’ll feel good, and the ones around you will feel good as well. It brings calmness into your life as well. Calmness in your personality. Calmness. (Used the word a bit too much.)
I’ll put it simply, as the elders say:
Namaz mein takrein na marein.