Do you sometimes wonder on how to increase your concentration and humbleness in prayer? I do.
Salah (prayer) should not be a mechanical chore. To eliminate a sense of “chore-ness” from the salah, here’s something that the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam taught: switching tashahhuds in prayer and learning new duaas for prayer instead of always repeating the same duaas. Just as we should read different surahs in prayer, we should read different adkhaar (remembrances).
It is reported in Bukhari and Muslim that the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam would teach the Sahaba “the tashahhud the way he taught them Surahs of the Qur’an”.
Most likely, all of us know the same Tahiyyah which is the tashahhud narrated to us by ibn Mas’ood radi Allahu anhu, he said:
“The Messenger of Allah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam taught me the tashahhud, [with] my palm between his palms, the way he taught me Surahs of the Qur’an:
All compliments, prayers, and pure words are due to Allah. Peace be on you, O Prophet, and also the mercy of Allah and His blessings. Peace be on us, and on the righteous slaves of Allah. I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and messenger.”
[Narrated in Bukhari and Muslim]
But did you know that other companions were also taught different duaas for tashahhud? For example, take a look at the tashahhud of ibn Abbass radi Allahu anhuma, he said:
“The Messenger of Allah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam used to teach us the tashahhud the way he taught us the Qur’an; he used to say,
All compliments, blessed words, prayers, pure words are due to Allah. Peace be on you, O Prophet, and also the mercy of Allah and His blessings. Peace be on us and on the righteous slaves of Allah. I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah, and [I bear witness] that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah (in one narration: … is His slave and messenger).”
[Narrated in Sahih Muslim]
How about the tashahhud of ibn Umar radi Allahu anhuma? He reported the Messenger of Allah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam as saying in the tashahhud:
All compliments, prayers and good words are due to Allah. Peace be on you, O Prophet, and also the mercy of Allah – Ibn ‘Umar said, “I add:… and His blessings. – Peace be on us and on the righteous slaves of Allah. I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah – Ibn ‘Umar said, “I add:”… alone, He has no partner, – and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and messenger”.
[Narrated in Abu Dawood]
Indeed this is a great mercy from our Rabb! These different narrations also show us how easy Allah ta’ala has made this religion for us: there is more than one way to worship Him! Here we have two new duaas for the tashahhud, narrated to us authentically from the Companions, for us to become better in our worship and Shaykh Al-Albani states a few more in his book on prayer.
Let us revive the sunnah of learning new duaas for the Tahiyyah, so we can achieve khushoo‘ (concentration and humbleness) in our prayers and act upon something that our Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam taught us.
Just to make these duaas even sweeter, here is a deeper meaning of the Arabic words:
At-Tahiyyaat: “All words which imply peace, sovereignty and eternity, are due to Allah.”
As-Salawaat: “All supplications which are used to glorify the majesty of Allah, for He is fully entitled to them, and none but Him is worthy of them.”
At-Tayyibaat: “All good and pure words suitable for praising Allah, not those ones incompatible with his attributes with which kings were greeted.”
As-Salaamu: meaning seeking of refuge with Allah and being strengthened by him, since as-Salaam (Peace) is actually a name of Allah. Hence, the greeting effectively means: Allah be a watcher and safeguard over you. Similarly, it is said, “Allah be with you”, i.e. in His safeguarding, help and favour.
Barakaatu: A term for all the good continuously emanating from Allah.
With the month of Ramadan fast approaching, let us begin to enrich and renew our prayers with these new duaas inshaAllah.
Wa lillahil hamd.
 – What is the tashahhud?
It is the pillar of salah where one sits after finishing the second and last rak’ah. The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam would recite the Tahiyyah (literally means greeting/compliment) after every two rak’ahs [Narrated in Muslim], showing us that it is obligatory.