Khushuu’, translated as tranquillity, is the heart of Salaah. It tells the extent of a slave’s submission to his Lord, and could mildly or greatly affect one’s reward, if not properly maintained in Salaah. Therefore, anything that affects Khshuu’ in Salaaah should be avoided. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:
إذا أقيمت الصلاة، فلا تأتوها وأنتم تسعون، وأتوها وأنتم تمشون، وعليكم السكينة، فما أدركتم فصلوا، وما فاتكم فأتموا
When the Iqamah is pronounced, do not rush but walk to the prayer while ensuring tranquillity; pray whatever is left of the Salaah and repay what you missed.
About 5 or 6 years ago, I was praying ‘Asr in a mosque when a child ran in front of me and accidentally (nothing a kid does is intentional?) stepped on the glasses I just got a week earlier. I tried to prevent her but the milk has been split. Different thoughts ran through mind throughout the Salaah. I was very angry because aside the strenuous exercise it takes to apply for another glasses, I spent around 7k for the glasses. I couldn’t however hold the child or her father responsible, so I just left the mosque.
This night again, while praying Maghrib, we could barely concentrate throughout Salaah because this kid was running around and shouting. At one point, he injured himself and made a loud cry.
It is not wrong to take your kids along to the moque. In fact, it is encouraged because it prepares them for what is coming. But what does a kid of one or two-year old do in masjid other than disturb the congregation? Even some parents have their Khushuu’ affected as they try to pamper them while in prayer. Another one is instances where the kids run in front of the imaam. Kids are not exempted from the general rule: no one should pass in front of the imaam or anyone praying individually.
If you will take your kids to the mosque, make sure they are grown enough (say 4 above) such that you can condition them not to be disturbing or distractive. May Allaah continue to grant us ease.
By Abu Rushdaa