Answered by Ustadh Sufyan Qufi
Suppose I smile while praying because I end up thinking about something. Due I need to remake my prayer.
I know having khushu’ is essential, but what if I struggle with it?
In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful
I pray this finds you in the best of states.
No, smiling does not break the prayer. [Shurunbulali, Nur al-Idah]
Please see: When Does Laughing Break the Prayer?
Reverential Awe (Khushu’)
The mere fact that you realize that Khushu’ is an essential aspect of the prayer and that you are striving for it is a tremendous gift from Allah, Most High, to you.
Allah, Most High, says: “And those who strive for Us-We will surely guide them to Our ways. And indeed, Allah is with the doers of good.” [Quran, 29:69]
Khushu’ is one of those praiseworthy qualities of the heart that a believer will strive to acquire all his life, about which one never should feel satisfied.
Ibn Ata’illah (Allah be pleased with him), one of the masters of the sciences of purifying the heart, said:
“The source of every disobedience, headlessness, and blameworthy desire is self-satisfaction. The source of every obedience, vigilance, and virtue is dissatisfaction with oneself.” [Ibn Ata’illah, Hikam]
Please see this reader improve on this aspect:
How to Attain Presence of Heart in Prayer
And Allah knows best.
[Ustadh] Sufyan Qufi
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Sufyan Qufi is an advanced seeker of knowledge, originally from Algeria, who grew up in France. He began searching far and wide for answers to the fundamental questions of life and was disappointed at the answers he found.
Then he connected with various traditional teachers and gradually connected with SeekersGuidance. He embarked on his journey of learning through the various teachers at SeekersGuidance, including his mentor Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.
He studied numerous texts in Islamic Law, Theology, Hadith, and other areas with Shaykh Faraz Rabbani and other teachers, including Shaykh Abdurrahman al-Sha’ar, Shaykh Ali Hani, and others.
He is an active instructor at SeekersGuidance and answers questions through the SeekersGuidance Answers Service.