The Divine Link, Part 2, Author: Issa Abbasi


The most important part of the salah (prayer) in Islam is in its performance. When anyone comes to pray, they must remember why they are doing so and to re-check their intention. Is this for the sole sake of Our Lord, Allah s.w.t., or, is this so that we appear to be a Muslim or because our friends are praying? But along with the intention of our salah comes the focus of salah. Is our salah being performed with a sound mind and focus to Allah s.w.t., or, is our body performing all the right movements, but our minds are elsewhere? Again, this is a reminder to myself and to all of us as about khushoo’ (solemnity). Khushoo’ in salah is of the utmost importance and after each salah, the angels will only accept a percentage of your salah. This percent can vary; 0 % of your salah can be accepted, or 100 % of it can be accepted. And don’t think for a moment that angels aren’t mathematicians and can’t figure out what 3/7ths of a salah is in percent form.

Its Importance

In the Glorious Qur’an, Allah s.w.t. revealed the importance of khushoo’ with the verses: “Successful indeed are the believers. Those who offer their Salat (prayers) with all solemnity and full submissiveness.” (23:1-2) Khushoo’ is found in the heart, and as long as the person performing the prayer’s heart is with his Lord, Allah s.w.t., his body will be in tune. However, how can one’s heart be in tune in salah when his/her mind is elsewhere? Just because you are standing in front of Allah s.w.t. during salah does not mean that your mind and heart will be with Him. How so? The shaytan (devil) loves to whisper to you as a means of distracting you from the remembrance of Allah. Sure, he may not pray, but that won’t stop him from trying to mess with your prayer.

(Hadith Muslim 196) “Shaytan running when he hears the adhan, Abu Hurairah (ra) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “When the Adhan is pronounced, Satan takes to his heels and passes wind to avoid hearing the Adhan. When the Adhan is over, he comes back, and again takes to his heels when the Iqamah is pronounced and after its completion, he returns to whisper into the heart of a person (to distract him from his prayer) and makes him remember things which he does not recall before until man forgets how many Rak’ah he prayed.” This is so true. How many times can we all recall starting our salah and the first thing we think about is “oh man, do I have my keys?” or “oh yeah, that’s what I forgot earlier today.” If you can only remember one thing about this point, remind yourself that Shaytan is out to steal from you. He is a thief and if you let your guard (and heart down), he will steal from your salah until you are done and have no idea what just happened.

The Cure

Just because the Shaytan will do all he can to distract you in salah doesn’t mean there isn’t a sound remedy to rid of his influence. Allah s.w.t. even tells us in the Qur’an how hard khushoo’ is! “And seek help in patience and As-Salat (the prayer) and truly it is extremely heavy and hard except for Al-Khashi’un [i.e. the true believers in Allah – those who obey Allah with full submission, fear much from His Punishment, and believe in His Promise (Paradise,) and in His Warnings (Hell). (2: 45)” Some of the ways to assure our khushoo’ in our salah are as follows:

1) Coming early to your salah, whether at home or masjid.

2) Repeat after the call of the Adhaan

3) Prepare for your salah ahead of time, spiritually, emotionally and physically. This is just like going to an important meeting at work, prepare, prepare and prepare some more.

4) Make a full and thorough Wudhu

5) Select a place where there will be no distractions.

6) Dress nicely for your salah, especially for the Fajr salah

7) Pray the nafl (sunnah salahs)

8.) Read some Qur’an. Preferably the Qur’an you will recite in salah 

9) Make dhikr (remembrance) and du’a (supplication) in your salah . Ask Allah swt for the concentration and its ajr (reward)

10) Don’t talk too much before the salah. Just make dhikr or tasbeeh until time of Iqama

11) Don’t look around in the masjid, just focus on the coming event of the salah

12) Pray in the front row to avoid distraction

13)Straighten your lines before you start your salah, as it is a part of the salah, otherwise you can be distracted

14)Contemplation about greatness of the Lord swt who you will be standing before. It’s part of Ihsaan (worshipping as if you see God)

15) Remember the stories of the righteous people and how they focused on their salah

16) Always remember the excellence and virtue of khushoo in salah

17)If you are hungry or need to go to the washroom, but do that first! It is the sunnah of our prophet (pbuh).

18) Don’t start your salah if you are sleepy or exhausted

19) Do your best to get to the first row, but don’t sprint towards it

20) Try to pray as close as possible to the imam, so you can hear his voice as well as on the speakers so it encourages you more

21) Pray as if this was your last prayer, we never know when we could die, so make this prayer For more on these tips and more, please visit http://forums.almaghrib.org/showpost.php?p=417237&postcount=1.

Finally, don’t pray quickly.

“Because of the speed with which some people pray, they appear as if they are birds, pecking up and down. The Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam forbade that someone should peck (in salah) like a crow.”

Umar (r.a.) once stood on the pulpit and addressed the community with a loud powerful voice saying, “A man may grow old in Islam and never have completed for Allah a single salah!” They said, “How is this?” He said, “He does not perfect his concentration, nor his humbleness, nor his focus on Allah (s.w.t.).”

If you are still having trouble, remember that salah is the first thing you will be judged on the Day when no one but Allah s.w.t. will judge us.  I ask this question to myself first and to all of the readers, what do we want our record (or book) of salah to look like?

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~ by Yousaf on March 12, 2010.

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