*Few Tips To Focus on Salah*
By Shaykh Abdul Raheem Hafizahullah
Salah can be considered as a priceless gift from Allah. It brings us closer to Allah and it enables us to put forward our needs in front of Allah seeking His help.
Though Salah is an extremely valuable blessing, many Muslims still tend to neglect it. May Allah guide them to pray and bring them closer to Deen.
A common problem which arises for those who do perform Salah, is the loss of concentration. Instead of focusing on Almighty Allah we tend to focus on unwanted elements. Our mind just drifts away as soon as we say “Allahu Akbar”.
We would like to put forward some suggestions which may help in Increasing concentration during Salah.
1. Perform Wudhu from home and go to the Masjid early. While going to the Masjid, keep busy in dhikr, tilawat, duas or just listening to the Quran.
2. Do not eat anything with a foul smell like raw onions or garlic before going for salah. Do not smoke on your way there. This leaves a foul smell and drives away the angels of mercy. It also disturbs and annoys the person who would be standing next to you in salah.
3. Don’t forget to read the duas of entering (and exiting) the masjid.
“Bismillah wassalamu alaa Rasulillah.
Allahummaftah Lee abwaaba rahmatika waghfir lee zunoobi.
Bismillahi dakhaltu wa alayhi tawakkaltu wa nawaytu sunnatal i’tikaaf”.
4. Pray the Sunnah before Fardh salaah; 2 before Fajr, 4 before Zohr, Asr, & Isha. Sunnah is to help us concentrate on Fardh Salah. The more you pray, the more you can concentrate. Sunnah will help you to come closer to the original obligation which is the Fardh salah.
5. Learn the meanings of the Surahs which you recite in salah. The Quran is a unique book. It has got the ability to attract the readers, due to it’s beauty and it’s wordings. Yet it is essential to know the meaning. We’ll never get distracted from our salah if we focus on the meaning of what we are reciting.
6. Recite a Surah which you do not recite often. By alternating the Surahs you will be able to concentrate more on your salah. On the contrary, if you keep reciting the same Surah every time, you will not pay attention as you are too familiar with that Surah.
7. Make sure that you fulfil your needs before offering salah. For example; if you are hungry or thirsty, eat and drink before praying so that you needn’t worry about these things while praying. This will help you to focus on your salah. If you need to relieve yourself, do so. Don’t suppress your need for the washroom.
8. Identify the reasons which distract you during salah and eliminate them. Find out all the reasons which disturb you during salah. For example if it’s noise, choose a place where it is relatively calmer to offer your salah. Likewise, eliminate all other distractions by choosing a suitable place to pray.
9. Always offer your salah in congregation. When you offer salah individually, Shaytan will be able to take away your concentration easily. But when you pray in congregation you will feel a sense of togetherness and at the same time you will not get misled that easily. This can be evidenced by this saying of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam, “Be attached to the Jama’ah, for verily a wolf catches the lonely sheep. Likewise, Shaytan misleads the one who isolates himself”.
10. Remember that you are standing in front of Allah; The Lord of the universe. Always keep in mind that during salah, you are directly communicating with Allah Rabbul Aalameen. This will increase your khushoo’ and khudhoo’ (humility and humbleness).
11. Wear nice clean Sunnah attire and apply attar (perfume) before offering salaah. By wearing Sunnah clothing and applying perfume you will get a feeling of being well prepared to face your Creator. Therefore, it will give you an excellent chance to focus on your salaah with a peaceful mind.
12. Seek help from Allah for rectifying your Salah. Even if you follow all the methods mentioned above, nothing is possible without the help of Allah. Ask Him to help you to concentrate in your salaah.
13. Offer your Salah as if it’s your last. Think that this is the last and final salah of my life. And it might very well be your last one because no one is guaranteed that he will live to perform another salah. One Hadith says: صلِّ صلوة مُودِّع “Pray like the one who is bidding farewell (to the world).”
14. And finally, just keep praying even if you can’t concentrate. Even the postures of salaah are extremely beneficial. Plus who is perfect? And who’s salaah can be perfect? Just getting the ability to stand in front of Almighty Allah is a huge blessing.
So keep praying. Concentration is something that comes and goes, Don’t be too disturbed if you can’t concentrate. Many times it’s due to our busy lives and all the burdens we carry on our shoulders.
May Allah help us to perform salaah with showq (zeal) and to be focused in our salah. May Allah help us to attain His pleasure. Aameen!