How to Maintain Concentration in Prayer
Name of Questioner: Faid
Date: 22-3-2016 09:33:37 AM
Consultant: Ask About Islam Editorial Staff
I am a Muslim who is keen to offer prayer at their due times but what concerns me most is that I do not feel Khusu` during prayer. Please, give me your advice about this.
Thank you, dear questioner, for your important question which reveals your keenness to perfect the performance of the acts of worship.
In fact, the lack of Khushu` (concentration) in prayer is a common problem among Muslims due to excessive engrossment with life matters, including work, family, community, etc. However, a Muslim should give utmost care for offering his worship in the best way to get the highest reward and the pleasure of God.
As regards you question, we quote the following precious words of Dr. Mamdouh N. Mohamed, Associate Professor at the American Open University, who pinpoints the following pieces of advice about how to attain Khushu` in prayer.
First: Before the prayer
1- A Muslim should know his Lord very well. Knowing whom one worships makes a person a better worshipper. Having clear and authentic knowledge about Allah increases His love in our hearts. Consequently, faith also increases.
2- Avoiding major and minor sins is very helpful in gaining Khushu`, as the heart becomes more receptive to the words of Allah during and after Prayer.
3- Reciting the Qur'an frequently and consistently softens the hearts and prepares it for Khushu`. Hard hearts do not gain Khushu`.
4- Minimize attachment to worldly matters. Gearing one's intentions towards the Afterlife helps against the temptations of life.
5- Avoid excessive laughter and useless arguments as they harden the heart and lead to heedlessness.
6- Stop working as soon as you hear the adhan (call to prayer). When you listen attentively to the call of Prayer repeat after the mu’zzin (caller to prayer) then offer the relevant supplication. This prepares you for a smooth transition from the business with worldly matters to the business with Prayer.
7- Performing wudu’ immediately after hearing the adhan prepares you for the pending prayer. wudu’ also works as a buffer zone before engaging in Prayer.
8- Going to the mosque early for praying and continuing mention of Allah drives Satan away and help gain concentration.
9- The waiting time for the congregational prayer helps create a buffer zone between the state of mind before Prayer and the state of during Prayer.
- During Prayer
1- The Iqamah (call to commence the prayer) itself is a final signal to the mind to be well prepared for performing the actual Prayer. Remember what the messenger of Allah said to Bilal (may Allah be pleased with him) "Let us enjoy the comfort of the Prayer."
2- When you stand facing the qiblah remember the following:
- It might be the last Prayer in your life. There is no guarantee to live longer to catch the next Prayer.
- You are standing between the hands of Allah, the Lord of the worlds. How can you be busy with something else?
- The angel of death is chasing you.
3- Do not forget to make isti`azah (seeking refuge with Allah from Satan). It wards off Satan's whispers.
4- Keep your eyes focused on the place of sujud (prostration). This helps you gain more concentration.
5- When reciting the Fatihah, try to recall the response of Allah to you after every verse you say. “When you say: "al-hamdulillah rabbil-`alamin” (Praise be to Allah the lord of the worlds) Allah responds: "My servant praised me." etc. This feeling of speaking to Allah puts you in the right mood of Khushu`.
6- Beautifying the recitation of the Qur'an has a positive impact on the heart.
7- Recite the Qur'an slowly and reflect upon its meaning deeply.
8- It is recommended to change the chapters of the Qur'an that your recite from time to time to avoid the mechanic-like state of repetition.
9- Alternate between the various authentic Sunnah such as proclaiming a different opening supplication in every Prayer.
10- Undoubtedly, understanding Arabic helps you focus on the intended meaning.
11- Interact with the recited verses
12- These forms of interactions are very helpful in keeping you focused.
13- When you prostrate, remember that this position brings you closer to Allah. Seize the opportunity to make sincere du`aa’. Invest these moments in making sincere supplications.
C- After Prayer
- When you make taslim (salutation of peace finishing the prayer), make istighfar (asking for Allah’s forgiveness) to Allah as you might have made during Prayer.
- When you praise Allah, thank Him from the bottom of your heart that you have experienced the beauty of Prayer in your heart. Getting used to this habit prepares you for the next Prayer, as you will always be eager to focus in your prayer.
- One perfection leads to another perfection. If someone perfects his Prayer once, he would be self-motivated to continue on the same level.
May Allah fill our hearts with Khushu`
Please keep in touch.
Source: Taken from islamway.net