Many of us find it difficult to concentrate on Salah these days. Our minds are accustomed to being so busy and we are always on the move to the next thing, such that achieving khushoo (concentration) in Salah becomes difficult.
Khushoo is a very important condition of Salah. When you are concentrated on your Salah, you show devotion and respect to Allah (ta’ala) and your heart is fully focused on the prayer that you are performing.
With Khushoo, a person is submissive and focused in their heart, such that their limbs reflect that submission when they are observing Salah.
In a Hadith, the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “Any one performs ablution and performs the ablution perfectly and then offers two rak’ahs of prayers concentrating on them with his heart and face but paradise will necessarily fall to his lot.” (Sunan Abi Dawud)
But what do you do when you find yourself unable to concentrate in Salah? When your mind wanders everywhere and sometimes you can’t even remember what rakah you are on?
There are simple changes that we can make in our lives that will insha’Allah improve our khushoo in Salah.
Pray For Concentration
Our inability to concentrate on Salah is a deficiency on our part and it affects the quality of our prayers. As Muslims, we get over any problem by first seeking the help of Allah (ta’ala) and this is the first thing you should do when you lack concentration in Salah.
Pray to Allah (ta’ala) to remove all distractions and the whisperings of Shaytan from your mind. Ask Him to grant you the ability to establish Salah perfectly and to make you of those whose hearts are attached to their prayers. Ask him to grant you humility and to help you submit to Him.
Quieten Your Mind Before Salah
Many times, what we were doing before it was time for Salah may affect our concentration. If you were watching a movie, you may find yourself replaying scenes from the movie in your head, or rushing your Salah so that you can get back to the movies.
Before it is time for Salah, start to quieten your mind. Disengage yourself from activities that could start replaying in your head during prayers.
If you are at work during the times of Salah, use the time that you are preparing for Salah to quieten your mind. As you perform ablution, start to think of your Salah in advance and stop thinking about work.
Many more people lose concentration in Salah because they do not understand what they are reciting. For them, the motions of Salah are ingrained in them but the meaning of the Quran and the knowledge of Arabic is not. Yes, they recite Surat Fatiha and another Surah but they do not know the meaning of the words or the tafsir of these Surahs.
When you do not understand something, there is a level of disconnect. So it is a good idea to strive to understand the Quran (and the Arabic language) in your quest to attain a better concentration in Salah.
When you understand what you are saying, your mind is more focused on the prayer.
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Find a Quiet Place
Noise is a huge hindrance to our concentration in Salah. It distracts you and pulls your mind to something other than the prayer.
If you are praying in a place with loud music or movies, you can expect that words from the music or movies will creep into your mind as you pray.
As you seek to find quiet in your own mind before Salah, it is also important to make sure that where you are praying is noise-free, so that you are able to concentrate on your Salah.
Recite Out Loud
When you are reading the Quran during Salah, it is advisable to recite out loud as much as possible. This forces you to concentrate on what you are reciting because since you are saying it out loud, your mind is more focused.
When you recite underneath your breath, especially in rakats where you can recite out loud, your mind may easily wander and it will affect your concentration.
Don’t See Salah As A Chore
When you reluctantly stand up to pray, you have initiated the process of your mind not concentrating on the prayer. You have sent a message to your mind that this is something to “just get it over with”, so it will be no surprise when you just go through the motions of praying without your mind being present.
Remember that a Muslim should treat each Salah as if it is their last. If this is your last Salah, would you want to perform it without adequate concentration?
Inspire yourself to look forward to Salah because it is a conversation between you and Allah (ta’ala). Pray as if you can see Him, knowing that He is closest to us in the position of sujood.
Be conscious of Salah as a conversation with your Creator, rather than a task to be checked off your to-do list.
Our Salah is the first of our deeds that will be examined on the Day of Judgment. And when you have prayed without concentration on earth, it is similar to having carried out a duty haphazardly, without paying attention to details, such that you end up losing the point of the whole work.
Khushoo is part of the essence of our Salah. It is part of what completes our Salah and makes it acceptable in the eyes of Allah (ta’ala). So, every Muslim who strives to perform their Salah should always remember to perform it with the utmost concentration.
Related Video: How to Gain Khushoo in Salah