Why can't I concentrate in my Salaah?
Originally Posted by mudassara
An issue many of us have with our Salaah is that we lack the presence of our hearts during our Salaah. This is called Khushu when a person’s heart is fully occupied with whatever he says or hears, then he is in a true state of Khushu’.
“Indeed, the believers, who have Khushu’ in their Salah, are the winners.” [Noble Quran 23:1-2]
The concept of Khushu’ in Salah is very essential but unfortunatley many of us lack in khushu during prayer and our heart wonders off into different directions thinking about whatever is going on with our day or our lives at the time.
Many of us go through this issue either from time to time or most of the time, so know that we are not alone in this but we must continue to strive and pray ALL of our Salaah.
"And whoever strives, strives only for himself, for lo! Allah is altogether Independent of all (His) creation." (Ankabut 29:6)
This problem that you have in regards to having less khushu in prayer is a problem that many of us experience in our Salaah where our tongues are just not connecting with our hearts. We pray the Salaah but it does not get pass our tongues and therefore we feel not much benefit from it. This is because our hearts are hard and that which hardens the heart is sin. We sin so much that our hearts are blackened and hardened by sin.
What is the best way to soften a hardened heart? By avoiding the major sins as well as reciting Qur'an often and remembering and glorifying Allah as much as is possible.
"Those who believe and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah; verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest." (Ar-Ra'd 13:28)
We should also learn the meanings and read the detailed tafseer of Surah fathiha so that we understand it properly. If we truly understand it properly then we will realise what an amazing Surah it really is. It is unlike any other Surah of the Qur'an. We should learn the meanings of this surah as a matter of urgency!
We should also learn the meanings of whatever we recite in Salaah even when in Ruku and Sajdah as this would enable us to concentrate much better whilst we are praying and we will be able to imagine Allah in front of us watching us reciting and praying to him and when we make sajdah then we should prostrate in meekness and feel us as low beings are prostrating to the most high supreme master of the universe!
It is important that before Salaah we stand there for a minute and clear our minds. Imagine our minds erased of ALL thoughts of the day and whatever else is going on in our daily lives. This will enable us to focus on our Salaah.
We should then imagine that Allah is infront of us and that we are going to meet with him after we do the takbeer and so after we say "Allahu Akbar" we should feel that there is NOTHING more important than with our meeting with the most high and this will help us not to think about anything else because it would give anything else in our lives less importance.
We should also think that the prayer is short and we can think of whatever we want after prayer but for the meanwhile that we should concetrate ONLY on the Salaah and the fact that Allah is infront of us and watching us because he really is for we are not just imagining it.
Our eyes must NOT move around in Salaah as this is the cause of shaythan taking from our salaah and it will cause our minds to wonder. We must guard our Salaah just like a mother guards its precious baby. It should be as precious to us because it is our meeting with Allah 5 times daily.
Gaining khushu from Salaah is NOT an overnight process and it does take a while to master but if we start taking these small steps then eventually we will gain more and more khushu in Salaah until we feel there is nothing better than Salaah and when we have reached this state then we will NEVER look back again!
So let us continue to strive,persevere and be determined to get there evetuntually for we must NEVER lose hope or stop trying for that is exactely what shaythan wants us to do for shaythan ONLY wants our destruction!
"Oh you who believe! Persevere in patience and constancy. Vie in such perseverance, strengthen each other, and be pious, that you may prosper." (3:200)
Let us pray to Allah that he softens our hearts and makes it possible for us to gain khushu in all of our worship especially in our Salaah.
Here are some very useful tips in order for us to gain khushu:
Ways to Gain Khushu’
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.
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 Salah.
Reciting the Quran frequently and consistently softens the hearts and prepares it for Khushu’. Hard hearts do not gain Khushu’.
Minimize attachment to worldly matters. Gearing one’s intentions towards the Afterlife helps against the temptations of life.
Avoid excessive laughter and useless arguments as they harden the heart and lead to heedlessness.
Stop working as soon as you hear the Adhan. When you listen attentively to the call of Salah repeat after the muezzin then offer the relevant supplication. This prepares you for a smooth transition from the business with worldly matters to the business with Salah.
Performing Wudu’ immediately after hearing the Adhan prepares you for the pending Salah. Wudu’ also works as a buffer zone before engaging in Salah.
Going to the mosque early for praying and continuing mention of Allah drives Satan away and help gain concentration.
The waiting time for the congregational Salah helps create a buffer zone between the state of mind before Salah and the state of during Salah.
B. During Salah
The Iqamah itself is a final signal to the mind to be well prepared for performing the actual Salah. Remember what the messenger of Allah said to Bilal “Let us enjoy the comfort of the Salah.”
When you stand facing the Qiblah remember the following:
a. It might be the last Salah in your life. There is no guarantee to live longer to catch the next Salah.
b. You are standing between the hands of Allah, the Lord of the worlds. How can you be busy with something else?
c. The angel of death is chasing you.
3- Do not forget to make Isti’adthah. It wards off Satan’s whispers. (Seeking refuge in Allah from shaythan: A'udhubillahi minashaythanirajeem)
4- Keep your eyes focused on the place of Sujud. This helps you gain more concentration.
5- When reciting the Fatihah, try to recall the response of Allah to you after every Ayah you say. (When you say: “al-Hamdu Lillahi Rabbil ‘Alamin) 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 Quran has a positive impact on the heart.
7- Recite the Quran slowly and reflect upon its meaning deeply.
8- It is recommended to change the Surah that your recite from time to time to avoid the mechanic-like state of repetition.
9- Alternate between the various authentic Sunan such as proclaiming a different opening supplication in every Salah.
10- Undoubtedly, understanding Arabic helps you focus on the intended meaning.
11- Interact with the recited Ayahs;
a. if you hear an Ayah about Allah, glorify Him by saying “Subhanallah”;
b. If you hear an Ayah about Hellfire, say “A’udthu Billahi Minan-Nar”.
c. If you hear a command to make Istighfar, do it.
d. If you hear an Ayah that requests Tasbih, make Tasbih.
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’a’. Invest these moments in making sincere supplications.
1. When you make Taslim, make Istighfar to Allah as you might have made during Salah.
2. When you praise Allah, thank Him from the bottom of your heart that you have experienced the beauty of Salah in your heart. Getting used to this habit prepares your for the next Salah, as you will always be eager to focus in your prayer.
3. One perfection leads to another perfection. If some one perfects his Salah once, he would be self-motivated to continue on the same level.
Here is another very good article on helping us to concentrate in our Salaah:
Salaah - No Excuse to Miss it
And Allah knows best in all matters