[B]3 ways of attaining focus in our Salaah (prayer) - You will be amazed![/B]
How many of us pray our Salaah day in and day out yet we feel nothing. We pray like robots and we gain nothing from our Salaah except wanting it to end as quickly as possible. We still continue to sin like as if we never prayed Salaah in the first place. Many of us who pray even go days without even thinking of Allah during the prayer. This is because our Salaah has been stolen from us by our own negligence and a heedless heart and mind.
Therefore we must put a stop to this at once. How can we continue to pray in such a way when we are missing out on experiencing the true sweetness of Salaah. We are missing out on such great things which can only be experienced by being able to fully concentrate in Salaah with a focused mind.
So we must make a firm intention and internalise in our minds that we will strive to do our very best to concentrate and focus in our Salaah so that we may connect with Allah in our Salaah. Once we have connected with Allah in our Salaah then our lives will change for the better and will never be the same again!
[B][COLOR="#FF0000"]The following are just three steps for us to be able to attain proper focus in Salaah![/COLOR]:[/B]
1. Do not overeat:[/B]
By overeating our mind cannot remain focused as we feel discomfort from a bloated stomach. We can hardly stand still in our prayer as we ate so much. Therefore we must not overeat before our Salaah but eat until we are satisfied and NOT until we are so full that we cannot even move!
[B]2. Prepare for the Salaah:[/B]
When we are prepare to go to an interview then many of us will shower, make sure we smell good, put on our best clothes etc. But why is it when we prepare to meet with Allah in our prayers then we go to our prayer in our pyjamas? We pray in clothing that we would not even imagine wearing outside of the house. This is a pathetic state of affairs we are in. We dress so smartly and look our best when we go to an interview to see a creation of Allah yet when we go to see our creator we dress in our worst clothes!
Who is higher than our creator? Who deserves from us that we be in our cleanest state and very best clothing than our Master the lord of the worlds?
Therefore whenever we approach our prayer then we must ensure that we are in the very cleanest state preferably making fresh Wudu before each Salaah and in our best clothes so that our minds are prepared for the meeting with Allah as the Salaah is a meeting with our creator.
[B]3. Focus on Allah:[/B]
Before commencing our Salaah we may have all kinds of thoughts in our minds like work, family, finances, food, our past and future events in our lives and even sinful thoughts. So we must not go into the prayer like this otherwise we will be thinking about all of these things during our Salaah and our mind will be distracted and occupied with all kinds of thoughts. Therefore we must take out a little time even a minute or two to try to focus our minds towards Allah. If it helps to close the eyes briefly then do it. Do the following exercise:
[B]Just before your Salaah[/B]:
- Imagine your mind is wiped clean like a sheet of paper. There is nothing in your mind for it is wiped clean. Now focus and Imagine that you are laying on the death bed and you see around your that your family are mourning you. But you cannot respond to them for your are dead. No one else can help you except Allah. Focus on Allah. Only Allah can help you.
- Now imagine that you are being lowered into the grave and when you are put onto the dirt then people start dropping the dirt onto you until your grave is filled. Now who can help you except Allah. Focus on Allah.
- Now imagine that you have been raised up on the day of resurrection onto the plains of Arafat. You are running to the central area for Judgement. People around you are also running and they are screaming and panicking like you have never seen before. No one can help you now. Even your Mother does not look at you because she is in fear. Who will come to your aide except Allah. Only Allah. Focus on Allah
- Now imagine that you are in front of Allah on the day of Judgement and he asks you to show him your prayer. What will you show him as you never even focused properly in your Salaah. You always thought of other things when you should have focused on your creator. So you feel utterly ashamed of showing your worthless prayers to Allah. Therefore you beg Allah for one more chance to perfect your prayer. You ask Allah to return you to the Earth so that you may do your prayer properly. Almighty Allah grants you just one chance to go back to the Earth to show him that you can do your prayer properly.
- Now start your prayer and focus on Allah as you are in the present. Do not think of your past and do not think of your future. [B]Keep imagining to yourself:
[/B] [B][COLOR="#FF0000"]"I have no past, I have no future, I am in the present and Allah is watching me". [/COLOR][/B]
When you recite Surah Fathiha and any other Surah then imagine you are reciting it to Allah. When you go down to Ruku (bent position) then focus on Allah. When you go to Sajda (prostration) then focus on Allah, When you come up to Tashahud then focus on Allah. Each and everything you recite and every position you go into in Salaah then focus on Allah as he is watching you and the Angel of Death is behind you waiting for you to finish your prayer so that he may take your soul! This is how we should concentrate in every Salaah because each and every Salaah may be our last.
So keep repeating this concentration and focus exercise before each Salaah until your focus becomes 100%. It may begin to be less at first but it will improve gradually. Even if we trip and fall then keep gong until you achieve 100% focus every time. Spend however long it takes before each Salaah so that you can focus before you begin. It will not necessarily be an over night change but gradually you will be able to focus more and more in your Salaah and this focus will also help you to focus in other aspects of your life inshaAllah. Ask of Allah to help you focus in each Salaah to give you the true sweetness of the Salaah.
May Allah enable us to pray each Salaah with full focus and concentration so that we may attain the true sweetness of Salaah!