Are you looking for way to develop focus in your prayers?
Salah (Prayer) is a key part of a Muslims’ life. It is one of the 5 pillars of Islam that every Muslim must follow and in addition it gets one closer to the blessings of Allah swt. As we have been specifically created to serve Allah alone it is important to gain his love too by following all his commandments in the best manner. it is stated in the Quran
“…and stand before Allah with obedience” [al-Baqarah 2:238]
So, it is important for a Muslim to stand in front of Allah almighty at least five times a day (the mandatory prayers) with obedience. And to do so it is necessary to have Khushoo (Focus) in your Prayer. It is essential to stand in front of Allah Almighty with your full consciousness and focus.
Here are some key tips to help you develop Khushoo in your salah In’Sha’Allah (god willing)
1. Remember Your Purpose In this World
To gain khushoo in your Salat you first need to remember your purpose in this world. Remember why Allah the almighty sent you here in this world. Allah created everything in this universe for a purpose and he has provided his creation with everything they need maintain the worldly life. The main reason behind it is to see if his creation is grateful to him or if they deny him. Allah mentions in the Quran “We created not the heavens and the earth and all that is between them for a (mere) play” [al-Anbiya’ 21:16]
So as a Muslim, it is our job to remember the true purpose of our existence in this world. That way whenever we are in prayer, we are self-conscious and this would allow us to focus on our prayers.
2. Be Sincere
You will be able to focus and develop Khushoo in your prayers if you open your heart and let the divine light enter in your heart. Sometimes we are physically focusing well on our prayers but when it comes to the mental aspect, this is where we might fail as our heart is not fully set into our prayer.
It is natural that sometimes we go through tough times and we might struggle with our faith, however in this instance you do not need to worry, as Allah will give us solutions to our problems through the remembrance of him.
We should put more effort into our ibadah and try to read the Quran more often and make dua with all our heart. Allah will surely ease your paint and you will be bestowed with divine guidance.
“Khushoo‟ in prayer happens when a person empties his heart for it (prayer), and focuses on it to the exclusion of all else, and prefers it to everything else. Only then does he find comfort and joy in it, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: „… and my joy has been made in salah.‟ (Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 5/456. The hadith is in Musnad Ahmad, 3/128 and Saheeh al-Jaami‟, 3124).
Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Successful indeed are the believers, those who offer their salah (prayers) with all solemnity and full submissiveness.” [al Muminoon 23:1-2]
3. Fear of Allah
Fear of Allah is important for one’s faith. Allah is the most merciful, but it is better for us to fear him as well because he is just and treats all his creation equally. If you have the fear in your heart it will help you stay away from sin and help you concentrate on attaining good deeds.
When in Salah, imagine that you are in front of Allah at that moment of time and know that he is watching every single move. You will then try your utmost best to keep focused on the prayer. Also remember death is always around the corner. If you have the fear of passing away suddenly, then the best place for it to happen is whilst you are praying. Always pray as its going to be your last prayer and that way your salah will be on point.
We can relate to the following hadith in regards to this topic too:
On the authority of Abu Dharr Jundub ibn Junada and Abu Abdul Rahmaan Muaadh ibn Jabal (may Allah be pleased with both of them) from the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) who said, “Fear Allah wherever you are. And follow up a bad deed with a good deed and it will wipe it out. And behave towards people with good behavior.” (Recorded in al-Tirmidhi)
Pray with all your might and heart to achieve peace.
The Quran was sent to mankind as a guidance and we should not take that statement lightly.
Allah says: (This is) a Book (the Quran) which We have sent down to you, full of blessings that they may ponder over its Verses, and that men of understanding may remember.” [Saad 38:29]
In order to ponder over the words, we need to understand the meaning of the Quran first and foremost. It will not be a quick task understanding the Quran if Arabic is not your native language or you have not studied it before. We should make the effort in our spare time to learn more about the verses in the Quran in order to gain better understanding of the wonderful verses from Allah.
Once we attain this, it will surely help us develop the Khushoo in our prayers. Whilst reciting verses during our salah, we will be able to relate to the words and think about the specific ayah that we have recited or heard (if in congregational prayers). That way we will enjoy our prayers more and it will have a much deeper meaning to us.
There is no doubt that thinking about the meanings, repeating and relating to the ayat’s – are among the best means of increasing focus, as Allah says “And they fall down on their faces weeping and it adds to their humility [khushoo’]” [al-Isra 17:109].
5. Organising yourself
You need to delegate your daily tasks wisely or otherwise this will get in the way of your Salah. Remove your excess thoughts and plan way ahead your daily routine. If you have 20 things to do in a day and they are constantly in your mind, then when you stand in salah, they will remain in your mind. You will keep thinking about completing the tasks and then lose your concentration in salah, or even worse rush the prayer so you can get back to your activities. Again this can relate to one of the points mentioned earlier about remembering your purpose in life.
6. Feeling Hungry or Sleepy?
If your meal has been prepared and served, then you should eat first before going to pray. Reason being is that one will not be able to concentrate properly in salah if they are hungry or have thoughts in their mind about the meal that is waiting for them. They will even end up rushing the prayer and not put any dedication into it.
The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: “Do not pray when there is food prepared.” (Reported by Muslim, no. 560).
The same principles can also relate to someone that is feeling sleepy. They may be too tired to perform their salah and when they stand for prayer, they will not be able to concentrate fully.
Anas ibn Maalik said, “The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: “If any one of you feels sleepy when he is praying, he should sleep until he [is rested enough to] know what he is saying,” i.e., he should take a nap until he no longer feels drowsy. (Reported by al-Bukhaari, no.210).
7. Finding a Quiet Place
Another way to hinder your concentration in Salah is through Noise. If you are praying in a place that is surrounded by loud noises such as music or something watching TV, then this is bound to lead your mind astray. The noise will distract you and then your mind will be on something else and not your salah.
See this great video from Mufti Menk about attaining concentration in Salah
We also have an article on top 25 ways to attain khushoo in salah