Assalamualaikum Dear Brother & Sisters,
Being a Muslim, offering Salah 5 times a day is a must for us. Alhamdulillah! we try our best to pray on time. But how good is our attention, concentration, and focus in Salah? Do we understand, feel, and ponder what we recite in the prayer?
Allah The Almighty invites us to reflect on His Book and ponder its meanings and secrets. This is true for what we recite in Salah too.
Allah Says: [This is] a blessed Book which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], that they might reflect upon its verses and that those of understanding would be reminded. [Al-Quran 38:29]
Lets’ reflect on the 3 common flaws we may make during Salah.
- Reciting fast: Most of us recite very fast. To realize how unethical it is, imagine your secretary or savant, talking to you at the same speed. Would you tolerate that? Won’t you say to him: Stop! Don’t you know how to talk? Talk slowly and clearly.
If I don’t accept this ‘fast talking’ from my own secretary or servant, how dare I do the same to Allah?
2. Roaming around: We take out time from our busy schedule, perform Wudoo(ablution), come to Masjid, begin the prayer, and then start ‘roaming.’ Shaitan uses this opportunity to remind us of the past and the future; of what we discussed in meetings before Salah, of upcoming appointments, missing items, and so on. To realize how unethical it is, let us imagine your secretary talking to you slowly and clearly but thinking somewhere else. He says: Sir, you are great; I never saw a person like you; I will never forget your favors; etc. But in his mind, he is thinking about washing his dirty clothes, cutting his nails, or polishing his shoes. Will you be happy with just the words that come out of his mouth?
If I am not happy such a behavior, how dare I do the same to Allah?
3. Reciting without feelings: Most of us recite in plain mode without any feelings. To realize how bad that it, imagine your secretary talking to you slowly and with attention but without any feelings. Just in plain mode just like a robot: Sir, you are great; I never saw a person like you; I will never forget your favors….
If I don’t like to even sit with such a friend, how dare I do that to Allah?
We need to ponder and realize how these common mistakes can ruin our worship and connection with our creator. What’s the solution to these flaws then? Don’t worry, we have got it for you, read on.
Once we understand what we recite, we can then use our imagination and feelings associated with this verse to maximize our attention in the Salah.
Even if you are praying while imagining, ‘’this is my last Salah, Allah Swt is watching me, right side is Jannah, left side is Jahannum and so on.’’ Trying all possible ways to block all nuisance thoughts. Still the Satan will divert you somewhere or the other like, look at the carpet looks ripped, it’s no clean, someone is coughing or someone’s phone rings your mind turns there...etc. etc. It won’t take Satan long to deviate your mind in a jiffy.
Regarding taking lessons from the signs mentioned in the Qur’an, Allah The Almighty Says (what means): Indeed, in that is a reminder for whoever has a heart or who listens while he is present [in mind]. [Al-Quran 50:36-37]. About this verse, Ibn Al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy upon him) said:
There are three types of people with respect to these verses:
(1) A person with a dead heart. This is the person who has no heart, so this verse is not a reminder to him.
(2) A person with a somewhat living and ready heart, but who does not listen to the recited verses of the Quran through which Allah The Almighty conveys His manifest signs. This person does not receive the benefits of the reminder, even though his heart is ready to receive it.
(3) A person with an alive and ready heart. When the Quranic verses are recited to him he attentively listens: he does not keep his heart busy with anything except understanding the verses that he is listening to.
Indeed, the first type of person is like a blind man who does not see; and the second is like a person who sees but looks in the opposite direction. Both do not perceive the Quran. The third type is like a person who sees and looks at his target, follows it with his eyes and meets it in the middle, not far or near. This is the person who really perceives it. Subhan Allah!
So, without further delay, let’s start understanding and reflecting what we read each day insha Allah.
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We pray Allah help us perform our prayers in the best way that pleases Him Aameen.