Very early in the 50% course brother Abdulazeez gives us a very important prayer tip. He tells us not to rush through our recitations as if we have to catch a bus afterwards. He advises us instead to pause between each verse and reflect on the meaning of what we’ve just recited.
There are many prescribed types of pauses for public recitations, but to know these you should consult experts in this area. For now let’s talk about the benefits of pausing after each verse in salah and when reciting out loud in informal settings like home and with friends.
When you pause and reflect on what you’re saying during recitations, wonderful things can happen.
- Questions with which you entered prayer seem to get answered.
- Life’s difficulties somehow grow less ominous.
- The meanings of the verses open up, and your mind comprehends what it couldn’t see before.
- A decision you’ve been wrestling with may suddenly become clear.
- You may realise sins that you didn’t know you were hiding from yourself and so be able to repent, seek forgiveness, and change.
The pause principle can be generalised from private prayer to reciting surahs to friends or family members, or when teaching children. When you recite, in addition to saying ‘’Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim’’ consider briefly stopping between each phrase to let it sink in and take root in the listener’s ear as well as your own. In addition to benefitting the speaker and the hearer, this also shows a marked degree of respect for the message, the prophet (saws), and Allah (swt).
Pausing during recitation is also sunnah.
When Umm Salamah (ra) was asked about the recitation of the Messenger of Allaah, she said: ‘He used to pause after each verse.’ [Ahmad and Abu Daawood]
This hadith refers to Surat Al-Fatiha recitation during salah, but extending the pause practice to the other surahs that we quote during rakah can also bring unexpected rewards.
Aw, Do I Have to?
No. Pausing between verses is recommended, not required. Allah (swt) doesn’t need your focussed attention. But focussing your attention on Him by reflecting deeply and often on His words is one of the best ways to improve your conscious contact with Him.
As we often say here at Understand Quran Academy, prayer is amazing, and it’s even more amazing when you know what you’re saying. Today let’s add to this that prayer with pauses is more than amazing; it’s a way of opening yourself up even more to the loving guidance of your creator.
If you haven’t done so already, try praying with meaningful pauses between each verse of the surahs you recite, using this time to open yourself to the meaning of the verse. It could give your deen a whole new dimension.
May your minds and hearts be opened,
The Understand Quran Academy Team