Afterall what is it that God wants, (Sheik Arif asks)? Does He want us to bow down and prostrate even more? Offer more prayers? Go to even more pilgrimages? Well if that’s what He wanted then he could have created a thousand more Gabriels who would continually offer such worship. Who would continouly sing His praises more loudly and deeply than we ever can. Why settle for the measely bird-pecking worship that we offer?
If there’s anything that God wants from us, it’s change. It’s to constantly become better and grow from within. Growth physically, mentally and spiritually. One method to attain such growth is to strive for a betterment in the quality of our worship.
Concentration in Prayer is important. Why, because it’s the one single indicator of your taqwa/piety levels. Want to know how’s your relationship with God? your level of faith? Ask yourself how much is your focus during namaaz. Afterall what does God want? It’s not more prayers, but better prayers. Not for Him, but for us.
Here are 15 tips that can help you achieve greater concentration in prayers:
1. Watch your thoughts not just during prayers but the whole day: Thoughts lead to actions. The No.1 method to improve concentration in prayers, is by improving our state of God consciousness throughout the day. Ask/Tell yourself:
– How will this activity of mine pleasing God?
– Aren’t I so fortunate to have men who obey me?
– I enjoy a pleasant life, I am privileged and honoured, and I am safe from many calamities and misfortunes.
– Sure I may have this problem at work, but that’s because I have work.
It’s because we think of God very little during the day and are more preoccupied with of worldly affairs, it’s those thoughts that still distract us when standing on the prayer mat. The mind rarely is in ‘the Now’ and is mostly in the past or future. Once you have been practicing to remain God Conscious throughout the day:
– you’ll get better at changing your focus back to prayers because you’ve been practicing it all day, every day
– even after losing your focus it’s more likely that you’ll have God in your thoughts, because that’s Whom you’ve been thinking about all day.
2. Recollect your Hajj trip: If you have been to Hajj or Umra, recall the awe when you saw the Ka’ba for the first time. How you couldn’t stop the tears rolling down your face. The peace and serenity you experienced then. When doing Sajdah bring the same deep emotions through you when doing the first Sajdah inside Masjidul Harram.
3. A Hadith: “Realise that whatever it is that your thoughts are diverted to, the One whom you are praying to has more control on it’s outcome than you do.” ~ Paraphrase of a Hadith I read, apologies for the lack of reference.
4. Wudhu: If you want to increase your focus in prayer, increase your focus during Wudhu. Download this pdf of duas to be recited when doing wudhoo. Have it laminated and with double sided scotch tape stick it over the sink where you do your wudhoo. Because it’ll always be in front of you, it will be that much easier to recite it regularly.
5. The Call to Prayer: A simple method to increase concentration immediately in your very next namaaz is just to, recite Azaan and Iqamah before beginnig prayers. Even if you are alone. Especially if you are alone. Try it. It really works.
O’ Abu Dhar! Be like him, who in a deserted place (though alone),
calls Adhan and Iqamah (Call for Prayer) and says his Prayer. So your
Lord says to the angels, Look at My servant! He is praying and no one
sees him but Me? Then descend 70,000 Angels and pray behind him Then descend 70,000 Angels and pray behind him and seek forgiveness for him until the next day.
~ Concentration in Prayer by Jameel Kermali
6. Know before you speak: You can focus in your prayer only if you are 100% clear on the meaning of the Surahs and the zikrs that are being recited. The best investment you can give to your spiritual life is to read the translation what’s recited and be clear on each and every zikr in namaaz. Sometimes we have an idea on what the meaning of the zikr is but don’t know it precisely. It helps to have the extra bit of clarity on the meaning and know exactly what it is we are reciting.
7. Think about it: Once you know the meaning of what’s being recited, take a pause, go through the zikr in your head. Reflect upon it. Then recite it.
8. Reciting these two verses before you begin prayer:
6:79 Surely I have turned myself, being upright, wholly to Him Who originated the heavens and the earth, and I am not of the polytheists.
6:162 Say. Surely my prayer and my sacrifice and my life and my death are (all) for Allah, the Lord of the worlds;
9. Qunoot: It’s said that, “reciting a longer qunoot is preferable than reciting a longer zikr because it’s during qunoot one experiences greater closeness to his Lord.” (once again I’m paraphrasing and apologies for no reference). Here?s a link to all the duas in Quran that can be recited in Qunoot. Recite a different dua than the one you are used to reciting.
10. Recite different surahs. If it’s Surah Ahad that you recite regularly. There are other Surahs that we’ve memorised but never recite in namaaz. For eg. majority of muslims have memorised the Four Surahs that begin with Qul. Recite those and reflect on it’s meanings.
11. Pray when it’s time. First things first. When we give God priority, He gives us His priority. Look forward to the time when it’s prayer and then drop whatever you are doing to go and pray. Make this especially true for yourself if you’re traveling. (By the way, Click here to see a wonderful Nasheed by Dawud Wharnsby titled, “All the earth is a place of worship.”)
12. Apply perfume: Purchase a small scented bottle and keep it right next to your prayer mat. Apply it on yourself before begining prayer. If possible a designated pair of clothes. It’s a way of telling God that you giving importance to your appearance hence to your prayer.
13. Location, location, location: When not traveling have a designated place to pray. Keep the place clean and clear of mirrors, pictures, anything that may cause distraction.
14. Keeping the light in the room low. It’s a different feeling altogether.
15. Practice. You’ll get there.
This post is a summary of key learnings from the book Concentration in Prayer and the lecture (part1 & part2) by Dr. Murtaza Alidina on Understanding Namaaz.
Other resources on Prayer and to help in it’s concentration:
Adabus Salaat – The Disciplines of Prayer – A Book by Imam Khomeini
Lecture by Brother Faahim Rashid – On the Importance of Prayer
Salaat for Beginners – A Guide for beginners on how to perform wudhoo and pray
Thannks, it was interesting,
Glad you like it Venkat.
Dear Arif Sir
its a great article,How to Concentrate in Prayer. Know before you speak, Apply perfume, Watch your thoughts not just during prayers but the whole day.
I went point by point its a very intresting one, thank you very much, please keep on sending.
Subhan Allah JazakAllah o hussaini youth
Whoever sorts out a problem of a believer, God sorts out his difficulties of this world and the here-after
-Ali Ibn Abi Talib
These tricks work. I perform my day prayers in a mosque near my office and all the times i’m occupied with the work related issues.
Today, i engrossed myself in dua and remembering Allah all the way from the office to the mosque, too deep breaths while performing wudhu, sat down on the prayer mat and praised Allah and asked for his shelter from shaitaan. I was telling myself that i will now be performing namaaz and Subhan Allah i found myself performing namaaz with much better concentration then i would have earlier.
May the Almighty Allah send all his blessing to you and make the hardships of qayamat easy for you two.
Yaa Sahebuz Zamaan Adrikni.
Dear Adeel Bhai,
Thanks for the wonderful comment. Honestly speaking, my concentration has not been too great these days. But your comment has certainly inspired me to try and focus harder. Jazakallah Khair.
very good way of bringing about concentration… God bless u
excellent article..hope you dont mind if i share your article in my islamic oriented website- http://www.literarysection.org
Dear Sadiq bhai,
Mashallah you have put up a very nice website cataloguing really good material. Inshallah will be visiting their in future when looking for some lectures to listen on my way to and form work.
Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. :) Cheers! Sandra. R.
Wondrful advice brother and please be sure to recite surat Al-Ikhlaas in at least one ruk3a as a prayer without would be incomplete.
Please also read http://www.heliwave.com/Soul.and.Spirit.pdf for a deeper meaning of what we say:
Allah Akbar = God is bigger (not biggest or gretest) but bigger.
That is bigger that anything you can imagine even infinity.
Just remember how Allah Al-Knowing uses the shortest chapter of the Quran (Al-Kawthar) to talk about the plentiness of the descendents of the Prophet (pbuh+f).
Remember Quran 5:55 when you do rakoo3 and how Imam Ali gave his ring to the poor and do so if you can at least once in your life.
Remember that when you do sijood and sittting up twice every ruk3a, you are actually emulating life and death twice as per Quran 2:28:
?????? ??????????? ????????? ????????? ?????????? ????????????? ????? ??????????? ????? ??????????? ????? ???????? ???????????
[Shakir 2:28] How do you deny Allah and you were dead and He gave you life? Again He will cause you to die and again bring you to life, then you shall be brought back to Him.
God > infinity
That was a interesting read|. Your insights were very educational and made me reconsider the latest trends in these areas. If only more writers are as mindful and as passionate about educating everyone relating to these issues as you, we aspiring journalists would not get such a bad rep. Appreciate expressing your self so articulately. You made my day.
Dear Arif, (we have the same name :) )
Thanks for a wonderful post. Really appreciated the way you noted down the strong points that one has to keep in mind always.
Another thing that i found which personally works for me is, when i am distracted during prayer, i immediately make it a point to realize that i am distracted, and i say ‘Audhu Billahi mina Shaythani Rajeem’ and ‘Astaghfirullah’. and return to where i was in prayer. It works for me. I make it that way. :) But concentrations do lapse at times. Have to work on it.
btw. the links on the translation of the verses is showing an error. Kindly correct it. :)
May Allah shower his blessings on you and your crowd.
Beautifully paraphrased. Thank you!
Jazakallah, thanks Badr.
Wow SubhanAllah… and Jazakallahu Khair…
Assalamu alaikum wa rahmathullahi wabarathuhu
thank u for posting the usefull article in every muslims life.if a muhmin follow the tips u have mentioned will be close to almighty allah hu thahala…
One tip i would like to add in addition to your 15 is “pray as if you die today after your prayer”.Think you are jailed and will be hanged today.You are doing namaz for your last time in duniya.That would be the best namaz you can do in your whole life in duniya.Thinking this will make every your namaz the best.
May allah accept all our prayers and forgive all the sins
assalamu alaikum wa rahmathullah
thanks a lot……May Allah bless u!! :)
IT WAS NICE ARTICLE…INS SHA ALLAH .LET EVERY ONE WILL BE BENEFITED FORM IT…MAY ALLAH BLESS YOU ARIF……!!!!
nice mashallah must use add on facebook and like it . use in future
i need to ask things ps but laytr insh
Really nice tips, especially the first one, keeping Allah in our thoughts throughout the whole day,
May Allah bless all us to worship Him in the best manners.
Salaam, Thank you for posting the useful text and I even listen to your lectures just great I pray it helps all our sis and brothers thanks again
Jazakallah! I have just started the topic of perpetration of Salaah and hope you don’t mind me using the above with reference to you..I my self am striving to work hard on concentration of Salaah and hope thru teaching I can do so..any idea where i can get real life stoiries of ordinary people who have been helped by wudhu with concentration ?
This is very good. I think these principles are true in any religion and you have explained it well. It is useful for people of all faiths in my opinion.
yes very interesting please send details of how to do namaz and what prayers during namaz
god bless you
Salam, Thank you very much brother i feel this will help me a lot.
it is very helpful for people who don`t know what to do to pray namaaz
may Allah guide you to the right path and reward you Janaat in the
assalamoalykkum w r b,
I’d been trying to find a group of people who like discussing on the subject of “concentration in salah”. I have some questions and also I have some interesting info to share.
I was trying to concentrate in salah for a long time and for some time I thought concentration in salah is impossible. Those days I had multiple other problems and I guess many have similar problems in life. Firstly I used to have heck of problems in my day to day life. Its like some one is creating tensions for me everywhere I go. Secondly it used to be difficult for me to escape certain types of haram (especially in terms of haram of eyes).
I’d been thinking about a sudden change in my life in the recent times (close to an year). First of all, all the problems that I used to face in my life stopped all of a sudden and life started feeling like a downhill cycling experience. No tensions and no irritating events, no anxiety.. Secondly I started escaping all harams that used to bother me. Earlier I used to struggle to escape those, but now I don’t have to force my self, coz it doesn’t happen at all.
I started analysing the reasons for the change, and the only change i’m feeling is that now im able to concentrate in salah. Earlier even if I want to concentrate on salah, I would hardly concentrate in the first rakah or a part of it. After that I’ll lose concentration until almost the final salam. and some times it used to get a little better, but not a lot. But now a days I concentrate during most of the salah except for a few seconds when some thoughts flash through my mind. Even during that time the thoughts don’t remain in my mind for more than a couple of seconds.
I think the change in my life can only be due to this, coz there is no other major change in terms of closeness to Allah. I dont do a lot of sunnah prayers or nafl prayers. As a matter of fact the number of nafl has decreased in the recent times except for the fact that the duration of my salah has increased. Has any one felt the same in your life? I want to confirm if its because of salah or not. Please share your experiences if any.
Cheers to you brother for this.
ijaz ur comment is really helpfull
Jazakallah khaire for the useful tips to concentrate in Salaat they will be very helpful INSHALLAH. May AllAH SBWT reward you for your efforts.