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Passion Islam I June 2009 SPECIAL FEATURE I 21
aspects. Utilise a moderate amount and realising what sūrah to choose Initially, concentration should be
of water and desist from all worldly and recite, we are already half way developed by performing shorter (not
talk. Involvement in such talk ruins through these sūrahs. In this case, quick and hasty) salāhs while trying
the spirituality of the wudu totally. we should recite other sūrahs such as to focus in each posture. Once the
Remember! The key to salāh is wudu. Sūrah Yasin, Tabarak etc. Pronouncing desired concentration is achieved, one
So, a better wudu will surely lead to a the letters loud enough as to hear may then perform lengthier rakats of
better salāh. it yourself (but not loud enough as salāh. This was the practice of many
to disturb others) is also extremely of our pious elders.
SWITCH THE MIND OFF useful in focusing one’s attention
The stepping stone to an attentive in the salāh. We should also try to A GROSS MISUNDERSTANDING
salāh is to ensure one commences it perfect the outer postures of salāh A common understanding of an
with a tranquil and relaxed mind. To including the focusing of one’s gaze in attentive salāh is that, one should
achieve this, try and be seated in the each posture. If greater concentration be totally absorbed and oblivious of
Musjid (or the place of salāh) before is achieved by closing the eyes during one’s surroundings during the salāh.
time and recite a little amount of zikr. the salāh, then in this case only, This is incorrect. Experiencing such
Just as how the blades of the fan one may close the eyes.6 However, a condition is simply a gift from Allah
continue to rotate well after the switch the ideal would be to achieve this Y and is in no way a requirement of
is turned off, so too is the effect of all concentration by keeping them open salāh. In fact, at times this may even
activities on one’s mind. Coming early as was the Sunnah (practice) of our be a subtle scheme from Shaytan
for salāh will also secure the good Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam. to sway us away from mustering up
fortune of performing the salāh with courage and attempting to perform a
the first takbīr (takbīr ūlā) which is THE YAWNS perfect salāh. Since, one would think
extremely meritorious. More often than not, yawning is the that such a salāh is out of my reach
result of one being absent-minded and impossible for me to perform, so
CLEAR THE AREA during the salāh. Nonetheless, if I’ll just carry on with my old inattentive
Perform the salāh away from any it does occur, one should first try to one. Nevertheless, an attentive salāh
distractions such as the radio, nasheeds suppress it (by closing the mouth). simply means that one should be
which are playing, discussions of If one is unable to do so, then the aware and realise what one is doing
people, noise etc., as these naturally right hand should be used to cover during the course of the salāh. For
distract and divert the mind during the the mouth, if one is in the standing example, one should be conscious of
salāh. If possible, try to perform salāh position. Otherwise the left hand the fact that now I am reciting Sūrah
on a plain printed musalla instead of should be used if in any other posture Fatiha, or now I am going into ruku,
a heavily designed one. Otherwise, of the salāh. sajda etc. this much is sufficient when
one would be concentrating on the initially correcting our salāh.
designs and counting of the domes NOTE: It is makrūh to use the hand If after carefully practicing on these
and minarats instead of counting the to cover the mouth when yawning points, one still does not achieve the
number of rakats. during salāh if one is able to suppress desired concentration, one should
it by doing so with the mouth only.7 not be disillusioned. Remember that
TIPS Sounds such as ‘Ha...’ etc. should not concentration comes through practice
Some Úlama have recommended be uttered while yawning as this has while salāh has to be performed in
a simple though effective technique been prohibited in the Ahadith.8 all circumstances, with or without
to achieve concentration. In every concentration.
posture of salāh, one should meditate FIDDLING Shaytan will find this to be an
on only three things. These are: My The most obvious and apparent sign ideal opportunity to sway us away
Allah is watching me, My Allah is of an inattentive mind is that of fiddling from salāh with thoughts such as,
listening to me, and My Allah is aware and fidgeting. Saeed Ibn Musayyib ‘what good is your salāh if your mind
of me. With this frame of mind, one ﺭﺡﻡﻩ ﺍﻝﻝﻩ, a great Tābi’ī, once saw a is wandering all over the place?’ The
should recite the various tasbīhāt, man who was fidgeting with his beard Úlama state that our effort is to ‘try’ to
qirat etc. of the salāh. during the salāh and commented, concentrate in the event of not having
Those who are well versed in “If this man was attentive, his body achieved concentration.
Arabic should ponder over the would have (also) being motionless.”9 Allah wants to see our sincere
meanings of the verses while others If the mind is alert and attentive, attempt in developing that better
should try to learn the meanings of a subsequently, the physical body also salāh. If one entertains stray thoughts
few sūrahs, especially Sūrah Fātihah, becomes composed and tranquil. Let during the salāh, repent sincerely
since it is recited most often. Many of us avoid all unnecessary movement and make a resolute intention of
us have our set sūrahs for a 2, 3 and 4 during the salāh. improving the salāh. In addition to this
rakat salāh. Hence, on completion of brief compilation, the following books
Sūrah Fātihah, before even thinking SHORT AND SWEET should also be consulted.
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