May 22, 2008

Tips to Help Improve One’s Salah

Posted in Character, Faith786's Favorites, Fiqh, Hadith, Islam, Knowledge, Taqwa, Tazkiyah at 2:15 pm by faith786

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

***Disclaimer: I have found the following information from at least 3 different sources. I admit that it is possible that they may not be authentic, but may Allah forgive me if I accidentally convey information that may not be true, and for what ever information is true and benefits, it is from Allah.***

Tips to help you improve your salah:

  • When reciting the Quran in prayer, in your mind, try to translate it in a language you know to keep your concentration. And when thinking about the translation, contemplate the meaning of the words and how they reflect the beauty and magnificence of Allah. Then hopefully, other distracting thoughts disappear.
  • Every time you mention one of Allah’s attributes in ruku or sajdah (‘Ala, ‘Atheem), think aout how grateful you are to Allah and how indebted we are to Him. Think about the greatness behind those attributes. (Blows my mind at times)
  • Take the time in a sajdah to make an additional duaa to Allah. There was a hadith that: “A servant is nearest to his lord in sajdah, so increase your supplication in sajdah.” [Muslim]
  • Don’t do your prayer too fast OR too slow. The former obviously reflects that you don’t have time to concentrate on Allah, but during the latter, you might get physically or mentally tired. Do your prayer in a proper amount of time with as much concentration as you can possibly give to Allah.
  • Form matters. Don’t rush like little kids. It isn’t aerobics (Brother Maalik said that once). Stand straight, do ruku properly, be in sajdah with your forhead and nose on the ground. If you cannot accomplish the physical form, how can you do it in the spiritual form?
  • Pray it like you mean it. This is one of the direct forms of communication to Allah swt. I know it sounds cliche, (but it shouldn’t), pray your prayers as if they are your last. Even if you are not at home. If people on the street see you pray, let them go-it is you and Allah time. (Unless they are stealing your shoes-go get your shoes.)
  • Remember that you are facing Allah. This is your time of dialogue with Him. So don’t flood your words out. Say them clearly and precisely. You are talking to Allah, not some kid running around. So speak clearly, and say what you mean. He is our Creator.
  • Lower your gaze in prayer (and generally speaking). Don’t let the outside world distract you. In prayer, you entering the realm Allah created specifically for you and Him. So look at where you put your forhead in sajdah, because that is when you are deepest in your realm with Allah.
  • Say different verses. Don’t always stick to Ikhlaas, or the 30th parah (or at least say a good variety from the 30th parah). Allah revealed the other 29 parahs too. There is barakah in those surahs and different virtues from them. By doing so, you are concentrating on other elements of Allah’s message to you. It is good to repeat surahs that you know so that way you can say them clearly and know their meanings well, but do not restrict yourself to them. By saying other verses, you put a conscious effort to say them (rather than saying somehting you can say in your sleep). It helps your concentration.
  • BE PUNCTUAL. You are meeting Allah. Don’t be late. You can do that at weddings (because they start late anyways), but this is you and Allah time, He won’t be happy if you come late. A good Muslim is a punctual Muslim.
  • Pray when you are not physically or emotionally tired/fatigued. You should visit Allah with energy and readiness.
  • DO YOUR WUDU PROPERLY. It drives me nuts to see 20 year old people doing wudu like they are in 4th grade (actually, the 4th graders I know do their wudu better). You need to come to Allah pure. Isn’t bad to visit someone if you haven’t taken a shower or wash your face properly? Same thing here. It is also advised to wear good clothes when praying, but it is understandable that sometimes that isn’t possible. But good prayer is also dependant on good wudu. Many ‘alims encourage to try to make PERFECT wudu so you can get closer to Allah in prayer. (But don’t use too little OR too much water-that is also bad.) There is spiritual barakah in wudu, so don’t underestimate the power of wudu!
  • DO YOUR GHUSUL PROPERLY. There are some people who think you can do wudu for prayer and not have done ghusul prior. Okay, let me make this clear: A PRAYER IS INVALID IF YOU HAVEN’T DONE GHUSUL. Ghusul must be done at minimum every seven days (don’t be gross and wait to the seventh day). Some things you have to do ghusul right after (regardless of the seven day rule), otherwise you can’t pray-a woman’s monthly cycle, close relations with spouses, having wet dreams, and after the time period after a woman gives birth to a child. (I think that is all of them; there might be others.) But ghusul is critical so do it right. Muslims, we are CLEAN people….
  • Do not let prayer *sap* energy from you. You should be empowered by prayer. You should let your conversation with Allah flood you with hope, energy, life, and passion to carry on your life to the best of your ability FOR Allah. When we start doing things FOR Allah, then we begin to see the barakah and nur in everything we do and that comes to us.
  • Plan your activities, classes, and work around prayer. By doing so, not only do you have time to pray, but you start putting emphasis on prayer, both physically and psychologically. Allah will reward you for that.
  • Pray in a CLEAN place. If you have to be clean to pray, then obviously you need to pray in a clean place. And this is both in physical and psychological terms. Don’t pray in an area where the TV is blasting or in a bar (wa al-3iyaazu billah)-or wherever haram is going on. Again, Allah and you time, make sure it is in a good place.
  • Make duaa to Allah to help improve your prayer. Your prayer can’t improve without Allah’s will. =)
  • Whisper the ayahs so you can hear them, but no one else can. By hearing what you are saying, it will help you focus. But you may want to practice this *technique* before running around in jamaat and yelling your ayahs out loud.
  • Pray with your concentration (duh) and with all your love, with all your hope, with all your thanks, and with humility (meaning, some fear and awe should be in there). Naturally, it might be hard to pray with love and fear at the same time, so work on one before working on the other. A scholar once said to work on love, and with the Love of God, He will pour fear into your heart so you can love and fear Him at the same time. (Does that make sense?)

Insha ‘Allah, if I find more tips or advice, I’ll put it up here. I know that majority of them (if not, all of them) are from some ulema (Imam Al Ghazali!!!), so don’t think I am making this up. And if you think logically, what I typed makes sense….

So yeah, insha ‘Allah this will help all of our prayers! I plan on working on these in my next prayer!

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9 Comments »

  1. mother-sister said,

    jazzak-ALLAH read your notes on how 2 improve salah, was well impressed. do keep up the good work. i am forever tryin 2 get my children 2 let them know that salah is a form of life insurance. salam

  2. faith786 said,

    Walaikum Assalam,

    I feel honored that you found it helpful!

  3. Alyssah said,

    Assalamualaiukum, thank you for your wize words! I am a revert to Islam and have just learnt to pray the Salah at the age of 23!!! It is these websites and articles that really help to inspire me and really appreciate the religion of Islam!

  4. Mustak miah said,

    Salam brother,
    Jazakalahu khair reali apreciate this, may allah the exalted guide and protect u, just a questins, what if there is cigarette smell on my clothes, is it still pure

  5. Shibli Syeed Ashrafi said,

    Really pretty holy things to follow. And above all it helps to make “Khusbu” in prayer.

  6. fardosa said,

    it’s really gives me more closer to my God day after day.jazaakallahu kheir

  7. seniha said,

    MashALlah this was great. I needed this so bad… May Allah swt reward you and grant you the highest leve in Jennah Ameen..

    • Ali Farid said,

      Jazakum allahu khair


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