All praise is due to Allah. We praise Him, seek His assistance and His forgiveness. We believe in Him and place our trust in Him. We seek refuge in Allah from the mischief of our souls and our bad actions. He whom Allah guides no one can mislead him, and he whom Allah misleads no one can guide him. We bear testimony that there is no god except Allah. He is alone and has no partner and we bear testimony that our leader Muhammad is His servant and messenger.
Last week, we discussed some errors in the act of joining salat, it may not be extensive because some errors are daily being committed by some who are ignorant of the rules of performing salat. No doubt, that will give them a guide on the proper way of doing it. But according to some of the reports we get, errors such as looking around, raising the voice so loud to distract others among others will be treated today.
*As far as looking around unnecessarily is concerned, it is a deficiency in the salat of the worshipper. Our body must not be turned in another direction away from the Qiblah, it must also not be away from the sujood point. If however the entire body is turned then the salat is invalidated. At_-Tirmidhi also collected an authentic hadith which says: Be warned of turning or looking around in the salat because it is destruction. And there are other a hadith on looking around in the salat.
Closing the eyes for no reason: This is an objectionable act (makruh). Some scholars have said closing the eyes was not from the guidance of the Prophet. If it is so and if there are no precedence on the act, then why should it be a norm in prayer. Some scholars of fiqh have differed on its detestability. Some deemed it detestable and they said that it was of the habits of the Jews. However, some foreign scholars, a group of them, ruled it permissible without any detestablility and they said that it may indeed be a closer means of achieving nearness to Allah. Since there is no standing rule on it, and if keeping the eyes open has no detrimental effect upon achieving closeness to Allah then it is preferable to do it.
*Raising the voice in recitation to the point of distracting those around. It is recommended (mustahabb) that one hears himself, not to the point that it interrupts anyone who is reciting the Qur’an or making salat. The Prophet said: O people, each of you is seeking salvation from his Lord therefore do not overpower one another with your recitation.
*Raising the feet from the ground in sujood. This is against the teachings of the Prophet. The Prophet (s.a.w) was ordered to prostrate upon seven limbs and not to tuck up the hair or the clothes: the forehead (including the nose), the (palms of the) two hands, the knees and the two feet. So the one praying is commanded to pray with the two feet touching the ground.
*Not caring to learn the rules of salat. This is other than what Muslim should do. No doubt salat is the greatest of the Islamic pillars requiring bodily action. Allah commands its performance _ “Iqamis-Salat” (Perform the salat) It is not possible to perform it without having knowledge of its fundamentals or knowing how the Prophet did it. There is no room for ignorance of the rules, knowing its prerequisites or its essential parts, obligations, the rules for making up for errors and the like are fundamentals and as important as the salat. It is therefore important to get acquainted with the rules.
Improper recitation of the Qur’an: This is an open deficiency and the right of the Qur’an is that it be read correctly without aberration and the Muslim should strive to improve and excel in its recitation properly according to the Arabic language, with clarity and free from distortion.
Walking away right after teslim, at the end of prayer, and neglecting zhikr is also not good after salat. The worshipper should be patient enough to do zhikr which is also an important part of the salat. Reciting subhanal-Lah 33 times, alhamdu Lilah 33 times, Allahu Akbar 33 times, La ilaha illal_Laah 10 times and reciting ayat al_Kursiyy (Qur’an 2 vrs 255) is part of salat.
Endeavour to focus on your prayer and imagine that you are standing before Allah. Intention should be in the heart. That is the real place of getting full concentration. Intend that you are praying to Allah Almighty and only for His sake and focus on the prayer you are making. Is it an obligatory prayer or a supererogatory one? Are you praying Fajr, Zuhr, ‘Asr, Maghrib or ‘Isha’ and any other prayer? How many prayer units or rakahs you intend to pray and whether you are praying alone or with the congregation? The clearer you are in your intention, the better will be your attention and concentration.
Next week, Insha Allah, we will discuss points that will help in keeping concentration while praying and the suplication for that purpose recommended by the Prophet in that regard.
Keep yourself pure and clean as much as you can.
May Allah guide us to and make it easy for us. Amen.