5 Tips to Attain Focus in Solat

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Modern day living has made work part of a daily (weekday) routine , solat coming almost like an afterthought . When a solat during that period is performed , it is often done with distractions in mind , making khusyuk in solat that much more challenging . In fact , this just not only applies to working , but also affects all corners of society that have many distractions in this day and age .

Khusyuk in literal terms is the focus that is put into the performing of the solat . The catalyst is from the heart , and its affects are generated throughout the entire body . A focused mind on the solat means the body will become connected and the whole thing becomes a somewhat out of body experience .

During prayer , a Muslim is literally in contact with Allah SWT , the recitations are literally straight to Him . The most essential part in getting khusyu' is through Humility . Anything that stimulates humility will be focused from here on .

Here are 5 tips on how to attain khusyuk in solat . There are so many to give but here are the most notable.

1. Not praying when feeling sleepy

Just like how driving is dangerous when under the influence or fatigue , feeling sleepy while praying is a huge distraction . The focus needed is hampered by the constant thought of a nice bed to sleep on , energy levels are not optimum for this task .

Anas ibn Maalik said, “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “If any one of you feels sleepy when he is praying, he should sleep until he [is rested enough to] know what he is saying,” i.e., he should take a nap until he no longer feels drowsy. (Reported by al-Bukhari, no. 210) .

This hadith also includes fard prayers, when a person is confident that he will still have enough time to pray after taking a nap .

2. Centre of focus

Just like the first point on driving a car , there must be a centre of focus when performing a solat . All focus must stay away from outside distractions of daily living and focus solely on the actions during solat and appreciate meanings of the surahs recited .

Using the analogy of driving a car , when the centre of focus is taken off the driving aspect and losing it completely , an accident most definitely can occur with deadly consequences . Well , not having khusyuk in solat is definitely not deadly (that's just overstating) , but remaining focused on the solat won't hurt anything in real life . Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is the Most Gracious in still giving health, money and time to His worshippers everyday .

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

"Part of the perfection of one's Islam is his leaving that which does not concern him."

(Reported by al-Tarmizi)

3. Not praying when one needs to answer the call of nature 

No doubt one of the things that can prevent proper khusyuk is praying when one needs to go to the washroom . Specifically those who have very sensitive bowels and bladders . This can be dodgy at best .

If anyone is in this position, they should leave prayer , even if it's congregational prayer, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “If any one of you needs to go to the toilet, and the prayer has begun, he should go to the toilet first.” (Reported by Abu Dawood, no. 88; Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 299)

This also is applied to the urge to pass wind .

4. Visualize 

Always try to remind oneself that you are standing in front of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), pray as though you see Him; and if you cannot do that, then be aware that He is definitely seeing you. As you recite, visualize the Arabic words of each surah. Do not close your eyes, but focus on the place of sujood.

Maintaining that focus can detract any distraction outside .

5. Not praying when there is food prepared that one wants to eat 

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Do not pray when there is food prepared.” (Reported by Muslim, no. 560).

Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “If the dinner is served and the time for prayer comes, eat dinner before praying Salaat al-Maghrib, and do not rush to finish your meal.” According to another report: “If dinner has been put out and the iqaamah has been given for prayer, eat dinner first and do not rush to finish it.” (Agreed upon. Al-Bukhari, Kitaab al-Aadhan, Baab idhaa hadara al-ta’aamu wa uqeemat al-salaah; Muslim, no. 557-559).

These hadiths have a common theme . Food that has been prepared must take precedence over performing the solat , this is an exception to the rule of must adhering to solat . If someone were to perform the solat while having thoughts of a meal in mind can serve as a huge distraction to khusyuk in solat .

This is why having a fulfilled mind can have a good effect on tasks performed .

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