Fatwa ID: 05644
Answered by: Mufti Jamal Ahmed
How do you avoid losing concentration/focus during Salah?
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Imam Gazali says there are two causes for losing concentration in Salah. One is external and the other is internal. External cause is noise and sounds, therefore, a person should try to pray in a quiet place. Internal causes are thoughts, stress, fear and worries etc.
The factors which contribute to this are of two types:
1) Short term, for example, hunger or thirst, the need to relieve oneself or some other work that need to be completed. To be focused in Salah, one needs to complete the task at hand or to satisfy his hunger or thirst etc.
2) Long term, this refers to the thoughts, worries and imaginations which have automatically occupied his mind and heart due to his personality, job, habits and hobbies etc. To overcome this, one needs to focus on the meanings of the ayahs of the Quran. If the thoughts are too strong, he is required to eliminate the cause of distraction. For example, Hazrat Talha, may Allah be pleased with him, gave his garden full of trees away in charity because he was distracted in Salah when a bird was trapped in one of the trees. Therefore, if a person wants to gain focus in Salah, he needs to look for the cause and get rid of it, even if he has to change his habits and hobbies. (Extracted from Kimyae Sa’adat, pg. 114, Maktabah Rahmaniyah)
When we stand in Salah we should realize that we are standing in front of Allah. We should have the awe and reverence of Allah in our minds. The more we learn about Allah the more we can focus on Salah. We should realize that we are standing in front of the all-knowing, the all-powerful, the all-mighty, and the all-seeing. Therefore, when we say Allahuakbar, we should acknowledge that Allah is the greatest and surrender to him by folding our arms in submission.
We should realize that when we read Quran we are speaking with Allah directly. When we do ruku, we should realize that we are bowing in humility in front of the king of the kings, the all-mighty. When you do sajdah, realize that a person is closest to Allah when he is in sajdah. We should perform the sajdah in total humility and humbleness. When sitting in Tashahhud we should think that we are giving an account of our deeds to Allah.
We should prepare for Salah well in advance, do wudhu properly with all its Sunnah and etiquettes. Go to the masjid if possible and perform the nawafil Salah and then do zikr whilst waiting for the Jamat. Realize that when you wait for the Jamat you get the same reward as reading Salah. It is hoped that if you adopt this procedure you will slowly gain focus in Salah Insha Allah.
Only Allah knows best.
Written by Mufti Jamal Ahmed
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham