This is a common problem which each and every Muslim faces, including me. So let us learn and unlearn few things that will help us to deal with this issue. If incase some of you don’t wish to know or some already have reached that level of piety (taqwa) then please do not read further. As this is for those who are looking to sincerely please their Maker and are ready to learn and unlearn.
So the most common thing what I have noted is our attitude towards the most important duty of a Muslim. We consider it just a mere exercise or a daily chore. So we either are in a rush to get it done somehow or we laze around to delay it with doing things that we feel are more important than Salah. For example, a movie or a cricket match or social media or chatting over the phones or shopping and the list goes on and is endless for each individual. And we know ourselves better, so we don’t need to lie to ourselves. Hence we need to work on this attitude of ours. We need to give it’s importance the way it deserves and we should really respect the act coz it takes its place after our Iman (belief & faith). And more importantly we need to cut down the acts of sins, in fact erase or delete them entirely from our lives!
Once the attitude of ours is set then we can work on other things around it. Like it has been a common practice to just offer our Salah the way we wish without any preparation for the same. Yeah I know we all perform our wudhu but is that enough is my question?
Many among us do not care about what we wear, how we look and how we smell. Remember this that we are meeting our Lord, Our creator and He is the Exalted One and deserves every bit of respect. Imagine if we were to meet a minister or president or a king of a country, we would be dressed for the occasion and smelling well just coz your meeting a human who has some lofty position in this world. Don’t u think Allah is the King of all Kings! He is One who bestows us with everything that we have with us today. So can’t we change that in us when we are going to meet Him in the form of Salah. So dress well and be neat and clean.
I have experienced myself people just come to the masjid without washing their mouth well and so we have to bear the bad smell that emanates from their mouth and sometimes they sweat and it smells so bad that a person next to him might collapse. These are simple etiquettes which we can work on. Thus it will help us in two ways, one we are pleasing our Maker and second we are not being the reason of displeasure for our own brothers in faith.
There are many Hadiths which I have come across that our prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) forbade those who came to masjid with such bad odor either by eating lot of onions and garlic or by not cleaning up themselves, as cleanliness is an essential part of Islam and sadly which many have conveniently deleted from their lives.
The next thing what we need to do is learn the meaning of Surahs that we recite, this helps us in understanding what we are actually uttering coz then that brings in to it feelings. And feelings are an essential part of any relationships. Now this is our most important relationship, our relationship with Our Maker. We being slaves of Allah, we need to get our feelings for Him. We need to cry for our acts of sins that we do on daily basis and beg for whatever u wish from Him alone.
Remember the sujood is the place where we get the closest to Our Maker! So use it to ask whatever u wish and even if u don’t know arabic, ask in your own language but with sincere feelings. Allah willing, He will accept it.
Lastly we need to develop the feeling that Allah is hearing what we say and seeing what we do. This is termed as ‘Khushu’ which actually means our sincerity towards our Maker which can only come if we believe that Allah sees and hears everything. And this should reflect by your words what u speak and acts that you do!
So if you all can try to implement these things and avoid the things which you all feel are wrong and have got used to do due to ignorance or arrogance, then InshaAllah we can focus in our Salah and make our Salah like those of the Sahabas. And our lives will be much better in this world with peace and contentment.
In the end just a small tip, which can play as a secret recipe for getting the best salah out from you for your Maker. Read as if the salah that your offering will be the last prayer that you can offer to your Maker! Like a farewell prayer and then see the difference it makes. Just by imagining that it can be the last time you will be bowing your head on the ground for your Maker sends shivers down your spine, isn’t it? That can make a world of difference to your focus in Salah.
Last but not the least, just keep seeking repentance from Allah and beg Him for His mercy to enable us to worship Him in the best possible way.
May Allah help one and all!
Do share if you want to help those whom u know, as helping one another is an act of charity!
© Dr. Nisar Ahmad bin Ibrahim