Ramadan 2011 Prep Tip #4: Improve the quality of the Fard salah
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Yes, I said the “fard” (obligatory) salah because:
1) That is the first thing that we will be asked about
2) Unfortunately, many people don’t pray the other prayers.
3) Quantity without quality is not of much use. So, there’s not much point in us praying all the voluntary prayers without feeling any sort of khushoo (humility).
[Not that I’m asking anyone to stop praying the voluntary prayers. DON’T STOP.
I’m just saying that we need to work on the quality of the prayers too.]
So, how can we improve on the quality? Excellent question.
I’ve posted a lot of articles, books and lectures on this in the past. However, I’m just going to mention a few things in brief today:
1) Make sure that you pray 5 times a day
See, you can’t have quality without any quantity.
For all those who are struggling to pray 5 times a day, here are some tips:
a) Be serious about praying 5 times a day.
It’s as simple as that. When I decided (many years ago) to get serious, I made sure that nothing came in the way of me and my prayers. Nothing.
Wherever I was, I would make sure I prayed within the permitted time.
b) Do lots of dua and istighfar (seeking forgiveness).
c) Remember the grave consequences of not praying.
d) Schedule your life around the prayer timings.
So, if you have to go out somewhere, think about when and where you will be able to pray. You need to plan all of this beforehand so that you don’t end up missing any prayer.
e) Keep a reminder for each prayer in case you’re very forgetful.
You can also ask one of your family members or friends to remind you or give you a missed call for each prayer.
This is not a permanent solution of course, but you could do it for a few weeks until you’re able to remember to pray on your own.
2) Try to pray at the earliest times
Praying early means:
1) Doing an act that Allah loves and
2) Relieving ourselves of an obligation so we won’t have that “Oh, I need to go pray” feeling at the back of our minds.
For the brothers: Please pray in the masjid in congregation.
3) Try to renew your wudhu for every salah
This really helps in reviving oneself and it will also erase our minor sins.
4) Don’t rush
Sorry, what do you have to after prayer?
As a lecturer pointed out, is there anything more important than this?
It’s ironic. We rush because we want to have more time to do other things yet what happens is exactly the opposite.
Because we rushed, we get punished by having no barakah (blessings) in our time and therefore we have less time, not more.
I’ve always noticed that when I rush and ramble in my salah, I have zero percent khushoo.
However, when I pray slowly and pay attention to what I’m saying, it’s a different ballgame.
Memorise what, you ask?
Some new surahs and duas so that you don’t just autopilot your way through the old ones (that you know like the back of your palm).
7) Do dua
Yes, we have to ask Allah for this (and everything else).
8) Enjoy youself
No, really, if we don’t enjoy having a conversation with Allah, what else will we feel joy in doing?
These steps are simple but we need to be focused.
I’ll talk about the sunnah prayers in the next tip, insha-Allah.
For more insight into this khushoo business, here is an older post on it.
May Allah make us of those who have khushoo in their prayers. Ameen.