- Sit down to meditate before starting your prayer
Take a moment to clear your head. Put all the things you’re trying to remember and that forever running to-do list aside. It’ll take some time, but run through them all and then tell yourself – NONE of those things is more important than Allah (Allah-hu Akbar) and NONE of them are achievable without Allah. Allah never asked you to worry, he asked you to pray to Him. So leave all those thoughts to Him and give Him your full attention.
2. Learn the Quraanic words and meaning of what you’re praying
We know the meaning of what we’re praying to some extent, but most of us still have trouble connecting to the Arabic we’re reciting because we’ve been in the habit of reading it quickly and precisely for so long. Recite each word thinking about it’s direct meaning and then move onto the next word. It might feel like a lot of effort – but guess what – it is. And it’s the effort you’ll be rewarded for.
3. Take your time with prayer – slow down!
We’re so used to praying from an age when we didn’t really understand what we were doing or why we were doing it, so we’re stuck in a habit of reading quickly and thinking very little.
Remember not to rush to get it done. Whatever it is you think you’re rushing for, can wait. Allah’s timing is perfect and we certainly don’t dedicate enough of our time to Allah. We were prescribed with 5 daily prayers so that we could remind ourselves that our life rotates around Allah. Whether we show up to what we’re working on, on the side or not, Allah’s the one who controls its outcome.
Take the moment to feel that Allah is with you in your salaah and every time your mind wonders, He’s asking you what is more important than Him.
4. Extend your sujood
When you’ve lost your concentration for the 100th time in only two rakaats, just extend your sujood. While you’re reciting become aware of your posture. You’re bowing – in totally submission – as we should always be to Allah. A Sufi is one who goes into Sujood and never gets up. You’re the closest to Allah at this moment. Acknowledge that you are nothing and only by the power of Allah are you able to get up.
5. Imagine a scenario where your concentration would be highest
We fall into the trap of just reading a salaah because we know we have to. But imagine you’re praying in front of the actual Ka’ba. Imagine it was your last salaah on earth. Imagine you’re praying in your grave. Imagine you’re praying in Jamaat with the Saaliheen.