Uthman ibn Affan narrated that he heard Rasulullah saying:Muslim
“Any Muslim who observes an obligatory prayer perfecting the wudoo, the kushoo’ and the rukoo’, Allah will forgive his or her sins, except the major sins, and this is forever.”
Having our sins wiped away every time we make wudu and pray salaah, is an amazing opportunity. We are constantly sinning throughout the day. Some that we are aware of and some we are unaware of.
It could be the way we talk to our parents, it could be a look, a smile, a body movement, a raised voice and so on. Having our sins forgiven is huge.
What we sometimes forget is that making wudu is an act of worship. We are gaining good deeds and losing bad deeds by making wudu. If we keep this in mind, then it will go a long way in concentrating for the salaah to come.
In order to perfect our prayer we must have kushoo’, or focus, in our prayer. To gain this, we have to put ourselves in the right mindset. It’s like when you’re studying for a test. If you were playing video games a minute before, you won’t be in the right study mindset for at least a couple of minutes after. And if you constantly distract yourself while studying, then you’ll never be in the right mindset, and you’ll see that it takes longer to understand the material.
Same thing can be said for our prayer. Making wudu is a chance to be in the correct mindset. Saying the Athan and iqamah is a chance to be in the correct mindset. Everything we say within the prayer is a chance to be in the right mindset. But all of these things require concentration and discipline.
To help discipline ourselves, I’ve made a short list of some things we can do.
- We can have a special spot in our house that is reserved only for Islamic acts, like reading Islamic books. We already know that when we go to that special spot we only do those specific acts. It’s why in most cases reading Quran from the Mushaf (the book) is superior to reading it on the phone, because the phone also has texting, Youtube, Facebook, notifications and so on to distract us from reading.
- Understanding what we are saying will completely change our prayers. How useless would it be to pray in Chinese or Korean, when we don’t know Chinese or Korean? The words might be nice, but if we don’t know their meanings, then of what use is it for us? The purpose of the prayer isn’t body and tongue movements, but its to be a reminder for ourselves, and a means of communicating with our Lord. But how will we do that if we don’t even know what we are saying.
For most of us getting to that level of knowing Arabic might be really hard. So while we are on that journey of learning Arabic, we can at least memorize the translation of the Surahs we recite and the dua we say in our prayer, so that at least during the prayer we know most of what we are saying Alhamdulilah.
- Pray when you are relaxed. It’s very hard to concentrate on the prayer if we are in a hurry, have to use the bathroom, extremely tired and so on. We have to calm our hearts and realize that prayer truly is the most important thing we can do, and it is deserving of our full attention.
The Prophet PBUH said: “The first action for which a servant of Allah will be held accountable on the Day of Resurrection will be his prayers. If they are in order then he will have succeeded, but if they are lacking, then everything will be lacking.”
May Allah grant us prosperity in our actions.
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