No matter which sect they follow, no Muslim on planet earth has ever questioned the importance of Salah (the five daily prayers prescribed in Islam). They are obligatory and that’s that. However, we are so caught up with our monotonous routines and hectic schedules that we barely make time to offer it. But is that how it should be? The answer is a BIG BIG NO. As a Muslim, you are not just required to offer but to constantly improve your Salah. It does not do to pray in a trance or have your mind wandering. It does not even do to pray hurriedly.
Scholars of Islam say that if you are to improve your Salah, we have to pray every prayer like it’s our last. Imagine knowing that this is the last prayer of your life! You’ll pour out all your heart, emotions and tears into it.
Well, then who guarantees you that it’s not?
Who has even known the time of death?
“Out of all the ways through which my servant gets closer to Me, Salah is the dearest to Me” (Bukhari).
Because it one Allah’s favorite deeds, to improve your Salah is as important as offering it on time.
Here is how you can improve your Salah:
Prepare for it
When we go for an important meeting, event, occasion or party, do we just barge into it, completely unkempt? or do we first put on our finest clothes, perfume ourselves, appear presentable and then participate.
Well then, if we can put so much effort for a meeting, why can’t we prepare ourselves for our Salah in a similar way?
Wear clean clothes and have fresh air blowing into the room. Perfume your Musalla (so that when you fall down in Sujood, you like to stay there for long) and yourself. Just sit there five minutes before prayer and renew your intentions.
The idea of Salah is to invoke God consciousness in you. Enter into it completely aware that you are going to stand before HIM.
Understand what you recite
To feel the sweetness of Salah, to REALLY improve your Salah, you must understand whatever you recite during it. When you don’t understand, your mind will begin to wander. When you utter each phrase slowly and knowingly, your concentration will improve. And you will be able to experience the true beauty of connecting with Allah.
If you want to improve your salah, do not rush through it. It is your only conversation with God so make sure you stretch it for as long as possible. Scholars even suggest that if you are feeling hunger, eat first and then pray rather than rushing throughout your prayer. Be sure to contemplate over on every step and posture of your salah. For example, when you are bowing in Ruku or Sujood, understand that you are bowing to the King of kings. Take your time with each and every part of the prayer. There is no prayer dearer to our Lord than that which is said whole-heartedly.
Now that you know the three golden steps to improve your Salah, try to implement them and feel the tranquility your prayer brings to your life!