I belong to that group of people who get bored very easily and if I keep following a routine I soon lose my interest in it. Recently I realized, that this was one of the reason of me losing Khush’u in salah. Having to reciting the same surahs- trusty 4 Quls and few other smaller ones- for the past 8-9 years, I was…. BORED of prayer…. having to do the same set of moves 5 times a day.
So, when I finally was tired of betraying Allah continually by simply ‘Exercising’ a prayer…I searched for help *online of course* and ended up on Productive Muslim website. Check their articles here and here. (links open in new window)
I followed their advice,which, I must say,did help but only to an extent….after a few days I was losing the game. My relationship with Allah was sinking again.
I decided to take charge and spice things up.
How, you ask? By breaking the routine.
The following are the action steps I took : (well I didn’t consciously take these steps.…they just happened…it was as if Allah wanted me to make a change and have more khushu in my prayer)
–Learn new surahs: I started off by learning new surahs from Juz 30 and eventually went on to memorize the full Juz. Now I am on my 2nd Goal- to memorize Juz Tabarak (29).Check this website for tips to memorize the quran.(again,link opens in a new window)
The most effective action item is,to recite the new surahs that you learn in your salah. Oh boy! If you want to make one change out of the list I’ve made, adopt this one!!
It will help you loads. Most of my friends swear by this method.
When you try to recall the surah out of your memory…you actually feel your presence in the prayer. Your mind is in the present and not wandering about anywhere else..like thinking about your next blog post,the food you will eat after praying or the studying you’ve got to finish. No. None of that! Only Allah and You recalling the surah you recently memorized.
–Try to pray in congregation…Oh My Allah! This one tip has been extremely helpful regarding my concentration in salah. At home, I never used to pray in congregation but when I moved to the hostel, my lovely seniors invited me to join their daily Fajr and Isha congregation. I must say,this was extremely beneficial for my khushu in salah.
I started off praying in congregation for Fajr, slowly included Isha in it too,Alhamdulillah! Recently, I started to pray Dhur with congregation along with my colleagues in the university mosque. Its actually an enjoyable experience when we friends stand together shoulder to shoulder and pray to our one Lord Allah.
If you’re not ready to pray in congregation yet, start by praying with just one friend or your sibling.
–Change the Topography on which you pray. This sounds awkward… and it is. When i realized that the main problem I had with concentrating in my salah was the routine of it, I did everything to change it. Even the place where I pray. Try to pray on a marbled floor,then when my Khushu would go down I would then shift to praying on a soft carpet. Believe you me,This works!
–Change where you pray: Remember, I was trying to break my auto-pilot mode. I had a designated place where I used to pray every time. Changing it to another place in my home and praying in a different place in the mosque helped me increase my concentration by loads.
–Change ‘How’ you pray: Now, this is a big move.
When I started praying in congregation I noticed how many people had subtle differences in their prayer. And all of which are correct. Once I got bored of my routine of prayers, I included a few changes which I borrowed from my fellow prayer mates.
- In Sujood I used to recite 3 times-“Subhana Rabbi Al A’la”. I increased it to 3,5,7,9,11 times….so in order to keep count of the number of times I recite it….I am forced to concentrate. Also you can extend the syaing and recite ” Subhana Rabbi Al A’la Wa bi Hamdihi”.
- I never used to make Du’a in the sujood of prayer, rather I used to do a seperate sujood ‘after’ the salah. So when I made this change, I could feel a certain freshness come into my salah.
- I also changed my way of praying the Witr. Mostly I alternate between the two ways I now know to pray Witr.
P.S- Feel free to share some of the tactics you use to increase your khushu in salah- the weird ones,the ones that did work or didn’t work. I’ll be happy to read your comments.Remember, we rise by lifting others.