By Sheikh Mufti Ebrahim Desai (Hafidhahullah)
When a person undertakes an important task, the success of the task depends on the mental condition. If one has conditioned his mind to reach the stream, in all probability he will eventually reach the stream. The purpose of Salah is to attain the closeness of Allah. Condition the mind before Salaah to attain the closeness of Allah through Salaah. Be committed to that goal and be determined. With that mindset, prepare for Salaah. Perform Wudhu with the mindset that’ I will be presenting myself before my Allah’. Think about how all the sins are washed away through Wudhu in preparation for the great meeting with Allah in Salaah. Allah washed your sins in appreciation of a servant wanting to meet Allah through Salaah. Imagine what lies in actually meeting Allah Ta’ala.Note your spiritual journey has already begun.
Before commencing Salaah, condition your mind that you are seeing Allah. At least have conviction that Allah is seeing you. Concentrate on the majesty of Allah and say Allahu Akbar (Takbeer Tahrima) from the deep recess of your heart knowing well that indeed Allah is the greatest. Think how fortunate I am to be in divine communication with Allah. Make the best of it. Think that this may be my last chance. I may not be alive for the next Salaah. Give it all to Allah with heart and soul and mind. In your thana’a concentrate on the purity of Allah and His majesty. Concentrate on at least the words of Surah Faatiha and the Surah you recite. Think ‘this is the speech of my Allah’. How fortunate am I to be given the opportunity to recite the Quran with my tongue. When going into Ruku, tell yourself I bend in humility to my Allah. It’s not just bending. I express my respect to my Allah and I say Allah the great is pure (Subhana rabbi ‘al azeem) with all my heart. Praise Allah and enjoy doing so.
When going into Sajdah, tell yourself I place every limb from forehead till toes before my creator. I submit to Him and again proclaim (Subhan Rabii al a’la) pure is my Allah, the highest. Do this in every Rakat. When sitting in Tashahhud and reciting the Attahiyyaat, think about how Rasulullah Sallallāhu Alayhi Wasallam made a heavenly declaration of submission to Allah in Me’raj. You are fortunate to supplicate that in Salaah. My Salaah is my Me’raj. I am before my Allah. In Salaah you were accompanied by the angels. When making Salam to the right and left, make intention of greeting the angels on the right and left. Upon completion of Salaah, make Istighfar and repent for not being able to fulfill the rights of Allah in Salah.
Make Dua after Salah ‘Oh Allah accept my Salaah’.
In order to achieve this standard in Salaah, you have to make an effort. Start performing shorter Salaah’s with full concentration and gradually increases that. When the quality of Salaah is upgraded, you will notice a revival of spirituality in your heart which will impact in all aspects of your life. You will feel different, see different, hear different and talk different. All with the conscious of the presence of Allah. No amount of comfort and luxury can buy this peace you get through Salaah.
Mufti Ebrahim Desai