The Method Of Attaining Rapt Attention In Prayer

 People generally say that rapt attention is rarely attained in prayer. It is a baseless saying. Just consider what actually happens, when you form the intention (Niy-yat) for prayer, perform ablution, set off for the Masjid or go to your prayer carpet. Does all this not prove rapt attention to the prayer which you are intent upon offering. You have liberat-ed your mind from all worldly engagements and become attentive heart and soul to the One Almighty Creator In such a situation it is not right to say that the heart is strayed away. You have done all that you are obliged to do. Now despite your desire, if random thoughts come to your mind unintentionally, you should pay no attention to them and remain attentive to the elements of your prayer. Attention to this extent is needed in prayer which is availa-ble thus. You have to see that you fulfil all the conditions prescribed for prayer which include: purity and cleanliness of the ground, full purity of the body, ablution, the body turned towards the Qiblah. When these conditions have been fulfilled, the Shari'ah permits you to offer prayer. You have been made responsible to observe these outer eti-quettes of prayer only.

 Our respected spiritual master has advised that we should confer on our prayers the form and shape of the prayer of the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) in all its detailed postures, stages and movements and the style of reciting the Qur'an and the rehearsals of the sacred words. In short, observe closely all the prescribed etiquettes of the prayer and the prayer so offered will, God willing, receive divine approval and acceptance.

When you form intention of the prayer you must believe that you are standing in the presence of Almighty Allah; this is a grade of lhsan (perfection in the execution of good-ness), because you are standing hand-folded in the direc-tion of the divinely illuminated Ka`bah which, too, is in your direction. Think a bit as to whose light it is! Is it not Allah's light? In a degree this is nothing but the virtue of "Ihsan-, while in prayer, do not move your limbs unnecessarily: this is a degree of submissiveness. Do not occupy the heart in-tentionally with useless thoughts, this, too is a state of rapt attention. This practice on your part will gradually assume the form of reality. We are responsible for such acts and at-titudes only as are within our power; we are not responsible for things which are beyond our capacity. Looked at from the angle our prayers are complete and full. For which thanks are due to Allah. In this way, proceeding by  and by we shall reach the genuine pattern and spirit of Prayer.

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