Concentration

10 Tips To Improve Quraan Recitation & Concentration

The Qur’aan is the kalaam (speech) of Allah and as such, it is the most effective means of seeking divine nearness. Many of us do not know the translation and struggle with keeping our concentration but there are ways in which we can make our tilawat more realistic so that our recitation is not just a rehearsed recitation and actually touches our hearts.  Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

 1. Reflect & bear in mind the exalted nature of the Qur’aan.

Imam Ghazali (R) has quoted the statement of some elders to the exalted position of the work of Allah Ta’ala: “Each letter of the work of Allah in the lawhe mahfuz (sacred tablet) is more exalted than a fabulous and magnificent mountain like the mount of Caucasus. If all the Angels gather to lift up one letter, they will be unable to do so.”

2. Make istighfaar (repentance) before tilawat. Your state before reciting will affect your state whilst reciting.

3. Renew your imaan by saying: Oh Allah! This is your word. It is haq (the absolute truth), we believe in it.

4. Make duaa thus: Oh Allah! Grant us true ma’rifaat (recognition) and tilawat of the Qur’aan with ikhlaas (sincerity). Mould our lives according to its teachings and grant us its blessings.

5. Recite the Qur’aan with the tongue and make tasdiq (confirm the truth) of its ahkaam (laws) and subject matter with the heart. Reciting with the tongue is a physical tilawat and confirming with the heart is a spiritual tilawat.

[1 – 5 Adapted from Tilawat e Qur’aan by Moulana Wasiyullah (R) (Hadhrat MoulanaAbdullah Kapodri Sahib (db)]

6. Slow down. It’s not a race. Take your time. Give yourself time to ponder over the words of Allah and let them touch your heart. Remember that to make haste is from Shaitaan and also bear in mind that is you rush and make mistakes, you may unknowingly be changing the kalaam of Allah.

“...and recite the Qur’an (aloud) in a slow, (pleasant tone and) style.” (Surah Muzzamil 73:4)

7. Ponder over the reward you are getting. 

“Whoever reads a letter from the Book of Allah, he will have a reward, and this reward will be multiplied by ten. I am not saying that ‘Alif, Laam, Meem’ (a combination of letters frequently mentioned in the Holy Quran) is a letter, rather I am saying that ‘Alif’ is a letter, ‘Laam’ is a letter and ‘Meem’ is a letter.” [At-Tirmithi]

Think about it. In Surah Fatihah alone, there are 113 letters (Tafsir ibn Kathir). This means for just the recitation of one Surah, you are gaining 1130 rewards. SubhanAllah! Is it not worth your time to pray with concentration?

8. Pick out key words (e.g. Jannah) and reflect over them in order to create a yearning for closeness to Allah in your heart.

9. Recognise that reciting the Qur’aan is for YOUR benefit. The Qur’aan is a gift and it benefits us and guides us. Allah has no need for the Qur’aan but we need it for our guidance. Imagine our state if He had not revealed it to our Nabi (S)!

10. Listen to the Qiraat of others. Listening to the qiraat of others is not only another way to gain reward, but you can also improve your own recitation by reading along with whoever you listen to. Today, there are many videos available that have qiraat with translation & Arabic text in them, utilize these in a manner which benefits you.

Building a relationship with the Qur’aan is of utmost importance. Through it, we are guided, we gain answers to our troubles and we learn from the Ambiyaa (a.s), lessons that we can use to make our life one that will increase us in the hereafter. It’s a sad fact that most of us check our emails, Twitter, Facebook more than we even touch the Qur’aan and this book that we have we given has just been cast aside. Just taking 5 minutes to read a few lines everyday will go a long way to improving our recitation, not just verbally but also spiritually.

If you have any other tips, feel free to share below! Jazakumuallahu Khairan.

10 Tips For Concentration in Salaah

Salaah is our time to communicate directly with our Creator. But many of us pray Salaah as part of a routine without thinking of why we are praying. Without realising that Allah (swt) has given us this gift, not because it benefits Him, but because it benefits us!
Allah does not need our worship but we need to worship Allah in order to have healthy souls and be successful. Salaah is what we will first be questioned about on the Day of Judgement and so we need to make sure that when we read Salaah, we read with full concentration and taqwa. Here are a few tips to help us all long the way.

1. Think of what the action you are doing signifies.
What does your Salaah signify? Submission to your Creator? What else does it signify to you?
And you can also think of what the particular action you are doing signifies. E.g. When raising your hands for Takbeer, you are sayin ‘Oh Allah, everything belongs to you and I am putting away the dunya to worship you’. When in Ruku, you say ‘Oh Allah, I am lower than you’ and Sajdah ‘Oh Allah! Am am far lower than You and You are Greater than anything’. First Sajdah can also represent that Allah created you from earth and when going into your second Sajdah, He is going to bring about our death. And when you rise from your second Sajdah, think of how He will bring us back to life again for judgement.

2. Look at specific spots and don’t let your eyes wander.
Qiyaam – Look where you will place your head for Sajdah
Ruku – At your feet
Jalsa & Qaidah- At your lap
Sajdah – Your Nose
Simple but effective.

3. Allah is watching you.
We should be aware of this all the time but we forget. But He is here watching you. Seriously think about this. You wouldn’t rush Salaah in front of others, so why in front of Allah? He is All-Seeing.

4. SLOWWWWW DOWWWWWN.
When you rush, that is from Shaitaan. You give him power over you. Think clearly and focus and force yourself to slow down.

5. Stay in position until you are completely relaxed.
This ties in with number four. Slow down and don’t rush. We’re not in a race. Take your time and relax before moving on to your next position. It is waajib (compulsory) to remain in any posture in Salaah for the duration of one SubhanAllah.

6. What is your state before Salaah?
Your state before Salaah will effect your state in Salaah. So try and do some ibaadah like tasbeeh or read Qur’an before you start.

7. Remember the translation of what you are reading.
Learning the translation of the Arabic will help you reflect on whatever it is you are reading and help your concentration levels.

8. Don’t make your Salaah repetitive.
Learn new Surahs and remember their translation too.

9. Remember the Greatness of the one you are standing before.
If you were going to meet someone of high importance, like a king, you would be very  attentive. Well, Allah is the King of kings, give Him your utmost attention. This is also why you should dress properly during Salaah. If you wouldn’t go out in those clothes, why would you stand in front of Allah with them?

10. Don’t leave your Salaah till the last 10 minutes.
This is quite obvious. If you leave your Salaah till late, you’ll be more worried about finishing your Salaah then praying properly.

Our Beloved Prophet Muhammed (SAW) has said: “Perform your Salaah as if it is a ‘farewell’ Salaah (i.e. the last Salaah of your life). (Mishkaat)

May Allah affirm our hearts to Salaah and let us read it with the concentration it deserves. Ameen, Allahumma Ameen!

There are many other ways to improve your concentration. Please share in the comments if you think of any! JazakAllahu Khair.