Prayers: Concentration in
Q472 :Although I attend to my prayers regularly, I
am seldom able to concentrate properly. Often I have doubts about the
activities and movements included in the prayer. What I would like to
know is whether my prayer is valid.
A472 : Every one who starts prayers should
concentrate fully on the task in hand. He should always think of what
he is reading or reciting or doing. If he reflects on the meaning of
what he says, he is bound to find it easier to concentrate on his
prayers. If you have learned certain surahs of the Qur'an without
understanding them, you better try to learn the meaning of each verse
so that you can help your concentration by thinking of the meaning.
However, if one nevertheless is distracted or suffers a lapse of
concentration which results in a confusion in his mind about what stage
he has reached in his prayers, there is an easy solution to this
problem. If, for example, you doubt whether you have completed two or
three rak'ahs, then you are certain that you have done two rak'ahs but
you are doubtful about the third one. Therefore, you continue your
prayer on the basis of that which you are certain, i.e. two rak'ahs,
and then just before you finish your prayer after you have completed
your tashahhud you prostrate twice in compensation for forgetfulness.
You then finish your prayer normally. If you nevertheless omit to do
these two prostrations, your prayer is still valid. Distraction in
prayer happens often, especially when one is preoccupied with immediate
problems of his daily life. The Prophet was once leading his companions
in a congregational prayer when he finished it after completing two
rak'ahs instead of four. One of his companions questioned him about
this and when he realized what has happened, he ordered his companions
to complete their prayers. No one had to start his prayers afresh. That
shows that despite the distraction, the prayer is valid.
Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )