Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) emphasized that praying is considered the back-bone of Islam. It is very important that Muslims make sure they perform their daily prayers properly, as commanded by Allah and as explained by Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).
Here are some tips that Muslims can use to improve their prayers;
1-In Islam, it is highly recommended that Muslims perform the obligatory prayers in congregation (with a group: “Jama’a”).
Allah (Subhanahu Wataala) orders Muslims to bow and prostrate to Him;
(And observe Prayer and pay the Zakat (almsgiving), and bow down with those who bow.) [Qur’an 2:43]
There are many saying by Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) that discuss the virtue and importance of performing prayers in congregation. Ibn Omar quoted Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) as saying;
“The reward of praying (salah) performed in congregation outweighs that of (salah) performed individually by twenty-seven degrees.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
2-Muslims should arrange their life according to their prayers, and they should understand the difference between performing prayers on time and delaying them. When prayers are carried out on time, they will be much more effective than postponed prayers.
3-Muslims must try to do a routine amount of supplementary prayers (Nafl) because they are regarded as a compensation for obligatory prayers that were done in a weak manner.
4-Although it is not obligatory, but to improve one’s prayer, it is always better to refresh our ablution even if it is still valid from our last prayer. Ablution is primarily for physical cleansing but it is also considered a symbol of spiritual cleansing. Muslims should not engage in worldly affairs after performing ablution, they should go directly to prayers.
5-Muslims should start their prayers with “Takbir” (Saying Allaho Akbar), this is the point when we must disconnect from the outer world, and begin a direct communication with Allah.
6-Bowing and Prostration (Sujood) are signs of giving in selfishness and they should be considered as a feeling of humbleness in front of Allah (Subhanahu Wataala). However, prostration is a higher degree of humbleness before Allah (Subhanahu Wataala), because bowing is not enough to show the humble feeling of a believer.
7-Muslims must never take the “tashahod” in the last part of their prayers lightly. In fact, “tashahod” is the concluding part of the prayer. It is the stage when you renew your allegiance to Allah and his messenger.
8- Muslims must dress properly when praying, because praying is talking to Allah, and one should do his/her best when standing before Allah, narrating his words. Your attire should be decent and clean, your hair should be combed, it is preferable that you brush your teeth and moderately perfume yourself.
9- Before praying, one can prepare himself by saying “Iqama” with concentration and doing “Istighfar” (to ask for Allah’s forgiveness).
10- The short pause after “rokoo” before prostration (Sojood) is very important, It is narrated that Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) used to stay long in these pausing positions.
11- Allah says in the Qur’an that praying restrains from shameful sins (Fahesha), therefore Muslims should perform their prayers with a clear conscious, and they should avoid shameful and unjust deeds to be able to stand before Allah (Subhanahu Wataala) in their prayers.
12-Muslims must avoid hypocrisy “reya’a” when it comes to praying, one of the signs of hypocrisy could be praying in the presence of others and ignoring prayers while alone. The benefits of praying are achieved in your heart, between yourself and Allah, and not with others.
Published on: August 9, 2004. From Link: islamonline.com