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How to Purify My Intention When Leading Prayers at the Masjid?

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Oct 06, 2019

Question

Assalamualaikum. I am a high school student and had a question about my personal niyyah and how to fix it. So whenever I go to the masjid, the people ask me to lead the Salah and I don’t really want to because in my heart I feel my niyyah is not correct. I am beautifying my voice in Salah so that the people behind me like it and want to listen to it. Is that ok? Also, now I am going late to Salah so I don’t have to lead but I am missing the first rakah or second and it’s not letting my khushoo develop and I can’t focus. I really want to come to the masjid early and pray sunnah, Tahayyatul masjid, listen to adhan, etc. however, I am missing out on this because of coming late. What do you suggest and how can I improve myself.Jazakallah

Consultant

Answer


Purify Intention

Short Answer: Here you are, at age 15, chosen by Allah to recite His Glorious book whilst leading other Muslims in prayer. He has chosen you for the best of work, so rejoice about this! And intend to work hard from now on, to give this noble position of Islamic leadership your best shot. You can engage in some exercises in order to train yourself not to doubt your intentions when leading prayer. A method that I would like to suggest is this. Try to practice leading prayers in the privacy of your room, when no one else is around. Recite the Quran aloud confidently during this “practice” prayer session. Lastly, do try to make this journey slowly; step by step. If people pressurize you to lead the Salah every time, discuss with them how often you feel comfortable doing it.

.……….

Asalaamu alaykum, and thank you for sending in your question to our website.

It is heartening to note, brother, that people request you to lead prayers at the mosque. This is a sign of good fortune and the favor of Allah upon you. You are still very young, barely past puberty. Hence, this is even more cause for you to be grateful to Allah! So I heartily congratulate you, and will now try to clarify what you should do.

The entrapments of Shaitan

First of all, a Muslim needs to be wary of Shaitan. There are many ways & means through which he tries to mislead us. The insinuations that Shaitan casts upon a believer with strong faith are different. And the ways he tempts and misleads someone with weak faith are different.

For someone who has strong faith, but also lacks life experience, Shaitan uses subtle ploys. He knows that He will not be able to make them abandon prayer completely. So he instead focuses on making them lose out on the higher rewards of prayers.

This is what seems to be the case with you. Your concern about the correctness and purity of your intentions is very praiseworthy. Indeed, we all should strive to recite the Quran, or do any good deeds, only for Allah’s pleasure. Nevertheless, we should train our minds to fight off the fear that we are showing off to impress people.

You can see for yourself the result of Shaitan’s tactics. He has been successful in making you arrive for prayers late at the mosque. Hence, your rewards have been reduced. From being an imam who recited Quran aloud in prayer, you have started arriving for prayers late. Understandably, your concentration during prayer has been adversely affected.

Instead, you should have persevered and focused on fighting off the fear of showing off whilst leading prayer. And the answer to your first question is yes. It is correct to beautify your voice so that the people who can hear you recite the Quran like it. This is a great service that a reciter is doing for the Glorious words of Allah, and is therefore prescribed.

How to monitor your intentions

You can engage in some exercises in order to train yourself not to doubt your intentions when leading prayer. A method that I would like to suggest is this. Try to practice leading prayers in the privacy of your room, when no one else is around. Recite the Quran aloud confidently during this “practice” prayer session. The best time for doing this is an hour or so before Fajr prayer. The morning hours carry tremendous blessings for a Muslim.

Perform this prayer by reciting the Quran aloud, as if you are leading the prayer at the mosque. Imagine that you are at the mosque, and the congregation is standing behind you. However, since you will actually be alone, your intention will be pure. Because Allah knows that you merely intend to build your confidence, not show off. Try to beautify the words of Allah as you recite them from memory. Know that this action will please Him greatly.

If you do this every day, your confidence whilst reciting the Quran aloud in prayer will increase, insha’Allah.

Time & practice will boost your confidence

Brother, do not let Shaitan make you refuse the coveted opportunity to lead prayers at the mosque. Instead, rise to the occasion and just try to do your best. Remember that when a Muslim performs a good deed sincerely, even their mistake is rewarded by Allah. So try not to let your concern about your niyyah deter you.

Think of all the confident disbelievers and evildoers around the world, who are leading masses in idle talk. People are making speeches of sin and falsehood before large public gatherings. Numerous evildoers confidently perform acts of misguidance before thousands of people. They train hard for hours to practice their “craft”. They manage their whole lifestyle to be able to successfully perform live before a large audience.

And here you are, at age 15, chosen by Allah to recite His Glorious book whilst leading other Muslims in prayer. He has chosen you for the best of work, so rejoice about this! And intend to work hard from now on, to give this noble position of Islamic leadership your best shot.

Lastly, do try to make this journey slowly; step by step. If people pressurize you to lead the Salah every time, discuss with them how often you feel comfortable doing it.

You should aim for steady and slow growth, not overnight change. I wish you the very best, my young brother in Islam!

And Allah knows best.

I hope this helps.

Salam and please keep in touch.

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

What Is Taqwa and What Is Its Reward?

How Do I Fix My Intention?

How to Improve Our Purity of Intention?




About Sadaf Farooqi

Sadaf Farooqi is an author, blogger and freelance writer based in Karachi, Pakistan. To date, Sadaf has authored over 300 original articles, most of which can be accessed on her blog, "Sadaf's Space" (sadaffarooqi.wordpress.com). She has recently started self-publishing her past articles as non-fiction Islamic books, which are available on Amazon and Kindle (www.amazon.com/author/sadaffarooqi)

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