I want to share with you some tips on how new Muslims can really connect to Allah during the prayer.
When you first convert to Islam, it’s very difficult time, because you have to learn the prayer, the movements and of course you have to learn what to say in your native language as well as in Arabic. And that sometimes can be very daunting and make the prayer seem methodical and robotic almost.
You can feel that you don’t have any spiritual connection whatsoever because you feel you’re just practicing moves and say words you may or may not understand and it just makes you feel away from Allah instead of close to Him.
So I want to give you some tips that I have learned to make me feel really connected to Allah during prayer.
No matter how old we are in Islam, our iman comes up and down.
If you find these tips as closely as you can, you will find that you really reconnect, if you lose that connection; and you will find that you’ll start to connect, if you are yet to feel that connection during the prayer Inshallah.
1- Pray in Congregation
When I first became Muslim, like many of you, I didn’t really know how to pray, or have a mentor to help me learn how to pray. I had to get the information from the Internet and I used to go home and do the movements and try to say what I could. But I didn’t feel anything, I just prayed because I had to pray.
I’m sure many of new Muslims feel that way.
When I moved to Egypt, it changed because I suddenly found myself with the Muslims and I prayed with them as much as I could. And this is the game changer!
At least once a week, try to pray in congregation whether it is in the mosque, or in someone’s house. Because when you pray in congregation, you feel the spirit of the Ummah, you are all doing this together, you’re all doing sujud together, you’re all saying the same things together…
And there is a wisdom behind this: it connects us. And it gives you a spiritual uplift when you are a member of a group that you are praying in, it gives you a spiritual boost.
You don’t need to master Arabic to d so, because that will come with time. The whole point of the congregation prayer is to feel that spirituality and to be among your brothers and sisters in Islam who are going through the same thing, at the same time as you. That’s something that makes you connected to the prayer.
2- Watch Live Prayer in Ka’bah
Before you go to pray in congregation, you may watch YouTube, live stream prayers in Makkah. When you see this massive group of people all facing Ka’bah, all going down together, all coming up together… it’s such a beautiful sight, it really moves you emotionally, it makes you want to be part of this.
3- Find a Quiet Clean Place
Sometimes we do lose faith and we forget why we have to pray, and we just pray because we have to. This can bring us away from that connection with Allah. In this case we should find a quiet, clean, safe place away from all distractions to perform the prayer.
Once you’ve done that, then you need to clean your heart and your mind and remember who you are going to pray to- Allah. When you put that in your mind, then all the way through the prayer, you’re conscious of who you’re speaking to and it will give you that warm feeling that you are doing this for the sake of Allah and it will really boost your spirituality as well.
Before we begin, of course we should make the intention of prayer to whom we’re praying before. It shouldn’t be cold, robotic. We should be talking to Allah in the prayer.
Yes we do have to make moves and we do have to say correct words, but we have to keep in mind we have to connect with Allah and we do this five times a day. It’s such a miraculous beautiful feeling that we’ve got to speak to Allah five times a day.
Many of us feel disconnected to Allah, but when we’re speaking to Him five times a day, we don’t feel that disconnection with Allah.
We have to put in mind that we are speaking to Allah and this should fill us with joy, love, and spirituality. And we really feel that connection that we’re looking for.
4- Ask Him in Sujud
When we are in sujud (prostration), this is when you are closer to Allah. It’s the perfect time to open your heat and ask Him anything.
He wants to hear you, so you want to ask for that forgiveness, ask for that forgiveness. You want to ask Him for something that’s troubling you and you want to stop it, ask Him for that… Take that time in sujud to ask Him and to talk to Him.
You know when you finish, you feel like there is a big weight lifted off your shoulders because you just spoke to Allah in that sujud and that is something that is so beautiful and emotional.
I recommend that when you are by yourself in sujud, you really make the most of those times, because that is when you are closest to Allah and that’s the best time to have that conversation with Him.
5- Don’t Delay the Prayer
When you delay the prayer you’re nervous, stressed, and anxious because you just won’t to miss it, you want to catch it before the next prayer. You’re not keeping yourself the time and the energy to pray properly. It makes you less connected to the prayer and less connected to Allah.
So pray as much as you can on time, when you can. Because it gives you this sense of closeness to Allah, you have the time to connect to Allah, you’ll have time to reflect on what you’re doing in the prayer.
And it won’t be just a series of moves.
I hope these tips will help you connect with Allah and make you understand that prayer is not just about movements, we have to feel the spiritual connection to Allah.
May Allah bless you all and may He make prayer very easy for all of you. Ameen.