Reflections: Focusing During Prayer

I feel like one of the most common struggles that many Muslims face in their faith is concentrating when they are performing their five daily prayers. It’s no secret that we all lead different lives, filled with different struggles and situations, but at least we are all granted the blessing of stepping away from all of the commotion to submit ourselves in prayer and remembrance of our Creator. The importance of our five daily prayers is so reinforced, but often times we are not given adequate information on the significance of it all, which easily leads us to lack true understanding and connection with our prayer and with Allah (SWT).

We’ve all been there – we’re reciting Surah Al-Fatiha, but simultaneously our mind is wandering off without us even realizing it. Soon enough, you completely lose track of what rakat you’re on and don’t even feel the least bit connected to the words you’re reciting. It becomes a dreadful cycle and you begin to see your obligatory prayers as a chore rather than the blessing and relief that they are. So, how do you get out of the funk? Here are some simple, but effective ways to help you get in the zone while offering your salah!

Wudhu

Wudhu is literally like the pre-requisite before your salah. Don’t rush your wudhu and just splash water on yourself. There’s great significance behind even just “throwing water” on ourselves. Wudhu has been made for us to not only purify our physical selves, but also our mental and emotional states. If we heard, said, or saw something that maybe wasn’t the most beneficial for us, wudhu gives us the opportunity to completely wash away those “bad things” and start fresh. This isn’t just some made up notion, it’s literally the significance of ablution in Islam. Cleanse your mind, as well as impurities on your physical self with wudhu. Who wouldn’t want to be clean and purified before they face Allah (SWT) in salah?

Surah Al-Fatiha

We all know Surah Al-Fatiha and know the jist of its tafsir, but do we really know it? Yes, we hear it and recite it so often, I mean it is “The Opening” to the Quran! However, Surah Al-Fatiha is literally the crux of your salah. We recite it in every prayer, every rakat must start with it, but what does it really mean? It’s important to really delve into the tafsir of this surah and understand it’s power and relation to Allah (SWT). Here is one tafsir of the surah that has really impacted my perspective on it. Learning the tafsir really helps you focus on every single ayah you recite because you truly are understanding the beauty and significance behind it.

Set the mood

It almost goes without saying that in order to succeed at something, you must have the mindset prepared for it. Research has proven that with any tasks that you do, 80% of the success has to do with your psychological state and only 20% has to do with the actual action of it. Before you even start your takbir, really get yourself into the fact that you are standing before Allah (SWT). Envision nothing, but Him and the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) watching you. Not to sound morbid, but sometimes even thinking about how this could be the last prayer you pray on Earth, can help you focus on praising and remembering Allah (SWT) throughout your salah. If you’re going through something, take a moment before salah to just breathe and allow your mind to refocus away from your problems and on Allah (SWT). He is the only helper and protector to us, and that is so comforting to remember.

Don’t make distractions for yourself 

If you’re a girl, you know the struggle of trying to pray with a hijab that is loosely or haphazardly tied. You begin to be more focused on the scarf on your head slipping off than your actual prayer. Make sure to securely tie your hijab before you start your prayer so this doesn’t happen to you! Also make sure the area around you is somewhat tidy, we all tend to get shifty eyes here and there (may Allah forgive us), but the chances of this happening are less if you have the ability to clean up.

Look into the tafsir of different surahs

Learning about and understanding the meaning behind Surah Al-Fatiha is important and should be an act we constantly revisit. However, it is also valuable to research the tafsir of other surahs and duas you recite during your salah. Looking into the tafsir helps us understand the context of what we are saying and inevitably connects us to the prayer and focusing on Allah (SWT) even more. Here are some reputable sources to dive into tafsir of various surahs, plus many more great topics in Islam that can surely benefit you during your salah and in life in general:

Bayyinah Institute

Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research

We all make mistakes, and it’s important to remember that Allah (SWT) is the most Merciful and that He understands our struggles, whatever they may be. As long as you are sincere in your approach to Islam and seeking out a stronger connection with Allah (SWT), you are never at a loss. Salah is supposed to be an ease and comfort in this stressful dunya. Therefore, we should approach it as so, and not look at it to be a burden. Insha’Allah you continue to seek out ways to hold on tightly to your salah and your faith. If you have any good tips on making your salah more meaningful, let us know down in the comments below!

9 Super Foods to Eat During Ramadan

Ramadan Mubarak everyone! The blessed month is here! This is such a special time for Muslims as we reflect and become more spiritual by simplifying our lives. Most of us are fasting for about 16+ hours each day of this month. It is so important to take care of your body during Ramadan by nourishing it with proper foods. Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to completely ban parathas and chai during Ramadan. Here are some foods that you should try to incorporate during suhoor (pre-dawn meal) and iftar (post-dusk meal)!

1. Avocados

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Avocados are known to be a “good fat.” Our bodies need the type of fat found in avocados as they not only help our bodies function at an optimal level, but also help us stay full and satisfied throughout a good portion of the day.

2. Dates

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This one is kind of a given since dates are known to be a sunnah of the prophet Muhammad (SAW). Why are they good for us during fasts, though? Dates are high in anti-oxidants and will help you stay energized. They are also a lower glycemic food so they won’t negatively affect your blood sugar (which is great!).

3. Chia Seeds

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Chia seeds are high in Omega-3s, fiber, and protein. These are the perfect ingredient to add to any smoothie you make because they are so tiny, but make a significant impact in fueling your body the right way.

4. Smoothies

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Suhoor smoothies are seriously the best. You can keep them simple by just throwing in a banana, berries (or whatever fruits you have or want), some greens (like baby spinach), and chia seeds. Smoothies are not only delicious, but they nourish your body right and keep you satiated for a longer period of time.

5. Lentils

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Having lentils for suhoor or iftar is very beneficial. Lentils are high in fiber and they help you stay full and satisfied. If you’re desi, eating lentils (aka daal) is no problem!

6. Hummus

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Hummus is very high in fiber and very high in protein – which is exactly what you need to help you power through long days. It’s such a versatile food and you can enjoy it many different ways, which makes it even better!

7. Broccoli

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This vegetable is very high in fiber. Broccoli also helps in cleansing the body during Ramadan so you will definitely feel good physically.

8. Oats

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Another high fiber food is oats. Oats also have nutrients that help you stay energized throughout the day when they are consumed the night before fasting. They are even better if you mix them with your favorite fruits as toppings!

9. Almonds

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Almonds help you stay full for long periods of time due to their high content of fiber and protein. Almonds are another type of food that can help you stay satisfied for the day to come if you eat them the night before. Not to mention, they’re also such a good and healthy snack!


Remember, Ramadan is a spiritual month, and although we aren’t eating for long periods of time, it really isn’t about food. Don’t deprive yourself of fun foods entirely. It’s all about balance and moderation. There is no way to not feel hungry within 16+ hours of not eating or drinking anything. No matter what you eat in the morning, you will eventually feel hungry. The best way to ignore the hunger pangs is to focus your mind towards Islam and the Quran. Make dua to Allah (SWT) and remember Him always. Insha’Allah we will all have a fulfilled, healthy, and blessed month.

If you have any special foods you like to eat during Ramadan, don’t hesitate to share in the comments!

Spring Makeup: Flower Fairy

Introductions are tricky. I don’t want to basically write out a book about my life, but I don’t want to write too little and immediately lose your interest. So I guess I’ll just simplify things and state who I am and what this post is about; though I believe the title of this post gives it away. Continue reading “Spring Makeup: Flower Fairy”