Prophet (S): "The one who takes Prayer lightly is not of me. No! By Allah (Swt)! Such a person will not reach the Pond of al-Kawthar".
According to Imam Khomeini "freedom from other preoccupations for the sake of absorption in worship (‘ibadah) is obtainable through possessing unoccupied time and an unoccupied heart. And this is one of the most important points regarding worship, without which the presence of heart cannot be realized, and a worship performed without an attentive heart is devoid of value. That which brings about attentiveness of the heart consists of two matters.The first of these lies in possessing unoccupied time and an unoccupied heart, and the second lies in making one’s heart understand the importance of worship.
A devout person should be observant of the times of his worship under every circumstance. Of course, he should observe the timings of salat, which is the most important of the acts of worship, and carry it out in the most meritorious part of its time, refraining from engaging in any other work during those times...."
He adds that should a person "offer his prayers out of compulsion and consider the performance of the worship of the Lord as a superfluous matter, he would, of course, delay it as long as it can be delayed and when he offers it offer it in a perfunctory manner, considering it as an impediment in the way of what he imagines to be important tasks. However, such a worship has not only no spiritual brilliance, it deserves Divine wrath, and such a person is one who makes light of salat and neglects it as something trivial.
Much has been written about ways to achieve concentration in salat. Here is an example of some of the strategies recommended in a book by Br Jameel Kermalli. Each of these points is discussed in detail in the book which can be accessed here.
According to Imam Khomeini it is not sufficient to deal with outer factors only ... "Sometimes the disturbance of mind and absence of heart are caused by inner matters, which, generally speaking, are originated by two big causes to which return most of the matters:
One is the dissoluteness and volatility of the bird of imagination. Imagination is, indeed, an extremely slippery power. It flies from one branch to another and from one peak to another. This is not connected to loving the world or paying attention to worldly matters, wealth or position. Actually, the volatility of imagination is, in itself, a calamity that afflicts even the ascetics. Acquiring calmness of mind, peace of soul and repose of imagination are of the important affairs, which, if acquired, can bring about the final remedy.
The other cause is the love of the world and the attraction of mind to mundane matters. This cause is at the top of the sins and it is the mother of the inner diseases, the thorn of the road of the people of sulūk and the source of disasters. As long as the heart loves this world and is indulged in it, the way to reforming the heart is closed and the door of all happiness is shut in the face of man". (from Adab as-Salat: The Disciplines of the Prayer by Imam Ruhallah Musawi Khomeini).
Dear momineen, may the azan from the smart clock remind us each day to pray in time and the sounds of Quran, duas and zikr that it broadcasts at selected intervals add to the attentiveness of our salat - the most important of the acts of worship.
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