Scattered Thoughts in Salat

A person once wrote the following to Hazrat Thanwi (RA), “I feel more focused and my presence of mind and concentration is greater when I pray sunnah or nafl.  Whereas in fardh salat I lack focus and concentration.  I feel this is because in sunnah and nafl we can recite the Quran and in fardh we only listen and/or remain silent.  When I recite, I can ponder over the words being recited, but in fardh salat my thoughts are scattered.  What can I do to gather my thoughts and remain focused in fardh salat?”

Hazrat Thanwi replied, “Without moving your tongue, follow along with your heart and recite mentally, not verbally.”

-Tarbiyat-us-Saalik pg. 477

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One Comment on “Scattered Thoughts in Salat”

  1. Abu Yahya Says:

    Just to clarify the answer of Hazrat Thanwi, in case anyone missed the point.

    When Hazrat said: “…Without moving your tongue, follow along with your heart and recite mentally, not verbally…”

    This is only to gain concentration in that fardh
    performed behind the Imam…. As for that fardh salah performed alone, it should be clearly noted that one must recite verbally or else the salah will not be valid.

    When it is said, not reciting in the fardh, it is only that fardh salah which is prayed behind an Imam, in congregation (according to the muftaa bihi of the Hanafi madhab).

    Abu Yahya

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