Concentration in Prayers – Strategy 1
Jameel Kermalli – Sanford, USA
Al-Khumeini (RA) reports a tradition that there was once a person who was in great misfortune. He had nothing to eat and neither was he invited for a meal on that strenuous day. He thus decided to visit one of the houses of Allah (SWT) (i.e. a mosque) and declare his poverty in front of his Lord. It is reported that he passed the whole night in hunger and his invocation was not answered. The next day The Prophet (S) was informed of the situation. He (S), at that very moment, was blessed with a revelation from the Almighty that:
Tell our guest that We were his Host last night and wanted to provide him with sumptuous food, but found no better food than hunger!
There is a tradition by Imam ‘Ali (AS) that on the night of Me’raj, Allah (SWT) said to The Prophet (S): O’ Ahmad! How sweet and beautiful are the hunger, silence and seclusion? Wisdom, heart’s tranquillity, nearness to Me, continuous grief, righteous talks, thriftiness, indifference at the time of ease, and hardships, are the characteristics acquired by My servant as a result of hunger, silence, and seclusion.
Fasting has not only been well established and well researched as a primal source of mental alertness, but the act has also been well ignored. Fasting is considered one of the safest therapeutic agents known today in natural as well as conventional medicine. If only we could use fasting, as a way to increase our mental capability to concentrate, not only would we benefit from the fast, we would also achieve the pleasure of Allah (SWT).
It has been reported by researches in Alternative Medicine that during the process of fasting, the body lives on it’s own substance. In its wisdom, and here lies the secret of the extraordinary effectiveness of fasting as a powerful mode of therapy, the body will decompose and burn those cells and tissues which are diseased, damaged or dead and responsible for accumulating toxins in our body and brain.
During fasting, there also occurs the building of new, healthy cells thus bringing your body to a dynamic state. In this process, the cleansing capacity of the eliminative organs – lungs, liver, kidneys and the skin – is greatly increased, and masses of accumulated metabolic wastes and toxins are quickly expelled.
Fasting also offers physiological rest to all the major organs in the body, including the brain, and there is a stabilizing effect on all the vital physiological, nervous and mental functions. Mental powers are thus improved.