In Salah You are Standing in front of Allah

While praying Taraweeh today, there was this brother standing to my right, shoulder-to-shoulder. Must be in mid 20s. In Qiyaam (standing in prayer) he was frequently twisting from right to left and sometimes oscillating front and back (as if he was constantly inspecting if his toes were in place). This happened for the first 8 rak'ats, and I was pretty distracted due to this. Since the taraweeh rak'ats are long there are some people who cannot stand still. Probably that keeps them awake – Allah knows best.

(I remember last year there was an chap, standing in front of me, who frequently used to straighten his shirt in Qiyaam, though it was not tucked in. And at times he used to inspect if his skull cap was at the right position, with both his hands, while in Qiyaam. There are some who profusely yawn without covering their mouth. To make it worse, they yawn with their mouth-wide-open with their head virtually gazing the rooftop.)

Anyways, so after finishing eighth rak'at when we got up for prayer, before we could make the niyaat (intention), I smiled and whispered in his ears

In Salah we are standing in front of Allah

Then I started praying, hoping this guy received the message. It so happens that when you try to correct some people these days, it gets into their egos. They will either look nasty at you or will frown as if you badmouthed them. So one needs to be careful on the messaging – what to say, how to say, or if to speak at all in the first place in order to avoid unnecessary quarrel.

So after my nudge, this guy contemplated for couple of seconds and said Takbeer. Not surprisingly he didn’t move for the rest of the 4 rak'ats. We were now end of 12 rak'ats. In between he tried to move, maybe he was habituated, but then he quickly corrected this. I could feel it as he was just standing right next to me, shoulder to shoulder. Just before we could make the niyaat for the next rak'at, I leaned towards my right, smiled and whispered in his ears again,
You are doing great.

He chuckled and quickly started his prayer. For the remaining 8 rak'at of Taraweeh and 3 rak'at of Witr, he didn’t move a centimeter in Qiyaam.

It worked. Alhamdulillah. A good choice of words and how you convey the matter In Sha Allah will do all the magic. After Taraweeh was over, I prayed to Allah to keep this brother steadfast in prayers, and that he has khushoo (calmness, tranquility) in Salah for the rest of his life.

The moral of the story ends with 3 golden rules:

  1. Smile before you approach someone; irrespective if you are disgusted or are in a good mood. This is one of the greatest Sunnah. Your battle is half won if you start a conversation with a smile. 
  2. Think deep and be succinct in your messaging, if you can. Keep it positive
  3. Once the message is delivered and you get a positive response (verbal/ non-verbal), never hesitate to provide feedback to your brother. Encourage. This goes a long way.

When the Imam is reciting the Quran, it is imperative for those standing behind him to listen quietly to what is being recited. See Quran 7:204 below.

So when the Quran is recited, then listen to it and pay attention that you may receive mercy. ~ Quran 7:204

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