Fiqh of Prayer: Concentrating in the Prayer and Blocking Other Thoughts
Q: “How can we obtain concentration, reverence and humility in the prayer, and when reading the Qur’an in the prayer and outside of it?”
A: “Concentration, reverence and humility is the core of the prayer, and the meaning of it [i.e. khushoo’] is to have a heart that is present and concentrating, and that the heart of the one praying does not wander left and right, here and there. If the person feels something is distracting him away from that khushoo’, then let him seek refuge in Allah from the Shaytaan as the prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم ordered.
No doubt the Shaytaan is keen on corrupting all worship and especially the prayer which is the best of worship after the two testimonies of tawheed and faith. So the Shaytaan will come to the one praying and say, “remember such and such, think about such and such”, and so he makes the person digress into such thoughts which there is no benefit to, and in reality they actually disappear from thought as soon as the person finishes the prayer!
So upon the individual is to strive the utmost in submitting to Allah, and if he perceives something overcoming him from these thoughts and whispers then he should seek refuge in Allah whether he is bowing in rukoo’, or sitting in the tashahhud, or otherwise in his prayer.
And from the best of methods that aid a person in khushoo’ in his prayer is that he remembers he is standing in front of his Lord and that he is calling and supplicating to Him the Mighty the Majestic”
[Based on Shaikh ibn ul-Uthaymeen’s response from Fatawa Arkaan ul-Islam p322/323]