By Zaid Khan, Grade 10
Leading qiyam, taraweeh, or any salah can be a very stressful affair, especially if it’s your first time. From my own experiences, and those of my teachers, I have compiled a list of tips and tricks that will, inshaAllah, ensure excellence when you lead salah and improve your focus and that of those praying behind you.
You are what you eat
Beware, this doesn’t mean that if you eat chocolate, your recitation will be sweet. It is essential to have a light meal before the salah. Make sure to eat enough to nourish yourself, but don’t eat to your full capacity otherwise it will make you uncomfortable in salah. In my opinion, a more important tip is to always have a bottle of warm water by your side. Before each unit of taraweeh, take a few sips to clear up your throat. I can guarantee it’s extremely beneficial inshaAllah.
After a long day of fasting, followed by deep-fried samosas, and heavenly biryani, it’s safe to say your throat probably isn’t in the best shape. Before the salah starts, prepare your throat for the salah. Practice humming from high to low pitch multiple times and add some of the vocal inflections you plan on making in the salah. Granted, if anyone hears you, you will receive some weird looks. It’s worth it though, I promise. I highly recommend watching videos on some of the best intonations to warm up the throat.
Get in the Zone
Ten minutes before the salah starts, review. Open the mushaf and go over what you need to recite and etch it into your memory. Before standing for salah, take at least ten long, deep breaths. In from the nose, out through the mouth, and repeat. Scientifically, this has been proven to calm your nerves. It also improves your focus for the task ahead.
Purify your intention: I am praying salah for the sole purpose of pleasing the Creator, the One Who has given me the ability to earn more hasanaat by leading others in salah. Don’t forget to make du’aa before salah for Allah to facilitate the prayer and accept it. Supplicating to Allah further clears up our intention and mindset.
The Floor is Yours
Make sure to get yourself acquainted with the acoustics and the speaker system where you will be leading inshaAllah. This doesn’t mean you go behind the scenes and play around with the settings, but rather, figure out where you should attach the microphone or where you should stand to provide the best effects that suit your voice. Too close and every breath will be heard; too far and nothing will be heard. It’s all about finding a balance that is compatible with your style.
I pray you find these five pointers beneficial inshaAllah. Remember me and the entire Muslim ummah in your salah and du’aa. And as always, every action we do is for the sake of Allah. We put our trust in Him and we always have the intention to perform our salah with the utmost ihsaan. Aim for the best, and Allah will do the rest.