Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
I feel really anxious while praying, and I feel like I’m doing everything wrong. If someone enters the room while I’m praying, I feel like I’m doing it to show off to them. I just want to have a pure intention. I don’t know what to do or how to get rid of this problem. Please help me. How do I get rid of this anxiety?
Thank you for your question.
The Devil is having his way with you, and you must ignore him at all costs. You know Whom you are praying to and why you are doing it, so focus on that and forget everything else.
Showing off in good works is an enormity, and I am certain that you are not guilty of it because you fear it so much. One practical way that I learned to avoid riya is that you pray the same way when people are around and when people are not around. When something is fixed, then you don’t need to worry so much about showing off. You will find details of riya here:
If you fear that you are making mistakes during your prayer, then the best weapon against it is knowledge. Take an Absolute Essentials course according to your madhhab and practice to the best of your ability. Keep the company of knowledgeable people who practice Islam correctly and ask Allah to guide you to the right people and the right path. He will certainly answer your prayers.
For anxiety, supplicate, make dhikr, and ignore all baseless misgivings (waswasa). Continually ask Allah to guide you and seek refuge from the Devil with this formula: A`udhu biLlahi min al-shaytan al-rajeem. See the following links as well:
May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years, where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, Tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.