Question: Every day I get many thoughts during my prayer and I fear that I will laugh due to my thoughts. Then I pray it again but every prayer I pray in stress without the presence of heart. How can I fix this?
Assalamu alaykum, thank you for your question.
Losing focus during the prayer is a far too common thing and I pray that Allah helps all of us out of it. This article will answer your question beautifully: Am I a Hypocrite for Losing Focus in Prayer?, as well as this one: How Do I Attain Presence Of Heart In Prayer?
Please see all the lectures and podcasts on this topic: Presence of Heart in Prayer: A Reader
As for laughing, the Reliance of the Traveller states, “the prayer is invalidated (…) by uttering two or more letters, or when two or more letters worth of sounds such as laughter, […] are audible.“ “It is also invalidated by much (i.e. more than six words worth of) sound, even when there is a valid excuse such as: blurting out words unthinkingly, laughter or […]. [p.149]
According to the definition above, it seems to me that your ‘funny thing with your breath‘ would not qualify as laughing, but you must discern that yourself. Perhaps consult a local reliable scholar to help you.
You may also consider learning Arabic, for understanding what you are saying will change the quality of your worship altogether, and help you realize the magnitude of who you are speaking to when you pray. Note that laughing in your prayer doesn’t invalidate your wudu (ritual purity) in the Shafi`i school.
May Allah help all of us focus better on our prayers.
[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 Masters 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.