Prayer (salah) basically necessitates that one stands before Almighty Allah in a state of complete submissiveness, humbleness and mindfulness of Allah’s Omnipresence. This draws one very close to Almighty Allah, with one’s heart get submerged in a pool of exalted spirituality. No doubt, performing prayer in this way makes one eligible of earning the full reward Allah has in store for every true Muslim, as Allah says in the Qur’an: “Successful indeed are the believers, Who are humble in their prayers.” (Al-Mu’menun: 1-2)
Sheikh `Atiyya Saqr, former Head of Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee: “In fact, attaining submissiveness and humbleness in prayer is a task that involves great efforts. However, one is rewarded according to the effort he exerts in trying to attain humbleness. Two great benefits of this are the following:
1- The great reward a person gets when applying humbleness while in prayer.
2- Achieving the goal of having humbleness as a trait and an inherent characteristic.
Towards A Most Accepted Prayer: So as to have one’s prayer accepted, we advise every Muslim to ward off any thoughts that prevent him from concentrating in prayer. This involves removing or keeping remote from sources of noise, pictures and images that may distract one’s eyes from concentration. Another procedure that may be of a great avail here is that the person performing prayer tries his best to look to the spot he prostrates himself in and be so near to a wall giving no chance to any one to pass in front of him and have him distracted from prayer. Once, a man called Abu Jahm offered garment to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as a present; the garment has some colors on it. After performing prayer while putting it on, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) took it off and said: “ Take it back to Abu Jahm for the colors on it distracted me from prayer.”(Reported By Al-Bukhari and Muslim). Just to realize how great is the reward of the person who humbly performs his prayer, we may quote the hadith of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) that reads: “Any Muslim performs his ablution perfectly and then stands up for prayer and performs it while concentrating on it, will be as sin free as the day his mother bore him”(Reported by Muslim and others)” It’s clear from above that what matters most in prayer is for one to reach the stage of perfect humbleness and awareness of Allah’s Omnipresence.
Sheikh Sayyed Sabiq, states in his book “Fiqh As-Sunnah”: “According to some scholars, it is something detested for one to close eyes while in prayer but some other scholars say that it is not disliked. The hadith denoting that it is disliked is not authentic. Ibn Al-Qayyem states: “If opening the eyes does not make the person distracted from his prayer, then there is no harm in opening them. However, if one attains submissiveness and humbleness when closing his eyes, then it is recommended to close them, for this enables the person to gain the main aim of prayer“