I want to ask you few questions about the Ṣalāh:
1. Living in Saudi Arabia, I saw that most of the Saudis do not have wuḍū and just start offering the ṣalāh. A few days ago I noticed that our imām did the same. I feel he was not in the proper state of purification obtained by performing wuḍū. I, however, offered the ṣalāh. Please tell me if I did right or wrong?
2. Sometimes when I am happy and I start offering the ṣalāh as soon as I enter the time to offer the Prayer a lot of things run in my heart and mind. I forget Allah and things pop up and run in my mind. What should I do?
3. I have tried my level best in the ṣalāh and also socially but sometimes when I am with my friend I feel to be a bad boy. But when I am alone or moving somewhere durūd (prayer formulas for seeking blessing for the Prophet sws) fills my heart and wets my tongue.
4. I am going to offer 'umrah tomorrow. Please tell me the right way to pray to God about our tension and, as you know, the problems in everyday life.
1. Thank you for writing to us. I understand that you have offered ṣalāh led by an imām who, you believe, had not performed wuḍū properly. Please note that it is not your responsibility to check that. It is upon the imām to perform wuḍū properly. You can at best politely discuss this with him and bring your concern to his notice. His failure in this regard does not harm your ṣalāh.
2. God does not hold us into account for involuntary thoughts. If for example I think of something that takes away my mind and I lose my concentration that is not my fault. It will only be my fault if I just knowingly give in to such thoughts and continue daydreaming or solving all my problems and doing arithmetic. As lost as you are aware of the fact that thoughts disturb your Prayers and that you need to avoid indulging in them and you continue going back to what you are doing nothing more is acquired. I suggest you can learn the meaning of the words you utter in the Prayer and the verses and sūrahs you recite. When we say something we know the meaning of we can keep our concentration and if we start chanting something we do not know then we can lose concentration easily.
3. We are obliged to try not to involve in bad things. We can also choose our circle. I suggest trying to live in a good company. It is very hard to live up to religious and moral standards in an environment unfriendly to the religion. However, extenuating circumstances are always considered by God and we should repent and seek His forgiveness and ask Him to grant us a good environment. May God bless you and increase your taqwā. Remembering God in solicitude is a great virtue.
4. I believe a prayer to God does not need any language or eloquent expression or a set method. It is the voice of heart which even a child can try and a dumb can express. It is the force of trust in God and our faith in Him. I suggest put your prayers before the Lord God who knows our wishes more than we do and keep faith in Him. He will definitely hear your cries and grant you your wishes.
May Allah reward you for serving Him.