Answered by Shaykh Amjad Rasheed
Translated by Sidi Moustafa Elqabbany
If I want to concentrate in my prayer, can I turn off the surrounding lights and pray in complete darkness so that nothing distracts me?
In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate
A. Yes, this is permissible. The jurists have mentioned that although it is sunna for the one praying to look at the place of prostration, closing the eyes is not disliked because it is a means for acquiring presence of heart and submissive humility (khushû‘), which is the very essence and spirit of prayer, as Ibn Hajar mentions in the Tuhfa (2/100). He then relates that the Sultan of Scholars, Al-‘Izz Ibn Abdussalam, ruled that closing the eyes in prayer is preferrable if not closing them will disrupt one’s submissive humility or presence of heart with one’s Lord.
(Translated by Moustafa Elqabbany)