Waswasah during Salah

Q: Whenever I am about to perform Salah (prayer) I imagine that everybody is watching me. This feeling leads me to perform it without submissiveness and concentration. Moreover, my Salah becomes but a kind of ostentation. At that time, I fear to prolong my Salah out of thinking about people. When I finish my Salah, I blame myself and I feel that my Salah will not be accepted. Therefore, I despair all my life thinking that I am a hypocrite who has no share in Islam. I would like to inform you that I love Islam, wish to spread it everywhere and hope for all that is good for it. What can I do, O scholars? I would like you to help me for the sake of Allah. May Allah reward you well! He who alleviates the suffering of a Muslim in this world, Allah will alleviate his suffering in the Day of Judgment. This is according to the meaning of the Hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Am I a hypocrite or is it just devilish insinuations? I contemplate a lot about the Ayah (verse) where Allah (Exalted be He) says: Verily, Allâh forgives not that partners should be set up with Him (in worship), but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He wills; and whoever sets up partners with Allâh in worship, he has indeed invented a tremendous sin.

A: If the reality is as what you have mentioned, then what you feel is nothing more than devilish insinuations in order to spoil your Salah and your religion. May Allah protect you against that! You have to stop believing these insinuations through contemplating the meanings of the Ayahs you read during your Salah. You have to remember that you are standing before Allah as if you are seeing Him. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said in pointing out the meaning of Ihsan (the perfection of Faith): (Part No. 7; Page No. 159)  "That you worship Allah as if you are seeing Him, for though you don't see Him, He, verily, sees you." You have to believe that your Salah is valid and to cast away feeling that you are a hypocrite because all these things are nothing but devilish insinuations. Following him in these insinuations increases his control over you. We ask Allah to protect us and you from these evils.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.