Joined: Sep 2002
Is it permissible to close your eyes during prayer for a brief moment to attain submissiveness and tranquility?
ANSWER by Shaykh Muhammad 'Umar Baazmool, instructor at Umm Al-Quraa University in Makkah
It seems that this is permissible, however it must not be taken as a continual, regular practice.
It should be noted here that the norm is that a person is to pray without closing his eyes. It has been established that the Messenger (sallallaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) prayed while wearing a garment given to him by Aboo Jahm. There were markings on this garment, or designs, and they distracted the Messenger (sallallaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) from his prayer . So know that the Messenger (sallallaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) was able to close his eyes so that this garment would not distract him. Rather, he (sallallaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) did not teach us to close our eyes during the prayer.
This hadeeth shows that it is not legislated to close one's eyes throughout the prayer in order to attain humility and submissiveness. However, to close one's eyes for a second as mentioned in the question, for a very brief moment, to refocus and gain submissiveness, not closing one's eyes for the whole prayer, it seems to me that this is permissible, so long as it is not taken as a regular habit, and Allaah knows best.
 Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree #373 (1/603 of Fat-hul-Baaree) and Saheeh Muslim #1238 (3/46 of Sharh An-Nawawee)
This was translated exclusively for www.bakkah.net from a cassette recording with the knowledge and permission of the shaykh, file no. AAMB031, dated 1423/7/25.
سبحانك اللهم وبحمدك
أشهد أن لا إله إلا أنت
أستغفرك وأتوب إليك