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Part of a series on the Islamic creed:
Aqidah


Mosque02.svg
Five Pillars

Shahādah - Profession of faith
Ṣalāt - Prayers
Ṣawm - Fasting during Ramadan
Zakāh - Paying of alms (giving to the poor)
Hajj - Pilgrimage to Mecca

Six articles of belief (Sunni)

Tawhīd - Oneness
Prophets and Messengers in Islam
Islamic holy books
Angels
The Last Judgment
Predestination

Principles of the Religion (Twelver)

Tawhīd - Oneness
‘Adalah - Justice
Nubuwwah - Prophethood
Imāmah - Leadership
Qiyamah - Day of Judgement

Practices of the Religion (Twelver)

Ṣalāt - Prayers
Ṣawm - Fasting during Ramadan
Hajj - Pilgrimage to Mecca
Zakāh - Tithes
Khums - One-fifth tax
Jihad - Struggle
Commanding what is just
Forbidding what is evil
Tawallā' - Loving the Ahl al-Bayt
Tabarrá - Disassociating Ahl al-Bayt's enemies

Seven Pillars (Ismaili)

Walāyah - Guardianship
Ṭawhid - Oneness of God
Ṣalāt - Prayers
Zakāh - Purifying religious dues
Ṣawm - Fasting during Ramadan
Hajj - Pilgrimage to Mecca
Jihad - Struggle

Others

Kharijite Sixth Pillar of Islam.

Salat (Arabic: صلاة‎; pl. ṣalawāt) is the name given to the formal prayer of Islam. Its supreme importance for Muslims is indicated by its status as one of the paradigmatic Five Pillars of Sunni Islam and of the Ten Practices of the Religion of Shi'a Islam. Salah is a ritual prayer, having prescribed conditions, a prescribed procedure, and prescribed times.

Performing salah is obligatory on all adult Muslims, with a few dispensations for those for whom it would be difficult. To perform valid salah, Muslims must be in a state of ritual purity, which is mainly achieved by ritual ablution according to prescribed procedures. The place of prayer should be clean. In a few cases where blood is leaving the body, salah is forbidden until a later time.

Salah consists of the repetition of two or more units of a prescribed sequence of actions and words. One complete sequence is known as a rak'ah (pl. rak'at). The number of obligatory (fard) rak'at varies according to the time of day or other circumstances requiring salah (such as Friday congregational prayers). Additions to the fard rak'at can be made, again in different multiples according to the circumstances. These are not required, but are considered meritorious. There are also dispensations from some or all of the prescribed actions for those who are physically unable to complete them. The prescribed words of the prayer remain obligatory.

Salah is prescribed at five periods of the day, which are measured according to the movement of the sun. These are: near dawn (fajr), after the sun's noon (dhuhr), in the afternoon (asr), just after sunset (maghrib) and around nightfall (isha'a). (The Islamic day begins at sundown.) Under some circumstances prayers can be shortened or combined (according to prescribed procedures). Prayers can be missed in serious cases, but they should be made up later.

Contents

Terminology

"Salah" is an Arabic word with a root meaning of "supplication". In practice the word almost always refers only to the Muslim formal, obligatory prayer described in this article.

Translating "Salah" as "prayer" is not usually considered precise enough, as the English term can indicate a several different ways of relating to God. In the past Salah has been called “the contact prayer”, “the obligatory prayer”, “the formal prayer”, and so on, but normal academic practice in English is now to refer to the prayer by the Arabic term.

Muslims themselves use several terms to refer to Salah depending on their language or culture. In many parts of the world, including many non-Arab countries such as Indonesia, the Arabic term Salah is used. The other major term is namāz (نماز‎), used by speakers of the Indo-Iranian languages (e.g., Persian, Bengali, and Urdu), the South Slavic languages and Turkic languages. The related Pashto term lmunz (لمونځ) is used by Pashtuns. The words namāz and lmunz derive from the Indo-Aryan root namas (नमस्) meaning 'to bow or prostrate'.

A Muslim worshipper is a muṣallī or مصلى, and the prayer mat, a muṣalla.

Purpose and importance

The chief purpose of prayer in Islam is to act as a person's communication with God. By reciting "The Opening", the first chapter of the Qur'an, as required in all prayer, the worshipper can stand before God, thank and praise Him, and to ask for guidance along the Straight Path.

In addition, the daily prayers remind Muslims to give thanks for Allah's blessings and that Islam takes precedence over all other concerns, thereby revolving their life around Allah and submitting to His will. Prayer also serves as a formal method of remembering Allah, or dhikr [2].

In the Qur'an, it is written that: "The true believers are those who feel fear in their hearts (of the consequences of violating the commands of God) when God is mentioned. And when His Revelations are recited to them, they find their faith strengthened. They do their best and then put their trust in their Lord." [Qur'an 8:2]

"To those whose hearts, when God is mentioned, are filled with fear, who show patient perseverance over their afflictions, keep up regular prayer, and spend (in charity) out of what We have bestowed upon them." [Qur'an 22:35]

Prayer is also cited as a means of restraining a believer from social wrongs and moral deviancy. [Qur'an 29:45] According to the Hadith (Sahih Bukhari), Salah was the most important practice for followers of Mohammed. Mohammed considered the following deeds, in order of goodness:

  1. To offer the prayers at their early stated fixed times.
  2. To be good and dutiful to your parents.
  3. To participate in Jihad, in Allah's cause

The hadith states that when asked "O Allah's Apostle! What is the best deed?" He replied, "To offer the prayers at their early stated fixed times." I asked, "What is next in goodness?" He replied, "To be good and dutiful to your parents." Then, further asked, "What is next in goodness?" He replied, "To participate in Jihad in Allah's Cause." Sahih al-Bukhari 4:52:41 [1][2]

Differences in practice

The salat of one Muslim may differ from another's in minor details, which can affect the precise actions and words involved. Differences arise because of different interpretations of the Islamic legal sources by the different madhhabs (schools of law) in Sunni Islam, and by different legal traditions within Shi'ism. In the case of salat these differences are generally very minor, and they are not necessarily causes of dispute.[3] It is important to note that the reason why sunni Muslims have a basic agreement on the necessary part of the Prayer. Muslims believe that the Prophet Muhammad practiced, taught and disseminated the worship ritual in the whole community and made it part of their life. The practice has, therefore, been concurrently and perpetually been practiced by the community in each layer of the generations. In its basic form the salah is not based on the hadiths or the Qur'an but on the consensus of Muslims [3]. Differences also occur due to optional (recommended rather than obligatory) articles of salat, for example which verses of the Qur'an to recite.

Conditions

The compulsory prayer is obligatory for those who meet these three conditions:[4]

  • are Muslim
  • have reached puberty
  • are of sound mind

There are five elements that make a prayer valid:[5]

  • Confidence of the time of prayer. Being unsure invalidates even if the time turns out correct.[citation needed]
  • Facing the qibla, with the chest facing the direction of the Ka'ba. The ill are allowed leniency with posture.
  • Covering the awrah
  • Clean clothes, body, place of prostration
  • Pure from hadath (wudu, tayammum, ghusl)
  • Praying in front of a Sutrah.[6]

Preparation

Cleanliness and dress

Islam advises that the salat be performed in a ritually clean environment [Qur'an 5:6]. When praying, the clothes that are worn and the place of prayer must be clean. Both men and women are required to cover their bodies (awrah) in reasonably loose-fitting garments. The well-known saying or hadith by al-Nawawi that "purity is half the faith"[7] illustrates how Islam has incorporated and modified existing rules of purity in its religious system.

Ritual ablution

Before conducting prayers, a Muslim has to perform a ritual ablution.

The minor ablution is performed using water (wudu), or sand (tayammum) when water is unavailable or not advisable to use for reasons such as illness.

Wudhu is performed by Shi'a Muslims according to the instructions of Allah given in the Qur'an[Qur'an 5:6]:

"O you who believe! when you rise up to prayer, wash your faces and your hands as far as the elbows, and wipe your heads and your feet to the ankles; and if you are under an obligation to perform a total ablution, then wash (yourselves) and if you are sick or on a journey, or one of you come from the privy, or you have touched the women, and you cannot find water, betake yourselves to pure earth and wipe your faces and your hands therewith, Allah does not desire to put on you any difficulty, but He wishes to purify you and that He may complete His favor on you, so that you may be grateful."

Wudhu is performed by Sunni Muslims by washing the hands, mouth, nose, arms, face, hair, ears,(often washing the hair is merely drawing the already wet hands from the fringe to the nape of the neck) and feet three times each in that order. (It is not obligatory to wash the hair three times, once is sufficient, and men must also wash their beards and mustaches when washing the face) though there are several differences in way wudu is performed between the four accepted Sunni madhabs.

Articles of prayer

A Muslim raises his hands to recite Takbeeratul-Ihram in prayer

All verbal parts of the prayer, apart from the voluntary personal prayer, must be spoken in properly pronounced Arabic. Not following the correct sequence invalidates the prayer. There are 13 articles:[8]

[1] Having intention for prayer

The person should be conscious and aware of the particular salat that is being offered, whether it is obligatory, if it is a missed (qadha) prayer, individual or jamaat, shortened traveller's prayer etc. The explicitly verbalization of this intention is not required, though can be helpful.
It is done simultaneously with [2] Takbeeratul-Ihram (below).

The person should think his prayer to be the Last Prayer so that he may perform the best he can.

[2] Takbeeratul-Ihram

By rising the hands up to the shoulders , fingers slightly apart Saying الله أَكْبَر (God is The Greatest) is the start of the prayer.

[3] Standing right

For the able-bodied, leaning or not standing upright invalidates prayer. If one is incapable of standing, one may sit, lie on the right side, lie on the left side, lie on one's back or as one is able to do.

Painting of Muslims praying in Cairo, Egypt in 1865

[4] Reciting Al-Fatiha

Recitation of Al-Fatiha is obligated for every raka'ah.then With Bismillah Ar Rahman Ar Rahim (In the name of Allah , The Most Gracious the most merciful)
Reading another surah after Al-Fatiha is also obligatory for the first 2 raka'ah for all obligatory prayers, however it is required in all raka'ah of supererogatory

Muslim recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet said,

«مَنْ صَلَى صَلَاةً لَمْ يَقْرَأْ فِيهَا أُمَّ الْقُرْآنِ فَهِيَ خِدَاجٌ ثَلَاثًا غَيْرُ تَمَامٍ»

(Whoever performs any prayer in which he did not read Umm Al-Qur’an, then his prayer is incomplete.) He said it thrice.

Umm Al-Qur'an (literally means the mother of the Qur'an)here refers to Al-Fatihah (The Opening).

When standing behind Imam also one should recite the Fatihah. This is based on the following hadith.

Abu Hurayrah was asked, "[When] we stand behind the Imam He said, "Read it to yourself, for I heard the Messenger of Allah say,

(Allah, the Exalted, said, `I have divided the prayer (Al-Fatihah) into two halves between Myself and My servant, and My servant shall have what he asks for.' If he says, [الْحَمْدُ للَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَـلَمِينَ ] (All praise and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of existence.) Allah says, `My servant has praised Me.' When the servant says, [الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ ] (The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.) Allah says, `My servant has glorified Me.' When he says, [مَـلِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ ] (The Owner of the Day of Recompense.) Allah says, `My servant has glorified Me,' or `My servant has related all matters to Me.' When he says, [إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ ] (You (alone) we worship, and You (alone) we ask for help.) Allah says, `This is between Me and My servant, and My servant shall acquire what he sought.' When he says, [اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ - صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ الضَّآلِّينَ ] (Guide us to the straight path. The way of those on whom You have granted Your grace, not (the way) of those who earned Your anger, nor of those who went astray), Allah says, `This is for My servant, and My servant shall acquire what he asked for.'). These are the words of An-Nasa'i, while both Muslim and An-Nasa'i collected the following wording, "A half of it is for Me and a half for My servant, and My servant shall acquire what he asked for.'

There are many other Hadiths on this subject. Therefore, reciting Al-Fatihah, during the prayer by the Imam and those praying behind him, is required in every prayer, and in every Rak`ah.

As for the reading of Bismillah in the prayer, there are some different views whether this is necessary or not or should it be aloud or silently.

It is also recommended saying Amin (O Allah! Accept our invocation) after recitation of Al-Fatihah.

Imams Ahmad, Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi recorded, that Wa'il bin Hujr said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah recite, [غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ الضَّآلِّينَ] (Not (that) of those who earned Your anger, nor of those who went astray), and he said `Amin' extending it with his voice.

Abu Dawud's narration added, "Raising his voice with it. At-Tirmidhi then commented that this Hadith is Hasan and was also narrated from `Ali and Ibn Mas`ud.

Also, Abu Hurayrah narrated that whenever the Messenger of Allah would recite, [غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ الضَّآلِّينَ] (Not (the way) of those who earned Your anger, nor of those who went astray), He would say Amin until those who were behind him in the first line could hear him.

Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah recorded this Hadith with the addition, "Then the Masjid would shake because of (those behind the Prophet ) reciting Amin. Also, Ad-Daraqutni recorded this Hadith and commented that it is Hasan.

[5] Ruku'

Ruku' is bowing the body until the palms are on the knees. Ruku should be such that when a person is bowing, his back should be erected at an angle at which poured water may not fall from it (means at 0' back w.r.t 270' legs) Stopping means all major body parts including arms, wrists, head, legs stop - as long as saying "sub'han-Allah". If the body still moves, stopping is not done. An additional option is to read 3 times سبحان ربى العظيم و بحمده (Glory to my Lord, the Most Magnificent Most Praiseworthy).

[6] I'tidal and stopping

I'tidal is standing again after ruku'. While the body is raising up, an additional option is to read سمع الله لمن حمده (Allah Listens to him who praises Him). During standing, an additional option is to read ربنا لك الحمد ملء السموات وملء الأرض وملء ما شئت من شئ بعد (Our Lord, to You is due all praise...). The body must stop as long as saying "subhanallah" Then after that say "Allah Akbar" (Allah is the Greatest) and raise hand to the shoulders as person did previously at the start and then go to sajda.

[7] Prostration [Sajdah]

Prostration involves putting the following parts of the body - the bare forehead, both palms, both knees, the base of the toes of both feet - on the place of prostration. The forehead must be bare; a covered forehead invalidates prayer. An additional option is to read 3 times سبحان ربى الأعلى و بحمده (Glory to my Lord, the Most High Most Praiseworthy). There are 2 prostrations, the second is done after sitting between 2 prostrations (as [8] below).

[8] Sitting between two prostrations

During the sitting between the two prostrations, an additional option is to recite: " Allahummaghfirli, warhamnii, wajburnii, warfa'nii, warzuqnii, wahdinii, wa'afinii, wa'fu'annii" Oh Allah Forgive Me, Have mercy on me, ...

[9] Final Tashahhud

At-tahiyyatu lillahi was-salawatu wat-tayyibatu was-salamu 'alayka ayyuha Annabiyyu warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu Assalamu 'alayna wa 'ala `abadillahi assaliheena Ash-hadu anna la ilaha illa Allah Wa Ash-hadu anna Mohammmedan 'abduhu warasuluhu.

Shia version: Tashahhud Rule 1109 by Ayatullah Sistani[9], In the second unit of all obligatory prayers, and in the third unit of Maghrib prayers and in the fourth unit of Zuhr, Asr and Isha prayers, one should sit after the second prostration with a tranquil body, and recite tashahhud thus: "Ash hadu an la ilaha illal lahu wahdahu la sharika lah, wa ash hadu anna Muhammadan 'Abduhu wa Rasuluh, Alla humma salli 'ala Muhammadin wa Ali Muhammad". And it will be sufficient if one recited the tashahhud this way: Ash hadu an la ilaha illal lahu was ash hadu anna Muhammadan Sallal lahu Alayhi Wa Aalihi Abduhu Wa rasuluh. It is also necessary to recite tashahhud while offering Witr (in Namaz-e-Shab) prayers. Salam in the prayers Rule 1114 by Ayatullah Sistani[10], While a person sits after reciting tashahhud in the last Rak'at, and his body is tranquil, it is Mustahab to say: Assalamu 'alayka ayyuhan Nabiyyu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. Then he should say: Assalamu Alaykum and as a recommended precaution add to it Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh. Alternatively, he can say: Assalamu Alayna Wa Ala Ibadi llahis Salihin. But if he recites this Salam, then as per obligatory precaution, he must follow it up with saying: Assalamu Alaykum. Translation of Tashahhud and Salam[11] Al Hamdu lillah, Ash hadu an la ilaha illal lahu wahdahu la sharika lah (All praise is for Allah, and I testify that there is none worth worshipping except the Almighty Allah, Who is One and has no partner). Wa Ashhadu anna Muhammadan 'abduhu wa Rasuluh (And I testify that Muhammad is His servant and messenger). Alla humma salli 'ala Muhammadin wa Ali Muhammad. (O Allah! Send Your blessings on Muhammad and his progeny). Wa taqqabal shafa'atahu warfa' darajatahu (And accept his intercession, and raise his rank). Assalamu 'alayka ayyuhan Nabiyyu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh (O Prophet! Allah's peace, blessings and grace be upon you!). Assalamu 'alayna wa 'ala 'ibadil lahis salihin (Allah's peace be on us, those offering prayers - and upon all pious servants of Allah). Assalamu 'alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. (Allah's peace, blessings and grace be on you believers!)

[10] Sitting for final Tashahhud

The final Tashahhud must be done while sitting.

[11] Greetings for Prophet Muhammad and for Prophet Abraham

Required portion: At least by saying اللهم صلى على محمد. Allaahumma salli 'alaa Muhammadin O Allah, bless our Muhammad Recommended portion:
اللهم صلى على محمد وعلى آل محمد كما صليت على إبراهيم وعلى آل إبراهيم
وبارك على محمد وعلى آل محمد كما باركت على إبراهيم وعلى آل إبراهيم
فى العالمين إنك حميد مجيد


Allaahumma salli 'alaa Muhammadin wa 'alaa ali Muhammadin Kamaa sallaita 'alaa Ibraaheema wa 'alaa ali Ibraaheema Innaka hameedun Majeed Alaahumma baarik 'ala Muhammadin wa 'alaa ali Muhammadin Kamaa baarakta 'alaa Ibraaheema wa 'alaa ali Ibraaheema Innaka hameedun Majeed

O Allah, bless our Muhammad and the people of Muhammad As you have blessed Abraham and the people of Abraham. O Allah, be gracious unto Muhammad and the people of Muhammad As you were gracious unto Abraham and the people of Abraham. Surely you are the Most Praiseworthy, the Most Glorious.

[12] First greeting

Greeting "peace be upon you" to the right side. At least with السلام عليكم, at best السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

[13] Second greeting

Greeting "peace be upon you" to the left side. At least with السلام عليكم, at best السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

Performance

Muslims performing sal'at

Salat is performed in "units" of prayer called raka'ah. The 3rd to 8th articles listed above makes one raka'ah. These are repeated for every raka'ah. At the last raka'ah, the rest 9th to 12th articles is completed. (Note: For more than 2 raka'ah prayers, an additional option is to sit for Tashahhud on the second raka'ah.) Different salat have different numbers of prescribed raka'at.

The salat must be performed with sincere devotion (khushoo), otherwise it is considered invalid. Salat is performed facing the direction of qibla (i.e. towards the Kaaba in Mecca), to the best estimation of the musallee if there is no certain way to determine the correct direction.

The musallee begins the prayer by standing in qiyaam, facing qibla and silently reciting the niyyah (intention to pray) for the specific salat he is about to make. He then raises his hands and speaks aloud the takbir.

Important positions during salat.

For fard as-salat, the first raka'ah commences with the optional recitation of one of the opening supplications followed by the first chapter of the Qur'an, al-Fatihah. For subsequent raka'at and other types of salat, each raka'ah commences with al-Fatihah. During the first two raka'ah, following the recitation of al-Fatihah any other chapter or several verses of the Qur'an are additionally recited (qira'at) while in the standing position before the musallee moves into the bowing position (ruku').

After one raka'ah is complete (and on every subsequent odd raka'ah), the musallee returns from the prostrate position (sujj-ud ) back to the standing position to begin another raka'ah. On every second raka'ah, he first moves from sujj-ud to an upright sitting position (jalsa) and recites the first portion of a supplication known as the tashahhud, before returning to the standing position to begin the next raka'ah.

On the final raka'ah the musallee moves to the jalsa from the sujud position and recites the complete tashahhud. Sunni Muslims then conclude the prayer by turning their face toward the right shoulder and then toward the left shoulder, each time saying a salutation to all the world on the right of them and the same salutation to all the world on the left of them. It is like one has returned from the court of their Master and these are the good tidings they have brought back for the world by saying 'Peace to you and mercy of Allah'.

After the salat is completed it is common (but not compulsory) for Muslims to offer a supplication (du'a) to God. This supplication, which essentially gives Muslims an opportunity to ask God for forgiveness and blessings, can be offered in any language.

Types of salah

Salah may be classified into four categories of obligation: fard, wajib, sunnah and nafl.[12]

Fard As-salat

The fard As-salat are the five compulsory daily prayers, the Friday prayer (Jumu'ah) and the funeral prayer (Janazah). Non-performance of Fard as-Salat renders one a non-Muslim according to the Hanbali Sunni School, for the other Sunni schools it renders one a sinner. The denial of its compulsory status however is agreed upon by all Sunni schools to render the denier outside the fold of Islam. Fard prayers (as with all fard actions) are further classed as fard al-ayn (obligation of the self) and fard al-kifayah (obligation of sufficiency). Fard al-ayn are those actions which are obligatory on each individual; he or she will be held to account if the actions are not performed. Fard al-kifayah are actions obligatory on the Muslim community at large, so that if some people within the community carry it out no Muslim is considered blameworthy, but if no one carries it out all incur a collective punishment.

Men are required to perform the fard salah in congregation (jama'ah), behind an imam when they are able. According to most Islamic scholars, performing salat in congregation is obligatory for men, when they are able, but is neither required nor forbidden for women.

The five daily prayers

Display showing prayer times in a Turkish mosque.
I Fajr, II Dhuhr, III Asr, IV Maghrib, V Isha'a

Muslims are commanded to perform salah five times a day. These prayers are obligatory on every Muslim who have reached the age of puberty, with the exception being those who are mentally ill, too physically ill for it to be possible, menstruating, or experiencing post-partum bleeding. Those who are ill or otherwise physically unable to offer their prayers in the traditional form are permitted to offer their prayers while sitting or laying, as they are able. The five prayers are all given certain prescribed times (al waqt) in which they must be performed, unless there is a compelling reason for not being able to perform them on time.

Some Muslims offer voluntary prayers (sunna rawatib) immediately before and after the prescribed fard prayers. Sunni Muslims classify these prayers as sunnah, while Shi'ah consider them nafil. The number of raka'ah for each of the five obligatory prayers as well as the voluntary prayers (before and after) are listed below:

Name Prescribed time period (waqt) Voluntary before fard1 Fard Voluntary after fard1
Sunni Shi'a Sunni Shi'a
Fajr (فجر) Dawn to sunrise 2 Raka'ah Sunnat-Mu'aqqadah2 2 Raka'ah 2 2 Raka'ah
Dhuhr (ظهر) After true noon until Asr 4 Raka'ah Sunnat-Mu'aqqadah2 4 Raka'ah 4 Raka'ah4 2 Raka'ah Sunnat-Mu'aqqadah2
Asr (عصر) Afternoon.5&6 4 Raka'ah Sunnat-Ghair-Mu'aqqadah 4 Raka'ah 4 Raka'ah
Maghrib (مغرب) After sunset until dusk 3 Raka'ah 3 Raka'ah 2 Raka'ah Sunnat-Mu'aqqadah2 2 Raka'ah3
Isha'a (عشاء) Dusk until dawn6 4 Raka'ah Sunnat-Ghair-Mu'aqqadah 4 Raka'ah 4 Raka'ah 2 Raka'ah Sunnat-Mu'aqqadah,2
3 Raka'ah Witr
2 Raka'ah,3&7 8 raka'ah (4×2 Raka'ah) Salat al-Layl3

Sunni muslims also perform 2 raka'ah nafl(voluntary) after the Zohr, Magrib prayer. During the Isha prayer they perform the 2 rak'ah nafl after the 2 Sunnat-Mu'aqqadah and after the witr prayer.

1 According to Shia Muslims, these are to be performed in sets of two raka'ah each, This is not the case for Sunni muslims.
2 According to Sunni muslims for the Sunnat Raka'ah there is a difference between Sunnat-Mu'aqqadah (obligatory) and Sunnat-Ghair-Mu'aqqadah (voluntary). The Sunnat-Mu'aqqadah was prayed by Muhammed daily. This was not the case for the Sunnat-Ghair-Mu'aqqadah.
3 Mustahab (praiseworthy) to do everyday. (Shias)
4 Replaced by Jumu'ah on Fridays, which consists of two raka'ah.
5 According to Imam Abu Hanifa, "Asr starts when the shadow of an object becomes twice its height (plus the length of its shadow at the start time of Dhuhr)." For the rest of Imams, "Asr starts when the shadow of an object becomes equal to its length (plus the length of its shadow at the start time of Dhuhr)." Asr ends as the sun begins to set.
6 According to Shia Muslims, 'Asr prayer and 'Ishaa prayer have no set times but are performed from mid-day. Zuhr and 'Asr prayers must be performed before sunset, and the time for 'Asr prayer starts after Zuhr has been performed. Maghrib and 'Ishaa prayers must be performed before midnight, and the time for 'Ishaa prayer can start after Maghrib has been performed, as long as no more light remains in the western sky signifying the arrival of the true night.
7 According to Shia Muslims, this prayer is termed nawafil.
8 Further information on the usage of the word "Esha" (evening) see:[Qur'an 12:16][Qur'an 79:46].

Jumu'ah

  Salat al-Jumu'ah is a congregational prayer on Friday which replaces the dhuhr prayer. It is compulsory upon men to perform it in congregation, while women may perform it so or may perform dhuhr salat instead. Salat al-Jumu'ah consists of a sermon (khutba) given by the speaker (khatib) after which two raka'ah are performed. There is no Salat al-Jumu'ah without a khutba. This does not imply superiority of men to women, but it is done in compliance with what Muslims have been commanded to do by God.[citation needed]

Wajib salat

Wajib As-salat are compulsory, non-performance of which renders one a sinner. However the evidence of the obligation is open to interpretation, with some of the madhab saying it is obligatory while others saying it is optional. To deny that a fard salah is obligatory is an act of disbelief while denying the obligation of a wajib salah is not disbelief. There are some who believe that as the 5 prayers are obligatory, it automatically renders all other prayers optional.

Sunnah salat

Sun'nah sal'ah are optional and were additional voluntary prayers performed by Prophet Muhammad — they are of two types — the 'Sun'nah Mukkaddah', those practiced on a regular basis which if abandoned cause the abandoner to be regarded as sinful by the Hanafi School and the 'Sun'nah Ghair Mukkaddah' those practiced on a semi-regular practice by Prophet Muhammad which all are agreed upon that its abandonment doesn't render one sinful.

Certain sunnah prayers have prescribed waqts associated with them. Those ordained for before each of the fard prayers must be performed between the first call to prayer (adhan) and the second call (iqama) which signifies the start of the fard prayer. Those sunnah ordained for after the fard prayers can be performed any time between the end of the fard prayers and the end of the current prayer's waqt. Any amount of extra raka'ah may be offered, but most madha'ib prescribe a certain number of raka'ah for each sunnah salah.

Nafl salat

Nafl salat (supererogatory prayers) are voluntary, and one may offer as many as he or she likes almost any time. There are many specific conditions or situations when one may wish to offer nafl prayers. They cannot be offered at sunrise, true noon, or sunset. The prohibition against salat at these times is to prevent the practice of sun worship.

Witr

Witr is performed after the salah of isha'a (dusk). Some Muslims consider witr wajib while others consider it optional. It may contain any odd number of raka'ah from one to eleven according to the different schools of jurisprudence. However, Witr is most commonly offered with three raka'ah.

To end prayers for the night after isha'a, the odd numbered raka'ah must have the niyyah of "wajib-ul-Lail", which is mandatory to "close" one's salat for that day.

Eid

Eid salat is performed on the morning of Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha. The Eid prayer is most likely an individual obligation (fard al-ayn), though some Islamic scholars argue it is only a collective obligation (fard al-kifayah).[13] It consists of two raka'at, with six takbirs offered before the start of the first raka'ah and five before the second. After the salat is completed, a sermon (khutbah) is offered. However, the khutbah is not an integral part of the Eid salat.[14] The Eid salat must be offered between sunrise and true noon i.e. between the time periods for Fajr and Dhuhr.

Istikhaarah

Salat al-Istikhaarah is a prayer performed when a Muslim needs guidance on a particular matter, such as whether they should marry a certain person. In order to perform this salah one should perform a normal two raka'at salah to completion. After completion one should say a du'a called the Istikhaarah du'a. The intention for the salah should be in one's heart to perform two raka'at of salah followed by Istikhaarah. The salah can be performed at any of the times where salah is not forbidden.

Exceptional circumstances

Dr. Muhammad Hedayetullah, scholar in comparative religion, in his book Dynamics of Islam (2006), stresses that even though salah is compulsory, flexibility in the specifics is allowed depending on the circumstances: For example, in the case of illness or a lack of space, a worshipper can offer salah while sitting, or even lying down, and the prayer can be shortened when travelling. The salah must be performed in the Arabic language.

Qada

In certain circumstances one may be unable to perform one's prayer within the prescribed time period (waqt). In this case, the prayer must be performed as soon as one is able to do so. These prayers performed after the prescribed waqt are called qada. It is not permissible to deliberately miss performing the salat within its waqt with the intention of performing it afterwards. Hadhrat Jaabir narrates that Muhammad said: "The distinguishing factor between kufr and Imaan is the deliberate neglect of Salaat." (Muslim).

Qasr and Jam' bayn as-Salaatayn

When travelling over long distances, one may shorten some prayers, a practice known as qasr. Furthermore, several prayer times may be joined, which is referred to as Jam' bayn as-Salaatayn. Qasr involves shortening the obligatory components of the Dhuhr, Asr, and Isha'a prayers to two raka'ah. Jam' bayn as-Salaatayn combines the Dhuhr and Asr prayers into one prayer offered between noon and sunset, and the Maghrib and Isha'a prayers into one between sunset and Fajr. Neither Qasr nor Jam' bayn as-Salaatayn can be applied to the Fajr prayer.

There is no reference to Qasr during travel within the Qur'an itself; the Qur'an allows for Qasr only when there is fear of attack.

Prayer in congregation

Prayer in congregation (jama'ah) is considered to have more social and spiritual benefit than praying by oneself. When praying in congregation, the musallees stand in straight parallel rows behind the chosen imam, facing qibla. The imam, who leads the congregation in salat, is usually chosen to be a scholar or the one who has the best knowledge of the Qur'an, preferably someone who has memorised it (a hafiz) . In the first row behind the imam, if available, would be another hafiz to correct the imam in case a mistake is made during the performance of the salat. The prayer is performed as normal, with the congregation following the actions and movements of the imam as he performs the salat.

Women's prayer hall in Khadija Mosque, Berlin

Upon entering the mosque, "Tahiyyatul masjid" must be performed; this is one of the rites of the mosque. Every Muslim entering the mosque is encouraged to perform these two rakats.

When the worshippers consist of men and women combined, a man is chosen as the imam. In this situation, women are typically forbidden from performing this role. This point, though unanimously agreed on by the major schools of Islam, is disputed by some groups, based partly on a hadith whose interpretation is controversial. When the congregation consists entirely of women and pre-pubescent children, one woman is chosen as imam.

When men, women, and children are praying, the children's rows are usually between the men's and women's rows, with the men at the front and women at the back. Another configuration is where the men's and women's rows are side by side, separated by a curtain or other barrier, with the primary intention being for there to be no direct line of sight between male and female worshippers, following a Qur'anic injunction toward men and women each lowering their gazes (Qur'an 24:30-31).

Qur'anic Salat

The concept of Qura'nic Salat Timings has been discussed in Hujjat Allah Al-Baligha (Arabic/Urdu) by Shah Waliullah. He said that there are three Salat timings in fact for Five Salats[15].

The numbers of regular Salat mentioned by their respective names in Arabic in the Qur'an are three as follows:

  1. Salat Fajr (Dawn Prayer) [Qur'an 24:58]
  2. Al-Salat Al-Wusta ( The Middle Prayer) [Qur'an 2:238][Qur'an 17:78]
  3. Salat Isha’a (Night Prayer)[Qur'an 24:58]

The following three Salat which are not mentioned in Qur'an by their names as a term in Arabic are as:

  1. Salat Dhuhr (ظهر).
  2. Salat Asr (عصر).
  3. Salat Maghrib (مغرب).

However, the words “Dhuhr (ظهر)”, “Asr (عصر)” and “Maghrib (مغرب)” are used in the Qur'an but not as a term defining “Salat”. The word “noon” is used but not as a “Salat Time” or as a “Salat Al-Dhuhr” but rather than as a “Time of Privacy/Rest Time”.[Qur'an 24:58]

The Qur’an reinforces the importance of keeping a schedule of five prayers [Qur'an 2:238] and the times at which they must be given [Qur'an 17:78], and the conditions one must meet before prayer is considered valid [Qur'an 24:58].

Salat timings in the Qur'an

Salat Timings of Qur'an are mentioned, in particular three salat times are described [Qur'an 11:114] and that they are recorded in a written document. [Qur'an 4:103] The Qur'an states that you should interrupt any activity you were previously doing to pray, as this betters the individual. [Qur'an 6:9] Also noted is the volume at which the salat should be uttered, somewhere in between spoken aloud and spoken in a low tone. [Qur'an 17:110]

The middle or Salat Al-Wusta can be observed from the moment the sun begins its descend from its highest point in the sky (duluk al shams) until the darkness of the night (ghasaq al-layl) starts to set in, which is at sunset.[Qur'an 17:78]

The Qur’an implies that the time of the Middle prayer ends with sunset.[Qur'an 38:32]

The Fajr (Dawn) Prayer starts when the first thin ray of light is observed in the sky[Qur'an 2:187][Qur'an 52:49] and ends at the first "taraf" (terminal) of the day, or sunrise [Qur'an 11:114]

Salat in Hadith

The Ahadith provide further details; as for example, when the Qur'an refers to three daily prayers (suras 11:114; 17:78–79; 30:17–18 and possibly 24:58), while the five daily prayers stipulated by the later Ahadith have been adopted by Muslims.[4].

Typical prayer content

(One rakat)

Intentions

There is no need to say your intentions outloud. Just know that you are either going to pray your obligatory prayers or nafl prayers. An an example is that if you walk to the moasque for salah, you dont say it outloud. Same goes for praying.

Prayer

Allah is the greatest (Allahu Akbar)

Highly glorified are You oh Allah (Subhana kallah humma wa bi hamdaka)

And thine is praised and blessed is your name and exalted is your majesty (Wa taba rakas muka wata'ala Jadduka)

And there is none worthy of worship besides You (wa la ilaha ghairuk)

I seek refuge in Allah from the rejected Satan (Aoothu billahi mina shaitan ir rajim)

In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful (Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim)

All praise is due to Allah (Alhamdu lillahi)

The Lord of the Worlds (Rabbil 'alamin)

The Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful (Arrahmanir Rahim)

The Master on the Day of Reckoning (Maliki yaw middin)

You alone do we worship, You alone do we seek for help (Iyyaka na'budu wa Iyyaka nista'in)

Guide us on the straight way (Ihdinas siratal mustaqim)

The way of those whom You favored (Siratal lazina an'amta 'alayhim)

Not the way of those who incur your wrath (Ghayril maghzubi 'alayhim)

Nor of those who go astray. (Walad dhallin)

Amen. (Amin.)

In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful (Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim)

Say: He is Allah, the One and Only (Qul huwallahu Ahad)

Allah, the Eternal Absolute (Allahus Samad)

He begetteth not, nor is he begotten (Lam yalid walam yulad)

And there is none like unto Him (Walam yakul lahu kufu wan ahad)

Allah is the greatest (Allahu Akbar)

Glory to my Lord the Great, (Subhana Rabbiyal 'Azim)

Glory to my Lord the Great, (Subhana Rabbiyal 'Azim)

Glory to my Lord the Great (Subhana Rabbiyal 'Azim)

Surely Allah hears whoever praises Him (Sami' Allahu Liman Hamida)

Our Lord, all praise belongs to You (Rabbanaa lakal hamd)

Allah is the greatest (Allahu Akbar)

Glory to my Lord the Most High, (Subhana Rabbi yal A'la)

Glory to my Lord the Most High, (Subhana Rabbi yal A'la)

Glory to my Lord the Most High (Subhana Rabbi yal A'la)

Allah is greater (Allahu Akbar)

Oh Allah, forgive me and have mercy on me (Alla-hummagh-firl war'hamni)

Allah is greater (Allahu Akbar)

Glory to my Lord the Most High, (Subhana Rabbi yal A'la)

Glory to my Lord the Most High, (Subhana Rabbi yal A'la)

Glory to my Lord the Most High (Subhana Rabbi yal A'la)

Allah is greater (Allahu Akbar)

All good whether rendered by speech, by prayer, by deed, or by worship is for Allah only (Attahiatu lilahi wasalawatu watayibatu)

Peace be unto you oh Prophet (Assalamu alayka ayuhannabiyu)

and the mercy and blessings of Allah (wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu)

Peace be unto us and the righteous servants of Allah (Assalamu alayina wa ala ibadillahissalalihiyn)

I bear witness that there is no God except Allah (Ash hadu an la ilaha illal lahu)

And Muhammad is His slave and Messenger (wa ashadu anna Muhammadan 'Abduhu wa Rasuluah)

Oh Allah, bless Muhammad and the followers of Muhammad (Allahumma salliy ala Muhammadin wa ala aali Muhammadin)

As you blessed Abraham and the followers of Abraham (Allhuma salaita ala Ibrahima wa'ala ali Ibrhaima)

Oh Allah, praise and venerate Muhammad and the followers of Muhammad (Allahuma barik Muhammadin wa ala aali Muhammadin)


As you praised and venerated Abraham and the followers of Abraham (Kama barkta ala Ibrahima wa ala aali Ibrahima)

In the worlds, surely You are praised and magnified (Inaka Hamidon Majid)

Amen (Amin)

Peace be unto you and the mercy of Allah, (Assalamu alai kum wa rahmatu Allah)

Peace be unto you and the mercy of Allah (Assalamu alai kum wa rahmatu Allah)

Other

Devout Muslims sometimes develop a prayer bump, which is caused by the friction of rubbing ones forehead against the ground for a long period of time.[16]

References

Further reading

External links

Namaz is a very important role in a Muslims life


Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

Son of Arphaxad, parent of Eber (Gen 10:24)

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