Muslim Prayers – Salaat

♣ What is Prayers (Salaah)?

It is the duty of every Muslim to pray five times a day. Prayers are intended to focus the mind on Allah, and is seen as a personal communication with Him that expresses gratitude and worship. According to Islam, if a person offers the prayers, he will get merits and blessings of Allah Almighty, on the other hand, if he misses the prayers, he will get sins which will lead for the divine punishment.

♣ When prayers become compulsory for a person?

According to Prophet’s ﷺ hadith, if a boy or girl reaches seven years old, they should be advised to pray. If they reach ten years old and still if they not perform salaah, then they should be smacked lightly. Prayers will become compulsory for a man from the age of his puberty.

♣ To whom prayers are not compulsory?

• For non-Muslims

• For Insane

• For a child who still not attain the puberty

• For the ladies who are menstruating, or are experiencing bleeding in the 40 days after childbirth. (Haiz and Nifas)

♣ Does a person who newly embraced Islam require to redo the prayers which he missed before accepting Islam?

No, once a non-Muslim embraces Islam, he does not need to redo the prayers which he did not perform at his time of being a non-Muslim. Once he accepts Islam, all his previous sins will be forgiven. But he will be obliged to pray from the time of he accepted Islam.

♣ Does a woman require to redo (Qadaa) the salaah which she missed due to bleeding from menstrual flow or child birth?

No, she does not require to redo them.

♣ Can women lead the prayers? (Can women do the Imamat?)

Women cannot lead the prayers for men. However, women can lead to women. It is Sunnah for women to pray as congregational prayers.

When a woman leads the congregational prayers to other women, she should not stand alone in the front as men do. But she should stand in the middle of the first row.

It is not sunnah for calling Azaan in women’s prayers. But it is sunnah to call Iqamah for the prayers. Also the one who leads the prayer, should not recite quranic verses very loudly.

♣ What are the conditions for the prayers? (Shuroot of salah)

• Should be a Muslim

• Should not be an insane

• Should have attained the puberty

• Should be cleaned from major impurity (Bath) and minor impurity (wudu)

• Body, dress and the place should be cleaned

• Should cover the awrat

• Should know the time of the prayers

• Should face the Qibla

♣ What is the difference between Fard (compulsory) Prayer and Sunnat (Optional) Prayer?

Fard prayers are the compulsory prayers every Muslims must perform five times a day. If he performs them, he will get the rewards and love of Allah. If he does not perform them, then he will get sins which will lead for the divine punishment.

Sunnat prayers are the additional optional prayers which are practiced by beloved Prophet sallallahu alaihiwasallam, but not imposed as compulsory. So if a person performs them, he will get extra rewards and love of Allah and beloved Prophet sallallahu alaihiwasallam. Also these optional prayers would compensate any errors or mistakes exist in our compulsory prayers.

♣ How many times a Muslim should pray and what are those Fard prayers?

Every Muslim whether man or woman should pray five times a day and the names of those prayers and number of rakaats (circles) are as follows:

1. Fajr — The dawn prayer: 2 raka’at

2. Dhuhr — The noon prayer: 4 raka’at

3. Asr — The afternoon prayer: 4 raka’at

4. Maghrib — The sunset prayer: 3 raka’at

5. Isha’a — The night prayer: 4 raka’at

♣ What are the Sunnat prayers related to five times prayers?

Before and after each fard prayers, there are some sunnat prayers to be prayed. The number of rak’at of each sunnat prayers are listed out here:

                                                                   Before Sunnat ​                        Fard                             After Sunnat

Fajr prayer                                                          2                                          2                                           –

Dhuhr prayer                                                     4                                           4                                          4

Asr prayer                                                           4                                           4                                          –

Maghrib prayer                                                  2                                           3                                         2

Isha prayer                                                          2                                           4                                         2

♣ What is the awrat for men and women to cover during the salaah?

Men must cover from his navel to his knee. Women should cover all the body except the face and hand up to the wrists. Should not wear the transparent material which shows the body.

♣ How to perform wudu (Ablution)?

It is compulsory to do wudu before praying salah. In wudu some are fard and some are sunnat. Fard are compulsory and sunnat will give additional rewards. Here we have listed out the proper and complete method of wudu.

• If can, facing the Qibla. (Sunnat)

• Saying Auzubillah, Bismillah and salawat. (Sunnat)

• Washing both hands upto the wrists three times. (Sunnat)

• Doing Miswak (Brushing the teeth) (Sunnat)

• Rinsing water to nose and mouth three times. (Sunnat)

• Keeping intention. Intending by heart as “I perform the fard of wudu” (Fard)

• Taking handful of water and wash the full face three times from ear to ear, and forehead to chin making sure that no part of the face is left dry (Fard)

• Washing the both hands upto elbows. First right hand three times. Then left hand three times. (Fard)

• Making wet the fingers with water and wiping the head with wet fingers three times. Either full head or at least some part of the head. (Fard)

• Making wet the fingers with water and wiping the ears three times by inserting the tips of the index fingers into the ears, twist them around the folds of the ears. (Sunnat)

• Washing both feet up to ankles. First washing right feet three times and then left feet three times. (Fard)

• Performing all the above acts in the same order. (Fard)

• Do not increase the numbers. Perform as mentioned above. (E.g. If it is three times, do it three times. Increasing or decreasing is Makruh (Disliked)

• Increase the area of respective parts. That is, e.g. washing the hands from finger tips to elbows are Fard. However, washing hands more than the elbow is Sunnat.

Once wudu is completed as mentioned above, recite this dua facing the qibla.

♣ ​Dua to be recited after Wudu

Ash-athu an-laa ilaaha illallaahu wahthahu laa shareeka lahu wa ash-athu anna muhammadan abdahu wa rasooluhu (3 times) – Allahummaj-alnee minat-tawwaabeena wa’ajalnee minal muta tah’hireen. Subhaanaka Allaahumma Wa Bihamdika, ‘Ash-Hadu ‘An Laa ‘Ilaaha ‘Illaa ‘Anta, ‘Astaghfiruka Wa ‘Atoobu ‘Ilayk.

​♣ How should you pray? (PRAYER METHOD)

♦ First you should stand and be ready to start the prayer. Face the direction of Qibla (ka’ba). Stand with piety and remembrance of Allah. If you cannot stand due to any physical illness, you can sit and pray. Even you can’t sit and pray, then you can lie down as sleeping and pray.

♦ You should not look here and there while praying, rather you should look at the place where you do sajda (the Prostration). Then the prayer would be with piety.

♦ Next you should keep intention for the prayer

Intention for the prayer (Niyyat of salah)

Intention means you should intend by heart and then say in words. In the niyyat, the name of the prayer and whether it is fard or sunnah should be mentioned.

Example 1 – for Fajr (Subh) compulsory (Fard) prayer:

“Ussalli Fardal Subuhi Rak’ataini lillahi Taa’la Allahu Akbar”

If you do not know how to keep intention in Arabic, you can intend in English.

“I intend to pray two rak’at of Fajr fard prayer for Allahu Taa’la”

Example 2 – for Fajr (Subh) sunnat prayer:

“Ussalli Sunnatta Subuhi Rak’ataini lillahi Taa’la Allahu Akbar”

“I intend to pray two rak’at of Fajr sunnat prayer for Allahu Taa’la”

Accordingly, if it is three or four rak’at prayers, then mention as three or four rak’at in the niyyat.

♦ While saying the niyyah, raise your hands up to your ears and say in a moderate tone “Allahu Akbar” and place your right hand over your left hand and place it between your navel and chest.

♦ Now recite wajjahtu. It is sunnat. But it should be recited only in the first rak’at, not in other rak’ats.

“Wajjahtu wajhiya lilladhi fataras-samawati wal-‘arda hanifam Muslima, wa ma ’ana minal-mushrikin. ‘Innasalati wa nusuki wa mahyaya wa mamati lillahi rabbil-^alamin(a), la sharika lah(u), wa bi dhalika ‘umirt(u), wa ‘ana minal-Muslimin”

♦ Now recite Surah al Fatiha. It is Fard.

Bismillaahir Rahmanir Raheem

Al hamdu lillaahi rabbil aalameen

Ar-Rahman-ir Raheem Maaliki yaumid Deen

Iyyaaka na’abudu wa iyyaaka nasta’een

Ihdinas siraatal mustaqeem

Siraatal ladheena an ‘amta’ alaihim

Ghairil maghduubi’ alaihim waladaaleen


♦ Now recite any surah from al Quran. But this second surah has to be recited only in first and second rak’at. It should not be recited in third or fourth rak’at. In third and fourth rak’at only surah fatiha has to be recited.

♦ Once you recited above, Say “Allahu Akbar” and go to Ruku (Bend Down). There you should recite:

“Subhanna – Rabbeyal – Adheem – wabi – hamdihi” three times

Trans: “Glorious is my Lord, the most great.”

♦ Now say “Samey – Allahu – leman – Hameda” and stand back up from ruku. There recite:

“Rabana Walakal Hamd” once

Trans: “O our Lord, and all praise is to you”

♦ Now say “Allahu Akbar” and go to Sajdah (prostration). There you should recite:

“Subhanna – Rabbeyal – Aa’la – wabi – hamdihi” three times.

♦Now say “Allahu Akbar” and raise from Sajdah and sit on your knees. Place your left foot from ball to heel on the floor. Your right foot should be toes on the floor only. Place your hands flat on your knees and recite

“Rabigh Firli, Warhamni, Wajburnii, Warfaanii, Warzuqnii, Wahdeenee, WaaAafeenii, Waafuuannii.”

♦ Now say “Allahu Akbar” and go to Sajdah (prostration) again and recite same as you did in the previous sajdah.

♦ Now say “Allahu Akbar” and raise from sajdah and sit on your knees and quickly stand up for second rak’at.

♦ Now you have to pray second rak’at as you prayed in first rak’at. Only difference is in the second rak’at, after the second Sajdah you should not stand up. You should sit on your knees and recite “Attahiyyat”

“Attahiyyatul Muba’rakaatush salawatuth tayyibathu lillaahi, Assalaamu alaika ayyuhan nabiyyu wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh, Assalaamu alaina wa alaa ibaadillaahish saliheen. Ash’adhu allaa ilaaha illallaahu Wa ash’hadu anna Muhammadan rasool lullaahi. Allahumma salli alaa Sayyidina Muhammad”

While reciting Attahiyyat, when you say “Ash’adhu allaa ilaaha illallaahu”, you should raise the index finger straight and should NOT move up and down or should NOT shake. You should keep it steadily since it indicates that you testify that Allah is one.

♦ Once you recited up to “Allahumma salli alaa Muhammad”, now you should stand up while saying “Allahu Akbar” for the third rak’at and continue your prayers as you did in first and second rak’at. But as mentioned before, only Surah fatiha has to be recited and no other surah should be recited.

♦Finally, if you come to the last Attahiyyat, then you will recite Attahiyyat as mentioned before. Additionally, you have to recite this salawat along with Attahiyyat.

“Allahumma salli alaa Sayyidina Muhammadin wa alaa aalihi Sayyidina Muhammadin, kamaa sallaita alaa ibrahima, wa alaa aalihi ibrahim. Wa barik alaa Sayyidina Muhammadin wa alaa aalihi Sayyidina Muhammadin, kamaa baarakta alaa Ibrahima, wa alaa aalihi ibrahim. Innakka hameedum majeedh.

♦ Once you finished reciting this above salawat, finish your prayer by telling salaam.

Turn your head to the right and say, “As Salamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullah”

Turn your head to the left and say, “As Salamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullah”

Now your prayer was ended.

♣ What should be recited after completing the prayers?

Once you finish your salaah, say “Astaghfirullah” three times.

Then say “SubhanAllah” – 33 times, “Alhamdulillah” – 33 times, and “Allahu Akbar” – 34 times.

Also if you recite Ayat al Kursi after every prayers, it will help to enter paradise easily once you died.

Beloved Prophet sallallahu alaihiwasallam said:

“Whoever reads ayat al-kursi after every mandatory (fard) prayer, only his death prevents his entry into Jannah.” (means once he died he will enter jannah) 

​(Nasa’i and Tabarani)

Ayat al Kursi:

Allahu la ilaha illa Huwa, Al-Haiyul-Qaiyum La ta’khudhuhu sinatun wa la nawm, lahu ma fis-samawati wa ma fil-‘ard Man dhal-ladhi yashfa’u ‘indahu illa bi-idhnihi Ya’lamu ma baina aidihim wa ma khalfahum, wa la yuhituna bi shai’im-min ‘ilmihi illa bima sha’a Wasi’a kursiyuhus-samawati wal ard, wa la ya’uduhu hifdhuhuma Wa Huwal ‘Aliyul-Adheem


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