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Basics of Prayer

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    AabiruSabeel's Avatar Administrator
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    Basics of Prayer

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    What are the five pillars of Islam?

    The five pillars of Islam are:
    1. To testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah,
    2. To establish Salaah
    3. To pay Zakah
    4. To fast during the month of Ramadhan
    5. To perform Hajj

    See this thread for the basics of the first pillar of Islam: Basics of Islam

    What is Salah?

    Salaah is a special type of prayer that has been taught by Allah through His Prophet

    How many times does a Muslim perform Salah?

    A Muslim must perform 5 obligatory prayers during a 24 hours day. The five obligatory prayers are:
    Fajr (dawn prayer)
    Dhuhr (noon)
    'Asr (afternoon)
    Maghrib (sunset)
    'Isha (night)

    What are the pre-requisites (Shara'it) for Salaah?

    There are seven pre-requisite conditions for prayer, known as Shara'it As-Salah. They are:
    1. Clean body
    2. Clean clothes
    3. Clean place of prayer
    4. Covering the whole private area of the body
    5. The correct time of prayer
    6. Facing towards the Qiblah, and
    7. Niyyah, or the intention to perform Salah

    A prayer cannot be started without fulfilling all these conditions.

    What are the pillars (arkaan) of Salaah?

    The pillars of Salaah are the Fardh (obligatory) actions of prayer, without which the prayer is invalid. If any of these missing then the prayer must be repeated. These are:
    1. Takbeer Tahreemah (Saying Allahu Akbar at the start)
    2. Qiyaam or standing up
    3. Qiraa’ah or recitation of the Qur’aan
    4. Rukuu
    5. Sujood
    6. Qa’dah aakhirah or the sitting at the end of the prayer

    What are the Wajib actions of prayer?

    Waajibaat (plural of Wajib) are those things that are necessary to complete the prayers. If one misses any of them unknowingly, this mistake can be compensated for by doing Sajdah Sahw (sajdah done for accidental mistakes). If one does not do Sajdah Sahw or if one intentionally misses one of these things, it is waajib to say the entire prayer all over again.

    The Wajibaat of prayer are:

    1. Allocating the first two rak’aat of the fard salaah for qira’ah.
    2. Reading Surah Faatihah in all the rak’aat of every prayer (except in the third and fourth rak’aat of a fard prayer, as that is Sunnah)
    3. To recite a Surah or a long aayah or three shorter aayaat after Surah Faatihah in the first two rak’aat of fard salaah and in all the rak’aat of waajib, sunnah and nafl prayers.
    4. To read the Surah Faatihah before reciting any other surah or aayah.
    5. To maintain the order of Qira’ah, rukuu’, sujood, etc.
    6. Qawmah or standing up straight after rukuu’.
    7. Jalsah or sitting between the two sajdahs.
    8. Performing ta’deeli arkaan, that is rukuu’, sajdah, etc. patiently and serenely.
    9. Qa’dah-e-Oolaa or sitting to the extent of saying Tashahhud after two rak’aat in a prayer that has three or four rak’aat.
    10. To read Tashahhud in both Qa’dahs.
    11. For the imaam to read Qira’ah aloud in Fajr, Maghrib, ‘Ishaa, Jumu’ah (Friday prayer), ‘Eid, and the Taraaweeh prayers during Ramadaan. The imaam should say Zuhr and ‘Asr in a low voice.
    12. To conclude the prayer with salaam.
    13. To say takbeer for Qunoot in Witr prayers and to read Du’aa-e-Qunoot.
    14. To say the additional takbeeraat in the ‘Eid prayers.

    What are the Sunnah actions of prayer?

    Things which have been proved to be performed during prayer by the Prophet but not so much stress has been laid upon them as is laid on things that are fard and waajib: those things are called the sunnat. If anyone of these things is missed unknowingly, it does not break the prayer nor is Sajdah Sahw a waajib in such case. If these things are intentionally missed, then the prayer is not invalidated nor is Sajdah Sahw necessary but it brings condemnation to the one who does so.

    The Sunnah of prayer are:

    1. To raise hands up to the ears before takbeer tahreemah.
    2. While raising hands for takbeer, to keep the fingers of both the hands raised and facing towards the Qiblah.
    3. Not to bend the head while saying the takbeer.
    4. Saying takbeer tahreemah and other takbeers aloud by the imaam.
    5. To fold the right hand on the left hand below the navel.
    6. Saying thanaa’.
    7. To recite ta’awwudh.
    8. To recite the complete bismillaah.
    9. To recite only Surah Faatihah in the third and fourth rak’aat of a fard prayer.
    10. To say Aameen.
    11. To recite thanaa’, ta’awwudh, and “Aameen” in a low voice.
    12. To recite as much Qira’ah as is the sunnah for each prayer.
    13. To say tasbeeh three times each in rukuu’ and sajdah.
    14. To keep the waist and head at the same level while holding the knees with the fingers of both the hands in rukuu’.
    15. Saying by the imaam: “Sami’allaahu liman hamidahu” in qawmah followed by “Rabbanaa lakal hamd” by the muqtadi. The munfarid should say tasmi’ah and tahmeed both.
    16. While going into sajdah, to first put the knees, then the hands, then the forehead on the ground.
    17. In Qa’dah or Jalsah, lying the left foot on the ground horizontally and sitting upon it and putting the right foot vertically so that its toes are towards Qiblah and putting both the hands on thighs.
    18. To point out by the right hand’s index finger as one says “Ash-hadu a(n)l-laa ilaaha” in tashahhud.
    19. To recite darood shareef in qa’dah-i-aakhirah after tashahhud.
    20. To read du’aa after darood shareef.
    21. To turn the face for salaam, first towards the right and then to the left.

    Describe how to pray

    See this thread for details: https://www.islamicboard.com/new-mus...-pray-faq.html

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    Re: Basics of Prayer

    What is a Rakat?

    A Rakat, or rakʿah (Arabic: ركعة‎‎ rakʿah, plural: ركعات rakaʿāt) is a single unit of Salah. It starts with Takbeer (Allahu Akbar) and ends with the two Sujood. It has the following parts:

    • Qiyam (standing position)
    • Qira'at (recitation from the Qur'an)
    • Rukuu' (bowing)
    • Qawmah (standing up again after Rukuu')
    • First Sajdah (prostration)
    • Jalsa (sitting position between the two Sajdah)
    • Second Sajdah

    After each two Rak'aat, there is a Qa'idah (sitting position) in which Tashahhud is recited.

    How many Rak'aat are there in each prayer?

    Prayer name Sunnah
    (before praying Fardh)
    Fardh Sunnah/Wajib
    (after Fardh)
    Fajr 2 (Sunnah mu'akkadah) 2
    Dhuhr 4 (Sunnah mu'akkadah) 4 2 (Sunnah mu'akkadah)
    + 2
    'Asr 4 4
    Maghrib 3 2 (Sunnah mu'akkadah)
    'Isha 4 4 2 (Sunnah mu'akkadah)
    + 3 (Wajib, Witr)

    What is fard, waajib, sunnah and nafl and what is the difference between them?

    means compulsory beyond any argument. Anyone who denies a fard is a kaafir. And one who leaves a fard without excuse is a faasiq and is punishable.

    comes second to fard. One who denies waajib is not a kaafir but if he leaves it without excuse, he is faasiq and deserves punishment.

    is an act which the Prophet did and his Companions followed and commanded.

    is an act commanded by Sharee’ah. It brings reward if done but no punishment if not done. It is also called mustahab, mandoob or tatawwu’.

    How many types of fard are there?

    Two types: Fard ‘Ayn and Fard Kifaayah.

    Fard ‘ayn
    is compulsory on every individual Muslim. One who leaves it is faasiq and will be punished.

    Fard kifaayah
    is such an act which can be performed by a few persons and it satisfies the obligation of the entire group or community. It will be a sin of all the people if nobody does it at all.

    How many types of sunan (pl. of sunnah) are there?

    Two: Sunnat Mu’akkadah and Sunnat Ghayr Mu’akkadah.

    Sunnat mu’akkadah
    is an act which has been constantly performed by the Prophet (saaws 1 - Basics of Prayer) or he has ordered the Muslims to do it and it was done ever since and was never left without an excuse. It is sinful to abandon a sunnah. It is very sinful to make a habit of leaving such a sunnah.

    Sunnat ghayr mu’akkadah
    is the one which was often done by the Prophet (saaws 1 - Basics of Prayer) but was left sometimes without any excuse. This sunnat is more rewarding than something which is mustahab but there is no sin if it is left. These are also called Sunan-e-Zawaa-id.

    What is meant by haraam, makrooh tahreemi and makrooh tanzeehi?

    is that which is illegal, forbidden and absolutely proven to be so by daleel-e-qat’i (undeniable argument, for example the Qur’aan). One who does such a thing is faasiq and deserves punishment and one who does not consider a haraam thing as being haraam is a kaafir.

    Makrooh tahreemi
    is next to haraam. It is forbidden and proved to be so by daleel-e-zanni but one who does not accept it as such is not a kaafir but is very sinful.

    Makrooh tanzeehi
    is an act which brings Allah’s blessings if it is avoided. If done, it is bad but not punishable.

    What is mubaah?

    is an act, the doing of which brings neither any blessing nor punishment.

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    Re: Basics of Prayer

    First Condition of Salaah: Taahir Body

    See this thread for detailed explanation on the Basics of Tahaarah: Basics of Tahaarah (purification)

    Second Condition of Salaah: Taahir Clothes

    What is meant by taahir clothes?

    Clothes on the body of the person saying salaah, like shirt, pant, pajama, cap, coat, gown, etc., must be clean. It is a condition for the prayer that these clothes should not have more than one dirham (coin-size) of najaasat ghaleeza. Also, najaasat khafeefah should not exceed the one-fourth portion of the garment.
    If najaasat ghaleeza is less than the size of one dirham on the clothes, or najaasat khafeefah covers less than one-fourth portion of the garment, prayers can be said.

    It is necessary that the clothing worn by the person and which moves with his movement during the prayer should be taahir.

    Third Condition of Salaah: Taahir Place

    What is meant by a taahir place?

    The places where the person performing prayer puts his feet, where he puts down his knees and hands and where he does sajdah must all be clean.

    What if the other side of a thing on which salaah is being said is nijs?

    If salaah is being said on a wooden plank, stone slab or bricks or on any other thing as hard and thick, then it does not matter if the under side of it is nijs (dirty). But if prayer is said on a thin cloth having najaasat on the other side, it will not be permissible.

    For a folded cloth, prayer is allowed if the folds are not sewn together and the upper part is so thick that the najaasat or smell from the under part is not noticeable. If the folds are sewn together, as a precaution it is better not to say prayer on it.

    If a cloth is spread on a ground that has najasah, the prayer is allowed if the smell or color of the najaasat underneath does not come on the upper part of the cloth.

    Fourth Condition of Salaah: Satar

    What is meant by satar?

    Satar means the parts of the body which a Muslim must keep covered and hidden. A man must hide his body from the navel to the knees. This is fard during prayers and outside of prayers also. A woman must hide all parts of her body except her face, palms and feet. This is fard as well, though it is not necessary for a woman to hide her face during prayers. Women are not allowed to appear without veils in front of strangers, non-relatives, etc.

    What is the ruling if some part of the satar is uncovered unintentionally?

    If ¼ (one-quarter) of the part is uncovered and remains uncovered as long as one can say subhaana rabbiyal-‘azeem three times, then the prayer will break. If the part is covered as soon as it is uncovered, prayer will be acceptable.

    What about the one who has no clothes at all?

    If one has no clothes, he should hide his body by any other thing, e.g. leaves, rags, etc. And if nothing is at hand to hide the satar, then one can say Salah in such condition. But in such a case, it is better to say the prayer sitting down and do rukuu’ and sajdah only by gestures.

    Fifth Condition of Salaah: Correct Time

    What is meant by the condition of time for saying the prayer?

    The condition is that a particular prayer should be said at the time fixed for it. If it is said before, the prayer will not be acceptable. If said after the time passes, the prayer will not be called adaa (performed on time) but will be called qadaa (missed).

    How many times during the day does a Muslim have to say fard namaaz?

    A Muslim is bound to observe prayers five times during the day.

    Explain the timings of all prayers

    1. salaatul-Fajr

    About one and a half hours before the sunrise there appears a kind of whiteness at the edge of the eastern sky. This whiteness arises from the horizon towards the sky like a column. This is called subh kaadhib (false dawn). This whiteness fades after some time. Then comes another whiteness which rises from the east, spreads towards the right and left through the edge of the eastern sky and not in a column. This is called subh saadiq (true dawn). With subh saadiq, the time for Fajr begins and remains till just before the sunrise. Fajr time ends with the rise of the sun.

    2. Zuhr

    The time for Zuhr begins as the sun crosses the meridian or just after the noon-time. The preferred time for Zuhr passes when the shadows of objects become equal to their original size [excluding the length of the shadow at noon], or twice the object's size (according to the Hanafi madhhab).

    3. ‘Asr

    ‘Asr time begins immediately when the time for Zuhr ends. This lasts until the sunset. But to say the ‘Asr prayer when the sun has gone down much and the sunlight has become weak and pale is makrooh. ‘Asr prayers should be observed before this happens.

    4. Maghrib

    The time for Maghrib prayers begins with sunset and lasts till the fading of twilight.

    What is twilight?

    The redness which remains in the west after sunset is called shafaq ahmar or red twilight. Whiteness takes its place as the red light fades; this is called shafaq abyad (white twilight). This also disappears and the sky darkens into one color. The time for Maghrib prayers remains till the fading of shafaq abyad.

    The preferred time for Maghrib is immediately after sunset. To delay the prayer with no excuse is makrooh.

    5. ‘Ishaa

    The time for ‘Ishaa comes after the fading of shafaq abyad and lasts till just before subh saadiq (true dawn).

    The preferred time for 'Ishaa is the first third part of the night. Then, till midnight it is mubaah and after that it is makrooh.


    The time of ‘Ishaa prayers is also the time for Witr but it is not allowed before the ‘Ishaa prayers. This means that the time for Witr comes after the ‘Ishaa prayers.

    See also: http://www.moonsighting.com/how-we.html

    At what time is it makrooh to say nafl prayers?

    1. After subh-e-saadiq (true dawn) and before the two rak’aat of fard of Fajr, it is makrooh to say nafl: only two rak’aat of sunnah should be said before then.

    2. After the fard of Fajr prayers until sunrise nafl are makrooh.

    3. After the fard of ‘Asr until the time of the fading of the sun all nafl are makrooh.

    On all these three occasions, qadaa (makeup) for fard and waajib prayers, prayers for the dead, and sajdah tilaawah are allowed.

    All prayers are makrooh (including qadaa, wajib etc):

    1. from the time the sun rises until it is a spear-length high

    2. exactly at midday, and

    3. from the time the sun begins fading until it sets. But if ‘Asr prayers of that day have not been said by then, it is allowed to say them even if the sun has faded or is setting down.

    Fading of the sun means when the sun’s glow becomes red and one can fix one’s eyes upon it without difficulty.

    Sunnah and nafl prayers are makrooh at the time of the khutbah.

    Sixth Condition of Salaah: Facing the Qiblah

    What is the Qiblah of the Muslims?

    The Muslims’ Qiblah is the Ka’bah, situated in Masjid-al-Haraam in the city of Makkah, Arabia. The Ka’bah is also called Ka’batullaah (the Ka’bah of Allah), Baytullaah (the House of Allah) or Baitul-haraam (the Sacred House).

    Seventh Condition of Salaah: Niyyah

    What is niyyah?

    Niyyah is to consciously intend something in the heart.

    What should be the will in niyyah for the prayer?

    It is necessary to name the Salah which one wants to say. For example, if one wants to say Fajr Fard prayers, he should intend that he is performing Fajr Fard prayers of today, (or if he is saying qadaa prayers of some previous day, his intention will be that he is saying qadaa fajr fard prayers of such and such day.) If one is saying prayers behind an imaam, it is necessary to intend that he is saying prayers behind the imaam. Most important thing is that one should have a clear idea of what he or she is doing.
    Last edited by AabiruSabeel; 12-09-2016 at 01:17 PM. Reason: formatting

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