How to Pray in Islam

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2-10-2016, 05:30
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Prayer (salaat, plural: salaah) is one of the five pillars of Islam. It is incumbent upon all Muslims, including children aged ten and over, to complete their five daily prayers according to the method described here in order for them to be valid. It is believed that communication with Allah will bring life to the prayerful and bring them courage. Muslims believe that Allah speaks to us through the Quran, and salaah is our means of responding. Whether you're just curious as to how Muslims pray or if you're looking to learn for yourself, move down to Step 1.

Prepare for Prayer

  1. Ensure the area is clean and free of impurities. This includes your body, your clothes, and the place of prayer itself.
    • Perform Ablution if necessary. You must be ritually pure before you go about praying. If you're not, it's required to perform Wudu before you do. If since your last prayer you have urinated, defecated, passed gas, bled excessively, fallen asleep lying down, leaned against something, vomited, passed seminal fluid, ejaculated or fainted, then off to the bathroom you go.
    • Make sure all of your necessary parts are covered. The nakedness of a man is considered to be between the navel and the knees; for a women, her entire body except the face and palms.
    • If you are praying in a masjid (mosque), which is preferred, enter quietly--other fellow Muslims might still be praying and you don't want to disturb them. Stand in a free space away from the entrance/exit.
      • If you are unsure of the cleanliness of your area, spread a mat or cloth on the floor for good measure. This mat (or prayer rug) is very important to Islamic culture.
  2. Face the Qibla. This is the direction all Muslims face to turn in prayer toward Kabah.
    • The Holy Mosque in Mecca is the most revered place of worship for Muslims around the entire world. At the center of the mosque is the Ka'ba. All Muslims are required to face the Ka'ba five times every day when offering their prayers.
  3. Pray at the proper time. The five prayers of each day take place at very specific times. For each one, there is a brief period of time it can be performed, determined by the rising and falling of the sun. Each salah takes about 5 to 10 minutes from start to finish, but should never be hurried.
    • The five prayers are Fajr, Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib and Isha. They are at dawn, immediately after noon, in the mid-afternoon, at sunset, and at night, respectively. They are not at the same time each day as they are timed by the sun, which changes path throughout the seasons.
    • These are the amount of rakat (rounds, more or less) for each of the 5 salah:
      • Fajr - i) First two rakat Sunnat Mokadda, ii) Two rakat Fard
      • Zuhr - i) Four rakat Sunnat Mokadda, ii) Four rakat Fard, iii) Two rakat Sunnat Mokadda, iv) Two rakat Nafl (Optional but spiritually beneficial)
      • Asr - i) Four rakat sunhat ghair mokadda (Optional but spiritually beneficial), ii) Four rakat Fard
      • Maghrib - i) Three rakat Fard, ii) Two rakat Sunnat Mokadda, iii) Two rakat nafl (Optional but spiritually beneficial)
      • Isha - i) Four rakat sunhat e Ghair Mokadda (Optional but spiritually beneficial), ii) Four rakat Fard, iii) Two Rakat Sunnat Mokadda, iv) Two rakat Nafil (Optional but spiritually beneficial), v) Three rakat Wajib, vi) Two rakat Nafil (Optional but spiritually beneficial)

Performing the Muslim Prayers

  1. Make your intention known in your heart. Before initiating the salat, it is important that your intention be known and understood. Not necessarily aloud, but from within.
    • You may think about how many rakats you are going to do and for what purpose. Whatever it is, be sure you mean it.
  2. Raise your hands up to your ears and say in a moderate tone "Allah - Akbar (الله أَكْبَر)." This translates to, "Allah is the greatest." Do this while standing.
  3. Place your right hand over your left hand on your navel and keep your eyes focused on the place you are standing. Do not let your eyes wander.
    • Recite Isteftah Dua (opening prayer): subhanakal-lahumma wabihamdika watabarakas-muka wataaaala judduka wala ilaha ghayruk. a’auodu billaahi minash-shaytaanir rajeem bis-millaahir rahmaanir raheem
    • Follow it with the opening chapter of the Qu'ran, the Surah Al- Fatiha (this Surah is recited in each Rak'ah): al-hamdu lillaahi rabbil’aalameen arrahmaanir raheem maaliki yawmideen iyyaaka na-budo wa-iyyaaka nasta’een ihdinassiraatalmustaqeem siraatalladheena an’amta alayhim ghayril maghduobi’alayhim waladduaaalleen ameen
      • You can also recite any other surah or any part of Qu'ran such as: Bis-millaahir rahmaanir raheem Qul huwal-lahu ahad alluhus-samad Lam yalid wa lam yulad Wa lam yakul-lahu kuhuwan ahad
  4. Bend down. While bending, say "Allah - Akbar." Bend your body so that your back and neck are straight and level with the ground, keeping your eyes there. Your back and head should be in a 90 degree angle with your legs. This position is called "ruku'."
    • Once you are bent to the proper angle, say, "Subhanna - Rabbeyal - Azzem - wa - Bi - haamdeh" three times. This translates to, "Glorious is my Lord, the most great."
  5. Stand back up (raise from ruku'). Whilst rising up recite "Sameya - Allahu - leman - Hameda with your arms beside you."
    • This means, "Allah hears those who praise Him. O our Lord, and all praise is to you." Whilst standing up recite Rabana Walakal Hamd once.
  6. Go down and place your head, knees and hands on the floor. This is the position called "sajdah." Whilst doing that say, "Allah - Akbar."
    • When you are positioned fully, say "Subhanna - Rabbeyal - Alla - wal - Bi - haamdee" three times.
  7. Rise 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. Recite "Rab-ig - Figr - Lee, Wa-ar - haam - ni, Waj - bur - nii, Wa-ar - faa - nii, Wa-ar - zuq - nii, Wah - dee - nee, Waa - Aafee - nii, Waa - fuu - annii." This means "Lord, forgive me."
    • Return to sajda and, just as before, say "Subhanna - Rabbeyal - Alla - wal - Bi - haamdee" three times.
  8. Arise from sajda. Stand up and say, ""Allah - Akbar." You have completed 1 Rakat. Depending on the time of day, you may need to complete up to three more.
    • In every second rakaat, after second sajda, sit on your knee again and recite "Atta - hiyyatul - Muba - rakaatush - shola - waa - tuth thaa - yi - batu - lillaah, Assa - laamu - alaika - ayyuhan - nabiyyu warah - matullaahi - wabaa - rakaatuh, Assaa - laamu - alaina - wa alaa - ibaadil - laahish - sho - le - heen. Asyhadu - allaa - ilaaha - illallaah, Wa - asyhadu - anna - Muhammadan rasuul - lullaah. Allah - humma - sholli - alaa - Muhammad - wa - ala - aali - Muhammad.”
      • This is called "tashahhud."
  9. Terminate the prayers with as-salaam. After the tashahhud, pray to Allah before signing off with these movements and words:
    • Turn your head to the right and say, "As Salam Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu'." The angel who records your good deeds is to this side.
    • Turn your head to the left and say, "As Salam Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu'." The angel who records your wrongful deeds is to this side. The prayers have ended!

Warnings

  • Don't disturb others if they are praying.
  • Don't talk during your salah and always maintain focus.
  • Never talk loudly in a Mosque; this might disturb others in prayer.
  • Always pray 5 time a day even when you are in school.
  • For Shia followers there's not much difference is saying the prayer; just in 3rd part of method two instead of placing your hands over each other place them at side of your body besides your hips, just like normal standing.
  • Always try to use your time in the mosque efficiently i.e read Qu'ran or make Thikr.(remembrance of Allah)
  • Do not be intoxicated on alcohol (which is haram/forbidden) or medication during your salah.
  • Plan your daily life around the five salaat, not the other way round
  • Don't stand in front of someone who is praying
  • Make sure your body and cloth are clean and smells good before going to mosque or practicing salat.
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