Salah - The Muslim Prayer

  Wudu Azan Salah Various Prayers

 

CHAPTER III
THE CONDUCT OF SALÁH

In this section, some guide lines for the correct performance of Saláh are given.

The most important pre-requisite, Wudú (ablution), is explained in the last chapter. Other important conditions are:

1. TIME
Each of the Saláh must be offered at or during its proper time. No Saláh can be said before its time. There are five obligatory prayers in a day.

Fajr - the morning prayer.
Zuhr - the early afternoon prayer.
'Asr - the late afternoon prayer.
Magrib - the sun-set prayer.
'Ishá - the night prayer.

2. DRESS
Before offering your Saláh make sure that you are properly dressed. For men and boys, the dress should be such that it covers their bodies from the navel to the knees at least.

Women are required to cover themselves from head to foot, leaving only the face and hands uncovered. The dress for Saláh must be clean and free from all filth. During the monthly period women are free from obligation of Saláh.

3. PLACE
Wherever a man might be, he can turn towards Allah in Saláh and in devotion. The prophet has said, "The (whole of the) earth has been rendered for me a mosque: pure and clean". Preferably Saláh is to be offered in jama'at - congregation. Whenever possible, one should pray facing the Ka'bah, Makkah.

FARD OR NÁFILAH

Saláh is composed of the Fard (obligatory) and the Náfilah (superogatory) prayers.

The Fard Saláh are five in a day. Failure to perform any one of them is a blameable sin. The Náfilah includes the Sunnah, which the Prophet (S.A.W.) used to perform regularly before or after each Fard Saláh.

PRAYERS IN SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES

When in circumstances where it is not possible to pray, or when on journey, you are permitted to shorten Saláh. Such a shortened prayer is known as Salátul-Qasr.

When travelling one may offer two raka'áts in place of four raka'áts in Zuhr, Asr and 'Ishá, but there is no change in the two raka'áts of Fajr and three raka'áts of Maghrib Saláh. Besides this concession in Fard Saláh, one may leave all the additional Sunnah except the two Sunnah raka'áts of Fajr and the Witr of 'Ishá prayer. But a section of Muslims do perform Sunnah even when on a journey.

In case the stay at any one place during the journey exceeds a fortnight, the complete Saláh, with all the Fard and Sunnah raka'áts must be offered.

If you are sick, you may offer your Saláh in a sitting position or lying in bed, by making signs in place of the physical movements.

In journey, in sickness and in other emergencies, one is allowed to offer two separate Saláh jointly. Thus Zuhr and 'Asr can be said together in the last part of the period of Zuhr. Maghrib and 'Ishá may also be offered similarly towards the end of Maghrib time (when it is almost dark).

THE CALL TO PRAYER (ADHÁN)

To assemble the Muslims for congregational prayer, "Adhán", or the call to prayer is given. The caller (Mu'adh-dhin) stands facing Ka'bah (Qiblah), and raising his hands to his ears calls in a loud voice:

ALLÁHU AKBAR (Alláh is the greatest) ALLÁHU AKBAR (Alláh is the greatest)
ALLÁHU AKBAR (Alláh is the greatest) ALLÁHU AKBAR (Alláh is the greatest)

ASH-HADU AL-LÁ ILÁHA ILLALLÁH (I bear witness that there is no deity but Alláh)

ASH-HADU AL-LÁ ILÁHA ILLALLÁH (I bear witness that there is no deity but Alláh)

ASH-HADU AN-NA MUHAMMADAR RASÚLULÁH (I bear witness that Muhammed (S.A.W.) is the Messenger of Alláh)

ASH-HADU AN-NA MUHAMMADAR RASÚLULÁH (I bear witness that Muhammed (S.A.W.) is the Messenger of Alláh)

HAYYA 'ALAS SALÁH (Come to prayer) HAYYA 'ALAS SALÁH (Come to prayer)

HAYYA 'ALAL FALÁH (Come to your Good) HAYYA 'ALAL FALÁH (Come to your Good)

ALLÁHU AKBAR (Alláh is the greatest) ALLÁHU AKBAR (Alláh is the greatest)

LÁ ILÁHA ILLALLÁH (There is no deity but Alláh)

 

In Adhán for Fajr Saláh, the following sentence is added after HAYYA 'ALAL FALÁH:

ASSALÁTU KHAYRUM MINAN NAUM (Saláh is better than sleep)

ASSALÁTU KHAYRUM MINAN NAUM (Saláh is better than sleep)

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DU'Á AFTER ADHÁN
On completion of the Adhán, Muslims are recommended to recite:

ALLÁHUMMA RABBA HÁDHI-HID DA'WA-TIT-TÁM-MATI (O Alláh! Lord of this complete call and prayer of ours, by the blessing of it)


WAS-SALÁTIL QÁ'E-MATI Á'TI MUHAMMADANIL WASILATA (give to Muhammed his eternal rights of intercession,)

WÁL FADI LATA WAD-DARAJATAR-RAFI 'ATA (distinction and highest class (in paradise))

.
WAB 'ATH-HU MAQÁMAM-MAHMÚDA-NIL LADHI WA 'AT-TAHU (And raise him to the promised rank You have promised him)

WAR-ZUQ-NÁ SHA FÁ 'ATAHÚ YAUM-AL-QIYÁMAH (and bestow his intercession on us on the day of judgement)

IN-NAKA LÁ-TUKH LIFUL MI'ÁD (Surely You never go back on your word)

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IQÁMAH

After Adhán when the Muslims are assembled at the place of worship, a second call (Iqámah) is recited by one of the group. This signals the start of the congregational Saláh. It is similar to Adhán except that it is recited faster but in a lower tone and these sentences are recited after HAYYA 'ALAL FALÁH:

QAD QÁMATIS SALÁH (The prayer has begun) QAD QÁMATIS SALÁH (The prayer has begun)