Salaah

                                               

By uttering "the Shahadah", they confirm their faith in the Oneness of God and declare their total submission to His Commandments, as revealed to His last Prophet, Muhammad (Peace be upon him). This is the first of the five fundamental principles of Islam.

Next in importance is the glorious principle of praying five times a day in a prescribed manner, called the "Salat".
The five-time prayers become obligatory from the moment a person embraces Islam. This is an extremely important tenet of Islam and has been enjoined with great emphasis both in the Holy Quran and the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). According to one of his sayings, it is the borderline between a Muslim and a non-believer. As a matter of fact, it is a form of worship which establishes the link between man and his Creator and Benefactor, Allah. Through 'Salat' a person communes with his Lord, the Creator and the Sustainer of the Universe.

Just as performing 'Salat' is obligatory, learning to perform it in the prescribed way is also obligatory so that one should know what he is saying to his Lord, and enjoy the full blessings and benefits of praying. In the performance of Salat all the prayers have to be said in Arabic besides reciting some verses of the Holy Quran. Therefore, it becomes essential for a new Muslim to start learning those prayers in Arabic as well as some short 'Suras' (chapters) of the Holy Quran immediately after embracing Islam so that he can perform his Salat in the proper manner.

Before starting the prayer, a person is required to pay due attention to certain aspects e.g. cleanliness of the body (Ghusal), ablution (Wudu), cleanliness of clothes and the place of prayer. Further study is recommended in order to understand all these aspects of salat.

Prayer Timings


Prayer timings do not remain constant as they are determined by looking at the sun. Consequently the time of a particular prayer would be different in different parts of the World. Prayer Time Tables are easily available at the mosques and Islamic Centers throughout the World. Now-a- days electronic devices like 'TBilal" or "Spectronic" are available in the market which can tell the prayer times of nearly 1000 major cities of the World. They are particularly helpful to the Muslims travelling to non-Muslim countries However, the following general timetable for prayers can fairly be observed in almost any part of the World. There are five obligatory prayers which are performed at five different times of the day.

(1) Salat-ul-Fajr. The morning Prayer
It is the first of the Five obligatory prayers of the day.lt can be performed at any time between the breaking of the dawn till sunrise. It consists of two raka's (two units as explained through the accompanying postures).

(2) Salat-ul-Zuhr. The noon prayer
It consiss of four raka's, (4 units); Its time begins after the sun declines from its zenith until it is about midway from setting.

(3) Sa la t-ul -Asr. The afernoon Prayer
It consists of four raka's (4 units). Its time begins soon after the time for Zuhr prayer ends and extends to just before sunset

(4) Salat-ul-Maghrib. The evening prayer
It consists of three raka's (3 units). Its time begins just after sunset and extends to a period of an hour and a half.

(5) Salat-ul-lsha. The night prayer.
It consists of four raka's (4 units) and its time begins about an hour and a half after sunset and extends to dawn.

Of the 5 obligatory prayers mentioned above, one of them contains two raka's, three contain four raka's and one containing three raka's Each kind has been explained separately. All the prayers (to be recited in Arabic) and the postures in which to recite each prayer have been explained with the help of the given figures. The figures have been drawn in the order in which each posture is assumed and the particular prayer recited. In order to memorize the prayer for each posture the reader only needs to look at the number of the figure and listen to the tape while looking at the transcript which gives the Arabic prayer in Roman letters.

Requirements of Salaat
Cleanliness and Purity

The Qur’an states: “O Believers, when you rise to offer Salat, you must wash your faces and hands and arms up to the elbows and wipe your heads with wet hands and wash your feet up to the ankles; and if you have become unclean, cleanse yourselves with a full bath”. (Surah 5: V 6)

Punctuality

The Qur’an states: “Indeed Salat is a prescribed duty that has to be performed at the appointed times by the Believers.” (Surah 4: V103)
Regularity

The Qur’an states about the true Believers are those: “who are regular in their Prayers”. (70: 23)
Lining up for Prayers in a congregation

The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) stated “O People! Keep your rows straight and balanced, otherwise Allah might turn your hearts one against the other”. (Muslim)

On another occasion he (Peace and blessings be upon him) stated “Keep your rows straight in the Prayer, because proper balancing and alignment of the rows is a necessary condition of establishing the Prayer”.

According to Hadrat Abu Mas’ud, the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to pass his hand over the shoulders of the people and would tell them to get aligned lest as a consequence of crooked and irregular rows their hearts be turned one against the other. Then he would urge those of them who possessed knowledge and insight to stand close behind him, then those who were next to them, then those who were next to them. (Muslim)
Peace and Tranquility

The Qur’an states: “Pray neither with too loud a voice nor with too low, but follow a middle way between these two”. (17: 110)

Hadrat Abu Hurairah says that the Holy Prophet was present in the mosque in a corner when a man entered and offered the Prayer. He then came towards the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and greeted him. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) responded to him and asked him to go back once again and repeat his Prayer. The man repeated his prayer once again and repeated his Prayer. The man repeated his Prayer for the third time and then requested: “O Messenger of Allah! Teach me the right way of performing the Prayer”. The Holy Prophet said:

“When you intend to observe the Prayer, first perform Wudu well; then face the Qiblah and begin the Prayer with Takbir (Allah o Akbar) then recite Al Fatihah and after it some easy passage; then bend down in Ruku’ and observe it with perfect peace; then stand up erect; then go down in Sajdah and observe it with perfect peace; then rise from Sajdah and sit upright, and then complete your Prayer in the same manner with perfect calmness and tranquillity”. (Bukhari and Muslim)
Establishing Congregational Prayer

The Qur’an states: “… and bend down in Ruku with those who bend down in Ruku”. (2: V43)

The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) has said: “The person who hears the Call of the Mu’azzin to congregational Prayer, and there is no genuine reason to prevent him from rushing to the mosque, and yet he offers his Prayer alone, his Prayer will not be accepted by Allah. When the people asked what he meant by ‘genuine reason’ he said: ‘ a danger to life or property or serious illness”. (Abu Dawud)

Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) stated “A person who attends congregational Prayers for 40 days regularly, right from the first Takbir to the end, is granted a two fold immunity; immunity from the fire of Hell and immunity against hypocrisy”. (Tirmidhi)
Distinctive and Clarity of Recital

The Qur’an says : “Recite the Qur’an leisurely”. (73: V 4) “The Book that We have sent down to you is blessed that people may ponder over its verses, and the thoughtful ones may learn lessons”. (38: V 29)
Zeal and Dedication during Prayer

The ideal Prayer is that which one places all one’s whole attention of the heart and mind and turns towards Allah. Also when one is finished with one prayer one is keenly looking forward to observing the next Prayer.

The Qur’an states: “…. You should keep aright your direction during every act of worship and invoke Him alone, dedicating your faith sincerely and exclusively to Him”. (7: V 29)

“O Believers, when you hear the Call to the Friday Prayer, hasten to the remembrance of Allah and leave your trading”. (62: V9)
Humility and Submission

“Take great care of your Prayers, especially of a Prayer that has excellent qualities of Salat, and stand before Allah like devoted servants”. (2: v 238)

“And (O Prophet), give good news to those who adopt an attitude of humility and submission, whose hearts tremble when they hear Allah being mentioned, and who show fortitude in affliction and establish Prayer”. (22: V 35)

“O Prophet, remember your Lord morning and evening, deep in your heart with humility and with fear, and also in a low voice with your tongue: do not be of those who are heedless”. (7: 205)
Devotion and Humbleness

"Successful indeed are the believers, who are humble in their Prayers and who shun what is vain". (23: V1 - 3)
Feeling of Divine Presence

The Holy Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) has said: "Man is nearest to his God when he prostrates himself before Him". (Muslim) One should observe the Prayer with the feeling that one is seeing Allah or at least have the feeling that Allah is watching him. The Qur'an says: "Fall prostrate and seek nearness (to Allah) (96: v19)
Remembrance of Allah

The Qur'an states: .. ".. And establish Prayer for My remembrance". (20: V 14) "Indeed only those people believe in Our revelations, who when reminded of them, fall prostrate, and glorify their Lord, and avoid vanity". (32: V 15) Thus performing their Ruku and Sajdah with full consciousness and utter words of Allah's praise and adoration with perfect understanding and awareness of the fact that they are standing in Prayer for the remembrance of Allah.
Avoiding Display

"Doomed are the praying ones who are unmindful of their Prayers and act only to be seen by others". (107: V 4) The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said "The one who prayed with the intention of being seen by others committed shirk". (Musnad Ahmad)
Complete Resignation to the Will of Allah (swt)

"My Salat and my rites of worship and my life and my death are all for Allah, the Lord of the universe, Who has no partner with Him. This is what I have been enjoined, and I am the first to surrender to Him". (6:V 163)


Rak’ahs of prayers
A Rak’ah is a unit of the prayer, which may be Fard (obligatory), Sunnat (compulsory and voluntary), Witr (compulsory), or Nafl (Voluntary)


Fajr              Zuhr               Asr                              Maghrib             Isha
2 Sunnat      4 Sunnat        4 Sunnat (vol.)            3 Fard                4 Sunnat (vol.)
2 Fard          4 Fard            4 Fard                          2 Sunnat            4 Fard
                     2 Sunnat                                             2 Nafl                 2 Sunnat
                     2 Nafl                                                                             2 Nafl
                                                                                                             3 Witr
                                                                                                             2 Nafl

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