PRAYER-SALAT-NAMAAZ-The Second Pillar of Islam
“Verily Salaat prevents one from shameful and forbidden things; and the remembrance of Allah is the greatest”(QURAN 29:45)
“Salaat is the best of all that has been ordained by Allah”(HOLY PROPHET P.B.U.H)
Salaat occupies a lofty position in the religion of Islam. Its performance is the foremost duty of a Muslim after he has brought faith in the Oneness of Allah Ta’ala and the prophethood of his Holy Messenger, Nabee Muhammad (P.B.U.H). It is a most special act of Divine worship which he is called upon to perform five times daily without fail. The pages of the Quran and Hadith are replete with injunctions which enjoin Salaat on us. It is of such paramount importance that it has been described as a pillar and foundation of faith.
Salaat, if offered with a sincere heart, proper devotion and mental concentration, contributes to the cleansing of the heart, ridding it of the impurities of sin and ultimately transforming one’s entire life. It engenders love for piety and promotes fear of Allah in man. Islam has laid greater emphasis on the institution of Salaat with regularity. Hence after Imaan, Salaat is the bedrock of Islam.
From a study of the traditions of our Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) we learn that Rasoolullah (P.B.U.H) denounced the giving up of Salaat as the way of the unbelievers. He is reported to have said:
“That which separates a believer from infidelity is simply the Salaat.”
“He has no share in Islam who does not offer Salaat”
Rasoolullah (P.B.U.H) sounded a note of warning to Muslims that if they gave up Salaat their conduct would be associated with that of unbelievers.
What a great act of virtue and felicity it is to offer Salaat regularly and how disastrous it is to neglect it, is beautifully summarized in the following prophetic words:
“Whoever will offer the Salaat properly and regularly it will be for him on the Last Day a source of light, a proof of his faith and a means to salvation. (On the other hand) Whoever will not offer it carefully and regularly it will be for him neither a source of light, nor a proof of faith, nor a means of salvation, and the end of such a person will be with Qarun, Fir’aun, Haman and Ubai-bin-Khalaf.”
The ignominy and disgrace that the defaulters of Salaat will be subjected to on the Day of judgement, has been aptly described in the Holy Quran :
“The day that the sin shall be laid bare, and they shall be summoned to bow in adoration, but they shall not be able, their eyes shall be cast down €“ ignominy will cover them, seeing that they had been summoned aforetime to bow in adoration while they were hale and healthy (and had refused).(LXVIII:42)
According to the above Qur’anic verse mankind will be summoned to bow down in adoration before Allah Ta’ala on the Last Day. Only the fortunate ones, who had during their lifetime made it a practice to be regular in their Salaat , will find no difficulty in bowing down. Those who in spite of being healthy and strong, had not observed Salaat in this world, will discover to their dismay that their backs had suddenly grown stiff with the result that they will remain standing with the infidels unable to prostrate before their Lord and Creator. Such will be the humiliation and disgrace for the defaulters of Salaat! May Allah Ta’ala save us from such ignominy! Ameen
THE TIME OF SALAAT
THE TIME FOR FAJR SALAAT
Approximately 11/2 hours before sunrise a dim whitish glow appears vertically in the eastern horizon. Soon after this vertical glow, a brightness appears horizontally in the eastern horizon. This horizontal glow spreads instantly along the horizon becoming larger and larger until after a short while it becomes light. The time for Fajr Salaat commences with the appearance of this horizontal glow in the eastern horizon. This time marked by the appearance of this horizontal glow is known as Fajre Awwal or Subh Sadiq (True Dawn). The time for Fajr Salaat lasts until sunrise.
THE TIME FOR ZUHR SALAAT
The time for Zuhr Salaat begins immediately after Zawaal or mid-day. The time of mid-day or Zawaal is calculated by dividing the hours of daylight by two, and adding the result to the time of sunrise, e.g:
= Number of daylight hours = 11 hours
Divide by two = 5 1/2 hours
Add to Sunrise time 6.30a.m + 5 1/2 hours = 12.00
Zawaal will be at 12pm
It is forbidden to perform Salaat at the time of Zawaal. After Approximately five minutes (i.e five minutes after Zaw-waa) Zuhr time commences.
The time for Zuhr Salaat lasts until the length of the shadow of an object becomes twice the size of the object plus the size of the shadow which was cast at the time of Zawaal.
THE TIME FOR ASR SALAAT
Asr time begins immediately upon the expiry of Zuhr time, and lasts until sunset. However, it is Makrooh (reprehensible) to delay the performance of Asr Salaat until the sun’s ray become yellowish and dim as is the case before sunset.
THE TIME FOR MAGHRIB SALAAT
Immediately after sunset the time for Maghrib Salaat commences, and it lasts until the white glow of twilight remains.
THE TIME FOR ISHAA SALAAT
The time for Isha Salaat begins immediately after expiry of the time of Maghrib, i.e immediately after the white glow of twilight disappears. Ishaa time lasts until Fajre Awwal or Subh sadiq (True Dawn). The moment Fadre Awwal enters, Ishaa time expires.
HOW TO PERFORM SALAAT
Salaat consists of units. Each unit is called a Raka’t.
There are two Raka’t , three Raka’t and four Raka’t Salaats in the
Fardh or obligatory category of Salaat.
Each unit or Raka’t consists of the following essential component parts:
- The posture of standing erect which is called Qiyaam.
- Recitation of some verses of the Holy Quran. This is termed Qiraat.
- The posture of genuflexion or bowing lowly which is called Ruku’.
- The posture of prostration or placing the forehead on the ground. This is called Sujood. Each unit or Raka’t has two Sujoods, ie the prostration has to be performed twice in each Raka’t .
Every two Raka’t s are followed by a sitting posture. In other words it is necessary to sit in a kneeling-type posture after completing two Raka’ts of any Salaat. This kneeling posture is known as Qa’dah. Two Sujoods (prostrations) are always separate by a kneeling posture. The kneeling posture, which separates one Sujood from other , is called Jalsah.
THE METHOD OF PERFORMING A TWO & FOUR €“ RAKA’T SALAAT
The Musalli stands erect, facing the Qiblah, gaze cast down. He forms the Niyyat (intention) for his Salaat and says:
As he utters, he raises both hands upwards towards his head in such a manner that the palms of both hands face the Qiblah, and the hands should be raised to a height where the thumbs are in line with the lobes of the ears. Once the hands reach the required height the Musalli should immediately bring them down and fold them below the navel. When folding the hands the Musalli should ensure that:
- The right hand is on top of the left hand
- The right hand should clasp the left hand in such a manner that the thumb and the little finger of the right hand encircle the left hand wrist, and the other three fingers of the right hand should be spread horizontally along the left forearm immediately above the wrist.
Once the hands have been folded as explained above , the Musalli should recite the following:
SUB-HANNA-KAL-LAA-HUM-MA WA BI-HAMDI-KA WA TA- BAA-RAKAS- MU-KA WA TA-AALA JAD-DU-KA WA LAA-ILAA-HA GHAY-RUK.
Translation: Glory unto You, Oh Allah! All praise unto You. Blessed is your Name and Most High is Your Majesty. There is none worthy of worship, but You.
(N.B This is known as Thana.)
After reciting Thana, the Musalli recites Ta’ow-wuz,i.e:
“OOZU BIL-LAAHI MINASH-SHAITAA-NIR RAJEEM”
Translation: I seek the protection of Allah from Shaitaan, the accursed After Ta’ow-wuz recite Tasmia, i.e:
BISMILLA-HIR RAHMANIR RAHIM
Translation: In the Name of Allah , the Beneficent , the Merciful.
After Tasmina recite Surah Fatiha, and thereafter recite a few verses of the Holy Quran.
The posture of Qiyaam ends at this point, i.e. after completing the recitial of a few verses of the Holy Quran. Sura Fatiha, together with a few verses of the Holy Quran, are known as the Qiraat.
After the end of the qiraat, the Musalli should utter
and go into Ruku or the posture known as genuflexion.
THE FORM OF RUKU
In this posture the Musalli clasps both knees with his hands, the fingers being outspread. The head and back should be in line. The Musalli should not hump his back. The head should not be dropped, but kept erect in line with the back.
The arms should be separated from the body without the elbows bulging out.
The gaze should be fixed on one’s feet. In the position of Ruku, recite the following Tasbih:
Translation: Oh! Glory unto my Creator, the Majestic.
This Tasbih should be recited at least thrice.
After reciting the above Tasbih in Ruku, the Musalli should say:
SAMI-ALLAHU LIMAN HAMIDAH
Translation: Allah has heard him who praised him.
This is known as Tasmiah.
As the Musalli recites this he rises out of Ruku and stands erect and recites the Tahmeed:
RAB-BANAA LA-KAL HAMD.
Translation: Oh our Creator! All Praise belongs unto You.
This position of standing erect after the ruku is called Qauma. The Qauma ends with the reciting of the Tahmeed.
After reciting Tahmeed the Musalli utters
And goes down into the posture of sujood of Prostration. As the Musalli goes into Sujood, he places on the ground firstly his knees, then both hands. The head is placed on the ground between the two hands. The fingers are held together facing the Qiblah, the thumbs being in line with the eyes. As the head goes into Sujood, the nose should firstly touch the ground and then the forehead. Both arms must be kept away from the sides of the body. Both feet should be planted firmly on the ground with the toes bent in the direction of the Qiblah.
In this position of sujood the Masalli recites at least thrice the following Tasbih:
SUBHANA RAB-BIYAL A’LAA
Glory unto my Creator, The most High.
After reciting this Tasbih, the Musalli raises first his forehead, then his nose, and finally his hands. The Musalli then goes into the kneeling posture, known as the Jalsah, i.e. the posture which separates or intersperses two Sujoods. As Musalli raises his head from the Sujood he utters
And enters the Jalsah. When sitting in Jalsah the left foot is spread out horizontally on the ground, the Musalli resting on it. The right foot is placed on the ground in a perpendicular (standing up) position with the toes facing the Qiblah. The hands are placed on the thighs with the fingers held together facing the Qiblah very close to the knees. In the Jalsah position the Musalli utters:
Translation: Oh my Creator ! forgive me and have mercy upon me.
He goes into the second Sujood which is exactly the same as the first Sujood.
The end of the second Sujood heralds the end of the First Raka’t.
THE SECOND RAKA’T
After completing the Second Sujood of the First Raka’t , the Musalli says
And enters the Qiyaam posture of the Second Raka’t i.e. he once again stands erect, folding his hands on top of each other as explained previously. During the Second Raka’t the following things will NOT be carried out as was the case in the first Raka’t:
- The hands will not be raised to the ears
- Thana will not be recited
- Ta-ow-wuz will not be recited.
Further, the entire Second Raka’t will be performed in exactly the same manner as the first Raka’t with the three aforementioned exceptions.
Once the Second Sujood of the second Raka’t is completed, the Musalli utters:
And sits in the kneeling position, i.e. the exact position he assumed in the Jalsah.
This kneeling posture at the end of the Second Raka’t is termed Qa’dah.
During the Qa’dah the Musalli recites Tashah-hud as follows:
AT-TAHIY-YATU LIL-LAAHI WAS SALA-WAATU WAT-TAYYABATU ASSALA-MU ALAIKA AY-YUHAN NABIY-YU WARAHMATUL-LAHI WABARAKATUH. ASSALAAMU ALAINA WA-ALA IBADIL-LAHIS-SAALIHEEN. ASH-HADU-AL LAA-ILA-HA IL LAL-LAHU WA-ASH-HADU ANNA MUHAMMADAN AB-DUHU WA RASAOOLUH.
Translation: All our oral, physical and monitory prayers are only for Allah. Salutation to you Oh Prophet! And Allah’s peace and His blessings be on you. Blessings of Allah be on us and on all those worshippers who are pious. I testify that there is none to be worshipped but Allah and I testify that Muhammad (p.b.u.h) is His worshipper and Messenger.
If the Salaat which is being performed is a Two Raka’t Salaat, Durood and Dua should also be recited after the Tashah-hud.
ALLAHUMMA SALLI ALA MUHAMMADIN WA-ALA AALI MUHAMMADIN KAMA SAL-LAITA ALA IBRAHIMA WA-ALA IBRAHIMA IN-NAKA HAMIDUM-MAJEED.
ALLAHUMMA BARIK ALA MUHAMMADIN WA-ALA AALI MUHAMMADIN KAMA BARAK-TA ALA IBRAHIMA WA ALA AALI IBRAHIMA IN-NAKA HAMIDUM-MAJEED.
Translation: Oh Allah! Send Thy mercy on Muhammad (p.b.u.h) and on his seeds as Thou hast sent Thy mercy on Ibrahim and his seeds. No doubt! Thou art Great and Praiseworthy! Oh Allah! send Thy blessings on Muhammad (p.b.u.h) and on his seeds as Thou hast blessed Ibrahim and his seeds. No Doubt! Thou art Great and Praiseworthy.
ALLAHUMMAGH-FIR-LI WALI-WA LI-DAY-YA WALI-USTAZI WALI JAMI-IL MU’MI-NEE-NA WAL MU’MI-NATI WAL MUSLIMEE-NA WAL MUSLIMA-TI BI RAHMATIKA YA ARHAMAR-RAHIMEEN.
Translation: O Allah! Forgive my parents and my teachers and the believing men and women and the Muslim men and Muslim women with your mercy, O Thou the Most Merciful of those who show Mercy.
After the Dua The Musalli terminates his Salaat by making what is called Salaam.
Salaam is made by saying:
ASSALLA-MU-ALAIKUM WA RAH-MATUL-LAH.
Translation: Peace upon you and the Mercy of Allah.
And simultaneously turning the head towards the right €“side focussing one’s gaze on the right shoulder. The above Salaam is then recited a second time, turning the face to the left side with the gaze fixed on the left shoulder this time.
Your two rakaat Salaat has now been completed.
FOUR RAKAAT SALAAT
For four rakaat salaat, you make intention for four rakaat fard or sunnah salaat as you do for two rakaat. You complete your first two rakaat the same way as you performing two rakaat salaat until you sit down for reciting Tashah-hud. After you complete reciting Tasha-hud, don’t read Darood and dua and Salaam, instead, you stand up by saying Allahu akbar and perform the remaining two rakaats the same way as you did before except if you are performing four rakaat fard salaat, you recite only surah Fatiha in the second and fourth rakaats. At the end of the four rakaat you recite complete Tashah-hud, darood , dua and salaam.
THE SALAAT OF A FEMALE.
A woman performs Salaat in the same manner as a man does. However, there are certain differences which are enumerated hereunder:
- In the beginning of the First Raka’t , during the Takbeer Tahreemah, a woman does not raise her hands to her ears. She raises them only shoulder- level, and keeps them (the hands) concealed in her outer €“garment (Jilbaab or Burqah.)
- When folding the hands, a woman places both palms on the chest the right palm on top of the left palm.
- The Ruku’ of a female is a slight bow, with the rips of the fingers just touching the knees. The arms should be placed together with the sides of the body, and both ankles should touch each other.
- In Sajdah, her feet will not be kept erect but will be placed horizontally on the ground, pointing towards the right. She must not separate her arms from her body as a man does. She should draw her body inwards as much as possible, the stomach touching the thighs.
- In Jalsah and Qa’dah as well, she rests her posterior on the ground (instead of on her legs as is the case with a man) with both her feet spread out on her right side horizontally on the ground.
- In certain Salaats a man can recite the qiraat loudly but it is not permissible for a female to recite the Qiraat loudly.
THE FIVE DAILY SALAATS
The performance of Salaat five times daily is obligatory (Fardh) upon all adult Muslims €“ male and female. The five compulsory Salaats are:
The times for the Five daily Salaats have already been explained in the section- THE TIMES OF SALAAT.
THE NUMBER OF RAKA’TS OF THE FIVE DAILY SALAATS
1. Fadjr Salaat has a total of four Raka’ts composed as follows:
- Two Raka’ts Sunnate Maukkadah
- Two Raka’ts Fardh
2. Zuhr Salaat has twelve raka’ts as follows:
- Four Raka’ts Sunnate Maukkadah
- Four Raka’ts Fardh
- Two Raka’ts Sunnate Muakkadah
- Two Raka’ts Nafl
3. Asr Salaat has eight raka’ts as follows:
- Four Raka’ts Sunnate-Ghair-Muakkadah
- Four Raka’ts Fardh
4. Maghrib Salaat has seven Raka’ts as follows:
- Three Raka’ts Fardh
- Two Raka’ts Sunnate Muakkadah.
- Two Raka’ts Nafl.
5. Ishaa’ Salaat has seventeen raka’ts as follows:
- Four Raka’ts Sunnate-Ghair-Muakkadah.
- Four Raka’ts Fardh.
- Two Raka’ts Sunnate Muakkadah
- Two Raka’ts Nafl
- Three Raka’ts Witr
- Two Raka’ts Nafl.
THE JUMA’ (FRIDAY) SALAAT
- The Juma’ (friday) Salaat is obligatory upon all Muslim male residents of a town of city. Juma’ Salaat takes the place of Zuhr Salaat.
- The time for Juma’ Salaat is the same as that for Zuhr.
- The Friday Khutbah is a condition (Shart) for the validity of the Juma’ Salaat . Without the Khutbah, the Juma’ Salaat is not valid.
- When the Imam rises to deliver the Khutbah it is not permissible to recite , to make Zikr, to perform Salaat or to talk. It is Waajib to listen attentively to the Khutbah.
- If, after commencing with the four Raka’ts Sunnatul Muak-kadah, the Imam starts with the Khutbah, one should complete the Salaat.
- The Khutbahs are recited before the Fardh Salaat. These Khutbas are Fardh.
The Juma’ Salaat consists of a total of fourteen Raka’ts as follows:
- 4 Raka’ts Sunnatul Mualladah
- 2 Raka’ts Fardh
- 4 Raka’ts Sunnatul Muak-kadah
- 2 Raka’ts Sunnatul Muak-kadah
- 2 Raka’ts Nafl.