Kitab Al-Salaah (The book of Prayer)
The Salaat Is Performed
Having known in detail all the different acts of the prayer, i.e. its
pillars, necessary duties and preferred acts, we shall now discuss in
brief how the Salaat is performed following the example of the Prophet
(peace be upon him), and in due regard to his famous saying:“
Salluu kama raeytumunii usali” (Transmitted by Al-Bukhari) which
means: "Perform your prayers in the same manner you have seen me
We shall discuss the performance of each prayer in its proper
Performance of Fajr the Prayer
Number of Rakaat:
recitations in this prayer are made in a loud voice by the Imam in a
congregation prayer and by whoever prays alone.
- The person turns towards the direction of the Qiblah, (the
sacred Mosque at Makkah), intending by heart to perform the Fajr (Dawn)
prayer. Note: The person should not pronounce his/her intention openly
because neither the Prophet (peace be upon him) nor his companions used
to utter their intention for prayer. Thus, pronouncing the intention in
a loud voice is an innovation and is totally rejected.
- The person then raises both hands up to the level of the
shoulders or near the lobes of the ears, pronounces the
"Takbiiratil-Ihraam" by saying "ALLAHU AKBAR" and places both hands
over the chest with the right hand over the left. By reciting the
"Takbiiratil-Ihraam", the person thus, resolves for prayer and enters
into a state of worship and is thenceforth required to call to mind the
majesty and glory of Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) and to dedicate his
intentions, recitations and actions to Him (subhanahu wa ta'ala) alone
until the end of the prayer. While praying the person is required to
direct his eyes downward at the spot of prostration.
- The person then recites in a low voice an opening
supplication for the prayer. Here below are three of the supplications
which the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to practice and the Muslim
is exhorted to memorize at least one of them for recitation each time a
prayer is performed:
- "SUBHANAKA ALLAHUMMA WA BEHAMDIKA WATABARAKA ISMOKA,
WATA'ALA JADDOKA WALA ILAHA GHAYROKA", which means: "Praise and glory
to Allah. Blessed be Your name exalted be your majesty and glory. There
is no god but You."
- "ALLAHUMMA BAI'D BAYNI WA BAYNA KHATAYAYA KAMA BAADTA
BAYNA-AL-MASHRIKI WAL MAGHRIBI. ALLAHUMMA NAQQINIY MIN KHA- TAYAYA KAMA
YONAQA-AL-THOWBO-ALABYADO MIN-AL-DANASI. ALLAHUMMA IGHSILNIY MIN KHA-
TAYAYA BIL-MAI, WATHALJI,' WALBARAD" which means: "O Lord, separate me
from my sins as You have separated the east and west. O Lord, cleanse
me of my sins as the white robe is cleansed from dirt. O Lord, wash
away my sins with water, snow and hail".
- "WAJAHTU WAJHIYA LILLADHII FATARA-AL-SAMAWATI WAL-ARDHI
HANIIFAN MUSLIMAN WAMAA ANA MINAL MUSHRIKIINA, INNA SALATII WANUSUKII
WAMAHYAYA WAMA-MATII LILLAHI RABBIL'ALAMIINA LAA SHARIKA LAHU
WABIDHALIKA UMIRTU WA ANA MINAL-MUSLIMIINA". which means: "I turn my
face to Him Who created the heavens and the earth, as a true believer
and a Muslim, and nay, am I one of the polytheists. Truly, my prayer
and my sacrifices, my life and my death, all belong to Allah, Lord of
the worlds, Who has no partner. This I am commanded, and I am of those
who submit to His Will."
- The person then seeks the protection of Allah (subhanahu wa
ta'ala) from the cursed Satan by saying, "A'UDU BILLAHI
- The person then silently invokes Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala)
by saying: "BISMI ELLAH ARRAHMAN ARRAHIIM ", which means, "In the name
of Allah, the all Merciful, the all Compassionate ". The person
immediately thereafter recites "AL-FATIHAH"
(opening chapter of the
Glorious Qur'an) in due regard to the following saying of the Prophet
(peace be upon him):“Prayer without reciting the Al-Fatihah is
invalid” (Reported by Imam Bukhari). Upon completion of the
"Al-Fatihah" the person says "Ameen" loudly.
- The person then recites chapters or verses from the Holy
Qur'an. However, it is recommended that long passages are recited for
the Fajr (Dawn) prayer. Note: If the person is praying with a
congregation behind an Imam, (leader) he/she would apply Nos. 1, 2, 3
and 4, and would listen to the Imam reciting the "Al- Fatihah" loudly
and upon the Imam completing its recitation, the person along with the
rest of the congregation would say "Ameen" loudly after which, the
person would apply No. 5 in a low voice.
- Then, the person proceeds to "Rukuu" (bowing) position
raising both hands up to the level of the shoulders or near the lobes
of the ears saying "ALLAHU AKBAR". While in this position, the person
is required to exercise serenity and tranquility positioning the head
and back on the same level, putting both hands on the knees with the
fingers spread and saying the following words for at least three
times: "SUBHANA RABBIYAL A'ZIM ", which means "Glorified is my Lord the
Great". In addition, while in Rukuu position, it is also advisable to
say:" SUBHANAKA ALLAHUMMA WA BIHAMDIKA, ALLAHUMMA EGHFIRLII ", which
means " Glory be to Thee, O Allah, and praise be to Thee, forgive me my
- Then, the person raises from the "Rukuu" position lifting
both hands up to the level of the shoulders or near the lobes of the
ears saying: "SAMI AALLAHU LIMAN HAMIDAH", which means "Allah
to him who praises Him". The person then, immediately recites the
following supplication while still standing: "RABBANA WA LAKA AL HAMDU
HAMDAN KATHEER'AN TAYYIBAN MOBARAKAN FEEHIY MILA'S - SAMAWATI WA MILA'
ALARDHI WA MILA'MA BAYNAHOMA WA MILA'MA SHIATA MIN SHIYIN BAAD", which
means "Our Lord, praise be to Thee only, praises plentiful and
blessings as to fill the heavens, the earth, and what is in between,
and fill that which will please Thee besides them". However, if a
person following an Imam in a congregational prayer is not able to
complete the above supplication it suffices to say: "RABANA WA LAKA
ALHAMD". It is also advisable for the Imam, the follower or one who
prays alone to add further the supplication here below: "AHLU THANAA'L
WALMAJDI A-HAQU MA QAALA ALABDU WAKULUNA LAKA ABD, ALLAHUMMA LA MAANI'A
LIMA ADEYTA WALA MU'DIYA LIMA MAN'ATA WALA YANFA'UDHAL-JADDI MINKAL
JADD", which means "You Allah who deserves all praises and all glory,
Your praising is the best and most true of whatever Your servant can
say, we are all Your servants. Our Lord, no one can ever deprive
anything of what You have bestowed and no one can ever give anything of
what You have deprived." While in the standing position after Rukuu,
the person is advised to place both hands over the chest in the same
manner before bowing, since, this was the practice of the Prophet
(peace be upon him).
- The person thereafter proceeds to prostration saying: "ALLAHU
AKBAR" and touching the ground with the knees first before the
hands if possible. However, if not possible, the person may touch the
ground with the hands before the knees. While in prostration, the
person should place seven parts of the body on the ground. These parts
are: the forhead, together with the nose, both palms of the hands
should be stretched, closed together and pointed towards the direction
of the Qiblah), both knees, the bottom parts of the toes of both feet
(toes pointed to the direction of the Qiblah). During the prostration,
the person says for three times or more the following words: "SUBHANA
RABBIYAL AALA", which means "Glorified is my Lord the Exalted". It
is also advisable to say further: "SUBHANAKA ALLAHUMMA RABBANA WA BI
HAMDIKA, ALLAHUMMA IGHFIRLII ", which means "Glory be to Thee, our
Lord, and praise be to Thee. O Lord, forgive me my sins ". While in
prostration, it is recommended that the person recites as many
supplications as possible asking Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) for
prosperity both in this worldly life and in the life hereafter because
the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:“When performing Rukuu,
glorify Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala), but during prostration, endeavor
to make as many supplications as possible to Allah (subhanahu wa
ta'ala), for supplications during prostration are almost certain to be
accepted” (Reported by Imam Muslim). In view of the above
prophetic tradition, we quote here below some of the supplications and
private prayers which the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to say while
- ALLAHUMMA LAKA SAJADTU, WABIKA AMANTU, WA LAKA ASLAMTU,
SAJADA WAJHII LILLADHII KHA- LAQAHU FASAWARAHU FAAH-SANA SUWARAHU,
FASHAQA SAM'AHU WABASARAHU, FATABARAKA -LLAHU AHSANA-L-KHALIQIIN. which
means "O Lord, to Thee I prostrate, in Thee I believe and to Thee I
submit: My face prostrates to He Who created and fashioned it and made
its form good and provided it with hearing and sight,- praise be to
Allah, the most excellent of creators".
- RABBI A'TI NAFSII TAQWAHA, WAZAKIHA, ANTA
KHAYRU-MANZA-KAHA ANTA WALIYUHAA WAMAU- LAHAA. Which means, "O Lord,
give my soul its devoutness and purify it, for none other than Thou can
purify it, Thou are its Lord and Master". While in prostration, the
person should not bring the hands close to the head and should not
stick the arms to the abdomen. Also, the person should neither stick
the abdomen to thighs nor the thighs to the legs. The arms should be
distanced from the body and raised up from the ground because the
Prophet (peace be upon him) prohibited flattening them on the ground
according to the following saying: “Adjust your prostration, keep
straight in it and stretch not your hands on the ground as dogs do”
(Reported by Imam Bukhari).
- The person thereafter raises up the head from prostration
saying "ALLAHU AKBAR", and sits up resting on the left foot flattened
on the ground while keeping the right foot erect with the toes of the
right foot firmed on the ground. While in this position, both palms are
to be placed on the knees and the person recites the following
supplication: "RABIYA IGHFIRLII, WARHAMNII, WAHDINII, WAJBUR-NII,
WARZUQNEE, WA'A FINEE", which means: "O my Lord, forgive me, have
mercy on me, guide me, console me, provide for me, and heal me".
- The person prostrates again saying "ALLAHU-AKBAR" and repeats
what was done in the first prostration.
- The person then raises the head from the second prostration
saying "ALLAHU AKBAR", and takes a sitting pause similar to the pause
between the two prostration. This is a pause for rest and it is
recommended to take such a pause, although there is no harm if omitted.
That is the end of one "Rakaat" (unit).
- The person thereafter, says ALLAHU AKBAR and stands up for
the second Rakaat which is performed in the same manner as the first
Rakaat whereby the person comes up with all the actions and recitations
from Nos. 1 up to 11 as discussed above.
- Upon completing the second prostration as discussed in No. 12
above, the person takes a sitting for the "At- Tashahud" (words of
witness) and while in this position, the fingers of the right hand are
to be placed close-fisted except the index finger which the person uses
to point out as an indication for monotheistic belief although, the
person may as well keep both the little and the ring fingers closed,
while rounding the thumb and middle finger in a ring-shaped form and
uses the index finger to point out as a sign for monotheistic belief.
It has been related that the Prophet (peace be upon him), practiced
both these methods and it is advisable to practice the first method at
times and the other method at other times. The left hand is placed on
the left knee with the fingers kept open. After sitting as discussed
above, the person recites the AT-Tashahud (words of witness) as
follows: "AT TAHIYYATU LILAHI WASALAWATU WATAYYIBATU ASSALAMU ALAYKA
AYUHAN-NABIYU WA RAHMATULLAHI WA BARAKA- TUHU ASALAMU ALAYNA WA ALA
IBADI-L-LAHI-S-SALIHIYN. ASH-HADU ANLA ILAHA ILA LAHU WAHDAHU LA
SHARIKA LAHU WA ASH-HA-DUANNA MUHAMMADAN ABDUHU WA RASUULUH. ALLAHUMMA
SALLIY ALA MUHAMMAD WA ALA AALI - MUHAMMAD, KAMA SALAYTA ALA IBRAHIMA,
WA AALA AALI IBRAHIM. INAKA HAMIDON MAJID. WA BARIK ALAA MUHAMMAD WA
ALAA AALI MUHAMMAD KAMA BARAKTA ALA IBRAHIMA WA ALAA AALI IBRAHIM,
INAKA HAMIDON MAJID " which means, "Greetings, prayers and our good
deeds are for Allah. Peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be on you O
Prophet. May peace be upon us and on the devout slaves of Allah. I
testify that there is no god but Allah (the person when reciting this
testimony points out the index finger as a sign of monotheistic belief)
and I testify that Muhammad is His slave and messenger. O Lord, bless
Muhammad and his family as You blessed Ibrahim and his family. You are
the Most-Praised, The Most Glorious. O Lord, bestow Your grace on
Muhammad and his family as You bestowed it on Ibrahim and his family.
You are the Most-Praised, the Most- Glorious". It is recommended to add
to the above reading the following supplication in which the person
asks for Allah's protection from four evils: "ALLAHUMMA INII AUDHU
BIKA MIN ADHABI JAHANNAMA, WA MIN ADHABIL QABR. WAMIN FITNATIL MAHYAA
WAL-MAMATI, WAMIN FITNATIL MASIHID-DAJAAL ". which means: "My Lord, I
seek Your protection from the torment of Hell, from the torment of the
grave, from the trials in lifetime and after death, and from the
impostor Masihid-dajaal". The person may also make further
supplications to Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) asking for prosperity both
in this life and in the life hereafter, and to bestow His favors on his
parents and other Muslims. This was the confirmed practice of the
Prophet (peace be upon him) as reported by Ibn Massoud (may Allah be
pleased with him).
- Having completed the At-Tashahud the person terminates the
prayer by saying two times: "AS-SALAMU ALEYKUM WA RAHMATU-LAAH",
which mean: " Peace and mercy of Allah be upon you", turning the face
first to the right and then, to the left.
That is the end of the Fajr prayer.
Performance of the Dhuhr Prayer
Number of Rakaat:
recitations in this prayer is made in a low voice by the Imam (leader),
the followers or whoever prays alone.
- The first two Rakaats of the Dhuhr prayer are performed in
the same manner as the two Rakaats of the Fajr prayer with regard to
Nos. 1 up to 14. However, in the case of Dhuhr prayer, the sitting in
No. 14 represents the first Tashahud in which case, the person is
required to recite only the first part of the words of witness up to
"..WA ASHADU ANNA MUHAMMADAN ABDUHU WA RASUULUHU". Meanwhile, it is
preferred that, for the Dhuhr prayer, the Qur'anic recitations after
the Al-Fatihah are of medium length (i.e. neither too short nor too
- Upon concluding the recitation of the first part of
At-Tashahud in No. 14, the person, instead of proceeding to action No.
15 (of the Fajr prayer), stands up for the two remaining Rakaats of the
Dhuhr prayer which are also performed in the same manner as the first
- Upon performing No. 12 in the fourth Rakaat, the person sits
for the final At- Tashahud and comes up with full recitation of the
same as in No. 14 of the Fajr prayer. The person then proceeds on to
No. 15 and thus, concludes the prayer.
Performance of the Asr Prayer
Number of Rakaat:
recitations in this prayer are made in a low voice by the leader
(imam), the followers, or whoever prays alone.
performed similar to the Dhuhr (Noon) prayer in all respects.
Performance of the Maghrib Prayer
Number of Rakaat:
recitations in this prayer is made loudly in the first two rakaats by
the leader (imam) or by whoever prays alone.
- The first two Rakaats of this prayer are performed in the
same manner as the first two Rakaats of the Dhuhr prayer. However, the
person praying behind an Imam in a congregation is required to listen
to the Imam's recitation of the Al- Fatihah, in the first two Rakaats.
Upon the Imam's completion of the Al-Fatihah, the person says Ameen
with the rest of the congregation and then recites Al-Fatihah silently
by himself. The person thereafter, may not need to recite Qur'anic
passages himself but should pay attention to the Imam's recitation.
Meanwhile, Qur'anic recitations in this prayer after the Al-Fatihah by
the Imam (or by whoever prays alone) may be either long or short
passages of the Holy Qur'an.
- Upon raising the head from the second prostration of the
second Rakaat, the person sits down for the first At-Tashahud and
recites the first part of the words of witness (i.e.: up to .... WA
ASHADUANNA MUHAMMADAN ABDUHU WA - RASUULUHU).
- The person thereafter stands up for the performance of the
third and last Rakaat of the Maghrib prayer and upon raising the head
from the second prostration of this third Rakaat, the person sits down
for the final At-Tashahud and recites the words of witness in full.
- The person then concludes the prayer by the "Tasleem" (i.e.
action No. 15 of the Fajr prayer).
Performance of the Isha Prayer
Number of Rakaat:
recitations in this prayer is made loudly in the first two Rakaats by
the Imam and by whoever prays alone.
prayer is performed in the same manner as the Dhuhr (Noon) and the Asr
(Afternoon) prayers. However, when praying behind an Imam, the person
is required to listen to the Imam's recitation of the "AL-FATIHAH" in
the first two Rakaats. Upon the Imam's completion of the Al-Fatihah the
person says Ameen with the rest of the congregation and then recites
Al-Fatihah silently by himself. The person thereafter may not need to
recite Qur'anic passages himself but should pay attention to the Imam's