Kitab Al-Salaah (The book of Prayer)

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  • Kitab Al-Salaah (The book of Prayer)



    Of The Salaat

    After introducing the Salaat and discussing its pre-requisites, we
    shall now turn to matters pertaining to its actual performance.

    Conditions for the Prayer (Shuruud-Salaat)

    There are a number of conditions which need to be fulfilled for the
    prayer to be valid. These are as follows:

    • Acceptance of Islamic Faith - disbelievers are not required
      to establish Salaat until they believe in Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala)
      and bear witness that there is no god but Allah and bear witness that
      Muhammad is His servant and messenger.
    • Anniyah - this in Arabic means the intention by heart to
      perform the particular prayer.
    • Cleanliness - this includes cleanliness of the body, the
      clothes and the place where the prayer is to be performed.
    • Purification - this refers to the of Wudhu (or Ghusl where it
      is required) prior to undertaking the prayer.
    • Concealing of the Private Parts - for a man, it is essential
      that he be covered at least from the navel to the knees all round,
      while, in the case of a woman, her body should be totally covered
      except for the face and wrists.
    • Facing the "Qiblah" - this means that a person when praying
      must face towards the direction of the sacred mosque in "Makkah". Where
      a person is not able to locate the direction by himself/herself, the
      person may ask another person who may know the direction of the Qiblah.
      However, if no one is in sight to guide to the right direction, then,
      the person should decide for himself/herself and make the best guess of
      the correct direction of the Qiblah, and accordingly, perform the
      prayer in that direction even though the guess maybe incorrect. The
      prayer performed would still be acceptable (inshaa Allah) in view of
      the following verse of the Holy Qur'an:“ Whichever direction you
      turn, there is the Presence of Allah”
      (Qur'an 2: 115).
    • Timing - prayers are to be observed in their prescribed
    • Sanity and consciousness - prayer is required only from
      person of sound mind.
    • Ability to distinguish - prayer is required only where the
      person (child) is able to distinguish between good and bad, and is able
      to understand and appreciate fully what is to be recited, performed

    is preferred for children to begin performing the prayer at the age of
    seven for it awakens in them the presence of Allah (subhanahu wa
    ta'ala) and inculcates in them the habit of praying as an act of
    worship and love for 'Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala). A child at the age
    of 10 is made to understand that prayer is necessarily a part of the
    person's daily life and is a solemn duty ordained by Allah (subhanahu
    wa ta'ala) on all Muslims, and that failure to perform it is an act of
    disbelief (Kufr). Therefore, parents are required to guide their
    children to the right path by punishing any of them who at the age of
    10 intentionally misses the prayers.

    Prophet (peace be upon him), said:“ Order your children to pray
    when they reach the age of seven and punish them for not performing it
    at the age of ten and separate them (ie. boys and girls) in their beds”

    (Reported by Imam Bukhari).

    attaining the age of 15, a child is deemed to have reached adulthood,
    whereby, he/she is required to perform the prayer. Here below, are some
    other signs which may indicate that a child has attained adulthood:

    • The growing of pubic hairs.
    • Finding traces of semen on the child's clothes and/or bed.
    • The start of menstruation, in the case of a girl.


    Categories of the Acts of the Salaat

    All the acts, readings and supplications undertaken in the course of
    the Salaat have different legal weights and implications. They are
    categorized as follows:

    1. Pillars of the Salaat - (Arkanu-Salaat).
    2. Necessary Duties of the Salaat (Wajibatu-Salaat).
    3. Preferred Acts of the Salaat. (Sunnanu-Salaat).

    We shall now discuss each of these categories in turn.

    Pillars of the Salaat (Arkanu-S alaat)

    The prayer has obligatory pillars, which must be fulfilled for it to be
    valid and these are as follows:

    1. " Al-Qiyaam " - prayer is to be performed in a standing
      position if a person is physically capable.
    2. " Takbiiratil lhraam " that is saying "ALLAHU AKHAR" at the
      commence - ment of the prayer.
    3. " Al-Fatihah
      " - that is reciting
      the opening chapter of the Holy Qur'an in every Rakaat.
    4. " Rukuu " - this is bowing posture whereby the head and the
      back are positioned on the same level and both hands are rested on the
      knees with the fingers spread apart.
    5. A requirement to raise the head up from the Rukuu position.
    6. A requirement to stand up from the Rukuu position in such a
      way that the person feels that all his/her backbones are straightened.
    7. " Sujuud " that is prostrating oneself in such a way that the
      following seven parts of the body are firmly placed on the ground: the
      forehead together with the tip of the nose, both the palms, both the
      knees, the bottom surface of the toes of both feet.
    8. A requirement to raise the head from the Sujuud position.
    9. A requirement to sit upright during the pause between the two
    10. A requirement to take a sitting position for the recitation
      of the " At-Tashahucl " (words of witness).
    11. A requirement to recite the final " At-Tashahud ".
    12. A requirement to recite the words of supplication for the
      Prophet (peace be upon him).
    13. A requirement to conclude the prayer with the words of peace
      " Tasleem ", i.e. " Assalamu Aleykum Wa Rahmatullaahi Wa Barakatuh".
    14. A requirement that in fulfilling the above pillars the person
      should be in a state of tranquility.

    above are the pillars of the prayer, wherein, if any of them is missed,
    it is required to repeat the whole Rakaat (Unit) in which the pillar is
    omitted, but if, the Takbiirat il - lhraam is omitted, it becomes
    necessary to repeat the whole Salaat.

    Necessary Duties (Wajibatu-Salaat)

    In addition to the above 14 pillars of the prayer, there are also
    certain necessary duties which need to be fulfilled in the course of
    the Salaat. These are as follows:

    1. Saying "ALLAHU AKHAR" in the course of the prayer where it is
      necessary, e.g. upon commencing Rukuu etc.
    2. Saying "SUBHANAA RABBIYAL AZIM" when in Rukuu position.
    3. Saying "SAMI ALLAHU LIMAN HAMIDAH" while resuming standing
      position from the Rukuu whether the person is an "Imam" (leader) or is
      praying alone.
    4. Saying "RABBANA WALAKAL HAMD" when resuming the standing
      position from the Rukuu after saying the words.
    5. Saying "SUBHANA RABBIYAL AALA" when in Sujuud (prostration)
    6. Saying "RABBI IGHFIR LEE" in the sitting pause between the
      two prostration of every unit of the prayer.
    7. Taking a sitting position for the recitation of At-Tashahud
      after the first two rakaats (units) of Dhuhr, Asr, Maghrib and Isha
    8. Reciting the At-Tashahud (words of witness) after the first
      two rakaats (units) of Dhuhr, Asr, Maghrib and Isha prayers.
    9. Saying "SAMI ALLAHU LIMAN HAMIDAH". This is required from the
      Imam (leader), from the congregation and even from a person who is
      praying alone.

    above gestures/actions constitute the necessary duties of the prayer
    and if one of them is missed unintentionally, then the person is
    required to amend the mistake by coming up with the two prostration of
    forgetfulness at the end of the prayer. However, if any of these duties
    is left out deliberately, then the whole prayer is nullified and shall
    require a repetition.

    Preferred Acts of the Salaat (Sunna- nu-Salaat)

    In addition to the Pillars and Necessary duties already discussed,
    there are also certain preferred acts to be fulfilled in the course of
    the prayer. These areas are as follows:

    • Reciting of an opening supplication (Du'a-al-Istiftaah) after
      the "Takbiiratil- lhraam".
    • Placing the hands over the chest while the person is in a
      standing position with the right hand placed over the left hand.
    • Raising of both hands up to the level of the shoulders or
      near to the lobes of the ears when saying "Takbiiratil-lhraam",- when
      heading for the Rukuu; when resuming standing position from the Rukuu
      and when resuming standing position from the first tashahud.
    • Seeking the protection of Allah from the cursed Satan (only
      at the start of the first rakaat) by saying: "Audhu billahi minas-
      shaytani-r-rajiim" which means, "I seek Allah's refuge from the cursed
    • Starting the prayer with the silent invocation of Allah
      (subhanahu wa ta'ala) by saying: "BISMILLAHI-R-RAHMANI-R-- RAHEEM"
      which means, "In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful."
    • Saying "Ameen" upon concluding the recitation of
    • Reciting some chapters or verses of the Holy Qur'an after
      Al-Fatihah in the first two rakaats (units) of each prayer.
    • A preference that the recitation of Al- Fatihah and of any
      other additional readings from the Holy Qur'an are recited in a loud
      voice in the first two rakaats of Fajr, Maghrib and Isha prayers.
    • A preference that when sitting for the first At-Tashahud and
      in between the two prostration, the person rests on his left foot
      flattened on the ground while keeping the right foot erect with the
      bottom of the toes firmed on the ground.
    • A preference to practice At- Tawaruk when sitting for the
      final At-Tashahud in the Dhuhr, Asr, Maghrib and Isha prayers.
      "At-Tawaruk" is a mode of sitting, wherein the person protrudes out his
      left foot from underneath his right leg, in such a way that the person
      does not relax on his left foot.
    • Reciting the following supplication, when sitting for
      At-Tashahud, in between the supplication for the Prophet (peace be upon
      him) and the final words of peace: "Allahumma inii audhu bika min adha
      bi jahanama, wa min a dhabiil qabr wamin fitnatil mahyaa wal- ma-mati,
      wamin fitnatil masihid-dajaal " which means: "O Lord I seek your
      protection from the torment of Jahanam (the hell fire), and from the
      torment of the grave, and from the trials of living and dying and from
      the trials of the Masiih Addajaal."

    above points are the preferred acts of the prayer and all Muslims are
    encouraged to preserve these practices because their observance
    entities the person great rewards from Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala).
    However, missing any of them does neither invalidate the Salaat nor
    require the two prostration of forgetfulness.



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