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Pillar of Islam

Salat

How is salat performed?

May Allah grant blessing and peace to Prophet Muhammad, his family, his companions, and those who came after them. Peace be upon those who seek the Truth.

Assalam o Alaikum rahamutullahi wa barakuthu.

This article is about Salat, the 2nd pillar of Islam. It is compulsory for all Muslims who have reached the age of puberty, and are not insane. It is necessary to know the correct method of Salat. Salat is communication with Creator, which is the greatest moment, it has spiritual benefits. To miss salat intentionally is a major sin, and one should be careful of this.

Share the knowledge.

We should know that the purpose of this life is to worship Allah alone, not eating and drinking, staying in the house, staring at a TV screen, displaying football matches, getting married and having children, etc.

We must be prepared for the Day of Judgment.

وَمَا خَلَقۡتُ ٱلۡجِنَّ وَٱلۡإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعۡبُدُونِ ٦٥

And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.”

(Surah Adh-Dhariyat 56)

Allah tells us that He ordered salat.

وَأَقِيمُواْ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَءَاتُواْ ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ وَٱرۡكَعُواْ مَعَ ٱلرَّٰكِعِينَ ٣٤

And establish prayer and give zakah and bow with those who bow [in worship and obedience].

وَلَقَدْ أَخَذَ ٱللَّهُ مِيثَٰقَ بَنِىٓ إِسْرَٰٓءِيلَ وَبَعَثْنَا مِنْهُمُ ٱثْنَىْ عَشَرَ نَقِيبًاۖ وَقَالَ ٱللَّهُ إِنِّى مَعَكُمْۖ لَئِنْ أَقَمْتُمُ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَءَاتَيْتُمُ ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ وَءَامَنتُم بِرُسُلِى وَعَزَّرْتُمُوهُمْ وَأَقْرَضْتُمُ ٱللَّهَ قَرْضًا حَسَنًا لَّأُكَفِّرَنَّ عَنكُمْ سَيِّـَٔاتِكُمْ وَلَأُدْخِلَنَّكُمْ جَنَّٰتٍ تَجْرِى مِن تَحْتِهَا ٱلْأَنْهَٰرُۚ فَمَن كَفَرَ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ مِنكُمْ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ سَوَآءَ ٱلسَّبِيلِ

And Allah had already taken a covenant from the Children of Israel, and We delegated from among them twelve leaders. And Allah said, “I am with you. If you establish prayer and give zakah and believe in My messengers and support them and loan Allah a goodly loan, I will surely remove from you your misdeeds and admit you to gardens beneath which rivers flow. But whoever of you disbelieves after that has certainly strayed from the soundness of the way.”

Al-Ma’idah 5:12

The Quran gives warning regarding missing prayers.

عَنِ ٱلۡمُجۡرِمِينَ ٤١

About the criminals,”

مَا سَلَكَكُمْ فِي سَقَرَ ٤٢

[And asking them], “What put you into Saqar?”

قَالُواْ لَمْ نَكُ مِنَ ٱلْمُصَلِّينَ ٤٣

They will say, “We were not of those who prayed,

From hadith.

That Abu Sufyan said:

“I heard Jabir say: “I heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) say: “Between a man and shirk and kufr there stands his giving up the Salat.’”

(Sahih Muslim 82)

However, we should not make takfir. (calling a Muslim kafir) as that is very dangerous, instead we should encourage them to perform Salat, without forcing them.

From the above texts, there is no excuse to miss salat, whether during work or feeling lazy.

The best deed is praying salat on its fixed time.

“Narrated Ibn Masud: A man asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) “What deeds are the best?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “To perform the Salat (prayers) at their early stated fixed times, to be good and dutiful to one’s own parents, and to participate in Jihad in Allah’s Causes.” Sahih Bukhari 7534

There are five daily prayers and they have their fixed times which are mentioned below. Previously it was 50, till Allah changed it to 5, as reported in the hadith of Isra and Miraj. This is a mercy from Allah, the Most Merciful. He has made the religion easy for us to practice…

Allah tells us that prayers are at fixed specific times.

إِنَّ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ كَانَتۡ عَلَى ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ كِتَٰبًا مَّوۡقُوتًا ١٠٣

Indeed, prayer has been decreed upon the believers a decree of specified times.”
(Surah Nisa 103)

Below are:

1. Fajr (starts at beginning of pre-dawn, until sunrises)

2. Dhuhr (after the zenith has finished until one’s shadow is equal in length to his height)

3. Asr also known as Middle Prayer (when one’s shadow is equal in length to his height, until the sun turns yellow)

4. Maghrib (when the sunset starts, until twilight / red afterglow has faded)

5. Isha (When the time of Maghrib has finished, until midnight)

These times are mentioned in Sahih Muslim 612

Condition of Salat:

1. Being sane Muslim, having reached the age of puberty.

2. Intention (in the heart not verbal), should be done with pleasing Allah, not showing off.

3. The specific time of prayer must start.

4. Being in a state of wudu, (in state of junub (sexual impurity), one should take ghusl).

5. Facing Qibla (Direction facing Kaaba).

6. Praying in a clean place.

7. Covering awrah (private parts, from navel to knees, women are ordered to cover their whole body except face and hands, there are differences of opinions about covering feet).

8. Body free from any impurity such as menstrual blood, urine.

9. Must be submitted to Allah, the One and Only worthy of worship, and not else, to do so is shirk.

The pillar of Salat:

1. Standing if one able to do so,

2. Saying opening takbeer (Allah Akbar)

3. Reciting Surah Fateha

4. Bowing

5. Rising up from bowing

6. Standing straight

7. Prostration (foreheads, nose, palms, knees, and toes must be placed firmly.)

8. Rising up from prostration

9. Sitting between two prostrations

10. Being ease in each of the pillars

11. The final tashahhud

12. Sitting to recite final tashahudd and two salaams

13. Two salams (Assalam alaikum wa rahamutullahi)

14. Performing these orders above, without missing intentionally, otherwise, it is invalid.

Are the men and women prayers the same?

It is an issue of disputes, but the most authentic is that they are the same. Because Prophet peace be upon him said “Pray as you have seen me”,

Yet he did not say anything about women’s prayer.

(Sahih Bukhari 631)

Following the Imam:

You must follow the imam, without differing with him, but when he moves from the part to other, etc going to ruku from standing, do not race him, wait until he has reached the part completely. This is a common mistake, unfortunately.

Steps of Salat:

1. Make the intention that you are going to perform prayer for Allah’s pleasure and not showing off. Make your intention in your heart, not through the tongue.
2. You should stand, if you are able to do so, keep your feet moderate, not too close, not too far away
Standing straight
A picture showing feet in moderate position, not too far nor too close.
3. You should begin by saying Takbir (Allah Akbar), raising your hands with your palm up to shoulder level and fingers to ears level.
performing Salat
There are 3 ways of raising hands:

1. Before saying Takbir.

2. During it.

3. After it.

4. Place your right hand over your left hand on the chest area.
There are two ways.

1. Placing right hand over the left.

Or

2. Grabbing wrist.

 grabbing your left wrist

It is best to follow stick to both of them, as to follow the maximum sunnah. But if you want to stick to one sunnah, that’s also OK.

5. Keep your gaze fixed on the place of prostration. Always have khushoo

Khushoo is spritiual concentration, this means that the Muslim who prays, ignores all thoughts except Allah, and his heart focuses on Him only, out of humbleness. Without khushoo, then we are only praying like robots.

6. It is sunnah to recite opening dua and seeking refuge with Allah from Shaitan the outcast.

سُبْحَانَكَ اللَّهُمَّ وَبِحَمْدِكَ، وَتَبَارَكَ اسْمُكَ، وَتَعَالَى جَدُّكَ، وَلاَ إِلَهَ غَيْرُكَ

Glorious You are O Allah, and with Your praise, and blessed is Your Name, and exalted is Your majesty, and none has the right to be worshiped but You.”
Tirmidhi 243

Or

اللَّهُمَّ بَاعِدْ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَ خَطَايَايَ كَمَا بَاعَدْتَ بَيْنَ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ. اللَّهُمَّ نَقِنِيْ مِنۡ خَطَايَايَ كَمَا يُنَقَّى الثَّوۡبُ الۡأَبۡيَضُ مِنَ الدَّنَسِ، اللّٰهُمَّ اغْسِلْنْي مِنْ خَطَايَايَ، بِالثَّلْجِ وَالْمْاءِ وَالْبَرَدِ

O Allah, distance me from my sins just as You have distanced the east from the west. O Allah cleanse me of my sins as a white garment is cleansed of filth. O Allah, wash my sins from me with snow, water, and hail.”
Bukhari 1/181 and Muslim 1/419

And then seeking refuge with Allah from Shaitan the outcast.

أَعُوذُ بِٱللَّهِ مِنَ ٱلشَّيْطَانِ ٱلرَّجِيمِ

I seek refuge with Allah from Shaitan the accursed.”

7. You must recite Surah Fateha, even behind the imam (this must be done in each rakats)

(Tirmidhi 311)

Note: It is makruh to recite Quran too quickly. One should recite it slowly and reflect on its meaning. It is recommended to pause at each verse for short time.

﴾بِسۡمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ١ ﴿
In the name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.”

﴾ٱلۡحَمۡدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ ٱلۡعَٰلَمِينَ ٢﴿

[All] praise is [due] to Allah, Lord of the worlds -”

﴾ٱلرَّحۡمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ٣﴿

The Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful,”

﴾مَٰلِكِ يَوۡمِ ٱلدِّينِ ٤﴿

Sovereign of the Day of Recompense.”

﴾إِيَّاكَ نَعۡبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسۡتَعِينُ ٥﴿

It is You we worship and You we ask for help.”

﴾ٱهۡدِنَا ٱلصِّرَٰطَ ٱلۡمُسۡتَقِيم َ٦﴿

Guide us to the straight path -”

﴾صِرَٰطَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَنۡعَمۡتَ عَلَيۡهِمۡ غَيۡرِ ٱلۡمَغۡضُوبِ عَلَيۡهِمۡ وَلَا ٱلضَّآلِّينَ ٧﴿

The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor, not of those who have evoked [Your] anger or of those who are astray.”

Note: You must keep moving your tongue and lips while reciting the Quran

You should read tafsir, as to increase your knowledge and understanding of the Quran. Learning Arabic is one of the most important aspects for those who are not native speakers, as it is the language of the Quran.

8. It is recommended to recite a Surah after Fateha, Surah Ikhlas is sufficient, and it is reported in a hadith that it is equal to a third of the Qur’an. (Sahih Muslim 811a)

9. Raise your hand, before bowing down, keep your back and head straight.

(Sahih Bukhari 735)

10.You must recite Subhan Rabbiyal al-Azeem, once is a minimum, three times is recommended.

(Sunan Nasai 1008)

In Arabic form:

“سُبْحَانَ رَبِّيَ الْعَظِيمِ”

“How perfect my Lord is, the Supreme.

11. While rising up from bowing and before going to standing straight positon, say Sami Allah liman hamidah. If you are praying alone. You also raise hands as well, both alone and in congregational.

If the imam is leading. Say Rabbana wa-laka-hamd or Allahumma Rabbana wa-laka-hamd, after the imam has said “Sami Allah liman hamidah” and reached the standing straight position from bowing.

(Sahih Bukhari 735, – Sahih Bukhari 733)

(the word, Allahumma added is mentioned in Sahih Bukhari 796)

In Arabic form:

“سَمِعَ اللَّهُ لِمَنْ حَمِدَهُ”

Allah hears the one who praises Him

“رَبَّنَا وَلَكَ الْحَمْدُ”

Our Lord, praise be to You.

Or

“اللَّهُمَّ رَبَّنَا وَلَكَ الْحَمْدُ”

Oh Allah, our Lord, praise be to You.

12. Then put your hands on your chest, the same manner, but you may drop your hands to the sides, there are differences of opinions about placing hands. If you are praying alone, say either Rabbana wa-laka-hamd or Allahumma, Rabbana wa-laka-hamd after standing straight

(Sunan Nasai 1060)

13. You do not raise your hands. Prostrate before Allah, the Supreme Lord, with all required parts put firmly (forehead, nose, palms, knees and toes) Keep your arms away from your body and keep it wide so the armpit can be seen. Do not rest your forearms on ground. Your hands should be next to your shoulders or ears.

(Sahih Muslim 494, – Sahih Muslim 495a, – Sahih Bukhari 822, – Sahih Muslim 490d)

performing salat: Prostrate before the Almighty Allah. Place your forehead, nose, palms, knees and toes on ground firmly. Do not lift any of them.
performing salat: keep your feet touching each other, with both of parts, top and toes.
14. Recite Subhan Rabbi al ala, 1 is minimum while 3 is recommended.

(Sunan Nasai 1008)

In Arabic form:

“سُبْحَانَ رَبِّيَ الأَعْلَى”

How perfect my Lord is, the Highest.

15. You can make any duas while in Sajdah, as much as you wish. You can recite it in your own language.

(Sunan Nasai 1045)

16. Rise up for sitting between two prostrations, saying Takbir. Sit on your left foot, while your right foot should be erect.

(Sahih Bukhari 828)

17. While sitting between two prostrations, recite Rabbigfir li. Once is minimum, you can recite it as many as you like.

In Arabic form:

” رَبِّ اغْفِرْلِي، رَبِّ اغْفِرْلِي “
My Lord, forgive me, My Lord, forgive me.

(Sunan Nasai 1145)

18. Prostrate again, saying Takbir. Say the same dihkr as mentioned above, you can also make duas.
19. It it is sunnah to sit while after rising from second prostration before standing up, then say Allah Akbar for standing up.

(Sahih Bukhari 824)

You also raise your hands after you have completed 1st tashahudd

Abu Dawood 741

20. Now you have finished one Rakat. You do the same for each rakats until the end, in 2nd Rakat, you will not stand up like the previous Rakat but instead, sit for tashahudd. This is the same as in prayers with more than 2 rakats, which has two tashahudd. (Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib and Isha).
21. As soon as you sit for tashahudd, raise your index finger. There are two ways. You also sit on your left foot and with your right feet erect.
performing salat: there are two ways of raising finger, making circle with middle finger and thumb then raise your index finger, or making fist and raising your index finger

1. Make a circle with middle finger and thumb, then raise your index finger.

Performing salat: making circle and raising finger

(Sunan Nasai 890)

2. Make fist and raise your index finger.

performing salat: making fist and raising finger

(Sahih Muslim 580c)

22. It is sunnah to slightly move your finger and fix your gaze upon it. You do this til you finish reciting the At-Tahiyyaat

(Sunan Nasai 890) (Abu Dawood 990)

There are many different versions of At-Tahiyyaat recited by Companions of Prophet peace be upon him, from different ahadith. I will put the at-tahiyyaat of Ibn Masud, a companion of Prophet peace be upon him.

(Ibn Nasai 1169, and Muslim 402).

التَّحِيَّاتُ لِلَّهِ وَالصَّلَوَاتُ وَالطَّيِّبَاتُ السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ وَرَحْمَةُ اللَّهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْنَا وَعَلَى عِبَادِ اللَّهِ الصَّالِحِينَ أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لاَإِلَهَ إِلاَّاللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَشَرِيكَ لَهُ وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ


All praises, prayers, and good things are for Allah,

Allah’s mercy and blessings be on you, O Prophet!

Peace be upon us and the righteous slaves of Allah,

I testify that none has to be worshipped but Allah, and I also testify that Muhammad is Allah’s slave and Messenger.”

23. In final Rakat (2nd tashahudd) There is a sunnah sitting position, called Tawarruk. It is done by sitting on your left buttock and putting your left foot underneath your right leg.
performing salat: It is sunnah when sitting for 2nd Tashahudd which is final, to sit on your left buttock with your left feet under your right leg, with the right feet still erect.

(Sahih Bukhari 828)

24. After reciting the second At-Tahhiyaat, you should recite durood Ibrahim. You also do the same sunnah, raising your index finger, with either way mentioned above, fixing your gaze on it and slightly moving it, until the end.

اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ، وَعَلَى آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ، كَمَا صَلَّيْتَ عَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَعَلَى آلِ إِبْرَا هِيمَ، إِنَّكَ حَمِيدٌ مَجِيدٌ اللَّهُمَّ بَارَكْ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ، وَعَلَى آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ، كَمَا بَارَكْتَ عَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ، وَعَلَى آلِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، إِنَّكَ حَمِيدٌ مَجِيدٌ


“O Allah, send blessing to Muhammad and family of Muhammad, as You have sent blessing to Ibrahim and family of Ibrahim, truly You are Praiseworthy and Glorious, O Allah bless Muhammad and family of Muhammad, as You have blessed Ibrahim and family of Ibrahim, truly You are Praiseworthy and Glorious.”

Sahih Bukhari 3370

25. It is recommended to seek refuge with Allah from four things.

اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ عَذَابِ جَهَنَّمَ وَمِنْ عَذَابِ الْقَبْرِ وَمِنْ فِتْنَةِ الْمَحْيَا وَالْمَمَاتِ وَمِنْ شَرِّ الْمَسِيحِ الدَّجَّالِ

Oh, Allah! I seek refuge with You from the torment of the Hell, from the torment of the grave, from the trial of life and death, and from the evil of Mashih al-Dajjal.”

Sahih Muslim 588a

26. It is recommended to supplicate anything whatever you like, before saying the tasleem (two salaams). You can include duas from the Quran and Sunnah, as that is better.

Sahih Muslim 402

27. Say Assalam Alaikum rahamtullahi, turning your face to right then left. You should let your cheek be seen by people behind you.

(Tirmidhi 3), (Abu Dawood 618)

Twelve Sunnah salat:

Zuhr: 4 (2+2) rakats sunnah salat before fard (obligatory), two after it. There is a hadith about praying 4, that whoever performs it, Allah will forbid him Fire, You can do 2+2 rakats, two rakats sunnah and then another two rakats, making it 4.

Asr is not included in Twelve sunnah salat. But, it is reported in Tirmidhi 430 that Allah will have mercy on those who pray 4 before Asr.

Maghrib: Two Sunnah rakat after farz.

Isha: Two Sunnah rakat after farz.

Fajr: Two Sunnah rakat before farz, this prayer is highly recommended and should be never missed even when in traveling, but it is not obligatory.

A house will be built for one who performs the Twelve sunnah salat. This is reported in Tirmidhi 414.

All ahadith above are taken from sunnah.com some are taken from muflihun

Alhamduilliah (praise be to Allah)


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