“PRAY LIKE THE PROPHET(S.A.W)”
-FIQH OF SALAH-
Source: Learn Islam (Short Courses)
[Brothers & Sisters please in the classes of Salah one might find things that contradict what we have been doing all life. Dont just close and forget it, We do not inted to get into sectism rather our aim is to simple stick to the Sunnah InshaAllah so if you find anything which you have been doing in a different way, do some research and try to find the truth with the intention of following the Sunnah for the Sake of Allah and InshaAllah Allah will guide us to the Siraat Al Mustakeem.]
Definition of Salaah
1. The linguistic definition is “du’a.”
Al ‘Qadia said this is the saying of most scholars of fiqh and Arabic language.Du’a means ‘supplication’. In Arabic language we usually refer to something by what isincluded in it.
The technical definition in the Sharee’ah is the ‘sayings and actions beginning with takbeer and ending with tasleem along with intention.
Salaah is a pillar of Islam. Prayer is the greatest after the Shahadah and this isestablished in the Qur’aan and the Sunnah. The Ijmaa says that the one denying this pillar goes out of Islam. There are many benefits to Salaah – religious, worldly, health-wise, social, political, systematic, regulating etc. This shows the wisdom of Allah when He made the Salaah obligatory– it upholds that which is in this world and the Hereafter. It is thefoundation of this life and the cause of happiness in the next life.
VIRTUES OF SALAH
Salaat (Prayer) performed genuinely with humility and submission to Allah(subhanahu wa ta’ala) has unlimited virtues and benefits. It is the noblest expression offaith and the surest way of thanking Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) for His unlimited favors. It is the way to obtaining Allah’s mercy, generosity, kindness, blessings and a sure way toparadise. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) says in the Holy Qur’an:“ Prosperous indeed are the believers who are humble in their prayers” (Qur’an 23:1-2).
It is a deliverance on the Day of Judgement for those who used to observe it well.The Prophet (peace be upon him) says: “The first thing that the servant of Allah(subhanahu wa ta’ala) will be called to account for on the Day of Judgement will bethe prayer; and if it was good the person’s deeds will have been good, but if it was bad,the person’s deeds will have been bad” (Reported by Imam Bukhari).
Prayer purifies the soul, refines the character and inculcates in man the excellentvirtues of truthfulness, honesty and modesty. It keeps one who performs it fromfalsehood and from all forbidden actions as is categorically confirmed by the followingverse of the Holy Qur’an: “ Verily, prayer refrains from indecency and evil” (Qur’an29:45).
Rasulullah (saw) said “Allah has obligated five prayers. Whoever excellently performs their ablutions, prays them in their proper times, completes their bows, prostrations and khushu` [Khushu` in the prayer is where the person’s heart is attuned to the prayer.] has a promise from Allah that He will forgive him. And whoever does not do that has no promise from Allah. He may either forgive him or punish him.” [Recorded by Malik, Ahmad, Abu Dawud, al-Nasa’I and others.]
SubhanAllah Allah (swt) is giving us a PROMISE that he will forgive us! What more can we ask for? How can I pray when I have so many sins, they should realize this prayer is a way for them to get their sins forgiven.
MERITS OF SALAH
1. It prevents you from Fahsha and Munkar
Verily, As-Salat (the prayer) prevents from Al-Fahsha (ie great sins of every kind, unlawful sexual intercourse, etc) and Al-Munkar (ie disbelief, polytheism, and every kind of evil wicked deed, etc)Surah al-Ankabut, 29:45
Fahsha = illegal sexual intercourse Munkar = all types of sins
2. It is the best deed after the Shahadah ayn laa ilaha ila Allah Muhammadun Rasool Allah
3. It washes away your sins –from salah to salah jummah to jummah Ramadhan to Ramadhan — it washed away your sins if you abstain from the major sins –Hadith Rasool the man who has a spring
Narrated from Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Shall I not tell you something by means of which Allah erases sins and raises people in status?” They said: Yes, O Messenger of Allah. He said: “Doing wudoo’ properly at times when it is difficult to do so, taking many steps to the mosque, and waiting for prayer after prayer. That is Ar-Ribaat.”
Narrated AbuHurayrah (RAA) Rasulullah (SAW) said: Five prayers and from one Friday prayer to (the next) Friday prayer is an expiation (of the sins committed in between their intervals) if major sins are not committed.
(Sahih Muslim Book 2, Number 0448)
Narrated Abu Huraira: I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, “If there was a river at the door of anyone of you and he took a bath in it five times a day would you notice any dirt on him?” They said, “Not a trace of dirt would be left.” The Prophet added, “That is the example of the five prayers with which Allah blots out (annuls) evil deeds.”
(Sahih Al Bukhari Volume 1, Book 10, Hadith # 506)
4. It is a light for the one who performs it Both in this life and the next
5. It causes you to gain intercession of Muhammad –and therefore it causes you to enter the paradise –in order for you to enter paradise, you need the intercession of Muhammed –and you gain this by establishing salah
6. It causes you to gain the dua of the angels — The person who establishes salah the angels make supplication for that person
7. For you to sit in your place of Salah waiting is like you are doing ribaat
ribaat = watching the borders of the Muslim State
8. The Salah raises your status in the Sight of the Allah The Creator and the creation
And mention in the Book (the Quran) Ismail (Ishmael) Verily! He was true to what he promised, and he was a Messenger, (and) a Prophet (Surah Maryam, 19:54, 55)
And he used to enjoin on his family and his people As-Salat (the prayers) and the Zakat, and his Lord was pleased with him (Surah Maryam, 19:54)
This ayah tells you when you establish salah it raises your status — in the sight of ALLAH and in the sight of your fellow human beings
9. It makes Allah love you and the people love you
The Dua of Ibrahim: “O our Lord! I have made some of my offspring to dwell in an uncultivable valley by Your Sacred House (the Kabbah at Makkah); in order, O our Lord, that they may perform As-Salat (Iqamatas- Salat), so fill some hearts among men with love towards them, and (O Allah) provide them with fruits so that they may give thanks (Surah Ibrahim, 14:37)”
Non-cultivatable valley nothing grows there ! –the scholars of Islam use this ayah to say –that the people will love you if you establish salah
Whenever a man and his wife do not pray, they always end up in divorce –a family that prays together, stays together –when a couple prays together their love grows
10. Your salah is a covenant between you and Allah ta’ala
And We shall drive the Mujrimoon (polytheists, sinners, criminals, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah, etc) to Hell, in a thirsty state (like a thirsty herd driven down to water), None shall have the power of intercession, but such a one as has received permission (or promise) from the Most Beneficent (Allah) Surah Maryam 19: 86-87
The only one who will receive the intercession –is the one who fulfills the covenant –the covenant is to establish the salah –the one who will receive this intercession is the one who established salah
11. It is the greatest form of dhikr
“Verily! I am Allah! La ilaha illa Ana (none has the right to be worshipped but I), so worship Me, and perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) for My Remembrance (Surah Ta-Ha, 20:14 )
ALLAH’s commandment to Musa proving that salah is the greatest dhikr
12. It teaches you punctuality –all prayers have a prescribed time
13. It teaches you community cohesion, unity
When you go to the masjid to pray, you mix with your brothers and sisters
The salah teaches you unity and uniformity –if you keep your line straight, –Allah will make your line like the lines of the angels –so by keeping your lines straight, not crooked, –this means that your salah is teaching you –to be organized and it teaches you unity (community cohesion) –you see you bros and sisters on a regular basis
Narrated by al-Bukhaari (690) and Muslim (433) from Anas, that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said “Make your rows straight, for straightening the rows is part of the perfection of prayer” According to the version narrated by al-Bukhari “… is part of the establishing of prayer”
14. Your salah teaches you humility
When you pray with your head on the ground: –this is the ultimate act of humility (to bow in that manner) –so your salah teaches you unity
15. Your salah teaches you brotherhood and sisterhood
You pray shoulder to shoulder with all races, black white yellow brown, Arab and non Arab.
16. It causes you to be blessed by ALLAH
“He (Iesa (Jesus)) said Verily! I am a slave of Allah, He has given me the Scripture and made me a Prophet;” “And He has made me blessed whosesoever I be, and has enjoined on me Salat (prayer), and Zakat, as long as I live” (Surah Maryam 19:30-31)
Therefore Salah is a means by which you are blessed by ALLAH
17. It causes you to attain yaqeen, certainty
Yaqeen is the opposite of doubt (ie when you doubt your faith)
So glorify the praises of your Lord and be of those who prostrate themselves (to Him) And worship your Lord until there comes unto you the certainty (ie death) Surah al-Hijr, 15:98-99
18. Salah is an investment between you and ALLAH
You will reap the rewards in both worlds (in this life and the next
ALLAH refers to salah in the Quran as tijaara –the first thing ALLAH will ask you about on Judgment Day is your salah –if your salah was messed up, ALLAH won’t bother to look at your zakat –or your sawm, hajj, etc –if your salah is good, ALLAH will look at your other good deeds
Verily, those who recite the Book of Allah (this Quran), and perform As-Salat (Iqamatas-Salat), and spend (in charity) out of what We have provided for them, secretly and openly, hope for a (sure) trade gain that will never perish (Surah Fatir, 35:29)
19. Salah is a gift given to the Rasool (saws) on the night of al Isra wal Miraj
The gift of salah 2. the ayah 22:86 3. the multiplication of good deeds
When you do ONE good deed, ALLAH writes it down as ten good deeds or 700 good deeds
20. Salah is a mercy from ALLAH to the ummah of Muhammad PBUH
You were commanded to pray 50 times a day initially –then the Rasool passed by Musa, and Musa asked the Rasool –to ask Allah to decrease it –due to Musa’s experience with his own ummah
The Prophet (pbuh) kept going back again and again, –until ALLAH reduced the salah to 5 times a day –therefore ALLAH says he will give us the reward of praying 50 times a day –if we establish the salah 5 times a day
21. It’s a regular exercise that reduces the cholesterol level
Your 5 daily salah is the minimal amount of exercise that is needed to keep your cholesterol levels down, high cholesterol causes many problems in the body, salah reduces this.
22. Your salah is a demonstration of your love to ALLAH and to his Rasool
When you read the Quran, ALLAH is speaking to you, when you pray, you speak to ALLAH. It’s a demonstration of love to the Rasool because you pray the same way he prayed. You establish your salah in accordance to the sunnah of the prophet.
Why did you do this? because you love the prophet –the Rasool said “pray the ways you see me pray” –therefore you if pray the way the Rasool prayed, this is a testament to your love to the Rasool
23. It is the closest you can get to ALLAH
The Prophet Muhammad said “the closest a person can get to ALLAH –is when you are in sajda”
“when you make a dua to ALLAH in sajda, ALLAH will answer your dua“.
The shaitan is jealous of you when you are in sajda.
There is no other position in salah that brings you, closer to ALLAH than when you are in sajda
ALLAH loves you the most when He sees you in sajda
“A servant is nearest to his Lord when he is in sajda, so increase your supplication when in sajda”(Muslim)
When you are in sajda, you can beg ALLAH for anything, in any language, because this shows your humility.
24. The salah is the legacy of the prophets
When the Rasool when to Isra wal miraj, he led the other prophets in prayer, he lead them in prayer, and they prayed behind him their salah and his salah was the same exact salah there is no difference between the salah of the previous Prophets.
“He (Iesa (Jesus)) said Verily! I am a slave of Allah, He has given me the Scripture and made me a Prophet;” “And He has made me blessed whomsoever I be, and has enjoined on me Salat (prayer), and Zakah, as long as I live” Surah Maryam, 19:30-31
25. Praying 12 rakahs a day will build a house in jannah every day for each day that it is done
It was narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever prays twelve rakahs during the night and day, a house will be built for him in Paradise: four beforeZuhr and two after, two rak’ahs after Maghrib, two rakahs after isha and two rakahs before Fajr prayer.”
(al-Tirmidhi, no. 380; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 6362)
26. Hellfire will be made haram for one who prays four rakah before and after Zuhr
Narrated from Umm Habeebah (may Allah be pleased with her) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever prays four (rakahs) before Zuhr and four after it, the Fire will not touch him.”
(Al-Nasaa’i (1817) and al-Tirmidhi (428); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Nasaa’i)
27. Praying Ishraaq after praying in congregation in masjid and doing dhikr will give reward of doing umrah and hajj
Anas ibn Maalik (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever prays Fajr in congregation then sits remembering Allah until the sun rises, then prays two rakahs (known as Ishraaq), will have a reward like that of Hajj and ‘Umrah.” He said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “In full, in full, in full.”
(al-Jumu’ah 535; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh Sunan al-Tirmidhi, 480)
28. Praying fajr will put a person under the protection of Allah
Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever prays Fajr is under the protection of Allah, so do not fall short with regard to the rights of Allah, for anyone who does that, Allah will seize him and will throw him on his face into the Fire of Hell.”
28. Praying two rakah of duha is sufficient enough for giving thanks of 360 joints of body to Allah
Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “In a human (body) there are 360 joints and man must make a charity for each one.” The people said: “Who can do that, O Messenger of Allah?” He responded: “One may cover the mucus that one finds in the mosque or remove something harmful from the road. If one could not do that, he could pray two rak’at of duha and that will be sufficient for him.”
(Ahmad and Abu Dawud)
Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Charity is required from every part of your body daily. Every saying of ‘Glory be to Allah (subhan Allah)’ is charity. Every saying of ‘Praise be to Allah’ is charity. Every saying of ‘There is no God but Allah (La ilaha illal Allah)’ is charity. Every saying of ‘Allah is the Greatest (Allahu Akbar)’ is charity. Ordering the good is charity. Eradicating the evil is charity. And what suffices for that (as a charity) are the two rak’at of duha.”
(Ahmad, Muslim, and Abu Dawud)
WARNING AGAINST ABANDONING SALAH
Allah (SWT) says “Then, there has succeeded them a posterity who have given up As-Salât (the prayers) [i.e. made their Salât (prayers) to be lost, either by not offering them or by not offering them perfectly or by not offering them in their proper fixed times, etc.] and have followed lusts. So they will be thrown in Hell.Except those who repent and believe (in the Oneness of Allâh and His Messenger Muhammad SAW), and work righteousness. Such will enter Paradise and they will not be wronged in aught.” (Sura Maryam, ayat 59-60)
Here we see what is the place for those who have abandoned the prayer but Allah (swt) is the most mercyful and gives us chances to repent and be saved.
Allah (swt) says in Sura Al-Mâ’ûn “So woe unto those performers of Salât (prayers) (hypocrites),Who delay their Salât (prayer) from their stated fixed times,Those who do good deeds only to be seen (of men),” (Sura Al-Mâ’ûn, ayat 4 – 6)
This ayah shows us that we have to pray our Salah on its fixed timings and not dalay them without a valid reason (i.e. traveling, jihad etc..) and how much we need to have sincaerity in your prayer and do it only for Allah (swt).
Allah (swt) further warns us in the Quran “O you who believe! Let not your properties or your children divert you from the remembrance of Allâh. And whosoever does that, then they are the losers.” (Sura Al-Munaafiqoon, ayah #9)
The commentators of the Qur’aan say: “The ‘remembrance of Allaah’ mentioned in these Aayaat means the five daily prayers. If anyone is so busy in buying and selling, or with his daily work of earning a livelihood, or with his children, that he cannot perform prayers on time, he will be among the losers.”
Informing us about the inhabitants of Hell, Allaah (SWT) says “(The people in Hell will be asked) What has caused you to enter Hell? They will say: “We were not of those who used to offer their Salât (prayers). Nor did we feed the poor. And we used to talk falsehood (all that which Allaah hated) with vain-talkers. And we used to belie thc Day of Recompense. Until there came to us that which is certain (i.e., death). So no Intercession of intercessors will benefit them. (Sura Al-Muddaththir, ayah 42-48)
Rasulullah (SAW) said “The covenant between us and them is prayer, so if anyone abandons it he has become a disbeliever.” (Agreed upon by Ahmad, Tirmidhee and Nasaa’ee to be authentic)
In an other Hadith of Rasulullah (SAW) said “What lies between a man and disbelief is the abandonment of prayer.”
(Agreed upon by Muslim, Abu Dawood and Nasaa’ee as sahih authentic)
The Timings Of The Obligatory Prayers
Islam has prescribed specified time limits for each of prayer as can be noted from the following verse of the Holy Qur’an:“Prayer is enjoined on believers at stated times” (Qur’an 4:103).
And in an authentic prophetic saying it is confirmed that someone once asked the prophet (peace be upon him) about the best action in the sight of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and the prophet replied:“Offering prayer at its prescribed time” (Reported by Imam Bukhari).
Thus, the arrival of the time for prayer is a fundamental condition for performing it and if, therefore, a prayer is intentionally performed before or after its designated time it shall not be acceptable in the sight of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). However, persons who may forget (without intention) to perform any of the obligatory prayers within its ordained time or who are overtaken by sleep, then such persons should perform the prayer as soon as they remember it and/or as soon as they wake up from their sleep.
We shall now enumerate the different timings of the five obligatory prayers:
- FAJR (Dawn) PRAYER: Its time begins at dawn when morning light first appears in the horizon and continues until the sun rises.
- DHUHR (Noon) PRAYER: Its time begins when the sun reaches its highest point in the sky and continues up to the time of Asr Prayer.
- ASR (Afternoon or Middle) PRAYER: Its time begins when the shadow of an object is equal toits own length, plus the length of its noontime shadow and continues until sunset.
- MAGHRIB (Sunset) PRAYER: Its time starts from sunset and continues until the end of twilight. Twilight is the redness which remains in the horizon after sunset.
- ISHA (Evening) PRAYER: Its time starts when the twilight disappears and continues up to mid-night. Mid-night in this case may not necessarily be interpreted to mean 12:00 o’clock but may be construed as the mid-time between sunset and the appearance of the true dawn.
Performance 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 times.
- 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 etc.
It 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.
The 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).
Upon 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).
PILLARS OF THE SALAAT (Arkanu-Salaat)
The prayer has obligatory pillars, which must be fulfilled for it to be valid and these are as follows:
- ” Al-Qiyaam ” – prayer is to be performed in a standing position if a person is physically capable.
- ” Takbiiratil lhraam” that is saying “ALLAHU AKBAR” at the commencement of the prayer.
- ” Al-Fatihah ” – that is reciting the opening chapter of the Holy Qur’an in every Rakaat.
- ” 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.
- A requirement to raise the head up from the Rukuu position.
- A requirement to stand up from the Rukuu position in such a way that the person feels that all his/her backbones are straightened.
- ” 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.
- A requirement to raise the head from the Sujuud position.
- A requirement to sit upright during the pause between the two prostrations.
- A requirement to take a sitting position for the recitation of the ” At-Tashahucl ” (words of witness).
- A requirement to recite the final ” At-Tashahud “.
- A requirement to recite the words of supplication for the Prophet (peace be upon him).
- A requirement to conclude the prayer with the words of peace ” Tasleem “, i.e. “Assalamu Aleykum Wa Rahmatullaahi Wa Barakatuh”.
- A requirement that in fulfilling the above pillars the person should be in a state of tranquility.
The 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 OF SALAAT (Wajibatu-Salaat)
In addition to the 14 pillars of the prayer mentioned above, there are also certain necessary duties which need to be fulfilled in the course of the Salaat. These are as follows:
- Saying “ALLAHU AKHAR” in the course of the prayer where it is necessary, e.g. upon commencing Rukuu etc.
- Saying “SUBHANAA RABBIYAL AZIM” when in Rukuu position.
- Saying “SAMI ALLAHU LIMAN HAMIDAH” while resuming standing position from the Rukuu whether the person is an “Imam” (leader) or is praying alone.
- Saying “RABBANA WALAKAL HAMD” when resuming the standing position from the Rukuu after saying the words.
- Saying “SUBHANA RABBIYAL AALA” when in Sujuud (prostration) position.
- Saying “RABBI IGHFIR LEE” in the sitting pause between the two prostration of every unit of the prayer.
- Taking a sitting position for the recitation of At-Tashahud after the first two rakaats (units) of Dhuhr, Asr, Maghrib and Isha prayers.
- Reciting the At-Tashahud (words of witness) after the first two rakaats (units) of Dhuhr, Asr, Maghrib and Isha prayers.
The 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.
SUNNAHS OF 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:
SUNAN WHILE IN STANDING POSITION: –
1. Recite the opening supplication after the first Takbeer (Takbeer Al-Ihraam):
سُبْـحانَكَ اللّهُـمَّ وَبِحَمْـدِكَ وَتَبارَكَ اسْمُـكَ وَتَعـالى جَـدُّكَ وَلا إِلهَ غَيْرُك .
Subhanakal-lahumma wabihamdika watabarakas-muka wataAAala jadduka wala ilaha ghayruk.
‘How perfect You are O Allah, and I praise You. Blessed be Your name, and lofty is Your position and none has the right to be worshipped except You.’
Alternatively, you may say: –
اللهُ أَكْبَـرُ كَبـيرا ، اللهُ أَكْبَـرُ كَبـيرا ، اللهُ أَكْبَـرُ كَبـيرا ، وَالْحَـمْدُ للهِ كَثـيرا ، وَالْحَـمْدُ للهِ كَثـيرا ، وَالْحَـمْدُ للهِ كَثـيرا ، وَسُبْـحانَ اللهِ بكْـرَةً وَأَصيـلا . ( ثَلاثاً )
أَعـوذُ بِاللهِ مِنَ الشَّـيْطانِ مِنْ نَفْخِـهِ وَنَفْـثِهِ وَهَمْـزِه .
Allahu akbaru kabeera, Allahu akbaru kabeera, Allahu akbaru kabeera, walhamdu lillahi katheera, walhamdu lillahi katheera, walhamdu lillahi katheera, wasubhanal-lahi bukratan wa-aseela. (three times)
aAAoothu billahi minash-shaytani min nafkhihi wanafthihi wahamzih.
‘Allah is Most Great, Allah is Most Great, Allah is Most Great, much praise is for Allah, much praise is for Allah, much praise is for Allah, and I declare the perfection of Allah in the early morning and in the late afternoon.’(three times)
‘I take refuge with Allah from the devil, from his pride, his poetry and his madness.’
- There are other authentic supplications as well can be found in the Book “Hisnul Muslim (Fortress of a Muslim)”. A Muslim is expected to alternate between the Duas which keeps the Sunnah alive and also keeps helps bring in Khushoo in the prayer as it doesn’t just come out as a habit rather the heart is alive.
2. Then Seek refuge in Allah: أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم
3. Then recite Bismillah.
4. Say Ameen loudly after reciting AlFaatiah.
5. Recite a Soorah after Surah Fatiha.
6. Raise the hands at the following times:
• When saying Takbeer Al-Ihraam
• When going into Rukoo’.
• When rising from Rukoo’
• When standing up for the third Rak’ah.’
The manner of raising the hands: –
• When raising and lowering the hands, the fingers should be close together, stretched out and with the palms of the hands facing the Qiblah.
• Raise the hands-either to the side of the Shoulders or to the bottom of the ears.
7. Place the right hand on the left, or grasp the left wrist bone with your right hand.’
8. Place the hands in between the Chest and the navel but not on the Waist.
10. Look towards the place of prostration.
11. Separate your feet to a comfortable distance when standing.
12. The Sunnah is to make the recitation longer in the first rak’ah than in the second.
13. Recite the Qur’aan with Tarteel and Contemplate on what is being said
14. 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.
15. It is Sunnah to sometimes recite a Surah after Surah Fatiha in the last two rakahs of Zuhr, Asr & Isha.
SUNAN OF Ar-RUKOO’
1. Grasp the knees with the hands, while the fingers are apart.
2. Extend the back so that it is flat.
3. The head should be in line with the back without lowering it or raising
4. Keep the upper arms away from the side of the body.
5. Repeat the Tasbeeh of Bowing more than once (odd no. of times preferably 3).
6. After rising from Rukoo and saying Rabanaa Walakal Hamd recite,
حَمْـداً كَثـيراً طَيِّـباً مُـبارَكاً فيه .
Hamdan katheeran tayyiban mubarakan feeh.
‘Our Lord, for You is all praise, an abundant beautiful blessed praise.’
- There are other authentic supplications as well can be found in the Book “Hisnul Muslim (Fortress of a Muslim)”. A Muslim is expected to alternate between the Duas which keeps the Sunnah alive and also keeps helps bring in Khushoo in the prayer as it doesn’t just come out as a habit rather the heart is alive.
SUNAN OF SUJOOD:
- Keep the upper arms away from the side of the body.
- Keep the stomach away from the thighs.
- Ensure the thighs are away from the shins.
- Separate the knees.
- Keep the feet upright.
- Ensure the toes face the Qiblah, so that the joints of the toes rest on the floor.
- Press the feet together for the duration of the prosfration.
- Place the hands in line with the shoulders or ears.
- Straighten the hands.
- Ensure the fingers are close together.’
- Ensure the fingers are pointing towards the Qiblah.
- Repeat the Tasbeeh of Prostration more than once (odd no. of times preferably 3)
- There are other authentic supplications as well, can be found in the Book “Hisnul Muslim (Fortress of a Muslim)”. A Muslim is expected to alternate between the Duas which keeps the Sunnah alive and also keeps helps bring in Khushoo in the prayer as it doesn’t just come out as a habit rather the heart is alive.
- Sit with the left foot flat and right foot upright.
- In the last Rakat of the Prayer bring the left foot further ahead (below the shin of Right leg) and rest on the Hip.
- Place the hands on the thighs – the right hand on the right thigh and the left hand on the left thigh – with the fingers Outstretched and close together.’
- Point with the index finger, during this Tashahud, from the beginning to the end (or move it) and connect the thumb with the middle finger. Focus the sight on the index finger.
- Supplication said after the last tashahhud and before salam: –
اللّهُـمَّ إِنِّـي أَعـوذُ بِكَ مِـنْ عَذابِ القَـبْر، وَمِـنْ عَذابِ جَهَـنَّم، وَمِـنْ فِتْـنَةِ المَحْـيا وَالمَمـات، وَمِـنْ شَـرِّ فِتْـنَةِ المَسيحِ الدَّجّال .
Allahumma innee aAAoothu bika min AAathabil-qabr, wamin AAathabi jahannam, wamin fitnatil-mahya walmamat, wamin shari fitnatil-maseehid-dajjal.
‘O Allah, I take refuge in You from the punishment of the grave, from the torment of the Fire, from the trials and tribulations of life and death and from the evil affliction of Al-Maseeh Ad-Dajjal.’
اللّهُـمَّ أَعِـنِّي عَلـى ذِكْـرِكَ وَشُكْـرِك ، وَحُسْـنِ عِبـادَتِـك .
Allahumma aAAinnee AAala thikrik, washukrik, wahusni AAibadatik.
‘O Allah, help me to remember You, to thank You, and to worship You in the best of manners.’
- 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.
- There are other authentic supplications as well, can be found in the Book “Hisnul Muslim (Fortress of a Muslim)”. A Muslim is expected to alternate between the Duas which keeps the Sunnah alive and also keeps helps bring in Khushoo in the prayer as it doesn’t just come out as a habit rather the heart is alive.
Some other Sunnahs: –
- The stronger opinion is to go in Sujood with Hands first and then the knees but going with knees first is also acceptable according to scholars.
- After the Sujood of first and third Rak’ah the Prophet S.A.W. used to briefly sit before getting up to standing position. But getting directly up is also supported by some scholars.
- It is Sunnah to make the essential parts of prayer equal in length, so the rukoo’, the standing after rukoo’, the prostration and the sitting between the two prostrations should be make approximately the same in length.
The 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.
How 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 doing.” We shall discuss the performance of each prayer in its proper perspective.
Performance of Fajr Prayer
Number of Rakaat: Two
Qur’anic recitations in this prayer are made in a loud voice by the Imam in a congregation prayer and by whoever prays alone.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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:
a. “SUBHANAKA ALLAHUMMA WA BEHAMDIKA WATABARAKA ISMOKA, WATA’ALA JADDOKA WALA ILAHA GHAYROKA”, which means: “Praise and glory be to Allah. Blessed be Your name exalted be your majesty and glory. There is no god but You.”
b. “ALLAHUMMA BAI’D BAYNI WA BAYNA KHATAYAYA KAMA BAADTA BAYNA-AL-MASHRIKI WAL MAGHRIBI. ALLAHUMMA NAQQINIY MIN KHATAYAYA 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”.
c. “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.”
4. The person then seeks the protection of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) from the cursed Satan by saying, “A’UDU BILLAHI MIN-ASHAYTAN-IRRAJIIM “.
5. The person then silently invokes Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) by saying: “BISMIELLAH ARRAHMAN ARRAHIIM “, which means, “In the name of Allah, the all Merciful, the all Compassionate “. The person immediately thereafter recites “ALFATIHAH” (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.
6. The person then recites chapters or verses from the Holy Qur’an.
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. The person thereafter may not need to recite Qur’anic passages himself but should pay attention to the Imam’s recitation.
7. 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 sins “.
8. 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 listens 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.”
9. 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 (fingers 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 manysupplications as possible to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), for supplications duringprostration 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 in prostration:
- 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).
10. 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”.
11. The person prostrates again saying “ALLAHU-AKBAR” and repeats what was done in the first prostration.
12. 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 prostrations. 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).
13. 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. 5 up to 11 as discussed above.
14. 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 BARAKATUHU ASALAMU ALAYNA WA ALA IBADI-L-LAHI-S-SALIHIYN. ASH-HADU ANLA ILAHA ILA LAHU WAHDAHU LA SHARIKA LAHU WA ASH-HADUANNA MUHAMMADAN ABDUHU WA RASUULUH.
“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.
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,
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).
15. 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: Four.
Qur’anic recitations in this prayer is made in a low voice by the Imam (leader), the followers or whoever prays alone.
1. 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 long).
2. 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 two.
3. 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: Four.
Qur’anic recitations in this prayer are made in a low voice by the leader (imam),
the followers, or whoever prays alone.
It is performed similar to the Dhuhr (Noon) prayer in all respects.
Performance of the Maghrib Prayer
Number of Rakaat: Three.
Qur’anic recitations in this prayer is made loudly in the first two rakaats by the
leader (imam) or by whoever prays alone.
1. 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.
2. 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).
3. 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.
4. 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: Four.
Qur’anic recitations in this prayer is made loudly in the first two Rakaats by the Imam and by whoever prays alone.
This 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 recitation.
THINGS WHICH INVALIDATE THE PRAYER (Mubdilatu-Salaat)
Prayer if performed well with due regard to its conditions, pillars, duties and preferred acts, truly illuminates the heart and purifies the soul. It is the means by which man communicates with Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and therefore, one should keep it free from anything which would render it invalid. In Arabic Language, the acts which invalidate the prayer are known as “Mubdillatu-Salaah” and we now list them here below:
- Speaking or talking in the course of the prayer.
- Laughing in the course of the prayer.
- Eating while praying, even though what is eaten maybe as small as a piece of dates.
- Drinking while praying, even though what is drank maybe as small as taking only a mouthful.
- If someone in the course of the prayer remembers that he/she did not actually perform the ablution (wudhu), then, such a person is required to break the prayer and get out to perform Wudhu.
- If a person’s ablution (wudhu) gets invalidated in the course of the prayer, then the prayer becomes invalid.
- The prayer is also invalidated by carrying out the Rukuu and Sujuud postures with haste and without ease. While in prostration, bobbing (jerking) up and down like chicken pecking food from the ground is not allowed.
- Turning oneself away from the direction of the Qiblah also invalidates the prayer.
THINGS WHICH ARE NOT PREFERRED IN THE PRAYER
- Turning of the eyes up. The Prophet (peace be upon him) strongly admonished against this as can be noted from the following saying: “What is the matter with the people who raise their eyes towards the sky while praying? They shall have to refrain from this or else they will lose their eyesight” (Reported by Imam Bukhari). It is also disliked to look right and left and the Prophet (peace be upon him) in this regard says: “It is a deception with which Satan deceives the servant while in prayer” (Reported by Imam Bukhari). The person while praying is required to direct his eyes at the point of prostration.
- Yawning, “Yawning is from the Shaytaan. If any of you feels the urge to yawn, let him resist it as much as possible…” (Bukhari)
- Closing the eyes in the course of the prayer*.
- Placing the hands above the kidneys or on the waist. Hands should be placed over the chest.
- Wiping the earth (where to prostrate) more than once to remove pebbles on it.
- Reading of the Qur’an, while in Rukuu and in Sujuud positions.
- Making unnecessary movements in the course of the prayer such as touching the chin (beard) or fidgeting the fingertips or mending up the clothes e. g. the head turban etc.
- Entering to prayer, while food has been served to the person before the prayer or while badly in need of passing excrement and / or urine. The Prophet (peace be upon him) in this regard says: “Prayer is not valid when food has been served and when a person is in need of relieving himself of excrement and/or urine” (Reported by Imam Muslim).
*Exception on closing the Eyes being Makrooh: –
The scholars are agreed that it is makrooh to close the eyes for no reason when praying. The author of al-Rawd stated that it is makrooh because this is what the Jews do. (al-Rawd al-Murabba’, 1/95).
Imaam al-‘Izz ibn ‘Abd al-Salaam said in his fatwas that it is permissible when necessary, if that helps the worshipper to focus more fully on his prayer. Ibn al-Qayyim said in Zaad al-Ma’aad that if a man can focus more fully on his prayer by opening his eyes, then it is better to do so. If he can focus more fully by closing his eyes because there are things that may distract him from his prayer, such as adornments and decorations, then it is not makrooh at all and the view that in this case it is mustahabb for him to close his eyes is closer to the aims and principles of sharee’ah than saying that it is makrooh. (Zaad al-Ma’aad, 1/283).
FORGETFULNESS PROSTRATIONS (Sujuud Sahw)
As human beings we are by nature subject to mistakes and errors and as mentioned earlier, if a person fails to perform any of the pillars of the prayer and/or necessary duties, the person is required to mend the error by coming up with two prostration at the end of the prayer known as “Sujuud Sahw” i.e. forgetfulness prostration, although, where a pillar(s) is omitted a repetition of the missed pillar(s) is necessary.
There are some disagreements between religious jurists regarding this subject as to whether it should be performed before or after the words of peace (Tasleem). What seems to be a fair solution, however, is that if a person made an addition to the prayer, then, the two prostration of forgetfulness should be performed after reciting the Tasleem. While, if a deduction is made from the prayer, then, the two prostration of forgetfulness should be performed before reciting the Tasleem. However, where both an addition and a deduction may have been made in the course of the prayer, then, in this case, the forgetfulness prostration can be performed before the recitation of the words of peace (Tasleem).
Various Instances Where “Sujuud Sahw” Becomes Apparent
1. Where a Pillar of the Prayer is Omitted:
a) Where, for example, a person forgets to recite the “Al-Fatihah” but remembers the same before Rukuu or in the process of bowing, then, the person is required to resume a proper standing position and read the “Al-Fatihah” and some other verses from the Qur’an as usual. If this omission occurred in the first rakaat and the person remembers the omission while in the course of the second rakaat, then, the person should count the second rakaat as being the first rakaat and treat the first one in which he/she missed to recite the “Al-Fatihah” as null and void. The person should then proceed to perform one more rakaat to complete his/her Salaat and at the end, recite the “Tasleem” (words of peace) after which, the person comes up with the two prostration of forgetfulness and again, recites the Tasleem.
b) If, however, while sitting for the final “At-Tashahud”, (the words of witness), a person remembers that he missed a prostration, then the person should immediately come up with the missed prostration and sit back again to repeat a recitation of the At-Tashahud. The person would then say the Tasleem to conclude the prayer, but would thereafter come up with the two prostration of forgetfulness before once again reciting the Tasleem. The above are some examples where errors are committed in performing FARAIDH (i.e. Pillars) of the Salaat, wherein, the person is not only required to repeat the missed act, but also, to come up with the two prostration of forgetfulness.
2. Where a Necessary Duty is Omitted:
However, where someone misses a “WAJIB“(Necessary Duty) of the prayer, the mere coming up with the two prostration of forgetfulness will suffice without the need for repeating the missed act. Thus, if a Wajib act is missed and the person remembers it after starting another action of the prayer, then, he is not required to repeat the forgotten act but would proceed to complete the rest of the Salaat and at the end just before the Tasleem, the person comes up with the two prostration of forgetfulness.
3. Where a Preferred Act is Omitted: As for “SUNNANS” (Preferred Acts) of the prayer which may be missed, neither is it a requirement to repeat them nor is the forgetfulness prostration needed.
SUTRA (Barrier in front while praying)
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “If someone passing in front of a person performing the prayer knew of the penalty for it, it would be better for him to wait for forty.” (Bukhari)
Whether the Prophet (Allah bless him and give peace) said, forty days, months or years was not mentioned by the narrator.
The sutrah is mustahabb according to the majority of fuqaha’, and some of them are of the view that it is obligatory.
It says in al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah (24/177): It is Sunnah for the worshipper, if he is praying alone or is leading others in prayer, to have a sutrah in front of him that will prevent people from walking in front of him, and enable him to focus properly on the actions of the prayer. That is because of the report narrated from Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (may Allaah be pleased with him), that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When one of you prays, let him pray facing towards a sutrah and draw close to it, and not let anyone pass in front of him.” And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Let one of you use a sutrah when he prays, even if it is an arrow.” This includes when one is travelling and when one is at home, and it includes both obligatory and naafil prayers.
The idea behind it is that the worshipper should refrain from looking beyond the sutrah, and focus properly so that his mind will not wander; the idea is also to prevent others committing sin by passing directly in front of him.
The command in the hadeeth is to be understood as meaning that it is mustahabb, not obligatory. Ibn ‘Aabideen said: It is makrooh to omit it. There are reports to show that it is not obligatory such as the report narrated by Abu Dawood from al-Fadl ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came to us when we were in the desert and he prayed in the desert with nothing in front of him.
For the person who is praying behind an imam, it is not mustahabb for him to use a sutrah, according to consensus, because the sutrah of the imam is the sutrah for those who are praying behind him, or because the imam is a sutrah for him.
It is permissible for a worshipper to use anything as a sutrah [an object placed in front of him to “screen” him whilst he is praying], even if it is an arrow, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When any one of you prays, let him place a sutrah for his prayer, even if it is an arrow.” Narrated by Ahmad, 14916; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 2783.
The scholars even said: He can screen himself with a thread or the edge of the rug. Indeed it says in the hadeeth that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said whoever cannot find a stick, let him draw a line, as it says in the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah, according to which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When any one of you prays, let him face towards something, and if he cannot find anything, let him use a stick, and if he does not have a stick, let him draw a line, then it will not matter whatever passes in front of him.” Narrated by Imaam Ahmad.
All of this indicates that the sutrah does not have to be big, rather it is sufficient for it to be something that indicates that it is serving as a screen.
There is nothing wrong with taking a person who is praying or sitting in front of you as a sutrah. Then if he leaves and you find another sutrah close by, such as a wall or pillar, or another worshipper, you may move towards it, and his moving will be forgiven, because it is for the sake of the prayer. But if there is nothing nearby, you should complete your prayer as you are, and stop anyone who tries to walk in front of you.
It says in al-Mudawwanah (1/202): Maalik said: If a man is praying behind an imam and he missed part of the prayer, and the imam says the salaam, and he has pillars on his right and on his left, there is nothing wrong with moving back and standing behind the pillar on his right or on his left, if it is close by, to use it as a sutrah. He said: The same applies if it is front of him and he moves forwards towards it, so long as it is not far away. He said: The same applies if it is behind him; there is nothing wrong with moving backwards, if it is close. He said: But if the pillar is far away from him, he should pray where he is, and he should try to prevent those who want to pass in front of him as much as he can.
It is a sin to pass immediately in front of a person praying, but that person’s prayer will not be invalid (as people commonly yet mistakenly believe).
However, is the one passing in front always to blame?
The possible scenarios that may occur are four,
1. The one passing has an alternative to passing in front and the one praying did not pray in a place where he is in people’s way.
-In this case the sin is only on the one passing.
2. The one passing has no alternative to passing and the one praying was in a place where he would be in people’s way.
-The sin in this case is solely on the one praying.
3. The one passing has an alternative to passing in front and the one praying was in a place where he would get in people’s way.
-The sin is on both of them.
4. Neither does the one passing have an alternative nor is the one praying in people’s way.
-The sin is on neither of them.
In all of these cases the one passing in front would be free from sin if the one praying were to keep a sutra in front of him. A sutra is an object of about a cubit in height that one places in front of one as one prays.
One last scenario that is relevant to mention is that if someone prays near the entrance of the mosque or without filling in the gaps in the row in front, one can walk in front of him to fill in the gaps. [Radd al-Muhtar, 1:427, Dar Li Ihya al-Turath al-‘Arabi]
Performance of the prayer together with the other Muslims in congregation at Mosques is a duty required from every male Muslim of sound mind. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) says:
“ …And bow down your heads with those who bow down (in worship)” (Qur’an 2:43).
Much emphasis has also been made by the Prophet (peace be upon him) about the Congregational Prayers as can be gathered from the following authentic sayings:
1. “Performing prayer in congregation is 27-times better than prayer performed on individual basis”(Reported by Imam Bukhari).
2. “Ibn Maktum said: I told the Messenger of Allah that I am blind and my house is faraway and I have no suitable guide to the mosque.. do I not have permission to pray at home? The Prophet (peace be upon him), asked me: ‘Do you hear the call to the prayer?’ I answered: Yes, and the Prophet (peace be upon him) then said to me: ‘Respond accordingly (by coming to the mosque)’” (Reported by Imam Muslim).
3. “If there happens to be (even) three persons in a village, desert or jungle and they do not pray in congregation, Satan would surely dominate them. So, observe your prayers in congregation, for certainly, the wolf devours the lonely sheep” (Reported by Abu Dawoud).
4. “I swear by Allah in Who’s possession is my life. I feel like asking for firewood to be gathered and order for the prayer to be held and the call for prayer (Adhaan) to be announced and then ask someone to lead the prayer, and I go after those who failed to join the congregational prayer and set fire to them while they are in their houses” (Reported by Imam Bukhari).
By virtue of the above quoted Qur’anic verse as well as the various sayings of the Prophet (peace be upon him), congregational prayer is incumbent upon every male Muslim unless a person is excused from doing so as a result of one or more of the following reasons:
- Fear that going to the Mosque will bring about undue hardships, or peril from an enemy.
- Heavy rain.
It is permitted for women to attend the congregational prayers at the mosques and their husbands may not prevent them from doing so unless it is feared that harm will come to them. However, it is preferable for women to perform prayers at their homes.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) says: “Do not prohibit women to attend prayer at mosque, but prayer at their homes is better for them” (Reported by Imam Ahmad).
If, however, women decide to go out for prayer at the mosques, they should neither dress nor perfume themselves in a manner that may attract the attention of men. At the mosques, it is an established tradition that women perform their prayers preferably in their own partition behind the rows of men.
Purpose of the Congregational Prayer
Performance of the prayer in congregation is a great Islamic practice through which equality and justice are made manifest. Here, the ruler and the subject, the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the powerful and the down-trodden, the influential and the wretched all assemble in rows shoulder to shoulder in front of Allah, the Almighty, with neither differences nor distinctions between them – all of them servants of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). They meet on common ground in the houses of Allah thinking only of Him in humility in due regard to the following verse of the Holy Qur’an:“Verily, the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you” (Holy Qur’an 49:13).
Islam is a religion of great social order and when a Community of Muslims in a given area meet at the Congregational Prayers five times each day, then certainly we can imagine the innumerable benefits that could be derived – people knowing each other; people learning each others affairs; people meeting their leaders and community heads; people discussing and solving their day-to-day problems; people cooperating etc. Thus, cohesiveness, unity, love and brotherhood become truly evident among the Muslim community.
In an Islamic state, the head of the state or his representative is supposed to lead the five daily congregational prayers at the central mosque of the capital city as was the practice of the Prophet (peace be upon him), in the first Islamic state established at Medina. The leader or head of the Islamic State would, of course, be a person of unquestionable integrity, known to be more knowledgeable than his subjects and above all righteous.
Persons wishing to perform a congregational prayer would choose from amongst themselves an Imam (leader) who has the qualities described above and who would stand in front of the others at the center of the row.
After the second call for the prayer (Iqamah) is performed, the Imam turns towards the congregation and would endeavor to straighten out the row(s) and urge the congregation to stand close to each other as much as possible. These acts were established practices of the Prophet (peace be upon him) as can be noted from the following sayings:
“Straighten your rows and stand close to each other in prayer…” (Reported by Imam Bukhari).
“You shall have to straighten your rows in prayer or else Allah will create differences among you”(Reported by Imam Bukhari).
The Imam, thereafter, starts the prayer with the words of “Takbiiratil Al-Ihraam” as usual and the congregation would follow suit. The congregation would then proceed to complete the prayer as discussed in detail earlier.
RULINGS ON CONGREGATIONAL PRAYERS
By unanimous agreement, it is more preferable for women to pray at home, But a requirement for men to pray at the masjid. (There is hikmah: women take care of the household and family, and it would be difficult for her to attend the prayerin congregation with the children. The Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) gave them the reward for going to the masjid while praying at home.)
Ibn Abi Makhtoum, the blind sahabi, asked the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) if he could pray at home, and the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) said that he can pray at home, but then he immediately called him back and asked, “Can you hear the adhan?”Ibn Abi Makhtoum replied yes, and the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) toldhim that he must go to the masjid.
To establish a congregation, only two people are needed: imam and ma’moom. Sometimes the Prophet (SAWS) would pray at night, and Ibn Abbas would come and pray with him in congregation. Once he stood on his left, and the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) moved him to the right of him.
People lining up in congregational salat
Shoulder to shoulder and foot to foot. Men line up first and then the women in the back. It is better to keep the children scatter in the line and with the parents.
Congregational salat for Women
It is permissible for women to attend the congregational salat. For their own sake and the reward, it is better for them to pray at home. What if a woman desires to go to the masjid? Legally, the husband cannot say no to her. She can go for fajr and isha to the masjid. The Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “You are not allowed to forbid the female servants of Allah from attending the houses of Allah.”
Women making there own Jamaa’ at home
t is permissible for women to pray in congregation among themselves. Their leader should stand in the middle of the row according to the narration regarding Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) which indicates that she used to lead women in prayer and would stand with them in the middle of the row. This has been narrated by ‘Abdur Razzaq in Al-Musannaf 3/141 and Daraqutni 1/404, and is authentic due to evidences for it.
Congregational salat for a latecomer
If the person catches the last ruku’, then the person has caught the congregational salah. If the imam is in the final sujood or tashahhud, you should still join the congregation, and after the imam says salaam, continue with your salah.
More than one congregational salat in one masjid
At the same time: No! If you come late during the taraweeh time, do not start the congregational salah. There should not be two jama’ah at the same time. They can join the imam who is praying taraweeh and pray isha.
Imam and Ma’moom
The congregation can be made up of two people. A husband and wife can be jama’ah, and the wife should stand behind her husband in a second line.
Rules of the Imam
The imam should be,
- A Muslim.
- Of sound mind. The person must have his full faculties while making the salah. Losing senses by choice: taking drugs or alcohol. Losing senses by force:unconscious.
- Male. (Women cannot lead the salah. If there is one man amongst women, a woman cannot lead the jama’ah. If the man cannot lead, then the man should pray by himself, and the women should have their own congregation.)
- Who reached the age of puberty. (Everyone agrees on being an adult. What about the age of 11 or 12? Amr ibn Salaama narrated, “I lead congregational Salat during the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah when I was a child of seven years old.” [Bukhari])
Imam who already did his salat earlier
Yes. The hadeeth of Mu’adh ibn Jabal who would pray with the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) and then lead the salah in his community.
Salat in the house of a host
If you are visiting someone, then the host should lead the salah even if he was the least qualified unless he gives you permission to lead the salah. Do not embarrass the host and ask someone other than the host to lead the salah.
Imam takes care of the alignment of the lines before he starts his salat.
The Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) would go through the lines himself or he would assign people in each line to check the lines.The imam should look around and check the lines.
Rules of the Ma’moom
Lining up behind the imam
If it is one individual: the man lines up next to the imam on the right side of the imam. Women pray behind the men. If the children can keep position in salah, then put them in one line, but if they are going to be distracting, then keep them with the adults. If the child keeps moving positions, then keep the adults in one line with the child in front of the parent.
The ma’moom reciting Surah in his/her salat
He should recite Fatiha and another surah in the silent salat, and the Fatiha only in the salat done aloud.
Making Up for Missed Salat.
The Ma’moom as the latecomer (Masbooq) & Etiquette of the latecomer for salat (al-Masbooq)
Abu Hurayrah narrated, the Messenger said: “When you hear the Iqamah, walk your way to the Salat place with tranquility and dignity, and do not hurry up. And whatever portion of the Salat you get (with the Imam) offer it, and complete afterwards whatever you missed.” [Bukhari]
1. He should walk with tranquility to the line, not run.
2. Place and steady himself in line
3. He should not stand alone behind the lines
4. Start with the opening takbir (takbeeratul ihram)
5. Do his moving takbir (if needed)
6. Follow the imam in whichever stage he may be
7. When the imam gives his tasleem, the masbooq should stand up to make up for the missed rak’ahs
8. Join the position of the imam in whatever position he is in. Join immediately in the position he is in.
Joining in the Congregation
- You must have two takbeer: one for takbeeratul ihram, and the second for the position that you are moving to.
- Count the rak’ah if you are able to go into the ruku’ position and say ‘subhana rabbi al-adheem’ one time before the imam says ‘sami Allahu liman hamidah’.
- If you came for salat al isha and found the imam in the third rak’ah, and the imam is reciting silently, when the imam finishes the salah, you need to make up for two missed rak’ah. According to the majority, you are completing your salah. The two rak’ah you prayed with the imam were your first and second rak’ah, even though they were his third and fourth, so when you stand up, you pray your third and fourth rak’ah, and you only need to recite Surah Al Fatihah silently.
- Salat al maghrib:if someone joins the imam in the third rak’ah, According to the majority, you will be completing your salah, so you will stand up and pray one rak’ah with Fatihah and a surah and sit for the middle tashahhud and then stand up for the third rak’ah.
THE PRAYER OF A TRAVELER (Musafir)
Islam is a religion full of mercy and because of the hardships and inconveniences which a person usually undergoes during travels, Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) has made certain concessions to the traveler. One of these concessions is that traveler may shorten some of the obligatory prayers. Allah says in the Holy Qur’an: “When ye travel through the earth there is no blame on you if ye shorten your prayers” (Qur’an 4:101).
Because of this grant from Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), it is an established practice that a traveling Muslim may shorten the four rakaats obligatory prayers into two rakaats only. Thus, the Dhuhr, Asr and lsha prayers may each be shortened into two rakaats. However, the Maghrib and the Fajr prayers cannot be shortened and are to be performed in full.
It is also an established practice that the traveler may combine some of the obligatory prayers. Thus, the Dhuhr prayer may be delayed until the time of the Asr prayer when both will be performed; or, the Asr prayer may be brought forward to the time of the Dhuhr prayer when both will be performed. Likewise, the Isha prayer may be brought forward to the time of Maghrib prayer; or, the Maghrib prayer may be delayed until the time of Isha prayer. The Fajr prayer can neither be brought forward or delayed and has to be performed at its prescribed time.
Characteristics of combining the prayers
1. Each prayer will be performed separately.
2. Only one Prayer Call (ADHAN) shall be made for both prayers but two Second Calls (IQAMAHS) shall be required (i.e. one Second Call (Iqamah) shall be made separately for each prayer).
If we may give an example, assuming that a traveler wishes to combine Dhuhr and Asr prayers by bringing the Asr prayer forward to the time of the Dhuhr prayer, the person would proceed as follows:
- The person would first come up with the Call for prayer “Adhaan” intending it for both the two prayers.
- The person would then come up with the second call “Iqamah” for the Dhuhr prayer.
- The person would then perform the Dhuhr prayer shortening it to two rakaats only.
- After completing the Dhuhr prayer, the person stands up and makes another second call “Iqamah” for the Asr prayer.
- The person would then perform the Asr prayer also shortened to two rakaats only.
Note: A traveler may lead the prayer as an “IMAM” of the residents of the place he is visiting. And in such a case, he (being an Imam), may perform only two rakaats for the Dhuhr or Asr, and/or Isha prayers while, the residents he is leading, shall upon his completion continue to complete the remaining two rakaats of the respective prayers.
However, in such cases, it is desirable that the traveler who may act as an Imam first gives notice to the congregation regarding his position and his intention to shorten his prayer so that the congregation continues to complete the prayer.
On the other hand, if the traveler has to pray behind an Imam who is a resident of the place he is visiting, then in such case, the traveler shall pray with the Imam all the four rakaats as usual.
PERFORMANCE OF THE PRAYER BY ONE WHO IS SICK
A sick person has to perform the prayer in accordance with the person’s conditions. The Prophet (peace be upon him) was once asked by a sick companion as to how he can perform the prayer and the Prophet (peace be upon him) replied him as follows: “Pray standing but if unable then by sitting and if still unable then do so whilst on your back” (Reported by Imam Bukhari).
- If, it is impossible for the sick person to stand up, he/she shall perform the prayer by sitting and making token gestures for the “Rukuu” and “Sujuud” positions by bringing the head slightly down as indication for “Rukuu” and slightly further down as indication for “Sujuud”.
- If, it is impossible for the sick person to pray sitting, he/she shall perform the prayer by lying on his/her back. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) says: “Those are they (men of understanding) who remember allah while standing, sitting and reclining” (Qur’an 3:190-191). The person’s legs are directed towards the Qiblah and will make mere token gestures as far as possible with the head for the bowing (Rukuu) and the prostration (Sujuud) positions.
- If, still it is impossible for the sick person to perform the prayer while lying as discussed in No. 2 above, then, the person shall perform the prayer by heart. The person shall come up with all the required recitations as far as possible and will recall to mind all the necessary postures for the prayer.
Such is the importance of the Prayer in Islam that a person must perform it no matter what his/her condition.
SALATUL-ISSTIKHAARA (Prayer To Seek Allah’s Guidance)
It is natural that in his day-to-day affairs a Muslim is confronted with important issues requiring decision making and which may force the person to undergo much thinking, anxiety and even worry before the person is able to decide affirmatively or negatively. It is with due regard to such situations that the Prophet (peace be upon him) accustomed for the Muslim Ummah a voluntary prayer to which a person may resort to and through which he/she seeks from Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) true guidance and the ability to reach the proper decision over the particular matter.
This prayer is known in Arabic as “SALATUL-ISSTIKHARA” and its importance is such that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to teach his companions about it the same way he used to teach them the verses of the Holy Qur’an. The companion Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) said that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to exhort us to practice Isstikhara for all our affairs.
The manner of performing this prayer is that the person comes up with a voluntary prayer of two rakaats (units) at anytime during the day or night and upon completing the same the person recites a private supplication in which he/she seeks the guidance of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). The supplication goes as follows:
“ALLAHUMMA INNI ASTAKHYIRUKA Bl’ILMIKA WA ASTAQDIRUKA BI QUDRATIKA WA AS-ALUKA MIN FADHLIKA-AL-AZIM, FA INNAKA TAQDIRU WA TA’LAMU WALAA AQDDIRU WATA’ALAMU WALAA A’LAMU, WA ANTA ‘ALLAMUL-GHUYYUB. ALLAHUUMA IN KUNTA TA’LAMU ANNA HADHAL AMRA. (Here the person makes a mention of the matter for which guidance is sought) KHEIRUN LEE FII DINII WAMA’AASHII WAAAQI-BATA AMRII FAQDURHU LII, WA YASSIR-HU LII THUMMA BAARIK LII FIIHI, WAIN KUNTA TA’ LAMU ANNA HADHAL-AMRA (mention of the matter for which guidance is soughtAlso at this point the person makes a) SHARRUN LEE FII DINII WA MA’AASHII WA’AAQIBATA AMRII, FASRIFHU ‘ANNII WASRIFNII ‘ANHU WAQDUR LEE AL-KHEYRA HEYTHU KANA THUMMA ARDHINII BIHII“.Which means: “O Lord, I seek Your guidance, through Your knowledge and power: and Iask You of Your great bounties,- for You decree and I do not decree,- and You know and I know not,- You are the knower of invisible. O Lord, if You know that this matter (and here the person states the matter for which guidance is sought) is of benefit to me in my religion, in my livelihood and in its outcome, decide it for me. And make it easy for me and then bless it for me, and if You know that this matter(and here he names it again) is bad for me in my religion, in my livelihood, and in its outcome, turn it from me and divert me from it and decree good for me wherever it may be and make me pleased with it”.
Having sought Allah’s guidance as above, the person then resumes his/her routine affairs and in the meantime awaiting the due response from Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) which could appear to the person by way of feelings in the person’s heart of either confidence or otherwise. Thus, where the person feels in his/her heart a sense of vigor, optimism and satisfaction about the intended undertaking, then the person may construe this as a positive response from Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and may accordingly proceed on with the intended undertaking. Where, however, the opposite is true and the person’s doubts, and/or worries are not cleared, then the person may avoid the intended undertaking for it could mean doom for him/her. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) says: “It is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth and ye know not” (Qur’an 2:216).
Indeed, the essence of this prayer is to test someone’s trust in Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), hence, the need to abide by the guidance of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) accordingly whether this may mean pursuing or abandoning the intended undertaking. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) also says: “And if anyone puts his trust in Allah, sufficient is Allah for him, for Allah surely accomplishes His purpose: Verily, for all things has Allah appointed a due proportion ” (Qur’an 65:3).
Also one should not that it is not necessary that you get a dream or even a “feeling.” Rather, the istikhara is a prayer that Allah guide you towards that which is best (khayr) for you. If you do the prayer of guidance (istikhara) with the proper manners, the most important of which is to truly consign the matter to Allah and suspend your own inclinations, then Allah will make events unfold in the direction that is the best for your worldly and next-worldly affairs.
The following topics have not been covered in the course but if any one wants to learn can refer the following notes InshaAllah: –
1. Salatul Eid: –
2. Salatul-Janaza (Funeral Prayer): –
3. Jumua’h Prayer (Virtues & Sunnahs)
Brothers & Sisters it looks long but most of it is Ayahs & Hadeeth which one just needs to read through. InshaAllah it wont too long and would be beneficial!
Praise be to Allaah, Lord of the Worlds, Who has said in His book (interpretation of the meaning), “…and stand before Allaah with obedience” [al-Baqarah 2:238] and has said concerning the prayer (interpretation of the meaning): “… and truly it is extremely heavy and hard except for al-khaashi’oon…’ [al-Baqarah 2:45]; and peace and blessings be upon the leader of the pious, the chief of al-khaashi’oon, Muhammad the Messenger of Allaah, and on all his family and companions.
Salaah is the greatest of the practical pillars of Islam, and khushoo’ in prayer is required by sharee’ah. When Iblees, the enemy of Allaah, vowed to mislead and tempt the sons of Adam and said “Then I will come to them from before them and behind them, from their right and from their left…” [al-A’raaf 7:17, interpretation of the meaning], one of his most significant plots became to divert people from salaah by all possible means and to whisper to them during their prayer so as to deprive them of the joy of this worship and cause them to lose the reward for it. As khushoo’ will be the first thing to disappear from the earth, and we are living in the last times, the words of Hudhayfah (may Allaah be pleased with him) are particularly pertinent to us: “The first thing of your religion that you will lose is khushoo’, and the last thing that you will lose of your religion is salaah. There may be a person praying who has no goodness in him, and soon you will enter the mosque and not find anyone who has khushoo’.” (al-Madaarij, 1/521).
Because of what every person knows about himself, and because of the complaints that one hears from many people about waswaas (insinuating thoughts from Shaytaan) during the salaah and the loss of khushoo’, the need for some discussion of this matter is quite obvious. The following is a reminder to myself and to my Muslim brothers, and I ask Allaah to make it of benefit.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Successful indeed are the believers, those who offer their salaah (prayers) with all solemnity and full submissiveness.” [al-Mu’minoon 23:1-2] – i.e., fearing Allaah and in a calm manner. Khushoo’ means calmness, serenity, tranquility, dignity and humility. What makes a person have this khushoo’ is fear of Allaah and the sense that He is always watching. (Tafseer Ibn Katheer, Daar al-Sha’b edn., 6/414). Khushoo’ means that the heart stands before the Lord in humility and submission. (al-Madaarij, 1/520).
Concealment of khushoo’
Hudhayfah (may Allaah be pleased with him) used to say: “Beware of the khushoo’ of hypocrisy.” He was asked, “What is the khushoo’ of hypocrisy?” He said, “When the body shows khushoo’ but there is no khushoo’ in the heart.” Fudayl ibn ‘Ayaad said: “It was disliked for a man to show more khushoo’ than he had in his heart.” One of them saw a man showing khushoo’ in his shoulders and body, and said, “O So and so, khushoo’ is here” – and he pointed to his chest, “not here” – and he pointed to his shoulders. (al-Madaarij, 1/521)
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, explaining the difference between the khushoo’ of true faith and the khushoo’ of hypocrisy: “The khushoo’ of true faith is when the heart feels aware and humble before the greatness and glory of Allaah, and is filled with awe, fear and shyness, so that the heart is utterly humbled before Allaah and broken, as it were, with fear, shyness, love and the recognition of the blessings of Allaah and its own sins.
“Khushoo’ in prayer happens when a person empties his heart for it (prayer), and focuses on it to the exlusion of all else, and prefers it to everything else. Only then does he find comfort and joy in it, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘… and my joy has been made in salaah.’” (Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 5/456. The hadeeth is in Musnad Ahmad, 3/128 and Saheeh al-Jaami’, 3124).
Virtues of khushoo’
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Five prayers which Allaah has made obligatory. Whoever does wudoo’ properly for them, prays them on time, does rukoo’ properly and has perfect khushoo’, it is a promise from Allaah that he will be forgiven, but whoever does not do this, has no such promise – if Allaah wishes, He will forgive him, and if He wishes, He will punish him.” (Reported by Abu Dawood, no. 425; Saheeh al-Jaami’, 3242).
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) also said: “Whoever does wudoo’ and does it well, then prays two rak’ahs focusing on them completely [according to another report: and does not think of anything else], will be forgiven all his previous sins [according to another report: will be guaranteed Paradise].” (Al-Bukhaari, al-Bagha edn., no. 158; al-Nisaa’i, 1/95; Saheeh al-Jaami’, 6166).
The reward recorded is in proportion to the degree of khushoo’, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “A slave may pray and have nothing recorded for it except a tenth of it, or a ninth, or an eighth, or a seventh, or a sixth, or a fifth, or a quarter, or a third, or a half.” (Reported by Imaam Ahmad; Saheeh al-Jaami’, 1626).
When we look at the things that help us to have khushoo’ in prayer, we find that they may be divided into two types: things that help you to have and to strengthen khushoo’, and warding off the things that reduce and weaken khushoo’.
Ihsaan means ‘that you worship Allaah as if you see Him, and if you cannot see Him, He can see you.’ The more the slave tastes the sweetness of salaah, the more attracted he will be to it, and this has to do with the strength of his eemaan.
The means of strengthening eemaan are many, and this is why the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to say, ‘In your world, women and perfume have been made dear to me, and my joy is in prayer.’ According to another hadeeth, he said, ‘Let us find comfort in prayer, O Bilaal’ – he did not say, ‘Let us get it over and done with.’
With regard to the second, weakness of distractions:
This means striving to push away all distractions that make you think of something other than the prayer itself, and warding off thoughts that keep you mind off the purpose of the prayer. This is something which differs from one person to another, because the extent of waswaas has to do with the extent of one’s doubts and desires and the heart’s focus and dependence on what it loves, and its efforts to avoid what it dislikes.” (Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 22/606-607)
The means of developing Khushoo‘
This can be achieved in several ways, such as the following:
Preparing oneself for prayer properly
- By repeating the words of the adhaan after the muezzin; By pronouncing the du’aa’ to be recited after the adhaan: “Allaahummah Rabba haadhihi’l-da’wati’l-taammah wa’-salaati’l-qaa’imah, aati Muhammadan il-waseelata wa’l-fadeelah, wab’ath-hu’l-maqaam al-mahmood alladhi wa’adtah (O Allaah, Lord of this perfect call and the prayer to be offered, grant Muhammad the privilege (of interceding) and also the eminence, and resurrect him to the praised position that You have promised)”;
- Reciting du’aa’ between the adhaan and the iqaamah;
- Doing wudoo’ properly, saying Bismillaah before it and making dhikr and saying the du’aa’ after it,
- Using siwaak to cleanse and perfume the mouth that is going to recite Qur’aan in a short while, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Purify your mouths for the Qur’aan.” (Reported by al-Bazzaar. Al-Albaani said: its isnaad is jayyid. Al-Saheehah, 1213);
- Wearing one’s best and cleanest clothes, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “O Children of Adam! Take your adornment (by wearing your clean clothes) while praying…” [al-A’raaf 7:31]. Allaah is most deserving of seeing us “take our adornment” for Him. Clean, pleasant smelling clothes are also more comfortable and relaxing, unlike clothes for sleeping or working in.
- We should also prepare ourselves by covering our ‘awrah properly, purifying the spot where we are going to pray, getting ready early and waiting for the prayer, and making the rows straight and solid, without any gaps, because the shayaateen come in through the gaps in the rows.
Moving at a measured pace during prayer
- The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to move at a measured pace during salaah, allowing every bone to return to its place. (Its isnaad is classed as saheeh in Sifat al-Salaat, p. 134, 11th edn. Ibn Khuzaymah also classed it as saheeh as mentioned by al-Haafiz in al-Fath, 2/308).
- Abu Qutaadah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘The worst type of thief is the one who steals from his prayer.’ He said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, how can a person steal from his prayer?’ He said, ‘By not doing rukoo’ and sujood properly.’” (Reported by Ahmad and al-Haakim, 1/229; Saheeh al-Jaami’, 997).
Remembering death whilst praying
- The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Remember death in your prayer, for the man who remembers death during his prayer is bound to pray properly, and pray the prayer of a man who does not think that he will pray any other prayer.” (al-Silsilat al-Saheehah by al-Albaani, 1421. It was reported from al-Suyooti that al-Haafiz ibn Hajar classed this hadeeth as hasan).
- The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) also advised Abu Ayyoob (may Allaah be pleased with him): “When you stand up to pray, pray a farewell prayer.” (Reported by Ahmad, 5/412;Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 742) – meaning the prayer of one who thinks that he will not pray another prayer.
Thinking about the aayaat and adhkaar being recited during the prayer and interacting with them
- The Qur’aan was revealed to be pondered over. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “(This is) a Book (the Qur’aan) which We have sent down to you, full of blessings that they may ponder over its Verses, and that men of understanding may remember.” [Saad 38:29]. No one can ponder over its verses unless he has some knowledge of the meaning of what he is reciting, so that he can think about it and be moved to tears by it.
- One example of interacting with the aayaat is to say “Aameen” after al-Faatihah, which brings a great reward. The Messenger of Allaah(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If the imaam says ‘Aameen,’ then say ‘Aameen’ too, for whoever says ‘Aameen’ and it coincides with the ‘Aameen’ of the angels, will have all his previous sins forgiven.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, no. 747).
- Another example is responding to the imaam when he says “Sami’ Allaahu liman hamidah (Allaah hears the one who praises Him)”; the members of the congregation should say, “Rabbanaa wa laka’l-hamd (O our Lord, to You be praise).” This also brings a great reward. Rifaa’ah ibn Raafi’ al-Zirqi said: “One day we were praying behind the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). When he raised his head, he said, ‘Sami’ Allaahu liman hamidah,’ and a man behind him said, ‘Rabbanaa wa laka’l-hamdu hamdan katheeran tayyiban mubaarakan fih (Our Lord to You be much good and blessed praise).’ When he finished, he said, ‘Who is the one who spoke?’ The man said, ‘Me.’ He said, ‘I saw thirty-odd angels rushing to see who would write it down first.’” (Reported by al-Bukhaari,al-Fath, 2/284).
Pausing at the end of each aayah
This is more helpful in understanding and thinking about the meaning, and it is the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), as Umm Salamah (may Allaah be pleased with her) described how the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would recite, “Bismillah il-Rahmaan il-Raheem”, and according to one report, he would pause, then say, “Al-hamdu Lillaahi Rabbi’l-‘Aalameen, al-Rahmaan, al-Raheem.” Then according to one report, he would pause, then say, “Maaliki yawm il-deen,” and he would break up his recitation aayah by aayah. (Reported by Abu Dawood, no. 4001; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Irwaa’, where its isnaads are described. 2/60).
Reciting in slow, rhythmic tones (tarteel) and making one’s voice beautiful when reciting
As Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “… and recite the Qur’aan (aloud) in a slow, (pleasant tone and) style.” [al-Muzzammil 73:4]. The recitation of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was clear, with each letter pronounced distinctly.” (Musnad Ahmad, 6/294, with a saheeh isnaad. Sifat al-Salaah, p. 105).
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) “would recite a soorah in such slow rhythmic tones that it would be longer than would seem possible.” (Reported by Muslim, no. 733).
Knowing that Allaah responds to prayers
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah, the Blessed and Exalted has said: ‘I have divided the prayer between Myself and My slave, into two halves, and My slave shall have what he has asked for.” When the slave says ‘Praise be to Allaah, Lord of the Worlds,’ Allaah says, ‘My slave has praised Me.’ When the slave says, ‘The Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy,’ Allaah says, ‘My slave has extolled me.’ When the slave says, ‘Master of the Day of Judgement,’ Allaah says, ‘My slave has glorified me.’ When the slave says, ‘It is You alone we worship and it is You alone we ask for help,’ Allaah says, ‘This is between Me and My slave, and My slave shall have what he asked for.’ When the slave says, ‘Guide us to the Straight Path, the path of those whom You have favoured, not the path of those who receive Your anger, nor of those who go astray,’ Allaah says, ‘All these are for My slave, and My slave shall have what he asked for.’” (Saheeh Muslim, Kitaab al-Salaah, Baab wujoob qiraa’at al-Faatihah fi kulli rak’ah). [Words in italics are the translation of the meaning of Soorat al-Faatihah – Translator].
This is a great and important hadeeth also known as “Hadeeth Qudsi No. 8”. If everyone kept it in mind when he prays, he would attain immense khushoo’ and al-Faatihah would have a great impact on him. How could it be otherwise, when he feels that his Lord is addressing him and giving him what he is asking for?
This “conversation” with Allaah must be respected and accorded its proper value. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When any one of you stands to pray, he is conversing with his Lord, so let him pay attention to how he speaks to Him.” (al-Haakim, al-Mustadrak, 1/236; Saheeh al-Jaami’, 1538).
Praying with a barrier (sutrah) in front of one and praying close to it
This will restrict your field of vision, protect you from the Shaytaan and keep people from passing in front of you, which causes a distraction and reduces the reward of the prayer.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When any one of you prays, let him pray facing a sutrah, and let him get close to it.” (Reported by Abu Dawood, no. 695, 1/446; Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 651).
Looking at the place of prostration
It was reported from ‘Aa’ishah that “the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to pray with his head tilted forward and his gaze lowered, looking at the ground.” (Reported by al-Haakim, 1/479).
When a person sits for Tashahhud, he should look at the finger with which he is pointing as he is moving it, as it was reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) “pointed with his index finger and did not allow his gaze to wander beyond it.” (Reported by Ahmad, 4/3, and by Abu Dawood, no. 990)
The Sunnah is not to close one’s eyes, unless it is necessary to do so in order to avoid something that may adversely affect one’s khushoo’.
Raising/Moving the index finger
This is something which is neglected by many worshippers because they are ignorant of its great benefits and its effect on khushoo’.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “It is more powerful against the Shaytaan than iron” (reported by Imaam Ahmad, 2/119), i.e., pointing with the forefinger during the Tashahhud is more painful to the Shaytaan than being beaten with a rod of iron, because it reminds the slave of the Unity of Allaah and to be sincere in his worship of Him alone, and this is what the Shaytaan hates most; we seek refuge with Allaah from him.”
The Sunnah in pointing with the forefinger is that it should remain raised or moving, pointing towards the qiblah, throughout the Tashahhud.
Varying the soorahs, aayaat, adhkaar and du’aa’s recited in prayer
This makes the worshipper feel that he is encountering new meanings and moving between different topics mentioned in the aayaat and adhkaar. This is what a person misses out on if he only memorizes a few soorahs (especially the short ones) and adhkaar. Varying what one recites is the Sunnah and is more conducive to khushoo’.
If we study what the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah of upon him) used to recite in his prayer, we will see this variation.
- Among the soorahs which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah of upon him) used to recite during Salaat al-Fajr we find a great and blessed number.
- The longer mufassal soorahs (soorahs from the last seventh of the Qur’aan), such as al-Waaqi’ah , al-Toor  and Qaaf , and shorter mufassal soorahs such as Idhaa al-shamsu kuwwirat [al-Takweer 81], al-Zalzalah , and al-Mi’wadhatayn [the last two soorahs].
- It was reported that he recited al-Room , Yaa-Seen  andal–Saaffaat , and on Fridays he would recite al-Sajah  andal-Insaan [76, a.k.a. al-Dhahr] in Fajr prayer.
- It was reported that in Salaat al-Zuhr, he would recite the equivalent of thirty aayaat in each of the two rak’ahs, and that he recited al-Taariq , al-Burooj  and wa’l-layli idhaa yaghshaa [al-Layl, 92].
- In Salaat al-‘Asr, he would recite the equivalent of fifteen aayaat in each rak’ah, and he would recite the soorahs already mentioned in connection with Salaat al-Zuhr.
- In Salaat al-Maghrib, he would recite short mufassal soorahs such as al-teeni wa’l-zaytoon [al-Teen 95], and he recited SooratMuhammad , al-Toor , al-Mursalaat  and others.
- In ‘Ishaa’ he would recite medium-length mufassal soorahs, such asal-shamsu wa duhaahaa [al-Shams 91], idhaa’l-samaa’u inshaqqat[al-Inshiqaaq 84]. He told Mu’aadh to recite al-A’laa , al-Qalam and al-layli idhaa yaghshaa [al-Layl, 92].
- In qiyaam al-layl, he used to recite the long soorahs. It was reported that he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to recite 200 or 150 aayaat, and sometimes he used to shorten the recitation.
- He used to vary the adhkaar he recited in rukoo’, when standing upright from rukoo’, in sujood, when sitting between the two prostrations.
So the worshipper may use one form one time and another at another time, and so on.
Seeking refuge with Allaah from the Shaytaan
- The Shaytaan is our enemy, and one of the aspects of his enmity is his whispering insinuating thoughts (waswaas) to the worshipper at prayer so as to take away his khushoo’ and confuse him in his prayer.
- Waswaas is a problem that befalls everyone who turns to Allaah with dhikr and other kinds of worship; it is inevitable, so one has to stand firm and be patient, and persist in the dhikr or salaah, and not give up. His sticking to it will ward off the Shaytaan’s plots from himself.“… Ever feeble indeed is the plot of Shaytaan.” [al-Nisaa’ 4:76 – interpretation of the meaning].
- Abu’l-‘Aas (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that he said, “O Messenger of Allaah, the Shaytaan interrupts me when I pray, and I get confused in my recitation.” The Messenger of Allaah(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “That is a shaytaan whose name is Khanzab. If you sense his presence, seek refuge with Allaah from him, and spit [dry spitting] towards your left three times.” [Abu’l-‘Aas] said: “I did that and Allaah took him away from me.” (Reported by Muslim, no. 2203)
- The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) also told us about another of the Shaytaan’s tricks and how to deal with it. He said, “When any one of you gets up to pray, the Shaytaan comes and confuses him – i.e., mixes up his prayer and creates doubts in his mind – so that he does not know how many [rak’ahs] he has prayed. If any one of you experiences that, he should do two prostrations whilst he is sitting.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, Kitaab al-Sahw, Baab al-Sahw fi’l-Fard wa’l-Tatawwu’).
- Another of the Shaytaan’s tricks was described as follows. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If any one of you is praying and feels some movement in his back passage, and is uncertain as to whether he has broken his wudoo’ or not, he should not end his prayer unless he hears a sound or smells an odour.”
Striving to offer du’aa’ at the appropriate times during the prayer, especially in sujood
- There is no doubt that talking to Allaah, humbling oneself before Him, asking things from Him and earnestly seeking His help, all help to strengthen the slave’s ties to his Lord and increase his khushoo’. Du’aa’ is an act of worship, and we are commanded to make du’aa’. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “… call upon Him in humility and in secret…” [al-An’aam 6:63]. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever does not call on Allaah, Allaah will be angry with him.” (Reported by al-Tirmidhi).
- It was reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to make du’aa’ at specific places in the prayer, i.e., in sujood, between the two prostrations and after the Tashahhud. The greatest of these is in sujood, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “The closest that the slave can be to his Lord is when he is prostrating, so increase your du’aa’ [at that time].” (Reported by Muslim).
Warding off distractions and things that adversely affect khushoo’
Removing anything that may distract the worshipper
Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “ ‘Aa’ishah had a decorated, colourful curtain which she used to cover the side of her house. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to her, ‘Take it away from me, because its decorations keep distracting me when I pray.’” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, Fath al-Baari, 10/391).
This also includes avoiding praying in places where people pass through, or where there is a lot of noise and voices of people talking, or where they are engaging in conversations, arguments etc., or where there are visual distractions.
Not praying in a garment that has decorations, writing, bright colours or pictures that will distract the worshipper
‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) stood up to pray wearing a checkered shirt, and he looked at the patterns in it. When he had finished his prayer, he said, “Take this shirt to Abu Jaham ibn Hudhayfah and bring me an anbajaani (a garment with no decorations or checks), because it distracted me when I was praying.” (Reports in Saheeh Muslim, no. 556, part 3/391).
It is better not to pray in a garment that has pictures on it, and we should be especially careful to avoid garments with pictures of animate beings, like many garments that are widely available nowadays.
Not praying when there is food prepared that one wants to eat
The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Do not pray when there is food prepared.” (Reported by Muslim, no. 560).
If food has been prepared and served, or if it is offered, a person should eat first, because he will not be able to concentrate properly and have khushoo’ if he leaves it and gets up to pray when he is wanting to eat. He should not even hasten to finish eating, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If the dinner is served and the time for prayer comes, eat dinner before praying Salaat al-Maghrib, and do not rush to finish your meal.” (Agreed upon. Al-Bukhaari, Muslim, no. 557-559).
Not praying when one needs to answer the call of nature
No doubt one of the things that can prevent proper khushoo’ is praying when one needs to go to the washroom. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade praying when one is suppressing the urge to urinate or defecate. (Reported by Ibn Maajah).
Not praying behind someone who is talking (or sleeping)
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade this; he said: “Do not pray behind one who is sleeping or one who is talking.” (Reported by Abu Dawood).
– because one who is talking will distract the worshipper with his talk, and one who is sleeping may expose something that will distract the worshipper but if there is no risk of that happening, then it is not makrooh to pray behind someone who is sleeping.
Not occupying oneself with smoothing the ground in front of one
The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Do not wipe (the ground) when you are praying, but if you have to, then do it only once.” (Reported by Abu Dawood, no. 946;Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 7452).
The reason for this prohibition is so as to maintain khushoo’, and so that a person will not make too many extra movements in prayer. If the place where one is going to prostrate needs to be smoothed, it is better to do this before starting to pray.
This also applies to wiping the forehead or nose when praying. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to prostrate in water and mud, which would leave traces on his forehead, but he did not bother to wipe it off every time he raised his head from sujood. It remained there because he was so deeply absorbed in his prayer and his khushoo’ was so strong that he took not notice of it.
Just as a worshipper should avoid anything that will distract him from his prayer, by the same token he should avoid disturbing others. This includes:
Not disturbing others with one’s recitation
The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “All of you are speaking to your Lord, so do not disturb one another, and do not raise your voices above one another when reciting” or he said, “in prayer.” (Reported by Abu Dawood, 2/83; Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 752).
Not turning around during prayer
The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah continues to turn towards His slave whilst he is praying, so long as he does not turn away, but if he turns away, [Allaah] turns away from him.” (Reported by Abu Dawood).
Turning away during prayer is of two types:
The turning away of the heart to something other than Allaah.
The turning away of the eyes.
Both of them are not allowed, and are detrimental to the reward for the prayer. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was asked about turning away during prayer, and he said: “It is something that Shaytaan steals from a person’s prayer.”(Reported by al-Bukhaari, Kitaab al-Adhaan, Baab al-Iltifaat fi’l-Salaah).
Trying not to yawn when praying
The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If any one of you feels the urge to yawn during prayer, let him suppress it as much as he can, lest the Shaytaan enter…”(Reported by Muslim, 4/2293). If the Shaytaan enters, he will be more able to disturb the worshipper’s khushoo’, in addition to laughing at him when he yawns.
Not putting one’s hands on one’s hips when praying
Abu Hurayrah said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade putting the hands on the hips during prayer.” (Reported by Abu Dawood).
Not resembling animals
Allaah has honoured the son of Adam and created him in the best way, so it is shameful for the son of Adam to resemble or imitate animals. We have been forbidden to resemble or imitate a number of postures or movements of animals when we pray, because that is contrary to khushoo’ or because it is ugly and does not befit the worshipper who is praying. For example, it was reported that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade three things in prayer: pecking like a crow, spreading one’s forearms like a carnivore, or always praying in the same place like a camel keeping to its own territory. (Reported by Ahmad, 3/428). It was said that when a man always prays in the same place in the mosque, making it his own, it is like a camel keeping to its own territory. (Al-Fath al-Rabaani, 4/91). According to another report: “He forbade me to peck like a cockerel, to sit like a dog or to turn like a fox.” (Reported by Imaam Ahmad, 2/311; Saheeh al-Targheeb, no. 556).
Khushoo’ is a serious, major issue, which is impossible to achieve without the help of Allaah. Being deprived of khushoo’ is nothing short of a calamity. Hence the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to say in his du’aa’: “Allaahumma innee a’oodhu bika min qalbin laa yakhsha’… (O Allaah, I seek refuge with You from a heart that has no khushoo’…).” (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, 5/485, no. 3482; Saheeh Sunan al-Tirmidhi, 2769).
Those who have khushoo’ are of varying levels or degrees. Khushoo’ is an action of the heart that may increase and decrease. Some people have khushoo’ as great as the clouds of the sky, and others may finish their prayer without having understood anything at all.
“When it comes to prayer, people are of five levels:
- The first is the level of the one who wrongs himself and is negligent. He does not do wudoo’ properly, or pray at the right time or make sure he does all the necessary parts of prayer.
- The second is one who observes the outward essentials of prayer, prays on time and does wudoo’, but he has lost the battle against his own self and is overwhelmed with waswaas.
- The third is one who observes the outward essentials of prayer, prays on time and does wudoo’, and also strives against his own self and against waswaas, but he is preoccupied with his struggle against his enemy (i.e. the Shaytaan), lest he steal from his prayer, so he is engaged in salaah and jihaad at the same time.
- The fourth is one who when he stands up to pray, he fulfils all the requirements of the prayer, and his heart is fully focused and alert lest he omit anything, and his concern is to do the prayer properly and perfectly. His heart is deeply immersed in his prayer and worship of his Lord.
- The fifth is one who does all of that, but he takes his heart and places it before his Lord, looking at his Lord with his heart and focusing on Him, filled with love and adoration, as if he is actually seeing Him. That waswaas and those thoughts diminish, and the barriers between him and his Lord are lifted. The difference between the prayer of this person and the prayer of anyone is else is greater than the difference between heaven and earth. When this person prays, he is preoccupied with his Lord and content with Him.
The first type is punishable; the second is accountable; the third is striving so he is not counted as a sinner; the fourth is rerwarded and the fifth is drawn close to his Lord, because he is one of those for whom prayer is a source of joy. Whoever finds their joy in prayer in this life, will find their joy in being close to Allaah in the Hereafter, and will also find his joy in Allaah in this world. Whoever finds his joy in Allaah will be content with everything, and whoever does not find his joy in Allaah, will be destroyed by his feelings of grief and regret for worldly matters.”
(al-Waabil al-Sayib, p. 40).
Finally, we ask Allaah to make us among those who have khushoo’ and to accept our repentance. May He reward with good all those who helped to prepare this book and may He benefit all those who read it; Aameen. All praise be to Allaah, Lord of the Worlds.
This note was made by editing the Book 33 Sababun Lil-Khushoo’ Fi Salaah/33 Ways of developing Khushoo’ in Salaah. There are more details which can be found in the book if any one is interested can read the book InshaAllah