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Kitaab ul-Salaah

Abu Hurairah(ra) reports that the Messenger Muhammad(saw) said: “The first thing that the people will be called to account for on the Day of Resurrection will be the prayers. Our Lord will say to the angels, although He knows better,: ‘Look into the Salah of my servant to see if he observed it perfectly or been negligent in it’. So if he observed it perfectly it will be recorded to his credit, but if he had been negligent in it in any way, Allah would say: ‘See if My servant has any supererogatory prayers’. Then if he has any supererogatory prayers, Allah would say: ‘Make up the deficiency in My servants obligatory prayer with his supererogatory prayers’. Thereafter all his actions will be examined in like manner.” (Abu Dawood)

Salah is an obligation, however, there are certain conditions (Shourout Al-Wujoub) that have to be met:

Bolough Al-Da’wah
There has to be an awareness of Islam.

Al-Islam
The individual must be a Muslim.

Al-Aqil
The individual must be sane.

Al-Bolough
The individual must be mature.

S’leem Al-Hawas
The individual must have sound senses.

Similarly, there are further conditions (Shorout Al-Sehhah) that have to be met in order for the Salah to be valid, namely:

  • Tahara: Purity of body
  • Wudhu (Bukari, Muslim)
  • To have pure clothes
  • To be in a pure place
  • To be pure from the two bloods
  • To cover the Awrah (Bukhari, Muslim)
  • To face the Qibla (Bukhari, Muslim)
  • To have knowledge about the times of Salah
  • To have knowledge about the way to perform Salah
  • To desert the things which invalidate the Salah
  • To have the intention (Niyyah) to perform Salah (Bukhari)

The cause of Salah (Sabab-as-Salah) is that the time of Salah must have entered (Muslim). For example:

Fajr- is from first light up to the beginning of sunrise.
Dhuhr- is from midday up to one length of the shadow. (The correct way to determine the shadow length is by placing the hand open, fingers closed 5cm above floor level. Then if the shadow is no longer under the hand i.e has moved to one side completely, Asr has now entered)
Asr- is from the end of Dhuhr and up to the end of sunset.
Maghrib- is from sunset until the redness in the sky clears totally.
Isha- is from the end of Maghrib until the beginning of Fajr.

The Fard (Obligatory) Salah are as following:

  • 2 rakah at Fajr
  • 4 rakah at Dhuhr
  • 4 rakah at Asr
  • 3 rakah at Maghrib
  • 4 rakah at Isha

The Mandoub (Recommended) Salah are as following:

  • 2 rakah sunnah before the fard in Fajr
  • 4 rakah sunnah before the fard in Dhuhr and 2 rakah sunnah afterwards
  • 4 rakah sunnah before the fard of Asr
  • 2 rakah sunnah after the fard of Maghrib
  • 4 rakah sunnah before the fard of Isha and 2 rakah sunnah afterwards, followed by the witr salah

The Pillars of Salah (Arkan as-Salah) have to be performed for the Salah to be valid. Every pillar is fard but not every fard is a pillar. The pillars are as follows:

  • Takbir Ihram: Initial takbir
  • Al-Qiyam: To stand up
  • Ruku: The physical action only
  • I’tidal: Standing up straight before going into sujood
  • Performing the sujood. Physical action only
  • Sitting in between the two sujoods
  • Performing the second sujood. The physical action only
  • Standing up for the next rakah
  • First tashahud. The physical action only
  • Second tashahud. The physical action only
  • First tasleem to the right. The physical action only
  • Every rakah

The Obligations of Salah (Fara’id as-Salah) fall into two categories: Physical and Verbal Obligations (Fara’id Fi’liyyah Wa Fara’id Qawliyyah). These are:

  • Intitial Takbir (To say Allahu Akbar) (Muslim, Ibn Majah)
  • Al-Qiyam: To stand up (unless there is a genuine Islamic reason not to)
  • To recite Surah al-Fatiha (The Opening) in every rakah (Bukhari, Muslim, Baihaqi)
  • To make ruku in every rakah (Bukhari, Muslim)
  • To place the hands clenching the knees during ruku
  • To make Adhkaar in ruku (i.e to say ‘subhana rabi yal azeem’ once in ruku) (Bukhari, Muslim)
  • I’tidal: Standing up straight before going into sujood (Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawood)
  • To say ‘sami Allah huliman hamidah’ whilst coming up from ruku
  • Tamineena: To pause/rest in that action (Bukhari, Muslim)
  • To do the first sujood (Bukhari, Muslim)
  • To do every sujood on seven parts of the body. 1-forehead and nose, 2-right hand, 3-left hand, 4-right knee, 5-left knee, 6-right foot, 7-left foot
  • To make Adhkaar in sujood (i.e to say ‘subhana rabi yala a’la’) (Ahmad’s Musnad, Abu Dawood, Ibn Majah)
  • To sit in between the two sujoods with the back straight
  • Tamineena: To pause/rest in that action
  • To do the second sujood
  • To make adhkaar in sujood (i.e to say ‘subhana rabi yala a’la’) (Ahmad’s Musnad, Abu Dawood, Ibn Majah)
  • To come up for the second rakah
  • To perform the second rakah similar to the first but omitting the Takbir Ihram
  • To sit (Qaidha) in the second rakah (Bukhari, Abu Awaanah)
  • To recite the tashahud in the qaidha of the second rakah (‘ashadu an la illah ha illalla wa ashadu ana muhammadun abudu hu wa rasoolu hu’)
  • To sit in the qaidha in the last rakah
  • To recite the tashahud in the qaidha of the last rakah (‘ashadu an la illah ha illalla wa ashadu ana muhammadun abdu hu wa rasoolu hu’)
  • To give Tasleem (action of the head turning only) in the end to the right
  • To say the Tasleem (Assalamu Alaikum) to the right
  • To do all the actions in the set order

If a pillar (Arkan) of the Salah is missed it has to be made up and ‘sajdah sahoo’ is to be performed. This consists of two extra sujoods before the tasleem. If a pillar of Salah is missed but not made up (even if sajdah sahoo was performed) then the Salah is to be repeated. If a pillar of the Salah is missed and made up, but no sajdah sahoo was performed the Salah is still valid. To intentionally miss sajdah sahoo is makruh. The way to make up any pillar is to perform it as soon as you remember it being missed and then go back to the stage you were at.

If a fard is missed out then one sajdah sahoo has to be performed. This consists of one extra sajdah before the tasleem. If a fard is missed out but no sajdah sahoo is performed then the Salah is still valid. To make up the missed fard is not necessary. To intentionally miss the sajdah sahoo is again makruh.

The Mandoub (Recommended) actions of Salah include:

  • To perform the Salah as soon as the time enters
  • To give the Adhan when praying individually (Abu Dawood)
  • To give the Iqamah when praying individually
  • To recite the Sana’ (‘Subhana kall humma wabi hamdika…’) (Abu Dawood)
  • To recite ‘Bismillah’ (Bukhari, Muslim)
  • To say Ameen loudly whilst praying behind the Imam in the loud prayers
  • To recite any ayah’s from the Qur’an after al-Fatiha (Bukhari, Muslim)
  • To give the Takbir before ruku (Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawood and An-Nasa’I)
  • To do rafa-ya-dan with the hands raised up to the shoulders or the ears and the palms facing forward towards the qibla, before going into ruku
  • To say ‘subhana rabi yal azeem’ twice or three times and to look at the place of sujood (Bukhari, Muslim)
  • To keep the back straight and the elbows outwards
  • To do rafa-ya-dan when coming out of ruku with the hands raised up to the shoulders or the ears and the palms facing forward towards the qibla
  • To say ‘rabana wala kal hamd’ whilst standing straight after ruku but after the saying of ‘sami Allah huliman hamidah’ (Bukhari, Ahmad’s Musnad)
  • To go into sujood whilst saying the takbir (Abu Dawood, Hakim)
  • To go down into sujood with the hands first then the knees
  • To say ‘subhana rabi yala a’la’ twice or three times when in sujood (Ahmad’s Musnad, Abu Dawood, Ibn Majah)
  • To make du’a whilst in sujood
  • To join the feet together whilst in sujood and point the toes towards the qibla
  • To say takbir when rising up from sujood and when going back down into sujood (Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawood)
  • To say du’a whilst sitting in jalsa
  • To sit in between the sujoods (jalsa) with the right foot above and across the left, with the back straight and looking in between the knees
  • To recite ‘ata heeyatu lillahi’ before the declaration
  • To raise and point the right hand index finger whilst closing the rest of the hand into a fist position at the beginning of the tashahud. This is done until the end of the second rakah or until the end of the tasleems
  • To read du’a after the tashahud (Abu Dawood, Ahmad’s Musnad, An-Nasa’I)
  • To say the tasleem to the left

The Makruh (Disliked) actions of Salah include:

  • To recite a surah in the first rakah and then to recite a proceeding surah in the second rakah
  • To look around during Salah (Muslim)
  • To pray on clothes or material which is regularly used as coats, towels, bed sheets etc.
  • To close the eyes
  • The Haram (Prohibited) action of Salah is Riya (showing off in Salah)
  • The Shape of the Salah (Hayath-tu-Salah) is:
  • To raise the thumbs up to the tip of the ears and the palms facing forward towards the qibla on the initial takbir
  • Al-Qiyam: To stand up
  • To place the hands on the chest whilst standing, right wrist above the left wrist, pressing on the chest and gripping the left arm
  • To look at the place of sujood during the whole Salah except when in qaidha and whilst giving salam
  • To recite the open supplications and sana’
  • To recite Surah al-Fatiha
  • To recite some of the Qur’an
  • To do rafa-ya-dan with the hands raised up to the shoulders or the ears and the palms facing forward towards the qibla, before going into ruku
  • To pronounce the takbir
  • To place the hands clenching the knees during ruku
  • To keep the back straight and the elbows outwards
  • To make Adhkaar in ruku (to say ‘subhana rabi yal azeem’)
  • I’tidal: Standing up straight before going into sujood
  • To say ‘sami allah huliman hamidah’ whilst coming up from ruku
  • To do rafa-ya-dan when coming out of ruku with the hands raised up to the shoulders or the ears and the palms facing forward towards the qibla
  • To say ‘rabana wala kal hamd’ whilst standing straight after ruku
  • Tamineena: To pause/rest in that action
  • To go down into sujood with the hands first and then the knees
  • To pronounce the takbir whilst going down into the first sujood
  • To do the sujood on seven parts of the body. 1-forehead and nose, 2-right hand, 3-left hand, 4-right knee, 5-left knee, 6-right foot, 7-left foot
  • To put the feet together whilst in the first sujood and point the toes towards the qibla
  • To make Adhkaar in sujood (i.e to say ‘subhana rabi yala a’la’) (Ahmad’s Musnad, Abu Dawood, Ibn Majah)
  • To say takbir whilst rising up from sujood
  • To sit in between the sujoods (jalsa) with the right foot above and across the left with the back straight and looking in between the knees
  • To look in between the knees during this sitting
  • Tamineena: To pause/rest in that action
  • To say du’a whilst sitting in jalsa
  • To perform the second sujood similar to the first
  • To sit in the qaidah position after the second sujood and before rising up for the next rakah.
  • This sitting is only for a few seconds
  • To rise up for the next rakah, lifting the knees first and by placing the fists on the floor
  • To perform the next rakah similar to the first
  • To sit (qaidha) in the position at the end of the second rakah
  • To recite the tashahud in the qaidha of the second rakah (‘ashadu an la illah ha illalla wa ashadu ana muhammadun abudu hu wa rasoolu hu’)
  • To raise and point the right hand index finger whilst closing the rest of the hand into a fist position at the beginning of the tashahud. This is done until the end of the tasleems.
  • To recite the Salatul Ibrahim
  • To recite the du’as
  • To give tasleem (action of the head turning) in the end to the right and then to the left
  • To say the tasleem (Asslamu Alaikum) to the right and then to the left
  • If performing third or fourth rakahs, stand up after the tashahud of the second rakah
  • To sit in the qaidha in the last rakah
  • To recite the tashahud in the qaidha of the last rakah (‘ashadu an la illah ha illalla wa ashadu ana muhammadun abudu hu wa rasoolu hu’)
  • To do all the actions in the set order

The permits of Salah are that one is allowed to shorten or combine the Salahs during a travelling distance of more than 48 miles one way. Travelling is considered from one town (a place of trading) to another town (a place of trading) with an area in between that has no trading i.e a motorway. Also, it is allowed to pray siting in a car when it is raining outside or no other dry area is available. Women are excluded from Salah during menses and after giving birth until the bleeding stops with a maximum of 40 days.

Salah is invalidated when:

  • The Awrah is exposed without covering it immediately
  • Najasa appears on the clothes
  • Wudhu is broken
  • All the Pillars(Arkan) of Salah are not performed

Other prayers not already discussed include Salat-ul-Witr, Salat-ul-Janaza and Salat-ul-Tahhajud. The same condition apply to the latter i.e. wudhu, intention, direction etc

The Witr Salah

Consists of two rakahs of sunnah and ending with tasleem. Followed by one rakah of witr. The following which is recommended should be performed: after rising from ruku, raise the hands forward in the supplication position and recite du’a qunoot (to recite any other du’a is Mubah), and then perform the rafa-ya-dan before going into sujood.

The Funeral Salah

This Salah can only be performed in a congregation.

The Physical Obligations (Fara’id Fi’liyyah) include:

  • Al-Qiyam: To stand up
  • To give the salam to the right
  • The Verbal Obligations (Fara’id Qawliyyah) include:
  • To say the initial takbir
  • To recite al-Fatiha
  • To recite the du’a on the two Prophet’s (Salatul Ibrahim) after the second takbir
  • To make du’a on the deceased after the third takbir
  • To make du’a on the Muslims after the fourth takbir
  • To say the tasleem
  • The Late Salah

This Salah is to be performed after the Witr Salah and after having had some sleep. It is recommended to perform two rakah and then two more. Again all the rules for ordinary Salah apply here.