The second pillar of Islam

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Five Pillars of Islam


The second pillar of Islam


2. Daily Prayers—Salat

Muslims perform five prayers a day.  Each prayer does not take more than a few minutes to perform.  Prayer in Islam is a direct link between the worshipper and God.  There are no intermediaries between God and the worshipper.

In prayer, a person feels inner happiness, peace, and comfort, and that God is pleased with him or her.  The Prophet Muhammad   said: {Bilal, call (the people) to prayer, let us be comforted by it.}2  Bilal was one of Muhammad’s   companions who was charged to call the people to prayers.

Prayers are performed at dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset, and night.  A Muslim may pray almost anywhere, such as in fields, offices, factories, or universities.



The Prayer (Salah)

Call to Congregational Prayer (Adhan) and Announcement of the Beginning of Prayer (gamah) Both the Adhan and the Igamah are community obligations (Fard Kifaayah) for men who are not travelling (in a state of residence), while they are Sunnah for one praying alone and travelers. As for women, they are disliked (Makrooh). Neither the Adhan nor the [gamah are allowed to be made before their times, except for the Adhan of the Dawn Prayer (Fajr), for which the first of the two’ is allowed to be called any time after the middle of the night.

The Prerequisites (Shuroot) for the Prayer:

1) Islam.

 2) Sanity (Aql).


4) Cleanliness from filth according to one’s ability.

5) The entrance of the time of prayer.



The times are as follows:

 The time of Zuhr (Noon) prayer begins

when the sun starts its decline after its zenith in the sky until the shade of anything is

equal to its length.

The time of Asr (Afternoon) prayer begins from the time Zuhr

ends until the shadow of an object is double its own length; this is what is preferred,

but due to need it can be extended until the sun sets.

The time of Maghrib (Sunset)

prayer starts after the setting of the sun until the disappearance of redness or

twilight of the sky.

The time of Isha (Night) prayer is up until the middle of the

night”, and can continue up until the time of the dawn if necessary.

The time of Fajr

(Dawn) prayer begins at dawn’, until the sun rises.

6) Covering the private areas

according to one’s ability with something opaque. The extent of the private area for a male who has reached the age of 10 years or older is from his navel to the knee, and for a woman who has reached puberty is her entire body except her face in prayer. 7) Absence of impurities on the body, clothes and the place of prayer according to the best of one’s ability. 8) Facing the Prayer Direction (Qiblah) according to one’s ability. 9) Intention (Niyyah).



The Essential Elements, or Pillars (Arkaan)* of Prayer:

1) Standing (Qiyaam) in

prayer for those who are able;

2) Saying Allahu Akbar (Takbeerat-al-Ihraam) for

commencement of the prayer. This statement makes all other words and actions not

related to the prayer prohibited.

3) Reciting Surah-al-Fatihah.

 4) Bowing (Rukoo’).

5) Standing after Rukoo’’.

6) Straightening up fully after Rukoo’.

 7) Prostrations

(Sujood, sing, Sajdah) on the seven parts of the body (two feet, two knees, two

palms of hands, and the head which includes the forehead with the nose).

8) Sitting

up after the prostraton and sitting between the two Sajdahs.

9) Saying the last

testimony (Tashahhud).

10) Sitting for the last Tashahhud.

11) Saying prayers for

the Prophet ( ste) in the last sitting.

12) Ending the Prayer with saying “As-Salaam

Alaikum wa Rahmatullah” (Tasleem).

13) To perform each of these pillars properly,

in that one settles fully into their positions.

 14) Performing all these pillars in the

‘ There are two adhaans for the Fajr prayer, one for tahajjud (the voluntary night prayer) and one for Fajr.  Note that the middle of the night is not 12:00 a.m., but rather half the time between Maghrib and Fajr.



The Description of the Prayer:

# One begins by facing the prayer direction (Qiblah) saying “‘Allahu Akbar’.

# The Imam (leader) says all the Takbeeraat (saying “Allahu Akbar”) aloud so that those following may hear him, while the followers say them quietly.

# He raises his hands at the beginning of the Takbeer near to his shoulders, and

then he places his hands below his chest with his right hand on top of the left.

# He keeps his eyes at the place of his prostration and says an opening

supplication which has been reliably reported in an authentic narration. For

example, he may say, “Subhaanak Allahumma wa bi Hamdika wa

Tabaarakasmuka wa Ta’alaa Jadduka wa la tlaaha ghairuk”’

‘You are Glorified O Allah, and Praised; Your Name is Blessed; Your

Majesty is Exalted, and none has the right to be worshipped but You.”


# Then he says “A’udhu billahi min-ash-Shaitan-ir-Rajeem”

(I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan). Then he says “‘Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Raheem”’

(In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent in Mercy, Most Merciful).

* All of this is stated quietly, and then he recites Surah al-Fatihah aloud if he is

the Imam in a prayer in which is read aloud. It 1s recommended that the followers

recite Surah al-Fatihah in the times of quietness of the Imam if the prayer is one

which is read aloud, and obligatory if the prayer is one which 1s read quietly, Zuhr and Asr.

# Then he reads whatever else he wishes from the Qur’an. It is better to make his

recitation of the Fajr prayer with the “Mufassal” chapters, of the “shorter” chapters in the Maghrib prayer, and in the rest of the prayers from the “medium” chapters. The

longer Mufassal chapters are from Surah Qaaf [50] to Surah an-Naba’ [78], the latter

to ad-Duha [93] are known as the “medium’’, and “shorter” from there to Surah an-

Nas [114]. The Imam recites aloud in the Fajr prayer and in the first two rak‘ahs of

the Maghrib and Isha prayers. All other prayers are to be recited silently.

# Then he raises his head saying, “Sami’Allahu liman Hamidah ” (Allah answers

he who praises Him). Then he raises his hands as he raised before bowing to a

standing posture and says “‘Rabbanaa wa-lakal-Hamd ” (O Our Lord, to You is

praise) adding to it, ‘““Hamdan Katheeran Tayyiban Mubaarakan fihi ‘-as-

Samaawaati wa ‘-al-Ard wa Mil‘a ma Shi’ta min Shay’in ba’d ”’ (Many praises

that are pure and blessed, the fullness of the heavens, the fullness of the earth,

and the fullness of whatever You wish afterwards).

# Then he prostrates while saying “Allahu Akbar’’. He keeps his stomach away

from his thighs and thighs from his calves while prostrating on his forehead and nose, both palms of the hands, both knees, and toes of both feet, with the fingers

and toes pointing towards the Qiblah; and he says three times in the prostration


“Subhaana Rabbiyal-A’laa”’ (Glory be to Allah, the Exalted). He can say that several times or he can supplicate whatever he wills.

# Then he raises his head saying, “Allahu Akbar’’ sitting on his left thigh while

propping the right foot with the heel up and the toes planted to the ground facing the Qiblah. Then he says “‘Rabbighfir-li, warhamni, wajburni, warfa‘ni, warzuqni,

wansurni, wahdini, wa-’afini’” (O Allah forgive me, and have mercy on me, and

strengthen me, and raise my rank, and give me sustenance, and give me victory,

and guide me, and pardon me).

*# Then he prostrates as the previous prostration and raises his head saying,

*‘Allahu Akbar’ and stands up repeating the second Rak’ah as the first.


 # Then he sits in the state of /ftirash for the first testimony (at-Tashahhud al-

Awwal), putting his right hand on his right thigh and left hand on his left thigh and making a fist of his right hand while making a circle with the thumb and middle finger and pointing with his middle finger says


‘“‘At-Tahiyyaatu lillahi was- Salawaatu wat-Tayyibaat, as-Salaamu alaika ayyuhan-Nabiu wa Rahmatullahi
wa barakatuh, asalamu alaina wa ala Ibadillahis-Saaliheen. Ash-hadu allaa
Wlaaha illallahu wa Ash-hadu anna Muhammadan Abduhu wa Rasuluh’”


(The best of salutations and greetings are for Allah, and prayers and everything

pure and good. May the peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be on you, O

Prophet. May the peace be upon us and on the righteous slaves of Allah. I

testify that there is none that has the right to be worshipped except Allah and I

testify that Muhammad is His Slave and Messenger).

*# Then he stands and prays the third and fourth Rak’ah, making them shorter than

the first two. He recites in them Surah-al-Fatihah only and sits in the state of

Tawarruk for the last testimony (at-Tashahhud al-Akheer) and says the same as in

the first and adds to it, “‘Allahumma salli ala Muhammad wa ala Aali Muhammad kama sallaita ala Ibraaheem wa ala Aali Ibraaheem, innaka Hameedum Majeed, wa Baarik ala Muhammad wa ala Aali Muhammad kama baarakta ala Ibraaheem wa ala Aali Ibraaheem, innaka Hameedum Majeed ” (O Allah, send prayers upon Muhammad and the followers of Muhammad, just as You sent prayers upon Abraham and upon the followers of Abraham. Verily, You are full of praise

and majesty. And send blessings upon Mohammad and upon the family of Muhammad, just as You sent blessings upon Abraham and upon the followers of Abraham. Verily, You are full of praise and majesty).

It is from the Sunnah to say “Allahumma Inni A’udhu bika min adhaabi

Jahannam, wa min adhaabil-Qabr, wa min fitnatal-Mahya wal-Mamaat, wa min

fitnat almaseeh ad-Dayal ”’ (O Allah I seek refuge in You from the punishment

of Hellfire, and from the punishment of the Grave, and from the trial of life

and death, and from the trial of the Dajjal (Antichrist) . He then may also say



other supplications as mentioned in the Qur’an and the Sunnah.

# Then he says “As-Salaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullah’ (Peace and the Mercy of Allah be upon you) turning his head to his right and then saying the same, turning his head to his left. It is the Sunnah of the Prophet ( sty) to say some of the supplications after the

completion of the prayer as mentioned in the Hadith.

Some of these are as follows: One says, “Astaghfirullah” [I ask for Allah’s forgiveness] three

times, and then says, “A/laahumma innaka antas-Salaam wa minkas-Salaam Tabaarakta ya Dhal-

Jalaali wal-Ikraam” (O Allah You are the Peace, and from You is Peace, You are Blessed, O One

of Majesty and Generosity). One also says, “LA ILAAHA ILLALLAH, wahdahu la shareeka lah,

lahul-mulku walahul-hamd, wa huwa ’ala kulli shaiyin qadeer. La hawla wa la quwwata illa

billah, LA ILAAHA ILLALLAH wala na’abudu illa tyyah, lahun-ni’matu walahul-fadl wa

lahuth-thana-ul-hasan, LA ILAAHA ILLALLAH mukhliseena lahud-deen wa lauw karihal.



The Prayer of the One Who is ill

# If standing increases one’s illness or if a

person is unable to stand, he should pray sitting. [f one is not able to pray sitting, he

should pray while lying down on his side. If one is not able to pray lying down on his

side, he should pray on his back.

 #* If one is not able to perform the bowing and

prostration, he should signal [with his body] to symbolize them. # If one misses any

of his prayers, he should make them up belatedly. # If one is not able to make each

prayer in its time, he may combine the Zuhr and the Asr prayers together, and the

Maghrib and the Isha prayers together in either of their respective times.



The Prayer of the Traveler:

# If the distance of the journey is more than

around eighty kilometers, and it is a lawful journey, the person may shorten the

Zuhr, the Asr and the Isha prayers from four Rak’ah to two. * If the person

intends to stay at his destination for more than four days — 20 obligatory prayers —

he should perform them in their full forms and not shorten them. # One should

perform the prayers fully when praying behind an Imam who is resident. # If one

remembers a prayer in his journey that he had forgotten as a resident or vice- versa, he should pray it in its complete form.

# The traveler may perform the prayers in their complete form if he wishes, yet to shorten them is better.




The Friday Prayer (Salat-ul-Jumu’ah):

 This prayer is better than the Zuhr. It

is an independent prayer and not a shortened form of Zuhr. It is not allowed to

perform it with four Rak’ahs, to make it with the intention of Zuhr, or to combine it

with the Asr prayer, even if there may be a valid reason for that.

The Odd-numbered Prayer (Salat-ul-Witr):

# This prayer is a Sunnah and it

is to be made after Isha until the time of Fajr. # The least number of Rak’ahs for

the Witr prayer is one Rak’ah, and the most number of Rak’ahs one may pray 1s

eleven. # It is better to make the salutation after every two Rak’ahs.

¥*The least complete form of Witr prayer is to perform it in three Rak’ahs with two salutations

[meaning performing two Rak’ahs and making the salutations and then one Rak’ahs

by itself with another salutation at the end of it]. # It is Sunnah to recite Surat-ul-

A’la [87]in the first Rak’ah, Surat-ul-Kaafiroon [109] in the second and Surat-ul-

Ikhlaas [112] in the third Rak’ah. # It is recommended that you make Quncot after

bowing (rukoo’), by raising your hands and supplicating aloud even if you are praying alone.



Funerals (Janaazah):

 # Washing the deceased Muslim’s body, placing the

shroud upon him, making the funeral prayer, carrying him and placing him in the

grave are all community obligations (Fard Kifaayah). ¥% Martyrs in Islamic Jihad

are not to be washed or placed in the shroud, but rather should be buried as they

died and it is allowed to pray the funeral prayer upon them. # The shroud of the

Muslim male contains three sheets while the female’s shroud should be of five

sheets: a loincloth, head covering, upper wrap and two over-all wraps. # The

Sunnah is for the Imam or a person praying alone to stand at the chest of the male and the middle of the female.

 # One stands and says “Allahu Akbar” four times,

raising his hands every time: in the first he says ‘‘Allahu Akbar’ and seeks refuge

in Allah, says “Bismillah” and reads only al-Fatihah silently; in the second he says

‘“Allahu Akbar’ and reads the salutations on the Prophet (3); in the third he says

‘‘Allahu Akbar’ and supplicates to Allah for the deceased; in the fourth he says

*Allahu Akbar’ and then stands a bit and then says “as-Salaamu alaikum’.

*# It is not allowed to raise the grave above the level of the ground except a hand span, to put any type of plaster on it, to kiss it, to place incense near it, to write on it, to sit or walk on it, to place any kind of illumination on it, to circumambulate

around it, to build a mosque on it, or to place a grave in a mosque. Moreover, any

tombs (or buildings) built over a grave must be demolished.

*# There are no restrictions about the words of solace and condolences for the grieving

relatives. A person may say, “‘A’dham Allahu Ajrak wa Ahsan Aza‘ak wa Ghafara li

Maitak’”’ (May Allah increase your reward and bestow goodness to you in your

grief and forgive your deceased). He may say when consoling a Muslim who has lost

a relative who was a disbeliever, “‘Adham Allah Ajrak wa Ahsan Aza ‘ak’? (May Allah

increase your reward and bestow goodness to you in your grief).

*# It is obligatory for a person who knows that his family will wail over him upon his death to write a will advising them not to do so; otherwise, he may be punished by their wailing on him.

*Imam Shaafi’i,  said that it is disliked that one sits for the condolences,

referring to the gatherings in which the family of the deceased waits for those who

desire to visit them for condolences. Instead, they all should go about their business,

whether men or women.

* It is from the Sunnah to prepare food for the grieving family (since they are

preoccupied by their grief) and it is disliked to eat of their food or to prepare food

for the people who gather at their place.

# It is from the Sunnah to visit the graves as long as it does not entail travelling. It

is also allowed to visit the grave of a non-muslim. A non-muslim should not be

prohibited from visiting the grave of a Muslim.

* It is from the Sunnah to say when entering the graveyard of Muslims:

‘“Assalamu alaykum ahlad-diyari min-al-mu‘mineena, wa-inna in sha‘Allahu

bikum lalahiqoon, yarhamullah al-mustaqdimeena minna wal-musta‘khireen,

nas‘alAllaha lana walakum-ul-aafiyah, Allahumma laa tahrimna ajrahum, wa

laa taftinna ba’dahum, waghfir lana wa lahum’” (Peace be upon you all, O

inhabitants of the graves, from among the believers and the Muslims. Verily we will, Allah willing, be united with you. May Allah forgive those of you that

proceeded and those that will come afterwards. We ask Allah for us and you

well-being. O Allah do not deprive us of the reward and do not tempt us after

them, and forgive us and them).



The Prayer of the Two Eids (Eid al-Fitr, Eid-al-Ad-ha):

* This prayer is a

community obligation (Fard Kifaayah) and the time for it is after the sunrise like the

time of Salat ud-Dhuha. If people do not come to know that the day of Eid has come

until after noon, it should be made the following day as a makeup prayer. # The

conditions are like the conditions of Salat ul-Jumu’ah except for the two sermons; the

two sermons of Jumu’ah are delivered before the prayer while the two sermons of Eid

are delivered after the prayer.

# It is disliked that one makes any supererogatory

prayer before or after it in the place where it is performed. * This prayer has two

Rak’ahs. In the first bowing (Rak’ah), one says Takbeerat al-ihraam, ‘‘Allahu

Akbar,’ to commence the prayer and then says

*‘Allahu Akbar’ six times again before

seeking refuge in Allah and reciting the Qur’an. In the second Rak’ah one says

‘“Allahu Akbar” five times before reciting the Qur’an. One raises the hands for each

Takbeer. Then the Imam seeks refuge in Allah and recites aloud al-Fatihah followed

by Surah Sabbih [87] in the first Rak’ah and by al-Ghaashiyyah [88] in the second

Rak’ah. The Imam then delivers two sermons like in the Friday Prayer, except that he

should repeat often Allahu Akbar.

*# If one makes this prayer like a supererogatory

prayer, it is acceptable and correct since the Takbeeraat are additional and praising

Allah and sending salutations on the Prophet (#4) between them are Sunnah.



Prayer of Eclipse (Salat ul-Kusoof or Khusoof):

** This is a Sunnah prayer,

and its time is from the beginning of the eclipse, whether lunar or solar, until it

finishes. # It is not to be made belatedly if the eclipse is over. The way in which it

is done is to pray two Rak’ahs in which the Qur’an is recited aloud. # In the first

Rak’ah, one should recite al-Faatihah and a long surah, then do a long bowing

(rukoo’), then raise one’s head and say, “Sami’a Allahu IIman hamidah, Rabbanaa

wa laka’l-hamd’ (Allah listens to the one who praises Him; our Lord to You be

praise)” after standing upright, as in other prayers.

# After that he does not go into

prostration like in other prayers. Instead, he should then recite al-Faatihah again

and another long surah. Then comes another long bow (rukoo’). After that, one

raises his head and stands upright. # Then he should do two lengthy prostrations

(sujoods). # Then one should pray the second rak’ah like the first. # Then he should recite the Tashahhud and say the salaam. * If a person comes late missing the first bowing (Rak’ah), he has missed that Rak’ah and will have to make it up.

Prayer for Rain (Salat-ul-Istisqa’a):

It is Sunnah to pray it in case there is a

drought or lack of rain. The manner of performing this prayer is like Salat-ul-Eid

except that one makes the sermon after the prayer.

The Sunnah is to reverse one’s cloak as an indication of optimism for a change

of circumstances once the prayer is over.



Supererogatory prayers:

It is confirmed that the Prophet (pbuh) would make twelve Rak’ahs of supererogatory prayers regularly (Sunan ar-Ratibah) every day.

They are as follows: two before Salat-ul-Fajr; four before Salat-ud-Dhuhr and two

after it; two after Salat-ul-Maghrib; two after Salat-ul-Isha.

It is also authentically reported that he would make other voluntary prayers like

four Rak’ahs before Salat-ud-Duhr and Salat-ul-Asr; four after Salat-ud-Duhr

and two after the call to prayer (Adhan) of Salat-ul-Maghrib.



Prohibited times for prayer:

 It is prohibited to make voluntary prayers in the times

that have been specifically prohibited. These are:

1) After the dawn until the rising of

the sun and its appearance above the horizon to the height of a short spear;

2)At the

time of the zenith of the sun, until it starts declining;

3) After Syalat-ul-Asyr until the

setting of the sun. The prayers that are made for certain causes are permissible if made

in these times, like the prayer after entering the Mosque (Tahiyyat-ul-Masjid), the two

Rak’ ah after Tyawaaf, the Sunnah prayer of Fajr, the funeral prayer, the two Rak’ ah of

Wudoo, the prostration of recitation and the prostration of thankfulness.



Rulings concerning the Mosque (Masjid):

 It is obligatory to build Mosques to

fulfill the needs of the community.

They are the most beloved places on earth to Allah (a). It is not allowed to sing

in them, clap, use musical instruments, give a poetry recital of unlawful poetry,

allow mixing and mingling of males and females together, have sexual intercourse,

or buy and sell.

If someone buys or sells in the mosque, it is the Sunnah to say to this disobedient

person: “La rabaha Allah tijaratak’”’ (may Allah not give you any profit in your

trading). It 1s forbidden to publicly proclaim that one has lost something in the

mosque, and it is the Sunnah to say to the person who does so “La raddaha Allahu

alaik” (May Allah not return it to you).

It is allowed to teach children in the Mosque who do no harm therein, to contract

a marriage, to judge a case (as a court of law), to recite lawful poetry, to sleep for

the person in seclusion (/’tikaaf) and at other times, to have the guest sleep therein

and the sick person, and to take midday naps.

It is the Sunnah to keep the Mosques free of noise, clamor, quarrels, abundant conversation or detested loud talk. They should also not be used as pathways to

other avenues except due to necessity. It 1s disliked that someone conducts any

unnecessary conversation in the Mosques about the life of this world.

The rugs, lights and electricity of the Mosques are not being used for weddings or condolences.



How to Pray in Islam (with Pictures)

For explaining the first pillar of Islam (Shahadah) Please, click here

For explaining the second pillar of Islam (Prayer) Please, click here

For explaining the Third pillar of Islam (Charity) Please, click here

For explaining the fourth pillar of Islam (Fasting) Please, click here

For explaining the fifth pillar of Islam (Pilgrimage) Please, click here

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