In this article, we will define Salah and clarify its meanings. We will also discuss several topics related and answer the most frequently asked questions concerning them.
Table of Contents
What Is Salah In Islam?
Salah literally means prayer/supplication. In Islam Salah is a form of worship by which a Muslim performs specific actions, say specific duas, and recite verses of the Quran.
Salah starts with Takbeer (saying Allahu Akbar) and ends with Tasleem (saying assalamu alaykum wa rahmatullah). In between Takbeer and Tasleem, Muslims shouldn’t talk to one another, eat, drink, or even move or turn.
It is worth mentioning that Salah is an Arabic word that is derived from the verb ‘Wasala’ which means to get connected to Allah (SWT). That’s why Salah is the second pillar in Islam owing to its great importance and high status.
How Many Salahs Are There During The Day and Night?
There are five Salahs during the day and night. These salahs are: Fajr, Dhuhr, Asr, Maghrib, and Ishaa.
It was narrated that Allah (SWT) has obliged 50 prayers daily at first. However, it was reduced by Allah’s mercy to 5 prayers a day which is worth the reward of 50 prayers.
How Many Rakats Are There In Each Prayer?
The number of Rakats varies among the five daily prayers:
- Fajr: 2 Rakats
- Dhuhr: 4 Rakats
- Asr: 4 Rakats
- Maghrib: 3 Rakats
- Ishaa: 4 Rakats
How Long Do Muslims Pray For?
A single prayer can vary in length from one Muslim to the other, and from one salah to the other. It can be lengthened to increase Quran recitation and duaa, and it can be possibly shortened to the least possible dhikr and Quran recitation. All in all, a single Salah could be as short as five to six minutes.
What Do We Do Before Salah?
Before we start Salah by Takbeer, we do a set of deeds in advance in order for the salah to be accepted insha’Allah.
1. Have the intention to perform a specific prayer for the sake of Allah (SWT).
2. Make sure you are pure of impurities and wash any of them.
3. Perform Ablution (Wudu’).
4. Dress properly for Salah (i.e. for males, they should cover the shoulders till below the knees, while females should cover as a whole except for their face and hands).
5. Head towards the Qibla (The direction to the Kaaba).
(i.e. praying within the time limit of the specific prayer is a condition for Salah acceptance).
What do you say during Salah?
During Salah, we recite Quran, say specific Dhikr, make duaa, and Salawat on prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Each one of these is recited or said at a specific time during Salah. In the following section, we will further clarify that.
How To Pray Salah Step By Step
In the following paragraphs, we will list the steps of performing Salah properly.
1. Qiyam (Stand up) & perform Takbeerat Al-Ihram (Raise your hand to the level of your ears saying, Allahu Akbar).
2. Say The Opening Duaa.
3. Recite Surah Al-Fatihah and a few verses of any other surah.
4- Perform Rukou saying “Subhana Rabbiya Al-Azeem” at least one time.
5- Qiyam from Rukou. We say while raising ‘Sami’a Allahu Liman Hamidah’, and ‘Rabbana Wa Laka Al-Hamd’.
6- Perform Sujood saying “Subhana Rabbiya Al-A’la” at least one time.
7- Sit in between and supplicate saying “Rabbi Ighfir li” which means Allah forgive me.
8- Perform a second Sujood as the first one.
9- If that’s the first or the third Rakaat stand up again and repeat. However, if that’s the second or the fourth Rakaat sit for Tashahhud.
(Since Maghrib prayer is only 3 Rakaats, we sit for final Tashahhud in the third Rakaat)
10- If you are in the second Rakaa, perform the middle Tashahhud, unless it is only two Rakaaats (as in Fajr).
The Middle Tashahud:
“Attaḥiyyātu lillāhi waṣṣalawātu, waṭṭayyibāt,
assalāmu `alayka ‘ayyuhan-Nabiyyu
wa raḥmatullāhi wa barakātuh,
assalāmu `alaynā wa `alā ‘ibādillāhiṣ-ṣāliḥīn.
‘Ash-hadu ‘an lā ‘ilāha ‘illallāh
wa ‘ash-hadu ‘anna Muḥammadan `abduhu wa rasūluh.”
But, perform the final Tashahhud if you are in the last Rakaat of Salah.
These are the 2nd Rakaa of Fajr, the 3rd Rakaat of Maghrib, or the 4th Rakaat in any other prayer.
The final Tashahhud is the same as the middle Tashahud with an extra part of making Ibrahimi Salawat on Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and then making duaa if you wish.
(i.e. In the third and the fourth Rakaat, we recite Surah Al-Fatiha only during Qiyam)
How To Pray Salah For Females?
Praying Salah for females is not by any means different from that of males in terms actions, duaa, Quran recitation… etc. However, a female should be more covered and should pray behind males in Jama’ah (congregational) prayer.
A female cannot be an Imam of a male, yet she can be an Imam of a group of females in the absence of a male Imam.
How To Pray Salah Sitting On A Chair/On The Floor?
Standing up while praying is a fundamental act during Fard prayer as long as a Muslim has the ability to stand up. However, if a Muslim doesn’t have the ability to stand or standing causes him harm due to severe illness, he has an excuse to sit either on a chair, on the floor, or on any other furniture.
It is worth mentioning that if a Muslim cannot sit either, he can pray while lying down. It is permissible for ill people to pray while sitting or lying but it is not permissible by any means to stop praying.
How To Pray Salah When Traveling?
Travelling can cause one or more prayer times to pass on the road. A Muslim should perform his prayers no matter what happens. That’s why Allah has put a set of simple legislations in the Islamic shariah to make prayer easier during your travels.
First: Make sure you pray the most recent Salah before coming on board if that is applicable.
Second: If one prayer time shall pass during your travel time, you have permission to pray two prayers together. You can pray the Dhuhr and Asr prayers together or the Maghrib and Ishaa together either in advance (in the time of the first prayer) or afterward (in the time of the second prayer).
Third: If traveling time is much longer and both the two prayers (Dhuhr and Asr) or (Maghrib and Ishaa) shall pass, you can pray while on board in the most suitable condition you can. You don’t have to head for Qibla or stand up if that’s not possible.
Fourth: During traveling, Allah (SWT) has given you permission to shorten any prayer with 4 Rakaas into only 2 Rakkas for easiness.
How To Pray Salah Janazah?
Unlike daily prayers, the Janazah prayer is performed while standing without Rukou or Sujood. It has four Takbeerat. At the first Takbeerah, we recite Surah Al-Fatihah and some Quranic verses. In the second Takbeerah, we make Salawat on Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). In the third Takbeerah, we perform duaa for the dead Muslim. Finally, in the fourth Takbeerah, we perform duaa for all Muslims then we make Tasleem on one side.
How To Pray Salah Khusoof/Kusoof?
Salah Khusoof or Kusoof is a prayer performed on solar or lunar eclipse. It differs from everyday prayers as it consists of two Rakaats. Each Rakaat consists of two Qiyam, two Rukou, and two Sujoods. In the following, we will list its steps:
2- Qiyam with Quran recitation
3- First Rukou
4- Second Qiyam with Quran recitation.
5- Second Rukou and Qiyam from Rukou
6- Two sujoods
7- Qiyam for the second Rakaat and repeat till Tashahhud.
How To Pray Salah Istikharah?
Istikharah prayer is a two rakaats prayer other than fard prayers. Its rakaats are prayed just as daily prayers then saying the Istikhara duaa.
“….O Allah, if You know that this affair is good for me in my deen, my livelihood and the end of my affair and its conclusion, then decree it for me. And if You know that this affair is bad for me then avert it from me and avert me from it. Decree for me the good wherever it is and then make me content.” (Al-Adab Al-Mufrad 703)
How To Get Motivated To Pray Salah?
You would certainly get motivated to pray Salah when you know that the best deed in Islam is to deliver prayer on time. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said: “One of the best deeds is to offer Salat (prayer) in its early time.” (At-Tirmidhi)
Prayer is also a means of Allah’s love for his servant. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said that Allah (SWT) says “And the most beloved thing with which My slave comes nearer to Me is what I have enjoined upon him; and My slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performing Nawafil (prayer or doing extra deeds besides what is obligatory) till I love him..” (Al- Bukhari)
When you consistently perform prayer, you become away of bad deeds and wrongdoing. Allah (SWT) says in the Quran: “establish the prayer; indeed the prayer forbids obscenity and what is deplorable.” (Quran 29:45)
Conclusion | How To Do Salah Prayer?
Praying Salah is the second pillar of Islam and is the most important deed after shahadah. Allah (SWT) has specified a great status for Salah where it was obligated for Muslims during Israa’ and Mi’raj’s journey above the seven heavens.
Salah is very beautiful as it is a permanent connection between you and Allah as long as you perform it on time. It is also easy to perform if you learn how to perform it by heart.
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