How To Perform The Prayer In Islam
In Islam, prayer is very important. The prayers, also called Salah, is the second of the 5 Pillars of Islam. So it is important that Muslims know how to pray properly.
Inshallah (God willing), this article will help you learn how to make the prayers in Islam.
The Mandatory Parts Of Prayer
Anyone who observes the Muslim prayer knows that it involves a sequence of movements. It may look very complex, but like most things in Islam, the prayer is actually quite simple.
There are several different parts to the prayer. Some parts are mandatory in order for the prayer to be valid, and some are optional.
The optional parts of the prayer are numerous. So, let’s just cover the mandatory parts for now:
Niyaah: The Intention to Pray
In Islam, one’s actions are judged by one’s intentions. This means, that Allah will judge our actions based on the intentions behind those actions.
Therefore, it is important that we have the correct intention when we pray. We should not pray only because our parents make us. Or just to look good. Or to show off. We should pray to please Allah alone.
The word Niyaah means “intention” in Arabic. Before you start the prayer, you should make the following intention, quietly and to yourself. Not aloud.
Nawaytu an usaliyyah raka-atani salatul fajr lillahi ta-ala
I intend to pray two units of the dawn prayer for Allah the Most High
At this point you may not know what a unit or “rakat” of prayer is. That will be covered by the end of this article, Inshallah.
The number of units, or “raka-atin” will change depending on the prayer you are making.
Takbir: Opening of the Islamic Prayer
The Takbir is the first part of the prayer. The Muslim raises their hands and says:
This must be said aloud, not to oneself. However, it does not have to be said Loudly.
Allahu Akbar means “Allah is the Greatest” in Arabic.
Some say the hands are to be raised to the ears. Others say to the shoulders. At this point, I suggest you follow the direction of your family or Imam.
Qiyaam: Standing For Prayer
After the Takbir, you remain standing. You place your hands over your chest, with your right hand grasping your left forearm.
This position is called Qiyam, and means “Standing.”
While in Qiyam, it is mandatory that you recite the opening chapter of the Quran, entitled “Al Fatihah.”
After Al Fatihah, you should also recite another short chapter of the Quran.
Ruku: Bowing in Prayer
After reciting Al Fatihah and another chapter, you then change to the bowing position called “Ruku.”
In this position, you bend at the waist, resting your hands on your knees. Try to keep your back straight. Then you recite, quietly to yourself:
Subhana Rabil Azeem (Glory to my Lord the Mighty)
Subhana Rabil Azeem
Subhana Rabil Azeem
You may also ask Allah for anything you wish while in this position, but it should be done quietly.
After Ruku, you return to a standing position, while saying:
Sami Allahu liman hamidah
Rabbana wa lakal hamd
This means: “Allah has heard those who praised Him. Our Lord, The Praise is for You.”
Sajdah: Prostrating To Allah In Prayer
One of the most important parts of the prayer in Islam is the Sajdah or “Prostration.”
After Ruku, you go down into a prostrating position. Place your forehead and nose on the floor with your hands to either side. You should keep your elbows off the floor.
While in this position you recite:
Subhana Rabil Ala (Glory to my Lord the Most High)
Subhana Rabil Ala
Subhana Rabil Ala
Like in Ruku, you may also ask Allah for anything you wish as well.
However, unlike Ruku, the Sajdah is done twice. After the first one, you come up to a sitting position and recite the following dua:
Allahumagh firli war hamnee
This means: “My Lord forgive me and have mercy on me.”
And then you perform the Sajdah, once again.
Rakat: Units of Prayer in Islam
Once you have done the Sajdah twice, you have now completed a full unit, or Rakat, of prayer. Different prayers require different numbers of Rakat.
After finishing your first Rakat, you must now return to the standing position (Qiyam) and make a second rakat. The second rakat is exactly the same as the first except for what happens after Sajdah.
Tajlis: The Sitting Position in Prayer
In the second rakat, you remain sitting after the second Sajdah. This position is called “Tajlis.”
While in Tajlis, you should recite the Tashahud. If you are praying the final rakat, then you should also recite the Prayer For the Prophets after the Tashahud.
The Tajlis is performed by sitting on your knees with your buttocks resting on your left foot. You right foot should be up with the toes pointed forward.
This is the Tashahud in Arabic and its translation in English:
At-Tahiyyatu lillahi At-Tayyibatus Salawatu lillah. Assalaamu Alaika ayyuhan Nabiy. Wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakaatuhu. Assalaamu alainaa wa alaa ibaadillahis Saliheen. Ash-hadu an laa ilaaha illa Lah wahdahu laa sharikalahu wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan abduhu wa rasuluhu
Its meaning in English is:
All worship is for Allah. Allah’s peace be upon you, O Prophet, and His mercy and blessings. Peace be on us and on all righteous servants of Allah. I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger.
This is the Prayer For the Prophets:
Allahumma Sali ala muhammad wa ala aali muhammad kama salayta ala ibrahim wa ala aali ibrahim innaka hamidun majid. Allahumma baarik ala muhammad wa ala aali muhammad kama barakta ala ibrahim wa ala aali ibrahim innaka hamidun majid.
And its meaning in English:
O Allaah, send prayers upon Muhammad and the followers of Muhammad, just as You sent prayers upon Ibraheem and upon the followers of Ibraheem. Verily, You are full of praise and majesty. O Allaah, send blessings upon Muhammad and upon the family of Muhammad, just as You sent blessings upon Ibraheem and upon the family of Ibraheem. Verily, You are full of praise and majesty.’
Tasleem: Closing the Prayer
If you are praying the final rakat of the Islam prayer, you end the prayer with the “Tasleem.” Tasleem means “To Give Peace.”
The tasleem is made from the sitting position and is done after both the Tashahud and the Prayer of Ibrahim. To make the Tasleem you turn your head to your right shoulder and say:
Assalaamu Alay kum wa Rahmatullah
And then turn your head to your left shoulder and say the same thing. At this point, the prayer is done.