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The Salaah should be punctually observed within the time limit prescribed by Al-Quran and practiced by the Prophet Muhammad (s.'a.s.). Allah says:
"Verily, Salaah is enjoined on the believer at stated times." (Al- Quran, 4:103)
Thus, one may ascertain the time of a Salaah either through al-Adhaan of a reputable Maudhdhin, by using a valid prayer timetable, or by any means through which the time may be correctly ascertained.
One has to clean oneself and one's garments and place of Salaah of minor and major impurities. The body may be purified by: Istinjaa, Wuduu, or Tayammum for minor impurities. For major impurities, Ghusl should be performed, the details of which have been mentioned previously. The Prophet (s.'a.s.) said:
"Allah will not accept prayer without cleanliness, nor will he accept charity from the stolen booty (before it is divided)." (Muslim)
The body should be purified when it comes in contact with what is, Islaamicly speaking, a defiling agent, such as urine, stool, semen, the menses and childbirth blood; all these should be cleaned by washing the soiled spot. The Prophet has been reported as saying:
"Refrain (0 people) from urine because the majority of the grave punishment is from it." (Dar Qutnee)
As for the garment, when it is defiled with the above mentioned agents, it should be washed with water. Whereas, when the place of Salaah is defiled it should be purified by pouring water onto the spot. In Hadeeth, once a person came to the Masjid of the Prophet (s.'a.s.) and urinated in it; the people wanted to pounce on him, but the Prophet told them:
"Leave him and pour on his urine a bucketful of water." (Al-Bukhaaree)
The worshiper should be covered before performing Salaah. Males should cover what is between the navel and the knees; for the females, all the body should be covered, except the face and the hands. Allahu ta'aala says:
"...That they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof..." (Al-Quran, 24:31)
The Ulamaa has agreed that it is mandatory for the worshiper to face, during Salaah, Al-Masjidul Haraam, The Sacred Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The masjid embodies Al-Ka'abah which is Al-Qiblah, the direction we face when we pray. The Ulamaa's agreement is in accordance with this verse in Al-Quran:
"Turn then thy face in the direction of the sacred Mosque." (Al- Quran, 2:144)
Al-Barraa (r.'a.) has been reported as saying: We (the companions) prayed with the Prophet (s.'a.s.) sixteen or seventeen months toward Baital Muqaddas, Jerusalem, then we were turned toward Al-Ka'abah in Mecca.
Thus, anyone who is in Al-Masjidul Haraam and can sight Al- Ka'abah, should directly face it. But, for anyone who is not in the vicinity of Al-Ka'abah, as is the case with most Muslims all over the world, the requirement is to face the direction of Al-Qiblah.
There are several ways to ascertain Al-Qiblah. Among them, Al- Mihraab, or Al-Mahaarib, the niches that are built into the majid, and Al-Qiblah compasses circulated among the Muslims. However, one should be sure that these compasses are reliable and correctly show Al-Qiblah.
Facing Al-Qiblah is fareedah of Salaah, the exception being: