The Prescribed Prayer: Chapter Two (cont.)

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Salaah has basic elements, of which its essence is composed, and if any of these elements is missed or neglected, the prayer is void and in- valid, according to the Sharee'ah. These elements include:

  2. Niyyah is an intent one evokes in his heart to do an act of worship for the sake of Allah. Thus, because its seat is the heart, it does not have to be pronounced verbally. That is why no wording for Niyyah is reported from the Prophet (s.'a.s.), nor from any of his companions.

    Allahu ta'aala says in regards to Niyyah:

    "And they have been commanded no more than this: To worship Allah offering Him sincere devotion." (Al-Quran, 98:5)

    In Hadeeth the Prophet said:

    "The reward of deeds depends on the intention and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended. SO whoever emigrated for wordly benefits or for a woman to marry, his emigration was for what he emigrated for." (Al-Bukhaaree)


  4. This is the first Allahu Akbar, which begins the consecrated state of Salaah. As one says it, one is forbidden to talk or do anything that has nothing to do with Salaah. In Hadeeth, the Prophet said:

    "The key to the prayer is cleanliness and its consecrated state is Takbeer and its conclusion is Taslim." (Tirmidhee)


  6. This is the upright standing position for those able persons. It is Fard, mandatory, in the Fard prayer. Allahu ta'aala says:

    "Guard strictly your (habit of) prayer, especially the middle prayer; and stand before Allah in a devout (frame of mind)." (Al-Quran, 2:238)

    In Hadeeth, 'Umraan bin Husain said: I had hemorrhoids, so I asked the Prophet how I should perform my Salaah in this condition. He said:

    "Pray standing, if you can't, pray sitting; if you can't, pray on your side." (Al-Bukhaaree)

    However, for Sunnah or Nafl Salaah, an able person may pray sitting for half a reward. According to Ibn 'Umar, the Prophet (s.'a.s.) said:

    "A man's prayer standing is half of prayer." (Muslim)


  8. There are a number of Ahaadeeth (plural of Hadeeth) that stress the fact that no Salaah, Fard or Sunnah is valid without the recitation of Al-Faathihah. 'Ubaadah bin Saamit (r.'a.) reported that the Prophet (s.'a.s.) said:

    "Whoever does not recite Al-Faatihah in his prayer, his prayer is invalid." (Al-Bukhaaree)

    However, if the Imaam is leading and reciting in a loud prayer and the Ma amuum, follower, could hear him, the Ma amuum should not recite but listen to the Imaam. If the Imaam is leading and reciting in a silent prayer, the Ma amuum should recite al-Faatihah silently. Allahu ta'aala says:

    "When the Quran is recited listen to it with attention." (Al-Quran, 7:204)

    If one can't recite Al-Faatihah because one can't perfect it due to certain reasons, but knows other verses, one would then recite about seven verses instead. However, if one could not learn Al-Faatihah quickly enough to pray - like the very newcomers to Al-Islaam - one may recite, according to the Hadeeth by Rifaa'ah bin Raafi'e (r.'a.):
    Subhaanallah Glory be to Allah
    Wal hamdulillah And praise be to Allah
    Wa laa ilaaha illallaah And there is no deity but
    Wallaahu Akbar. Allah, Allah is Greatest.


  10. Ar-Rukuu'u is to bow down, with the hands reaching the knees. In Suuratul Hajj, Allahu ta'aala says:

    "0 ye who believe bow down, prostrate yourselves, and adore your Lord and do good; that ye may prosper." (Al-Quran, 22:77)

    Tuma'aneenah, that is, to have a perfect tranquility by letting the body rest in the Rukuu'u position before resuming the standing position, is necessary. In Hadeeth the Prophet said:

    "Then bow down until you are still at bowing position." (Al-Bukhaaree)

  11. AR-RAF'U

  12. Ar-Raf'u is to resume the upright posture after the Rukuu'u. Tuma aneemah is also necessary here. Abu Humaid, in describing the Prophet's prayer, said:

    "When he (the Prophet) rose (from Rukuu'u) he stood up straight till all the vertebrae of his spine column came to a natural position." (Al-Bukhaaree)


  14. As-Sujuud is to prostrate down until every part of the body is still. Again, Tuma aneenah is necessary here. There are two Sajaadaats, two prostrations in every Raka'ah; they are separated by a pause.


  16. Juluusul Akheer is the last sitting position in which the Tashahhud is recited. In the Hadeeth by Abu Hurairah, the Prophet told the man who performed his prayer badly:

    "..... When you raise your head from the last Sajdah and you sit for the equivalent of Tashahhud recitation, your prayer is complete." (Muslim)


  18. As-Salaam is to announce the end of Salaah by saying "As-Salaamu 'Alaikum warahmatullaah," turning the face to the right shoulder, and "As-Salaamu 'Alaikum warahmatullaah," turning the face to the left shoulder. In Hadeeth by Ah (r.'a.), the Prophet said:

    "The key to the prayer is cleanliness and its consecrated state is Takbeer, and its conclusion is Tasleem." (Tirmidhee)

    Indeed, the above mentioned are Faraaid, that is imperative duties, that must be observed for Salaah to be valid and acceptable.


The limbs of Sujuud are seven: the face, the palms of the hands, the knees, and the feet. Ibn Abbaas (r.'a.) reported that the Prophet has been commanded to prostrate on seven limbs, and he mentioned the above.

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