How to perform Salah? – How to pray in Islam?
Salah, a second basic pillar of Islam that provides us the opportunity to communicate directly with Almighty Allah, showing thankfulness in front of Him, an act of Prophets and the act of getting close to Allah Almighty. It has been made obligatory five times a day to bring positive changes in the personality of Muslims and to bring them close to their Creator. So, we should learn how to perform Salah in the best to way to get close to Allah Almighty.
Names and Rakahs of five prayers:
Here is the list of five prayers that have been made compulsory for Muslims:
Total Number of Rakahs: 4
Consisting of two Rakah Sunnah and Two Rakah Fardh.
Total number of Rakahs: 12
Six Sunnah Rakahs, Four Fardh Rakahs and two Nawafil Rakahs.
Total number of Rakahs: 8
Four Sunnah Rakahs and Four Fardh Rakahs.
Total number of Rakahs: 7
Three Rakahs Fardh, two Rakahs Sunnah and two Rakahs Nawafil.
Total number of Rakahs: 17
Six Sunnahs, Four Fardh, 3 wittr and 4 Nawafil.
Why is Salah and obligatory worship?
Almighty Allah has created men for His worship. He wishes that men should come in direct touch with Him at least five times a day. He likes people asking help from Him. He has taught Holy Prophet the words to call people towards prayer (called Azan). Holy Prophet taught these words to his Ummah. Whenever you listen the voice of Azan, stop all of your works and submit your desires to Allah. Come in direct communication with Him to ask every kind of help directly.
What is the importance of Salah in Islam?
Salah is the most important and crucial worship in Islam that is offered on daily basis and we must practice all the points of how to perform Salah. On the other hand, rest of the pillars are not repeated daily. Hajj is performed once in a life, Fasts are observed during the month of Ramadan and Zakat is given at a specific time in a year. Salah is the key pillar of Islam that keeps Muslims in touch with Almighty Allah.
Salah, a first question to be asked on the Day of Judgment:
Salah is the great blessing of Allah for Muslims as it always remained the act of Prophets. All the Prophets used to communicate with Allah through Salah. No one can deny its importance and the first question on the Day of Judgment or on the day of death will be asked about Salah. Everyone will be answerable in front of Allah for this question. If one succeeds in answering this question, other questions will become easy for him.
How to perform Salah? A step by step guide:
As Salah is the direct conversation between Allah and Muslims, one must prepare himself carefully for this sacred worship. Here is the step by step guide to the preparation and performance of Salah:
Perform ablution or Ghusl:
First and most important step in getting prepared for Namaz is to achieve the state of purity. It may be achieved by performing ablution (washing the specific parts of body) or by doing Ghusl (removing impurities from the body by taking bath). Ghusl and ablution purify oneself physically. This physical preparation is the first step in achieving spiritual purification and perfection.
Clothing for Salah:
How to perform Salah also includes the clothing as Islam has defined the dress code for Salah as has been defined for Hajj. A dress must be pure as you are going to present yourself in front the Greatest Power of this universe (Almighty Allah). The dress code is different for men and women. Men are required to cover the lower part of their body. On the other hand, when we talk about women, they are required to cover their whole body leaving hands, face and feet naked.
Find a neat and clean place:
The next step is to find the neat and clean place for Salah. It may be mat or any other cloth. All these steps of purification depict the importance of Salah in Islam. It is the worship that was made obligatory when Prophet Muhammad direct met Almighty Allah at the occasion of Miraj. You are also required to find a lone site where there should be no inconvenience for others. Salah offered in completed loneliness is more fruitful. But, Fardh Namaz must be offered in gathering behind Imam.
Face towards Kabah before starting Salah:
One is required to face towards Holy Kabah before starting Prayer as these are the instructions provided by our Prophet Muhammad for How to perform Salah. There is only a single Kabah and all the Muslims face towards it to show the monotheistic religion. It represents there is only one Allah and all the Muslims worship Him. It is also the symbol of unity for Muslims.
Start prayer with pure intentions:
The second step after facing towards Kabah is to assume intentions. If you are going to offer Fajr prayer, you will assume intention of offering Fajr Namaz. A Muslim offers prayer intending to achieve the happiness of Allah. Start by uttering the words of greatness for the Great Creator.
One must focus towards his prayer and should pay 100% attention only to his prayer to attain its purposes. When Salah is not performed with full concentration of what you are saying, you cannot get its full blessings.
Takbir e Tehrima and Qayyam:
Start the prayer by picking your hands up to the earlobes saying Allahu Akbar and bringing your hands to the naval part and meet them in the way that one hand comes over the other. Right hands should be kept on the left hand. It is for men. It is called Takbir e Tehrima.
For women, they are required to pick the hands up to their shoulders and hold them on their chest. This is the condition which is different for men and women.
Standing straight with hands on naval part of body and for women on the chest, men and women are required to recite Sana (praise of Allah Almighty), then recite Surah Fatiha and any other Surah at the end (you may also recite three verses from any big Surah). This whole process is called Qayyam.
Ruku (Bowing or bending):
The next rite of offering Salah is to bend and put your hands on your knees explaining the greatness of Allah is called Ruku or bowing. “Subhana Rabbi Al Azeem” are the words that are uttered thrice in the state of Ruku. These words are used to explain the greatness and power of Allah. Then Muslims say Allahu Akbar and stand up straight saying “Rabbana Lakal Hamd”. These are the words to explain that all the praises belong to Almighty Allah.
The next rite is to go down towards earth and touch your nose and forehead with the earth (ground) representing humility in front of Allah. It is the state when a person becomes fully close to Allah. He supposes to present his head in the feet of Allah to get His blessings. It is called Sajda and “Subhana Rabbi al Aala” are the words that are uttered in this state. It explains the glory of Allah Almighty who holds all powers.
There are two Sajdahs in each Rakat with gap between the one and the second. When you perform one Sajdah, you say Allahu Akbar and sit in the state that you keep your hands on your knees. Then you say Allahu Akbar to perform another Sajdah. After performing the second Sajdah in the same as first one was performed, you again stand in the state of Qayyam and repeat the same process as was discussed earlier.
Second unit or second Rakah:
Second unit (Rakah) is performed in the same as first one was performed. Recite Surah Fatiha in the state of Qayyam and any surah after that. Perform Ruku and Two Sajdahs and then sit after performing two Sajdahs.
After performing two rites, sit in the state of Tashahhud in which you keep both of your hands on the knees. Recite “Al Tahiyyaat” a way of submission in front of Allah.
Two Rakah prayer or Four Rakah prayer:
If you are offering two Rakah prayer like Fajr prayer, you will recite Darood e Ibrahimi after Attahiyyat and also will some supplications to Allah Almighty at the end. After supplicating you will end your prayer and make Dua to Allah for its acceptance and for the health (welfare) of your parents.
On the other hand, if you are going to offer four Rakahs prayer like Isha prayer, you will have to stand up after reciting Attahiyyat. You will repeat the two rakahs in the same as you offered the first two. After completing four Rakahs, you will sit in the state of Tashahhud and will recite Darood e Ibrahimi followed by some supplications. When you have completed the supplications, end the four Rakahs by saying Assalam o Alaikum and turning your neck to the right side. Turn your neck on the left side and say Assalam o Alaikum again. It will be the end of your four Rakahs prayer.
Supplications or Dua after offering prayer:
After you have completed your prayers, you are required to make some personal supplications as it is the basic part of offering prayer. Without these supplications Allah becomes angry. So, one must ask for forgiveness from Allah Almighty and for increase in the provision.
Make Dua for your parents who became the cause of your creation in this universe and served you in the childhood. These blessings makes us to learn how to perform salah in best way to get close to Allah Almighty.