‘When ye have performed the act of worship, remember Allah, standing, sitting
‘Worship at fixed hours hath been enjoined on the believers’
(Surah 4, 103)
The night of Miraaj - it
was that illuminated night our beloved Prophet (saw) ascended to the heavens. The heights reached by Prophet Muhammad (saw)
physically and spiritually, are where no Prophet had ever been. This journey so unique and exalted that it confirmed that
Prophet Muhammad (saw) was the Leader of the Anbiya-Prophets (as) and was the nearest to Allah (swt).
On that night the Ummah - nation of the Prophet (saw) was given
a beautiful gift, a blessing which was the mercy of Allah (swt). This gift was the Salaat - prayer, this was the way
of worship and the path to Paradise for those who believe in Allah (swt). Authentic hadith mentions how fifty Salats were
first placed on the Ummah, which Prophet Musa (as) told the beloved Prophet (saw) as being too much for people to follow.
The beloved Prophet (saw) kept returning to Allah (swt) to request a lower number of obligatory - farz salaat (prayer).
Eventually five Salaat became the compulsory duty enjoined upon the Ummah of the Prophet (saw). The Mercy of the Most Merciful
is such that even the five Salaat that are compulsory upon us will still equal fifty salaat in reward. Each salaat we read
will have ten times the reward. .Al Hamda Lillah – Praise be to Allah.
The Prophet (saw) has confirmed the importance of Salaat as being the first
to be judged, and on their basis, the other deeds will be weighed. The blessed Prophet (saw) has made the promise that;
‘The one who would take utmost care of his five
daily salaat, in respect of wudu (ablution), prescribed time, Ruku (bowing) , Sajdah (prostrating) taking is as Allah’s
right upon him, he would be forbidden upon hell’. (Musnad Ahmad)
The prayer we perform must be guarded and respected as this is the very
base of Islam. How often do we remember this when we consider salaat simply to be a chore. We reluctantly get up, perform
ablution (wudu) which is compulsory and then perform prayer. Unfortunately many of us today have even intentionally reduced
the importance of praying by claiming that doing good deeds is most important and even if prayer is missed, we will be forgiven.
The forgiveness and mercy of Allah (swt) is what we are all hoping for but we cannot try to change what has been ordained
Abdullah bin Umar (ra) narrates the Prophet (saw) say ‘Between
a man and polytheism as well as atheism, is skipping a prayer’. (Muslim)
The above authentic hadith has been explained in great detail as proving
the significance of prayer and how even the abandonment can lead us to non-belief, some scholars have included the interpretation
of this hadith as being a warning that if believers become heedless of their obligatory prayer, they will lose the fear of
committing sins and therefore drift further away from Islam. The great Ulama - scholars provide the example that if
anyone was to be exempt of even missing one prayer due to his piety and good deeds then surely it would have been the most
blessed of all, Prophet Muhammad (saw). However as we know he was the most humble and punctual in his Salaat. One hadith narrated
by his wife Hasrat Aisha (ra) speaks of the Prophet (saw) enjoying homely life just like others but when the time for salaat
came, he would walk to perform his prayer as though he didn’t even know anyone sitting around him.
‘Pray as you have seen me praying’. (Bukhari)
Hasrat Aisha (ra) knew that the Prophet (saw) was free from
all fault and had the keys to Jannah - paradise even during his worldly life, therefore ha was asked why he prayed
so diligently, the answer from the most obedient and righteous slave of Allah (swt) ‘Should I not be a thankful slave’. (Bukhari)
The beloved Prophet (saw) was reported to have prayed so much that
his blessed feet and legs would become swollen and there are authentic hadith (Muslim) which say that the Prophet (saw) has
recited Surah Al- Baqarah (286 verses), Surah
Ali-Imran (200 verses) and Surah An-Nisaa (176 verses) all in one rak’ah. (A
rak’ah is one unit of prayer that denotes the cycle of standing along with the recitation of Surah Al Faatiha, bowing
and two prostrations). Literal meaning taken from ‘Mufradaat Alfaadh il-Qur’an & Qamoos al-Muheet.
There are other reported hadith, which explain that the Prophet (saw) would
complete one fifth of the whole Qur’an inside four rakaats (pl. rak’ah). The recitation of the Qur’anic
verses by the beloved Prophet (saw) would be with tajweed - slow and correct intonation and including glorification
of Allah (swt) with dua - supplication. This is the example of the passion and dedication our blessed Prophet (saw)
had for his salaat and it needs to be inspiration for us, even though we can never come close to reaching those heights
of humility and khushoo.
‘Successful indeed are the believers
Who are humble in their prayers’. (Surah 23, 1 & 2)
The expression of ‘Khushoo’ is attached to the feeling
of dedication, humility and awe that should exist in our hearts when carrying out Ibaadat - worship. Scholars have
discussed the reason why the khushoo in our salaat and other forms of worship is absent today. The answer is that we
have abandoned the way of the Prophet’s (saw) Sunnah. This hadith from the Prophet (saw) ‘Pray as you have
seen me praying’, has been interpreted as having
a much wider meaning and significance than just performing Salaat.
The rightly guided companions of the Prophet (saw) did adopt the sunnah
completely in all aspects and details of the Prophet’s (saw) life and prayer. Reported hadith mention the dedication
the companions had for their salaat and how they obtained pleasure and solace when performing their prayers. Hasrat
Ali (Ra) is quoted in a reported hadith as saying ‘When I wish for Allah (swt) to speak to me, I recite the Qur’an
and when I wish to speak to Allah (swt), I pray salaat’. In other reported hadith, companions such as Hasrat Abu
Talha (ra) was praying in his beloved garden and became distracted for a split-second by a bird. When Abu Talha (ra) completed
his salaat, he was so distraught at becoming distracted from his salaat that he donated his garden to the way of Allah (swt).
In another reported hadith, one of the Ansaar (Muslims in Medina who assisted the Prophet (saw) in time of need) forgot
the number of rakaat he had prayed because his eye caught the beautiful garden in which he was praying. This was so
upsetting that the ansaar gave up his prized garden as he did not wish to possess anything that took his mind away from his
The posture of the true Muslimeen - believers was so still while
they prayed salaat that one narration describes Hasrat Abu Bakr Saddique (Ra) and Hasrat Abdullah bin Zubair (Ra) as motionless
like pieces of wood stuck in the ground as they stood in their Salaat.
The Ascent of believers
A scholar once explained that when the believers pray, they ascend to the
heavens through their submission of heart, tongue and action. The Salaat is our own Miraaj gifted to our Prophet Muhammad
(saw) on his unique Miraaj to the heavens. There are so many authentic hadith on the blessings of Salaat, which mention
how on the Day of Judgement, people will come with their faces, arms and feet shining and this glow will mean that they are
performers of Salaat. How beautiful this must be for the proud believers, who will be honoured on the day when all accounts
will be opened and nothing will be concealed. This day our own body and limbs will testify to what we did. We all need the
closeness with our Protector and Provider Allah (swt), it is only He who can forgive us and grant us the gardens of Paradise.
How do we achieve that feeling of knowing our Rabb – Lord? The answer can be found in the sincerity of praying
The meaning of prayer is to give five moments in the day completely
to Allah (swt). Allah (swt) has gifted us all the comforts and pleasures of life and has blessed us with our senses, ability
to move, think, talk and act. The movement of even our little finger is the will of Allah (swt) and the mercy of His decree.
Allah (swt) has given us all the gifts and blessings so how do we appreciate and give thanks, it is simply by praying and
submitting to what has been ordained on us. The closest we can ever be to Rabb-ul-Alamin – Lord of the Worlds
is when we are in the state of Sajda / Sujood / Prostration. When we prostrate, we are in complete submission,
as humble as man can be with our head down onto the ground in fear and in hope. (Sujood means humility
in Arabic and the specific prostration made to Allah (swt) is with the two hands, two knees, toes, forehead and nose touching
the ground). We are the best of all that was created but
we walk arrogantly in the land saying I can do this, I have this and I am this, but in reality we are
nothing. When we prostrate in front of Allah (swt), this teaches us to be humble, to lower ourselves and be in remembrance
of Allah (swt). There are many benefits of salaat but this benefit of lowering ourselves to the ground is often overlooked.
Salaat is in fact the symbol of submission.
There is also a discipline that needs to be observed when praying to Allah
(swt). We have to perform salaat within the limits of the Qur’an and Sunnah and this includes the correct actions, called
the arkaan. The arkaan in salaat are the motions of standing, bowing, kneeling and prostrating. We also need
to adhere to the correct times when praying each and every salaat as going against the teachings of Qur’an and Sunnah
by crossing the boundaries, is punishable. Prayer being performed at the wrong time is invalid and a sin.
Performing Salaat with Understanding
Before we perform our salaat, we need to be purified by doing the ablution - Wudu. This is the cleansing of our
limbs in order to become pure and clean before we go into the presence of our Maker and Fashioner. While doing the wudu,
care has to be taken of the Prophet’s (saw) sunnah of not wasting water as this is undesirable to Allah (swt).
Narrated by Hasrat Abu Malik Ash’ari (ra);
The Prophet (saw) said ’The Cleanliness is the part of Imaan (faith), Praise of Allah fills the scale
of deeds (with reward), Glory of Allah & the Praise of Allah fill the space between the heavens and the earth, Salat is
a light, alm is an evidence, patience is light and the Holy Qur’an is an evidence for or against you. (Muslim)
The commentary by Imam Nawawi on this hadith explained the ablution is regarded as half of the Faith because Faith removes
the uncleanliness of the paganism and polytheism from the heart and the ablution removes the dirtiness of the parts of the
body. Salaat is a light because salaat prohibits from sins and immodesty, as the light removes the darkness, the face of the
worshipper will be bright in the Hereafter due to salaat, it will be fresh and mellow in this world as well. Salaat is also
a light in the darkness of the grave.
Alm is a proof, because the wealth is worthwhile to a man and when he spends it out in the path of Allah, it is a proof
that he is true in Imaan and therefore reliable. Patience has been regarded as light as a perseverant one who obeys the command
of Allah and avoids committing sins, bears the adversities and difficulties for the sake of Allah, has some light of guidance
in his heart.
Have we ever truly understood and reflected over what our Salaat means?
Step by Step Guide in English
Perform Wudu - ablution
Prepare for Salaat facing the Qiblah - (direction
Salaat begins with the Intention and then you raise your hands to the lobe of your ears
(Palms must be facing the Qiblah and fingers spread out)
SALAAT BEGINS WITH; TAKBEER
Allah is the Greatest
Place your right palm over the back of your left hand, recite the THANA
SUBHANAKA ALLAHUMMA WA BIHAMDIKA WA TABARAKASMUKA WA TA’ALA JADDUKA WA LA ILAHA GHAIRUK
O Allah, Glory and Praise are for you, Blessed is your name, Exalted is your Majesty, there is no God but
AOUDHU BILLAHI MINASHAITANIR RAJEEM
I seek refuge with Allah from the rejected Satan
BISM-ILLAH HIR RAHMAN IR RAHIM
Begin with the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, Most Merciful
Recite ‘SURAH AL-FAATIHAH’ which is compulsory in prayer;
BISM-ILLAH HIR RAHMAN IR RAHIM
Begin with the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, Most Merciful
AL HAMDU LILLAHE RABBIL AALAMEEN
All Praise is for Allah, the Lord of the Universe
AR-RAHMAN IR RAHEEM, MALIKE YAWMIDEEN
The Most Kind and Merciful, Master of the Day of Judgement
IYYAAKA NAABUDO WA IYYAAKA NASTAEEN
You alone we worship and from you alone we seek help
EHDENAS SIRAATAL MUSTAQEEM
Show us the straight path
SIRAATAL LAZEENA ANAAMTA ALAYHIM
The path of those whom You favoured
GHAIRIL MAGHDHOOBE ALAYHIM
Not of those who invoked your anger
WA LADH-DHWAALLEEN AMEEN
And those who went astray. Ameen
This Surah should then be followed by another Surah from the Qur’an, preferable two Surahs in the same
order that they appear in the Glorious Qur’an.
Bow into RUKU
Recite the following Tasbeeh;
SUBNANA RABBIYAL AZEEM
Glorified is my Lord, the Most Great
3 Times )
As you rise again to the standing position - QIYAAM
SAMI ALLAHU LIMAN HAMIDAH
Allah hears the one who praises Him
As you are standing up straight, - Recite;
ALLAHUMMA RABBANA WA LAKAL HAMD
O Allah, Our Lord, You are Praised
Leaving your hands by their sides, repeat TAKBEER
Go down into SUJOOD - Prostration
(First allow your knees to touch the ground followed by your hands, nose and finally the forehead. The palms
should be positioned flat on the ground with forearms raised. Make sure your hands, head and toes are facing Qiblah)
Recite the following Tasbeeh;
SUBHANA RABBIYAL A’ALA
Glory to my Lord, the Most High
3 Times )
Come up from prostration, resting on your knees say the TAKBEER
Go down in Prostration reciting the above Tasbeeh then come back up saying the TAKBEER.
ONE RAKA’AH IS NOW COMPLETE
To complete the second racial, you must stand up from prostration and begin by reciting Surah Al-Faatihah and then
continue as above.
When reaching your Sujood, after the second prostration, remain seated and recite the TASHAHHUD;
AT-TAHIYYATU LILLAHI WASSALWAATU WAT-TAYYIBATU
All prayer is for Allah, and all worship and goodness
AS-SALAMU ALAIKA AYYUHAN NABIYYU WA RAHMATULLAHI WA BARAAKAATUUH
Peace be on you Oh Prophet, and the mercy of Allah and His blessings
ASSALAMU ALAINA WA ALA IBADILLAHIS SALIHEEN
Peace be on us and on the righteous servants of Allah
Recite the SHAHAADAT (When reciting La-ilaha illala -RAISE INDEX FINGER once)
ASH-HADU AN LA ILAHA ILLALAHU
I bear witness that there is no God but Allah
WA ASH-HADU ANNA MUHAMMADAN ABDUHU WA RASOOLUH
And bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger
If this is a three or four raka’ah salaat, then you should recite no more than the second kalimah but then stand
and complete the remaining raka’ahs beginning with Surah Faatihah.
If this is the Final Raka’ah of your prayer, continue by reciting DUROOD-E-IBRAHIM - The Salutation of
Ibrahim on the Prophet (saw)
ALLAHUMMA SALLI ALA MUHAMMADIN WA ALA AALI MUHAAMADIN
O Allah, Send your salutations on Muhammad and on the family of Muhammad
KAAMA SALLAITA ALA IBRAHIMA WA ALA AALI IBRAHIMA INNAKA HAMEEDUN MAJEED
As you send salutations on Ibrahim and on the family of Ibrahim. Truly You are Praiseworthy and Glorious.
ALLAHUMMA BAARIK ALA MUHAMMADIN WA ALA AALI MUHAAMADIN
O Allah, Send blessings on Muhammad and the family of Muhammad
KAAMA BARAKTA ALA IBRHIMA WA AALA AALI IBRAHIMA INNAKA HAMEEDUN MAJEED.
As you send blessings on Ibrahim and on the family of Ibrahim. Truly You are the Praiseworthy and Glorious.
The Prayer is now concluded by reciting a prayer - dua from the Qur’an or authentic Ahadith.
The following dua is often used to conclude the Salaat;
RABBI JALNI MUQI MASAALATA WA MIN DHUIRIYATI RABBANA WA TAQABUL DUA
O Lord, Make me and my children steadfast in Salah, Our Lord accept the prayer
RABBANAGH FARLI WALIWALIDAIYA WA LIL MUMINNENA YAWMA YAQUMAL HISAAB
Our Lord, forgive me and my parents and the believers on the Day of Judgement.
The Salaam now will end the Salaat;
ASSALAMU ALAIKUM WA RAHMATULLAH
Peace and the Mercy of Allah be on you
Recite this salaam as you turn your head to the right,
And then turn your head to the left.
This description of performing Salaat is a very basic and general guide. Please consult an Imam or knowledgeable Maulana
should you have any doubts regarding your own Salaat.