III. The Prayer

Section 1: Times of Prayer

The preferred (ikhtiyari) time for Dhuhr is from the time the sun begins to decline until the shadow of an object is equal to its length.

The preferred (ikhtiyari) time for 'Asr is from the end of the time of Dhuhr to the yellowing of the sun,

The time (daruri) in which the must be done of Dhuhr and 'Asr extends until sunset.

The preferred (ikhtiyari) time for Maghrib is the length of time it takes to pray it after its preconditions have been met.

The preferred (ikhtiyari) time for 'Isha' is from the disappearance of twilight to the end of the first third of the night. Its daruri time lasts until dawn.

The preferred (ikhtiyari) time for Subh is from dawn until the first brightening, and its daruri time is until sunrise.

Performing a prayer outside these times is considered to be making it up.

Whoever delays the prayer until its time has gone has committed a grave wrong action unless it was due to forgetfuless or because he was asleep.

There are times when no nafila prayers are performed:

1. After the Subh prayer until the sun is high

2. After the ]Asr prayer until the Maghrib prayer

3. After the rising of dawn except for the witr if someone has slept without praying it

4. When the Imam of the Jumu'a sits on the minbar

5. After Jumu'a until he leaves the mosque.

Section 2: The Preconditions of the Prayer

1. Purity from ritual impurity

2. Purity from impurities on the body, clothes and place

3. Covering the private parts

4. Facing qibla

5. Not talking

6. Avoidance of extra movements

The nakedness of a man is considered to be what between the navel and knees. All of a woman is considered to be a private part except the face and palms.

It is disliked to pray in drawers unless there is something over them.

If someone has an impure garment and cannot find another and cannot find water with which wash it with or does not have anything to wear when he washes it and fears to miss the time, he prays with the impurity.

It is not permitted to delay the prayer for want of purity. Whoever does that disobeys his Lord. If someone does not find anything to cover his nakedness, he prays naked.

If someone makes a mistake about the direction of the qibla, he repeats the prayer within the time. Every repetition within the time is meritorious. All the prayers can be repeated in the time, but so he does not repeat them missed prayers and the nafila.

The Obligatory Elements of the Prayer

1. The intention for the specific prayer

2. The takbir al-ihram

3. Standing for it

4. The Fatiha

5. Standing during it

6. Ruku' (bowing)

7. Rising from it

8. Prostration on the brow

9. Rising from it

10. Correct proportion between the elements

11. Stillness in the positions

12. The correct order between the obligatory elements

13. The salam

14. The final sitting which accompanies it

The precondition of the intention

   1. That it accompanies the takbir al-Ihram.

The sunnas of the prayer

1. Standing

2. The sura after the Fatiha

3. Standing during it

4. Reciting silently in what is silent

5. Reciting outloud in what is outloud

6. Saying "Sami'allahu liman hamidah"

7. Every takbir is sunna except the first

8-9. The two shahadas

10. Putting the Fatiha before the sura

11. The second taslim and (a third for the Imam)

12. Saying the obligatory taslim aloud

13. The prayer on the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace,

14. Prostration on the nose, the palms, knees and ends of the toes

15. The sutra for other than the one following a Imam (its minimum is the thickness of a spear and the length of a forearm, pure and firm and not distracting. (The sutra is something which you put in front of you when performing the prayer)

Its meritorious parts:

1. Raising the hands in the takbir al-ihram level with the ears

2. The words of the follower and the one praying alone, "Rabbana wa' laka'l-hamd"

3. The amen after the Fatiha for the one alone and the follower, but the imam only says it in the silent recitation

4. Saying "Subhanallah" in the ruku'.

5. The du'a (supplication) in the prostation

6. Long recitation in Subh, a similar length in Dhuhr, it shorter in 'Asr and Maghrib and medium length in 'Isha'.

7. The first sura should be before the second in the Qur'an and longer than it

8. The known form of ruku', prostration and sitting

9. Saying the qunut supplication silently before ruku'

10. The du'a after the second tashahhud.

11. The second tashahhud should be longer than the first

12. The salam said to the right side

14. The finger being moved during the tashahhud

Disliked things in the prayer:

1. It is disliked to look about in the prayer

2. To close the eyes

3. Say the basmala or the seeking refuge in the fard prayer, but they are permitted in the nafila

4. To stand on one foot unless someoneis standing for a long time

5. To put the feet right together

6. To put a dirham or something else in his mouth, and all that would distract him in his pocket, sleeve or on his back

7. To think about worldly things and all that would distract him from humility in the prayer.


The prayer has an immense light which by which the hearts of those who pray shine, and is only obtained by those who fear Allah.

When you go to the prayer, you should empty your heart of this world and what is contains and occupy yourself with watchfulness of our Master for whose sake you pray. Believe that the prayer is humbleness and humility to the Allah by standing, bowing, prostating, respect and esteem for Him by the takbir, glorification and dhikr.

Guard your prayer. It is the greatest of acts of worship. Do not abandon it. Shaytan will try to play with your heart and distract you from your prayer until your heart is obliterated and so deprive you of the pleasure of the lights of the prayer.

You must continue to be humble in it. It prevents abomination and the disliked because of humility in it. Seek help with Allah, the Best of those whose help is sought.


The obligatory prayer has seven manners of performance which are ranked in four, four are obligatory and three are recommended.

The four obligatory manners are:

1. Standing without support

2. Standing with support

3. Sitting without support

4. Sitting with support.

The order in these four in obligation is such that when someone is able to pray in one manner and then prays in a lesser manner, his prayer is invalid.

The three which are recommended are for someone who is unable to do pray in one of the first four:

1. On the right side

2. On the left, side

3. On his back.

If he prays one rather than another, his prayer is not invalid.

The support which invalidates the prayer of the one who is able to dispense with it is such that he would fall if it fell. If he would not fall with it, then it is disliked.

As for the nafila, it is permitted for the one who is able to stand to pray it sitting, but he has half the reward of the one standing, and it is permitted to begin it sitting and then stand afterwards, or to begin it standing and then sit after that unless he begins with the intention of standing in it in which case he is forbidden to sit after that.

Section 4: Making up Prayers

Prayers owed must be made up, and it is not lawful to neglect them. Someone who does the prayers for five days in one day is not negligent. He makes up what he missed. If the prayer was while he was resident, he makes it up as a resident prayer. If it was a travel prayer he makes it up as a travel prayer, whether the time when, at the time he makes it up, he is resident or on a journey.

The order between two current prayers is obligatory as it is between a few missed prayers when he remembers . A little means four prayers or less.

If someone owes four or less prayers, he prays them before the present prayer even if he misses its time. He is permitted to make up prayers at any time. He does do not nafila for what is made up, or the Duha prayer, or Ramadan night prayers. He is only permitted the Shaf' and Witr, Fajr, the two' ids, the eclipse prayer and the rain prayer.

It is permitted for the one who must make up prayers to pray in a group prayer if their lines have formed.

If anyone forgets the number he must make up prays a number so that there is no doubt after it.

Section 4: On Forgetfulness

Prostration on account of forgetfulness in the prayer is sunna.

For something left out, there are two prostrations before the salam after the tashahuhd, and there is another tashahhud after it.

For something added, there are two prostrations after the salam, with a tashahhud after them and then another salam.

Whoever both adds and leaves something out prostrates before the salam.

If someone forgets the prostration before the salam until he has already said the salam, he prostates if it is soon afterwards. If it is a long time afterwards or he has left the mosque, the prostration is invalid and the prayer is also invalid it if it was on account of three or more sunnas. Otherwise it is not invalid.

If someone forgets the prostration done after the salam, he does it, even a year later.

If someone omits an obligatory part, the prostration is not adequate for its omission.

There is no prostration in account of omitting a meritorious part of the prayer.

There is no prostration before the salam except for the omission of two or more sunnas.

If it is a single sunna, there is no prostration for it except for reciting silent or outloud. If someone does the outloud prayer silently, he prostates before the salam, and if someone does the silent prayer outloud, he prostrates after the salam.

If someone speaks inadvertantly he prostrates after the salam.

If someone says the salam inadvertantly after two rak'ats, he prostrates after the salam.

If someone adds one or two rak'ats to the prayer, he prostrates after the salam. If someone doubles the number of rak'ats in the prayer, the prayer is invalid.

If someone is unsure about finishing the prayer, he does what he is unsure about.

Doubt about omission should be resolved. If someone is unsure about having done a rak'at or a prostration, he does that and prostrates after the salam.

If someone is unsure about the salam, he says the salam if it is soon afterwards and owes no prostration. If it is has been a long time, his prayer is invalid.

Someone subject to whisperings ignores the whispering and does not perform what he is unsure about, but he prostates after the salam whether he is unsure about adding or omitting.

If someone does the qunut aloud, he does not prostrate for it, but it is disliked to do it deliberately.

If someone adds a sura in the last two rak'ats, he does not prostate for it.

If someone hears Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, mentioned while he is praying and says the prayer on him, he owes nothing, whether it was inadvertant or deliberate, standing or sitting.

If someone recites two or more suras in one rak'at or goes from one sura to another or goes into ruku' before completing the sura he owes nothing for any of that.

If someone makes a gesture with his hand or head in the prayer he owes nothing.

If someone repeats the Fatiha inadvertantly, he prostrates before the salam. If he does it deliberately, it is probable that his prayer is invalid.

If someone remembers not reciting the sura after he has gone into ruku' he does not go back to it.

If someone remembers that he should be reciting silent or aloud before ruku', he repeats the recitation. If that is only in the sura, he repeats it and does not prostrate for it. If it is in the Fatiha, he repeats it and prostrates after the salam. If he misses the ruku', he prostrates for lack of being aloud before the salam, and for not being silent after the salam, whether in the Fatiha or sura alone.

If someone laughs in the prayer, his prayer is invalid, whether it is inadvertant or intentional. Only a heedless or someone playing about laughs in the prayer.

When the believer stands for the prayer, he turns with his heart from all except Allah Almighty, and leaves this world and what it contains so that he is present with his heart in the majesty of Allah Almighty and His immensity, and his heart trembles and his soul is filled with terror and awe of Allah. This is the prayer of the godfearing.

He owes nothing for smiling.

The weeping of the humble in the prayer is excused.

Whoever hears hears someone say something owes nothing.

If someone stands up after two rak'ats before sitting and remembers before his hands and knees have left the ground, he sits and does not have to prostrate. If he has left the ground, he continues and does not go back but  prostates before the salam. If he goes back after leaving the ground and after standing out of forgetfulness or intentionally, his prayer is valid and he prostrates after the salam.

Whoever blows in his prayer inadvertantly prostrates after the salam. If anyone does it deliberately, his prayer is invalid. [This is expelling breath loudly.]

If someone sneezes in the prayer, he does not say "al-hamdu lillah", nor does he reply to the one who blesses him nor bless someone who sneezes. If he praises Allah, he owes nothing.

If he yawns, he should put his hand over his mouth, and he should not spit in his garment or articulate any letters.

If someone is unsure about ritual impurity or something impure, and thinks a little in his prayer and then is sure he is pure, owes nothing.

If someone looks about inadvertantly in his prayer, he owes nothing. If he does it deliberately it is disliked. If he turns his back to qibla, he breaks the prayer.

If someone prays wearing silk or gold, or steals in the prayer or looks at something forbidden, he is a rebel but his prayer is valid.

If someone errs in reciting by a word which is not the Qur'an, he prostrates after the salam. If it is in the Qur'an, he does not prostrate for it unless he altered the phrase or ruined the meaning and then he prostrates after the salam.

Someone who dozes in the prayer does not owe a prostration. If he sleeps heavily, he repeats the prayer and wudu'.

The groan of the sick person is excused and clearing the throat is excused, but to do it for attention is disliked but the prayer is not invalidated by it.

If someone calls him and he says, "Subhanallah," that is disliked, but his prayer is valid."

If someone stops in his recitation and no one prompts him, he should leave the ayat and recite the one after it. If that is impossible for him, then he does ruku' and does not look at a copy of the Qur'an before him, unless it is in the Fatiha and then he must complete it by looking at a copy of the Qur'an or something else.

If he omits a single ayat of it, he prostrates before the salam. If it is more, his prayer is invalid.

Helping someone in recitation other than the Imam invalidates a person's prayer, and he does not help his Imam unless he is waiting for it or has altered the meaning.

If someone thinks a little about worldly matters, his reward is decreased but his prayer is not invalid.

If someone pushes away someone who walks in front of him, or prostrates on the side of his forehead, or prostrates on on a roll or two of his turban, he owes nothing.

There is nothing owed for involuntary vomiting or belching in the prayer.

The forgetfulness of the follower is borne by the Imam, unless it is the omission of an obligatory part.

When the follower forgets or dozes or is pushed so that he bows and it is not in the first, if he desires to catch the Imam before he rises from the second prostation, he bows and joins him. If he does not want to leave the ruku' and follow the Imam, he makes up the rak'at in the place after the salam of the Imam.

If he forgets a prostration or is pushed or dozes until the imam stands for the next rak'at, he prostrates, even if he wants to catch the Imam before the ruku'. Otherwise he leaves it and follows the Imam and makes up another rakat. When he makes up the rak'at, he owes no prostration unless he is unsure about bowing or prostrating.

If a snake or scorpion comes to someone and he kills it, he owes nothing, unless he takes a long time or he turns his back on qibla which ends the prayer.

If someone is unsure about whether he is in the witr or the second rak'at of the Shaf', he considers it to be the second rak'at of the shaf' and prostrates after the salam and then does the witr. If someone speaks inadvertantly between the shaf' and the witr, he owes nothing. If it is intentional, it is disliked, but he owes nothing.

When someone arrives late and catches less than one rak'at with the Imam he does not prostrate with him either before after. If he prostrates with him, his prayer is invalid. If he catches a full rak'at or more, he prostrates the first with him and delays the other until he finishes the prayer and then prostrates after the salam. If he prostrates intentionally, with the Imam, his prayer is invalid. If he prostates inadvertantly, he prostrates after the salam.

If the one who arrives late forgets after the salam of the Imam, he is like the one praying alone. When he forms the order afterwards from the aspect of his Imam and before from the aspect of himself, the one before is enough.

If someone forgets to bow and remembers while in prostration, stands up again and it is recommended to repeat some of the recitation and then bow and prostrate after the salam.

If someone forgets one prostration and remembers it after he has stood up, he goes back to sitting and prostrates. However, if he sits before the standing, he does not go back to sitting.

If someone forgets two prostrations, he goes into prostration without sitting and prostates after the salam for all of that.

If he remembers the prostration after rising from the rak'at after it, he continues in his prayer and does not return and nullifies the rak'at with the forgetfulness, and adds a rak'at in its place and prostrates before the salam. If it is one of the first two and he remembers after starting the third and after the salam, or if it is not one of the first two or part of them and he remembers before the starting the third (because the sura and the sitting are not missed).

If someone says that salam unsure whether his prayer is complete, his prayer is invalid.

Forgefulness in the prayer which is made up is like forgetfulness in the actual performance of the prayer.

Forgetfulness in the nafila

Forgetfulness in the nafila is like forgetfulness in the fard except in six matters: the Fatiha, the sura, silently and alout, adding a rak'a, and forgetting one of the pillars if it is a long time.

If someone forgets the Fatiha in the nafila and remembers after the ruku', he continues and prostrates before the salam, as opposed to the fard prayer. He nullifies a rak'at and adds another and continues, and his prostration, as we said, is not for not prostrating.

If someone forgets the sura, or recites aloud or silently in the nafila and remembers after the ruku', he continues and does not owe any prostration, which is not the case with the fard prayer.

If someone stands for a third rak'at in the nafila prayer and remembers before he bows, he goes back and prostrates after salam. If he performs the third rak'at, he continues and adds a fourth and prostrates befor the salam, as opposed to the fard. He goes back whenever he remembers and prostrates after the salam.

If someone remembers an obligatory element in the nafila – like bowing or prostration – and does not remember until he he has said the salam and it is a long time, he does not have to repeat it which is different from the fard, which he always must repeat.

If someone stops the nafila deliberately or leaves out a rak'at or prostration of it deliberately, he always repeats it.

If someone sighs in his prayer he owes nothing unless he articulates a letter.

Forgetfulness on the part of the Imam

If the Imam forgets an omission or addition, the follower says, "Subhanallah."

When the Imam rises after two rak'ats (without sitting), say, "Subhanallah." When he leave the ground, follow him When he sits in the first or the second, stand and do not sit with him. If he prostrates one and leaves the second, say, "Subhanallah" and do not stand with him unless you fear he will go into ruku', in which case you follow him and do not sit after that with him, not in the second or the fourth. When he says the salam, add another rak'at in place of the one which you nullified and then prostrate before the salam.

If you are in a group, then it is best to put one of you ahead to lead you.

When the Imam adds a third prostration, say, "Subhanallah"and do not prostrate with him.

If the Imam rises for a fifth follow him if you are certain that it is necessary or unsure, and sit if you are sure it is extra. If the first sits and the second stands, then his prayer is invalid.

When the Imam says the salam before the end of the prayer, say "Subhanallah" behind him. If he agrees with it, he completes his prayer and prostrates after the salam.

If he is unsure about his position, he askes two witneses and they are allowed to speak in that. If he is certain he has completed it, he acts according to his certainty and leaves the two witbesses unless ther are a lot of people behind him, in which case he leaves his certainty and refers to them.

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