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Part of a series on the Islamic creed:
Aqidah


Mosque02
Five Pillars

Shahādah - Profession of faith
Ṣalāt - Prayers
Ṣawm - Fasting during Ramadan
Zakāh - Paying of alms (giving to the poor)
Hajj - Pilgrimage to Mecca

Six articles of belief (Sunni)

Tawhīd - Oneness
Prophets and Messengers in Islam
Islamic holy books
Angels
The Last Judgment
Predestination

Principles of the Religion (Twelver)

Tawhīd - Oneness
‘Adalah - Justice
Nubuwwah - Prophethood
Imāmah - Leadership
Qiyamah - Day of Judgement

Practices of the Religion (Twelver)

Ṣalāt - Prayers
Ṣawm - Fasting during Ramadan
Hajj - Pilgrimage to Mecca
Zakāh - Tithes
Khums - One-fifth tax
Jihad - Struggle
Commanding what is just
Forbidding what is evil
Tawallā' - Loving the Ahl al-Bayt
Tabarrá - Disassociating Ahl al-Bayt's enemies

Seven Pillars (Ismaili)

Walāyah - Guardianship
Ṭawhid - Oneness of God
Ṣalāt - Prayers
Zakāh - Purifying religious dues
Ṣawm - Fasting during Ramadan
Hajj - Pilgrimage to Mecca
Jihad - Struggle

Others

Kharijite Sixth Pillar of Islam.

Ṣalāt (Arabic: صلاة‎; pl. ṣalawāt) is the name given to the formal prayer of Islam. The prayer is one of the obligatory rites of the religion, to be performed five times a day by an obedient Muslim. Its supreme importance for Muslims is indicated by its status as one of the Five Pillars of Sunni Islam and one of the ten Practices of the Religion of Twelver Shi'a Islam.


Prayer is performed five times a day: at dawn (fajr), noon (dhuhr), in the afternoon (asr), at sunset (maghrib) and nightfall (isha'a). It is obligatory for all Muslims once they have reached puberty.


Terminology

Because of the very definite procedures followed by Muslims during the prayer, including specified body movements, the straightforward English translation “prayer” is not usually considered adequate. The prayer has been variously called “the contact prayer”, “the obligatory prayer”, “the formal prayer”, and so on, but normal academic practice is now to refer to the prayer by its Arabic name ṣalāt.

Among Muslims various terms are used to refer to the prayer depending on the language (sometimes culture) of the speaker. In many parts of the world, including many non-Arab countries, the Arabic term ṣalāt is used. The other major term is namāz (نماز‎), used by speakers of the Indo-Iranian languages (e.g., Persian, Bengali, and Urdu), the South Slavic languages and Turkic languages. The word namāz derives from an Indo-European root meaning 'to bow or prostrate'. Other minor examples include Pashto munz.

A Muslim worshipper is a muṣallī or مصلى, and the prayer mat, a muṣalla.

Variant practices

The salat of one Muslim may differ from another's in minor details, which is worth bearing in mind when reading below about the precise actions and words involved. Differences arise because of different interpretations of the Islamic legal sources by the different madhhabs (schools of law) in Sunni Islam, and by different legal traditions within Shi'a Islam. In the case of salat these differences are generally very minor, and they are not necessarily causes of dispute. [1]

A further cause of variation is that some elements of salat are optional (such as which verse of the Qur'an to recite), or are recommended rather than obligatory.

Purpose

The chief purpose of prayer in Islam is to act as a person's communication with God. By reciting "The Opening", the first chapter of the Qur'an, as required in all prayer, the worshipper can stand before God, thank and praise Him, and to ask for guidance along the Straight Path.

In addition, the daily prayers remind Muslims to give thanks for Allah's blessings and that Islam takes precedence over all other concerns, thereby revolving their life around Allah and submitting to His will. Prayer also serves as a formal method of remembering Allah, or dhikr.

In the Qur'an, it is written that: "The true believers are those who feel fear in their hearts (of the consequences of violating the commands of God) when God is mentioned. And when His Revelations are recited to them, they find their faith strengthened. They do their best and then put their trust in their Lord." [Qur'an 8:2]

"To those whose hearts, when God is mentioned, are filled with fear, who show patient perseverance over their afflictions, keep up regular prayer, and spend (in charity) out of what We have bestowed upon them." [Qur'an 22:35]

Prayer is also cited as a means of restraining a believer from social wrongs and moral deviancy. [Qur'an 29:45]

Preparation

Cleanliness and dress

Islam advises that the salat be performed in a ritually clean environment [Qur'an 5:6] . When praying, the clothes that are worn and the place of prayer must be clean. Both men and women are required to cover their bodies (awrah) in reasonably loose-fitting garments. The well-known saying or hadith by al-Nawawi that "purity is half the faith"[2] illustrates how Islam has incorporated and modified existing rules of purity in its religious system.

Ritual ablution

Before conducting prayers, a Muslim has to perform a ritual ablution.

The minor ablution is performed using water, or sand (wudu, tayammum) when water is unavailable or not advisable to use for reasons such as sickness.

In Sunni Islam, wudu consists of washing the hands, mouth, nose, arms, face, ears, forehead, hair and feet three times each in that order. (It is not obligatory to wash the hair three times, once is sufficient, and men must also wash their beards and mustaches when washing the face). Wudu in Shia Islam is done in the following order: washing the hands, mouth, nose, face, arms, forehead, and then wiping the feet with the moisture remaining on the hands. Tayammum consists of wiping only the hands and face with sand or dust. Wudu is considered a purification for Muslims that must be done before making salat, it is only necessary to perform it again if an act breaking it has occurred. Wudu must be performed before each salat or the prayer is not accepted. One can break his/her Wudu by: using the restroom, passing gas, falling asleep, having sexual intercourse, ejected semen, touching genitalia. It is also recommended that one rinses his/her mouth out after eating anything with animal fat in it (milk, meat, cheese, etc.)before prayer.

The major ablution (ghusl) is required when a person has had sexual intercourse, ejected semen, or after menstrual bleeding is over, or is a new convert to the faith. Ghusl may also be performed voluntarily, but it must be performed before Friday prayers.

Conditions

The compulsory prayer is obligatory for those who meet these 3 conditions: [3]

  • are Muslim
  • have reached puberty
  • are of sound mind

There are 5 elements that make a prayer valid: [4]

  • Confidence of the time of prayer. Being unsure invalidates even if the time turns out correct.
  • Facing the qibla, with the chest facing the direction of the Ka'ba. The ill are allowed leniency with posture.
  • Covering the awrah
  • Clean clothes, body, place of prostration
  • Pure from hadath (wudu, tayammum, ghusl)

Articles of Prayer

Prayer in Cairo 1865

Painting of Muslims praying in Cairo,Egypt in 1865.

There are 13 articles:[5]

[1] Reciting intention for prayer

E.g.: I intend to offer 2 raka'ah obligatory prayer of Fajr for Allah Almighty ,add "Behind the Imam" if praying in a Mosque.
It is done simultaneously with [2] Takbeeratul-Ihram (below).

[2] Takbeeratul-Ihram

Saying الله أَكْبَر (God is The Greatest).

[3] Standing right

For the able-bodied, leaning or not standing upright invalidates prayer. If one is incapable of standing, one may sit, lay on the right side, lay on the left side, lay on one's back or as one is able to do.

[4] Reciting Al-Fatiha

Recitation of Al-Fatiha is obligated for every raka'ah.
Reading another surah after Al-Fatiha is also obligatory for the first 2 raka'ah for all obligatory prayers, however it is required in all raka'ah of supererogatory

[5] Ruku'

Ruku' is bowing the body until the palms is on the knees. Stopping means all major body parts including arms, wrists, head, legs stop - as long as saying "sub'han-Allah". If the body still moves, stopping is not done. An additional option is to read 3 times سبحان ربى العظيم و بحمده (Glory to my Lord, the Most Magnificent Most Praiseworthy).

[6] I'tidal and stopping

I'tidal is standing again after ruku'. While the body is raising up, an additional option is to read سمع الله لمن حمده (Allah Listens to him who praises Him). During standing, an additional option is to read ربنا لك الحمد ملء السموات وملء الأرض وملء ما شئت من شئ بعد (Our Lord, to You is due all praise...). The body must stop as long as saying "subhanallah".

[7] Prostration [Sajdah]

Prostration involves putting the following parts of the body - the bare forehead, both palms, both knees, the base of the toes of both feet - on the place of prostration. The forehead must be bare; a covered forehead invalidates prayer. An additional option is to read 3 times سبحان ربى الأعلى و بحمده (Glory to my Lord, the Most High Most Praiseworthy). There are 2 prostrations, the second is done after sitting between 2 prostrations (as [8] below).

[8] Sitting between 2 prostrations

During the sitting between the two prostrations, an additional option is to recite:

" Allahummaghfirli, warhamnii, wajburnii, wahdinii, warzuqnii, warfa'nii, wa'afinii, wa'fu'annii" Oh Allah Forgive Me, grate me, ...

[9] Final Tashahhud

Reciting the final Tashahhud:


التحيات لله الزكيات لله الصالحات لله السلام عليك ايها النبي و رحمة الله و بركاته السلام عليكَ و على عبادك الصالحين أشهد أن لا اله الا الله و أن محمدا عبده و رسوله


All greetings, blessings and good acts are from You, my Lord.
Greetings to you, O Prophet, and the mercy and blessings of Allah.
Peace be unto us, and unto the righteous servants of Allah.
I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah.
And I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger.

[10] Sitting for Final Tashahhud

The final Tashahhud must be done while sitting.

[11] Greetings for Prophet Muhammad and for Prophet Abraham

At least by saying اللهم صلى على محمد.
At best
اللهم صلى على محمد وعلى آل محمد كما صليت على إبراهيم وعلى آل إبراهيم
وبارك على محمد وعلى آل محمد كما باركت على إبراهيم وعلى آل إبراهيم
فى العالمين إنك حميد مجيد


O Allah, bless our Muhammad and the people of Muhammad; As you have blessed Abraham and the people of Abraham.
O Allah, be gracious unto Muhammad and the people of Muhammad; As you were gracious unto Abraham and the people of Abraham.
Surely you are the Most Praiseworthy, the Most Glorious.

[12] First greeting

Greeting "peace be upon you" to the right side. At least with السلام عليكم, at best السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

[13] Second greeting

Greeting "peace be upon you" to the left side. At least with السلام عليكم, at best السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

[14] Following the Prayer Sequence

Prayer not in its rightful sequence is invalidated.

From [3] standing right to the [8] second prostration makes one raka'ah. These are repeated for every raka'ah. At the last raka'ah, the rest [9] to [12] is completed. (Note: For more than 2 raka'ah prayers, an additional option is to sit for Tashahhud on the second raka'ah.)

Performance

Salat is performed in "units" of prayer called raka'ah. One raka'ah consists of a series of positions (and movements from one position to the next), along with specific supplications and verses from the Qur'an which are read in each position. A raka'ah begins in a standing position called qiyaam and ends with the musallee in a prostrate position (sujud). Different salat have different numbers of prescribed raka'at.

The salat must be performed with sincere devotion (khushoo), otherwise it is considered invalid. Salat is performed facing the direction of qibla (i.e. towards the Kaaba in Mecca), to the best estimation of the musallee if there is no certain way to determine the correct direction.

The musallee begins the prayer by standing in qiyaam, facing qibla and silently reciting the niyyah (intention to pray) for the specific salat he is about to make. He then raises his hands and speaks aloud the takbir.

For fard as-salat, the first raka'ah commences with the optional recitation of one of the opening supplications followed by the first chapter of the Qur'an, al-Fatihah. For subsequent raka'at and other types of salat, each raka'ah commences with al-Fatihah. During the first two raka'ah, following the recitation of al-Fatihah any other chapter or several verses of the Qur'an are additionally recited (qira'at) while in the standing position before the musallee moves into the bowing position (ruku').

After one raka'ah is complete (and on every subsequent odd raka'ah), the musallee returns from the prostrate position (sujj-ud ) back to the standing position to begin another raka'ah. On every second raka'ah, he first moves from sujj-ud to an upright sitting position (jalsa) and recites the first portion of a supplication known as the tashahhud, before returning to the standing position to begin the next raka'ah.

On the final raka'ah the musallee moves to the jalsa from the sujud position and recites the complete tashahhud. Sunni Muslims then conclude the prayer by turning their face toward the right shoulder and then toward the left shoulder, each time saying a salutation (taslim) to the angels that take note of your good (right shoulder) and evil (left shoulder) deeds.

After the salat is completed it is common (but not compulsory) for Muslims to offer a supplication (du'a) to God. This supplication, which essentially gives Muslims an opportunity to ask God for forgiveness and blessings, can be offered in any language.

Types of salah

  • Fard sal'ah are compulsory, non-performance of which renders one a non-Muslim according to the Hanbali Sunni School, for the other Sunni schools it renders one a sinner. The denial of its compulsory status however is agreed upon by all Sunni schools to render the denier outside the fold of Islam.
  • Wajeeb As-salat are compulsory, non-performance of which renders one a sinner and the denial of its obligatory nature renders one a 'fasiq' a transgressor whose witness would not be accepted in an Islamic court. There are some who believe that as the 5 prayers are obligatory, it automatically renders all other prayers optional.
  • Sun'nah sal'ah are optional and were additional voluntary prayers performed by Prophet Muhammad—they are of two types—the 'Sun'nah Mukkaddah', those practiced on a regular basis which if abandoned cause the abandoner to be regarded as sinful by the Hanafi School and the 'Sun'nah Ghair Mukkaddah' those practiced on a semi-regular practice by Prophet Muhammad which all are agreed upon that its abandonment doesn't render one sinful.
  • Nafl sal'ah are optional and regarded as extra prayers which bring more reward.

Fard As-salat

The fard As-salat are the five compulsory daily prayers, the Friday prayer (Jumu'ah) and the funeral prayer (Janazah). Fard prayers (as with all fard actions) are further classed as fard al-ayn (obligation of the self) and fard al-kifayah (obligation of sufficiency). Fard al-ayn are those actions which are obligatory on each individual; he or she will be held to account if the actions are not performed. Fard al-kifayah are actions obligatory on the Muslim community at large, so that if some people within the community carry it out no Muslim is considered blameworthy, but if no one carries it out all incur a collective punishment.

Men are required to perform the fard salah in congregation (jama'ah), behind an imam when they are able. According to most Islamic scholars, performing salat in congregation is obligatory for men, when they are able, but is neither required nor forbidden for women.

The five daily prayers

Muslims are commanded to perform salah five times a day. These prayers are obligatory on every Muslim aged 10 for boys and 9 for girls and over, with the exception being those who are mentally ill, too physically ill for it to be possible, menstruating, or experiencing post-partum bleeding. Those who are ill or otherwise physically unable to offer their prayers in the traditional form are permitted to offer their prayers while sitting or laying, as they are able. The five prayers are all given certain prescribed times (al waqt) in which they must be performed, unless there is a compelling reason for not being able to perform them on time.

Some Muslims offer voluntary prayers (sunna rawatib) immediately before and after the prescribed fard prayers. Sunni Muslims classify these prayers as sunnah, while Shi'a Muslims consider them nafil. The number of raka'ah for each of the five obligatory prayers as well as the voluntary prayers (before and after) are listed below:

Name Prescribed time period (waqt) Voluntary before fard1</sup> Fard Voluntary after fard1</sup>
Sunni Shi'a Sunni Shi'a
Fajr (فجر) Dawn to sunrise 2 Raka'ah2 2 Raka'ah2</sup> 2 Raka'ah - -
Dhuhr (ظهر) After true noon until Asr 4 Raka'ah2 2-4 Raka'ah 4 Raka'ah4 2 Raka'ah2 -
Asr (عصر) Afternoon. See footnote5 and6 4 Raka'ah 2-4 Raka'ah 4 Raka'ah - -
Maghrib (مغرب) After sunset until dusk 2-4 Raka'ah 3 Raka'ah 2 Raka'ah2 2 Raka'ah3
Isha'a (عشاء) Dusk until dawn6 4 Raka'ah 4 Raka'ah 4 Raka'ah 2 Raka'ah 2
+ 3 Raka'ah Witr
2 Raka'ah 3</sup> and 7</sup>, 8 raka'ah (4 x 2 Raka'ah) Salat al-Layl3
  • Sunni often pray 2 Raka'ah Nafl after Dhuhr, Maghrib and Isha'a.

1According to Shia Muslims, these are to be performed in sets of two raka'ah each.</br> ²Prayed daily by Prophet Muhammad (Sunnis)
³Mustahab (praiseworthy) to do everyday. (Shias)</br> 4Replaced by Jumu'ah on Fridays, which consists of two raka'ah.
5According to Imam Abu Hanifa, "Asr starts when the shadow of an object becomes twice its height (plus the length of its shadow at the start time of Dhuhr)." For the rest of Imams, "Asr starts when the shadow of an object becomes equal to its length (plus the length of its shadow at the start time of Dhuhr)." Asr ends as the sun begins to set.</br> 6According to Shia Muslims, 'Asr prayer and 'Ishaa prayer have no set times but are performed from mid-day. Zuhr and 'Asr prayers must be performed before sunset, and the time for 'Asr prayer starts after Zuhr has been performed. Maghrib and 'Ishaa prayers must be performed before midnight, and the time for 'Ishaa prayer can start after Maghrib has been performed, as long as no more light remains in the western sky signifying the arrival of the true night.</br> 7According to Shia Muslims, this prayer is termed nawafil.

Jumu'ah

  Salat al-Jumu'ah is a congregational prayer on Friday which replaces the dhuhr prayer. It is compulsory upon men to perform it in congregation, while women may perform it so or may perform dhuhr salat instead. Salat al-Jumu'ah consists of a sermon (khutba) given by the speaker (khatib) after which two raka'ah are performed. There is no Salat al-Jumu'ah without a khutba. Giving a khutba is task assigned specifically to men, and women cannot perform this task. This does not imply superiority of men to women, but it is done in compliance with what Muslims have been commanded to do by God.

Istikhaarah

Salat al-Istikhaarah is a prayer performed when a Muslim needs guidance on a particular matter, such as whether they should marry a certain person. In order to perform this salah one should perform a normal two raka'at salah to completion. After completion one should say a du'a called the Istikhaarah du'a. The intention for the salah should be in one's heart to perform two raka'at of salah followed by Istikhaarah. The salah can be performed at any of the times where salah is not forbidden.

Exceptional circumstances

Dr. Muhammad Hedayetullah, scholar in comparative religion, in his book Dynamics of Islam (2006), stresses that even though salah is compulsory, flexibility in the specifics is allowed depending on the circumstances: For example, in the case of sickness or a lack of space, a worshipper can offer salah while sitting, or even lying down, and the prayer can be shortened when travelling. The salah must be performed in the Arabic language.

Qada

In certain circumstances one may be unable to perform one's prayer within the prescribed time period (waqt). In this case, the prayer must be performed as soon as one is able to do so. These prayers performed after the prescribed waqt are called qada. It is not permissible to deliberately miss performing the salat within its waqt with the intention of performing it afterwards.

Qasr and Jam' bayn as-Salaatayn

When travelling over long distances, one may shorten some prayers, a practice known as qasr. Furthermore, several prayer times may be joined, which is referred to as Jam' bayn as-Salaatayn. Qasr involves shortening the obligatory components of the Dhuhr, Asr, and Isha'a prayers to two raka'ah. Jam' bayn as-Salaatayn combines the Dhuhr and Asr prayers into one prayer offered between noon and sunset, and the Maghrib and Isha'a prayers into one between sunset and Fajr. Neither Qasr nor Jam' bayn as-Salaatayn can be applied to the Fajr prayer.

There is no reference to Qasr during travel within the Qur'an itself; the Qur'an allows for Qasr only when there is fear of attack.

Wajib salat

The wajib salat are considered compulsory and not performing them is considered a sin.

Witr

Witr is performed after the salah of isha'a (dusk). Some Muslims consider witr wajib while others consider it optional. It may contain any odd number of raka'ah from one to eleven according to the different schools of jurisprudence. However, Witr is most commonly offered with three raka'ah.

To end prayers for the night after isha'a, the odd numbered raka'ah must have the niyyah of "wajib-ul-Lail", which is mandatory to "close" one's salat for that day.

Eid

Eid salat is performed on the morning of Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha. The Eid prayer is most likely an individual obligation (fard al-ayn), though some Islamic scholars argue it is only a collective obligation (fard al-kifayah).It consists of two raka'at, with seven takbirs offered before the start of the first raka'ah and five before the second. After the salat is completed, a sermon (khutbah) is offered. However, the khutbah is not an integral part of the Eid salat. The Eid salat must be offered between sunrise and true noon i.e. between the time periods for Fajr and Dhuhr.

Sunnah salat

Sunnah salat are those prayers that are performed to emulate the practices of Prophet Muhammad.

Certain sunnah prayers have prescribed waqts associated with them. Those ordained for before each of the fard prayers must be performed between the first call to prayer (adhan) and the second call (iqama) which signifies the start of the fard prayer. Those sunnah ordained for after the fard prayers can be performed any time between the end of the fard prayers and the end of the current prayer's waqt. Any amount of extra raka'ah may be offered, but most madha'ib prescribe a certain number of raka'ah for each sunnah salah.

Nafl salat

Nafl salat (supererogatory prayers) are voluntary, and one may offer as many as he or she likes almost any time. There are many specific conditions or situations when one may wish to offer nafl prayers. They cannot be offered at sunrise, true noon, or sunset. The prohibition against salat at these times is to prevent the practice of sun worship.

Mosque Prayer

Mosque prayer is when you enter the mosque and pray 2 rakats.

This prayer is called "Tahiyyatul masjid"; this is one of the rites of the mosque. Every Muslim entering the mosque is obligated to perform these two rakats.

Prayer in congregation

Prayer in congregation (jama'ah) is considered to have more social and spiritual benefit than praying by oneself. When praying in congregation, the musallees stand in straight parallel rows behind the chosen imam, facing qibla. The imam, who leads the congregation in salat, is usually chosen to be a scholar or the one who has the best knowledge of the Qur'an, preferably someone who has memorised it (a hafiz) . In the first row behind the imam, if available, would be another hafiz to correct the imam in case a mistake is made during the performance of the salat. The prayer is performed as normal, with the congregation following the actions and movements of the imam as he performs the salat.

When the worshippers consist of men and women combined, a man is chosen as the imam. In this situation, women are typically forbidden from performing this role. This point, though unanimously agreed on by the major schools of Islam, is disputed by some groups, based partly on a hadith whose interpretation is controversial. When the congregation consists entirely of women and pre-pubescent children, one woman is chosen as imam.

When men, women, and children are praying, the children's rows are usually between the men's and women's rows, with the men at the front and women at the back. Another configuration is where the men's and women's rows are side by side, separated by a curtain or other barrier, with the primary intention being for there to be no direct line of sight between male and female worshippers, following a Qur'anic injunction toward men and women each lowering their gazes (Qur'an 24:30-31).

Further reading

Other

Devout Muslims sometimes develop a prayer bump, which is caused by the friction of rubbing ones forehead against the ground for a long period of time.

Quranic Salat

[1] Three Salah / Salat Timings of Quran by Shah Waliullah / Shah Wali Ullah is a reference book on the topic.

File:Shah Waliullah & Salat.jpg

The concept of Quranic Salat Timings has been discussed in Hujjat Allah Al-Baligha (Arabic/Urdu) by Shah Waliullah. He said that there are three Salat timings in fact for Five Salats[2].

See Image:[3], in Arabic & Urdu translation of Hujjat Allah al-Baligha (Arabic/Urdu) by Shah Waliullah.

The numbers of regular daily prayers “Salat” mentioned by their respective names in Arabic in the “Quran” are “Four” as follows:

1- Salat Fajr (صَلَاةِ الْفَجْرِ) (Dawn Prayer), (Sura Al-Nur 24:58).

2- Al-Salat Al-Wusta (الصَّلاَةِ الْوُسْطَى) or (الصَّلاَةَ لِدُلُوكِ الشَّمْسِ إِلَى غَسَقِ اللَّيْلِ ) (or The Middle Prayer), (Sura Al-Baqarah 2:238) and (Sura Al-Isra 17:78).

3- Salat Isha’a (صَلَاةِ الْعِشَاءِ) (Night Prayer), (Sura Al-Nur 24:58).

Note that (الصَّلاَةِ الْوُسْطَى) in (Sura Al-Baqarah 2:238) and (الصَّلاَةَ لِدُلُوكِ الشَّمْسِ إِلَى غَسَقِ اللَّيْلِ ) in (Sura Al-Isra 17:78) are the same “Salat” because these both “Salat” has (ال) common with them indicating that these are the same “Salat” as compared to (صَلَاةِ الْفَجْرِ) and (صَلَاةِ الْعِشَاءِ) which are without (ال) with word (صَلَاةِِ).

(ال) in Arabic is equivalent to the word “The” in English, indicating the importance of the middle prayer.

The following three “Salat” which are not mentioned in “Quran” by their names as a “term” in Arabic are as:

1- Salat Dhuhr (ظهر).

2- Salat Asr (عصر).

3- Salat Maghrib (مغرب).

Although, the words “Dhuhr (ظهر)”, “Asr (عصر)” and “Maghrib (مغرب)” are used in Quran but not as a “Term” defining “Salat”. In Sura Al-Nur 24: 58, the word “noon” is used but not as a “Salat Time” or as a “Salat Al-Dhuhr” but rather than as a “Time of Privacy/Rest Time”. For references and proof of the fact stated above, read the following verses in the Quran in Arabic & English.

حَافِظُواْ عَلَى الصَّلَوَاتِ والصَّلاَةِ الْوُسْطَى وَقُومُواْ لِلّهِ قَانِتِينَ

(Sura Al-Baqarah 2:238).

Guard strictly your (habit of) prayers, especially the Middle Prayer; and stand before Allah in a devout (frame of mind). (Sura Al-Baqarah 2:238).

أَقِمِ الصَّلاَةَ لِدُلُوكِ الشَّمْسِ إِلَى غَسَقِ اللَّيْلِ وَقُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ إِنَّ قُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ كَانَ مَشْهُودًا

(Sura Al-Isra 17:78).

Establish regular prayers - at the sun’s decline till the darkness of the night, and the morning prayer and reading: for the prayer and reading in the morning carry their testimony. (Sura Al-Isra 17:78).

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لِيَسْتَأْذِنكُمُ الَّذِينَ مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ لَمْ يَبْلُغُوا الْحُلُمَ مِنكُمْ ثَلَاثَ مَرَّاتٍ مِن قَبْلِ صَلَاةِ الْفَجْرِ وَحِينَ تَضَعُونَ ثِيَابَكُم مِّنَ الظَّهِيرَةِ وَمِن بَعْدِ صَلَاةِ الْعِشَاءِ ثَلَاثُ عَوْرَاتٍ لَّكُمْ لَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَلَا عَلَيْهِمْ جُنَاحٌ بَعْدَهُنَّ طَوَّافُونَ عَلَيْكُم بَعْضُكُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ كَذَلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمُ الْآيَاتِ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ

(Sura Al-Nur 24: 58.).

O ye who believe! let those whom your right hand possess, and those of you, who have not reached puberty, ask leave of you at three times before coming into your private apartments -before the Morning Prayer (Salat Al-Fajr), and when you lay aside your clothes at noon (in summer) and after the night Prayer (Salat Al-Esha). These are the three times of privacy for you. At other times there is no blame on you nor on them, for some of you have to attend upon others and to move about freely according to need. Thus does Allah make plain to you the Signs; for Allah is All-Knowing, Wise. (Sura Al-Nur 24: 58.).

See also in Urdu

  • [4] Balagh Ul Quran
  • [5] Aslwat in the Light of Quran

Salat Timings of Quran

Salat Timings of Quran are mentioned in the following verses:

In Quran 11:114, three Salat Times are described at both ends of the day, and at night.

And establish regular prayers at the two ends of the day and at the approaches of the night. (Sura Hud (11), 114. Translation by Yusuf Ali).

"You shall observe the contact prayers at both ends of the daylight, that is, during the adjacent hours of the night". (11:114).

وَأَقِمِ الصَّلاَةَ طَرَفَيِ النَّهَارِ وَزُلَفًا مِّنَ اللَّيْلِ إِنَّ الْحَسَنَاتِ يُذْهِبْنَ السَّيِّئَاتِ ذَلِكَ ذِكْرَى لِلذَّاكِرِينَ

(Sura Hud: 11:114).

"You shall observe the Salat (Contact Prayers) at the ends of the day, and zulufann min al-layl." (11:114).

فَاصْبِرْ عَلَى مَا يَقُولُونَ وَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ قَبْلَ طُلُوعِ الشَّمْسِ وَقَبْلَ غُرُوبِهَا وَمِنْ آنَاءِ اللَّيْلِ فَسَبِّحْ وَأَطْرَافَ النَّهَارِ لَعَلَّكَ تَرْضَى

(Sura Taha: 20:130).

Therefore, be patient in the face of their utterances, and praise and glorify your Lord before sunrise and before sunset. And during the night glorify Him, as well as at both ends of the day, that you may be happy. (20:130).

فَاصْبِرْ عَلَى مَا يَقُولُونَ وَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ قَبْلَ طُلُوعِ الشَّمْسِ وَقَبْلَ الْغُرُوبِ

(Sura Qaf: 50:39).

وَمِنَ اللَّيْلِ فَسَبِّحْهُ وَأَدْبَارَ السُّجُودِ

(Sura Qaf: 50:40).

Therefore, be patient in the face of their utterances, and praise and glorify your Lord before sunrise, and before sunset. (50:39). During the night you shall meditate on His name, and after prostrating. (50:40).

أَقِمِ الصَّلاَةَ لِدُلُوكِ الشَّمْسِ إِلَى غَسَقِ اللَّيْلِ وَقُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ إِنَّ قُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ كَانَ مَشْهُودًا

(Sura Al-Isra 17:78).

Establish regular prayers - at the sun's decline till the darkness of the night, and the morning prayer and reading: for the prayer and reading in the morning carry their testimony. (Sura Al-Isra 17:78).

Further "Verily, Prayers are enjoined upon the Believers at times assigned in a written document.” (Quran 4:103/4:104 in some translations).

"O you who believe, when the Salat is announced on Friday, you shall hasten to the commemoration of God, and drop all business. This is better for you, if you only knew. Once the prayer is completed, you may spread through the land to seek God's bounties, and continue to remember God frequently, that you may succeed." (62:9-10).

And neither speak thy Prayer aloud nor speak it in a low tone but seek a middle course between. (Sura Al-Isra (17) verse 110 Translation by Yusuf Ali).

For the usage of the word "Esha" (evening) see: 12:16; 79:46.

The times of Dawn & Evening Prayers are defined above. The middle or Salat Al-Wusta can be observed from the moment the sun begins its descend from its highest point in the sky (duluk al shams) until the darkness of the night (ghasaq al-layl) starts to set in, which is at sunset.

"You shall observe the Salat (Contact Prayer) from when the sun declines from its highest point up till the 'ghasaq al-layl' (the darkness of the night)." (17:78).

"You shall observe the contact prayer when the sun goes down until the darkness of the night. You shall also observe the Quran at dawn. Reading the Quran at dawn is witnessed." (17:78). salah means pryer in muslim The Verse 38:32 implies that the time of the Middle prayer ends with sunset.

The Fajr (Dawn) Prayer starts when the first thin ray of light is observed in the sky.

"The white thread of light becomes distinguishable from the dark thread of night at dawn." (2:187).

The time for the dawn prayer is also given in the Quran with the words.

" …….. and at dawn as the stars fade away." (52:49).

The Dawn prayer ends at the first “taraf” (terminal) of the day which is sunrise (11:114).

From the above cited verses Quran Alone group says that there are Three Salat Timings in the Quran. Whereas Ahle Hadith group proves from the same cited verses that there are Five Salat Timings.

Reading External Links

  • [6].
  • [7].
  • [8].
  • [9] The Realities of our Daily Prayers
  • [10] Salaat Prayer According to the Quran
  • [11] Three Salat Authorised In the Quran
  • [12] What Is Salat?
  • [13] SALAT = REACHING-OUT
  • [14] Salat of Quran
  • [15] Salat Timings of Quran
  • [16] Salat Asr

Salat Asr (Al-Wusta) and Quran

Al-Salat (Salah) Al-Wusta, or the Middle Prayer, is mentioned in Quran as follows:

حَافِظُواْ عَلَى الصَّلَوَاتِ والصَّلاَةِ الْوُسْطَى وَقُومُواْ لِلّهِ قَانِتِينَ

(2:238)

It is to be noted that the Asr daily prayer is not mentioned by name in the Qur'an at 2:238 as claimed at [1] but the middle prayer (Al-Wusta: الصَّلاَةِ الْوُسْطَى).

The Asr daily prayer is mentioned in the following Hadith along with many others as:

Yahya related to me from Malik from Zayd ibn Aslam from al-Qaqa ibn Hakim that Abu Yunus, the mawla of A'isha, umm al-muminin said, "Aisha ordered to write out a Qur'an for her. She said to him, 'When you reach this ayat, let me know, 'Guard the prayer carefully and the middle prayer and stand obedient to Allah.' When I reached it I told her, and she dictated to me, 'Guard the prayers carefully and the middle prayer and the asr prayer and stand obedient to Allah.' Aisha said, 'I heard it from the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.'" (Al-Muwatta, Hadith No. 8.8.26).

Non-Quranic Salat

The two Salat which are not mentioned in Quran by their names as a “term” are as:

1- Salat Dhuhr (ظهر)

2- Salat Asr (عصر)

The words “Dhuhr (ظهر)” and “Asr (عصر)” are used in Quran but not as a “Term” defining “Salat”. In Sura Al-Nur 24: 58, the word “noon” is used but not as a “Salat Time” or as a “Salat Al-Dhuhr” but rather than as a “Time of Privacy/Rest Time”.

O ye who believe! let those whom your right hand possess, and those of you, who have not reached puberty, ask leave of you at three times before coming into your private apartments -before the Morning Prayer (Salat Al-Fajr), and when you lay aside your clothes at noon (in summer) and after the night Prayer (Salat Al-Esha). These are the three times of privacy for you. At other times there is no blame on you nor on them, for some of you have to attend upon others and to move about freely according to need. Thus does Allah make plain to you the Signs; for Allah is All-Knowing, Wise. (Sura Al-Nur 24: 58.).

The numbers of Salat mentioned by their respective names in the Quran are three as follows:

1- Salat Al-Fajr (Dawn Prayer), (Sura Al-Nur 24:58).

2- Salat Al-Esha (Night Prayer), (Sura Al-Nur 24:58).

3- Al-Salat Al-Wusta (The Middle Prayer), (Sura Al-Baqarah 2:238).

Four Salat in One Salat

أَقِمِ الصَّلاَةَ لِدُلُوكِ الشَّمْسِ إِلَى غَسَقِ اللَّيْلِ وَقُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ إِنَّ قُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ كَانَ مَشْهُودًا

(Sura Al-Isra 17:78).

Perform AsSalât (Iqamât-as-Salât) from mid-day till the darkness of the night (i.e. the Zuhr, 'Asr, Maghrib, and 'Ishâ' prayers), and recite the Qur'ân in the early dawn (i.e. the morning prayer). Verily, the recitation of the Qur'ân in the early dawn is ever witnessed (attended by the angels in charge of mankind of the day and the night). (Mohsin Khan, Al-Isra 17:78). [17].

Establish regular prayers (that is more than one)- at the sun's decline till the darkness of the night, and the morning prayer and reading: for the prayer and reading in the morning carry their testimony. (Yusuf Ali, Sura Al-Isra 17:78).

Keep up prayer (single salat) from the declining of the sun till the darkness of the night and the morning recitation; surely the morning recitation is witnessed. (M. H. Shakir).

Establish thou the prayer (single salat) from the declination of the sun to the darkening of the night, and the Recitation at the dawn; verily the Recitation at the dawn is ever borne witness to. (Daryabadi).

Establish salat( single salat) from the time the sun declines until the darkening of the night, and also the recitation at dawn. The dawn recitation is certainly witnessed. (Aisha Bewley). [18].

From the above cited verse of the Holy Quran, one group (sunni) says that there are Four Salat Timings in this single Salat

(الصَّلاَةَ لِدُلُوكِ الشَّمْسِ إِلَى غَسَقِ اللَّيْلِ )

(along with fifth morning prayer). Whereas Quran Alone group proves from the same cited verses that this

(الصَّلاَةَ لِدُلُوكِ الشَّمْسِ إِلَى غَسَقِ اللَّيْلِ ) is one single Salat.

Salat in Hadith

The Ahadith provide further details; as for example, when the Qur'an refers to three daily prayers (suras 11:114; 17:78-79; 30:17-18 and possibly 24:58), while the five daily prayers stipulated by the later Ahadith have been adopted by Muslims.[19].

References

  1. ([dead link]Scholar search) Abdal Hakim Murad, "Understanding the Four Madhhabs", http://www.masud.co.uk/ISLAM/ahm/newmadhh.htm, retrieved 28 March 2009 
  2. An-Nawawi's Forty Hadiths
  3. Ismail Kamus (1993). Hidup Bertaqwa (2nd ed.). Kuala Lumpur: At Tafkir Enterprise. ISBN 9-839990-20-9.
  4. Ismail Kamus (1993). Hidup Bertaqwa (2nd ed.). Kuala Lumpur: At Tafkir Enterprise. ISBN 9-839990-20-9.
  5. Ismail Kamus (1993). Hidup Bertaqwa (2nd ed.). Kuala Lumpur: At Tafkir Enterprise. ISBN 9-839990-20-9.

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