Step by Step Guide to Prayer
Prayer is one of the main and most important pillar in Islam. It is a connection between a person and Almighty Allah, the Creator.
A person should and must pray five times a day as Allah prescribed and made obligatory upon each and every Muslim to pray five times a day.
These five daily prayers are Fajr (Dawn) prayer, Zhuhr (Noon) Prayer, `Asr (Afternoon) Prayer, Maghrib (Sunset) Prayer, and –`Isha’ (Night) Prayer.
A Muslim must cover his `awrah (private parts) and what is meant by awrah? It is the part that a person should cover while praying.
For a man, `awrah is from his navel until his knee and this is the minimum requirement for a man to pray. For a woman, a Muslim woman must cover all her body except her face and hands.
As we mentioned in another video, a person must perform wudu’ (ablution) before prayer. After that, a person can offer prayer.
First, a person has to make niyyah (intention) in his heart that he is going to offer a certain prayer.
For example, a person will come and stand making intention in his heart not by saying that I would like to pray so and so prayer and I am in the Masjid to pray so and so prayer.
This comes with the action of going to the mosque to pray a certain prayer.
So, you stand and make intention first.
Second, you have to face the qiblah. What is the qiblah?
This is the direction that each Muslim should face which is the direction of the Ka`bah in Makkah.
So, after making intention and standing straight with your feet, body and face; a person should put his hand like this above his shoulders or between his shoulders and ears.
So, a person can do like this or like this and then say “Allahu Akbar”
“Allahu Akbar” means Allah is the Greatest because you are standing in front of the Creator, Allah Almighty in the prayer.
After saying “Allahu Akbar”, you put your right hand on the left hand like this. It should be in the middle of your chest, on your chest or below the chest.
That is completely fine and there is no harm in it.
After making the takbirah (Alllahu Akbar) and putting your hands on your chest, you have to recite the opening of the prayer and there many openings for prayer. I am saying opening of the prayer not opening of the Qur’an (Surat Al-Fatihah).
So, first you say “Allahu Akbar” and then you do the opening and there are many openings as we said.
One of the most popular is, “Subhanaka allahumma wa bi hamdika wa tabara kasmuka wa ta`ala jadduka wa la ilaha ghairuka.”
After reciting this short du`aa’, you read the first chapter of the Qur’an, that is Surat Al-Fatihah. The Prophet (peace upon him) said, ” There is no prayer for the one who does not recite the Opening of the Book.” (Al-Bukhari)
So again, you raise your hands saying, “Allahu Akbar” and one of the important things is that a person should look downward at the place of (sujud) prostration.
So, “Allahu Akbar” and then looking down, the hands on the chest, reading the opening of the prayer which is “Subhanaka allahumma wa bi hamdika wa tabara kasmuka wa ta`ala jadduka wa la ilaha ghairuka.”
After that, a person should say, “A’udhu billahi minash shaitanir rajim.” Then recite: “Bismillahir rahmanir rahim.” After that, recite surat Al-Fatihah “Alhamdu lillaahi Rabbil ‘aalameen. Ar-Rahmaanir-Raheem. Maaliki. Yawmid-Deen. Iyyaaka na’budu wa lyyaaka nasta’een. Ihdinas-Siraatal-Mustaqeem. Siraatal-ladheena an`amta `alaihim ghayril-maghdoobi `alaihim wa lad-daalleen. (Ameen).”
“Ameen” is not part of the Fatihah but it is highly important to say it which means “O Allah, accept my du`aa‘”.
After reciting Surat Al-Fatihah and saying “ameen”, it is also highly recommended that a person read few verses or short surah (chapter of Qur’an). For example, after reading Al-Fatihah, you may read a short surah such as “Bismillahir rahmanir rahim
Qul hu wal lahu ahad, allahus samad, lam yalid wa lam yulad, wa lam ya kul lahu kufuwan ahad.”
After reading the short surah, a person should say “Allahu Akabr” and make ruku` (bowing). Then, one should say, “Subhana Rabbiyal Adhim.”
Both hands or both fingers should hold upon one’s knees by saying “Allahu Akbar” and holding both hands on the knees.
Also, one important thing is that your back and your head should be straight as much as possible.
Your back and your head should be straight as much as possible. Your head should not be down or up rather it should be straight with your back.
Then, you say “Subhana Rabbiyal Adhim.”
After coming back, you should say “Sami` Allahu liman hamidah Rabbana lakal hamd” while raising your hands only one time.
After that, it is very important to know that it is up to you to keep your hands on your chest or to say “Sami` Allahu liman hamidah Rabbana lakal hamd.” and wait for a while and then you go for prostration.
After making ruku`, a person should keep in his mind that he is going to make sujud.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) told us that a person should make sujud (prostration) by all seven parts of the body and these parts are; face including nose, both hands, both knees and both feet.
So, both hands, both knees, both feet that are six parts and face including forehead and nose.
So, you will do “Sami` Allahu liman hamidah Rabbana lakal hamd.” and then you go to make prostration.
“Allahu Akbar” … “Allahu Akbar”
After coming from prostration, you should sit like that where your both hands are on your thighs near your knees.
Your right foot should be straight and your left foot should be on the ground.
While sitting, a person should say twice “Rabbighfir li”.
After saying that two times a person should go back to the prostration by saying “Allahu Akbar”.
By that, we completed our first rak`ah that contains your standing, saying “Allahu Akbar”, ruku` (bowing), coming back from ruku`, going to sujud, then coming back from sujud and sitting, going back to sujud again, and then standing up.
You do the same thing during the second rak`ah; you read surat Al-Fatihah, recite any of the short surahs or few verses form the Qur’an, then you go to ruku`, then come back from ruku` saying “Sami` Allahu liman hamidah Rabbana lakal hamd.”.
Then you make sujud and during it you say three times, “Subhana Rabbiyal A’la” and after that you come back and sit.
Then you go back to the second sujud and after that you should sit and finish your prayer if you are praying two-rak`ah prayer as in Fajr Prayer.
Now, we are going to sit and explain the second tashahud. After finishing the second rak`ah and second sujud, a person should sit like this putting his both palms or hands on his thighs. You will sit on your left foot and you will keep your right foot straight as you see.
After sitting into this position (the position of sujud), let’s say if you are praying Fajr which is only two rak`ahs (two units) you sit like this and point with your index finger towards the qiblah like this. You should say, Al-Tahiyyaatu Lillaahi wa’l-salawaatu wa’l-tayyibaat. Al-salaamu ‘alayka ayyuha’l-Nabiyyu wa rahmat-Allaahi wa barakaatuhu. Al-salaamu ‘alaynaa wa ‘ala ‘ibaad-illaah il-saaliheen. Ash-hadu an laa ilaaha ill-Allaah wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa rasuluh Allahumma salli ‘ala Muhammad wa ‘ala aali Muhammad kama salayta ‘ala Ibrahem wa ‘ala aali Ibrahem, innaka hamedun majeed. Allaahumma baarika ‘ala Muhammad wa ‘ala aali Muhammad kama barakta ‘ala Ibrahem wa ‘ala aali Ibrahem, innaka hameedun majeed”.
After this, a person should say “Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah”….”Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah” and by saying tasleem on both sides, you are done with your prayer.
If you are praying Zhuhr, `Asr, Maghrib or `Ishaa’ prayer that are more than two rak`ahs, what will you do?
You will only pray two rak`ahs and after that you will start saying the tashahud: Al-Tahiyyaatu Lillaahi wa’l-salawaatu wa’l-tayyibaat… and after saying Ash-hadu an laa ilaaha ill-Allaah wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa rasuluh, you will stand up and then continue praying the third or the fourth rak`ah. Then, you will sit and make the same position and complete your whole tashahud and after that you will finish your prayer by saying “Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah”….”Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah”.
By that, you are done with your prayer.
Source: E-Da`wah Committee