Salah or Salat, the Islamic prayer, is the second of the five pillars of Islam. It is a mandatory act of worship that Muslims perform five times a day to communicate with Allah (SWT) and seek His guidance and blessings.
Salah involves a set of physical movements, including standing, bowing, prostrating, and sitting, while reciting verses from the Quran and supplications in Arabic.
Let us explore how to pray Salah and master its steps, so Muslims can improve their Salah performance and make it more meaningful worship.
Here we will learn the following:
How To Pray In Islam Step By Step
Salah consists of units called Rakat. Each Rakat has the same basic steps. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to perform Salah in Islam:
1. Perform the ablution (Wudu)
Perform the ablution (Wudu), which incloses washing hands, mouth, nose, face, arms, head, ears, and feet. Wudu is a ritual cleansing you must perform before initiating your Salah.
2. Make an intention (Niyyah)
Make an intention (Niyyah) before initiating Salah. Niyyah should be in your heart, and it is unnecessary to say it. Once you begin, focus on your Salat only, not anything else.
3. Choose a clean and quiet area
Choose a clean and quiet area and stand upright, facing the direction of the Kaaba in Mecca (Qiblah) to pray.
4. The Adhan
Stand up straight and recite the Adhan (call to prayer).
5. Takbirat Al-Ihram
Begin your Salah by saying Takbirat Al-Ihram (Allahu Akbar) while raising both hands to your ears. Once you start Salah, try to ignore any exterior distractions.
6. Start the Prayer:
Lower your hands and place your right hand over your left one on your chest. Afterward, recite Surah Al-Fatihah, the first chapter of the Noble Quran, while keeping your eyes looking at the site where you will prostrate.
7. Recite another:
Recite another Surah or verses of the Quran, such as Surah Al-Ikhlas. It is only required in the first two rakats of any Fard Salah.
Bow down while keeping your back straight. That is called Ruku. Place your hands on your knees, focus your eyes on the site of prostration, and recite “Subhana Rabbiy al Azeem” three times.
9. Make Qiyam from Ruku
Stand up from the Ruku position and raise your hands to your ears, saying: “Sami Allahu liman hamidah.” Then, lower them by your sides and say: “Rabbana walakal hamd.”
10. Make Sujud
Go into prostration or Sujood by making your forehead, nose, palms, knees, and both toes touch the ground and saying “Subhana Rabbiy al A’la” three times.
11. Rise from Sujood
Rise from Sujood and then Sit up straight for a moment on your left leg, saying “Allahu Akbar.” It is recommended to ask Allah (SWT) for forgiveness while in this position. Then, go into the second Sujood.
12. Finish the second Sujood
Finish the second Sujood and sit back up straight, repeating the previous steps for the remaining rakats (units) of Salah, depending on whether it is a two, three, or four-rakat prayer.
At the end of every two Rakats, sit up straight and raise your right index finger, reciting At-Tashahud:
At-tahiyyatu lilaah wa As-salawaatu At-tayibat
As-salaamu alaika ayyuh an-nabiyyu wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh.
As-salaamu alaynaa wa alaa ebaadillaa as-saliheen,
Ash hadu allaa ilaha illa Allah Wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan abduhu wa rasuluh.
It is called the middle Tashahud.
But, if this is the last rakat in Salah, you will recite the final Tashahhud by adding this portion to it:
“Allahumma salli ala Muhammad wa ala aali Muhammad
Kama salayta ala Ibraheem wa ala aali Ibrahim
Innaka Hameedun Majeed.
Wa baarik ala Muhammad wa ala aali Muhammad
Kama baarakta ala Ibraheem wa ala aali Ibrahim
Innaka Hameedun Majeed.”
14. Make Tasleem:
After reciting At-Tashahud, end the prayer by turning your head to the right, saying “Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah,” and then to the left and repeat it. It is called Tasleem.
Read: How to Pray Salah For Females?
What To Say In Prayer in Islam?
Here are some common phrases a Muslim says during Salah:
1. Takbirat Al-Ihram
At the beginning of Salah, Muslims say “Allahu Akbar” (Allah is the Greatest) while raising their hands to shoulder level.
2. The Opening Dua
The Opening Dua is recited at the beginning of the first Rakat.
We say: “Subhanak allahumma wa bi hamdika wa tabarak esmuka wa ta’ala jadduk wa la ilaha ghairuk.”
3. Surah Al-Fatihah
Surah Al-Fatihah is the opening chapter of the Quran, it is recited in every rakat of Salah.
4. Recitation of other verses
After reciting Surah Al-Fatihah, Muslims recite other Surah or verses from the Quran.
In Ruku, Muslims bow down, saying “Subhana Rabbiyal Adheem” (Glory be to my Lord, the Greatest) three times.
When we stand after Ruku we say: “Sami Allah liman hamidah, Rabbana w laka al-hamd.”
The Muslim prostrates, saying “Subhana Rabbiyal A’la” (Glory be to my Lord, the Highest) three times.
At the end of the second rakat, Muslims sit down and recite At-Tashahud, a declaration of faith and praise of Allah (SWT).
At last, Muslims turn their head to the right and say: “Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,” (Peace and mercy of Allah be upon you) and then to the left, repeating the same phrase to end Salah.
Read A Full Documentation of What to say in Salah in Arabic.
How Many Rakats Are In Each Salah?
The number of Rakats (units) varies depending on the specific prayer being performed:
- Fajr: has 2 rakats or two units.
- Dhur: has 4 rakats.
- Asr: has 4 rakats.
- Maghrib: has 3 rakats.
- Ishaa: has 4 rakats.
How To Pray Salah Sitting On the Floor?
Praying Salah while sitting on the floor or chair may be performed by those who can not stand, bow, or prostrate due to age, sickness, or other reasons.
Standing, bowing, and prostration are pillars of Salah. Whoever is unable to do them, it is preferable to sit on the floor or chair to perform Salah.
It was Narrated by al-Bukhari, on the authority of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) about praying. He said: “Pray standing up if you cannot, then pray while sitting down, and if you cannot, then pray while (lying) on your side.”
To pray Salah while sitting on the floor, you should begin by sitting comfortably with your legs in front of you. Then, perform the basic steps of Salah.
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Lastly, Salah is one of the most crucial sections of worship in Islam. Muslims are required to perform Salah five times a day to show their devotion and submission to Allah (SWT).
Muslims need to learn how to pray Salah correctly and sincerely, as it not only fulfills their religious obligation but also brings them spiritual benefits and strengthens their relationship with Allah (SWT).
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