HOW TO PERFORM PRAYERS
In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most
The Manner of Performing Prayers
This booklet has been prepared particularly for those new Muslims who
cannot read the Holy Quran in Arabic. By uttering the Shahada, they
confirm their faith in the Oneness of God and declare their total submission
to His Commandments, as revealed to His last prophet, Muhammad, peace be upon
him. This is the first of the five fundamental principles of Islam. Next in
importance is the glorious principle of praying five times a day in a
prescribed manner, called the salah.
The five-time prayers become obligatory from the moment a person embraces
Islam. This is an extremely important tenet of Islam and has been enjoined
with great emphasis both in the Holy Quran and the sayings of prophet
Muhammad, peace be upon him. According to one of his sayings, it is the
borderline between a Muslim and a non-believer. As a matter of fact, it is a
form of worship which establishes the link between man and his Creator and
Benefactor, Allah. Through salah a person communes with his Lord, the
Creator and the Sustainer of the Universe.
Just as performing salah is obligatory, learning to perform it in
the prescribed way is also obligatory so that one should know what he is
saying to his Lord, and enjoy the full blessings and benefits of praying. In
the performance of salah all the prayers have to be said in Arabic
besides reciting some verses of the Holy Quran. Therefore, it becomes
essential for a new Muslim to start learning those prayers in Arabic as well
as some short surah (chapters) of the Holy Quran immediately after
embracing Islam so that he can perform his salah in the proper manner.
The best way of learning is from a Muslim teacher, which is a time-honored
Islamic tradition. But for those who might find themselves in a non-Muslim
environment where a Muslim teacher is not readily available, this booklet has
been prepared. All the necessary prayers and the verses of the Holy Quran
have been put in the Roman script along with the translation of their
meanings into English. Since the Roman script cannot fully and accurately
convey the Arabic sounds, we have prepared an audio tape to go with it
wherein the same prayers have been recorded in Arabic. In order to learn the
prayers with proper Arabic pronunciation, please concentrate more on
listening rather than following the Roman script. It might be a good idea to
have your pronunciation o f the prayers checked by a Muslim teacher at the
first available opportunity.
This booklet is by no means an elaborate book on salah; it is only
an attempt to supply the very basic information to a new Muslim to enable him
to start praying in Arabic as early as possible. Further information is
necessary to perform salah under abnormal conditions i.e. sickness,
travel etc. Some concessions have been granted by Almighty Allah in these
conditions. Similarly, the manner of a woman's salah is slightly
different than that of a man.
Before starting the prayer, a person is required to pay due attention to
certain aspects e.g. cleanliness of the body (ghusl), ablution (wudu),
cleanliness of clothes and the place of prayer. Further study is recommended
in order to understand and all these aspects of salah.