HOW TO PERFORM PRAYERS

 

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

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.




 

Written by AbuUbaida
24th October 2003