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Fundamentals of Salat

Updated on April 13, 2011

Salat, also known as Salah, is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. It is a ritual prayer with prescribed conditions, procedures, and times. It is obligatory for all Muslims. As long as you've taken shahadah, have reached puberty, and are of sound mind; salah is prescribed for them.

Salah in Arabic means supplication and is known as the obligatory prayer. It is not to be mistaken for dua'a which means invocation and can be done throughout the day with no prescribed parts.

The main reason of prayer in Islam is to communicate with Allah (God). The daily prayers (Salat) serve as a reminder for Muslims to give thanks for Allah's blessings and that Islam takes precedence over all other concerns. In doing this a Muslim's life revolves around Allah and submitting to His will. Salat also serves as a formal method of remembering Allah or dhikr.

To achieve a valid salah a Musim must be in a state of purity by accomplishing oblution (wudu, tayammum, ghusl); covering the awrah; facing the qibla, cleanliness of prayer area; and confidence. Salah is forbidden for women during the menstruation period, but dua'a is allowed.

Salat is prescribed 5 times a day. These are: before dawn (Fajr), after the sun's midpoint (Dhuhr/Zhuhr), in the afternoon (Asr), just after sunset (maghrib) and around nightfall (isha'a). Prayers can be missed but should be made up as soon as possible. If you can avoid missing a prayer it is better.

Salah contains a repetition of two or more sequences of actions and words known as a rak'ah (pl. rak'at). The number of obligatory (fard) rak'at varies circumstances and time, such as Friday congregational prayer. Additions to the fard rak'at can be made for different reasons but are not required. The added rak'at are considered meritorious.

Required rak'at

Fajr - 2 rak'at

Dhuhr/Zhuhr - 4 rak'at

Asr - 4 rak'at

Maghrib - 3 rak'at

Isha'a - 4 rak'at

There are distinct procedures that accompany the amount of rak'at performed starting with Takbeer (saying Allahu Akbar {Allah is Greatest}) and ending with Tasleem (saying As Salaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi {Peace, Mercy and Blessings be unto you}). *The procedures are more involved and will be explained in a later article.*

Salat is an important part of a Muslim's life. It allows one to constantly seek Allah's favor from sins committed throughout the day; big or small. It also keeps one's focus on the more important things which is ultimately the hereafter.


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    • profile image

      Mohd,IMRAN 6 years ago

      may allah give tawfeek to all

    • Zubair Ahmed profile image

      Zubair Ahmed 6 years ago

      Nice ad a very useful hub, thank you for sharing.

      It is a shame that many of us don't actually complete or Salah in the manner and with the full etiquette that it deserves. No wonder the Islamic society does not feel the benefit of Salah.

      May Allah gives all the tawfeek to practice Salah in a manner most acceptable to Him.

    • TrinaLynne profile image

      Trina Lynne 7 years ago from Philadelphia, Pa

      @Neverletitgo - Shukron for pointing out my error. Insha Allah I will fix the mistake. As Salaamu Alaikum.

    • Neverletitgo profile image

      Abdinasir Aden 7 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

      Trinalynne, this is really great hub, but I don't agree with you that the salat is not obligatory for elderly and ill. If the person mentally health should pray salat. If you are ill try your best even if you can pray while you are laying down same as if you are elder. Any way, you have got to ask scholars to make sure that issue. Thanks for sharing.


    • TrinaLynne profile image

      Trina Lynne 7 years ago from Philadelphia, Pa

      And with you sir.

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 7 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      God Be with you!


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