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The 5 Daily Salah


“The coolness of my eyes lies in Salah.”
– Musnad of Imam Ahmad

The five prayers are an obligation upon every Muslim, who is sane, and has reached the age of puberty. Allah ﷻ often mentions in the Qur’an the obligation of Salah, and mentions “establishing the prayer”. Establishing the prayer means to make it an integral part of one’s life, and this is aided by the fact that Allah ﷻ has given us five prayers per day. These are Fajr, Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib, and `Isha’.

When are they performed?

The five prayers are spread throughout the day as follows:

This is the early morning prayer, and is completed before sunrise.

This is the midday prayer, and begins just after the sun being at its highest point.

This is the late afternoon prayer, and begins after Zuhr ends

This is the evening prayer, and starts just after the sun has begun to set.

This is the night prayer, and begins roughly an hour and a half after Maghrib.

Types of Salah

There are different types of Salah, and these will make up the 5 daily prayers. They are as follows:

Obligatory, and must be completed.

Required, very close to Fard.

Sunnah Mu’akkadah
An emphasised sunnah. These should not be missed, to do so repeatedly is Makruh (Severely disliked)

Sunnah Ghayr Mu’akkadah
A sunnah which was occasionally missed.

Entirely voluntary.

Conditions of Salah

Before one begins praying, the following conditions must be met.

One’s body, clothes, and place of prayer must be clean.

One’s body has to be covered appropriately. For men this is from the navel to the knees, and for ladies this is the whole body except the face, hands, and feet.

Praying at the prescribed time
One must pray in the correct time. You cannot pray before the time begins.

Facing Qibla
One must ensure they are facing the Qibla when they are praying. If they aren’t sure, then they should follow their heart in regards to where the Qibla is.

One should have the intention for prayer. This has to be made, and should include the prayer, which type of prayer, how many Rak’aat, and whether there is an Imam leading the prayer.

Faraa’id of Salah

The conditions are required to begin salah, once in prayer, the following must be done. Not doing any of these will render the prayer invalid.

Takbir e Tahrima
This is the first Takbir. After this, talking, eating, and drinking become Haram until the salah is finished.

This is to stand in the prayer. One’s feet should be 4 fingers apart, his left hand on or below his navel with the right hand in top holding the wrist.

Recitation of the Qur’an
This should be at least 1 long ayah of the Qur’an, or 3 short ones. Unless one is following an Imam.

Bowing has a minimal movement that is enough for the hands to clasp the knees. The Sunnah is for the back to be straight and parallel to the ground.

Prostration has to be done with the feet, knees, hands, nose and head.

This is the last sitting, and must be done to the extent of At-Tahiyyaat at least.

Termination of the prayer must be done by giving Salaam twice, once facing right, then left. This is done by saying “As-Salaamu `Alaykum” at the very least that which nullifies the prayer.

Any of the following actions will break the prayer:

  • To speak or utter any words that are outside of the prayer. Even if out of forgetfulness.
  • Excessive movement.
    • Excessive movement is defined as actions that would make it seem to an onlooker as if one is not praying.
    • Excessive movement is also considered to be 3 continuous actions. Such as taking 3 steps one after the other in prayer.
  • To eat or drink.
    • If there is something in the mouth already, and if it is less than a chickpea in size, swallowing it won’t break the prayer.
  • To say salaam to someone, or to reply to salaam.
  • To turn one’s chest away from the Qibla.
  • To elongate the first Alif in Allahu Akbar.
  • For any part of one’s Awra to be uncovered for the time it takes to say “SubhaanAllah” thrice.
  • If one moans or cries in such a manner that results in words being formed, for example, “Ah!”
  • To respond to bad news, sneezing, a question etc.
  • Anything that breaks wudu will break the prayer.
  • To read Qur’an from something other than memory.

Disliked actions

These are actions that are Makruh Tahriman, they do not break the Salah, but these are actions that are disliked.

  • To leave out any Wajib or Sunnah on purpose.
    • Missing out a Wajib and not making Sujood al sahw will render the prayer invalid.
  • To fiddle with one’s clothes etc. Without a valid reason.
  • To move things, such as pebbles, unless it is so you can make Sajdah.
  • To crack the knuckles.
    • Cracking the knuckles outside of Salah is Makruh Tanzihan – Mildly Disliked.
  • To place one’s hands on one’s hips.
  • To turn the head away from Qibla.
    • Turning the torso away from the Qibla will break the salah.
    • Looking with the eyes alone isn’t Makruh, but is best to avoid.
  • To lay one’s forearms on the ground during Sajdah.
    • This is Makruh for men, but sunnah for ladies.
  • To roll up one’s sleeves.
  • To pray with just the Awra covered if one has the ability to cover the whole body.
  • To gather one’s garments before going into Sajdah.
  • To wear a shawl in such a manner that the ends hang loose.
  • To keep the eyes shut.
    • If it is done so to further concentration, then it is superior to keep the eyes closed.
  • To yawn on purpose.
  • To stretch
  • To cover the nose and mouth
    • This is excused when yawning.
  • To make Sajdah with the forehead covered.
  • To make Sujood on a picture.
  • To pray near filth.
  • To pray in a road, toilet or graveyard.
  • To pray while having the urge to relieve oneself.
  • To pray in work clothes if they are dirty.
  • To pray in clothing that has an image of a creature.
  • To pray where one would easily become distracted.
  • To pray alone in a row during congregation.
  • To pray facing a sleeping person.
  • To pray facing a fire.

Times in which one can’t pray

The following times are not permissible to pray in, this will include the Sajdah of Tilawat.

  • From sunrise up until 20 minutes after.
  • The 20 minutes before Maghrib.
  • From midday up until 20 minutes after.

If one hasn’t prayed Asr, and the Makruh time has entered, one should pray the Asr.


Method of Salah

The following is the method of prayer for a 2 Rak’aat Fajr which is Fard.

One makes the intention for Salah.
“I intend to pray 2 Rak’aat Fard, Fajr in its appointed time for the sake of Allah and facing the Qibla.”

Make the initial Takbir.
“Allahu Akbar” followed by placing the left hand on/below the navel, with the right hand clasping the wrist of the left hand.
This standing is known as “Qiyaam”.
The gaze should be fixed upon the place of Sajdah.

Recite the following:
“Subhaanak Allah Humma wa bi Hamdika…”
Ta`awwudh and the Basmala
Surah Fatihah
Any short Surah from the Qur’an.

Go into Ruku
Say “Allahu Akbar” and bow down in such a manner that the knees are clasped firmly, the back is straight and parallel with the ground, and the eyes are focused on where the feet are.
Recite “Subhaana Rabbiyyal `Azeem” thrice

Stand in Qawmah
Say “Sami` Allahu li Man Hamidah” when standing.
Stand with one’s hands by the sides.
Whilst stood, say “Rabbana wa Lak-al Hamd”
Make Sajdah
Say “Allahu Akbar” and go into Sujood in such a manner that the knees hit the floor first, followed by the hands, nose, and forehead.
All toes should be pressed into the ground, as should the nose.
Look to where the nose is.
The body should not be spread too far out, nor too closed up.
The stomach shouldn’t touch the knees, the elbows shouldn’t be on the floor nor against the sides, the hamstring shouldn’t touch the calves.
Recite “Subhaana Rabbiyyal A`laa” thrice.

Sit in Jalsa
Say “Allahu Akbar” and sit in such a manner where the hands are upon the knees, the right foot hasn’t changed position, but the left foot is sat on so that the outer foot is on the floor.

Make the second Sajdah
Say “Allahu Akbar” and go into Sajdah as stated above.

Stand for the second Rak’aat
Say “Allahu Akbar” and stand up from Sajdah.
Begin from the Basmala and recite al Fatihah along with some Qur’an.

Go into Ruku, followed by Qawmah and Sujood.

After the second Sajdah, sit in Qa`da.
This is the last sitting.
In this, one recites Tashahud (Attahiyaatu LIllahi wa-s Salawaatu wa-t Tayyibaat…), followed by Salawat (Durood e Ibrahimi), and du’a (Rabbi-j`alni…)

After reciting the above, make Salaam.
This is done by saying “As-Salaamu `Alaykum” at the very least, looking at the right shoulder, then saying the same and looking to the left shoulder.

For a Salah that is 3 Rak’aat (Fard), the first 2 Rak’aat are prayed as mentioned above up until the end of Tashahud in the second Rak’ah. One then says “Allahu Akbar”, stands in Qiyaam, recites the Basmala and Surah Fatihah alone, and then goes onto finish the Salah as per the last Rak’ah mentioned above.

For a Salah that is 4 Rak’aat (Fard) the first 2 Rak’aat are prayed as mentioned above up until the end of Tashahud in the second Rak’ah. One then says “Allahu Akbar”, stands in Qiyaam and begins from the Basmala and finishes the prayer as another 2 Rak’aat.

Remember that in a Fard prayer, you only recite Qur’an after Fatihah in the first 2 Rak’aat. The 3rd and 4th Rak’aat only have the Fatihah.

With the Witr, which is the 3 Rak`aat Salah that comes with `Ishaa’, the first 2 Rak`aat are prayed as per usual. In the third Rak`ah, Surah Fatihah along with some Qur’an is recited. Before going into Ruku, one says “Allahu Akbar” and recites Qunut, which is a Du’a. This is a specific Du`a, although one can recite any Du`a so long as it is from the Qur’an or Sunnah.


Sunnah Mu’akkadah and Sunnah Ghayr Mu’akkadah

Sunnah Mu’akkadah is an emphasised Sunnah, these shouldn’t be left out as doing so repeatedly incurs sin.

For Sunnah Mu’akkadah that are 4 Rak`aat pray them as a normal 4 Fard.  Remember to recite Qur’an after Fatihah in every Rak’aat

Sunnah Mu’akkadah are:

2 Rak’aat before Fard

4 Rak`aat before Fard
2 Rak`aat after Fard

2 Rak`aat after Fard

2 Rak`aat after Fard

4 Rak`aat before Fard
4 Rak`aat after Fard
2 Rak`aat after the 4 Rak`aat

Sunnah Ghayr Mu’akkadah is a Sunnah that RasoolAllah SalAllahu `Alayhi wa Aalihi wa Sallam would do often, but would occasionally miss out. These are prayed slightly different to Sunnah Mu’akkadah.

A Sunnah Ghayr Mu’akkadah will generally be 4 Rak`aat, the first 2 Rak`aat are prayed as per normal with the addition of Salawat after Tashahud in the second Rak’ah. After finishing Salawat, one then says “Allahu Akbar” and stands for the third Rak’ah, one then recites from the beginning as if starting Salah again, starting from “Subhaanak Allah Humma wa bi Hamdika…” and the last 2 Rak`aat are completed as per the usual routine for a sunnah – reciting Fatihah and Qur’an in the last 2 Rak`aat.

An easier way of looking at is to imagine Sunnah Ghayr Mu’akkadah being 2 2 Rak`ah Salah prayed back to back but without any Salaam at the end of the second Rak`ah.

Sunnah Ghayr Mu’akkadah are:

4 Rak`aat before Fard

4 Rak`aat before Fard

Sujood al Sahw

Sujood al Sahw is made when a Wajib has been missed from Salah. Even if all of the Wajibaat of Salah were missed by mistake, making one Sujood al Sahw will make up for it.

Sujood al Sahw is made in the following way:

  • After the first Salaam, say “Allahu Akbar” and go into Sajdah as if you’ve just come into Sujood from Qawmah.
  • Recite Tashahud and Salawat, followed by the normal two Salaams to finish the Salah.

If one forgets to make the Sujood al Sahw, and finishes his Salah. So long as he hasn’t spoken, or moved from his place, he can make Sujood al Sahw.

If one is in congregation, Sujood al Sahw is only made if the Imam makes it, any mistakes made individually in a congregation are negated by the fact prayer is made behind by an Imam.

The following are some examples of situations which would necessitate Sujood al Sahw, not performing Sujood al Sahw will require Salah to be repeated again.

  • To delay an integral of prayer by the time it takes to say “SubhaanAllah” thrice.
  • To perform an extra integral. An example of this is to perform Ruku twice in one Rak`ah.
  • Reciting Qur’an in a position other than Qiyaam.
  • To miss out any verses of Fatihah, or to miss out reciting Qur’an in the first 2 Rak`aat.
  • To recite Qur’an in the last 2 Rak`aat of a Fard.
  • To sit for tashahud in the first Rak`ah, or a Rak`ah where Tashahud doesn’t take place.
  • To stand when one should sit for Tashahud. If one hasn’t fully stood up, then he should sit down and this will be excused.
  • To stand and think without reciting anything for the time it takes to say “SubhaanAllah” thrice.
  • For the Imam to recite aloud in Zuhr or Asr, or to the opposite in Fajr, Maghrib, or `Ishaa’.

Prayer of the traveller

The prayer of a traveller is different to that of a resident.
A traveller is considered to be a traveller if he fulfils the following two conditions:

  • The distance travelled is a distance more than a 3 day camel’s journey, which is around 48-50 miles.This is an approximation and should be used as a guideline.
  • The journey is intended to be less than 15 days.

The prayer is shortened from the point the city boundaries have been passed, in today’s age that would be the motorway.

Only the 4 Rak`aat Salah are shortened to 2, everything else is prayed in full. If one is able to pray the Sunnahs, he should do so, otherwise they can be missed with the exception of the 2 Sunnahs that come with Fajr.

If a traveller is praying behind an Imam, he should pray in full behind the Imam.
If a traveller is an Imam, he should pray his Salah in the shortened manner, and the followers should complete the remaining Rak`aat.

A traveller is also exempt from fasting if he chooses to do so, but these must be made up later. Similarly, any prayers that are missed out whilst travelling are made up as shortened prayers even if they are made up in one’s city of residence.

If someone lives out at university, for example, and they stay there for most of their time, they would pray their Salah in full both at their accommodation and when they are back home. For they live away from home, but their hometown is their Watan e Asl, this is the case unless one moves on a permanent basis.


Qadaa’ Salah is the prayer done when making up missed prayers.

When one is making up missed prayers, he must do so before the praying the next prayer, and in order that the prayers were missed. This is Mustahaqq (mandatory) and must be done, otherwise the following prayer isn’t valid.
This is the case except in the following cases:

  • If the time for the current prayer is leaving.
  • Forgetfulness
  • If the number of prayers missed comes to 6, or more. This excludes the witr.

The Niyyah doesn’t have to specify a certain missed prayer, to say “I intend to pray 3 Rak`aat of a Maghrib that I have missed” will suffice.

Qadaa’ can be prayed differently to allow for them to be read quicker in the event there are multiple prayers missed.

  • Make Niyyah for Qadaa Salah (eg Maghrib)
  • Make the first Takbir
  • Pray the first two Rak`aat as per normal but only recite each Tasbihaat in Ruku and Sujood once.
  • In the third Rak`aat, rather than reciting Fatihah, say “SubhaanAllah” thrice, and go into Ruku.
  • Finish the Rak`aat, one Tasbihaat in each position, and a short Salwar “Allah Humma Salli `Alaa Muhammad, wa `Alaa Aali Muhammad.”

Joining the congregational prayer

If one is praying alone in a Masjid, and the congregational prayer begins, one must terminate their own Salah and join the congregation. This is only the case if one is praying in the masjid where the congregation has just commenced.

The Salah is terminated by making Salaam in a standing position.

  • If one is standing in the first rak`ah without having gone into Sajdah, the Salah is terminated whilst standing.
  • If one is praying a 2 or 3 Rak`aat Salah, and has already completed 1 Rak`ah, the Salah should be finished as per normal.
  • If one is praying a 4 Rak`aat Salah, and has already completed 1 Rak`ah, the Salah should be made up to 2 Rak`aat, and finished as 2 nafl. The congregation should then be joined.
  • If one has already prayed, and the congregation has begun, one should join the congregation with the intention of praying Nafl. This is the case for every Salah aside from Fajr and Asr.
  • The Sunnah before Fajr should be prayed before joining the congregation, if time is short one may pray with the congregation, and pray 2 Rak`aat Salaat al Duha after the 20 minutes after sunrise.
  • The Sunnah before Zuhr can be made up after the Fard, either before or after the 2 Rak`aat Sunnah.
  • One should not leave the masjid if he hears the adhaan, unless there is a pressing issue.

If one joins the congregation late, the mixed Rak`aat must be made up.

  • If the Muqtadi joins before Ruku is finished, he has caught that Rak`ah.
  • The Rak`aat that are missed are prayed after the congregation has finished. The Imaam will say the first Salaam, at which point one says “Allahu Akbar” and then stands, and begins the Rak`aat with “Subhaanak Allah Humma”
  • If one Rak`aat has been missed, Fatihah, and Qur’an are recited, and the Rak`ah is finished as per normal.
  • If 2 Rak`aat have been missed from Maghrib, the missed Rak`aat are prayed as 2 Rak`aat with a sitting in each Rak`ah.
  • If 2 Rak`aat have been missed from a 4 Rak`aat Salah, they are prayed as 2 normal Rak`aat.
  • If 3 Rak`aat have been missed from Maghrib (the last Rak`ah was caught) then the missed Rak`aat are prayed as a normal 3 Rak`aat.
  • If 3 Rak`aat have been missed from a 4 Rak`aat Salah, then they will be prayed as follows:
    • First Rak`ah will begin from “Subhaanak Allah Humma…” with Fatihah, and Qur’an, Ruku, Qawmah, Sujood. But remain seated and pray Tashahud.
    • The second Rak’aat will be prayed from the Basmala, through to Sujood, after which one stands for the third missed Rak`ah.
    • The third Rak`aat will be prayed from the Basmala, with only Fatihah. And then the Rak`ah will be finished as per normal.

In terms of what is recited, one recites as if they have begun the Salah, but one’s actions are made as if they are from the end of the Salah.

Jummu`ah Salah

The Friday prayer is an obligation on every Muslim that fulfils these conditions:

  • Male
  • Being a freeman
  • Residency in the city
  • Sound health
  • Safety from oppressors
  • Sound eyesight
  • Ability to walk

Jummu`ah in itself has its conditions to be valid, and they are as follows:

  • The prayer is held in a city, and not a small village
  • The Imam is someone appointed by the head of state, or by the community.
  • It is held in the time of zuhr
  • A Khutbah is given in the time of zuhr
    • At least one person has to be listening to the Khutbah.
  • Must have open access
  • A congregation of at least 3, this excludes the Imam.

In regards to the Khutbah, the bare minimum is to recite at least 1 Tahlil or Tasbih. But to only do so by saying “Laa Ilaaha IlAllah” alone is Makruh Tanzihan.

A Khutbah should include one ayah from the Qur’an, Salawat, and advice for the people towards Taqwa.

The one delivering the Khutbah should perform 2 Khutbahs with one sitting in between as per the Sunnah.

One shouldn’t talk or fidget during the Khutbah, it is not even permitted to tell someone to be quiet.

The Friday prayer takes the place of zuhr.

If one joins the congregation late, they should finish it as 2 Rak’aat.


Eid Prayer

The `Eid Prayers are Wajib upon those for whom Jummu`ah is obligatory.

It has the same conditions apart from the fact that the Khutbah is a sunnah. The Khutbah is performed after the prayer as opposed to before it as done in Jummu`ah.

Method of `Eid Prayer

The Eid Prayer is made as follows:

  • One makes the intention for `Eid
    • The muqtadi makes niyyah for 2 Rak`aat Eid Salah, with 6 extra Takbiraat, behind the Imam.
  • After the first Takbir, Thanaa is recited.
  • Then 3 Takbiraat are performed, these are performed in the same way the initial Takbir is made, but the hands are placed by the sides as done in Qawmah. On the third Takbiraat, fold the hands as per usual in Qiyaam.
  • Complete the Rak`aat with the Imam.
  • In the second Rak`aat, the Imam will recite Fatihah along with some Qur’an.
  • Before going into Ruku, there will be 3 extra Takbirat. With each one place the hands by the side.
  • At this point, one should be stood with the hands by the side, the Imam will then go into Ruku, the Rak`aat should be completed as per usual.
  • After the Salah, the Imam will deliver a Khutbah.

With `Eid ul Fitr, it is recommended to eat an odd number of dates before leaving for the `Eid prayer. Perform Ghusl, wear fine clothes, wear perfume, and pay the Sadaqaat al fitr. En route to the masjid, one should perform the Takbirat silently.

On the way back, it is recommended to go home a different way to the one taken to get there.

With `Eid ul Adha, eating is delayed until after the prayer, and the Takbirat are performed aloud on the way to the prayer.
One should also recite the Takbirat after every Fard Salah from Fajr of `Arafa until Asr of the fifth day of `Arafa.

The Takbirat are as follows:

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar. Laa Ilaaha IIlAllahu w-Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar wa lIllahil Hamd.