Salah (Prayer) According to the Five Islamic Schools of Law
– “wajib” means obligatory
– “mustahabb” means recommended but not obligatory
– “tasbih” means saying “subhanallah wal-hamdu lillah wala ilaha illallah wallahu akbar”
– “takattuf” means holding one hand with the other while standing in salat.
– “qunut” means rasing both hands toward the sky and holding them in front of the chest or face and then reciting a supplication, like asking for forgiveness.
– “rakat” is a complete cycle of prayer. One begins with the standing and ends with the final prostration. The second would thus begin with another standing.
All schools agree that the number of prayers is 5.
Fajr – Dawn (2 rakat); Thuhur – Immediately after noon (4 rakat); Asr – Midway afternoon(4 rakat); Maghrib – After sunset(3 rakat); Isha – Night(4 rakat)
The Prophet, upon whom be peace said, “Every action is based upon intention. For everyone is what he intended. Whoever made the migration to Allah and His Prophet, then his migration is to Allah and His Prophet. Whoever’s migration was for something of this world or for the purpose of marriage, then his migration was to what he migrated to.” (Related by Muslim).
- The intentions need not be spoken, as with other acts of worship, it is a matter of the heart.
1. Opening Takbir: Imam Ali’ (a.s.) related that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said, “The key to prayer is purity. What puts one into its invioable state is the takbir, and the tasleem releases one from it.”
Takbir = saying “Allahu Abkar” and raising one’s hands at the beginning of prayer. Tasleem = saying “Assalaamu alaikum” or “Assalaamu alaikum wa rahmatulla” at the end of prayer.
2. Stading (Qiyam): One must stand during prayers, if he/she is physical able to do so. “Guard and preserve the prayers and the mid-most prayer, and stand for Allah with devotion.” (2:238)
* If one cannot stand, he may pray sitting and use head movements for the bowing and prostration. If he cannot sit, he may lay himself on his right side. If he cannot do this, he may lie on his back, and so on.
*For voluntary prayers, one can pray sitting even if he can stand.Sequence:
Proper Sequence (tartib) is obligatory between the different parts of salat. Hence the takbirat al-‘ihram (opening takbir) must precede reciting (qira’ah), the qira’ah (recitation of Qur’an) must precede ruku’ (bowing), the ruku’ must come before the sujud (prostration), and so on.
Continuity (muwalat and tatabu’, i.e. to occur one after another) is obligatory between the parts of salat and between the different portions of a part. Therefore, the reciting (qira’ah) must begin immediately after the takbirah and ruku’ must similarly follow the qira’ah, and so on. The verses, words and letters must not be recited in a manner breaking continuity.
1. Fiqh us-Sunnah: at-Tahara and as-Salah by As-Sayyid Sabiq. 1412/1991 American Trust Publications.
ISBN No. 0-89259-060-2
2. Prayer (Salat), According to Five Islamic Schools of Law By: ‘Allamah Muhammad Jawad Maghniyyah – Translated from the Arabic by Mujahid Husayn