A Summarized Description Of The Prayer Of The Messenger Of Allah (May Peace And Blessings Be Upon Him) Shaykh Abdul Aziz At-Tarefe

Salah (Prayer): The Second Pillar of Islam

The companions of the Prophet (May peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) were of the consensus that someone who abandons the Salaah (prayer) has committed Kufr (disbelief).

Walking To The Prayer

It is obligatory to come for prayer in the Mosques with a pure intention, and a specific Dua (supplication) has not been established from the Messenger of Allah (May peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) whilst walking to the masjid. It is also recommended to walk to the prayer with tranquillity and not to hasten unless there is fear of missing the prayer or a Rakah (unit of prayer), in which case an individual may walk slightly faster.

When entering the masjid a person should recite:

اَللَّهُمَّ افْتَحْ لِي أَبْوَابَ رَحْمَتِكَ

“O Allah, open before me the doors of Your mercy”,entering with his right foot first. Thereafter, it is recommended for the individual to pray Tahiyyatul Masjid (prayer for entering the mosque). If one sits before praying Tahiyyatul Masjid, to eat or drink something, or to take a short rest, they may do so and it is fine for them to stand and perform the prayer afterwards.

Shortly Before The Prayer

No particular Dua or Dhikr (Remembrance) has been established from the Messenger of Allah (May peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) just before the opening takbir (i.e. commencing the prayer); however, He (May peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) would be preoccupied in straightening the rows for prayer and using Siwak (tooth stick). Standing close to the Imam is a virtue established from the Messenger of Allah (May peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and there is no difference between standing on the right side of the row or the left side (in terms of virtue), but it is best to stand directly behind the imam.


Intention should be made in the heart and to utter it audibly is an innovation.

Facing The Qiblah

It is obligatory to face the Qiblah (direction of the Ka’bah in Makkah) during both the obligatory and optional prayers, except for the person who is unable like the person praying on a plane or a ship that turns away from Qiblah, such a person should begin their prayer facing the Qiblah and there is no issue if the direction changes whilst they are performing it. It is also permissible to pray the optional prayer in a car or any other mode of transport during travel by gesturing the movements of the prayer, without having to face the Qiblah.

It is a Sunnah for the Imam and the one praying alone to place a Sutrah (barrier) in front of them. The distance between themselves and the Sutrah should be three arms length.

Beginning The Prayer

He begins by saying اللهُ أكبر whilst raising the hands up to the shoulders or the earlobes and extending the fingers. IthasnotbeenauthenticallyprovenfromtheMessenger of Allah (May peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) tofacethe (palms of the)handstowardsthe Qiblahwhilstdoingthis.

The Qiyam (Standing)

The Qiyam is a pillar in the obligatory prayers and a Sunnah in the optional prayers. The sick and those who need to do so may use a stick or lean on a wall to aid them in prayer if necessary.

There is no authentic evidence indicating where the Messengerof Allah (May peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) would look in his prayer. The Qiyam should be done in an upright posture, without joining the feet, as doing so is contradictory to the Sunnah. If the prayer is prolonged a person may alternate between leaning on either (foot).

The Opening Supplication And The Recitation Of The Prayer

Beginning the prayer with an opening Dua is a Sunnah. It is a Sunnah to vary the opening Duas that have been confirmed from the Messenger of Allah (May peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) from time to time. Thereafter, a person should ask Allah for refuge from the cursed shaytaan by reciting:

(أَعُوذُ بِاللهِ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ)

Then he says:

(بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ)

This should be recited inaudibly. He used to hold his hands by placing the right hand over the left hand. He may position them anywhere he wishes either upon his chest or his belly button or his stomach. Thereafter, he is to recite Surah Fatiha (the opening surah of the Qur’an) slowly, verse by verse.

A person should recite audibly in the obligatory units of the Fajr prayer and the first two obligatory units of Maghrib and Isha prayers. At the end of Surah Fatiha both the Imam and congregation should say “Aameen” loudly. The congregation is not to recite Surah Fatiha during the audible prayers, except in those units where recitation is done quietly according to the most correct opinion.

After the recitation of Surah Fatiha any portion of the Quran which is found to be easy may be recited. In the Fajr prayer a person should recite from the Mufassal surahs, (which are the Surahs between Surah Qaf and Surah Nas) and in the Maghrib prayers either he recites from the small length Surahs or the medium length Surahs and in the rest (of the Prayers) he recites from the medium length Surahs. And to recite from the long Surahs for the Fajr and Maghrib prayers then it is also Sunnah. It is disliked to lengthen the Isha prayer and it is prescribed to shorten the recitation whilst travelling.

The Sunnah is to recite a Surah completely in a single unit of prayer without dividing it between two units, and occasionally differing to this is not a problem. Khushoo’ (Humility And Attentiveness) In The Prayer

Khushoo’ is the heart and soul of the prayer and the one who does not possess it finds prayer difficult and it is amongst the characteristics of the successful believers.

Ruku’ (Bowing)

The he performs the Ruku’ by saying اللهُ أكبرwhilst raising the hands as is done at the beginning of the prayer. According to the most correct opinion, saying the Takbir is a Sunnah during each movement within the prayer. The raising of the hands (Raf’ul yadain) is done in four places during the prayer. These are the following; the opening Takbir, before Ruku’, after rising from Ruku’ and standing from the second unit of prayer for the third unit of prayer.

Then he goes down into Ruku and the Sunnah is for the worshipers to go down into Ruku after the Imam. The Ruku’ is to be done whilst keeping the back straight without raising the head or lowering it excessively. He places his hands firmly on his knees while separating between his fingers.

The Sunnah is to lengthen the Ruku and it is not permissible to recite from the Quran during the Ruku’, rather he is to recite:

سُبْحَانَ رَبِّيَ الْعَظِيمِ

“Glory to my Lord the Exalted,” three times, and if said ten times then that is good. Other authentically reported invocations for the Ruku’ are:

سُبْحَانَكَ اَللَّهُمَّ رَبَّنَا وَبِحَمْدِكَ اَللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي

Glory is to You, O Allah, our Lord, and praise is Yours. O Allah, forgive me.

سُبُّوحٌ، قُدُوسٌ، رَبُّ الْمَلَائِكَةِ وَالرُّوحِ

Glory (to You), Most Holy (are You), Lord of the angels and the Spirit (Jibreel).

سُبْحَانَ ذِي الْجَبَرُوْتِ، وَالْمَلَكُوتِ، وَالْكِبْرِيَاءِ، وَالْعَظَمَةِ

Glory is to You, Master of power, of dominion, of majesty and greatness.

Personal supplications can be made during the Ruku’. Thereafter, a person rises from the bowing position, saying:

سَمِعَ اللهُ لِمَنْ حَمِدَهُ

“Allah hears whoever praises Him”. Whether as a Imam or praying individually. As for those praying behind the Imam, they should say:

رَبَّنَا وَلَكَ الْحَمْدُ

“Our Lord, praise is Yours”

Sujood (Prostration)

He then goes into prostration and has the choice to put his hands on the ground before his knees or vice versa, depending on his circumstances. The prostration must be performed on “seven limbs”; the forehead and nose, both hands, both knees and both feet, whilst separating the thighs without letting the stomach rest on any part of it (i.e. the thighs) and joining the fingers and directing them towards the Qiblah whilst saying:

سُبْحَانَ رَبِّيَ الْأَعْلَى

‘Glory is to my Lord, the Most High,’ three times, and if it is increased to ten then that is good. Prostration is the greatest position for making supplications.

Sitting Between The Two Prostrations

Thereafter, he goes into the sitting position, which is in-between the two prostrations. It is Sunnah to sit in the Iftirash position, which is to place the right foot in an upright position whilst directing the toes towards the Qiblah and spreading out the left foot in a way which makes it easy to sit on. A person can also sit on both heels with both feet in the upright position. This position is called the Al-Iqaa’i position.

Between the two prostrationshe says the following:

رَبِّ اغْفِرْ لِي

“My Lord, forgive me.”

Thereafter, the second prostration is the same as the first and the second unit of prayer is the same as the first. The only difference is that the opening supplication is not mentioned in the second unit and the recitation in the second unit is half (in length) in comparison to the first unit.


Then he rises for the second unit by pushing down on the floor. He then sits after the second unit for what is the first Tashahud in the (obligatory) prayers besides Fajr and he should sit in the Iftiraash position after the second unit.

Tashahhud is one of the obligations of the prayer, so, the prayer is broken if the Tashahhud is left out intentionally. If it is missed forgetfully then a Sajdah Sahw (prostration of forgetfulness) should be performed. If someone out of forgetfulness stands up for the third unit of prayer without performing the first Tashahud and has already stood up straight, then they should not return to that Tashahud (after remembering that they missed the first Tashahud and should continue with the third unit of the prayer.)

Pointing with the finger is prescribed in the first and last Tashahud, however, moving it is not established from the Messenger of Allah (May peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).Salawaat (Prayers) upon the Messenger of Allah (May peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)is not to be said in the first tashahud.

The most authentic form of Tashahud reported from the Messenger of Allah (May peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is as follows:

التَّحِيّـاتُ للهِ وَالصَّلَـوَاتُ والطَّيِّـبات ، السَّلامُ عَلَيـكَ أَيُّهـا النَّبِـيُّ وَرَحْمَـةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكـاتُه ، السَّلامُ عَلَيْـنا وَعَلـى عِبـادِ اللهِ الصَّـالِحـين . أَشْـهَدُ أَنْ لا إِلـهَ إِلَّا الله ، وَأَشْـهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمّـداً عَبْـدُهُ وَرَسـولُه

“All greetings of humility are for Allah, and all prayers and goodness. Peace be upon you, O Prophet, and the mercy of Allah and His blessings. Peace be upon us and upon the righteous slaves of Allah. I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and His Messenger.”

To send Salawaat and Salaam upon the Messenger of Allah (May peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is a Sunnah in the last tashahud (before the Tasleem – giving Salaam to both sides) and can be said as follows:

“اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ، كَمَا صَلَّيْتَ عَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَوَعَلَى آلِ إِبْرَاهِيم، إِنَّكَ حَمِيدٌ مَجِيدٌ”.

“O Allah, bestow Your favor on Muhammad and on the family of Muhammad as You have bestowed Your favor on Ibrahim and on the family of Ibrahim, You are Praiseworthy, Most Glorious.”

At the end of the final Tashahud, a person supplicates and the most emphasized supplications is:

“اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ عَذَابِ جَهَنَّمَ، وَمِنْ عَذَابِ الْقَبْرِ، وَمِنْ فِتْنَةِ الْمَحْيَا وَالْمَمَاتِ، وَمِنْ شَرِّ فِتْنَةِ الْمَسِيحِ الدَّجَّالِ”.

“O Allah, I seek refuge in You from the punishment of the Hell-fire, and from the punishment of the grave, and from the trials of life and death, and from the evil of the trial of the False Messiah.”

The last tashahud is one of the pillars of the Prayer.

Tasleem (Giving Salaam to both sides)

At the end of the Tashahud he makes Salaam to the right and then to the left. The first salaam is obligatory and the second is a Sunnah. Both Salaams are recited as follows:

السَّلامُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ

“May peace and Allaah’s Mercy be upon you”.

It is Sunnah to turn facing the right until the people behind him can see his right cheek and (then) left so that those behind can see his left cheek.

{Taken from the Translation of ‘A Summarized Description Of The Prayer, Fasting, Night Prayer And I’tikaaf Of The Messenger Of Allah(May Peace And Blessings Be Upon Him)’ Authored By Sheikh Abdul Aziz Ibn Marzouq At-Tarefe}