What is Prayer(Salat)?


Salat in Islam is a special prayer which is informed to the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) through revelation and its boundaries and form are determined. Any change in its form nullifies it. Salat is a discipline which is set as a binding duty for all Muslims as it is formal. Islam targeted to discipline its members and saved the endless conscious of the existence of Allah by setting it as a binding duty for Muslims. Salat train a Muslim for a healthy and well-organized life by dividing the day into intervals. It is accepted as refreshing and cleaning practice with abdast (ritual ablution) performed by clean water.

It works as a work-out for body as well by the postural changes between standing, kneeling, prostrating and sitting. Salah brings physical and psychological serenity and spiritual pleasure with itself. It is taking the mind from the daily works to concentrate Allah, his decrees and his existence, and raise you to the absolute and universal sovereignty. The one who worship comes out to face with this life and its problems more ready than before. The true nature of Salat, the ideas coming with the religious sentence, makes the person eager; it directs the one to beneficial works; it strengthens its determination to avoid wickedness and to fill the world with goodness. And finally, when it is performed together with a community, it induces Muslims, at the same lines, for equality, universality, brotherhood and to care about one’s brothers/sister (*).

All creatures in the universe, including the sun, meadow, grass, trees, perform dhikr all the time. The nature of birds flying as a flock, mountains, stones serve for Allah in a way that is unknown for us. They all perform their prayers in their way, the plants in standing, animals in bowing, and the inorganic objects in prostrating. The sky domestics are in the same situation.

Some part of the angels performs it in bowing while some others in prostrating or telling his name (tespih) and Tehlil… However, Salat, as a prayer, is prayer having all worships in its structure. Therefore, the real performers of Salat carry out a worship containing all worships of the creatures in the ground and the sky.

The Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) ordered that: Salat gives consent of Allah who is sublime and great. It provides the love of angels. It is the way of the Prophet. It is the light of talent and the basis of faith. It is an instrument for acceptance of prayer. It makes actions accepted. It provides fruitfulness for foods and relaxation for body. It is a weapon on enemies. It keeps the Satan away. It is an interceder between the death and the Angel of Death. It is a light and a ground cloth in the grave. It is the answer for the questions of Munker and Nekir. It is like a congenial companion in the grave till the Apocalypse. It is a shady spot on the ones who performed Salat in the Apocalypse. It is a crown for one’s head. It is a dress for one’s body. It is the light going in front of the one. It is a curtain put between the human beings. It is the evident of believers in the presence of their Lord. It is heaviness in the divine balance. It is a passage to the Sirat. It is a key to the Heaven. Because Salat is tespih, praise, respect, reading, and prayer. Consequently, all of the good performances are contained in Salat performed on its time.



Before a person can say his prayer, he must be clean and pure. The Qur’an says: “Truly Allah loves those who turn to Him and those who care for cleanliness”. Cleanliness of mind, of body, and of clothes is called Taharah or purification. It is only in such a condition of purification that a Muslim may perform the Salat.

Purification of the body is attained by partial or total washing with clean water. The partial wash is known as Al-Wudu or the ablution, and the total wash is called Al-Ghusl or the washing (bath) of the whole body.


How to Make Al-Wudu:

1. Make sure the place is clean, and make Niyyah (Intention) that you are making Wudu’ for Salaat and begin by saying. “Bismillah” (In the name of Allah). Wash both hands up to the wrist three times, making sure that water has reached between the fingers.

2. Put a handful of  water into your mouth and rinse it thoroughly three times.

3. Clean your nose by sniffing water into it and extract the water you just sniffed (be careful not to sniff the water all the way), repeat the step 3 times.

4. Wash your face three times from right ear to left ear and from forehead to throat.

5. Wash your right arm and then your left arm thoroughly, this time up to elbow three times.

6. Move the wet fingers and palms (touching gently) over your head from the top of forehead all the way to the back of the head, and back (back of the head to the forehead). Only one time and not three.

7. Pass the wet tips of your index fingers into the grooves and holes of both ears and also pass the wet thumbs behind the ears (three times).

8. Finally, wash both feet to the ankles (preferably to the knees) starting with the right foot, making sure that water has reached between the toes and back of the feet.

It’s preferable to say after leaving the bathroom “Ash-hadu an la ilaha  illal lahu wa ash-hadu anna Muammadan ‘abduhu wa rasuluh.”

Adan(call for prayer)


A call is made from the mosque, indicating that it is time for the obligatory prayer. There are five obligatory prayers in a day. On hearing the Call, people start preparing themselves for the prayer(making Al Wudu). Appearing below is the transliteration and translation of what a caller to the prayer says before each obligatory Salat:

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar
(God is the greatest, God is the greatest)
Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar
(God is the greatest, God is the greatest)
Ashadu an la ilaha ill Allah
(I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but God)
Ashadu an la ilaha ill Allah
(I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but God)
Ashadu anna Muhammadan rasoolullah
(I bear witness that Muhammad is the prophet of God)
Ashadu anna Muhammadan rasoolullah
(I bear witness that Muhammad is the prophet of God)
Hayya’alas salah (Come to prayer,)
Hayya’alas salah (Come to prayer,)
Hayya’alal falah (Come to success,)
Hayya’alal falah (Come to success,)
Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar
(God is the greatest, God is the greatest)
La ilaha ill Allah
(There is no deity but God.)

How to make Salat(prayer):


Face the Qiblah (toward Mecca), and make sure you’re in a clean area, now you are about to start one of the following prayers: 1st prayer (Fajr), 2nd prayer (Dhuhr), 3rd (Asr), 4th (Maghrib), 5th (Ishaa).

Standing, you will start the prayer raising both hands up close to your ears and say “Allahu Akbar” (God is Most Great).



Then put one hand on the top of the other hand between your chest and upper stomach, and start reciting surat “Al Fatiha”,” Bismillaah ar-Rahman ar-Raheem Al hamdu lillaahi rabbil ‘alameen Ar-Rahman ar-Raheem Maaliki yaumid Deen Iyyaaka na’abudu wa iyyaaka nasta’een Ihdinas siraatal mustaqeem Siraatal ladheena an ‘amta’ alaihim Ghairil maghduubi’ alaihim waladaaleen” say “ameen” once you finish it, and then start reciting another small surat this is Surat “Al Ikhlas” “Bismillaah ar-Rahman ar-Raheem Qul huwallaahu ahad Allahus samad Lam yalid wa lam yuulad Wa lamyakun lahuuu kufuwan ahad ” Remember you can choose any Surat to recite after Al Fatiha, we just put this beautiful Surat as an example.



Once you finish reciting raise your hands up to the ears, saying “Allahu Akbar.” Bow (your hands on your knees, back straight, your face toward the ground, saying three times, “Subhana rabbiyal adheem” (Glory be to my Lord Almighty). This position is called (ruku’). See photo.


Rise back to standing while saying “Sami’a Allahu liman hamidah, Rabbana wa lakal hamd” (God hears those who call upon Him; Our Lord, praise be to You). Raise hands up, saying “Allahu Akbar”



 Then descend to the ground (see photo), while your face on the ground say three times “Subhana Rabbiyal A’ala” (Glory be to my Lord, the Most High). This position is called “sujud”



Rise to a sitting position (see picture), saying “Allahu Akbar

Then prostrate back on the ground (this is the second time you do it), while your face on the ground say three times “Subhana Rabbiyal A’ala”


This will conclude the first “rak’a”. Now to start the second “raka’a” you simply need to repeat steps from 2 to 8. Note that at the end of your second “rak’a” you will have to add step 9, which is:


Rise to a sitting positition (see photo), remain sitting and recite the first part of the Tashahhud in Arabic:  “Atta-hiyyatu lillahi was-salawatu wat-tayyibatu As-salamu ‘ala an-Nabiyy wa rahmat-ullahi wa barakatuhu As-salamu ‘alaina wa ‘alaa ‘Ibaadillah-is-salihin. Ash-hadu-al-la-ilaha illAllahu wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa Rasuluh”. Note that while reciting “Ash-hadu-al-la ilaha illaAllahu …” one should move the index finger of the right hand in a small circle like you’re drawing a circle on the sand beach with your index while the hand is still on the thigh. Only the index should be moving, the rest of the fingers and hand don’t have to move.

See photo:



If the prayer is to be longer than 2 “rak’as”, then add the same steps from 2 to 8 depending on how many “rak’as” you have to perfom, for example if you have to make 4 “rak’as” then you will have to add steps 2 to 8 two more times (which means 4 times in total). Then finally add the step number 9 again (basically after each two “rak’as” the step #9 is required).

Main prayers of the day:

1st prayer (Fajr) = 2 Rakats

2nd prayer (Dhuhr) = 4 Rakats

3rd prayer (Asr) = 4 Rakats

4th prayer (Maghrib) = 3 Rakats

5th prayer (Ishaa) = 4 Rakats

To end your prayer, while still sitting, turn your face to the right and say “Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah” (Peace be upon you and God’s blessings), and turn to the left and say the same “Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah”. And that’s how you finish your prayer, easy!

Note:  There is a second half part of tashahhud which is recited in the final “rak’a” but if it can be learned later, you don’t have to do it if you’re still in your first days, it says “Allahumma salli ala Muhammad wa ala aali Muhammad kama salaita ala Ibraheem, wa barik ala Muhammad wa ala aali Muhammad kama barakta ala Ibraheem wa ala aali Ibraheem fel ‘alameena innaka hameedun majeed”, this will be added to step 9 before reaching step 10.

Also check out videos to watch a prayer being performed. If you still have questions you can always email us.