We have previously explained the rules of tahirat and wudhu. There fore we will not repeat them here.
Facing towards Qibla
It is wajib (compulsory) to face the Khana Kaaba when one is performing prayer. If a person deliberately does not face towards the Kaaba, not only does it invalidate his prayers, but he becomes a jahannumi (one destined to hellfire).
If someone mistakenly or unintentionally does not face Kaaba and performs his prayer and later comes to know the correct direction of Qibla, then he should repeat his prayer if time is remaining. If the time has finished, his prayer is valid and does not need to repeat it.
If a person believes he is facing Qibla, but after performing his prayer he realizes he was slightly turned in the wrong direction, his prayer is valid.
If a person is unable to know the true direction of Qibla, then he may perform his prayer while facing any direction.
Adhan and Iqama (calls to prayer)
It is mustahab to perform adhan and iqama before performing one’s prayer regardless if one is in a gathering or alone. However there is no adhan or iqama for females.
Method of Adhan
Recite the following:
Allahu Akbar (God is the greatest) four times
Ashhadu al la ilaha illa ‘llah (I testify there is no god other than Allah ) two times
Ashhadu anna Muhammadar rasoolullah (I testify that Muhammad (saw) is the messenger of Allah ) two times
Ashhadu anna Ameerul Momineen wa Imam ul Muttaqeen Aliyun waliullah wasi rasoolullah wa khalifatul bil fasaal ( I testify that Ali (as) is the master of all believers, leader of all the pious, and the wali of Allah, successor of RasoolAllah (saw) and nothing shall come between Them ) two times
Hayya ala salah (Hasten to prayer ) two times
Hayya ala falah (Hasten to salvation) two times
Hayya ala kharyi ‘l ‘amal (Hasten to the best of actions) two times
Allahu Akbar (God is the greatest) two times
La ilaha illa ‘llah (There is no god except Allah) two times
Method of reciting Iqama
Recite the following:
Allahu Akbar (God is the greatest) two times
Ashhadu al la ilaha illa’llah (I testify there is no god other than Allah ) two times
Ashhadu anna Muhammadar rasoolullah (I testify Muhammad (saw) is the messenger of Allah ) two times
Ashhadu anna Ameerul Momineen wa Imam ul Muttaqeen Aliyun waliullah (I testify Ali (as) is the master of all believers, leader of all pious, and wali of Allah) two times
Hayya ala salah (Hasten to the prayer) two times
Hayya ala falah (Hasten to salvation) two times
Hayya ala khairul amal (Hasten to the best of actions) two times
Qad qamatis salah (The prayer has begun) two times
Allahu Akbar (God is the greatest) two times
La ilaha illa llah (There is no god other than Allah) one time
Performing one’s prayer silently and loudly
There are some prayers which are recited aloud while others are recited silently.
If a person deliberately recites those prayers silently which are suppose to be performed aloud or recites those prayers aloud which should be read silently, then his prayer is invalid. You must remember this important point.
Fajr (dawn), first 2 rakats of maghrib (evening), and isha (night) prayers are performed aloud. All the rakats of zuhr (noon), asr (afternoon), and the 3rd rakat of maghrib (evening) and last two rakats of isha (night) are performed silently. In those prayers which are performed silently, takbir tul al ahram and bismillah al rahman al raheem are read aloud.
Place of Prayer
Despite of the importance of prayer, there are conditions on what place prayer can be performed in. It cannot be performed in every place.
The place where you are going to pray should not be usurped.
You should not pray in a place which is filled with danger such as a place whose roof is weak, a place filled with enemies, thieves, animals, etc.
It should not be place that is used as a walk through for the people.
Praying beside or in front of the grave of any Masoomeen (as) will make one’s prayer invalid. Your prayer must be performed while standing behind the grave of Masoomeen (as).
If the place is wet with najisat (impure), it should not be so wet that its wetness can reach your body or dress.
If the place where you will put your forehead is najis (impure),even if it is dry, then your prayer will be invalid.
The height of the place you will perform sajda (prostration) should not be more than four fingers above your ankle.
There are eight places where prayer cannot be performed under any circumstances: 1. in the mud 2. in bathroom 3. graveyard 4. place covered by ants 5. place where animals live 6. place where water flows 7. mossy soil 8. a place covered in ice
If Quran is uncovered and facing towards the Kaaba, then you should not pray in this place. If the Quran is covered, then you can pray.
Any house where a dog is kept as a pet, then you cannot pray in that house. However if the dog is used in hunting and a curtain is between you and the dog, then you can perform your prayer under these circumstances.
Dress of Prayer
If you will perform prayer with such dress that is usurped, then your prayer will be invalid.
Dress must be pak (clean).
A male cannot wear silk or gold. If he will perform prayers while wearing these, then his prayer will be haram. However a female can wear silk and gold while performing her prayers
Ring or watch made from iron cannot be worn during prayer. Anything made from iron should not be worn during prayer.
It is wajib for a male to cover his private areas from behind and front. For a female it is wajib to cover the whole of her body including her hair. However, she should not cover her face. You cannot perform prayer while wearing thin clothes.
Rules for leading prayers
It is haram to perform prayer behind these types of people:
One who is illegitimate
One who does not give the testimony of wilayat of Ameerul Momineen (as) in his prayer
One who has the disease of leprosy
One who is ignorant
One who is an oppressor
One who is not circumcised
One who is less knowledgeable than those praying behind him
One who does not do tabarra (disassociate) on the enemies of Ahlul Bayt (as)
One who is an enemy of Ahlul Bayt (as)
One who is unknown by those praying behind him
Things which invalidate prayer
Urine, feces, and passing gas
Laughing loudly. However only smiling does not invalidate one’s prayer.
Turning away from Qibla during prayer
Sighing or moaning from pain
Conditions when one should break their prayer
There are certain circumstances where it becomes a necessity for you to break your prayer. The prayer can then be read later as qadha (make up) prayer.
If you see a snake, scorpion, or any other dangerous animal
If someone is stealing your belongings or if your belongings are in a place where you have the fear they may be stolen
If one is sleepy
If you need to use the bathroom, then you should immediately break your prayer because if you will continue, your prayer will be invalid.
If an animal attacks you or if your own animal runs away or if it is place where you can be trapped by your enemies. In these circumstances one should break his prayer.
If one sees a child going towards the fire or sees an animal entering into his house, then he must save the child or remove the animal from the house.
Rakat of Prayer
Fajr (dawn) 2 rakat: both should be recited loudly
Zuhr (noon) 4 rakat: all should be recited silently
Asr (afternoon) 4 rakat: all should be recited silently
Magrhib (evening) 3 rakat: first 2 rakats are recited aloud and last rakat is recited silently
Isha (night) 4 rakat: first 2 rakats are recited aloud and last two are recited silently
Method of Prayer
The meaning of qayyam is to stand for prayer. Its method is standing while facing towards Kaaba. There are different conditions regarding males and females. When a male stands:
He must be standing alert. No part of his body should be bent. His shoulders should be back.
Your feet should not be together. They should be kept a slight distance apart.
Both hands should be upon your thighs above your knees. You should be looking towards the place where you will perform sajda (prostration).
When a female stands:
She should not stand as a male does. Her body should be pulled into itself and slightly bent.
Her feet should be kept together. There should be no distance between them.
Place both of her hands upon her chest.
Takbira tul Ahtram
When one stands for prayer and completes qayyam, then raise both of your hands to the sides of your face with your palms facing towards Kaaba. Make your niyyat at this time. After making your niyyat, then immediately say “Allahu Akbar” and put your hands back down.
When you say “Allahu Akbar” with a loud voice, this is what is called takbira tul ahtram. If someone forgets to say takbir, then his prayer is invalid. It is enough to say Allahu Akbar once, but it is better to say it three or seven times.
Women should say takbir silently.
Intention is related to one’s heart. It is not compulsory to say any words aloud. For the intention of prayer, say the following words in your heart: “ I am making my intention for the prayer of “Zuhr” wajib qurbatan illallah”. This niyyat is done when you are an adult. If you are not an adult, then you will say mustahab instead of wajib.
If you are performing a recommended prayer, then you should say Sunnah instead of wajib.
When you complete your qayyam, make your niyyat, and recite takbir, then you must recite Sura al Hamd. Fajr, maghrib, and isha prayers should be recited aloud. The other prayers are recited silently.
You must say Bismillah al rahman al raheem aloud in every prayer whether its recitation is aloud or silent. However, females always recite their prayers silently even those parts which are suppose to be read aloud. Any sura can be recited after Sura al Hamd, such as Sura Inna anzalna, Sura Kawthar, or Sura Ikhlas, but it is wajib to read Sura Ikhlas in the second rakat after Sura al Hamd. One should remember prayer is invalid without proper recitation. If you are performing prayer in a gathering, you should say “Alhamdulilah rabil al almeen” after Sura al Hamd. Never say “ameen” after Sura al Hamd.
In third and fourth rakats, only recite Sura al Hamd. Do not recite any other sura after it. You can also recite “SubhanAllah,wa Alhamdulilah, wa La illaha illalah wa Lahu Akbar” instead of Sura al Hamd, but it is better to recite Sura al Hamd.
The first important aspect of prayer is rukoo. One who forgets to perform rukoo must repeat his whole prayer. When you finish recitation of Sura al Hamd, then raise your hands and say Allahu Akbar
then perform rukoo. Its method is to bend over while placing both hands upon your knees and push your knees until they are locked straight. You should put your right hand first then your left. Stretch your back so it is parallel with the floor. Keep your neck straight so your head does not hang down. Then say “Subhana rabbi al-Azeem wa bi hamdih”. Reciting it once is wajib, and if you recite it more than once, it is mustahab. Although, it is better to recite it three times.
After you have recited this, you cannot immediately go into sajda. You must first complete your rukoo by again standing in qayyam. So that you are in the same position as you were before you went into rukoo.
Maintain this position for at least one breath. Then say, “Sami’a llahu liman hamidah”. Raise your hands to the sides of your face and say Allahu Akbar. Then perform your sajda. You should remember you must put your hands down first upon the floor before your knees. The method of rukoo for a female is to put both of her hands upon her thighs above her knees. When she goes into sajda, she should first place her knees and then her hands upon the floor. She must sit in a way that her body does not become exposed.
In the second rakat of every prayer after reciting Sura al Hamd and Sura Ikhlas, raise your hands to the sides of your face and say Allahu Akbar. Then spread them apart with palms facing up in front of your face and recite dua. This act of prayer is called qunoot. You should read this dua in qunoot:
Allahumma ghfirla-na wa-rham-na wa-a’fi-na wa-fu ‘an-na fi-dunya wal akhira. Innaka ala kulli shayin qadir. Other than this, you can read any dua in any language if Arabic is not your mother tongue. After reading qunoot, raise your hands to the sides of your face and say Allahu Akbar and then go back into sajda.
Sajda is performed using seven parts of the body. If you miss one part, the prayer will become invalid.
2. & 3. both palms
4 &5 . both knees
6 &7 the big toe of both of your feet
It is wajib (compulsory) to put these seven parts of the body upon the floor whilst performing sajda, but putting the nose on the ground is the most beloved act by the Masoomeen (as) even though it is not wajib. If you love Ahlul Bayt (as), you will consider it just as wajib as the other parts. Only these eight parts of the body can touch the ground. No other part of the body should be touching the ground. However, sajda e shukr, which is a mustahab sajda, whilst performing you can place your elbows, chest, and stomach on the ground. Basically sajda is performed on clay especially the clay of Karbala. It is an act filled with uncountable blessings and reward. If clay is not available, then sajda can be performed upon other things, such as
grass but only if your forehead touches the soil
on paper that has no writing on it
on the back of your hand
leaf which cannot be eaten
Apart from these, sajda cannot be performed on any other thing.
The method of performing sajda is different for males and females. We will explain these differences. When you perform sajda, put both knees together and spread your hands wide apart. Do not put
your elbows on your knees. Spread them a little far from your body. Hands should be beside your shoulders. They should not be in front of your knees. Spread your hands away from your body on the ground. Do not spread your fingers apart. Keep them closed tightly in your hands. When a male performs sajda, he should spread his body wide. When a female performs sajda, she should keep her parts of the body close together and only her hands should be place far apart.
There are two sajdas in each rakat of prayer. During sajda, read “Subhanna rabbi al-A’la wa-bi-hamdi-h”. Reading it once is wajib. If you read it more than once, it is mustahab.
Although, it is better if you read it three times. While performing sajda, you can pray for anything in any language regardless if it is a wajib or mustahab prayer. When you raise your head from sajda, before performing the second sajda, read this:
“Astarfghullah rabbi wa atubu ilay-h” . Then say takbir and return to sajda.
When you sit, both of your knees should be touching the ground. There must be a slight distance between them. The top of your left foot should be touching the ground. The top of the right foot should be laid on top of the instep of the left foot. Your backside should be touching the ground. When you stand, stand by using your palms. Say this as you stand: “Bi-hawli’llahi wa-quwwati-hi aqumu wa-as’ud” .
When a female sits, she should put her knees together. Her ankles should be above the ground. (she should be sitting on her feet) When she gets up, she should stand without placing her hands upon the ground. She should stand easily. She should not lift the back part of her body first.
The meaning of tashahud is testifying. You must remember Allah has ordered us to give three testimonies. These three testimonies apply at all times and in every occasion. The way it is wajib to give three testimonies in kalima, adhan, and iqama, it is also wajib to give three testimonies in the tashahud of prayers.
If you deliberately or unintentionally leave out just one of the three testimonies, then your prayer will be invalid. Tashahud is read after the completion of two rakats and after the completion of the last rakat of each prayer. We read tashahud once in fajr prayer and twice in all other prayers. When you finish the second sajda of the second rakat and the second sajda of the last rakat, you sit and read tashahud.
“ Ashhadu al la ilaha illa llahu wahahu la sharika la-h. Wa-ashhadu anna Muhammadan abdu-hu wa rasool. Wa ashhadu anna Ameerul Momineen wa Imam ul Muttaqeen Aliyun waliullah Wa Aulada Masoomeen Hujajallah wa Auliyallah. Allahuma salla ala Muhammadin wa Aal e Muhammad.” You should remember at the end of tashahud it is wajib to send durood on Muhammad (saw) and Aal e Muhammad (as). If you leave it out, your prayer will be invalid.
In order to complete one’s prayer, in the last rakat after reciting tashahud, one must recite salam. The prayer is finished after reading salam. You should read salam in this way: “As-salamu alay-ka ayyuha nabiyu wa-rahmatu ‘llahi wa-barakatu-h. Assalamu ala Aimmah tul rashadeen ul muhadeen. Assalamu alayna wa ala ibadi’llahi salihin. Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatu llahi wa barakatu.”
This is the end of the prayer. You must remember it is compulsory to raise your hands three times while saying Allahu Akbar. Some people only raise their fingertips without actually lifting their palms from their thighs. This is the wrong way.
Jummah and Eid Prayers
Jummah and Eid prayers are wajib, but in the absence of Imam Zamana (ajf) both prayers are suspended. The first condition of both prayers is the apparent rule of the Imam (ajf). In the absence of Imam (ajf), if someone performs these prayers, then he becomes an oppressor of Imam (ajf) and has disobeyed Allah. Only Imam (ajf) can lead these prayers and deliver the khutbat (sermon). This is the reason our Fourth Imam (as) cursed those people who:
Leads these prayers themselves instead of Imam (ajf)
People who read these prayers behind a non masoom
People who do not lead or perform these prayers themselves but are pleased with those who do
Description of Prayer
So far we have mentioned all the rules regarding prayer and have explained how to perform prayer. Now we will briefly explain the truth of prayer. The briefest logical explanation of prayer, which must always be kept in your mind, is prayer is nothing except the wilayat of Ameerul Momineen (as). As Moula Ali (as) Himself said, “Anna salatul momineen”. (I am the prayer of momin). Now we will discuss every aspect of prayer briefly.
Adhan and Iqama
As you have read, while saying adhan and iqama, we call prayer by three names; salat, falah, and khair ul amal. As you know in Ghadeer when people were called towards the wilayat of Moula Ali (as), they were called by saying “Hayya ala khair ul amal”. This khair ul amal is wilayat of Ameerul Momineen (as) as well as a name for prayer. So it has been proven prayer and wilayat of Moula Ali (as) are the same thing. This is the reason Moula Ali (as) said, “One who establishes My wilayat has certainly established prayer.” Moula Ali (as) said further, “ I am ‘hayya ala salah’. I am ‘hayya ala falah’. I am ‘hayya khair ul amal’.”
Another very important aspect is when you say the iqama, you say these words: “Qadqama tis salah”. Its translation is “Certainly prayer has begun”. Even though you have not made your niyyat, said takbir, nor read your prayer, so you must think how is it possible without doing any of these acts the prayer has begun? Its quite clear that at the time you testify to the wilayat of Ameerul Momineen (as) the prayer is established. After reading that whatever you do is simply obeying the orders of Allah.
Facing towards Kaaba
Kaaba is a house made of rocks and cement. It is called the House of Allah. In Arabic there are two words which are used for house; “darr” and “beit”. Darr is used for every building. Beit is that house in which a person has spent at least three nights. If you think about this, you will realize Allah is houseless nor can you even imagine a house for Him. Then who is He who spent three nights in Kaaba and this is why it is called “Beit” (House of Allah)? The history of Kaaba is itself a witness as to why Allah calls this house as His. No one else except our Moula (as) and His Holy Mother (as) has spent three nights in the Holy Kaaba. The Kaaba is not the house of Allah because He is far above the need of a house. This is the house of Moula Ali (as). This is the will of Allah that when we face Kaaba in prayer, we must keep remembering Moula Ali (as) in our minds during prayer.
This word ‘tawajja’ is made from wajja. Wajja means face. If you talk to someone and you turn your face in another direction, it is a very huge insult. Whenever we speak with someone we turn our face towards them. This act is called attention. It means you look at the face of the person who is in front of you. During prayer, we talk to Allah. Its wajib to turn our face towards the face of Allah. Every person on this earth knows “Wahjullah” (face of Allah) is Moula Ali (as). If you do not pay absolute attention towards Moula Ali (as) in your prayer, then you will be declared an insulter and disobedient towards Allah. Your prayer will be thrown back in your face.
When you make your niyyat for prayer and say ‘qurbatan ilallah’, it means “for the nearness of Allah”. When you say this , it means you are performing this prayer to gain the nearness of Allah. Every single person is aware of the fact that inorder for you to be near or far from someone, they must be in a particular place for you to be near or far from. However we cannot even imagine a specific place for Allah. Doing so is absolute kufr (disbelief). Before making your intention for prayer, you must think what is that place of Allah which is the reason for our reading this prayer to become close to Him. If you read Ziarat e Jamiah, it is clearly stated that
the place of Allah is our Twelve Imams (as). Imam Muhammad Baqir (as) said, “I swear by Allah, there are seventy lines of angels in the heavens. If all the people who live on this earth, wished to count them, they will be unable to do so. They all gain the nearness of Allah through Our wilayat.” So ‘qurbatan ilallah’ means to gain the nearness of Imam Zamana (ajf). If your prayer brings you close to Ahlul Bayt (as), then certainly this is the true and real prayer. If your prayer takes you far from Ahlul Bayt (as), then certainly such a prayer will take him into the hell.
Qayyam in prayer reminds us that when Imam Zamana (ajf) will reappear, He will stand and fight against munafiqeen. The purpose of qayyam in prayer is to prepare for jihad and show our Imam (ajf)we are ready to help.
The meaning of ‘salat’ is dua. If we ponder, we will see in all of the wajib acts of prayer, this is that act where we make dua. The dua is “Ahadena Siratul Mustaqeem”. “O’my Lord! Keep me on the true path.” The Siratul Mustaqeem is the wilayat of Moula Ali (as).
During qayyam we stand and during sajda we place ourselves on the ground. Rukoo is an act between these two conditions. Quran called Ahlul Bayt (as) as ‘Ummah tul Wasta”. It means the sacred personalities are wasila between Creator and creation. Rukoo reminds us about Ahlul Bayt (as).
Who is such a momin on this earth who performs sajda and does not remember the last sajda of Imam Hussain (as) in Karbala? This is proof the spirit and truth of our sajdas to remember that sajda which saved tawheed until the day of judgment. May our live be sacrificed on the shaheed e Karbala and the one who was brutally murdered on the plains of Karbala.
We briefly have explained all the aspects of prayer n this book. If you want to read the details, then please read our book “Kashaful Masail”. I pray to Imam Zamana (ajf) may He accept this ordinary attempt and make this book useful for the youth of my nation. So that they become momin and a part of Imam (ajf)’s army and helpers. I pray may Allah protect all the momineen and mominat from the tricks of shaitan and the doubts which munafiqeen have created will not take their iman from them. Ameen.
This book “Kashaful Salat” is completed today 11th of August 2006. 15 Rajab 1427 Hijra.
on Friday at 5 pm. With the help of Allah and the blessings of Imam Zamana (ajf).
“Alhamdulilah al alameen wa salatul wa salamu ala khatimaul nabiyeen wa alihi al tayyibeen al tahireen al Masoomeen al Mazloomeen wa lanatul lahi ahadaihim ajmaeen min youmina haza al youmul deen.