Method of Prayer
- :Seyyed Baqir Nisar Zaidi
Qayyam (standing) 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:
1. He must be standing alert. No part of his body should be bent. His shoulders should be back.
2. Your feet should not be together. They should be kept a slight distance apart.
3. 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 :
1. She should not stand as a male does. Her body should be pulled into itself and slightly bent.
2. Her feet should be kept together. There should be no distance between them.
3. 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:
Allahu mma ghfirla-na wa-rham-na wa-a fi-na wa-fu "an -na fi-dun ya 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
1. thin bricks
2. grass but only if your forehead touches the soil
3. on paper that has no writing on it
5. on the back of your hand
7. 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. W e 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 fr ont of your knees. Spread your hands away from your body on the gr ound. 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 r egardless if it is a w ajib 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. W a-ashhadu anna Muhammadan abdu-hu wa rasool. Wa ashhadu anna Ameerul Momineen wa Imam ul Muttaqeen Aliyun waliullah W a 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 or der 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."
After reading the salam, while raising your hands, say Allahu Akbar three times. 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.
Adopted from the book: "Kashaful Salat" by: "Seyyed Baqir Nisar Zaidi"
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