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How do I Pray?

Prayer has integrals and recommended matters (sunnahs). The integrals are those matters that are part of the prayer and, if not done the prayer is invalid. The recommended matters are the rewardable matters the leaving out of which does not invalidate the prayer. They are done following in the footsteps of the Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam.

The integrals of prayer are seventeen (17):

 

1To have the intention in the heart of performing the prayer and of its obligation when obligatory, and to specify the prayer which is performed for a particular reason or time.

2To say Allahu Akbar  الله اكبر  hearing oneself while having the intention in the heart.

3To stand (qiyam) for the obligatory prayer, when able. If unable, one prays sitting. If unable, one prays lying one one’s side. If unable, one prays lying on one’s back.

4To recite the Fatihah , including:

بِسْمِ اللهِ الَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ (1) الْحَمْدُ للّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ (2) الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ (3) مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ (4) إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ (5) اهدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ المُستَقِيمَ (6) صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنعَمتَ عَلَيهِمْ غَيرِ المَغضُوبِ عَلَيهِمْ وَلاَ الضَّالِّينَ 7

Bismillahir-Rahmanir-Rahim. Al-Hamdu lillahi Rabbil-^alamin. Ar-Rahmanir-Rahim. Maliki Yawmid-Din. Iyyaka na^budu wa iyyaka nasta^in. Ihdinas-Siratal-Mustaqim. Siratal-ladhina an^amta ^alayhim, ghayril-maghdubi ^alayhim wa lad-dallin.

 

Bismillahir-Rahmanir-Rahim.

Also, doubling the letters that must be doubled, in order and succession without lengthy interruption, articulating its letters properly, and avoiding the error which breaches the meaning, such as saying (an^amtu) instead of (an^amta). It is prohibited to commit an error that does not breach the meaning. However, it does not invalidate the prayer [unless done intentionally].

5To bow until one's palms could reach one's knees (ruku^).

6To remain motionless in ruku^ for the duration of saying subhan Allah (tuma'ninah).

7To straighten up after ruku^ (i^tidal).

8To remain motionless in i^tidal for the duration of saying subhan Allah (tuma'ninah).

9To prostrate (perform sujud) twice by putting all or part of one's uncovered forehead on one's praying ground, with one's lower body (buttocks) higher than one's upper part, and putting part of one's knees, the inside of one's hands and the bottom of one's toes on the ground.

10To have tuma'ninah in prostration (sujud).

11To sit between the two prostrations.

12To have tuma'ninah in this sitting.

13To sit for saying the last tashahhud, the Salatu ^alan-Nabiyy and the closing salam.

14To say the last tashahhud. The full tashahhud is:

 

التحيات المباركات الصلوات الطيبات لله السلام عليك أيها النبي ورحمة الله وبركاته السلام علينا وعلى عباد الله الصالحين أشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وأشهد أن محمدا رسول الله

At-Tahiyyatul-mubarakat, as-Salawatut-tayyibatu lillah. As-Salamu ^alayka ayyuhan-Nabiyyu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. As-Salamu ^alayna wa ^ala ^ibadillahis-salihin. Ash-hadu alla ilaha illallah, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadar-Rasulullah.

15To say the Salah ^alan-Nabiyy. The minimum is: Allahumma salli ^ala Muhammad.  

It is better to say the full Salatul-Ibrahimiyyah.


 اللهم صل على محمد وعلى آل محمد، كما صليت على إبراهيم وعلى آل إبراهيم؛ إنك حميد مجيد، اللهم بارك على محمد وعلى آل محمد، كما باركت على إبراهيم و آل إبراهيم؛ إنك حميد مجيد

Allahumma salli ^ala Muhammad, (This completes the obligation.) wa ^ala ‘Ali Muhammad, kama sallayta ^ala ‘Ibrahim, wa ^ala ‘Ali ‘Ibrahim. ‘Innaka Hamidum Majid. Allahumma barik ^ala Muhammad, wa ^ala ‘Ali Muhammad, kama barakta ^ala ‘Ibrahim, wa ^ala ‘Ali ‘Ibrahim. ‘Innaka Hamidum Majid.

16To say the closing salam. The minimum is As-Salamu ^alaykum.

17To observe the order. To intentionally perform the integrals of prayer out of order invalidates the prayer. An example is if one intentionally prostrated before bowing (ruku^). If one forgets (to perform) an integral, one must return to perform it unless one has reached that same integral or what is after it in the next or subsequent rak^ah. In such a case, what was performed in-between is cancelled. An example is of one did not remember leaving our ruku^ except after having performed the ruku^ or prostration of the subsequent rak^ah. In such a case, what is between the missing ruku^ and the performed ruku^ is cancelled, and what is after this performed ruku^ is the continuation of the rak^ah