How To Do Islamic Prayer

Islam prayer book

In Islam there are five Islamic prayers each day that must be done (obligatory), and there are non-obligatory prayers.

Preparing to do Islamic prayer (in Arabic, called salat):

  1. You must wear clean clothes.
  2. You must choose a clean place to do prayer (salat).
  3. Before prayer you must do ablution if needed to clean your body parts which were exposed to dirt.
  4. You can do prayer in any clean place – in your home, in your workplace, even at your garden – but you must ensure that place is clean.
  5. There are five Islamic prayers that are obligatory.
    • The first is in the morning time which is called salat el Fajr, and it is two rakats. Rakat is a unit of prayer that we will discuss later.
    • The second is in the noon time and is called salat el zuhr. It is four rakats.
    • The third is in the afternoon time, called salat el asr – also four rakats.
    • The fourth is in the evening time. It is called salat el maghrib and is three rakats.
    • The fifth is in the nighttime, called salat el eshaa, and it is four rakats.
  6. You must face the kiblah (the direction that Muslims face during the prayer), which is the kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
  7. The prayer must be done in Arabic. We will provide the words that you will say as spoken in Arabic, as well as the meaning in English.
  8. The Islamic prayer is so easy and simple and can be easily done each day with ease and a calm soul.

Sample of rakat (unit of prayer):

  1. First you stand facing kiblah, intend that you perfom this prayer, and name it and the number of rakats for Allah.
  2. Then you stand and raise your hands to the level of your ears and say “Allah-Akbar”, which means “Allah is the greatest”, and put your right hand above your left hand on your chest.
  3. You now read the Fatiha (which is the first Chapter in Holy Quran).
  4. Now read few verses or short sura (Holy Quran Chapter) of Holy Quran.
  5. After finishing the reading, raise your hands to the level of your ears and say “Allah Akbar”.
  6. Proceed to the next position which has the name "ruku". You bow down, putting your hands on your knees and your head facing the ground and level with your back. And you say, “Subhan rabbi al azeem”, which means “Glorified is my Lord, the Great”. Say it three times.
  7. Return to the first position (standing position again) saying, “Samia Allah leman hamidah”, which means “Allah listens to him who praises Him”. Then after standing, we say, “Rabbna wa laka al hamd", which means "Our Lord, praise be for you only". Then you say “Allah akbar”, and proceed to the next position.
  8. Proceed to the position called "sujood", in which we put our hands and front of head and knees and nose touching the ground, and say, “Subhan rabbi al aala”, three times. This means, "Glory to Allah, the Exalted". Then you say "Allah akbar", and sit on the ground.
  9. Ask Allah mercy and say “Allah akbar”. Then proceed to the sujood position and say, “Subhan rabbi al aala” again.
  10. Say “Allah Akbar” and proceed to standing position again, repeating the same things.
  11. If the prayer is four or three rakats, after the second rakat you stay in sitting position after sujood and read the half of the tashahud (a recreation of the conversation held between Allah and the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing upon him) during the night of the Heavenly Ascent (Miraj)). This is what you say:

    “Al tahiat u lilah wa al salawat wa taibat,al salam alik aiha al nibby wa rahmt Allah u wa barakatu, al salam alina wa ala ebad Allah e lsaleheen ashhadu an la ilah illa Allah wa ashhadu an Mohammedan abuhu wa rasulah.”

    This means, "All our oral, physical and monetary ways of worship are only for Allah. Peace, mercy and blessing of Allah be on you, O Prophet. May peace be upon us and on the devout slaves of Allah. I testify that there is no God but Allah and I testify that Muhammad is His slave and messenger".

  12. In the last rakat, you will read the full tashahud. This is the first half mentioned above and the second half, which is the following:

    "Allah uma salli ala muhammeden wa ala al muhammeden kama salita ala ibrahim wa ala al ibrahim wa barek ala muhammeden wa ala al muhammeden kama barakt ala ibrahim wa ala al ibrahim fe al alameen inak hamidon majeed."

    This means, "O God send your Mercy on Muhammad and his posterity as you sent your Mercy on Abraham and his posterity. You are the Most Praised, the Most Glorious. O God, send your Blessings on Muhammad and his posterity as you have blessed Abraham and his posterity. You are the Most Praised, the Most Glorious".

  13. After finishing the true number of rakats and finishing tashahud, you will finish the prayer by turning your face to the right side and saying, “Al salam alikom wa rahmat Allah”, which means, "Peace and mercy of Allah be on you". And then turn your face to the left side and say the same words.


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I have seen this done in many Islamic countries. Now, I understand it better. Thank you.

By Mary Norton