A masjid is a place of prayer for muslims.
procedure is a simple one to learn. It consists of a series
of movements and phrases that are done and said in a set
way. Each of the five daily prayers is said in a similar
way. The only difference between them is that some have more
movements than others. We say our prayers in Arabic. because
this is how Prophet Muhammad (SAW) taught us to say them. He
even taught people who couldn't speak Arabic very well to
say the prayers in Arabic. This helps to make all Muslims
united in the world and keeps us connected to the oniginal
language Allah used for His last revelation to the world. As
you learn how to pray, keep in mind that is a holy act and
is not to be taken lightly. It is you presenting yourself to
Part A. Where Do I Pray?
The Blessed Prophet taught us that the entire world is our
Masjid. The word Masjid means place to bow down. Often times
Muslims will go to a special building to pray together in
groups. Those buildings are also called Masjids. In English
the word for Masjid is Mosque. A Muslim prefers to use the
word Masjid because it means a place of prayer.
Sometimes Muslims will find themselves outside when prayer
time comes. We can pray outside of a Masjid if we have to
because the entire earth is our Masjid. The only places we
are not allowed to pray in are dirtv areas, such as muddv
fields or the bathroom. The place must be clean. Muslims
usually like to pray on prayer rugs or mats, but you can
also pray on grass, cement, wood floors or anywhere else
that is clean.
All Muslims face the direction of Mecca, in Arabia, when
they pray. The direction of Mecca is called the Qiblah. We
pray towards Mecca not because our Prophet was born there.
but because there is a special building there called the
Ka'bah. The word Ka'bah means. "a cube or square-shaped
The Ka'bah is an ancient or old, place that was chosen by
Allah to be the main place for people to pray to Him. It is
the place that an ancient Prophet named Ibrahim built so
that all the people of the world would have a common place
to come to when they wanted to really show how much they
Every Masjid in the world is built facing in the direction
of Mecca. When Muslims gather together to pray this is
called making Salat in Jam'a. The word Jam'a means "group.'
When Muslims pray in Jam'a. one person will stand in front
of the others and act as the leader of the prayer. Such a
person is called the Imam, or leader, Everyone praying
behind an Imam follows along with him or her.
Every prayer consists of two up to four cycles called Rak'as.
One series of standing, bowing and prostrating (bowing on
the floor twice) equals one ra'kah. Fajr has two rak'as.
Zuhr. 'Asr and 'Isha have four rak'as. Maghrib is the only
regular Salat that has three rak'as. The prayer that will be
explained on the following pages will consist of two rak'as.
In Fajr all Surahs are said aloud. In Zuhr and 'Asr Salats
all Surahs are said silently. In Maghrib and Isha, the
Surahs are said aloud only in the first two rak'as.
B. The Start of Salat.
Just like with Wudu and anything else important, we begin
our Salat with Niyyah, or intention. This way we make it
clear to ourselves what we're doing before we begin. While
facing the Qiblah, properly dressed and in a state of Wudu,
we say silently to ourselves, "Nuwaytus Salatul ___ "
What we say in the last space is the name of the prayer we
Then we begin the Salat itselfby raising our hands to our
ears and saying, "Allahu Akbar." Which means, "Allah is the
Greatest." Females raise their hands only to their
shoulders. Then we fold our hands over our lower chest.
Females fold their hands over their upper chests. The right
hand goes over the left. Some Muslims like to pray with
their hands hanging loosely from their sides. This is
allowed also, but it is better to fold your hands in front
ofyou, right over left, based on an abundance of Hadiths
Raise hands up and say, "Allahu Akbar."
Males raise their hands up to the side of their head.
Females raise their hands lust up to the shoulder level.
After performing this beginning motion of the Salat, a
person must think of themselves as cut off from the
outside world until they are finished.
Fold right hand over the left in front of you.
Then say, "Subahanakal lahumma wa behamdika, Wa
tabaruka ismuka, wa ta 'ala jeduka, wa Ia ilaha ghairuka."
Then recite, "Ow thzu billa himina Shaytan ir rajeem."
(It means: "Glory to You, Allah, and praise by You.
Blessed is Your Name, great is Your Highness and their
is no god except You.")
(It means: "I ask Allah to protect me from the rejected
The Greatest Surah.
While we are standing in that position, which is called,
Qiyam, or standing up we must take care not to look around
or move our bodies. From the moment we said, Allahu Akbar,"
the prayer started and we shouldn't do anything except what
is allowed in the praver until we finish. lf we laugh, start
to talk or walk around, then that Salat is broken and we
have to start all over again.
The very next thing we should say is what Allah called the
greatest Surah, or chapter of the Holy Qur'an.
It is the one Surah that Allah gave us that has every thing
for us in just seven little verses, or ayahs. It is such an
important Surah that if we to forget to say it in our Salat
then the whole Salat doesn't count. Here is the Arabic text
ot that Surah, which is called Al Fatiha, or the Opening,
along with the English meaning. In the Salat we say it in
the Arabic only.
The surah Fatihah from the Quran
Surah Fatihah is the most important chapter in the Quran. It
is compulsory for every Muslim to recite Fatihah. There is
no prayer without Fatihah. WHen we recite Fatihah 70,000
curtains will be opened and there is no more barrier between
us and Allah. We can communicate with Allah directly. This
is the most precious moment for us to seek His help with all
The Prophet s.a.w. said in Hadith Al Qudsi: "Allah Ta'ala
said, "I have divided the prayer (recitation of the Fatihah)
into different parts of dialogue between Me and My slaves,
and it is up to My slaves to ask Me anything."
Surah al Fatiha is said in Arabic this way:
"Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem Alhumdulil lahir Rabbil 'alameen,
Ar Rahmanir Raheem Maliki yowmid deen 'Eiyaka na'budu wa 'eyaka
nasta'een Ihidinas siratal mustaqeem Sirat aladheena an 'amta
alayhim, Ghayril maghdoobi 'alayhim Wa lad dawleen.
(It means: "In the Name of Allah, the Caring and the Kind.
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Universe; the Caring and
the Kind and Master ofthe Day of judgment. You alone
do we serve and to You alone do we turn for help. Guide us
in the straight way. The way of those who You are happy
with, not the way of those who Your angry with, and not the
way of those who have gone astray")
After saying Surah al Fatiha, we say another portion of
the Qur'an. It can be as little as three ayahs long or even
a whole long Surah! Most people say short Surahs such as Al
Ikhlas or Al Nas. In a third or fourth Rak'a of a prayer,
only Fatiha is said before going into bowing. But as we are
still in the first two rak'as, we must say more Qur'an here.
Next say a short Surah. We chose Surah lkhlas to say here
but you can choose any one you want.
"Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem. Qul hoowa Allahu ahad.
Allahu Sawmad. Lam Yalid wa lam yulad. lam yakun lahu
Which means: "In the Name of Allah, the Caring and the Kind.
Tell everyone: "He is Allah the One. Allah is always
forever. He doesn't have any children and He was never born,
and there is nothing the same as Him."
After completing the Surah, the next thing you do is
say, "Allahu Akbar." Then you bend forward at the
waist and put your hands on your knees. This is called
Ruku. You say silendy, "Subanna Rabbial Owdheem."
at least three times.
There are other similar phrases that are also allowed to
say. The basic phrase said here means, "Glory to my
Then we say, "Sami' Allahu liman hamida"
(Allah hears those who praise Him,) and return to a
standing position. But our hands are left loose at our
sides. We can also add the phrase, "Rabbana lakal
Hamad." Which means,"Our Lord to You belongs all
Then we say, "Allahu Akbar" and lower
ourselves to our knees and make Sajda, or bowing on the
floor. Our elbows must stay up in the air and our feet
must be raised up so that the bottom our toes are on the
ground. Place your hands on the floor on the side of
your head. Your nose and forehead are touching the
ground. Say three times, "Sub-hanna Rabbial 'ala."
It means,"Glory to my Lord the Most High."
Then we say, "Allahu Akbar" and sit up on our
knees for a moment. Women sit a little to their left
side while men keep their right foot raised up.
Next say, "Allahu Akbar," and do one more
Sujud and say the same phrase three times that you said
Then say, Allahu Akbar," and return to a
standing position with your hands folded in front of
you. That was one Raka', or cycle of prayer.
Now pretending that we were doing Fajr Salat, which
has two Raka's, we still have to complete another one.
That is easy. All you
have to do is repeat steps 3-8. But after saying Surah
al Fatiha, choose a different Surah to say afterwards
than what you said in the first Raka'.
So, for example, if we said Surah al Ikhlas in the first
Rak'a, in our second Raka', after al Fatiha, we'll say
Surah Nas, or which ever one we choose!
After the end of the second Sajda, instead of standing
up after saying, "Allahu Akbar" we will return to
a sitting position and stay there. (Note: If you were
doing a 3 or 4 raka' Salat, all Qur'an reciting will be
silent, said to one's self.)
While sitting we will say a special set of
supplications and phrases. The first phrase we say is
this: "Atay hiyatu lillahe wa salawatu wa tayyibatu.
Assalam 'alayna Wa 'ala 'ibad 'ilahas sawliheen."
Then you raise the index finger while saying the next
"Ashahadu an la ilaha ill Allah, wahdahu laa shareeka
lahu, Wa ashahadu anna Muhammadan 'abduhu wa rasoolhu.
(It means: "All purity, prayer and goodnes belong to
Allah. Peace upon you Prophet (SAW) and Allah's mercy
and blessings. Peace be upon all righteous servants of
I declare that there is no god but Allah, He is One with
no partners, and I declare that Muhammad is His servant
Then you say the prayer called the Durood which is a
meant to ask Allah to bless the Prophet. words of the
Durood * are as follows:
"Allahumma salee 'ala Muhammadin wa 'ala 'alee
Muhammadin, kama salayta 'ala Ibrahima wa 'ala aalee
Ibrahima, Innaka hameedun majeed.Ailahumma barik 'ala
Muhammadin wa 'ala 'alee Muhammadin Kama barakta 'ala
Ibrahima wa 'ala aalee Ibrahima fil 'alameen. Innaka
(* Note: There are other valid ways to say the Durood.)
(It means: "Allah send blessings on Muhammad and on the
family of Muhammad, just ilke You put blessings on
Ibrahim and on the family of Ibrahim, You are worthy of
all praise, the Majestic. Allah grace Muhammad and the
family of Muhammad, just ilke you put grace on Ibrahim
and the family of Ibrahim in the world. You are worthy
of all praise, the Majestic.")
Then you turn your face to the right and say,
Assalamu 'alaykum wa rahmatullah.
Then you turn your face to the left and say,
Assalamu 'alaykum wa rahmatullah.
Your prayer is now finished and you can rise and go about
your business. It is recommended to stay seated, however,
and say some small phrases to remember Allah. Then personal
requests to Allah for forgiveness or guidance can be made.
(This is called making dhikr and then making Du'a.)
Usually after each prayer the Prophet with zikir, i.e. he
will recite :
Allahhuma Antassalaam Wa Minkassalaam, Wa Ilaika Ya'uu
Dus-Salaam, Fahaiyinaa Rabbanaa Bissalaam, Wa Adkhilnal
Jannata Daaras-Salam, Tabaarakta Rabbanaa Wa-Ta 'Aalaita Yaa
Dzaljalali Wal-Ikram (1x)
(O Allah, you are the God of Peace and the Source of
Peace. To You all peacefulness shall return. Give us a
peaceful life and let us enter the "House of Peace"
(Heaven). O Lord, You possess Abundance, You are the Most
High, O the Possessor of Might and Honour.)
Subhaa Naalah (33x)
(All praises for Allah)
Al Ham Du Lillah (33x)
(All thanks to Allah)
Allahu Akbar (33x)
(Allah is Great)
La Ila Ha Illallah Wah Dahu La Sharikala Hu Lahul Mul
Ku Wala Hul hamdu Wa Hu Wa 'Alaaku Li Shai In Qadir
(None has the right to be worshipped but Allah and He has
no partner in Lordship nor in worship nor in the Names and
the Qualities and for Him is the Kingdom and all the praises
are for Him and Omnipotent).