Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of
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Five Daily Prayers:
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I. Regulation of
It may be noted that while other religions have generally set apart a whole day for Divine service, on which other work is not to be done, Islam has given quite a new meaning to Divine service by introducing prayer into the everyday affairs of men. A day is not here set apart for prayer, and in this sense no Sabbath is known to Islam. Islam requires that a Muslim should he able to disengage himself from all worldly occupations and resort to his prayers, even when he is most busy. Hence it is also that Islam has done away with all institutions of monkery, which require a man to give up all worldly occupations for the whole of his life in order to hold communion with God. It teaches that communion with God may be held even when man is most busy with his worldly occupations, thus making possible that which was generally considered impossible before its advent.
But while Islam has given permanence to the institution of prayer by requiring its observance at stated times and in a particular manner, it has also left ample scope for the individual himself to select what portions of the Holy Qur'an he likes and to make what supplications his soul yearns after. General directions have no doubt been given, and on these the whole of the Muslim world is agreed, for these directions were necessary to secure regularity, method, and uniformity, but in addition to these, ample scope has been left for the individual to give vent to his own feelings before the great Maker of the universe. As regards the time and mode of prayer, the following directions will be sufficient for the information of the ordinary reader.
II. Times of
1. Salat al-Fajr, or the morning prayer, is said after dawn and before sunrise.
When a person is sick or on a journey, or when there is rain, the early afternoon and the late afternoon prayers may be said in conjunction, and so also the sunset and early night prayers.
Besides these five obligatory prayers there are two optional ones. The first of these is the Salat al-Lail, the tahajjud, or the late night prayer, which is said after midnight, after being refreshed with sleep, and before dawn. This prayer is specially recommended in the Holy Qur'an. The other is known as the Salat al-Dzuha, and it may be said at about breakfast time. This is the time at which the two `Id prayers are said.
III. Wudzu or
1. The hands are cleansed, washing them up to the wrists.
But if there are socks on, and they have been put on after performing an ablution, it is not necessary to take them off; the wet hands may be passed over them. They should be taken off, however, and the feet washed once in every twenty-four hours. The same practice may be resorted to in case the boots are on, but it would be more decent to take off boots when going into a mosque.
A fresh ablution is necessary only when a man has answered a call of nature or has been asleep.
In cases of intercourse between husband and wife, ghusl or washing of the whole body is necessary.
When a person is sick, or when access cannot be had to water, what is called tayammum is performed in place of wudzu or ghusl. Tayammum is performed by touching pure earth with both hands and then wiping over with them the face and the backs of the hands.
Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar,
The following sentence is added in the call to the morning prayer after hayya 'ala-l-falah:
When the call to prayer is finished, the crier as well as the hearers make a petition in the following words:
Allahum-ma Rabba hadhihi-d-da 'wati-t-tammati wa-s-salati-I-qa'imati ati Muhammada-ni-l wasilata wa-l-fadzilata waddarajata-rrati'ata wa-b'athhu maqqmam mahmudan-illadhi wa'adta-hu.
V. The Service:
Each part consists of a certain number of rak'as as explained further on.
The Fajr, or morning prayer, consists of two rak'as (sunna) said alone, followed by two rak'as (fardz) said in congregation.
The Zuhr, or early afternoon prayer, is a longer service consisting of four rak'as (sunna) said alone followed by four rak'as (fardz) said in congregation and followed again by two rak'as (sunna) said alone.
In the Friday service held at the time of Zuhr, which takes the place of the sabbath of some other religions, the four rak'as (sunna) said alone and the four rak'as (fardz) said in congregation are reduced each to two, but the fardz are preceded by a sermon (khutba).
The 'Asr, or the late afternoon prayer. consists of four rak'as (fardz) said in congregation.
The Maghrib, or the sunset prayer, consists of three rak'as (fardz) said in congregation, followed by two rak'as (sunna) said alone.
The 'Isha, or early night prayer, consists of four rak'as (fardz) said in congregation followed by two rak'as (sunna), said alone, again followed by three rak'as (witr) said alone.
The Tahajjud, or late night prayer, consists of eight rak'as (sunna) said in twos.
The Dzuha, or the before-noon prayer, may consist of two or four rak'as.
The 'Id prayer consists of two rak'as (sunna) said in congregation, being followed by a sermon or khutba.
When a person is journeying, the sunna are dropped in every one of the prayers except the morning prayer. and the four rak'as (fardz) in each of the Zuhr, the 'Asr and the 'Isha prayers are reduced to two. When one is aware that his stay at a particular place in his journey will be ten days or more, the complete service should be performed (opinion, differ on the length of stay at a particular place).
Two chief features of the Muslim congregational service are that the service may be led by anyone, the only condition being that he should know the Qur'an better than the others, and that he should excel the others in righteousness and in the performance of his duties towards God and His creatures. The second is that not the least distinction of caste or rank or wealth is to be met with in a Muslim congregation: even the king stands shoulder to shoulder with the least of his subjects.
To announce that the congregational prayer is ready, the iqama [Illustration 1: Male; front view] [Illustration 2: Male; side view] is pronounced in a loud voice, though not so loud as the adhan. The sentences of the adhan are also the sentences which form the iqama, but with two differences. Those in the adhan are with the exception of the concluding la ilaha ill-allah repeated twice, the starting Allahu Akbar alone being pronounced four times; but in the iqama all these sentences may be uttered only once. The second difference is that after hayya 'ala I-falah, the following sentence is uttered twice:
The additional words of the morning adhan do not find a place in the iqama.
As regards the service itself, the Imam reads aloud the Fatiha and the portion of the Holy Qur'an that follows the Fatiha in the morning prayer and the first two rak'as of the sunset and early night prayers, while in the remaining rak'as and in all other prayers, these are repeated in a low voice audible only to the reciter; the takbirs and all other dhikr announcing the change of position are, however, uttered in a loud voice in all congregational prayers.
Constitutes One Rak'a:
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1. Both hands are raised up to the ears in a standing position with the face towards the qibla [Visit our 'Muslim Prayer Times' section to determine the Qibla direction of your city], while the words Allahu Akbar (Allah is the Greatest of all) are uttered, and this is called the takbir tahrima. [Illustration 3 : Male; front view] [Illustration 4: Male; side view].
2. Then comes qiyam. [Illustration 5: Male; front view] [Illustration 6: Male; side view] [Illustration 7: Female; front view] [Illustration 8: Female; side view]. The right hand is placed upon the left over the breast or a little lower while the standing position is maintained, and the following prayer called istiftah is that which is generally adopted:
Subhana-ka-llahu-mma wa bihamdi-ka wa tabaraka-smu-ka wa ta'ala jaddu-ka wa la ilaha ghairu-ka.
The following is a longer prayer:
Inni wajjahtu wajhiya li-Iladhi, fatara-s-samawati wa-l-ardza hanifan wa ma ana mina-l-mushrikin. Inna salati wa nusuki wa mahyaya wa mamati li-Lahi Rabbi-I-'alamin; Ia sharika la-hu wa bi-dhalika umirtu wa ana mina-I-Muslim-in. Allahu-mma anta-I-Maliku la ilaha illa anta, anta Rabbi wa ana 'abdu-ka, zalamtu nafsi wa-taraftu, bi-dhanbi fa-ghfir-li dhunubi jami'an la yaghfiru-dh-dhunuba illa anta; wa-hdi-ni li-ahsani-I-akhlaqi la yahdi li-ahsani ha-illa anta wa-srif 'anni sayyi'a-ha la yasrifu sayyi'aha illa anta.
Either of the above prayers is followed by the word:
A'udhu bi-Ilahi minash-shait ani-r-rajim.
After this the Fatiha, the first chapter of the Holy Qur'an, is repeated, and this is the most essential part of the prayer, being repeated in every rak'a. It runs thus:
At the close of the above is said Amin -- i.e., Be it so. Then any portion of the Qur'an which the worshipper has memorised is recited. Generally one of the shorter chapters at the close of the Holy Book is recited [Note: The Quranic prayers quoted further on may serve to same purpose.], and the chapter termed al-Ikhlas is the one recommended for those who are unacquainted with the Qur'an. This is as follows:
3. Then saying Allahu Akbar, the worshipper lowers his head down, so that the palms of the hands reach the knees. In this position, which is called Ruku' [Illustration 9 : Male; front view] [Illustration 10: Male; side view] the following words expressive of Divine glory and majesty are repeated at least three times:
5. Then the worshipper, saying Allahu Akbar, prostrates himself, the toes of both feet, both knees, both hands, and the forehead touching the ground. This is called the sajda [Illustration 11: Male; front view] [Illustration 12: Male; side view] [Illustration 13: Female; side view] and the following words expressing Divine greatness are uttered at least three times:
The following is an alternative form for the above-mentioned dhikr in ruku' or sajda:
Subhana-ka-Ilahu-mma Rabbana wa bi-hamdi-ka Allahu-mmaghfir li.
6. Then, with the utterance of Allahu Akbar comes the jalsa [Illustration 14: Male; front view] [Illustration 15: Male; side view], a short rest in a sitting posture, the outer side of the left foot and the toes of the right one, which is in an erect position, touching the ground, and the two hands are placed on the two knees. The following prayer is offered in this condition:
Allahu-mma ghfir-li wa-rham-ni wa-hdi-ni wa 'afi-ni wa-rzuq-ni wa-rfa-ni wa-jbur-ni.
7. Then, with the utterance of Allahu Akbar follows a second sajda in the same manner and with the same prayers as the first sajda.
The position of sajda is one of utmost humility and the Holy Prophet is reported to have said, "The servant is nearest to his Lord when he is in a state of sajda , so be frequent in your supplications to God in that condition." Any petition or any prayer to God may be made in sajda or in any other posture.
8. One rak'a is finished with the second sajda. The worshipper then rises, saying Allahu Akbar, and assumes a standing position for the second rak'a and beginning with the Fatiha finishes it in the same manner as the first.
9. When the second rak'a is completed, the worshipper assumes a sitting posture as in jalsa. This is called qa'da [Illustration 14: Male; front view] [Illustration 15: Male; side view], and in this position the following prayer, called at-tashahhud, is offered:
At-tahiyyatu li-Ilahi wa-salawatu wa-t-tayyibatu; as-salamu 'alaika ayyuha-n-Nab-iyyu wa rahma-tuIlahi wa barakatu-hu; as-salamu 'alai-na wa 'ala 'ibadillahi-s-salihin. 'Ashhadu alla ilaha illaIlahu wa ashhadu 'anna Muhammadan abdu-hu wa rasuluh.
The forefinger of the right hand is raised during the pronunciation of the last sentence.
10. If this is only the intermediate sitting in a prayer of three or four rak'as, the worshipper saying Allahu Akbar stands up after the above-mentioned dhikr, but if it is the final sitting, whether in a prayer of two or three or four rak'as, the following dhikr called As-sala 'ala-n-Nabiyy or Darud [Darood], is added:
Allahu-mma salli 'ala Muhammadin wa ala ali Muhammadin kama sallaita 'ala Ibrahima wa 'ala ali lbrahima inna-ka Hamidum Majid. AIIahumma barik 'ala Muhammadin wa 'ala' ali Muhammadin kama barakta 'ala Ibrahima wa 'ala' ali Ibrahima inna-ka Hamidum Majid.
11. The following prayer is then added:
Rabbi j'al-ni muqima-s-salati wa min dhurriyyati Rabba-na wa taqabbal du'a; Rabba-na- ghfir-li wa li-walidayya wa li-l-mu'minina yauma yaqumul-hisab.
This may be followed by any other prayer which the worshipper desires. That suitable for almost every person occurs in a hadith:
Allahu-mma inni a'udhu bi-ka mina-l-hammi wa-l-huzni wa a'udhu bi-ka mina-l-'ajzi wa-l-kasali wa a'udhu bi-ka min-al-jubni wa-l-bukhli wa a'udhu bika min ghalabati-d-daini wa qahri-r-rijal; Allahu-mma-kfi-ni bi-halali-ka 'an harami-ka wa ghni-ni bi-fadzli-ka 'am-man siwa-ka.
12. The concluding dhikr in the sitting posture is taslim [Illustration 16: Male; front view; turning towards the right] [Illustration 17: Male; front view; turning towards the left], or the utterance of the following words:
As-salamu 'alai-kum wa rahmatu-Ilah.
These words are uttered first turning the face to the right and again turning it to the left.
Allahu-mma-hdi-ni fi man hadaita wa 'afi-ni fi man 'afaita wa tawalla-ni fi man tawallaita wa barik li fi ma a'taita wa qi-ni sharra ma qadzaita inna-ka taqdzi wa la yuqdza 'alai-ka, inna-hu la yadhillu man walaita tabarakta Rabbana wa ta'alaita.
Another form of Qunut is the following:
Allahu-mma inna nasta'inu-ka. wa nastaghfiru-ka, wa nu'minu bi-ka, wa natawakkalu 'alai-ka wa nuthni 'alaika-l-khaira, wa nashkuru-ka wa la nakfuru-ka, wa nakhla'u wa natruku man yafjuru-k; Allahu-mma iyya-ka na'budu wa la-ka nusalli wa nasjudu, wa ilai-ka nas'a wa nahfidu, wa narju rahmata-ka wa nakhsha 'adhaba ka inna 'adhaba ka bi-l-kuffari mulhiq.
IX. Dhikr after
Astaghfiru-llaha Rabbi min kulli dhanbin wa'atubu ilai-hi.
To these may be added the ayat-ul-Kursiyy (Holy Quran: 2:255) [The ayat-ul-Kursiyy may also be recited in prayers after the Fatiha.] which gives a sublime description of Divine grandeur:
Allahu la ilaha illa hua-al-Hayyu-l-Qayyum; Ia ta'khu-dhu-hu sinatun wa la naum; la-hu ma fis-samawati wa ma fi-I-ardz; man dha-lladhi yashfa'u 'inda-hu illa bi idhni-hi; ya'lamu ma baina aidi-him wa ma khalfa-hum wa la yuhi-tuna bi-shai'im-min 'ilmihi illa bi-ma sha'a; wasi'a kur-siyyu-hu-s-samawati wa-l-ardz wa la ya'udu-hu hifzu-huma wa huwa-l-'AIiyyu-I-Azim.