How is Prayer (salah) performed?

How to perform the morning (fajr) prayer

How to perform the noon (zuhr) prayer

How to perform the afternoon (asr) prayer

How to perform the evening (maghrib) prayer

How to perform the night (isha) prayer

How to perform the witr prayer

Qunut Supplications

 

How to perform the morning (fajr) prayer:

The morning prayer (fajr) consists of four rak'ahs: two sunnah and two fard. First the sunnah of the morning prayer is performed.

After fulfilling all of the necessary conditions for the prayer, it is necessary to turn toward the qiblah and to intend to perform the sunnah prayer through the heart.  Then, the intention is uttered in a low voice as follows: "I intend to perform the sunnah of the morning prayer for Allah."

Then, the hands are raised up to the level of the ears and the thumbs touch the earlobes. The palms face toward the Kaaba with the fingers not touching one another and takbir is performed by saying Allahu Akbar.    

After takbir, the hands are placed on the navel, right hand holding the left wrist. (Women raise their hands up to the level of their shoulders and put their hands on their breasts.)

After the hands are held like that, Subhanaka is read first. Then, audhu basmala is read. After that, the chapter of al-Fatiha is read and "Amin" is uttered at the end. An additional chapter or verses from the Quran are read. Thus, the qiyam (standing) and qira'ah (reading) parts of the prayer are completed.   

After reading is completed, the hands are left free on the sides and Allahu Akbar is uttered. Then, it is necessary to bow down (ruku). While bowing down, the hands are placed on the knees; the hands hold the knees with the fingers not touching one another. The back and the waist are held straight and parallel to the ground. The feet are held straight, too.  Subhana rabbiya'l-azim (Glory be to my Lord Almighty) is said three times in ruku. (In ruku, women held their fingers adjacent and do not hold their knees; they just put their hands on their knees. Besides, they do not hold their knees straight. They do not have to bow down so much as to make their backs parallel to the ground.)

Then, it is necessary to stand up from ruku by saying, "Samiallahu liman hamidah" (Allah hears those who praise Him). "Rabbana laka'l-hamd" (Our Lord, praise be to You) is uttered while standing.  

Then, Allahu Akbar is uttered and prostration (sajdah) is performed. First, the knees then the hands are put on the ground/floor in prostration. The head is put on the ground between the hands and the nose touches the ground, too. In prostration, the fingers and toes face the qiblah. (Women hold their arms adjacent to their sides and their thighs to their abdomen in prostration; they approach and touch the ground.) Subhana rabbiya'l-a'la (Glory be to my Lord, the Most High) is uttered three times in prostration. After Allahu Akbar is uttered, it is necessary to sit up. It is necessary to sit long enough to say Subhanallah after sitting up. Then, Allahu Akbar is uttered and the second prostration is performed.

After the supplication of the second prostration is uttered, it is necessary to stand up by saying Allahu Akbar. Thus, the first rak'ah ends and the second rak'ah starts.

In the second rak'ah, only basmala is uttered before reading the chapter of al-Fatiha and an additional chapter or verses from the Quran is read. Ruku and prostrations are performed as they are described above. After the second prostration, the left foot is placed on the ground horizontally and we sit on it. The right foot is placed on the ground and the toes are bent facing the qiblah. The hands are placed on the thighs. The sitting position between two prostrations is also like that. (Women sit by leaning their feet to the right.) First, at-Tahiyyat is read while sitting. Then salawat and duas are uttered. When they end, it is necessary to turn the head to the right and say, "As-salamu alaykum wa rahmatullah". Then, it is necessary to turn the head to the left and salute in the same way. Thus the two-rak'ah sunnah of the morning prayer ends. The qira'ah, glorification and takbirs of the sunnah of the morning prayer are said silently.     

The fard of the morning (fajr) prayer is performed just like the sunnah of the morning prayer. Only the intention is changed a bit as follows: "I intend to perform the fard of the morning prayer..." Iqamah is uttered before the fard of the morning prayer. (Women do not utter iqamah.) The qira'ah of the fard of the morning prayer can be read aloud if it is performed individually. If it is performed in congregation, it is necessary for the imam to utter qira'ah aloud.   

How to perform the noon (zuhr) prayer:

The noon (zuhr) prayer consists of ten rak'ahs: four rak'ahs of sunnah, four rak'ahs of fard and two rak'ahs of the last sunnah prayers. The four-rak'ah sunnah is performed first.   

The intention is uttered as follows for the sunnah prayer: "O Lord! I intend to perform the sunnah of the noon prayer."

Then, the first two rak'ahs of the sunnah of the noon prayer is performed just like the sunnah of the morning prayer. However, after sitting at the end of the second rak'ah, only at-Tahiyyat is read. It is necessary to stand up by saying Allahu Akbar without reading salawat and other duas. The third and fourth rak'ahs are performed like the first two rak'ahs and it is necessary to sit after the fourth rak'ah. At-Tahiyyat, salawat and other duas are read while sitting. Then, salutations are performed. Thus, the sunnah of the noon prayer is completed. Only basmala is uttered before reading the chapter of al-Fatiha at the beginning of the first rak'ah; Subhanaka and audhu… are not uttered.

The fard of the noon (zuhr) prayer is performed like the sunnah of the noon prayer. However, while uttering the intention, it is necessary to say the fard of the noon prayer. Besides, in the third and fourth rak'ahs, only the chapter of al-Fatiha is read. No additional chapters or verses are read. It is valid for all of the fard prayers, not for the fard of the noon prayer only. The additional chapter or verses are read in the first two rak'ahs but not in the third and fourth rak'ahs.

The last sunnah of the noon (zuhr) prayer is performed just like the sunnah of the morning prayer. However, the intention is changed as the last sunnah of the noon prayer.   

Qiraah is read silently in both sunnah and fard of the noon prayer.

How to perform the afternoon (asr) prayer:

The afternoon (asr) prayer consists of eight rak'ahs: four rak'ahs of sunnah and four rak'ahs of fard. The sunnah is performed first.

First the intention is uttered as follows: "I intend to perform the sunnah of the afternoon prayer." Then, the sunnah of the afternoon prayer is performed like the sunnah of the noon prayer. However, while sitting after the second rak'ah, salawat are uttered after at-Tahiyyat. After salawat are uttered, it is necessary to stand up by saying Allahu Akbar. At the beginning of the third rak'ah, Subhanaka and audhu basmala are read before the chapter of al-Fatiha and additional chapter or verses from the Quran. The fourth rak'ah is performed like the fourth rak'ah of the sunnah of the noon prayer.

The fard of the afternoon (asr) prayer is performed just like the noon prayer. Only the intention is different. Qira'ah is also read silently in the afternoon prayer.   

How to perform the evening (maghrib) prayer:

The evening (maghrib) prayer consists of five rak'ahs: two rak'ahs of sunnah and three rak'ahs of fard. The fard is performed first.   

First, the intention is uttered and the prayer starts. The first two rak'ahs are performed just like the other fard prayers. It is necessary to sit after the second rak'ah. Only at-Tahiyyat is read while sitting. After that, it is necessary to stand up for the third rak'ah. Only the chapter of al-Fatiha is read in the third rak'ah and ruku is performed. After the prostration, it is necessary to sit for the last sitting. At-Tahiyyat, salawat and duas are uttered, and the prayer ends with salutations.

After the fard prayer, the two-rak'ah sunnah is performed just like the sunnah of the morning prayer.

Qira'ah can be read aloud if the fard of the morning prayer is performed individually. If it is performed in congregation, it is necessary for the imam to utter qira'ah aloud.

How to perform the night (isha) prayer:

The night (isha) prayer consists of thirteen rak'ahs: four rak'ahs of sunnah, four rak'ahs of fard, two rak'ahs of the last sunnah and three rak'ahs of witr.   

The sunnah of the night (isha) prayer is performed first just like the sunnah of the afternoon prayer except for the intention. That is, salawat are uttered after at-Tahiyyat in the first sitting.

The performance of the fard prayer is just like the fard of the noon and afternoon prayers except for the intention.

The last sunnah is performed just like the sunnah of the evening prayer.

Only the intention is different.

How to perform the witr prayer:

The witr prayer consists of three rak'ahs. It is performed as follows:

First, the intention is uttered and the prayer starts. The first and the second rak'ahs are performed just like the sunnah of the morning prayer. Only at-Tahiyyat is read in the first sitting. Then, it is necessary to stand up for the third rak'ah. In the third rak'ah, after basmala, the chapter of al-Fatiha and an additional chapter or verses from the Quran are read. After that, Allahuakbar is uttered and the hands are raised up to the level of ears. Then, the hands are held on the navel and the supplications of qunut are read. After the supplications of qunut are read, ruku and prostrations are performed. After the prostrations, at-Tahiyyat, salawat and duas are read. Then, salutations are uttered.

* A person who does not know the supplications of qunut can read the following verse: Rabbana atina fi'd-dunya hasanatan wa fi'l-akhirati hasanatan wa qina adhaba'n-nar. (Our Lord! Give us good in this world and good in the Hereafter and save us from the torment of the fire!) He can also say Allahumma'ghfirli (O my Lord! Forgive me!) three times. It is also permissible to say, "O Lord" three times.   

* The witr prayer is performed in congregation only in Ramadan. The imam reads qira'ah loudly but qunut supplications are read silently. It is makruh to perform the witr prayer in congregation outside Ramadan.    

Qunut Supplications

Allahumma inna nasta'inuka wa nastaghfiruka wa nastahdika wa nu'minu bika wa natubu ilayka wa natawakkalu alayka wa nuthni alayka'l-khayra kullahu nashkuruka wa la nakfuruka wa nakhla'u wa natruku man yafjuruk.

(O my Allah! We pray to You for assistance, for guidance and for forgiveness. O my Allah! We believe in You and we turn to You in repentance and we rely on You in all our deeds and we trust in You. We praise You and say that all kinds of goodness have been bestowed upon us by You. We thank You for the abundant bounties You have granted us and we are not ungrateful to You. We turn away from and leave such people that are ungrateful to You.)

Allahumma iyyaka na'budu wa laka nusalli wa nasjudu wa ilayka nas'a wa nakhfidu narju rahmataka wa nakhsha adhabaka inna adhabaka bilkuffari mulhiq.

(O my Allah! To You alone we pray and to You alone we worship. For You alone we perform ritual prayers and for You alone we make prostrations. To You alone we run. We worship You with love and we hope for Your mercy and we fear Your chastisement, for Your chastisement catches the unbelievers.)

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