How to perform the morning (fajr) prayer (Sunnah)

The morning (fajr) prayer 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 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.  

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