SALAH IN ISLAM
Salah is the most important pillar of Islam and this will be our first question on the day of Judgement. As Muslims, we have taught to perform our prayer without delaying it by our beloved Prophet(PBUH). There are many conflicts on how to pray in Islam. There are a countable number of ways to perform salah but the best way is to follow the Sunnah of Prophet(PBUH).
CONFLICTS ON HOW TO PRAY IN ISLAM
There are many people who perform salah “not in the Sunnah way” and accuse others of their salah being wrong but one can not quarrel or debate with them regarding salah. They may have learned from their parents or even followed that from generations to generation in their family knowing that it is the right way.
It is ok if the person thinks he’s right about his salah without knowing the right Sunnah way, but if they know and not willing to follow the Sunnah way then Allah(SWT) knows the best. One should always know that a person’s salah is valid if he performs prayer with proper Wudu, Khusus, Ruku, and proper Sujud and with correct supplications like “Allahu Akbar” “Subhana Rabia’allah” “Subhana Rabbi’lazim” and reciting verses in sujud vice verse.
Q: Is there any difference between men and women with regard to the actions of Salah (Prayer) like raising hands to the ears and putting them over the chest?
A: The correct opinion maintains that the way in which women perform Salah is the same as that of men, as the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: Perform Salah as you see me perform it. and he (peace be upon him) made no exclusions for women. So men and women are equally addressed with the prescribed actions of Salah such as raising the hands, putting them over the chest, putting them on the knees when bowing down, and resting them on the ground opposite the shoulders or ears in Sujud (prostration). Similarly, they both have to recite Al-Fatihah (Opening Chapter of the Qur’an) and some verses of the Qur’an in both the first and second Rak`ahs (units of Prayer) of Zhuhr (Noon), `Asr (Afternoon), Maghrib (Sunset), `Isha’ (Night) and Fajr (Dawn) Prayers. Yet, only Al-Fatihah is to be recited in the third Rak`ah of Maghrib Prayer, and the third and fourth of Zhuhr, `Asr and `Isha’ Prayers. So women are on an equal footing with men in this regard.
Fatwas of Nur `Ala Al-Darb>Volume 9>Book of Salah>Completion of the chapter on the description of Salah>Demonstrating that men and women are on an equal footing with regard to Salah
The things which are mentioned below are Sunnah which our Prophet(PBUH) did as reported in hadith and which we should follow.
STEPS TO PERFORM PRAYER IN ISLAM
- All Men are commanded to perform Fard salah in Masjid with Jamath in a row-wise manner following the Imam. Even women are allowed to pray in Masjid (Authentic Hadith).
- He/She should raise their hands when saying the takbeer, or before or after doing so. All of these are proven in the Sunnah.
- He/She should raise them to level with their shoulders, or sometimes until they are level with their earlobes. POINT: with regard to touching the earlobes with the thumbs, there is no basis for this in the Sunnah, rather in my view this has to do with wasswas (insinuating whispers of the Shaytaan).
- The space between both legs should be a little gap, not too wide or not too close.
- Whilst he/she is standing, they should look towards the place where they will prostrate.
- Then recite the Qur’an or Listen to the Imam if it’s recited.
- Qur’an should be recited aloud in Fajr and Jumu’ah prayers, Eid prayers, prayers for rain (istisqaa’), prayers at the time of an eclipse (kusoof) and in the first two rak’ahs of Maghrib and ‘Isha’
- The garment should be above your ankle at all cost it’s said by Prophet(PBUH) that the hellfire of Jhanam will wrap the portion of the ankle which was covered during salah.
- When he/she has completed the recitation they should pause briefly, to catch their breath.
- Then he/she should raise their hands in the manner described for takbeer. As this was done by Prophet (PBUH) and it is authenticated hadith
- Then he/she should do ruku’, bowing as deeply as their joints will let them until their joints take a new position and are relaxed in it. This is an essential part of prayer.
- He/She should put their hands on their knees, firmly, spacing the fingers out, as if grasping their knees.
- He/She should spread their back and make it level in a straight line manner.
- He/She should not lower or raise their head, but make it level with their back.
- Then he/she should straighten up from ruku.
- He/She should raise their hands when straightening up as takbeer.
- Then he/she should go down into sujood on their hands, putting them down before the knees. This is what was commanded by the Prophet(PBUH), and it is proven that he did this, and he forbade imitating the manner in which a camel sits down, which is by kneeling with its forelegs first.
- When he/she prostrates – which is an essential part of the prayer – he/she should put their weight on their palms and spread them out. It is ok to not open wide in Jamath as it may disturb others praying beside you.
- He/She should keep the fingers together as they point towards khibla and all six positions should be on the ground i.e Your both Palms, Your both Knees and fingers of both feet pressing towards the ground towards khibla.
- The hands kept on the ground should be matched between shoulder to ears and avoid the dogs sitting like placing your full arm on the ground is prohibited.
- It is recommended to offer a lot of du’a during sujud because it is a time when du’a is likely to be answered “where you whisper to the ground and your dua is answered above seven skies “
- Then he/she should raise their head, saying takbeer. Then he/she should sit at ease until their upper body is straight. He/She should spread his/her left leg and sit on it. He/She should put their right foot upright and make its toes point towards the kiblah.
- When Sujud is complete in the second rak’ah, he/she should sit for the Julus/Tashahhud.
- Their both hands should be on their thighs and the end of the right elbow on the thigh, not far from it.
- He/She should spread their left palm on their left thigh and knee. It is not permissible to sit resting on one’s arms, especially the left arm.
IS IT PERMISSIBLE TO MOVE INDEX FINGER IN JULUS/TASHAHUD
One should clench all the fingers of his right hand, and put the thumb on the middle finger and should make a circle with them and should point with their index finger towards the kiblah. He/She should look towards it. He should move it, making du’a with it, from the beginning of the Tashahhud until the end. One should not point with the finger of their left hand and should do all of this in every Tashahud.
This is the part were many arguments come where moving the finger is a Sunnah as it was done by our Prophet(PBUH) and it is in the authentic hadith. I also wanna an add a note that it is ok if you pray without the Sunnah and follow only the mandatory act in salah but I want to also remind you that we are missing Sunnah which was followed by our beloved Prophet(PBUH) and his companions (may Allah have mercy on their soul). Click here to learn more deeply about Salah.