How do Muslims pray


The method of offering the prescribed prayers in Islam (also referred to as salat)  Sunni and Shia Muslims pray slightly differently. Although both sects offer five prayers a day:

Salat al-Fajr, morning prayer
Salat al-Zuhr, early afternoon prayer
Salat al-Asr,late afternoon prayer
Salat al-Maghhrib, sunset prayer
Salat al-Isha, night prayer

Shia Muslims combine their prayers (Fajr) (Zuhr/Asr) (Maghrib/Isha)


In Shia Islam 2 Rakaah/cycles Salaah/ Namaaz/ prayer is basic standard form of prayers. Among Waajib/ obligatory prayers Fajr/ pre dawn prayers consist of 2 Rakaah/ cycles of prayers. A set of different actions and recitations associated with it makes 1 rakaa/ cycle. In Shia Islam major actions of salaah include Qiyaam/ standing, Ruku/ bowing, Qunut/ supplication, Sajda/ prostration, Jalsa/ sitting and Rafa-Yadain/ raising hands.

In Shia Islam major recitations associated with above actions are Takbiir/ declaring Allah/ God’s Greatness by saying ‘Allahu Akbar/ God is Great, Qirat/ recitation of chapters of Holy Qur’an, Qunut/ making supplication, Zikr/ Tasbiih/ declaring Allah/ God’s praises, Tashahud/ declaration of faith and Tasliim/Salaam/ Salutations on Prophet Mohammed and his house-hold. Qirat/ recitation include Surah Faatiha (Opening, 1st Surah/ chapter of Holy Qur’an, consisting of seven Aayat/ verses) and any other complete surah/ chapters of Holy Qur’an. Unlike other sects where recitations of mere three aayat/ verses of Holy Qur’an could be recited, Shia Islam require recitation of complete surah/ chapter of Holy Qur’an no matter whether lengthy one or short one but it should be complete.


In Shia Islam 2 rakaah/ cycle standard prayer is as follow:

One who intends to perform salaah should stands facing Qibla/ the epi-centre of worship, makes an intention in mind about the specific prayer solely to worship Allah/ God.

Then one raises hands with palms open they too facing Qibla up to ear’s level. When one does this one audibly says ‘Allahu Akbar/ God is Great’, as called ‘Takbir’. Now, one has started to perform salaah and cannot do other things until one completes, else salaah will be void.


After the above step, in Shia Islam one let one’s hands hanging loose as in natural normal standing position. This action is called Qiyam/ standing. Non-Shia sects usually fold their hands on chest, stomach or navel, but in Shia Islam hands are left loose to hang. This action is major difference between Shia salaah and Non-Shia salaah. During Qiyam/ standing one recites Surah Faatiha(Opening, 1st Surah/ chapter of Holy Qur’an, consisting of seven Aayat/ verses). Shia Islam requires one to recite ‘Bismillah…./ In the name of God….’ audibly, and as first verse of the said chapter. Non-Shia sect do not consider ‘Bismillah…./ In the name of God….’ as a verse of the said chapter rather split the last verse into two to make the number count seven. After the recitation of Surah Faatiha Shia Islam recommends to audibly uttering this phrase ‘Alhamdulillah/ Praises be to God’, at chapter’s end Shia Muslims dont utter ‘Aamin’ unlike Non-Shia who utter it.

After Faatiha, Shia Islam requires one to recite any atleast one additional chapter of Holy Qur’an, but Shia Islam require complete recitation of that chapter. Here too Shia Islam separates itself from others because Non-Shia require minimum of any three verses of Holy Qur’an. Also, here too ‘Bismillah…./ In the name of God….’ is audibly recited as a verse of chapter. With this Qirat is complete.


Next action is Ruku/ Bowing, before bowing Shia Islam requires to utter ‘Allahu Akbar/ God is Great’ and do Rafa-yadain/ raise hands. One bends one’s self and place palms on the knees yet keep the back as straight as possible. During this step one can recite either ‘Subhaan Rabbi al Aziime wa bi hamd/ Glory be to my Lord the High and I praise Him’ once or one can simply recite ‘Subhaan Allah/ Glory be to God’ thrice

After this one stands straight again and recite ‘Sami Allahu liman Hamida/ God hears one who praises Him’


Now, Ruku is complete and one has to go to Sajda/ prostrations, which is allowed only on permissible stuffs like mud etc. Before going to prostration once again one does Rafa-Yadain/ raise hands and utter ‘Allahu Akbar/ God is Great’, then one puts palms first on the ground and later knees, then one proceeds to put forehead on ground. So in total seven parts i.e. both larger toes of legs, both knees, both palms and forehead is placed on ground, women should place their hands up to elbows on ground. During this step one recite ‘Subhaan Rabbi al A’ala wa bi Hamd/ Glory be to my Lord the Supreme and I praise Him’ once or one can simply recite ‘Subhaan Allah/ Glory be to God’thrice.


One gets up to sitting position and does Rafa-Yadain/ raise hands and Recites ‘Allahu Akbar/ God is Great’, one sits with palms on thighs, sitting such that right upper foot should rest on sole of left foot. After momentarily sitting, one does raise hands and recite ‘Allahu Akbar’ once again and proceeds of second prostration, same as first sajda and again get up saying ‘Allahu Akbar’ and raising hands. This action completes one’s first rakaa/ cycle.


After sitting momentarily one places both palms on ground and gets up first lifting knees and then palms, while trying to stand one recites ‘Bi haw lillaahi wa quwwatihi aqumu wa aq’ud/ I sit and stand with the help of the strength of God’.

One begins second rakaah/ cycle by recitation of Surah Faatiha and repeats the same procedure but after Surah Faatiha any other chapter other than recited in first rakaah/ cycle is recited. One has to follow the same procedure except a slight change that in Second rakah/ cycle before going to Ruku/ bowing one does Qunut/ supplication in Shia Islam.


For performing Qunut/ supplication once again one does raise hands and recite ‘Allahu Akbar’ momentarily let hands to hang loose and then once again raise them such that palms face sky/ roof and are at face level and begin to supplicate. This is the only action when one is free to seek what one desires that too in one’s own language. Preferably, any Qur’anic (Qunut) supplications are used. After it one proceeds for ruku/ bowing with yet another raising hands and ‘Allahu Akbar’, and then Sajda/ prostrations after Ruku/ Bowing.


Procedure remains same as in first rakaah/ cycle, but after second sajda/prostration of second rakaah/cycle when one sits one begins Tashahud/ Declaration of Faith. Shia Muslims do not raise or rotate index finger while Tashahud which is done by Non-Shia.

Many Shia Muslims consider to recite additional Third Tashahud followed by aforesaid Tashahud as required, while other Shia Muslims consider it not allowed during salaah, it depends on which teaching one follows.

After Tashahud one proceeds to recite Taslim/ Salaam/ Salutations. After this one instantly does Rafa-Yadain/ Raise hands three times each time uttering ‘Allahu Akbar/ God is Great’ with this final action and recitation one’s 2 cycle salaah is complete and one exits from it.


If one intends to perform three rakaah/ cycle prayers, one should not recite Taslim/Salaam/ Salutations after Tashahud, and should get up as one got up for second Rakaah/cycle. Now, either one stands momentarily without reciting anything or one recites just Surah Fatiha without an additional chapter, or yet as a third option one recites Tasbihaat Al Arba/ The four praises thrice. Any of the three options will suffice; other later procedure is same as first rakaah/ cycle’s, after sajda/prostrations recite Tashahud and Taslim/ Salam/ Salutations to end the prayer.

If one intends to perform four rakaah/ cycle prayers, one should neither recite Tashahud nor Taslim/Salaam/ Salutations after third rakaah/ cycle’s Sajda/ prostrations, and should get up as one got up for second Rakaah/ cycle. Here too, either one stands momentarily without reciting anything or one recites just Surah Fatiha without an additional chapter, or yet as a third option one recitesTasbihaat Al Arba/ The four praises thrice Here too any of the three options will suffice, other later procedure is same as first rakaah/ cycle’s, after sajda/prostrations recite Tashahud and Taslim/ Salam/ Salutations to end the prayer.


Oh Allah! Peace and Salutation be upon Mohammed and House-hold of Mohammed. 

Source : http://welcometoshiaislam.blogspot.dk/2015/04/how-to-perform-salah-namaz-prayers-as.html

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