Muslims observe five prayers each day. The timings of these prayers are spaced fairly evenly throughout the day, so that one is constantly reminded of Allah and given opportunities to seek His Guidance and Forgiveness.
Muslims observe the formal prayers at the following times:
Fajr (dawn): This prayer starts off the day with the remembrance of Allah; it is performed before sunrise.
Zhuhr (noon): After the day’s work has begun, one breaks shortly after noon to again remember Allah and seek His guidance.
`Asr (afternoon): In the late afternoon, people are usually busy wrapping up the day’s work. It is an important time to take a few minutes to remember Allah and the greater meaning of our lives.
Maghrib (sunset): Just after the sun goes down, Muslims remember Allah again as the day begins to come to a close.
`Isha (night): Before retiring for the night, Muslims again take time to remember Allah’s Presence, Guidance, Mercy and Forgiveness.
In the Muslim communities, people are reminded of the daily prayer times through the calling of the Adhan (call to the Prayer). For those in Muslim-minority communities, computerized Adhan programs are available.
In ancient times, one merely looked at the sun to determine the various times of day for prayer. In more modern times, daily prayer schedules are often printed which precisely pinpoint the beginning of each prayer time.
How to Perform the Muslim Prayers?
Five times each day, Muslims bow down to Almighty Allah in prayer. Ifyou are learning how to pray, or are just curious about what Muslims do duringprayers, follow along with following general guidelines. For more specific
guidance, check out online prayer tutorials to help walk you through it.
The prayer needs from you only 10 minutes and it is an easy worship and youfind a lot of tranquility and peace in it.
- Make sure your body and place of prayer are clean. Perform ablution if necessary. Make the intention to perform your obligatory prayer.
- Stand, raise hands up and say “Allahu Akbar” (Allah is Greatest).
- Stand with hands folded over chest and recite the first chapter of the Glorious Qur’an in Arabic. Then, recite any other verses of the Glorious Qur’an that you like.
- Raise hands up, saying “Allahu Akbar” and bow, reciting three times, “Subhana Rabbiyal Adheem” (Glory be to my Lord, the Almighty).
- Rise to standing while reciting “Sami`a Allahu liman hamidah, Rabbana wa lak al-hamd” (Allah hears those who call upon Him; Our Lord, praise be to You).
- Raise hands up, saying “Allahu Akbar” and prostrate on the ground, reciting three times “Subhana Rabbiyal A’ala” (Glory be to my Lord, the Most High).
- Rise to a sitting position, saying “Allahu Akbar” and prostrate again in the same manner.
- Rise to a standing position, saying “Allahu Akbar.”
- This concludes one Rak`ah (unit of prayer). Begin again from step 3 for the second Rak`ah.
10. After two Rak`ahs, one remains sitting after the prostrations and recites the first part of the Tashahhud in Arabic.
11. If the prayer is to be longer than these two Rak`ahs, one now stands up and begins again to complete the prayer, sitting again after all Rak`ahs have been completed.
12. Recite the second part of the Tashahhud in Arabic.
13. Turn to the right and say “As-salamu alaikum wa rahmatullah” (Peace be upon you and Allah’s Mercy).
14. Turn to the left and repeat the greeting. This concludes the formal prayer.
- There are five daily prayer timings. Formal prayers can be done during a window of time between the start of one prayer and the start of the following prayer.
- If Arabic is not your native tongue, learn the meanings in your language while trying to practice the Arabic.
- Online tutorials are available that can help you learn the correct positions and Arabic pronunciations. Better yet, pray with other Muslims to learn.
What You Need
- The heart-felt intention to perform the prayer
- A clean body with correct ablutions
- A clean place to pray
- To stand directing the face towards Qiblah (the direction of Ka`bah faced in the Prayer)
The best way for understanding the nature and method of prayer is to visit any Masjid in your area where you can see how Muslims perform their prayers with their Imam in congregation.
Source: Taken from www.islam.about.com with modifications.