Sala – Lesson 2

The Positions of Prayer

Lesson Notes

Position of Sala

The Preconditions of Prayer:

Certain prerequisite conditions are required when one intends to perform prayers. They are:

  1. For the fardh (mandatory) prayers, the knowledge that the time for the particular prayer has started.
  1. An ablution (wudhu), which is still in effect. (This subject is covered in the Purification units of this course).
  1. Freedom of the body, clothing and place of prayer from contamination by any unclean substances, such as: blood; vomit; urine, excrement, dead animals not slaughtered Islamically, pigs and dogs, unless it is impossible.
  1. Adequate covering of the body. This is referred to as a person’s Aurah – For a man the minimum is that he must be covered from the navel to (and including) the knees. A woman must cover all of her body (including her feet) except for her face and hands. The issue of Aurah is covered in more detail in Salah Level II.
  1. Facing the direction of the Qiblah (the Ka’bah). (Explained in more detail in Salah Level II).
  1. The intention in the heart to perform a particular prayer.

The pillars of prayer:

The pillars (arkaan) of salah are the actions if missed out unmindfully, the action if remembered in time must be made or the unit of prayer where the error was made must be repeated, in addition to performing sujood as-sahw (sujood for forgetfulness). But if it is willfully neglected, the salah would be null and void. An example being: if you forget to bow in the second unit of prayer and then you remember in the last unit, you should then redo that entire unit before making tasleem and then also perform sujood as-sahw; if you intentionally leave out the bowing position or when you remember and you fail to redo the unit, then the salah is invalid:

  1. The qiyaam, or standing upright for those who are capable to of doing so.
  2. The Takbirat-ul-Ihraam. This is the first Takbir (saying: “Allahu Akbar”) that puts one in the state of Salah. If this is left out the salah must be redone. This is important to remember when arriving late for prayers as many people tend to omit this and go directly into the position they find the congregation in.
  3. The recitation of Surah Al-Faatiha (The Opening Surah).
  4. The Rukuh (bowing).
  5. The qiyaam, rising and standing upright after bowing.
  6. The sujood, prostration, on seven parts of the body, the face, the hands (i.e., the forehead and the nose), the knees and the feet.
  7. Rising from prostration.
  8. The juloos, sitting position between the two prostrations.
  9. Tranquility :To pause long enough in each position, as an example when coming up from bowing, you must stand long enough in the upright position so that all the limbs are in place before going into the prostration position.
  10. The sitting for the final tashahud.
  11. Reciting the final tashahud and invoke Allah to confer His blessings upon Prophet Muammad ( Allahumma salli al Mhammad …etc).
  12. Sitting for tasleem.
  13. Performing the Tasleem
  14. Performance of the pillars in the ordained sequence.

The obligatory acts of prayer:

The obligatory (wajib) actions of salah are the actions that must be performed for the validity of that particular action. They differ with the pillars of salah in that you do not have to redo the action or unit, you only perform sujood as-sahw:

  1. The takbiraat other than the Takbirat-ul-Ihraam.
  2. Reciting the appropriate Adkhaar at least once in the bowing, prostration and sitting positions.
  3. Reciting the appropriate Dhikr when coming out of the bowing position.
  4. The sitting for the first tashahud.
  5. The recitation of the first tashahud.


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