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 Introduction to Salat

Salat (contact or link prayers) is the name for the obligatory prayers which are performed five times a day, and are a direct contact or link between the worshipper and God with no earthly intermediaries.

The five-time prayers become obligatory from the moment a person embraces Islam. This is an extremely important tenet of Islam and has been enjoined with great emphasis in the Holy Quran. It is a form of worship which establishes the link between man and his Creator and Benefactor, GOD. Through `Salat` a person communes with his Lord, the Creator and the Sustainer of the Universe.
Just as performing `Salat` is obligatory, learning to perform it in the prescribed way is also obligatory so that one should know what he/she is saying to his/her Lord, and enjoy the full blessings and benefits of praying. In the performance of Salat , reciting the Ftiha (Sura 1 of the Quran) have to be said in Arabic.

The best way of learning is from a Muslim teacher or a Muslim friend or a family member, which is a time-honored Islamic tradition. But for those who might find themselves in a non-Muslim environment where a Muslim teacher is not readily available, this page has been prepared. All the necessary recitations and the verses of Sura1 have been put in the Roman script along with the translation of their meanings into English and can be found here..(How to perform Salat).  It might be a good idea to have your pronunciation of the prayers checked by other Muslims the first available opportunity.

We attempt to supply the very basic information to a new Muslim to enable him to start praying in Arabic as early as possible. Further information is necessary to perform `Salat ` under abnormal conditions i.e. sickness,  war,... etc. Some concessions have been granted by Almighty God in these conditions in the Holy Quran. The Quran alone is the good source of finding information regarding the conditions and meaning of SALAT. Please only refer to Quran for any conditions. There is no difference in prayer performance for Men and Women. GOD has created both sexes equal and places no gender based conditions for SALAT. The man-made conditions such as "menstruating woman are not allowed to pray" is not Quranic and should be discarded as such. GOD will not, by his infinite grace, take away woman`s right to pray due to some natural bodily function put in place by GOD himself. Again, all conditions not found in the Quran should be and must be discarded.

Before starting the prayer, a person is required to perform ablution (wash). It consists of washing his or her hands, face, head and feet. The complete detail of Ablution can be found in the Quran. Again, all conditions not found in the Quran should be and must be discarded. Check our ablution file.
There is no hierarchical authority in Islam, and no priests, so the prayers are led by a learned person (Imam) who knows the Quran, chosen by the congregation. These five prayers contain Sura (Chapter) 1, from the Quran, and are said in Arabic, the language of the Revelation, but personal supplication can be offered in one`s own language.

Each prayer is practically an audience with God. Facing in the direction of the Ka`ba (the first mosque ever, built by patriarch Abraham and his son Ismail for the worship of the One God, at the site which long later became the city of Makkah in Arabia), the prayer is opened by saying "Allah Akbar", i.e.. God is Greater (than all else), and practically you are turning your back to all the universe and are addressing God. One of the constant readings during prayer is the Opening Chapter of the Quran that reads
"In the name of GOD, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
Praise be to GOD, Lord of the universe.
Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
Master of the Day of Judgment.
You alone we worship; You alone we ask for help.
Guide us in the right path;
the path of those whom You blessed; not of those who have
deserved wrath, nor of the strayers. " (1:1-7)

Bowing down and prostrating oneself (to God) interjecting "Glory to my Lord the Great", "Glory to my Lord the Highest", "God listens to those who thank Him" , the prayer is concluded in the sitting position by reiterating the affirmation of the faith, the Shahada. The correct Shahada which is; "I bear witness that there is no god but GOD". This is the correct Shahada and nothing else should be added to it. Mentioning Mohammed or any other name besides GOD will nullify your Salat and brings grave consequences.

Salat (Contact Prayers) are obligatory at dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset and nightfall, and thus determine the rhythm of the entire day. Although it is preferable to worship together in a mosque, a Muslim may pray almost anywhere, such as in fields, offices, factories and universities. Visitors to the Muslim world are struck by the centrality of prayers in daily lif