Boreal

1,001 Sayings and Deeds of the Prophet

Prayers

Introduction

45:20 This (Qur’an) is an illumination for mankind, a guidance and mercy unto a people who believe with certainty

In Allah’s Universe, you may not even speculate about what He tells you is the absolute truth, which you must believe "with certainty", no matter the incongruity.

The disincentive that is Allah’s blanket embargo against seeking knowledge that might contradict what He has revealed in His Koran may be partly responsible for the Muslims world, which constitutes 21 percent of the world’s population (2011), having produced only 10 Nobel Prize laureates, with only two in the physical sciences (1979 physics, 1999 chemistry).

Not to be overlooked is the requirements of an Islamic education where priority is given to learning Arabic and attempting to memorize the Koran in its entirety; the negative impact on critical thinking just as damaging, if not more, than the time not available to non-religious subjects which Islamists consider very much a pre-occupation of the ignorant as is the time not spent at prayer and glorifying Allah.

If excessive worship is the answer, than the world may eventually owe Islam an enormous debt.

There are a lot of hadiths about what prayer the Prophet said at a specific time of the day and on special occasions e.g. the Hajj; and perhaps, more important, how he did them e.g. how many rakats did he perform (one rakat = one complete set of prayers including prostrations).

The five daily compulsory prayer and their approximate start times:

Fajr - dawn prayer.

Zuhr - not before noon (sun must have reached or passed its zenith).

Asr - late afternoon when the "shadow of a vertical stick equals its length".

Maghrib - sunset prayer.

Isha - night prayer, the sun must have completely set, often offered at midnight.

Other terms related to prayer:

Adhan - call to prayer.

Al-Fatiha – the first chapter of the Koran, its seven revelations i.e. verses must be repeated at the beginning of each prayer unit of the compulsory prayers.

Fard – compulsory prayers.

Iqama - the second and last call to prayer.

rakat = one cycle of prostrations, also spelled rakat.

Taslim - the conclusion of worship, where one recites Assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatu-Allah (Peace and blessings of God be unto you).

Witr - odd number prayer.

Every prayer begins with a recitation of the first surah i.e. chapter of the Koran, The Opening, also referred to as the Chapter of Prayer followed by selected verses. The entire Koran is usually expressed as a prayer during a year or less.

THE OPENING

1 Al-Fâtihah

1:1 In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful,

1:2 Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds,

1:3 The Compassionate, the Merciful,

1:4 Master of the Day of Judgement,

1:5 Only You do we worship, and only You do we implore for help.

1:6. Lead us to the right path,

1:7 The path of those You have favoured Not those who have incurred Your wrath or have gone astray.