(From The Elementary Teachings of Islam by His Exalted Eminence Maulana Mohammed Ahdul Aleem Siddiqui)
Part I - Iman
Part II - Islam

Chapter 1 
The Declaration of Faith (about the Prophet Muhammad p.b.u..h.)

Chapter 2
1.Wudu (Ablution)
2. Ghusl (Bath)
3 (a) Miscellaneous Notes 
4. Azan 
4. (a) Iqamat 
5. The Obligatory and Essential Factors of Prayer 
6. Performance of Prayer
7. Classification of Prayers
8. Fard Prayers 
9. Wajib-ul-witr 
10. Funeral prayers (Salat-ul-janazah)
11. The Curtailment of Obligatory Prayers
12. Forbidden Times for Prayers 
13. Friday Prayers (Salatul-jummat'a)
14.Wajibul 'Id (The 'Id Prayers). 
15. Nafl Prayers
16. Miscellaneous 

Chapter 3
Zakat (Islamic Alms-Fee)

Chapter 4
The Observation of Fasts in the Month of Ramadan

Chapter 5
Pilgrimage to Mecca 
How is the Tawaf performed?
The Performance of Hajj 
How does one perform 'Umra?

6.Performance of Prayer

Click these links for illustrative photos of postures for both males and females

Q. Can you give a complete description of the performance of prayer? 
A. Yes. A Prayer consists of either two, three or four Rak'ats, and a Rak'at is performed thus:
(1) I stand erect, facing the direction of Ka'ba in Mecca, and after having the niyyat, (the intention) in my mind of what prayer I am about to offer and preferably uttering it to myself;
(2) I raise both of my hands up to the ears and, saying "Allahu Akbar," and then bring them down and place the right hand upon the left below the navel. 
(3) I then recite: 

(a) Subhanak-Allahumma wa bihamdika wa tabarakasmuka wa ta'ala jadduka wa la ilaha ghairuka
'All Glory be to Thee, O Allah! and Praise be to Thee; blessed is Thy Name and exalted Thy Majesty; and there is none worthy of worship besides Thee.' 

(b) A'oozu billahi minash-shaitanir-rajeem

'I betake myself to Allah for refuge from the accursed Satan.'

(c) Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Raheem. 

 '(I begin) In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.' 

(d) I then recite the Opening Chapter of the Holy Qnr'an (the Fatiha), viz., 
Alhamdu lillahi Rabbil- 'aalameen ar-Rahman-ir-Rahim, Maliki yaum-id-deen, iyyaka na'budu wa iyyaka nasta'een; ihdinas-sirat-al-mustaqeem sirat-alla-dheenaaa'amta 'alaihim ghairil maghdoobi 'alaihi wal-lad-daalleen. Ameen! 

All Praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds, the Beneficent, the Merciful, Owner of the Day of Judgment. Thee alone we worship and Thee alone we ask for help. Show us the straight path, the path of those whom Thou hast favoured, not (the path of) those who earn Thine anger nor (of) those who go astray. Amen!' 

(e) I immediately follow up this by reciting some passage from the Holy Qur'an, which should not consist of less than three consecutive verses. For this purpose any one of the small chapters may be selected, as for instance, the chapter termed "The Unity" viz.: 
Qul huw-Allahu Ahad, Allahus-Samad, lam yalid wa lam yoolad, wa lam yaku lahoo kufuwanahad
'Say: He is Allah, the One, - Allah, the eternally besought of all! He begets not, nor is He begotten. And there is none comparable unto Him.' 
Note: If a small chapter be recited, it is preferable to precede it by: Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Raheem.
(f) Then, saying "Allahu Akbar," I bow down in Ruku and say thrice: Subhana Rabbiyal-'Azeem

'How glorious is my Lord the Great!'

(g) I again assume the standing position letting the hands remain on the sides and say: 
Sami' Allahu liman hamidah. Rabbana lakal-hamd

'Allah has listened to him who has praised him. Our Lord praise be to Thee. 

(h) Then. saying "Allahu Akbar, "I prostrate myself and perform the Sajdah, saying thrice:
Subhana Rabbiyal-a-la

'All glory be to my Lord, the Most High.' Lord, the Great!'

(i) I then raise myself and, sitting for a while in a reverential posture, termed Jalsah, say once:
Allahummaghfirli war-hamni.

O Allah! forgive me and have mercy upon me.' 

[Note: (i) is optional]

(j) I then perform the second Sajdah exactly in the same way as the first one. This finishes one Rak'at. I then say "Allahu Akbar", and standing erect once again, repeat all that I had done in the performance of the first Rak'at with the exception of items (a) and (b), which are meant to be recited in the first Rak'at only. 

(k) After the second Rak'at's second Sajdah is over, I, saying "Allahu Akbar," sit down in the reverential posture called, Qa'da-tul-Oola (first sitting) or Qa'da-tul-Akhira (last sitting) as the case may be, and recite Tashahud alone in the former case, viz.: 
At-tahiyyatu lillahi was- salawata wat-taiyyabatu assalamu 'alaika ayyu-hannabiyyu wa rahma-ullahi wa barakatuhu assalamu 'alaina wa 'ala 'ibadlllah-is-salliheen, ash-hadu an la ilaha ill-Allahu wa ashhadn anna Muhammadan 'abduhoo wa rasooluh. 

'All reverence, all worship, all sanctity are due to Allah. Peace be on you O Prophet! and the Mercy of Allah and His Blessings. Peace be on us and all the righteous servants of Allah. I bear witness to the fact that none is deserving of worship except Allah and I bear witness to the fact that Muhammad is His servant and Apostle.' 

(l) If more than two Rak'ats are to be performed, I stand up again, saying "Allahu Akbar," and completing one or two Rak'ats, as the case may be, sit down in the reverential posture called "Qa'datul-Akhira, which is also obviously adopted if the prayer consists of two Rak'ats only. In the reverential posture, I recite in addition to Tashahud, the salawat, viz.,

Allahumma salli 'ala sayyidina Muharomadin wa 'ala ali sayyidina Muhammadin kama sallaita 'ala sayyidina Ibrahima wa 'ala ali sayyidina Ibrahim innaka Hamidun Majeed.

Allahumma barik 'ala sayyidina Muhammadin wa 'ala ali sayyidina Muhammadin kama barakta 'ala sayyidina Ibrahima wa 'ala ali sayyidina Ibrahima innaka Hamidun Majeed

'O Allah! Shower Thy blessings on our leader Muhammad and his descendants as Thou showerest Thy blessings on our leader Abraham and his descendants; verily, Thou art the Praiseworthy, the Glorious.

'O Allah! bless our leader Muhammad and his descendants as Thou blessest our leader Abraham and his descendants; verily, Thou art the Praiseworthy, the Glorious.'

(m) I then recite the following du'a: Allahumma inni zalamtu nafsi zulman kaseeran wa la yaghfiruz-zunooba illa anta faghfirli maghfiratan min'indika war-hamni, innaka antal-Ghafoor-ur-Raheem.

'O Allah! I have been extremely unjust to myself and none grants forgiveness against sins but Thou; therefore forgive me with the forgiveness that comes from Thee and have mercy upon me. Verily, Thou art the Forgiver, the Merciful.' 

(n) I then turn my face to the right and say the salaam: 
Assalamu 'alaikum wa rahmatulah

'Peace be upon you and the mercy of Allah.' Then I turn my face to the left and repeat the same. Here the prayer is completed. 

Q. What should a worshipper do if he or she unconsciously omits any of the essentials of prayer or suspects that he or she has performed more than the prescribed number of ruku's, sajdahs, rak'ats, etc.?
A. If a worshipper omits any of the essentials of a prayer or suspects that he or she has performed more than the required number of rnku's, sajdahs, rak'ats, etc., he or she should perform one salaam after reciting Tashahud and, making two sajdahs, should again recite Tashahud, Salawat and Du'a and complete the prayer with the usual two Salaams. (This is called Sajdatus-Sahw). 

Q. What acts nullify a prayer? 
A. The acts that nullify one's prayer are: 

(1) Talking. 
(2) Doing any three acts in succession. 
(3) Emission of impure matter from the body or the annulment of wudu in any way. 
(4) Drinking or eating during prayer. 
(5) Turning the chest away from the direction of Ka'ba. 
(6) Committing breach of any of the obligatory factors of a prayer. 
(7) If the body between the navel and the knees becomes uncovered in the case of males, or any part of the body excepting the hands and the face in the case of females. 
Q, What does the term Qa'datul-Oola mean?
A. The reverential sitting posture that one adopts after the completion of the two rak'ats of a prayer, consisting of three or four, for reciting Tashahud is called Qa'datul-Oola. 

Q. What is Qa'datul-Akhira
A. The final reverential sitting posture which a worshipper assumes after the completion of the prescribed number of rak'ats of any particular prayer, for the recitation of Tashahud, salawat and du'a is called Qa'datul Akhira

7. Classification of Prayers

Q. How many kinds of prayers are there? 
A. There are five kinds of prayers, viz., 

(1) Fard al-'ain, i.e. the compulsory prayer that must not be missed on any account whatsoever. This obligatory prayer must be offered at any cost for if one fails to do so he or she will be liable to severe punishment. The nature of its importance is evident from the fact that if one denies its obligatory nature, he or she is classed as an unbeliever. 
2) Fard al-kifayah is the kind of prayer which should preferably be offered by all those present at the time, but one at least out of the group must offer it to free the others from responsibility; for example, if any one individual from amongst the inhabitants of a locality where the death of a Muslim has taken place or from those who join the funeral procession to the cemetery offer the 'Funeral Prayer', the obligation of all concerned is fulfilled.
(3) Wajib is a prayer which comes next in rank of Fard al-'ain in accordance with the importance attached to it by the Holy Prophet. 
(4) Sunnat-ul-mu'akkadah is the class of prayer which the Holy Prophet used to offer daily without fail and has ordered his followers to do so. One is liable to be questioned for neglecting to offer the same without some very cogent reasons. 
(5) Sunnatu ghairil-mu'akkadah is the kind of prayer which the Prophet offered occasionally and desired his followers to do so. 
(6) Nafl is a voluntary prayer and it is commended for the uplift of one's soul, and for the acquirement of spiritual benefits. 
8. Fard Prayers 

Q. How many kinds of Fard prayers are there? 
A. There are only two kinds of Fard prayers viz.

(1) The daily obligatory prayers. 
(2) The special congregational Friday prayers. 
Q. Can you name the daily obligatory prayers? 
A. Yes, the daily obligatory prayers are five in number: 
(1) Salatul-Fajr, i.e., the early morning prayer which must be offered after dawn and before sunrise. 
(2) Salatus-Zuhr, i.e., the early afternoon prayer, the time for which commences immediately after the sun begins to decline, and lasts till it is about midway on its course to setting. 
(3) Salatul-'Asr, i.e., the late afternoon prayer which must be offered sometime after the sun is about midway on its course to setting, until a little before it actually begins to set. 
(4) Salatul-Maghrib, i.e., the evening prayer which must be offered between the sunset and the disappearance of the light similar to the light at dawn, which follows when the red glow from the horizon in the West has vanished. 
(5) Salatul-'Isha', i.e., the night prayer which must be offered any time after the time for Salatul-Maghrib comes to an end, and before the break of dawn, but it should preferably be offered before midnight. 
Q. How many rak'atsare compulsory in each of the five daily obligatory prayers? 
A. The number of rak'ats compulsory in the five daily obligatory prayers are: 
(1) Two in Salatul-Fajr (the early morning prayer). 
(2) Four in Salatus-Zuhr (the afternoon prayer). 
(3) Four in Salatul-'Asr (the late afternoon prayer). 
(4) Three in Salatul-Maghrib (the sunset prayer). 
(5) Four in Salatul-'Isha' (the night prayer). 
Q. How many rak'ats of Sunnat-ul-mu'akkadah should be offered along with each of the five daily obligatory prayers? 
A. The number of rak'ats is as follows: 
(1) Two before the Fard of Salatul-Fajr. 
(2) Four before and two after the Fard of Salatus-Zuhr. 
(3) None before or after the Fard of Salatul 'Asr.
(4) Two after the Fard of Salatul-Maghrib. 
(5) Two after the Fard of Salatul-'Isha.
[However, it should be noted that in addition to the above the following rak'ats of sunnat-ul-ghair-mu'akkadah may also be observed:-- re: #(3): Four rak'ats before the Fard of Salatul 'Asr; re: #(5) Four rak'ats before the Fard of Salatul-'Isha.

Sunnat ul-mu'akaadah is usually translated as the 'compulsory sunnat'.The mu'akkadah should not be intentionally omitted without a legal excuse. Its omission would be very sinful. 

Sunnat-ul-ghair-mu'akkadah - is translated as the 'voluntary' or 'optional' sunnat. This kind of sunnat salat prayer is not compulsory, but to do so would entail great recompense. If one has the time, the opportunity and the proper inclination of the heart, it should be definitely offered. However, if one omits it, it will not entail any sin. -- Editor]

Next Page