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And leave those who have taken their religion for a play and an idle sport, and whom this world's life has deceived, andremind (them) thereby lest a soul should be given up to destruction for what it has earned; it shall not have besides Allah anyguardian nor an intercessor, and if it should seek to give everycompensation, it shall not be accepted from it; these are theywho shall be given up to destruction for what they earned; theyshall have a drink of boiling water and a painful chastisementbecause they disbelieved. Al-Quran [Al-Anaam (Cattle, Livestock) Surah:6 - Verse:70]

Narrated Ibn-e-Umar:

Allah's Messenger Muhammad (P.B.U.H) said: Islam is based on the following five principles:
1. To testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and Muhammad is Allah's Apostle.
2. To offer the (compulsory congregational) prayers dutifully and perfectly.
3. To pay Zakat (i.e. obligatory charity).
4. To perform Hajj. (i.e. Pilgrimage to Mecca)
5. To observe fast during the month of Ramadan.

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Your're here: Home > Islamic Articles > How to offer namaz prayer?

How to offer namaz prayer?

    It is related by Hadhrat Abu hurairah (R.A.) that (once) the Apostle of Allah (Sallallaho alaiho wasallam) was sitting to one side in the mosque that a man came in and offered his Namaz (Prayer). Afterwards, he came to the holy Prophet (SAW) and paid his respects to him. The Holy Prophet (SAW) returned the salutation and remarked: "Go and offer the Namaz (Prayer) again. You have not said it properly." He went back and said the prayers again and returned to the Holy Prophet (SAW), and paid his respects. The Holy Prophet (SAW), returning the salutation, once again remarked: "Go and offer the Namaz (Prayer) again. You have not said it properly". After offering Namaz (Prayer) for the third (and the fourth) time, the man said to the Holy Prophet (SAW): "Sir, tell me how to offer Namaz (Prayer)". The Holy Prophet (SAW) replied: "When you decide to offer Namaz (Prayer), first perform Wadhu throughly and well, then turn to Qibla, then begin the Namaz (Prayer), after uttering Takbir-i-Tahrima. After it recite some part of the Holy Qur’aan which you know by heart and can recite easily. (In other Traditions relating to the same incident it is stated that the Apostle of Allah (SAW) told the questioner, specifically, to recite Surah-i-Fateha and whatever he liked, in addition to it). Then after the recital, perform Ruku till you are still and at ease in Ruku. Then, arise from Ruku till you stand erect. Then, perform the Sajadah till you are still and at ease in Sajadah. Then arise till you sit up comfortably. (According to another narrator, the Holy Prophet (SAW), instead of it, said: "Then arise till you stand erect). Then, do like that throughout the Namaz (Prayer) (i.e., in every Ruku, Sujud, Qauma and Jalsa in a calm and collected manner)." (Bukhari and Muslim)

    The incident mentioned above related to Hadhrat Khallad bin Rafay (RA), the brother of the well-known Sahabi, Hadhrat Rifa’ah bin Rafay (RA). According to Nassai, he had offered up two Raka’ah of Namaz (Prayer) in the Holy Prophet’s (SAW) mosque but some other commentators suggest that these Raka’ah were of Tahiyyat-ul-Masjid which Hadhrat Khallad (RA), had said rather hurriedly, and upon it, he was reproached by the Holy Prophet (SAW) and told to offer them up again.

    It shows that the Holy Prophet (SAW) did not plainly tell Hadhrat Khallad bin Rafay (RA), at the first time, what was wrong with his Namaz (Prayer) and how it was to be said correctly but at the third or fourth time, and, then, at his own request. It was, probably, for the simple reason that a lesson imparted in such a manner suffices for a lifetime and gets talked about among others as well.

    The paractical teaching imparted in the above Tradition is that Namaz (Prayer) should be offered up in a calm and composed manner and if it is offered hurriedly and wiithout making the necessary pauses and carrying out the various acts properly it be as good as unsaid.

    Namaz (Prayer) of Holy Prophet (SAW)

    Hadhrat Ayeshah (RA) narrated that the Apostle of Allah (SAW) commenced his Namaz (Prayer) with Takbir and the recital with Al-Hamdu-Lilaahi Rabbil ‘Alameen, and while performing Ruku he neither raised his head upward nor bent it downwards but kept it in the middle position (i.e., in line with the waist) and when he from Rukuh he did not go into Sajadah till he had stood erect, and when he raised the head from Sajadah he did not perform the second Sajadah until he had sat upright and he recited At-Tahiyyatu after every two Rak’ah and at that time, he flattened the left foot under him and kept the right foot in the upright postion and he forbade Uqbatish Shaitan (sitting like the Devil), and he, also, forbade that a man sat (in Sajadah) with his forearms (i.e., parts of arms between elbow and wrist) placed on the ground like the animals, and he brought the Namaz (Prayer) to an end by saying Assalmu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullah." ----Muslim

    Namaz (Prayer) is a worship of a very high order. For it such forms and postures of Qayam, Qaood, Ruku and Sujood have been prescribed as constitute the finest marks and expressions of adoration and humbleness, and all the unbecoming manners of holding the body that are indicative of vanity, awkwardness or indifference, or bear a resemblance with the lowly creatures have been, particularly, forbidden. The Holy Prophet (SAW) has, accordingly, ordered us not to sit in Sajadah with forearms spread on the ground as the dogs and wolves do or in the manner which, in this Tradition, has been described as Uqbatish Shaitan , and, in another, as Aq’aa-al-kalb.

    Commentators have differed in their explanation of the two terms. In our humble view, however, they denote sitting on the heels with the feet held upright on the toes and since this posture gives the impression of haste and exaggerated self-es-teem and only the knees touch the ground and it is the way dogs and wolves and other wild animals, generally, sit, the Holy Prophet (SAW) took special care to forbid against sitting like that in Namaz (Prayer).

    It is to be remmembered that such a manner of sitting is disallowed only when one is not constrained to do so owing to a disease or deformity.

    Special prayers and formulas of Allah-remembrance

    The inner feelling of earnestness and deep devotion that runs through the prayer-formulas through which the revere and adore the Lord during the various parts or acts of Namaz (Prayer) like Qayam, Ruku and Sujood, and the entreaties he made in them, form the essence of Namaz (Prayer). The sayings we are now going to discuss should be read from that point of view and the endeavour should be to produce the same emotional and spiritual state of feeling because it is the characteristic legacy of the Holy Prophet (SAW).

    Hadhrat Ayeshah (RA) related to us that ‘when the Apostle of Allah (SAW) began (to offer up) Namaz (Prayer) he first glorified the Lord in these words: Subhaanakal-laa-humma wabihamdika wa tabarakasmuka wa ta’ala jadduka wa laa-ilaaha ghiruka (O Allah, with Thy glorification and Thy praise; blessed is Thy Name; and there is no Allah save thee). Tirmidhi, and Abu Dawood.

    Hadhrat Ibn-Taimiyah (RA) writes in Muntaqa about Hadhrat Abu Bakr (RA), on the authority of Hadhrat Sunnan-i-Saeed bin Mansur (RA), and about Hazrat Omer (RA) on the authority of Sahih Muslim, and about Hadhrat Osman (RA) and Hadhrat Abdullah bin Masud (RA), on the authority of Qutni, that they began their Namaz (Prayer) with Subhaanakallahumma wa bihamdika... and, then, goes on to observe that it appears from it that the Holy Prophet (SAW), usually, recited this short prayer after Takbir in Namaz (Prayer). It, therefore, enjoys preference over all the other prayers of adoration mentioned in the traditions with relation to the commencement of the service though there is no harm in reciting the other proven hymns, as for instance, the one occurring in the next Tradition related on the authority of Hadhrat Ali (RA).

    Hadhrat Ali (R.A.) related that "when the Apostle of Allah (SAW) stood up to offer Namaz (Prayer) he recited the following prayer after Takbir: Waj-jahtu Waj-hil-lazi fataras samawati wal-arz hanifan wa maana minal-mushrikeena in-nasalaati wa nusuki wa mahya-yawa ma-matillahii rabbil ‘Aalimeena Laa Shareeka Lauhu Wa bizaalika omirtu wa ana minal muslimeena allahumma antal maliku laa ilaaha anta anta rabbi wa ana abduka azlamtu mafsi wa-’ataraftu bizanbi faghfirli zunubi jamee’an in-nahu laayaghfiruzzunuba illa anta wahdin li-absaril akhlaq laa yahdi liahsaniha illa anta was-rif’ annisaiyyi-aha laa yahsnifu ‘an-nisajyyi-aha illa anta, labbaika wa sa’adaika was-sharru laisa ilaika anabika wa ilaika tabarkta wa ta’a-laita astghfiruka wa atoobuilaika (I have turned away from every direction and set the Creator of the heavens and the earth, and I am not of those who associate anyone with Him in allegiance. My worship, and my every religious act, and my life and my death are for Allah alone, the Lord of the Worlds. To this I have been commanded and I am of those who obey. O Allah Thou art the Sovereign and Master. No one is worthy of obedience save Thee. Thou art my Lord and Owner, and I am Thy slave. I have wronged my soul, and ruined myself, and I confess my inquities. O Lord! Forgive me my sins; no one can forgive sins expect Thee. And remove all bad manners and deplorable morals from my side, and take them away from me. This, too, no one aside of Thee can do. I am in THY presence the service and Thy victory. Here I am, O Lord! All the good things, and every kind of piety and virtue are in Thy hands, and evil has no access towards Thee. Thou art the Blessed, the Most High, then art my only hope and my face is turned towards Thee. I beg The forgiveness and unto the do I turn penitent).

    This prayer the holy Prophet (SAW) recited after Takbir and before the commencement (of recitation from the Holy Qur’aan. Then, as he perform the Ruku’, (after completing the recital), he used to say: Allahumma laka rak’atu wa bika aamantu wa laka aslamtu khash’a laka sam’anini wa basari wa mukhkhi wa’azmi wa ‘asbi (O Allah! I am bowed low before Thee and I have believed in Thee and placed myself I Thy charge. My earns, and my eyes, and my marrow and my bones, and my muscles, and my nerves are all bent in submission to Thee). Later, as the Holy Prophet (SAW) raised his head from Rukuo’ and stood erect, he said: "Allahhumma rabbana lakal-hamdu mila-a-as- samawaati wal-arzi wa ma bainahuma wa mila-a ma shiata min shaiyyan b’adu" (O Allah! Praise is for Thee alone, such boundless praise as my cover the extensiveness of the heavens and the earth and fill all the empty space between them). After it when the Holy Prophet (SAW) performed Sajadah, he used to say (placing his forehead on the ground): Allahumma laka sajad-tu wa bika aamantu wa laka aslamtu sajada waj-hiyyallazi khalaqa-hu wa sawwar-tuhwa shaq-qa sam-’ahu wa basarahu tabarak-allahu ahsanul khaliqeen (O Allah! I am prostrating myself for Thy sake, and in Thy presence, amd I have believe in Thee, and I have placed myself in Thy charge. My face is carrying out genuflexion before the Creator who created it, and gave it its shape, and its ear, and its eyes out of nothing. \Blessed, indeed, is the Best of Creators).

    In the end, between Attahyyaatu (Also known as Tashahhud) and Salutation,he would pray: Allahummaghfirli ma qaddamtu wa ma akhkhartu wa ma anta a’alamu bihi minni antalmuqqdimu wa ant-al muwakhkhartu la ilaaha illa anta (O Allah! Forgive me all the sins I have committed earlier or later, and secretly or openly) and whatever in equity I have been guilty of, and of which Thou art better informed than me.

    "Thou it is who raises to higher rank and reduces to lower position. Verily, there is no deity save Thee)."--Muslim

    From the narratives relating to the Namaz (Prayer) of the Holy Prophet (SAW) is it clear that it was not the Prophet’s (SAW) regular practice to recite in Namaz (Prayer) the prayers mentioned by Hadhrat Ali (RA) in the above report. Perhaps, he did so occasionally, and most probably,in Tahajjud. Infact, Imam Muslim (RA) has quoted this Tradition in connection with the traditions appertaining Tahajjud.

    Many other prayers were, also, recited by the Holy Prophet (SAW) in Namaz (Prayer), particularly in Tahajjud which will be taken up at the approbate time. These possess a special significance and are charged with rare feeling. The Imam can read them in Fardh Namaz (Prayer) as well if he is satisfied that it will not go hard with the Muqtadis, and as far as supererogatory services are concerned, there is no reason why one should not avail oneself of this marvellous bequest in them.

    Recital of Holy Quran in Namaz (Prayer)

    Like Qyam Rukuo’ and Sujud, recital of the Holy Qur’aan, also, is a principal part of Namaz (Prayer), and it is done during Qayam. It is common knowledge that after Takbir some prayers in the nature of a hymn are recited. We have just mentioned two of them from the Traditions. It is followed by the recital of the first surah or opening chapter of the Holy Qur’aan, i.e., Surah-i-Fateha, which is a priceless gem of adoration and constains a most inspiring and comprehensive description of the Attributes of Allah. Along with the rejection and repudiation of every form of Polytheism there is, in it, an emphatic affirmation of Divine Oneness and an earnest prayer for the Straight Path, i.e., for guidance towards Faith and the Shari’ah. Anyhow, first of all, this Surah is recited without which there can be no Namaz (Prayer). After it the worshipper is required to recite any other Surah or a part of it. Whatever passage of the Holy Qur’aan he recites will, invariably, impart a message of guidance to him.

    Either it will be way of glorification of the Lord and exposition of His Immaculate attributes or dealing with the Last Day, Heaven and Hell, and Divine reward and punishment or conveying a command for practical life or narrating an event that has a religious or moral significance. It will thus, be a ready answer to the worship’s entreaty for guidance. In the second Rak’aah, too, another Surah or some verses of it will be recited after Surah-i-Fateha but if the service consists of three of four Rak’ah, but it is not necessary to recite some other Surah with it.

    Now, the Traditons:

    It is relatedd by Hadhrat Abu Huraira (RA) that the Apostle of Allah (SAW) said: "There can be no Namaz (Prayer) without the recital of the Holy Qur’aan," Proceeding, Hadhrat Abu Huraira remarks on his own that "we recited the Holy Qur’aan." with a loud voice in the prayer service in which the Holy Prophet (SAW) recited it with a loud voice and silently in the prayer-services in which the Holy Prophet )SAW) recited it sliently." Muslim

    It is recited by Hadhrat Abadah bin Samit (SAW) that the Apostle of Allah (SAW) said: "Whoever did not recite Surah-i-Fateha in Namaz (Prayer) did not offer Namaz (Prayer) at all." --Bukhari and Muslim

    In another version of the above Tradition, quoted, also, in Sahih Muslim, it is stated that "whoever did not recite Surah-i-Fateha and something else after it did not offer Namaz (Prayer) at all." (Bukhari and Muslim)

    It shows that while Surah-Fateha is an essential constituent to Namaz (Prayer) it is, also, necessary to recite something else from the Holy Qur’aan after it, although one is at liberty to make one’s choice.

    Points of views of legist Doctors

    Hadhrat Imam Shafa’i (Rahmatullahe alaih) and some other leading legist-doctors have inferred from the foregoing and few other similar Traditions that it is obligatory to recite Surah-i-Fateha in Namaz (Prayer), on matter whether one is offering it alone or in congregation leading the service or participating in it as a Muqtadi, and saying it with a loud voice or silently. Imam Maalke (Rahmatullahe alaih) and Imam Ahmed Hambali (Rahmatullahe alaih), on the other hand, hold that if the worshippers be a Muqtadi and Namaz (Prayer) is celebrated along, the recital of Surah-i-Fateha by the Imam will suffice for the Muqtadis. In this case the Muqtadi should abstain from doing the recitation. But in all other circumstances one must recite Surah-i-Fateha in Namaz (Prayer).

    The same view is supported by Hadhrat Imam Abu Hanifa (Rahmatullah alaih) who, further, believes that the recital by the Imam will do for the Muqtadis as well in Raka’at that are offered up sliently.

    It is related by Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (RA) that the Apostle of Allah (SAW) said: "The Imam has been appointed for no other reason than that the Muqtadis follow him. Thus, say Allah-o-Akbar, and listen in silence when he does the recitation." Abu Dawood, Nassai and Ibn-i-Maja

    Some other Ashat too have related in the same words, the advice of the Holy Prophet (SAW) about listening quietly when the Imam does the recitation. For instance, in the course of a long Tradition, quoted in Sahih Muslim, on the authority of Hadhrat Abu Musa Ash’ari (RA), the aforementioned instruction is given in identical words. The Holy Prophet’s (SAW) exhortation, evidently, is based upon the Qur’aanic injunction that when the have faith in their sincerity and to believe that whatever conclusion they have arrived at in the light of the Holy Qur’aan and the Sunnah and the coduct of the Ashab, are in good faith and none of them is guilty of falsehood or distortion. It is not, at all, opposed or antithetical to aligning oneself with a particular school of jurisprudence. The path of justice and moderation pursued by Hadhrat Shah Waliullah (Rahmatullah alih) in Hujjatullah -i-Baligha is, in our view, the best and the wisest course in the current circumstance through which unity can be brought back into the disintegrated ranks of the Muslim.)

    Recital of Holy Qur’aan by the Holy Prophet (SAW) during Fajr

    Hadhrat Jabir bin Samura (RA) narrated that the Apostle of Allah (SAW) recited Surah-i-Kaaf and other Surahs like it in the Namaz (Prayer) used to be light. --Muslim

    Commentators have interprated the concluding part of the above Tradition in two ways: one that the Holy Prophet’s (SAW) prayers, i.e., those of Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib and Isha used to be lighter, and in them, he recited less of the Holy Qura’an compared Fajr, and the other that the Holy Prophet’s (SAW) prayers were usually long in the earlier days of Islam when the Ashab were few in number and those who formed the congregation behind him were Muslims of the highest caliber, but letter when the number of worshipers had increased and they included Believers of the second and third grades as well, the Holy Prophet (SAW) began to celebrate comparatively shorter services and the more the worshipers, the greater was the possibility of there being among them some weak sick and faint-hearted people for whom a long service could be tiresome.

    Both the interpretations are correct from the factual point of view, but, to us, the latter apperars to be more convincing.

    It is related on the authority of Hadhrat ‘Amr bin Hurais (RA) that he heard the Apostle of Allah (SAW) reciting Wal-ley-i-Iza-’ as-asa (i.e., Surah-i-Takvir) in the Namaz (Prayer) of Fajr. --Muslim

    Hadhrat Ma’az bin Abdullah elJuhani (RA) related that a member of the tribe of Juhama told him that once he heard the Apostle of Allah (SAW) reciting Iza zulzilat in both the Raka’at of the morning service. (The narrator, then added that) he did not know whether the Holy Prophet (SAW) did so deliberately or inadvertently. --Abu Dawood

    The usual pration of the Holy Prophet (SAW) was to recite different Surahs in the two Raka’at of a service. So when he, once recited the Surah of Iza zulzilat in both the Raka’at, the Sahabi, on whose authority the above Traditon has been related, felt uncertain If the Holy Prophet (SAW) had done so unintentionally or intentionally in order to indicate that it, too, was permissible.

    Hadhrat Ibn-i-Abbas (RA) related that hte Apostle of Allah (SAW) used to recite the verses, Qooloo aamanna billahi wa ma unzila ilaina.. of Surah-i-Baqara, and the verses, Qul yaa aiyyuhal Kitaabi ta’ aloo ilaa Kalimatin Sawaa-in baina-nana wa bainakum... of Surah-i-Imraan (respectively) in the two Raka’at of Fajr. –Muslim It is related by Hadhrat Uqba bin Aamir (RA) that "in a journey I was going along on foot, holding the reins of the Holy Prophet’s (SAW) camel in hand. During the gonrny of the Holy Prophet’s (SAW) said to me: ‘Uqba, may I teach you two of the best Surahs of the Holy Qur’aan?’ After it, he taught (me) the Surahs of Qul aoozn be rabble falaga and Qul ‘aoozu be rabbin naas. He, then felt that I had not been very happy with the choice of the two Surahs. So, when the Holy Propeht (SAW) dismounted for the Fajr service, he let the prayers by recitig both the surahs. At the end of the Service he turned towards me and said: Uqba! What did you see and how did you feel?’’ --Musnadi-i-Ahmad, Abu Dawood and Nassai.


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