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Islam Salah

To: soc.religion.islam 
From: (Mazen Mokhtar)
Subject: Islam Salah (worship) (
Date: unknown

  Wa `alaykumu-ssalaamu wa rAHmatullAAhi wa barAkaatuh,
  Here is a description of salah. 

  The following is an overview, I did not go into the details, or into
the allowed variations. I also did not separate the mandatory parts from
the strongly recommended parts.
  The wudu must begin with the intention of performing wudu. The intention is
simply in the heart, you don't have to say anything (ie: you decide to
make your wudu.)
  Then, perform the following steps. Only water is needed for wudu, none of
the following steps require soap. I did not go into any details:
  - Wash your hands in each other three times
  - Wash your mouth by taking water into it, moving it within your mouth
    and spitting it out, three times
  - Wash your nose by taking water to it and expelling it three times
  - Wash your entire face with water three times
  - Wash your right arm from your hand to your elbow three times
  - Wash your left arm from your hand to your elbow three times
  - Wipe your head, or part of it with wet hands, you don't have to wash it
  - Wipe your ears with wet hands, including the external part of the ear hole
  - Wash your right foot to the ankles three times
  - Wash your left foot to the ankles three times
  The parts that need to be washed must be exposed to the water. This means
that one cannot make wudu on nail polish because water will not touch the
nails, but one can wash the face while it has makeup because makeup is porous,
it does not prevent water from touching the face.
  Also, if you wore socks while you were on wudu, then if you break your wudu
you don't need to take the socks off. When you renew your wudu, wipe over
the top of the foot part of the socks with wet hands. You can continue to do
this until:
  - You take the socks off
  - The maximum time is elapsed. This is one day and one night. If you are
    travelling then the maximum period is three days and nights.
  - You enter a greater impurity that requires a full bath.
  There are other rules, but this is the main idea of wudu.
  - Conventions:
  I do not always adhere to a strict rule for transliteration but for this
post I used the following conventions:
    a  is a short vowel, like the 'e' in ten
    A  is a short vowel, like the 'a' in gargoyle
    i  is a short vowel, like the 'i' in tin
    u  is a shord vowel, like the 'u' in push
    aa is a long vowel, like the 'a' in tan
    AA is a long vowel, like the 'a' in cat
    ee is a long vowel, like the 'e' in teen
    uu or oo is a long vowel, like the 'oo' in soon
    th is as in "the"
    Dh is a heavy form of 'th' as in 'the'
    Th is as in "math"
    H  is a heavy 'h'
    `  is similar to 'a', 'i' or 'u' depending on the letter that follows.
       It is the guttural stop
    kh is like the German 'ch' in "ach" or the Gaelic 'ch' in "Loch Ness"
    gh is like the French 'r'
    q  is a heavy k
    T  is a heavy t
    S  is a heavy s
    D  is a heavy d
    -  is a word divider, like the space, but the words are pronounced together
  Please understand that this is still aproximate, but it is as close as I
can get it.
  Each salah (pronounced SAlaah) has two, three or four rak`as. It goes as
  - Make sure you are properly covered even if you are alone. A man should
    at least be covered from the navel to the knees (some scholars say
    less than that is acceptable). A woman should cover her entire body with
    the exception of her face (excluding ears and neck) and hands (some
    scholars also allow the feet to show.)
  - Find a clean place and face the direction of the ka`ba. For most of North
    America, the direction is North East (~58 degrees East of North in
    NY). Your position does not have to be exact, just fact the general
  - Intend to make salah
  - Raise your hands and say "allAAhu akbar" [Allah is Greatest]
  - Put your right hand on your left hand (or wrist) around your navel or a
    little above, or fold your arms with your right hand on your left elbow and
    your left hand under your right elbow.
  - Say "a`oothu billaahi mina-shshayTAAni-rrAjeem" [I seek refuge from satan,
    the accursed]
==> Recite Al FaatiHa
  - If this is the first or second rak`a, recide any group of verses from
    the Qur'an (typically a small chapter) after Al FaatiHa
  - (Optionally raise your hands and) say "allAAAhu akbar" as you
    bow. Your hands should be on your knees, or slightly above them, your
    back should be horizontal.
  - Say three times "subHaana rAbbiya-l`aDheem" [Above all imperfection
    is my Lord who is Great]
  - Say "sami`allAAhu liman Hamidah" [Allah hears those who thank Him] as you
    go back to the standing position.
  - When your back is straight, say "rAbbanaa laka-lHamd" [Our Lord, to you
    is thanks]
  - Say "allAAhu akbar" as you go into prostration. The ground should touch
    the bottom of your toes, your knees, your forehead, your nose and your
    hands. Your elbows should not touch the ground. Your body should not
    be in a closed position, so your head should not be close to your knees.
  - Say three times "subHaana rAbbiya-l a`laa" [Above all imperfection
    is my Lord who is Most High]
  - Say "allAAhu akbar" as you enter a sitting position. Your feet and knees
    should touch the ground, and your "seat" should be roughly on your
    heels and your hands should be on your thighs just above your knees
  - Say twice "rAbbi-ghfirlee" [Allah forgive me]
  - Say "allAAhu akbar" as you return to the prostration (described above.)
  - Say three times "subHaana rAbbiya-l a`laa" [Above all imperfection
    is my Lord who is Most High]
  - Now, if the current rak`a does not require a tashahhud (described below),
    say "allAAhu akbar" as you stand up for the next rak`a, start the next
    rak`a at the point indicated by "==>" above.
    If your rak`a requires a tashahhud, say "allAAhu akbar" as you return
    to the sitting position and say the tahsahhud
  - If this is the last rak`a, say the second part of the tashahhud as well,
    then look to your right and say "assalaamu `alaykum wa rAHmatullah", then
    look to your left and say "assalaamu `alaykum wa rAHmatullah"
  This concludes the prayer. Again, I kept it simple and I did not go into
the details.
  Now, there are five mandatory prayers. Try to get a prayer schedule from
a nearby masjid (mosque). The prayers are as follows:
  - Fajr (dawn). The time for this is from dawn (first light) to sunrise.
    The time for sunrise is printed in the newspaper everyday with the weather.
    It has two rak`as:
    - First rak`a: recite a small sura from the Qur'an after Al FaatiHa
    - Second rak`a: recite a small sura from the Qur'an after Al FaatiHa. At
      the end of the rak`a, sit down for the tashahhud to end your salah,
      recite the entire tashahhud (both parts) when you are sitting at the
      end of your salah.
  - Dhuhr (midday). The time for this is from midday to midafternood. Midday
    is almost exactly halfway between sunrise and sunset printed in the
    paper every day.
    It has four rak`as:
    - First: Recite small sura after Al FaatiHa
    - Second: Small sura also. Sit down for the tashahhud, read the first
      part of the tashahhud before you go back up for the third rak`a
    - Third: No small sura, no sitting for tashahhud
    - Fourth: No small sura. Sit down to recide the entire tashahhud then
      end your salah
  - Aasr (afternood) extends between midafternoon and sunset (printed in the
    paper also.)
    It has four rak`as, pray it as you pray dhuhr.
  - Maghrib (Sunset) extends between sunset and dusk (end of sunlight.)
    It has three rak`as:
    - First: Recite small sura after Al FaatiHa
    - Second: Small sura also. Sit down for the tashahhud, read the first
      part of the tashahhud before your go back up for the third rak`a
    - Third: No small sura. Sit down to recide the entire tashahhud then
      end your salah
  - Isha (Dusk) extends between dusk and the next dawn.
    It has four rak`as, pray it as you pray dhuhr.
  To sum it up:
  - Fajr:    2 rak`as Full tashahhud in last rak`a
  - Dhuhr:   4 rak`as Full tashahhud in last rak`a, half tashahhud in 2nd rak`a
  - Aasr:    4 rak`as Full tashahhud in last rak`a, half tashahhud in 2nd rak`a
  - Maghrib: 3 rak`as Full tashahhud in last rak`a, half tashahhud in 2nd rak`a
  - Isha:    4 rak`as Full tashahhud in last rak`a, half tashahhud in 2nd rak`a
  Notice that there is no mandatory prayer prescribed between sunrise and
  Make sure that you don't speed through your prayer. Take each position
until your body is at rest in that position.
  If you say a word not part of the prayer, or laugh, this makes the prayer
invalid and you must start all over
  Pray as well as you can until you learn the prayer
  Ladies don't have to make up the prayers they miss because of the period
  Also, it is best to pray at the beginning of the time of each prayer, not
at the end, except for `isha' prayer, its best time is closer to midnight,
but not past it. Midnight is not necessarily 12:00AM, midnight is twelve
hours after the time of Dhuhr.
  Don't ever intentionally delay a prayer out of its time, this is
a major sin in Islam. If you miss a prayer because you overslept (though you
had planned to wake up) or because you honestly forgot for example, then make
it up as soon as you remember it, and this is not a sin.
  The follwing are transliterations of texts useful for salah:
  - Al FaatiHa
   alHamdu lillahi rAbbil`aalameen
   maaliki yaumi-ddeen
   iyyaaka na`budu wa iyyaaka nasta`een
   SirAATA-llatheena an`amta `alayhim ghAyri-lmaghDoobi `alayhim wala-DDAAlleen
  Then you say: "aameen"
  - The first part of the tashahhud:
  "attaHiyyatu lillahi wa-SSAlaawaatu-TTAyyibaat
   assalaamu `alayka ayyuha-nnabiyu wa rAHmatullAhi wa barAkaatuh
   assalaamu `alaynaa wa `alaa `ibaadi-llahi-SSAAliHeen
   ashhadu alla ilaaha illa-llAh wa ashhadu anna muHammada-rrAsulu-llAh"
  - The second part of the tashahhud:
  "allAhumma SAllee `alaa muHammad wa `alaa aali muHammad kamaa SAllayta
     `alaa aali ibrAAheem
   wa baarik `alaa muHammad wa `alaa aali muHammad kamaa baarakta `alaa
      aali ibrAAheem
   innaka Hameedu-mmajeed
  At this point, you would look to your right and left and say "assalaamu
`alaykum wa raHmatullah" and this ends your prayer.
  - Sample small sura (chapter): Al kawTHar
  "innaa a`TAynaaka-lkawTHar
   faSAlli lirabbika wanHar
   inna shaani aka hua-l abtar
  - Second sample small sura: Al ikhlaas
  "Qul hua-llAhu aHad
   lam yalid wa lam yuulad
   wa lam yaku-llahuu kufuan aHad
  If anyone notices a mistake, omission, or an unclear part, especially in
the transliteration, I ask you by Allah to please tell me about it, this
presentation of salah is likely to be sent several times. Also, I am open
to all suggestions of improvement.
  I ask Allah to make this presentation of salah useful.
  If I said anything good it is from Allah, and if I said anything bad,
it is only from my own shortcomings. May Allah forgive me for any mistakes
I may have made.
Assalaamu 'alaykum wa raHmatullAhi wa barAkaatuh,
Mazen Mokhtar

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