Fundamentals of Salat

Salat refers to the ritual prayers of the Muslims and method of offering Salat can be witnessed in Masjid Al Haram in Mecca, be learnt directly from someone who has performed Pilgrimage in Mecca, or be learnt from reading the Hadiths. However, this article is not about the step-by-step guide of performing Salat, rather, only the fundamentals of Salat according to the Quran.

CLEANLINESS

Muslims are required to clean themselves as explained in Quran 5:6. This verse will be divided into 3 sections for ease of understanding:

  1. Ablution (washing before offering Salah)
  2. Ghusl (mandatory washing of the whole body)
  3. Tayammum (cleaning without a source of water)
  4. Limits (mercy of God)

Ablution (Washing before offering Salah)

O you who have believed, when you rise to [perform] prayer,

  • wash your faces and
  • your forearms to the elbows and
  • wipe over your heads and
  • wash your feet to the ankles

Ghusl (mandatory washing of the whole body)

And if you are in a state of impurity (i.e. had a sexual discharge), then

  • purify yourselves (by performing Ghusl).

Similar Biblical verse:

When a man has sexual intercourse with a woman and there is, a seminal emission, they must bathe in water and be unclean until evening. Female Bodily Discharges (Leviticus 15:18)

Tayammum

But if you are ill or on a journey or one of you comes from the place of relieving himself or you have contacted women and do not find water, then

  • seek clean earth and wipe over your faces and hands with it.

Limits (mercy of God)

Allah does not intend to make difficulty for you, but He intends to purify you and complete His favor upon you that you may be grateful.

The above verse is considered to be for those who suffer from anxiety, compulsive disorders, or even plain fear and self-doubt of not being able to clean themselves perfectly. One does not have to clean him/herself over and over to fulfill the requirements set by God, rather to have the intention of cleaning oneself and to do as best as he can.

Doubts of still having dirt or improper cleaning without any evidence such as sight, feel or smell should be ignored.

DIRECTION OF PRAYER (QIBLA)

From wherever you set off, turn your face towards the Masjid Al-Haram (Quran 2:150)

CALL UPON GOD

Say, “Call upon Allah or call upon the Most Merciful. Whichever [name] you call – to Him belong the best names.” And do not recite [too] loudly in your prayer or [too] quietly but seek between that an [intermediate] way. (Quran 17:110)

And say, “Praise to Allah , who has not taken a son and has had no partner in [His] dominion and has no [need of a] protector out of weakness; and glorify Him with [great] glorification.” (Quran 17:111)

So exalt the name of your Lord, the Most Great. (Quran 56:74)

Exalt the name of your Lord, the Most High (Quran 87:1)

Allah (Himself) bears witness that there is no God except Him. [So does] The angels and those with knowledge; that He maintains His creations in justice. There is no God except Allah the Almighty, the Wise. (Quran 3:18)

STAND

Maintain with care the your prayers, especially the middle prayer and stand before God, devoutly obedient. (Quran 2:23)

BOW, PROSTATE & WORSHIP

O you who have believed, bow and prostrate and worship your Lord and do good – that you may succeed. (Quran 22:77)

Muhammad is the Messenger of God; and those with him are hard against the disbelievers, merciful among themselves. You see them bowing and prostrating [in prayer], seeking bounty from God and [His] pleasure. (Quran 48:29)

BEFORE RECITATIONS

So when you recite the Qur’an, [first] seek refuge in Allah from Satan, the outcast [expelled from His mercy]. (Quran 16:98)

RECITE THE QURAN

Recite what has been revealed to you of your Lord’s Book. None can change His words, and you will not find any refuge besides Him. (Quran 18:27)

Recite what is revealed to you of the Book and observe the Salat. (Quran 29:45)

Among the People of the Scripture is a community standing [in obedience], reciting the verses of Allah during periods of the night and prostrating [in prayer]. (Quran 3:113)

CONCLUDING THE PRAYER

Indeed, those who have believed and done righteous deeds – their Lord will guide them because of their faith. Beneath them rivers will flow in the Gardens of Pleasure. Their call therein will be, “Exalted are You, O Allah ,” and their greeting therein will be, “Peace.” And the last of their call will be, “Praise to Allah, Lord of the worlds!” (Alhamdulillah hir Rabbil al amin) (Quran 10:9-10)