The functions performed in a Prayer are categorised according to their relative importance.
FARDH (COMPULSORY) PARTS OF PRAYER
Those which are so essential that without them the Prayer cannot be considered valid, are called Fardh, i.e; obligatory, mandatory or compulsory.
If Fardh constituent parts are not carried out, the Prayer becomes null and void. However, in case a worshipper does not perform that part because he completely forgot about it, the Prayer will be held valid in the sight of Allah. If he had forgotten at the time but remembers it either during the Prayer or after the Prayer, or if someone reminds him of his omission, then he should rectify the omission by performing the function that has been missed and then perform the Sujood-us-Sahv, i.e; two prostrations by way of condonement. These compulsory functions are as follows:
- Takbeer Tahreemah: To say Allahu Akbar to begin the Prayer.
- Qiyam: The posture of standing.
- Ruku: The posture of Bowing down.
- Sajdah: The posture of Prostrating.The above are the common features of every Raka’at.
- The Final Qa’dah: The last long sitting position before ending the Prayer. This feature is not repeated in every Raka’at.
- Recitation of Sura Fatiha: The recitation of Sura Fatiha is also essential in every Rak’at.
When the Imam is leading the congregation, the loud recitation of Sura Fatiha is compulsory in the first two Raka’at of the following Prayers:
b. Maghrib Prayer, which comprises three Raka’at.
c. Isha’a Prayer, which comprises four Raka’at.
WAJIBAAT (ESSENTIALS) OF THE SALAT
The Wajibaat (essential or necessary parts) is the second category. These are the parts which, if left out wilfully, will invalidate the Prayer, but if forgotten and remembered afterwards, may be condoned by offering two Prostrations of condonement towards the end of the Prayer. The Prostrations of condonement are deemed sufficient to rectify the mistake and the missed function is not repeated in this case. The Wajibaat of the Prayer are as follows:
- The recitation of a portion of the Holy Quran after reciting Sura Fatiha in the first two Raka’at of the Fardh. part of the Prayer and in all Sunnah and Nawafil Prayers.
- Standing erect after Ruku, technically called Qauma Note: Qiyam is a Fardh part, i.e; is compulsory, while Qauma is Wajib i.e; essential or necessary.
- Jilsa, the sitting position between two prostrations.
- Short sitting position after completing the first two Raka’at (not the final Qa’dah).
- Recite At-tashahud i.e; At-tahiyyatu Lillahi was-salazoatu…..in Qa’dah position.
- For the Imam to recite Sura Fatiha and a portion of the Holy Quran audibly in the first two Raka’at of Fajr, Maghrib, Isha’a, Jumma and Eid Prayers, and to recite the same silently in Zhuhr and ‘Asr Prayers.
- Tarteeb, i.e; to perform various Fardh and Wajib parts of the Salat in their appropriate order.
- Ta’deel i.e; to perform all parts of the Prayer with dignity and respect. In other words the Salat (Prayer) should be offered with full concentration and without any haste.
- To turn the face to the right and to the left, saying Assalamo Alaikum wa Rahmatullah, to mark the end of the Prayer.
- For the Imam to say Takbeer-i-Tahreema aloud.
SUNNAH (PLURAL OF SUNNAT) OF THE SALAT
All other parts of the Salat, besides the Fardh and Wajib constituents, are either Sunnat or Mustahab factors. The worshipper should strictly adhere to all the Sunnat and Mustahab parts of the Salat and should not omit any of them without any good reason. However, no prostrations of condonement are performed if any of the Sunnat or Mustahab parts are omitted. The Sunnah parts of the Salat (Prayer) are as follows:
- To raise the hands up to the ear lobes when reciting Takbeer-e-Tahreema.
- Folding of arms in Qiyam position
- To recite thanaa.
- To recite A’uozuo billahi min-aash-shaitan-ir-Rajeem before reciting Sura Fatiha.
- To say Ameen at the end of Sura Fatiha.
- To say Allahu Akbar while going to Ruku.
- To recite Subhana Rabbi yal ‘Azeem at least three times in Ruku position.
- To say Same ‘Allahu liman Hamedah while getting up from Ruku, and in case one is offering individual Prayer, to say Rabbana wa lakal Hamd. If one is following the Imam in a congregation, to say Rabbana wa lakal Hand is the Practice of the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.
- To say Allahu Akbar while going into the position of Prostration and while getting up from the Prostration.
- To say Subhana Rabbi yal A’alaa at least three times during the Prostration.
- To recite the prescribed prayer during the Jilsa position.
- To raise the forefinger of the right hand while reciting Ashhado alla illaha Illallah
- To recite Durood and other prayers during the final Qa’dah.
- To recite Sura Fatiha in the third and fourth Raka’at.
- For the Imam to say Allahu Akbar, and Same Allahu liman Hameedah, in an audible voice.
MUSTAHIB-BAAT OF THE SALAT
The following things, which pertain to the style and the carriage of Prayer, i.e; its beauty and its excellence, are entitled Mustahibbat of the Prayer. The term Mustihibbat means preferable and praiseworthy. Of course, they are not compulsory, essential or Sunnat parts of the Prayer. They are as follows:
- To fix one’s gaze on the spot which will be touched by the head during prostration.
- To place one’s hands on the knees with spread fingers while performing Ruku.
- To leave one’s hands by one’s sides in Qauma position.
- To prostrate in such a manner that the knees touch the ground first, then the hands, the nose and the forehead.
- To get up from the second Raka’at after Prostration without any support.
- To place one’s hands on one’s lap near the knees so that the fingers are spread towards the Qibla.
- To sit on the left foot in Qa’dah and Jilsa position, and to plant the right foot in a way that the toes are towards the Qibla.
- After the recitation of Sura Fatiha, the Quranic verses which are recited should be longer in the first Rak’at as compared to the verses recited in the second Rak’at.
- For the worshipper who is following the Imam, to say Ameen in an audible voice and to say Rabbana wa lakal Hamd in an inaudible voice.