Volume - III / CHAPTER - 2 / LESSON NO: 19
OBLIGATORY ACTS OF PRAYER
Q 1: What does "Arkaan-e-Salaat" mean?
A. Arkaan is the plural of Ruk'n which means "fundamental" or "obligatory act". Thus Arkaan-e-Salaat stands for the obligatory acts in prayer. Salaat will not be valid if any of the obligatory acts is left out.
Q 2: How many obligatory acts are there in prayer? A. Seven obligatory acts are in prayer:
1. Takbeer-e-Tahreema (first utterance of the words of "Al-Laahu Akbar" (Allah is the Most Great) to commence prayer).
2. Qiyaam (standing erect).
3. Qiraa-at (recitation from the Holy Qur-aan).
4. Rukoo (bowing of the head with the hands grasping the knees).
5. Sujood: [singular: Sajdah] (prostrations with the forehead, nose, palms of the hands, knees and insides of toes of both the feet firmly placed on the ground).
6. Qa'adah-e-Akheera (last sitting posture).
7. Khurooj-e-Bisun'ihee (to end prayer with his own action or intention).
Q 3: Takbeer-e-Tahreema is called condition of prayer and also obligatory act. Why is it so?
A. Takbeer-e-Tahreema and Arkaan-e-Salaat are interrelated, that's why Takbeer-e-Tahreema is also counted among Arkaan-e-Salaat, otherwise it is, in fact, a condition of prayer.
Q 4: What does Takbeer-e-Tahreema mean?
A. The formula to commence prayer by raising the hands upto the ears and bringing them down saying Al-Laahu Akbar and then put them below the navel is called "Takbeer-e-Tahreema". It means that all other things are now forbidden than the prayer.
Q 5: Can Takbeer-e-Tahreema be uttered in sitting posture or only in standing state?
A. It is Fard (obligatory) to say Takbeer-e-Tahreema standing in Fard, Witr, Eids' prayers and Sunnat prayer ofFajr in which Qiyaam is obligatory. Prayer will not commence if Takbeer-e-Tahreema is uttered in sitting position and then stand erect. However, in Nafil it can be recited sitting.
Q6: Will prayer be in order if one joins Imaam (Jama'at) in Rukoo saying Takbeer-e-Tahreema?
A. If one finds Jama'at in Rukoo and hastens to join it uttering Takbeer-e-Tahreema without standing upright, his prayer will not be valid and in case, he recites Takbeer-e-Tahreema i.e. Allah-o-Akbar in standing (upright) position and then goes into Rukoo, his prayer will be lawful even though he might not have folded his hands below the navel.
Q 7: What does "Qiyaam" mean?
A. Qiyaam means to stand upright in prayer. However, the minimum standing posture is that one should not bend so much that his hands (if let them go) reach the knees.
Q 8: How much Qiyaam is obligatory and in which prayer?
A. Qiyaam is obligatory in Fard and Wajib prayer and also in Sunnats of Fajr prayer. All about Qiyaam hinges on Qiraa-at (recitation from the Holy Qur-aan) in prayer. If Qiraa-at in prayer is Fard (obligatory) then it is Fard, if Qiraa-at is Wajib (essential) it is Waajib and so long as Qiraa-at is Sunnat then Qiyaam is also Sunnat.
Q 9: What should one do if he can not stand in prayer?
A. Qiyaam is obligatory in Fard prayer. Therefore one should do his utmost to stand in prayer. For example, he may take support of wall, stick or servant and observe Qiyaam at least to such an extent that he could say Allah-o-Akbar and then sit. If it is also impossible due to serious illness or fatal wound then he is compelled to offer prayer sitting. However, Qiyaam is not obligatory in Nafil prayer.
Q10: Can Fard prayer be offered in boat and train in sitting posture?
A. One can offer prayer in boat sitting if he feels giddy in standing posture or he can not disembark from the boat for prayer, but in train that is in motion, Fard, Wajib and Sunnat prayers can not be offered. One should offer prayer in train when it stops. However, in case the appointed time of prayer is about to run out then one should offer in the train in motion but repeat it on the first feasible opportunity.
Q11: What does Qiraa-at mean?
A. Qiraa-at means recitation from the Holy Qur-aan.
During Qiraa-at each and every word must be uttered clearly and distinctly. Recitation from the Holy Qur-aan should be in low pitch but not so low that one could not listen to his own voice, otherwise prayer will not be valid.
Q12: What injunction is there about Qiraa-at in prayer?
A. Recitation of (at least) one Qur-aanic verse in two Rakahs of Fard and in every Rakah of Witr and Nafil is obligatory (Fard) upon Imaam and Muqtadi (he who offers prayer by himself). Recitation of Surah Faatehah and one small Surah (Qur-aanic chapter) or three small verses or one or two verses which is/are equal to three small verses in length are Wajib (essential) in the first two Rakahs of Fard and in every Rakah of Nafil and Witr. Muqtadi (follower) should not make Qiraa-at in Jama'at (congregation). Imaam's Qiraa-at is enough for him.
Q13: Is recitation of Surah Faatehah Waj ib in every Rakah of every prayer?
A. Surah Faateha is Wajib in every Rakah of every prayer irrespective of Wajib, Sunnat, Nafil and Fard prayer except the third and fourth Rakahs of Fard prayer. Recitation of Surah Faateh in the said two Rakahs of Fard prayer is optional. Prayer will be in order if one recites Subhaan Allah or keeps silence (which must not be done) in lieu of Surah Fateha in these Rakahs. However, it is commendable to recite Surah Faatehah.
Q14: How many Qur-aanic chapters or verses should a Muslim commit to his memory?
A. It is obligatory (Fard) upon every Muslim to commit at least one Qur-aanic verse to his memory and commitment of Surah Fateha and another small chapter or three small verses or one big verse to memory is Wajib for every Muslim. Besides, it is incumbent upon every male and female believer to have knowledge of the basic religious matters.
Q15: In which prayers is Qiraa-at Wajib aloud?
A. Aloud recitation from the Holy Qur-aan i.e. Qiraa-at in Fajr (obligatory prayer), first two Rakahs of Maghrib and 'Ishaa, Jumau'ah and Eids' prayers and Taraawih and Witr prayers in the holy month of Ramadaan is Wajib (essential). It is called Salaat-ul-Jahr. The voice of Imaam in Salaat-ul-Jahr should be so loud that it could be heard at least in the first row of Jama'at.
Q16: In which prayers should Qiraa-at be in soft voice?
A. Qiraa-at in soft voice in the third Rakah of Maghrib, third and fourth Rakahs of Isha and in all four Rakahs of Zuhr and Asr prayers is Wajib. Similarly, Qiraa-at in Nafil prayers in day time should be at low pitch. However, one can, if wishes, recite Qur-aanic chapter or verses loudly in Nafil prayers at night. Soft voice should not be so low that one could not hear his own voice otherwise prayer will not be in order.
Q17: What are called those prayers in which Qiraa-at is made loudly?
A. Prayers in which Qiraa-at is done aloud are called "Salaat-ul-Jahr" and those in which Qiraa-at is made in soft voice are called "Salaat-ul-Sirr".
Q18: Should one who offers prayers by himself make Qiraa-at aloud in Salaat-ul-Jahr?
A. It is optional for individual (he who offers prayer by himself) to recite Qur-aanic chapter or verses loudly or in soft voice in Salaat-ul-Jahr, but it is better to make aloud Qiraa-at. However, Qiraa-at at low pitch is Wajib in missed (Qaza,Qada) prayers.
Q19: What is the minimum posture of Rukoo?
A. The minimum posture of Rukoo is that the hands should reach the knees when one bends and full bowing posture is that one's back should be straight.
Q20: What is "Masnoon" (accepted) method of Rukoo?
A. In Rukoo one should grasp his knees with the hands and the fingers are spread well on the knees; hands (elbows) should be aloof from the rips and belly and the back and head should be so straight in level that the water does not brim over if a bowl full of water is placed on the back.
Q21: How should a hunch-backed man perform Rukoo?
A. A man whose hunch has bent his back to the extent of "Rukoo posture" should perform Rukoo with the gesture of his head. So is the case with the old man whose back has become bend due to old age. He should also do Rukoo gesturing with his head.
Q22: What is Sajdah?
A. Placing the forehead firmly on the ground is called Sajdah.
Placing the inside(s) of respective one toe of both the feet on the ground is an important condition of Sajdah, of three toes is Wajib and of all the ten toes is Sunnah.
Q23: Is only one Sajdah obligatory in a Rakah or another too?
A. Two Sujood (singular:Sajdah) are obligatory in every Rakah.
Q24: Will Sajdah be lawful if made only on the nose or only on the forehead?
A. One can observe Sajdah by placing only his nose on the ground if he can not touch his forehead with the ground due to some distress. However, the nose should be placed so firmly on the ground that its bone touches the ground. The observance of Sajdah only on the nose without any cogent reason renders prayer void and it is Makrooh to make Sajdah only on the forehead if one has no difficulty in placing his nose on the ground.
Q25: What should one do if his forehead and nose are wounded?
A. He whose forehead and nose are wounded should observe Sajdah by gesture.
Q26: How long should one pause between two prostrations?
A. After having performed the first Sajdah one should sit erect well and then perform the second Sajdah. A pause (sitting erect well) between two prostrations is Wajib.
Q27: Will prayer be valid or not if Sajdah is made on a soft thing?
A. Observance of Sajdah on any soft thing like grass, cotton carpet etc. is lawful provided the forehead is pressed thereon to the hilt otherwise not. Similarly the nose should also be pressed to the extent of its bone, otherwise prayer will have to be repeated.
Q28: Will prayer be in order if one is at a low place but prostrates on a raised place?
A. Prayer will not be in order if the place on which he prostrates is twelve fingers higher than the place under his feet. Otherwise prayer will be valid.
Q29: How long one should sit in Qa'ada-e-Akheera?
A. It is Fard to sit in Qa'ada-e-Akheera (last sitting posture in prayer) so long that one could recite complete "Attahyaat" (Tashah-hud) up to "wa Rasoolu".
Q30: What does "Khurooj-e-Bisun'ihee" mean?
A. To end the prayer with intent after having completed all recitations in "Qa'ada-e-Akheera" is called "Khurooj-e-Bisun'ihee". One must say "Assalaam-o-Alaikum wa Ramatullah" otherwise the prayer will have to be repeated.