Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Description Of The Prophet’s Solāh

Description of the Prophet’s Solāh

In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;
All the praise and Thanks is due to Allāh, the Lord of al-‘ālamīn. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allāh, and that Muhammad, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam is His Messenger.

Solāh is the First Act that The Person Will Be Held Accountable For On The Day of Judgement.

‘Abdullah Ibn Qart related that the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) said:“The first act that the slave will be accountable for on the Day of Judgement will be Solāt. If it is good, then the rest of his acts will be good. And if it is evil, then the rest of his acts will be evil.”(This is recorded by at-Tabarāni)

The Virtues and Excellence of Sunnah Solāh.

Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu’anhu) narrated that the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: 

"The first thing a person will be held accountable for on the Day of Judgment is his Solat. If they are complete, it will be written for him that they are complete, but if there is a deficiency in them, Allah would say: "See if My Slave has any supererogatory prayers." Allah would also say: "Make up the deficiency in My Slave's obligatory prayers from the supererogatory prayers;" and then other actions will be accounted for accordingly."  

(This is recorded by Al-Bukhari, Muslim, Dawud,  An-Nasa’ie and others)

The Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) Commanded The Ummah To Perform The Solāh In Accordance His Sunnah.

Rasulullah (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
“Solāt as you have seen me performing my Solāt”
(This is recorded by Al-Bukhari and others)

1 - Facing the Direction of the Ka’abah.

1-When you stand up to perform Solāh; face the direction of the Ka’abah wherever you are, in both fardhu (obligatory) and nāfil (supererogatory) prayers. This is one of the pillars of prayer, without which prayer is not valid.

2-The obligation of facing the direction of prayer does not apply to one who is engaged in warfare, when he prays The Fear Prayer (Solat Al-Khawf) or is engaged in heavy fighting. It also does not apply to those who are unable to do it, such as one who is sick, or one who is traveling on a ship, in a car or on a plane, if they fear that the time of the prayer will elapse (before they reach a place where they can find the correct direction). And it does not apply to one who is praying a nāfil prayer or witir prayer whilst riding on a riding-animal etc., but it is mustahabb for him to face the Qiblah if he is able to do so when pronouncing the takbeer of ihram (at the beginning of the prayer), then he may face whatever direction he is facing.

3-Everyone who can see the Ka’abah must face it; those who cannot see it must face its direction.

Ruling On Not Facing the Ka’abah in Solāh By Mistake.

4-If a person prays not facing the qiblah, because of clouds [preventing him from working out the direction from the position of the sun] or some other reason, after he did his best to work out the right direction, his prayer is valid and he does not have to repeat it.

5-If someone whom he trusts comes – whilst he is praying – and tells him of the right direction, then he must hasten to turn that way, and his prayer is valid.

2 - Qiyam (Standing In Solāh).

6. It is obligatory to pray standing. This is a pillar (essential part of prayer), except for the one who is praying the fear prayer or at times of intense fighting, when it is permitted to pray whilst riding; for the one who is sick and unable to stand, who should pray sitting if he is able, otherwise lying on his side; and the one who is praying a nāfil prayer, who may pray whilst riding or sitting if he wishes, and he indicates the ruku’ and sujud with his head. The one who is sick may also do this, and he should make his sujud lower than his ruku’.

7- It is not permissible for one who is praying sitting down to put something raised up on the ground in order to prostrate on it. Rather he should make his sujud lower than his ruku’ – as we have mentioned – if he is unable to touch the ground directly with his forehead.

Prayer On Board a Ship or Airplane.

8 -It is permissible to pray fardhu prayers on board a ship or airplane.

9 -It is permissible to pray them sitting down if one fears that one may fall.

10-It is permissible to lean on a pillar or stick when standing, if one is old or weak in body.

Combining Standing and Sitting in Solāh.

11-It is permissible to pray Qiyam Al-Layl standing or sitting with no excuse, or to do both. So a person may pray and reciting sitting down, and just before doing ruku’ he may stand up and recite the rest of the ayahs standing up, then do ruku’ and sujud, then he can do likewise in the second raka’ah.

12-If he prays sitting down, he should pray sitting cross-legged or in whatever position he finds comfortable.

Praying Wearing Shoes.

13-It is permissible to pray barefoot, or to pray wearing shoes.

14-It is better to pray sometimes barefoot and sometimes wearing shoes, according to what is easy; one should not make it difficult to put shoes on or to take them off in order to pray If a person is barefoot, he should pray barefoot and if he is wearing shoes then he should pray wearing shoes, except when there is a reason not to do so.

15- If he takes them off, then he should not place them to his right; rather he should place them to his left, if there is no one on his left, otherwise he should put them between his feet. There is a subtle hint that he should not place them in front of himself. This is the etiquette which most worshippers ignore, so you see them praying facing their shoes! This is what was narrated in the saheeh reports from the Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) .

Solāh on the Minbar.

16 - It is permissible for the imam to pray on an elevated place such as the minbar, in order to teach the people. So he should stand up on it to pray, then say takbeer, recite Qur’an and do ruku’ whilst he is on that place, then he should come down backwards so that he can prostrate on the ground at the base of the minbar, then he may go back to it and do the same in the second raka’ah as he did in the first.

It Is Obligatory To Pray Facing A Sutrah And Be Close To It.

17 - It is obligatory to pray facing a sutrah (screen or cover), there is no difference whether that is in the mosque or elsewhere, whether the mosque is big or small, because of the general meaning of the hadith of the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam):

“Do not pray except facing a sutrah, and do not let anyone pass in front of you, and if he insists then fight him, for he has a companion (qareen) with him” – meaning the Syaitan.

18 - It is obligatory to be close to the sutrah, because this is what the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) commanded.

19 - Between the place where the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) prostrated and the wall there would be a space nearly big enough for a sheep to pass through. Whoever does that is close enough [to the sutrah] as is required. I say: from this we know that what people do in all the mosques that I have seen in Syria and elsewhere, by praying in the middle of the mosque far away from the wall or pillars is but negligence towards the command and action of the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam).

How High Should The Sutrah Be?

20 - The sutrah should be approximately a handspan or two above the ground, because the Prophet SAW said: “When one of you places in front of him something such as the stick on the end of a saddle, he should pray and not worry about anyone who passes in front of that.” This hadith indicates that a line on the ground is not sufficient, and the hadith narrated concerning that is dha‘ief (weak).

21 - He should face the sutrah directly, because this is apparent meaning of the command to pray towards the sutrah. Stepping slightly to the right or left so that one is not facing it directly is not correct.

22 - It is permissible to pray facing a stick planted in the ground and the like, or a tree, or a pillar, or one’s wife lying down in bed underneath her blanket, or an animal, even if it is a camel.

Prohibition of Praying Towards Graves.

23 - It is not permitted to pray facing graves at all, whether they are the grave of Prophets or of others.

Prohibition of Walking In Front Of One Who Is Praying Even In Al-Masjid Al-Haram.

24 - It is not permitted to walk in front of one who is praying if there is a sutrah in front of him [i.e., it is not permissible to come between him and his sutrah]. There is no difference in this regard between Al-Masjid Al-Haram and other mosques, all of them are the same in that this [walking in front of one who is praying] is not permitted, because of the general meaning of the words of the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam): “If the person who passes in front of one who is praying knew how great a burden of sin resulted from that, standing for forty [years] would be better for him than passing in front of one who is praying.” This refers to passing between him and the place of his prostration. The hadith which speaks of the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) praying in Hasyiyat al-Mataf without a sutrah and with people passing in front of him is not sahīh, even though it does not say that they were passing between him and his place of prostration. It is obligatory for the one who is prostrating to prevent the one who wants to pass in front of him, even in Masjid Al-Haram.

25- It is not permissible for the one who is praying towards a sutrah to let anyone pass in front of him, because of the hadith quoted above, “Do not let anyone pass in front of you…” And because the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) said:

“When one of you is praying towards something which is a sutrah between him and the people, and someone wants to pass in front of him, then he should push him in the upper chest and repel him as much as he can.”

According to another report: “… he should stop him twice, but if he insists then he should fight him, for he is a devil.”

Stepping Forward To Prevent Someone Passing In Front Of Him.

26- It is permissible for a person to take one or two steps to the front, in order to prevent one who is not responsible from passing in front of him, such as an animal or a small child, and to make them pass behind him.

What Breaks The Prayer?

27- The sutrah is so important to prayer that it prevents a person’s prayer from being invalidated, if someone passes in front of him. This is in contrast to the one who does not use a sutrah, whose prayer is broken if an adult woman, a donkey or a black dog passes in front of him.

3 - Niyyah (Intention)

28- The worshipper must form the intention of praying the prayer for which he is standing. He must have the intention in his heart of performing a specific prayer, such as the fardhu (obligatory prayer) of Zuhur or of ‘Asar, or the Sunnah of those prayers. This is a condition or pillar (essential part) of the prayer, but uttering the intention verbally is a bid’ah which goes against the Sunnah, which was not suggested by any of the imams who are followed.

4 - Takbeer.

29-Then he should start the prayer by saying:

“Allahu akbar (Allah is Most Great).”

This is an essential part of the prayer, because the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) said:

“The key to prayer is purifying oneself (wudhu’), it is entered by takbeer (saying ‘Allahu akbar’) and exited by tasleem (saying ‘al-salamu ‘alaikum’)” i.e, once you say takbeer, certain things are prohibited and this prohibition ends when you say tasleem.

30 - He should not raise his voice when saying takbeer in all the prayers, unless he is acting as an imam.

31 - It is permissible for the muezzin to convey the takbeer of the imam to the people, if there is a need to do so, such as if the imam is sick and his voice is weak, or because there are many worshippers praying behind him.

32 - The one who is following the imam should not say takbeer until the imam has finished saying takbeer.

Raising The Hands – How It Is To Be Done?

33-He should raise his hands when saying the takbeer, or before or after doing so. All of these are proven in the Sunnah.

34- He should raise them with the fingers stretched out.

35- He should raise them level with his shoulders, or sometimes until they are level with his earlobes. I say: with regard to touching the earlobes with the thumbs, there is no basis for this in the Sunnah, rather in my view this has to do with waswās (insinuating whispers of the syaitan).

Placing The Hands – How It Is To Be Done?

36- Then he should place his right hand on his left, immediately after the takbeer. This is the way of the Prophets (peace be upon them), and this is what the Messenger of Allah (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) enjoined upon his companions. It is not permissible to let the arms hang at the sides.

37- The right hand should be placed on the back of the left hand, wrist and forearm.

38-Sometimes the left hand may be grasped with the right. The combination of placing and grasping, which was favoured by some later scholars, has no basis.

Where They Should Be Placed?

39- The hands should be placed on the chest only; there is no difference between men and women in this regard. I say: placing them anywhere other than on the chest is da’ief (weak) or has no basis.

40- It is not permissible to put the right hand on the waist.

Humility and Looking At the Place of Prostration.

41-The worshipper must be humble in his prayer, and should avoid everything that may distract him from it, such as adornments and decorations. He should not pray where there is food that he wants to eat, or when he needs to urinate or defecate.

42-Whilst he is standing, he should look towards the place where he will prostrate.

43- He should not look to the right or the left, because looking here and there is a snatching away which the syaitan steals from the prayer of the slave.

44- It is not permissible for him to look up at the sky.

Du’ā Al-Istiftāh (Openning Du’ā of the Prayer)

45- Then he should start the prayer with some of the du’as which is narrated from the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam). There are many of these, the most famous of which is:

1. It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (radiyallāhu‘anhu) said: When the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) started to pray, he would remain silent for a while. I said: “May my father and mother be sacrificed for you, O Messenger of Allāh. What do you say when you are silent between the takbīr and recitation?” He said: “I say:

‘Allāhumma bā‘id bayni wa bayna khatāyāya kama bā‘adta bayna al-mashriqi wal-maghrib. Allāhumma naqqini min khatāyāya Kama yunaqqa al-thawb al-abyad min al-danas. Allāhumma ighsilni min khatāyāya bil-thalji wal-mā’i wal-barad’   

(O Allāh put a great distance between me and my sins, as great as the distance You have made between the East and the West. O Allāh, cleanse me of sin as a white garment is cleansed from filth. O Allāh, wash away my sins with snow and water and hail).”  [Narrated by al-Bukhāri, 711; Muslim, 598.]

2. One of the Companions commenced the dua al- Istiftah with this, to which the Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “Wonderful for it (the supplication) is that the doors of the heavens were opened for it. [The Duā’]: “Allāhuakbar Kabira, walhamdulillāhi kathira, wasubhanallahi bukratañwa asila”(Allah is the Greatest, very great. Praise be to Allah, again and again. Glorified is Allah morning and evening)” [Muslim and Abu ‘Awānah; declared sahih by Tirmidzi. Abu Nu‘aim also narrated it in Akhbar Isbahan (1/210) from Jubair ibn Mut‘am (radiyallāhu‘anhu) who heard the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) saying it in voluntary prayer.
2.1 It was narrated from ‘Ali ibn Abi Tālib (radiyallāhu‘anhu) that when the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) stood up to pray, he would say: 

“Wajjahtu wajhiya lilladzi fatara al-samawāti wal-ard hanīfan musliman wa mā ana min al-mushrikīn. Inna salāti wa nusuki wa mahyāya wa mamāti Lillāhi Rabb il-‘Ālamīn, lā sharīka lahu wa bidzālika umirtu wa ana awwal ul-muslimīn. Allāhumma anta al-malik lā ilāha illa anta, anta rabbi wa ana ‘abduka. Zalamtu nafsi wa’tarafty bi dzanbi, faghfir li dzunūbi Jami’an, innahu lā yaghfir ul-dzunūba illa anta. Wahdini li ahsan al-akhlāq la yahdi li ahsaniha illa anta. Wasrif ‘anni sayyi’aha lā yasrifu ‘anni sayyi’aha illa anta. Labbayka wa sa’dayka wa’l-khayra kulluhu fi yadayka wa’l-sharru laysa ilayka, ana bika wa ilayka, tabārakta wa ta’ālayta, astaghfiruka wa atūbu ilayk…

(I have set my face towards the Originator of the heavens and the earth sincerely [in Islam], and I am not among the Mushrikeen. Indeed, my prayer, my sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allāh, the Lord of the Worlds, no partner has He. With this I have been commanded and I am the first of the Muslims (those who submit to Him). O Allāh, you are the King and there is no god but You. You are my Lord and I am Your slave. I have wronged myself, and have acknowledged my sins, so forgive all my sins, for no one forgives sins except You. Guide me to the best of attitudes, to which no one can guide except You, and save me from the worst of attitudes, from which no-one can save except You. I am here and happy to serve you. All good is in Your Hands, and evil is not from You. There is no escape or shelter from You except with You. Blessed are You and exalted. I seek Your forgiveness and repent to You).”  [Muslim (771)]

3. “Subhaanaka Allaahumma wa bihamdika, wa tabaaraka ismuka wa ta’āla jadduka, wa laa ilāha ghayruka" (Glory and praise be to You O Allāh, blessed be Your name and exalted be Your Majesty, and there is no god but You).

The command to do this is proven so we should adhere to it. Whoever wants to see the other du’ās may refer to Sifat al-Solah, p. 91-95, Maktabat al-Ma’arif, Riyadh, edition. [In English, see “The Prophet’s Prayer described” by Shaykh al-Albāni, al-Hanif Publications, p. 14-19]

Recitation of Qur’an.

46- Then he should seek refuge with Allah – this is obligatory, and he is sinning if he omits to do so.
47-The Sunnah is sometimes to say:

“A’udzu Billaahi min al-Syaitaan il-rajeem, min hamzihi wa nafkhihi wa nafathihi"(I seek refuge with Allah from the accursed Satan, from his madness, his arrogance and his poetry), – poetry here refers to blameworthy kinds of poetry.

48- And sometimes he may say, “A’udzu Billāh il-Samī’ il-A’līm min al-Syaitān…"(I seek refuge with Allah, the All-Hearing, All-Knowing, from the syaitān…).

49-Then he should say silently – whether the prayer is to be recited aloud or silently – “Bismillâh il-Rahmān il-Rahīm"(In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful).

5 - Reciting Al-Fatihah.

50-Then he should recite Surah al-Fātihah (the first surah of the Qur’an) in full, including the Basmalah (Bismillāhi il-Rahmān il-Rahīm). This is an essential part of the prayer, without which the prayer is not valid. Those who do not speak Arabic must memorize this surah.

51- Those who cannot remember it should say:

“Subhān Allah, wa’l-hamdu-Lillah, wa laa ilāha ill-Allah, wa Allāhu akbar, wa laa hawla wa laa quwwata illa Billah"(Glory be to Allah, praise be to Allah, there is no god but Allah, Allah is Most Great, and there is no strength and no power except with Allah).

52-The Sunnah is to recite it one verse at a time, and to pause at the beginning of each ayah. So he should say: “Bismillāh il-Rahmān il-Rahīm" (In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful),” then pause.

Then say, “Al-Hamdu Lillāhi Rabb il-‘Alamīn"(All the praises and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of the ‘Alameen (mankind, jinn and all that exists), then pause.

Then say: ‘ar-Rahman ir-Rahīm "(The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful), then pause… and so on, until the end of the ayah.

This is how the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) used to recite the whole surah, pausing at the end of each ayah and not joining one ayah to the next, even if there is continuity of the meaning.

53- It is permissible to read it as Maliki Yawm id-Deen or Maliki Yawm id-Deen.

How one who is praying behind the imam should recite it.

54-The one who is praying behind the imam should recite it behind the imam in prayers where Qur’an in recited silently and in prayers where it is recited aloud, if he cannot hear the imam’s recitation, or if he pauses after completing it so that those who are praying behind him can recite it. We think that this pause was not proven in the Sunnah. I say I have mentioned the evidence of those who think that this pause is permissible and the refutation of that evidence, in Silsilat al-Hadith al-Da’eifah, no. 546, 547, part 2, p. 24-26, Dar al-Ma’arif edition.

Recitation after Al-Fātihah.

55- It is Sunnah to recite – after al-Fatihah – another surah, even in Solat al-Jenazah (funeral prayer), or some ayahs, in the first two raka’ahs.

56-The recitation may be made lengthy sometimes, and shorter sometimes, for reasons of travel, coughing, sickness or the crying of an infant.

57-The recitation varies according to the prayers. The recitation in Fajar prayer is longer than it is in all the other prayers. Next longest is Zuhur, then ‘Asar, then ‘Isya’, then Maghrib, usually.

58- The recitation in the Night Prayers (Qiyam Al-Layl) is longer than all of these.

59-The Sunnah is to make the recitation longer in the first raka’ah than in the second.

60- He should make the recitation in the last two shorter than in the first two raka’ahs, half the length. If you want more details on this topic, see Sifat al-Solah p. 102 (Arabic original).

Reciting Al-Fatihah in Every Raka’ah

61- It is obligatory to recite al-Fatihah in every raka’ah.

62- It is Sunnah to add to it in the last two raka’ahs as well.

63-It is not permissible for the imam to make his recitation longer than that which is described in the Sunnah, because that is difficult for those who may be praying behind him, such as the elderly and sick, or nursing mothers, or those who have other things to do.

Reciting Aloud and Reciting Quietly.

64- Qur’an should be recited aloud in Fajar and Jumu’ah prayers, Eid prayers, prayers for rain (istisqaa’), and prayers at the time of an eclipse (kusuf) and in the first two raka’ahs of Maghrib and ‘Isya’.

He should recite silently in the first two raka’ahs of Zuhur and ‘Asar, in the third raka’ah of Maghrib and in the last two raka’ahs of ‘Isyaa’.

65 - It is permissible for the imam occasionally to make an ayah audible in the prayers where recitation is to be done silently.

66 - In Witir and Qiyam al-Layl, he should recite silently sometimes and aloud sometimes, and he should be moderate in raising his voice.

Tarteel – Reciting At A Measured Pace.

67-The Sunnah is to recite the Qur’an at a measured pace, not quickly or hastily. It should be read in a manner that clearly distinguishes each letter, beautifying the Qur’an with one’s voice. He should observe the well known rulings of the scholars of Tajwid and he should not recite it in the innovated manner of singers or according to the rules of music.

Prompting the Imam.

68-It is prescribed for the one who is praying behind the imam to prompt the imam if he hesistates in his recitation.

6 - Ruku’ (Bowing)

69- When he has completed the recitation, he should pause briefly, to catch his breath.

70-Then he should raise his hands in the manner described for takbeer-tal-ihram (the takbeer at the beginning of prayer).

71- And he should say takbeer (“Allahu akbar”). This is obligatory.

72-Then he should do ruku’, bowing as deeply as his joints will let him, until his joints take the new position and are relaxed in it. This is an essential part of prayer.

How To Perform Ruku’?

73- He should put his hands on his knees, firmly, spacing the fingers out, as if he is grasping his knees. All of this is obligatory.

74-He should spread his back and make it level so that if water were poured on it, it would stay there (not run off). This is obligatory.

75- He should not lower or raise his head, but make it level with his back.

76- He should keep his elbows away from his sides.

77 - In ruku’, he should say “Subhāna Rabbiy al-‘Azīm" (Glory be to my Lord, the Almighty) three times or more.

There are others kinds of dzikir which may be said in ruku’, some of which are long, some of medium length and some short:

"Subhāna Rabbiy al adzīmi wabihamdih"(How Perfect is my Lord, the Supreme, and Praised be He), three times. [A sahih hadith, transmitted by Abu Dawud, Daraqutni, Ahmad, Tabarāni and Bayhaqi.]

 ‘Aishah (radiyallāhu‘anha) said Rasulūllāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would say it often in his ruku' and sujud “Subbuhun Quddūs Rabbul malāikati warrūh” (Perfect, Blessed, Lord of the Angels and the Spirit). [Narrated by Muslim and Abu ‘Awānah]

‘Aishah said Rasulūllāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would say it often in his ruku' and sujud"Subhā nakallāhumma wabihamdika Allāhummaghirli"(How Perfect You are O Allāh, and Praises are for You. O Allāh, forgive me.) [Narrated by al-Bukhāri, 761; Muslim, 484]; implementing (the order of) the Qur'an. [Bukhari and Muslim; "Implementing the Qur'ān" refers to the Firman of Allāh: "Then glorify with the Praises of your Lord, and seek His Forgiveness, for He is Oft-Returning." (Nasr, 110:3)];

Rasulūllāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam ) would also say: “Allāhumma laka raka’tu wa bika āmantu wa laka aslamtu, khasha’a laka sam’i wa basari wa mukhkhi wa ‘azmi wa ‘asabi (O Allāh, to You have I bowed, in You have I believed and to You have I submitted. My hearing, sight, mind, bones and tendons are humbled before You).” 

See Sifat Solat al-Nabi (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam), p. 132, Maktabat al-Ma’arif edition [The Prophet’s Prayer Described, p. 44].

Making the Essential Parts of Prayer Equal in Length.

78- It is Sunnah to make the essential parts of prayer equal in length, so the ruku’, the standing after ruku’, the prostration and the sitting between the two prostrations should be make approximately the same in length.

79- It is not permissible to recite Qur’an in ruku’ or in sujud.

Straightening Up From Ruku’.

80- Then he should straighten up from ruku’. This is an essential part of the prayer.

81-Whilst straightening up, he should say, “Sami’a Allāhu liman hamidah" (Allah listens to the one who praises Him). This is obligatory.

82-He should raise his hands when straightening up, in the manner described above.

83-Then he should stand straight until every vertebra has returned to its place. This is an essential part of the prayer.

84- Whilst standing thus, he should say, “Rabbanā wa laka al-hamd" (Our Lord, to You be all praise).” (There are other kinds of dzikir which may be said at this point. See Sifat al-Solah, p. 135/The Prophet’s prayer described, p. 47). This is obligatory for every person who is praying, even if he is following an imam, because this is the dzikir of standing after ruku’, and saying “Sami’a Allahu liman hamidah” is the dzikir of straightening up from ruku’. It is not prescribed to put the hands one over the other during this standing, because this was not narrated (from the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam)).

For more details, see Sifat Solat al-Nabi, 1 – Istiqbal al-Qiblah (The Prophet’s Prayer Described – Facing the Ka’abah).

85- He should make this standing equal in length to the ruku’, as stated above.

7 - Sujud (Prostration)

86-Then he should say “Allahu akbar” – this is obligatory.

87- He should raise his hands sometimes.

Going Down On the Hands.

88- Then he should go down into sujud on his hands, putting them down before the knees. This is what was commanded by the Messenger of Allah (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam), and it is proven that he did this, and he forbade imitating the manner in which a camel sits down, which camel is by kneeling with its forelegs first.

89- When he prostrates – which is an essential part of the prayer – he should put his weight on his palms and spread them out.

90- He should keep the fingers together.

91- And point the fingers towards the Qiblah.

92- He should put his palms level with his shoulders.

93- Sometimes he should make them level with his ears.

94- He should keep his forearms off the ground. This is obligatory. He should not spread them along the ground like a dog.

95-He should place his nose and forehead firmly on the ground. This is an essential part of the prayer.
96- He should also place his knees firmly on the ground.

97-The same applies to his toes.

98-He should hold his feet upright with his toes touching the ground. All of this is obligatory.
99-He should make his toes point in the direction of the qiblah.

100-He should put his heels together.

Being At Ease in Sujud.

101-He should be at ease in sujud, distributing his weight equally on the parts of the body which should be in contact with the ground during sujud. They are: the nose and forehead, the palms, the knees, and the toes.

102-Whoever is at ease in his sujud in this manner has got it right. And this being at ease is also an essential part of the prayer.

103 - In sujud, he should say:

“Subhāna Rabbiy al-‘A’lā" (Glory be to my Lord Most High) three times or more.

There are other kinds of dzikir also, see Sifat Solat al-Nabi (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam), p. 145/The Prophet’s Prayer described, p. 55:

One could also say: “Subhāna Rabbiy al a’lā wa bihamdih” (How Perfect is my Lord, the Most High, and Praised be He), three times. This is obligatory. [Sahih, transmitted by Abu Dawud, Daraqutni, Ahmad, Tabarani and Bayhaqi]

Aishah (radiyallāhu’anha) reported: The Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) used to recite frequently in his Ruku’ and Sujud: “Subbuhun Quddūs Rabbul malāikati warrūh” (Perfect, Blessed, Lord of the Angels and the Spirit). [Muslim and Abu ‘Awānah.]

‘Aishah (radiyallāhu’anha) reported: The Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) used to recite frequently in his Ruku’ and Sujud: "Subhanak-Allāhumma, Rabbana wa bihamdika. Allāhum-maghfir li (O Allāh! You are free from imperfection and I begin with praising You. Forgive my sins).''[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

He (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would also say: “Allāhumma laka sajadtu wa bika āmantu wa laka aslamtu. Sajada wajhi lilladhi khalaqahu wa sawwarahu wa shaqqa sam’ahu wa basarahu, tabāraka Allāhu ahsan al-khāliqīn” (O Allāh! For you I have prostrated, in You I have believed and to You I have submitted. My face has prostrated for the One Who created it and shaped it, then brought forth its hearing and vision. Blessed be Allāh, the Best of creators).” 

Those are the tasbihah which are reported as being Sunnah to say in the sujūd. It is obligatory is to say that once and the least required in order to do it perfectly is to say it three times.

104-It is mustahabb to make du‘ā’ when observing Sujud, reciting whatever you can of the du‘ā’ prescribed in syari’ah, because Ibn `Abbas (radiallāhu’anhu) reported: The Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: "Glorify your Lord in Ruku` (bowing posture) and exert yourself in supplication in Sujud (Prostration). Thus your supplications are liable to be accepted.'' [Narrated by Muslim]. The Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “The closest that any one of you may be to his Lord is when he is prostrating, so say a lot of duā’ at that time.” [Narrated by Muslim, 482]

105- He should make his sujud almost as long as his ruku’, as described above.

106-It is permissible to prostrate on the bare ground, or on something covering the ground such as a garment or carpet, or a mat, etc.

107- It is not permitted to recite Qur’an whilst prostrating.

Iftirash and Ifā’a’ Between The Two Sajud.

[Iftirash means sitting on the left thigh with the right foot upwards and its toes pointed towards the qiblah; ifā'a means resting on both heels and feet] He would sometimes practice ifā'a [resting on both his heels and (all) his toes]." This is the opposite of Iqā’. Iqā’ is forbidden. [Muslim, Abu Dawud and Tirmidzi]

108-Then he should raise his head, saying takbeer. This is obligatory.

109-He should raise his hands sometimes.

110-Then he should sit at ease, until every vertebra returns to its place. This is obligatory.

111- He should spread his left leg and sit on it. This is obligatory.

112- He should put his right foot upright.

113- And make its toes point towards the qiblah.

114- It is permissible to sit in ifa’a’ sometimes, which means resting on the heels and feet.

115- Whilst sitting thus, he should say:

“Allaahumma ighfir li warhamni wajburni, warfa’ni, wa’aafini warzuqni”(O Allah forgives me, have mercy on me, strengthen me, raise me in status, pardon me and grant me provision).

116- If he wishes, he may say, “Rabbi ighfir li, Rabbi ighfir li" (My Lord, forgive me, my Lord, forgive me).

117- He should make this sitting almost as long as his sujud.

The Second Sajud

118-Then he should say takbeer – this is obligatory,

119- He should raise his hands sometimes when saying this takbeer.

120-He should do the second prostration – this is also an essential part of the prayer.

121- He should do in the second prostration what he did in the first.

The Sitting of Rest.

122-When he raises his head from the second prostration and he wants to get up for the second raka’ah, he should say takbeer. This is obligatory.

123- He should raise his hands sometimes.

124- He should sit up straight, sitting on his left foot, until every bone returns to its place.

The Second Raka’ah.

125-Then he should get up for the second raka’ah, supporting himself on his hands with his fists clenched as if kneading dough. This is an essential part of the prayer.

126- He should do in the second raka’ah what he did in the first.

127-Except that he should not recite the du’ā for starting the prayer.

128- He should make it shorter than the first raka’ah.

Sitting For the Tashahhud.

129-When he completes the second raka’ah; he should sit for the Tashahhud. This is obligatory.

130- He should sit in Iftirash, as described above for the sitting between the two prostrations.

131- But it is not permitted to sit in iqā at this point.

132-He should put his right hand on his right thigh and knee, and the end of the right elbow on the thigh, not far from it.

133- He should spread his left palm on his left thigh and knee.

134- It is not permissible to sit resting on one’s arms, especially the left arm.

Moving the Finger and Looking At It.

135-He should clench all the fingers of his right hand, and put the thumb on the middle finger sometimes.

136- Sometimes he should make a circle with them.

137- He should point with his index finger towards the qiblah.

138- He should look towards it.

139- He should move it, making du’a with it, from the beginning of the Tashahhud until the end.

140- He should not point with the finger of his left hand.

141- He should do all of this in every Tashahhud.

How to Say Tashahhud and the Du’a Following It.

142-The Tashahhud is obligatory, and if he forgets it, he must do the two prostrations of forgetfulness (Sajud Al-Sahwi).

143- He should recite it silently.

144- The wording of the Tashahhud as narrated by Ibn 'Abbās (radiyallāhu‘anhu): "The Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to teach us the tashahhud the way he taught us [surahs of] the Qur'ān; he used to say:

“At-tahiyyatul mubaraka tus-salawātut-tayyibātu lillah, As-salāmu ‘alayka ayyuha’n-Nabiyyu wa rahmat-Allāhi wa barakātuh. As-salāmu ‘alayna wa ‘alā ‘ibād-Illāh is-sālihīn. Ash-hadu an lā ilāha ill-Allāh wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan rasūlullāh [in one narration: ‘abduhu wa rasūluh]”

(All compliments, blessed words, prayers, pure words are due to Allāh. Peace be on you, O Prophet, and also the mercy of Allāh and His blessings. Peace be on us and on the righteous slaves of Allāh. I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Allāh, and [I bear witness] that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allāh (in one narration: ... is His slave and messenger).) “[This Tashahhud is used by the Shafi‘ie School]

[Other versions are mentioned in Sifat Solat al-Nabi, The Prophet’s Prayer Described, but what is mentioned here is the most sound].

Sending salams upon the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam): this is what was prescribed after the death of the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam), and is narrated in the Tashahhud of Ibn Mas’ud, ‘Aishah and Ibn al-Zubair (may Allah be pleased with them).

For more details see Sifat Solat al-Nabi, p. 161, Maktabat al-Ma’arif, Riyadh, edition, The Prophet’s Prayer Described, p. 67).

145 - After that, he should send prayers upon the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam), by saying:

Allāhumma salli ‘ala Muhammad wa ‘ala āli Muhammad kamā sallaita ‘ala āli Ibrāhīm;Wa bārik ‘ala Muhammad wa ‘ala āli Muhammad kama bārakta ‘ala āli Ibrāhīm fil-‘ālamīn; Innaka Hamīdun Majīd (0 Allah! Send Prayers upon Muhammad and the members of his household as You Sent Prayers upon the members of Ibrahim's household. And Send Blessings to Muhammad and the members of his household as You  granted Blessings upon the members of the household of Ibrahim, among all the nations’ Verily You are Most Praiseworthy, Full of Glory’).

[Muslim (803), Chapter 15 Book 4: Blessings on the Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) After Tashahhud; This version is linguistically sound and comprehensive. This was also recorded by Abu Dawud, An-Nasā'ie, At-Tirmidzi and Ibn Jarir. At-Tirmidzi said, "It is Hasan Sahih.''; with phrases, ‘ala āli Ibrāhīm]

146 - If you wish you may say:

“Allāhumma salli ‘ala Muhammad, wa ‘ala ahli bait, wa’ala azwajihi wa dzurriyyatihi, Kama sallaita ‘ala Ibrāhīm; Innaka Hamīdum Majīd; Wa bārik ‘ala Muhammad, wa `ala ahli bait, wa’ala azwajihi wa dzurriyyatihi, Kama bārakta ‘ala Ibrāhīm; Innaka Hamīdum-Majīd”

(O Allāh! Send prayers on Muhammad , and on his household, and on his wives and progeny, as you sent prayers on the family of Ibrahim; You are indeed Worthy of Praise, Full of Glory; And send blessings on Muhammad , and his household, and his wives and progeny, as you sent blessings on the family of Ibrahim; You are indeed Worthy of Praise, Full of Glory).

This supplication the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) would use himself. [Ahmad and Tahawi with a sahīh sanād.]

147-Then in this Tashahhud he may choose any of the du’as that he likes of those that have been narrated, and call upon Allah using these words.

The Third and Fourth Raka’ahs.

148-Then he says takbeer – which is obligatory. The Sunnah is to say takbeer whilst still sitting.

149- He should raise his hands sometimes.

150-Then he should stand up for the third raka’ah, which is an essential part of prayer, as is the following raka’ah.

151- He should do likewise if he wants to get up for the fourth raka’ah.

152- But before he gets up, he should sit up straight, by adjusting his left leg, until every bone returns to its place.

153-Then he should get up, supporting himself on his hands, as he did when getting up for the second raka’ah.

154- Then in the third and fourth raka’ahs, he should recite al-Fatihah. This is obligatory.

155- He may add an ayah or more to that occasionally.

Reciting Al-Qunut When Calamity Strikes.

156-It is Sunnah to recite Qunut and pray for the Muslims when any disaster befalls them.

157-Qunut should be recited after standing up from ruku’ and saying

“Rabbanaa wa laka’l-hamd" (Our Lord, to You be praise).

158- There is no specific du’a to be recited regularly in Qunut, rather one should recite whatever is appropriate when disaster strikes.

159-He should raise his hands when reciting this du’a

160-He should recite it aloud if he is acting an imam.

161- Those who are praying behind him should say “Ameen” to this du’a.

162- When he has finished, he should say takbeer and prostrate.

Qunut Al-Witir – When It Is To Be Recited, And What Wording It Should Have.

163- Qunut in Witir is prescribed occasionally.

164- It should be recited before ruku’, unlike qunut recited at times of calamity.

165- He should recite the following words:

“Allāhumma ihdini fīman hadayt, wa ‘āfini fīman ‘āfayt, wa tawallani fīman tawallayt, wa bārik li fīma a’tayt, wa qini sharra ma qadayt, fa innaka taqdi wa laa yuqdha ‘alayk, wa innahu lā yadhillu man waalayt, wa lā ya’izzu man ‘ādayta, tabārakta rabbana wa ta’ālayt, wa lā manjā minka illa ilayk”

(O Allah, guide me amongst those whom You have guided; pardon me amongst those whom You have pardoned; turn to me in friendship amongst those to whom You have turned in friendship; bless me in what You have bestowed; save me from the evil of what You have decreed; for indeed You decree, and none can influence You; and he is not humiliated whom You have befriended; nor is he honoured whom You take as Your enemy. Blessed are You, O Lord, and exalted. There is no place of safety from You except towards You).

166-This du’a was taught by the Messenger of Allah (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam), so it is permissible, because it was narrated from the Sahabah (may Allah be pleased with them).

167- Then he should do ruku’, and the two prostrations, as before.

The Final Tashahhud and Placing the Left Foot under The Right Leg.

168-Then he should sit for the Final Tashahhud.

169- He should do the same as in the first Tashahhud.

170- But he should sit mutawarikan, which means placing the left foot under his right leg.
171- He should put his right foot upright.

172- It is also permissible to lay the right foot along the ground sometimes.

173- He should cover his left knee with his left palm, leaning heavily on it.

The obligation of sending prayers upon the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) and of seeking refuge with Allah from four things

174 - It is obligatory for him in this Tashahhud to send prayers upon the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam), some versions of which we have quoted above when discussing the first Tashahhud.

Du’a before the Salam.

175 - As indicated in sahih ahadith it is a Sunnah to recite duā’s after reciting the Final Tashahhud and Salawat Ibrahimmiyah.

i. The Opening Dua

He should seek refuge with Allah from four things the torment of Hell, from the torment of the grave, from the trials of life and death and from the evil of the tribulation of the Dajjaal. The trials of life means the temptations of this world and its desires which a person faces in his life.

The trials of death means the torment of the grave and the questioning of the two angels. The tribulation of the Dajjaal means the extraordinary feats that will be done at his hands, by which means people will be led astray, and they will follow him and believe his claim to be divine.

Abu Hurayrah (radiyallāhu‘anhu) said: the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “When any one of you recites the Tashahhud [according to one report: when any one of you finishes the final Tashahhud], let him seek refuge with Allāh from four things, let him say:  ‘Allāhumma inni a ‘udzu bika min ‘adzabi Jahannam, wa min ‘adzabil-qabri, wa min fitnat il-mahya wal-mamāt, wa min sharri fitnat il-masihhid-dajjāl’, (O Allāh, I seek refuge with You from the punishment of Hell and the punishment of the grave, and from the trials of life and death and from the worst of the turmoil of the Dajjaal (antichrist)).’”  [Sahih Muslim, 588]

176 -Then he may pray for himself as he sees fit, as narrated in the Qur’an and Sunnah. There are many such good du’as. If he does not know any such du’as then he can say whatever is easy for him, for things that will benefit him in his religion and in his worldly affairs.

ii. The Following Duā’.

After reciting the supplication seeking refuge, one may recite any good dua’s’ he wishes, and may ask Allāh for anything he wishes of the good things of this world and the next.

 Abu Hurayrah (radiyallāhu‘anhu) said: the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “When any one of you recites the Tashahhud, let him seek refuge with Allāh from four things – from the punishment of Hell, the punishment of the grave, the trials of life and death, and the evils of the Dajjaal, then let him pray for himself for whatever he wants.” [Narrated by al-Nasa’ie, 1293]

a. It was narrated that in addition to seeking refuge from these four, one should also seek refuge from sin and heavy debt. A’ishah (radiyallāhu‘anha) narrated the wife of the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) that the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to say during his prayer:   “Allāhumma inni a ‘udzu bika min ‘adzabil-qabri, wa a’udzu bika min fitnat il-masihhid-dajjāl, wa a ‘udzu bika min fitnat il-mahya wa fitnat il-mamāt. Allāhumma inni a ‘udzu bika min al-ma’tham wal-maghram” (O Allāh, I seek refuge with You from the punishment of the grave and I seek refuge with You from the turmoil of the Dajjaal and I seek refuge with You from the trials of life and the trials of death. O Allāh, I seek refuge with You from sin and heavy debt).”  Someone said to him (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam): “How often you seek refuge from heavy debt!” He (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: “When a man gets into debt, he speak and tells lies, and he makes a promise and breaks it.”

 [Al-Bukhari, 833 and Muslim]

b. It was also narrated that the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) taught Abu Bakar al-Siddiq (radiyallāhu‘anhu) a du’ās which he could recite during his salah, as recorded by al-Bukhari.

Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Amr (radiallāhu‘anhu):  Abu Bakar al-Siddiq (radiallāhu‘anhu) said to the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam), “Teach me a dua’s’ that I can recite during my salāh.” He (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Say:  ‘Allāhumma inni zalamtu nafsi zulman kathiran wa la yaghfir uz-dzunuba illa anta, faghfir li maghfiratan min ‘indika warhamni, innaka anta al-Ghafur al-Rahim’ (O Allāh, indeed I have wronged myself greatly, and there is none who forgives sins besides You. So grant me forgiveness from You and have mercy on me, for you are the All-Forgiving, Most Merciful).’”

[Al-Bukhari, 790]

c. Say: “Ya Muqallibal-qulubi, thabbit qalbi `ala dīnik” (O Controller of the hearts makes my heart steadfast in Your religion).''[At-Tirmidzi] or. “Allāhumma musarrifal-qulubi, sarrif qulubana ‘ala ta ‘atik”(O Allāh! Controller of the hearts, direct our hearts to Your obedience).''[Muslim]

d. It was narrated that the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said to a man: “What do you say when you pray?” He said: “I recite the Tashahhud, then I say:  “Allāhumma inni as’aluka al-jannah wa a’udzu bika min al-nār” (O Allāh, I ask You for Paradise and seek refuge in You from the Fire).I cannot murmur like you and like Mu’adz.” The Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “It is about them that we were murmuring.” [Narrated by Abu Dawud, 792: sahih]

iii. The Concluding Duā

Then conclude the dua’ before the taslīm as a hadith reported by ‘Ali Ibn Abi Tālib (radiallāhu`anhu): When the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was in Salāt, he used to supplicate towards the end of prayer after Tashahhud and before the concluding salutations:  “Allāhumma ighfir li ma qaddamtu, wa ma akhkhartu, wa ma asrartu, wa ma a’lantu, wa ma astraftu, wa ma anta a’lamu bihi minni. Antal-muqaddim wa anta al-mu’akhkhir lā ilāha illa anta” (O Allāh! Forgive me what I have done in the past, and what I will do in the future, and what I have concealed, and what I have done openly, and what I have exceeded in, whatever You know about me more than I. You are the One Who brings forward, and You are the One Who puts back, there is no god except You).” [Muslim; Abu `Awanah]

8 - The Concluding Salam: Various kinds of tasleem (saying salams)

177-Then he should say salams to his right, which is an essential part of the prayer, turning his face so that the whiteness of his right cheek may be seen (from behind).

178-Then he should say Salams to his left, turning his face so that the whiteness of his left cheek may be seen, even in the funeral prayer

179-The imam should raise his voice when saying salaam, except in the funeral prayer.

180-The salam takes various forms:

a. “Al-Salamu ‘alaykum wa rahmat-Allahu wa barakaatuh” to the right, and “Al-salamu ‘alaykum wa rahmat-Allah” to the left.
b. The same, but without saying “wa barakaatuh”.
c. “Al-Salamu ‘alaykum wa rahmat-Allah” to the right, and “Al-salamu ‘alaykum” to the left.
d. Saying one salam, tilting the head slightly to the right.

O my Muslim brother, this is what I was able to summarize from Sifat Solat al-Nabi (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) [The Prophet’s Prayer Described], in an attempt to make it more accessible to you, so that it would be clear to you, as if you could see it with your own eyes. If you pray in the manner described to you of how the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) prayed, then I hope that Allah will accept that from you, because by doing that you will have truly put into practice the words of the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam):

“Pray as you have seen me pray.”

Moreover you must not forget the importance of presence of mind and humility in prayer, for this is the ultimate purpose of standing before Allah in prayer. The more you can develop the attitude of humility and submission in prayer as described to you in the prayer of the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam), the more benefits you will reap, as indicated by our Lord when He said:

“Verily, As Solat (the prayer) prevents from Al Fahsha’ (i.e. great sins of every kind, unlawful sexual intercourse) and Al Munkar (i.e. disbelief, polytheism, and every kind of evil wicked deed)” [al-‘Ankabut 29:45]

Finally, we ask Allah to accept our prayer and all our good deeds, and to store up their reward until the Day when we meet Him:

“The Day whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail, except him who brings to Allah a clean heart [clean from Syirik (polytheism) and Nifaq (hypocrisy)]” [al-Shu’ara’ 26:88]

And Allāh Almighty Knows best .

Source: Talkhees Sifat Solat al-Nabi (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) Min al-Takbeer ila al-Tasleem ka annaka turaahaa by Shaikh Muhammad Nasir al-Deen al-Albani (May Allah have mercy on him).

[Via Islam Q&A]

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