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The pillars of prayer (Sâlat) | Obligations of prayer

In Islam, prayer is the second pillar of Islam. This proof comes directly to us from the following hadith where this act of worship follows the shahada:

According to ‘Abdallah Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him and his father), the Prophet (may Allah’s prayer and His salvation be upon him) said: “Islam is built on five things: attestation that there is no other deity worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, the performance of prayer, the fulfillment of zakat, the act of fasting Ramadan and the hajj “. (Reported by Bukhari in his Sahih n°8 and Mouslim in his Sahih n°16)

Prayer is of paramount importance in the lives of believers. Islamic law ordained five canonical prayers per day. Prayer itself involves conditions, pillars as well as supererogatory acts.

If religion revolves around four essential points: the authorized, the forbidden, the recommendable and the detestable. It is important to understand all these concepts carefully to understand how important each act of worship is.

Conditions of prayer

Before going into detail about conditions of prayerlet us remember that the study of prayer first requires the study of Tawhid (first pillar of Islam) to learn to worship one’s Lord properly.

In order for a person to practice prayer, certain requirements must be met. Among those :

  • Being Muslim which is the very essence of the conditions since one must belong to the community of believers.
  • Being gifted with reason (“aql” in Arabic). Which excludes people who do not have all their mental faculties.
  • Be in a state of purification.
  • Be of the age of reason (set at 7 years old because the child becomes capable of discerning good and evil).
  • Prayer entry time.
  • Respect the rules relating to the covering of the ‘awra (hands and face visible for women, part between the knee and the navel covered for men).
  • The absence of impurities on the body, clothes or in the place where prayer is performed.
  • Orient yourself towards the Qibla which represents the direction of the Ka’aba.
  • Formulate the intention to pray in your heart of hearts.

These conditions are inherent to the validity of prayer. However, the prayer itself requires the application of pillars. Its pillars are also necessary for it to be accepted this time. Except in the case where omissions occur in prayer, it must eventually be corrected.

The pillars of prayer: respect for fundamental movements and sequences

As mentioned previously, this corresponds to movements and actions without which prayer is null and void. Among these pillars, here are the details of the actions to be accomplished:

  • Be in a standing position to begin the prayer for the person able to do so (except for certain cases of illness, injury, disability, etc.).
  • Perform Takbir Al Ihram materializing the opening of the prayer (say Allahu Akbar by raising your arms to ear level).
  • Read Surah Al Fatiha in each Raka’a

The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi Wa sallam) said: “When one prays behind an imam, the recitation of the latter replaces that of the one who prays behind him.” (Reported by Bukhari and Mouslim)

  • Doing the Roukou’ (bowing) and getting up from this position
  • Stand after this position.
  • Prostration which involves support on seven parts of the body. Namely: the face including the forehead and the nose, the 2 hands, the 2 knees and the 2 feet (the toes oriented towards the Qibla) and the fact of getting up from it.
  • Respect the seated position between the two prostrations, marking the stop clearly.
  • Peacefulness in every act accomplished.
  • Respect the chronological order of the pillars.
  • The accomplishment of the last tachaoud.
  • Be in a seated position when performing the last tachaoud.
  • The recitation of the Abrahamic prayer as follows:

O Lord!

Pray on Mohammed and on the family of Mohammed as You prayed on Ibrâhîm (Abraham) and on the family of Ibrâhîm, You are certainly worthy of praise and glorification.

O Lord!

Bless Muhammad and the family of Muhammad as You blessed Ibrahim and the family of Ibrahim, You are certainly worthy of praise and glorification.

In Arabic


صَلِّ عَلـى مُحمَّـد، وَعَلـى آلِ مُحمَّد

كَمـا صَلَّيـتَ عَلـى إبْراهـيمَ وَعَلـى آلِ إبْراهـيم، إِنَّكَ حَمـيدٌ مَجـيد


بارِكْ عَلـى مُحمَّـد، وَعَلـى آلِ مُحمَّـد

كَمـا بارِكْتَ عَلـى إبْراهـيمَ وَعَلـى آلِ إبْراهيم، إِنَّكَ حَ مـيدٌ مَجـيد

Allâhumma salli calâ Muhammadin wa calâ âli Muhammadin kamâ sallayta calâ Ibrâhîma wa calâ âli Ibrâhîma. Innaka hamîdun, majîd. Allâhumma bârik calâ Muhammadin wa calâ âli Muhammadin kamâ bârakta calâ Ibrâhîma wa calâ âli Ibrâhîma. Innaka hamîdun, majîd.

  • Close the ritual prayer with the Taslim by pronouncing the two final salutations.

Reminder and hadith concerning respect on the pillars of prayer

The Messenger of Allah (sws) warned his community about stealing in their prayer. This negligence has been described as the worst theft. Thus, so that the Muslim ensures that he performs this worship in the most noble way. We wanted to provide him with a series of hadiths so that he could accomplish the pillars of prayer in the best possible way.

The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa salam) observed a time of immobility in his inclination (roukou’). He said: “Perfectly perform bowing and prostration. By Him who holds my soul in His hand, I see you behind me when you bow and prostrate yourself. » Al Bukhari and Muslim
The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) saw a man who did not bow properly and who made furtive prostrations in his prayer, so he said: “If a man died like this, he would die on a religion other than that of Muhammad. He who does not bow properly and prostrates like a raven is like a hungry person who eats one or two dates: they do not satisfy him. » Abou Ya’la, Al Ajurri, Al Bayhaqi, At Tabarani. And Ibn Khuzaymah authenticated this hadith.

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “My close friend (the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa salam) forbade me to perform furtive prostrations like a rooster, in prayer, or to to look away like the fox does or to sit like the monkey. »Ahmad, Ibn Abi Chaybah.

The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa salam) said : “The worst thief is the one who steals from his prayer. » The companions exclaimed: “O Messenger of Allah, how does he steal in his prayer? » The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa salam) replied: “He does not do bowing and prostration properly. » Ibn Abi Chaybah, At Tabarani. Al Hakim and Adh-Dhahabi authenticated this hadith.

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