How to Perform Salah?
Excellence of Durud Sharif
The Prophet of mankind, the peace of our heart and mind, the most generous and kind ﷺ said to the one glorifying Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ and reciting Durud Sharif having offered Salah, ‘Present your supplication, it will be answered; ask (for anything), you will be granted.’ (Sunan Nasai, pp. 220, Hadis 1281)
Dear Islamic brothers! Many virtues of offering Salah and severe punishments for abandoning it have been stated in the Quran and Ahadis. Therefore, the 9th Ayah of Sura-tul-Munafiqun in Parah 28 says:
O believers! Do not let your wealth or your children distract you from the remembrance of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ and those who do so are at lose.
(Kanzul Iman [Translation of Quran])
Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Muhammad bin Ahmad Zahabi رَحّمَۃُاللّٰہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیہ narrates that the honorable Mufassirin say, “In this Holy Ayah, the remembrance of Allahعَزَّوَجَلَّrefers to the five daily Salah, therefore, the one who does not offer his Salah at its specified time because of his preoccupation with his wealth (i.e. trading), cultivation and employment, goods and his children, is at loss. (Kitab-ul-Kabair, p. 20)
The Very First Question on the Day of Judgment
The beloved and blessed Prophet ﷺ said, “On the Day of Judgment, the very first question that will be asked to man out of his deeds will be about Salah; if his Salah is correct he will succeed but if it is incomplete, he will be disgraced and will suffer loss.” (Al-Mujam-ul-Awsat-lit-Tabrani, pp. 32, vol. 3, Hadis 3782)
Nur for Musalli
The Prophet of mankind, the peace of our heart and mind, the most generous and kind ﷺ said, “The one who secures his Salah, the Salah will be Nur, evidence and salvation for him on the day of judgment; and the one who does not protect it, there will be no Nur, evidence or salvation for him on the Day of Judgment and such a person will be kept with Pharaoh, Qarun, Haman and Ubay bin Khalaf on the day of judgement.” (Musnad Imam Ahmad, pp. 574, vol. 2, Hadis 6587)
Whom will people be resurrected with?
Dear Islamic brothers! Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Muhammad bin Ahmad Zahabi رَحّمَۃُاللّٰہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیہ narrates, “Some honorable scholars رَحّمَۃُاللّٰہِ تَعَالٰی say that the one who abandons Salah will be resurrected with Pharaoh, Qarun, Haman and Ubay bin Khalaf on the Day of Judgment because people usually abandon their Salah due to wealth, rule, ministry and trade.”
The one who abandons his Salah due to being occupied with state affairs will be resurrected with Pharaoh. The one who abandons his Salah owing to his wealth will be resurrected with Qarun. If the reason of abandoning Salah is ministry, he will be resurrected with Pharaoh’s minister, Haman and if the reason of abandoning Salah is busyness in trade, he will be resurrected with Ubay bin Khalaf, the head trader of the unbelievers in Makkah-tul-Mukarramah.” (Kitab-ul-Kabair, p. 21)
Salah even in Severely Wounded State
When Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar Faruq-e-A’zam رَضَیَ اللّٰہّ تَعَالٰی عَنّہُ was seriously wounded as a result of an attack, he was told, “Ya Amir-ul-Muminin رَضَیَ اللّٰہّ تَعَالٰی عَنّہُ, (it is time to offer) Salah!” He رَضَیَ اللّٰہّ تَعَالٰی عَنّہُ said, “Yes, listen! The one who abandons Salah has no share in Islam.” He رَضَیَ اللّٰہّ تَعَالٰی عَنّہُ offered Salah despite being severely wounded. (ibid, pp.22)
Causes of Nur or Darkness for Salah
Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Ubadah bin Samit رَضَیَ اللّٰہّ تَعَالٰی عَنّہُ narrates that our Makki Madani Mustafa ﷺ said, “The one who makes Wudu properly, stands for Salah and completes its Ruku’, Sujud and recitation, his Salah says, ‘May Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ secure you as you have secured me!’ The Salah is then elevated to the sky and there is glare and brilliance for it. The portals of the sky are opened for it and it is presented in the court of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ and such Salah intercedes for that Musalli (the one who offered it).”
On the contrary, if he does not complete its Ruku’, Sujud and recitation, the Salah says, “May Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ discard you as you have distorted me!’ The Salah covered in darkness is then taken to the sky. The portals of the sky are closed for it and it is then bundled up like an old piece of cloth and thrown onto the face of that Musalli.” (Kanz-ul-‘Ummal, pp. 129, vol. 7, Hadis 19049)
A Cause of Bad End
Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Bukhari رَحّمَۃُاللّٰہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیہ says that Hadrat Sayyiduna Huzayfah bin Yaman رَضَیَ اللّٰہّ تَعَالٰی عَنّہُ saw a person performing his Rudu’ and Sujud improperly during his Salah, so he رَضَیَ اللّٰہّ تَعَالٰی عَنّہُ said to the person, “If you die offering Salah in the way as you have just offered, you will not die in accordance with the teachings of Hadrat Sayyiduna Muhammad ﷺ.” (Sahih Bukhari, pp. 284, vol. 1, Hadis 808)
The narration in Sunan Nasai also states that he رَضَیَ اللّٰہّ تَعَالٰی عَنّہُ asked (the person), “For how long have you been offering Salah in this way?” The person replied, “For forty years.” He رَضَیَ اللّٰہّ تَعَالٰی عَنّہُ said, “You haven’t offered Salah at all for the past forty years; if you die in this state, you will not die following the religion of Muhammad ﷺ.” (Sunan Nasai, pp. 225, Hadis 1309)
The Thief of Salah
Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Qatadah رَضَیَ اللّٰہّ تَعَالٰی عَنّہُ narrates that beloved Rasul of Allah ﷺ said, “The worst thief is the one who steals from his Salah.” He was humbly asked, “Ya Rasulallah ﷺ, who is the thief of Salah?” He ﷺ replied, “The one who does not perform its Ruku’ or Sujud properly.” (Musnad Imam Ahmad, pp. 386, vol. 8, Hadis 22705)
Two Types of Thieves
Commenting on the foregoing Hadis, the famous Mufassir of Quran, Hakim-ul-Ummat Hadrat Mufti Ahmad Yar Khan رَحّمَۃُاللّٰہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیہ says, “It became obvious that the thief of Salah is worse than that of money because the thief of money gains at least some worldly profit though he is punished, the thief of Salah will be punished but he will not gain any benefit at all. The thief of money violates the right of people but the thief of Salah, violates that of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ. It is the condition of those offering defective Salah; so those who do not offer Salah at all should learn a lesson.” (Mirat-ul Manajih, pp. 78, vol. 2)
Dear Islamic brothers! Many people do not offer Salah at all and even most of those offering Salah are deprived of offering Salah properly due to the lack of interest in learning Sunnah. Therefore, a brief method of offering Salah is being presented. For the sake of Madinah! Please read it very carefully and correct your Salah.
Method of Salah (Hanafi)
Stand erect facing the Qiblah in the state of Wudu with a distance of four fingers between feet. Now raise both hands making thumbs touch the ear-lobes. Fingers should neither be too close together nor too wide apart; instead, they should remain in a normal position, palms facing the Qiblah. Eyesight should be focused at the place of Sajdah. Now make a firm intention (in your heart) of the Salah that you are about to offer. To say it verbally is better (for example, “I intend to offer four Rak’st for today’s Fard Zuhar Salah.”) If you are in a Jama’at, add the words “following this Imam.”
Now, utter Takbir-e-Tahrimah (اَللّٰہُ اَکّبَرّ) lowering your hands and fold them below navel with right palm on the back of left wrist joint, three middle fingers straight on the back of left forearm and thumb and small finger making a loop on either side of wrist. Now recite Sana like this:
Glory is to You Ya Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ! I praise You, Blessed is Your name, Your greatness is exalted and none is worthy of worship except You.
Then recite the Ta’aw-wuz:
اَعُوذُبِاللہِ مِنَ الشَّیطٰنِ الرَّجِیمِ ۂ
I seek protection from Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ against the accursed Sata.
Then recite the Tasmiyah:
Allah’s name I begin with, the Most Kind, the Most Merciful.
Then recite the whole of Surah Fatihah:
All praise to Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ, Rab عَزَّوَجَلَّ of the worlds, the most Kind and Merciful. Owner of the Day of Requital. We worship You alone, and beg You alone for help. Make us tread on the straight path; the path of those whom You have favored, not of those who have earned (Your) wrath and nor of those who have gone astray.
(Kanzul Iman [Translation of Quran])
After you finish Surah Fatihah, utter اٰمِین (Amin) in low volume and then recite either three short Ayahs or one long Ayah that is equivalent to three short Ayahs or any Surah such as Surah Ikhlas.
Allah’s name I begin with, the Most Kind, the Most Merciful
Say He is Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ, the One. Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ is the Independent. He begot none nor was He begotten. And nor is anyone equal to Him.
Now bow down for Ruku’ uttering اَللّٰہُ اَکّبَرّ. Hold knees firmly with both palms and keep fingers spread out. The back should be straight and head should also be in the straightness of the back (not lower or higher than the back); in Ruku’, focus eyesight at feet. Recite سُبّحٰنَ رَبِّیَ الّعَظِیّمِ (Glory to my Magnificent Rab عَزَّوَجَلَّ.) at least three times in Ruku’. Then utter the Tasmi’ سَمعَ اللّٰہُ لِمَنّ حَمِدَہ (Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ heard whoever praised Him) and stand erect; the standing after Ruku’ is called Qawmah. If you are a Munfarid then utter اَللَّھُمَّ رَبَّنَاوَلَکَ الّحَمّد (O our Rab عَزَّوَجَلَّ! All praise is for You).
Then, go down for Sajdah uttering اَللّٰہُ اَکّبَرّ placing your knees first on the ground, then hands and then head (nose first and then the forehead) in between your hands. Make it sure that your nasal bone (not just the tip of your nose) and your forehead properly rest on the ground; in Sajdah, focus eyesight at nose; keep arms separated from sides, belly from thighs and thighs from shins (but if you are in a Jama’at then keep arms close to sides).
The tips of all ten toes should be towards Qiblah with their soles flattened with the ground. Your palms should be flat on the ground with fingers facing Qiblah, but do not keep the forearms touching the ground.
Now recite سُبّحٰنَ رَبِّیَ الّاَعّلٰی at least three times; then lift your head (forehead first then nose), then hands and sit up straight; keep your right foot upright with its toes facing Qiblah; lay your left foot flat and sit on it; place your palms on your thighs close to your knees with your fingers facing Qiblah and their tips by the knees.
Sitting in between two Sujud is called Jalsah. One must stay in this position for at least the amount of time in which سُبّحٰنَ اللّٰہ can once be uttered (to utter اَللّٰھُمَّ اغّفِرّلِی (“Ya Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ forgive me.”) in Jalsah is Mustahab).
Now, perform the second Sajdah uttering اَللّٰہُ اَکّبَرّ in the same way as the first one.
Now, raise the head first; then stand up with the support of your toes placing your hands on your knees. Do not lean hands unnecessarily on the ground while standing up. You have now completed one Rak’at.
In the second Rak’at, start with بِسّمِ اللہِ الرَّحّمٰنِ الرَّحِیّمِ and then recite Sura-e-Fatihah and another Surah, then do the Ruku’ and Sujud as you did in the first Rak’st.
After completing the second Sajdah (of the second Rak’at) sit up straight with your right foot upright and your left foot flat.
To sit after the second Sajdah of the second Rak’at is called Qa’dah.
Recite Tashahhud in Qa’dah:
All types of worship i.e. oral, physical and monetary are for Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ. Salutation be upon you Ya Nabi ﷺ and the mercy and blessings of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ. Salutation be upon us and the pious men of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ and I testify that Muhammad ﷺ is His (distinguished) Servant and Rasul ﷺ.
When you are about to utter the word لا in Tashahhud, form a circle with the middle finger and thumb of your right hand and put the tips of your ring-finger and the pinkie at palm; as soon as you begin to utter the word “لا “ (immediately after “اَشّھَدّاَلّ“), raise your index finger without waving it side to side. When you reach اِلَّا put it down and straighten your all fingers out instantly. If you are offering more than two Rak’at, stand up erect uttering اَللّٰہُ اَکّبَرّ.
If it is Fard Salah, recite only بِسّمِ اللہِ الرَّحّمٰنِ الرَّحِیّمِ and Sura-e-Fatihah in the third and fourth Rak’at, an additional Surah is not needed. The rest of the acts must be performed in the same way as before.
However, if it is a Sunnah Salah or Nafl Salah, then Surah shall be added after Surah Fatihah in the third and fourth Rak’at (You must remember that if you are offering the Salah following an Imam, you cannot recite anything in the Qiyam of any Rak’at, you must stand quietly). Once you have offered all four Rak’at, sit in Qa’dah-e-Akhirah, and then recite Tashahhud and the Durud-e-Ibrahim عَلَیّہِ السَّلاَم.
O Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ send Durud on (our Master) Muhammad ﷺ and on his descendents as You sent Durud on (out Master) Ibrahim عَلَیّہِ السَّلاَم. and his descendents. Indeed you alone are praise worthy and Glorious. O Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ shower Your blessings on (our Master) Muhammad ﷺ and his descendents as You showered blessings on (our Master) Ibrahim عَلَیّہِ السَّلاَم. and his descendents. Indeed You are praise worthy and Glorious.
Then recite any Du’a-e-Masurah e.g.
Ya Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ! Our Rab عَزَّوَجَلَّ! Grant us the good of this world and the good of the Hereafter and save us from the torment of the hell.
Then, to finish the Salah, first turn face towards right shoulder saying اَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَیکُم وَرَحمَۃُاللّٰہ and then towards left shoulder saying the same words. Now your Salah has completed. (Bahar-e-Shariat, pp. 504-506, vol. 1, etc.)
A Few Differences in the Salah of Islamic Sisters
The afore-mentioned method of Salah is for an Imam or a man offering individually. There are some differences between the Salah of Islamic sisters and that of Islamic brothers. At the time of Takbir-e-Tahrimah, Islamic sisters should raise their hands up to their shoulders; their hands should remain covered in their shawl. In Qiyam, Islamic sisters should place their left palm on chest just below their breast and put the right palm on the back of the left palm. Islamic sisters should bow slightly in Ruku’ i.e. to the extent of placing their hands on their knees. They should neither apply weight to their knees nor hold them; their fingers should be close together and feet should be slightly bent i.e. not completely straight, like men. Islamic sisters should perform Sajdah keeping their body parts close together, i.e. arms touching sides, belly touching thighs, thighs touching shins and shins touching the ground. In Sajdah and Qa’dah, they should draw their feet out towards the right side.
In Qa’dah, they should sit on their left buttock. They should place their right and left hands on the middle of their right and left thighs respectively. The rest method is like that of men. (Rad-dul-Muhtar, pp. 259, vol. 2) (Fatawa-e-‘Alamgiri, pp. 74, vol. 1, etc.)
Both Should Pay Attention!
Some of the acts described in the method of Salah for Islamic brothers and Islamic sisters are Fard without which the Salah will not be valid whereas some acts are Wajib leaving which deliberately is a sin; repenting of it and repeating such a Salah is Wajid. In case of missing a Wajid forgetfully, Sajdah Sahw becomes Wajid. Some of the acts in Salah are Sunnat-e-Muakkadah; Making a habit of abandoning a Sunnat-e-Muakkadah is a sin. Similarly, some of the acts in Salah are Mustahab; performing a Mustahab is an act of Sawab while leaving a Mustahab is not a sin. (Bahar-e-Shariat, pp. 507, vol. 1, etc.)