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Salaah and Cleaniness - The Second Pillar of Islam


The Importance of Salãh in Islam

The second pillar of Islam is Salãh. Once you have recited the 1st Kalima, Salãh is compulsory on every Muslim. There are no excuses, not even when you are ill, on a journey or even in war.

Salãh strengthens the foundations of our faith. It prepares a person to live the life of goodness and obedience to Allah (swt), and it builds courage and determination. Every time we perform Salãh, we renew our commitments to Allah (swt) and we rid ourselves from worldly pressures 5 times a day.

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said “The person that observes prayer properly, the prayer itself, blesses him with good wishes.”

According to a hadith a companion of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) came to him one day and asked him “What is the thing that Allah (swt) loves most?” Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) replied “The thing that Allah (swt) loves most is when his people pray Salãh on time.”

Salãh is a practical sign of obedience to the commands of Allah (swt). Its importance has been emphasized about 500 times in the Holy Qurãn.

Once Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) shook a dry branch of a tree so that all of the leaves of the branch fell off than the Prophet (pbuh) said “The sins of those who pray Salãh, drop off as the leaves of this branch fell off.”

Before Salãh, we make Wudu. Wudu is a unique way of cleansing certain parts of our body so we are clean before bowing down to the one who created us, who created the universe the one and only Allah (swt).

The Rasulallah (pbuh) once asked his companions “Tell me if there was a river at the door step of one of you in which you washed 5 times a day would any of your dirt remain?” When he received the reply that none of it would remain he then said “That is like the 5 times Salãh, with which Allah (swt) wipes out sin.

The last thing that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) emphasized at his deathbed was Salãh. He also said the first thing we will have to answer about on the day of judgement is Salãh.

It is said in the Holy Qurãn: “And truly Salãh is hard save for the humble minded.” Meaning, that Salãh is hard only on those who are not ready to lead a life of obedience to Allah (swt), and on whom Salãh is hard, provides himself proof of not being fit for the servitude and obedience to Allah (swt)

Salãh improves and helps us to attain high moral qualities and to build a strong defence against evils which exist around us.
It is said in the Holy Qurãn, surely, Salãh keeps you away from indecency and evil. This is why the prayer is described as “remembrance” to Allah (swt)

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said the bond man is nearest to Allah (swt) at the moment when he is lying in prostration before him.
Salãh reminds you of Allah (swt), when you get up in the morning, it reminds you three more times when you are busy during the day, and once again before you go to bed.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) once said, “The worst form of theft, is the theft of prayer.” “How can one commit theft in prayer?” his companions asked, The Holy Prophet (pbuh) replied “By skipping on the complete performance of bows and prostration’s.”
While in Salãh one communicates with Allah (swt) and experiences his presence. That’s why a hadith says: Salãh is the Meraaj of a Momin.

Conditions for Salãh

  1. To make wudu if necessary
  2. To make ghusal (bath) if necessary
  3. Tharah(cleanliness) of body and dress
  4. Thahara(cleanliness) of place
  5. Facing toward qiblah
  6. Covering of satar (private parts)
  7. Niyah (intention) for namaaz
  8. Performing Salãh at prescribed times

Wudu (Ablution)

Make sure the place is clean, and make Niyyah (Intention) that you are making Wudu’ for Salaat and begin by saying. “Bismillahi Walhumdulillahi” (In the name of Allah)

  1. Wash both hands up to the wrist three times.
  2. Rinse the mouth thoroughly three times.
  3. Clean your nose by sniffing water into it and extract the water you just sniffed, three times.
  4. Wash your face three times from right ear to left ear and from forehead to throat.
  5. Wash your right arm up to the elbow three times and then do the left arm.
  6. Then wet the hands and pass them over the head, ears and nape. This is done once. Pass the wet tips of your index fingers into the grooves and holes of both ears and also pass the wet thumbs behind the ears
  7. Finally, wash both feet to the ankles starting with the right foot, making sure that water has reached between the toes and back of the feet.

Ghusal

Ghusal is cleaning or purifying the whole body by taking a bath or shower. Before making Ghusal one should make Niyyah (intention) thus: - “I am performing Ghusal so as to become purified.” Without Niyyah, there is no thawaab (reward) although Ghusal will be valid. Ghusal should be made in a place of total privacy and one should not face towards the Qiblah while making Ghusal. Ghusal may be performed standing or seated, preferably seated. Use sufficient water, don’t skimp nor be wasteful. One should abstain from speaking while performing Ghusal. It is better not to read any Kalimah or Aayah while bathing. Be aware of these rules whilst making Ghusal.

The three Faraa’ids (compulsory acts) of Ghusal are:

  1. To rinse the mouth in such a manner that water reaches the entire mouth.
  2. To rinse the nostrils up to the ending of the fleshy part.
  3. To completely wet the whole body. When one performs these Faraa’id intentionally or unintentionally Ghusal will be valid.

Procedure for performing Ghusal:

  1. Wash both hands up to and including wrists.
  2. Wash the private parts. The hands and private parts should be washed even if one is not in the state of Janabat (impurity) or Najasat (filth).
  3. If there is Najasat elsewhere on the body, it should now be washed off.
  4. Perform Wudhu. If making Ghusal on a stool or platform where water will rapidly flow away, and then perform the complete Wudhu. If there is fear of the feet being immersed in wastewater during the Ghusal then postpone the washing of the feet to the end of the Ghusal. Ensure that the mouth and nostrils are thoroughly rinsed thrice.
  5. After performing Wudhu, pour water over the head thrice, then pour thrice over right shoulder and thrice again over left shoulder. Now pour water over entire body and rub. If the hair of the head is not plaited, it is compulsory to wet all the hair up to the very base. If a single hair is left dry, Ghusal will not be valid. If the hair of a woman is plaited, she is excused from loosening her plaited hair, but it is compulsory for her to wet the base of each and every hair. If one fails to do this then the Ghusal will not be valid. As for men who grow long hair and plait them, they are NOT excused from leaving their hair dry. If a woman experiences difficulty or is unable to wet the very bottom of her plaited hair, then it is necessary for her to un-plaite her hair and wash her entire head. It is Mustahab (preferable) to clean the body by rubbing it. All parts of the body should be rubbed with the hand so as to ensure that water has reached all parts of the body, and that no portion is left dry. Rings and earrings, etc. should be moved so as to ensure that no portion covered by them is left dry. Ensure that the navel and the ears are all wetted. If they are not wet Ghusal will be incomplete.
  6. On completion one should confine oneself to a clean place. If, while performing Wudhu, the feet had been washed, it is not necessary to wash them again. Dry the body with a clean towel, and dress as hastily as possible.
  7. If, after Ghusal, one recalls that a certain portion of the body is left dry, it is not essential to repeat the Ghusal, but merely wash the dry portion. It is not sufficient to pass a wet hand over the dry place. If one has forgotten to rinse the mouth or the nostrils, these too could be rinsed when recalled after Ghusal has been performed.

Performing Salãh (Prayer)

Salãh brings man closer to Allah(swt) by harmonising his mental attitude with physical posture. In Salãh, a Muslim submits himself completely to his creator. Wudu must be done before performing Salãh.

Method of Performing Salãh

STEP 1) Stand upright on a clean surface, ground or mat facing the Qibla (Kabaa) and make your intention (Niyah). Say to yourself that you intend to offer this Salãh (Fajr, Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib or Isha) Fardh or Sunnah for the pleasure of Allah(swt). Then raise your hands to your ears Saying: Allahu Akbar (Allah is the greatest)

STEP 2) Fold your right hand over the left near the naval. Women should fold their hands higher on the chest. Recite Sana i.e.
SubhanakAllahum-Ma Wa Bi Hamdika
Watabarakas muka Wata’ala Jadduka
Wa La ilaha Ghaiyrok.

After this recite the opening Surah, Al-Fatiha:
A’u zu bil la hi minashaitanir Rajim Bismi Lah’ir Rahman Ir Rahim.
Alhamdo Lil Lahi Rab Bil A’lamin
Ar Rahman Ir Rahim
Maliki Yaumiddin
Iyya Ka Na Bu Do WA Iyya Ka Nas Taeen
IhDi Nas Siraatal Mus Ta Qeema
Siraa Tal La Zina An Amta Alaihim
Ghairil Magh Du Bi Alaihim
WA Lad Dall Lin (Amin)

Now recite any other 3 verses from the Holy Qura’n:
We have selecetd Surah Ikhlaas in this example
Bismi Lah’ir Rahman Ir Rahim
Qul Hu Wal Lahu Ahad
Allah Hus Sa Mad
Lam Yalid Wa Lam Yu Lad
Wa Lam Yak’ul La Hu Kufu Wan Ahad

STEP 3) RUKU Position: Now say Allahu Akbar and Bow down. Place your hands on your knees. Women should bend less than 90 degrees. In this inclined position recite these words thrice: Subha Narab Bi Yal Azim (Glory to my Lord the Great)

STEP 4) Then come to the standing position Saying: Sami Allahu Li Man Hami Dah (Allah has heard all who praise Him) and while standing recite Rab Ba Na Lakal Hamd (Our Lord: Praise be to Thee.)

STEP 5) SAJDA Position: Now Saying Allahu Akbar Prostrate with your forehead on the ground. The knees, the nose & palms of both hands touching the ground. In this position (Sajdah) repeat these words three times at least: Subhana Rab Bi Yal A’Ala (Glory to my Lord the most high)

STEP 6) TASHAHUD Position: Sit upright with knees still on the ground, with the left foot bent towards right, which should be placed vertical to the mat. The palms should be lifted from the mat & placed on the knee.

STEP 7) After a moment perform a second Sajdah saying: Allahu Akbar (as in step 5)
This completes one rakah of Salãh.

STEP 8) Then say Allahu Akbar and stand up for the second rakaah. Repeat from step 2 but don’t read Sana. Sana is only read in the first rakaat.

STEP 9) After the second Sajda, in the second rakaat, sit in the position of Tashahud silently say Tashahud ie.
At Tahi Ya Tu Lillahi Wa Sala Watu wat tay Yi Bato. As Sa La Mo Alaika Ay Yu Han Na Biy Yu Wa Rah Ma Tul La Hi Wa Bara Ka Tu Hu. As Salmu Alaina Wa Ala Iba Dil Lahis Saliheen.(At this point raise the index finger on your right hand point ng towards the Qibla and continue reciting) Ash Had Du Al La ilaha il La Laho (now lower the finger and continue reciting) Wa Ash Ha Du Anna Muhammadan Ab Du Hu wara soolu

In a three rakah (i.e. Maghrib) or Four rakah (like Zuhr, Asr & Isha) Salãh you stand up for the remaining rakah after Tashahhud. Say Allahu Akbar after Tashahud and continue as in step 2 - 7 without reciting Sana. Read a fourth rakaat if required. When all rakaats are completed and after Tashahhud (step 6) is recited then silently recite Durood (blessing for the Prophet) in these words.
Allah Huma Sal Li Ala Muhammad Din Wa Al’a Aali Muhammadin
Ka Maa Sal lay Ta Ala Ibraheema Wa Ala Aali Ibraheema
Inna Ka Hameedum Majeed
Allah Hum Ma Baa Rik Ala Muhammadin
Wa Ala Aali Muhammadin
Ka Maa Ba Rak Ta Ala Ibraheema Wa Ala Aali Ibraheema
Inna Ka Hameedum Majeed

Then recite silently: Allahumaghfirli waliwalidayya wali ustaazi wali jamee il mu-mineena walmu-minaati wal muslimeena wal muslimaati Birah matikah ya ar hamar raw he meen.

Now turn your face to the right saying:
Asslamo Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah
Peace be on you & Allah’s Blessing
Now turn your face to the left) saying:-
Asslamo Alaikum WA Rahmatullah

After Salãh you can raise your hands together and make dua that your Salãh be accepted and any other need that you may want Allah (swt) to fulfill.

May Allah (swt) accept all our Salãh and duas. Ameen.

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