Importance of Prayers (Salah) in Islam
Salah is the Islamic ritual prayer in which all Muslims submit to Allah’s will. Five times a day, prayers are offered in the face of Mecca’s Holy Kaaba. Friday is the day for congregational salah (Juma).
Salah is stated several times in the Holy Quran by Allah SWT, and this is one of them:
“And to establish prayer and fear Him.” And it is He to whom you will be gathered.”
(Surah Al An’am)
It is one of the most key differentiators between Muslims and non-Muslims because a Muslim who does not do salah is not considered a true Muslim. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said on the evidence of Jaber bin Abdullah Al-Ansari and his father:
“Between a man and disbelief and polytheism is leaving prayer.”
Types of Prayers in Islam
As Muslims, we should all be aware of the four forms of prayers in Islam. In Islam, there are four main forms of prayers, each with a different weight. These are some examples:
It is the first and most significant. Fard Salah is mandatory, and failing to pray is a serious sin.
It is also required, and failing to do it is a severe sin, albeit not as serious as failing to eat Fard Salat.
It is the practice of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). There are two types of Sunnah Salat: Muakkadah and Ghair Muakkadah.
The first was frequently practiced, and failing to do so is likewise a sin, but not as serious as the first or second. Ghair Muakkadah are prayers that Muhammad (PBUH) used to pray on occasion, although you may or may not pray them.
It is the fourth and last category, and it is entirely optional. It is frequently prayed for, yet its absence does not constitute a sin.
The Number of Fard Prayers and Their Rakaat
Fard is an Arabic word that means compulsory or obligatory. There are five obligatory Prayers every day:
- Fajr: 2 rakaat
- Zuhr: 4 rakaat
- ‘Asr: 4 rakaat
- Maghrib: 3 rakaat
- ‘Isha’: 4 rakaat
It is immoral to purposefully miss a Fard Prayer, but if such a Prayer is missed due to forgetting or unavoidable circumstances, the error can be corrected by saying the missing Prayer as soon as one remembers, or whenever practicable.
In The Quran, Allah mentions:
“Establish Salat at the two ends of the day (Fajr and Maghrib), and at the appearance of the night (Isha)
He SWT also said:
“Establish Salat at the going down of the sun (Zuhr)”
About al-Asr prayers, the Quran has:
“Guard Strictly your Salat, especially the middle salat (Asr)”
(Surah Al Baqarah)
The Number of Wajib Prayers and Their Rakaat
The following prayers are considered Wajib (necessary):
- Witr has three Rakat.
- Two Rakat for ‘Idul-Fitr and two Rakat for ‘Idul-Adha
- While performing the Tawaf of the Kaaba, two Rakat are presented.
If a person skips these Prayers on purpose, he is considered to have committed a sin. He is not obligated to offer a Qada Prayer if he misses a Wajib Prayer accidentally, such as through forgetfulness. Qada is Arabic for “offering of a missed Prayer.”
What is Salat al-Witr?
Witr or Vitr literally means “odd.” This Prayer is called “odd” because it has three Rakat. It is offered following Isha’s Prayer. In these Rakat, it is recommended to recite Surah Al-A‘la, Surah Al-Kafirun, and Surah Al-Ikhlas.
This, however, is not required. It is permissible to recite any Surah or verse from the Holy Quran. After completing the Ruku‘ in the third Rakat of Witr, the following Dua Qunut should be recited:
Allahumma inna nasta‘inuka wa nastaghfiruka, wa nu‘minu bika wa natawakkalu ‘alaika, wa nuthni ‘alaikal khair, wa nash-kuruka wala nakfuruka, wa nakhla‘u wa natruku man-yafjuruk. Allahumma iyyaka na‘budu wa laka nusalli wa nasjudu, wa ilaika nas‘a wa nahfidu, wa narju rahmataka, wa nakhsha ‘adhabaka, Inna ‘adhabaka bil kuffari mulhaq.
The Number of Sunnah Prayers and Their Rakaat
In addition to Fard Prayers, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) gave additional Rakat of Prayer. Sunnah Prayers are the name given to these prayers. All jurists agree that offering Sunnah prayers is essential. In the eyes of Allah, willful disregard of Sunnah Prayers is punishable. Sunnah Prayers are as follows:
- Two Rakat before the Fajr Fard Prayer; however, if a person enters the congregation without first offering two Rakat of Sunnah due to unforeseen circumstances, he may do so after the congregational led Prayer.
- In the Zuhr Prayer, there are four Rakat before Fard and two Rakat following Fard. If the four Rakat of Sunnah were not done before the congregational four Rak‘at owing to unforeseen circumstances, they should be performed after the congregational Prayer.
- Ahmadi Muslims, who typically adhere to the Hanafi line of thought, offer four Rakat of Sunnah before the Fard of Zuhr Prayer and two Rakat of Sunnah after the Fard of Zuhr Prayer. Many Muslims, however, offer four Rakat of Sunnah just before Fard of Zuhr Prayer and four Rakat of Sunnah after the Fard of Zuhr Prayer.
- After the Fard of Maghrib Prayer, two Rakat of Sunnah are performed.
- After the Fard Rak‘at of ‘Isha’ Prayer, two Rakat of Sunnah are performed.
The Number of Nawafil Prayers and Their Rakaat
Aside from Fard and Sunnat Rakat, Muslims give other Rakat of Prayer. These are referred to as Nawafil Prayers or Nafl. These Prayers are optional. Those who give Nawafil Prayers willingly receive the advantages of Allah’s favors. The following are the Nawafil prayers:
- Tahajjud has eight Rakat.
- At the end of the Zuhr Prayer, two Rakat are added to the two Rakat of Sunnah.
- Four Rakat are performed before the Fard of ‘Asr Prayer.
- In Maghrib Prayer, two Rakat are added after the two Rakat of Sunnah.
- Ishraq Prayer has four Rakat.
- When entering a mosque, two Rakat are presented.
- When requesting blessings from Allah Almighty, two Rakat are presented.
- As Salat-i-Hajjat, two Rakat are presented.
- As a Thanksgiving Prayer, two Rakat were offered.
Nawafil Prayers may be offered as many times as desired. Nawafil, on the other hand, should not be presented during the prohibited hours for prayer.
They should not, for example, be presented between Asr and Maghrib prayers. Except for those specifically stated to be performed in a mosque, it is recommended to offer Nawafil prayers at home rather than in a mosque. It is, however, a question of personal decision, and there is no obligation in this issue.
What Is the Morning Prayer in Islam?
The morning prayer in Islam is al-Fajr Salah. The Fajr prayer (Arabic: صلاة الفجر, “dawn prayer”) is one of the five compulsory salahs. Because an Islamic day begins at sundown, the Fajr prayer is the third prayer of the day.
How Many Rakat in Isha?
Isha has four rakaat. It’s an obligatory salah (fard) and should be performed at the end of each day when its time comes. For the first two Rakat, you should read Surah al Fatiha and another short Surah of your choice. For the second two Rakat, you should recite al Fatiha only.