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The Benefits of Salaah

The Holy Quran says: "Establish Salaah to remember Me (Allah)." (20:14)

Before we explain how Salaah should be read, we will list some of the benefits of Salaah to help you gain a better understanding of this very important form of Ibaadah.

1. Salaah with Jamaah increases Muslim Brotherhood.
2. Salaah makes us remember that Almighty Allah Sees and Hears us.
3. Salaah builds love for Almighty Allah and for His special servants, the Ambiya (Prophets) and Awliya (Saints).
4. Salaah destroys the evil within us.
5. Salaah acts like a light and leads us away from darkness and trouble.
6. Salaah teaches us discipline.
7. Salaah builds "Taqwa" or "Piety" in us.
8. Just as food maintains our body, Salaah maintain our Soul (Ruh).

Forbidden Times of Salaah

Almighty Allah says in the Holy Quran: "Salaah at fixed times has been enjoined on the believers." (4:103) It is forbidden to read any Salaah or to make Sajdah Tilaawah during these 3 times of the day:

1. When the sun is rising.
2. When the sun is at its highest point (Zawaal).
3. When the sun is setting.

It is forbidden to read any Nafil Salaah:

a. after the break of dawn,
b. before sunrise,
c. after the Fard of the Fajar Salaah,
d. after Asar Salaah until sunset, and
e. during the Khutbah of both the Eids and the Jummah Salaah.

The Conditions of Salaah

Before performing the Salaah there are certain conditions that a person must be aware of. It is Fard to follow these conditions :

1. Tahaarah: to make sure that the body and the clothes are clean.
2. Make sure that the place where Salaah is being read is clean.
3. To cover the body properly:-
3.1 For the male it is necessary to cover the body from the navel till below the knees.
3.2 For the female it is necessary to cover the body from the head to the feet, except the face. 
3.3 The feet till the ankles and the hands till the wrist must be covered.
4. To face the Qiblah.
5. To make sure that the Salaah is read in the specified times.
6. To make the correct Niyyah for Salaah.
7. To be a Muslim with correct Islamic beliefs.

The Faraa'id (Fard) of Salaah

There are 7 Faraa'id of Salaah:-

1. Takbeer-e-Tahreemah (the first Allah Akbar)
2. Qiyaam (standing)
3. Qiraah
4. Ruku
5. Sajdah
6. Qadah Akheerah
7. To indicate the end of Salaah.

The Waajibaat (Wajib) of Salaah

Waajibs are those actions which are compulsory. In Salaah there are certain Waajib actions that, if when left out, can be corrected through Sajdah Sahw. The Waajibaat of Salaah are:

1. To read Surah Fatiha in every Rakaah.
2. To read one short Surah, or to read one long Ayah or to read 3 short Ayah after the Surah Fatiha in the first 2 Rakaah of the Fard Salaah and in all the Rakaah of other Salaah (non-Fard Salaah).
3. To read the Salaah in the correct sequence.
4. To stand erect after Ruku (Qiyaam) before going for Sajdah.
5. To sit in Jalsa position between the two Sujood (Sajdas).
6. To sit in Qadah 'Ula after 2 Rakaah when you are reading a 4 or 3 Rakaah Salaah.
7. To read Attahiyaat in Qadah 'Ula and Qadah Akheerah.
8. To read Salaah without rushing.
9. To read Du'a Qunoot in the Witr Salaah of Isha.
10. The Imaam should read aloud during:
10.1The first 2 Rakaah of the Fard of Fajar, Maghrib and Isha Salaah.
10.2 The two Rakaah of the Jummah and Eid Salaah.
10.3 The Taraweeh and Witr Salaah during the Month of Ramadaan.
11. The Imaam should read silently in:
11.1 All the Rakaah of the Zohar and Asar Salaah.
11.2 The third Rakaah of the Maghrib Salaah.
11.3 The third and fourth Rakaah of the Isha Salaah.
12. To read 6 extra Takbeers in both the Eid Salaah.
13. To end the Salaah with the words of Salaam.
14. Among the Waajibaats of Sajdah, it is compulsory that at least 3 toes must touch the ground facing the Qiblah.

The Sunnah of Salaah

There are certain actions which are Sunnah in Salaah. If one misses these Sunnahs, then the Thawaab of the Salaah is reduced. What are these Sunnahs?

The Sunnan of Takbeer-e-Tahreema

1. It is Sunnah for the males to lift up their hands to their ears for Takbeer, while the females should lift up their hands to their shoulders.
2. While lifting the hands, the fingers should be kept relaxed with the palms facing towards the Qiblah.
3. The males, after lifting up their hands, should then fold them below their navels with the right hand over the left hand. The females should place their hands on their chest, with the right hand over the left hand.

The Sunnan of Qiyaam

1. Stand with the feet parallel to each other. There must be about a four finger width gap between the feet.
2. The body must be straight with the head lowered and the eyes should be directed to the spot where Sajdah is to be made.

The Sunnan of Qiraah

1. To read the Thana.
2. To read the Ta'oozu or "A'oozubillah."
3. To read the Tasmiyah or "Bismillah."
4. To read "Bismillah" at the beginning of every Rakaah.
5. To say "Ameen" at the end of Surah Fatiha.
6. To read the Ta'oozu, Tasmiyah and say the Ameen silently.
7. The first Rakaah should be longer than the second Rakaah.

The Sunnan of Ruku

1. To say the Takbeer, "Allahu Akbar", when going into Ruku.
2. To read the Tasbeeh of Ruku 3 times.
3. To hold (clutch) the knees firmly. The males should have their fingers spaced out while clutching their knees, while the females should have their fingers closed.
4. The legs should be straight and not bent at the knees.
5. The back should be in line with the neck. This means that it must be straight so that if a glass of water is placed on the back of a person, the water will not spill over.
6. To read the Tasmiyah when waking up from Ruku and to read the Tahmeed while in Qiyaam.

The Sunnan of Sajdah

1. When going into Sajdah make sure that the knees touch the ground first, followed by the hands, the nose and, lastly, the forehead.
2. When waking up from Sajdah, the whole method should be reversed.
3. In Sajdah, the fingers should be closed and facing the Qiblah. The forehead should rest between the hands.
4. To say the Takbeer, "Allahu Akbar", when going into Sajdah and when waking up from Sajdah.
5. To read the Tasbeeh of Sajdah three times.
6. When in Sajdah, the males should make sure that their stomach does not rest on their thighs and that the arms does not rest flat on the ground.
7. Females should keep their stomach close to their thighs and their arms should be flat on the ground and close to their bodies.
8. All the toes of the feet must touch the ground.

The Sunnan of Qa'dah

1. Males should sit on the left foot by placing it flat on the ground and the right foot should be up with the toes facing the Qiblah.
2.Females should sit on their left rear, placing both their feet out to the right.
3. Place the palms of both hands above the knees.
4. When reading "Attahiyaat", lift the right Shahaadah finger on reaching the "Laa" of "Ashhadu al laa ilaaha." Fold the rest of the fingers into a ball and lower the Shahaadah finger on reaching "Illal laahu."
5. To read the Durood-e-Ebrahim and any Masnoon Du'a after this.

The Sunnan of Salaam

1. The face should be first turned to the right and then to the left when making Salaam.
2. When making Salaam in Jamaah, one should have the intention of greeting the Imaam, the Musallies and the Angels. A person who is reading alone should make the intention of greeting the Angels.

The Mustahabaat (Mustahabs) of Salaah

1. Look at the place where you make Sajdah when in the Qiyaam position.
2. During Ruku you should look at the feet.
3. The eyes should focus on the nose during Sajdah.
4. When in the Qa'dah position the eyes should focus at the knees or the thighs.
5. When making Salaam, the eyes should be focused on the shoulders.
6. One should avoid coughing.
7. One should avoid yawning.

The Makroohaats (Makroohs) of Salaah

1. To scratch the body unnecessarily.
2. Playing with one's clothes.
3. To close ones eyes through tiredness.
4. To miss out any Sunnah deliberately.
5. To make the second Rakaah longer than the first.
6. To read the Surah in the incorrect sequence, for example, to read Surah An Naas in the first Rakaah and then Surah Al Falaq after.
7. To read Salaah when one is very hungry, or one has to go to toilet or when the food has already been served.

Actions which Break the Salaah

There are certain actions which break the Salaah. They are called "Mufsidaat-e-Salaah." If these actions occur, one will have to re-read the Salaah. What are these actions?

1. To utter any word that is not part of the Salaah.
2. To cry out in pain.
3. If Wudu breaks.
4. When one loses his senses.
5. When a persons chest is intentionally turned away from the Qiblah more than 45 degrees.
6. When one leaves out any Fard.
7. When one reads the Holy Quran incorrectly.
8. When one eats or drinks in Salaah.
9. When one moves about in Salaah in different directions.
10. To step ahead of the Imaam.
11. To laugh or giggle.
12. When the private parts are revealed.
13. When one performs "Fe-le Katheer". Fe-le Katheer are those actions which will lead the observer to believe that one is not in Salaah, for example, tying one's belt, removing one's handkerchief, wiping one's nose, and so on.
Note: If the hat falls to the floor while Salaah is being performed the person can pick it up and wear it without causing a lot of movement.