Rules of prayer

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Rules of prayer

Prayer is the best act among all acts of worship. If God accepts one’s prayer, other acts of worship are also accepted. But if one’s prayer is rejected by God, his other good actions will also be rejected.

Offering of prayers five times during the day and night cleanses one of his sins in the same manner as bathing five times during the day and night makes our body clean of all filth and dirt.

It is befitting that one should offer prayers punctually. A person who considers prayers to be something ordinary and unimportant is just like one who does not offer prayers at all. The holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) has said that a person who does not attach any importance to prayers and considers it to be something insignificant deserves chastisement in the hereafter.

Once, while the holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) was present in the Mosque (i.e. Masjid-ul-Nabi in Madinah), a man entered and began offering prayers, but did not perform the bowing and prostration properly. The holy Prophet said: "If this man departs from this world and his prayers continue to be this way, he will not depart on my religion". Hence, one should not offer one's prayers hurriedly. While offering prayers one should remember Allah constantly and should offer the prayers humbly and with all solemnity. One should keep in mind the Greatness of Almighty Allah with whom one communes while offering prayers and should consider oneself to be very humble and insignificant before His Grandeur and Glory. And if a person keeps himself absorbed in these thoughts while performing prayers he becomes unmindful and oblivious to himself, just as when an arrow was pulled out of the foot of the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (P.B.U.H) while he was offering prayers and he was not aware of it.

Furthermore, one who performs prayers should be repentant and should refrain from all sins and especially those which are an impediment in the way of acceptance of one's prayers (e.g. jealousy, pride, backbiting, eating prohibited things, drinking intoxicating beverages, non-payment of Khums and Zakat). In fact, he should refrain from all sins. Similarly, he should avoid acts which diminish the reward for prayers like praying when one is drowsy or restless because of an urge to urinate, and while offering prayers he should not look up towards the sky. On the other hand, one should perform such acts which increase the reward like wearing an Aqiq ring, wearing clean clothes, combing the hair, brushing the teeth and using perfume.

Obligatory prayers

The following six prayers are obligatory:

(1) Daily prayers (including the Friday prayer)

(2) Prayer of Natural Phenomenon.

(3) Funeral Prayer.

(4) Prayer for the obligatory Tawaf of the holy Ka'bah.

(5) Qadha prayer of father which are obligatory upon his eldest son.

(6) Prayer which become obligatory on account of hire, vow or oath.

Obligatory daily prayers

It is obligatory to perform the following five prayers during the day and night:

(1) Dawn prayer (Fajr) - 2 units.

(2-3) Midday prayer (Zuhr) and Afternoon prayer (Asr) - each one consisting of 4 units.

(4-5) Sunset prayer (Maghrib) - 3 units; and Evening prayer (`Isha) - 4 units.

Rule no.725. While travelling, a traveller should reduce the prayers of 4 units to 2 units. The conditions under which the units are reduced will be mentioned later.

Time for midday and afternoon prayers

Rule no.726. If a stick, a pole, or anything similar to it, which acts as an indicator (shakhis) is made to stand on a level ground, its shadow will fall westwards when the sun rises in the morning, and as the sun continues to rise the shadow cast by the indicator will reduce in size. And in our cities it becomes smallest at the time of the commencement of midday. And as midday passes the shadow cast by the indicator turns eastwards, and as the sun moves towards the west the shadow gets longer. Based on this, when the shadow is the shortest, and it begins getting longer again, it is known that midday has taken place. However, in other cities like in Mecca, the shadow disappears totally, so, when it reappears it indicates midday.

Rule no.727. The time for midday and afternoon prayers is from when the sun starts declining at midday until sunset. But, if a person intentionally offers afternoon prayer earlier than midday prayer, his prayer is void. However, if a person had not offered the midday prayer until the end of its prescribed time, and the time left before Qadha allows only one prayer to be prayed, he will first offer afternoon prayers in time and then his midday prayer will be Qadha. And if before that time a person offers complete afternoon prayer before midday prayer by mistake, his prayer is valid. But it is better, he should treat that prayer as midday and as a precaution he should offer 4 more units of prayer with the intention of relieving oneself of responsibility, if any (“`ala ma fid-dhimmah”).

Rule no.728. If a person begins offering afternoon prayer forgetfully before midday prayer and during the prayer he realises that he has committed a mistake, he should revert his intention to midday prayer i.e. he should intend that the part of prayer I have offered and that I am offering from now onwards until the end of the prayer would be midday prayer. After completing the prayer, he will offer afternoon prayer.

Friday prayer

Rule no.729. Friday prayer consists of 2 units like dawn prayer. The difference between these two prayers is that the Friday prayer has two sermons before it. The Friday prayer is obligatory on every Muslim. The following conditions must be fulfilled for Friday prayer to become obligatory:

(1) The time for Friday prayers should have set in. And that means that the sun should have begun to decline. Most apparently the time for Friday prayer remains until the shadow of the indicator (shakhis) becomes equal to the size of the indicator itself. If the shadow length increases to more than the length of the indicator, the time for offering Friday prayer will be over, and midday prayer will have to be offered.

(2) The number of persons congregating for the Friday prayer should be at least five, including the imam (congregation leader).

(3) It is necessary that the Friday prayer should be lead by an infallible divinely-appointed Imam or by his deputy or by a qualified jurist who is also ruling a country. Otherwise it should be offered with the intention of Raja and midday prayer will become obligatory.

The following conditions should be fulfilled for the Friday prayer to be correct:

(1) The prayer should be offered in congregation. Hence, Friday prayer cannot be prayed alone. If a person joins the Friday prayer before the bowing of the second unit, his prayers will be valid and he will have to add another unit to complete it. But, if he cannot join the imam in the bowing of the second unit then the validity of his prayer is problematic, and as a measure of precaution midday prayer should be prayed.

(2) Two sermons should be delivered before the prayer. In the first sermon the preacher should praise Allah and exhort the people to observe piety, and then he should also recite a chapter from the holy Qur'an. Thereafter he should sit down for a while and then stand up again. This time also he should praise Allah and invoke peace and blessings upon the holy Prophet and the holy Imams and seek forgiveness for the believers. It is necessary that the two sermons should precede the prayer. It will not be correct to offer the prayers before the two sermons. It is permissible to deliver the sermons before midday time has set in but it is better to deliver the sermons after the midday time has set in. It is also necessary that the preacher should be standing while delivering the sermons. Hence, if he delivers the sermons while sitting, it will not be in order. It is also necessary and obligatory that there should be a break between the two sermons by way of sitting down during the interval for a while. It is also necessary that the preacher who delivers the sermons should also lead the prayer. It is most probable that purity may not be a condition for delivering the sermons. The obligatory part of the sermon should be delivered in Arabic and it is not necessary to deliver the remaining part of the sermon in Arabic, except when the majority in the audience are non-Arabs, in which case it is better that the words of admonition and exhorting people to be pious and virtuous should be delivered in Arabic along with the language of the audience.

(3) The distance between the two places where Friday prayers are offered should not be less than one farsakh (about 5.5 kilometres). Hence, if the distance between the two places is less and both the prayers commence at the same time, both will be void. And if one of those prayers precedes the other even to the extent of Takbeera-tul-Ihram i.e. the first Takbeer, the prayer which precedes will be in order and the other will be void. If it transpires after the Friday prayer is over that another Friday prayer had commenced earlier or simultaneously at a distance of less than a farsakh, it will be obligatory to offer midday prayer. It doesn’t matter whether this information is received within the time or later. Moreover, a Friday prayer can stop another from being held within the stipulated distance only if it is itself valid, fulfilling all conditions, otherwise it cannot have any prohibitive effect.

Rule no.730. When the Friday prayer with all its requirements is held, it will be obligatory to attend it. When attending is obligatory the following points must be considered:

(a) The person joining should be man. Presence in Friday prayers is not obligatory for women.

(b) Freedom. Hence it is not obligatory for a slave to be present in Friday prayer.

(c) Not being a traveller. Hence Friday prayers is not obligatory for a traveller, regardless of whether the traveller prays shortened or full prayers, as he would do if he intends staying for 10 days or more.

(d) Being free from ailment and blindness. Hence it is not obligatory for a sick or a blind man to offer Friday prayer.

(e) Not being old. Hence Friday prayer is not obligatory for old men.

(f) That the distance between the place where a person is and where Friday prayer is going to be held should not be more than 2 farsakhs (about 11 kilometres) and it would be obligatory for a person who is at the end of 2 farsakhs to join the prayer. And similarly, participation in Friday prayers will not be obligatory for a person who finds it extremely difficult; it is also possible that if it is raining participation is not obligatory even if joining the prayer is not difficult.

Rule no.731. A few rules concerning Friday prayer:

(1) It is permissible for a person, who is exempted from Friday prayer, and for whom presence in the Friday prayer is not obligatory, to hasten to offer midday prayer in its prime time.

(2) When the Friday prayer with all its requirements is held in a city, as a precaution, it is not permissible for the residents of that city to start travelling after midday.

(3) It is not permissible to talk while the imam is delivering the sermons

(4) As a precaution, it is obligatory to listen to both the sermons carefully. However, listening carefully to the sermons is not obligatory upon those, who do not understand their meanings.

(5) The second Adhan to Friday prayer is an innovation. And it is the same calling which is usually called the third Adhan.

(6) It is apparently obligatory for a person to be present while the imam is delivering the sermon.

(7) Conducting purchases and sales at the time when people are called to Friday prayer is prohibited, if it hinders the prayers, and not if it does not hinder. And it seems that in spite of it being prohibited, the transaction done would not be void.

(8) When it was obligatory for a person to be present in Friday prayer and he abandoned it, and offered midday prayer, it is most likely that his prayers would be in order.

Time for sunset and evening prayers

Rule no.732. It is obligatory that as long as the redness in the eastern sky appearing after sunset has not passed overhead, sunset prayer should not be performed.

Rule no.733. The prescribed time for sunset and evening prayers is until midnight. The sunset prayer must be prayed before the evening prayer, and if one contradicts their sequence purposely or knowingly, the prayer will be void. However, if the time left over is just enough for evening prayers to be offered within time, then the evening prayer will precede the sunset prayer.

Rule no.734. If a person offers evening prayer before sunset prayer by mistake and takes notice of this after completing the prayer, his prayer will be valid, and then he should offer sunset prayer after it.

Rule no.735. If a person begins evening prayer by mistake before sunset prayer and realises during the prayer that he has made an error, and if he has not yet gone into bowing of the 4th unit he should turn his intention to sunset prayer and complete the prayer. Thereafter he will offer evening prayer. However, if he has entered the bowing of the 4th unit he will discontinue his evening prayer and offer sunset prayer and then pray the evening prayer.

Rule no.736. The end of the time for evening prayer is midnight; and the night will be calculated from sunset to sunrise.

Rule no.737. If a person in normal circumstances does not offer sunset or evening prayers until after midnight due to some sin or any excuse, he should, as an obligatory precaution, offer the prayers before the dawn prayer, without making an intention of offering Ada (i.e. within time) or Qadha (i.e. after the lapse of time).

Time for dawn prayer

Rule no.738. Just before dawn a column of whiteness rises upwards from the east. It is called the first dawn. When this whiteness spreads, it is called the second or the true dawn, and it is the prime time for dawn prayer. The time for dawn prayers is until sunrise.

Rules relating to prayer times

Rule no.739. A person can start offering prayers only when he becomes certain that the time has set in or when two just (`Adil) persons inform him that the time has set in. In fact, one can rely upon the Adhan (calling to prayer) of a person who knows the timings and is reliable or on advice of a person who knows the timings and is reliable.

Rule no.740. If a person cannot be certain about whether the time of prayer has set in at its prime time, due to clouds or dust, but suspects that time has set in, he can offer the prayer. However, if a person cannot be certain about the time for prayer due to a personal handicap like blindness or being in the prison cell, as an obligatory precaution, he should delay the prayer until such time when he feels sure that the prayer time has set in.

Rule no.741. If a person is satisfied on the basis of any one of the above mentioned methods that the time for prayers has set in and he begins offering prayer, but then realises during the prayer that the time has not yet set in, his prayer is void. And the position is the same if he realises after the prayer that he has offered the entire prayer before its prescribed time. If one learns as he prays that the time has just entered or if he learns after the prayer that the time entered while he was in the process of praying, as a precaution, he should repeat his prayer.

Rule no.742. If a person is heedless of the fact that he should pray after ensuring that the time has set in, and if he realises after the prayers that he had offered the entire prayers in time, his prayer is in order. And if he realises that he had offered his prayers before time or does not realise whether he had offered the prayers within time or not, his prayer will be void. In fact, if he realises after offering prayer that the time for prayer had set in while he was praying, he should offer that prayer again.

Rule no.743. If a person was certain that the time for prayer had set in, and began offering prayer, but while praying he doubted whether or not the time for it had actually set in, his prayer would be void. However, if he is certain while offering the prayer that the time for it has set in, but doubts whether what he has already performed in the prayer has been in time or not, his prayer is valid.

Rule no.744. If the time left for prayer is so little that if he perform some recommended acts of the prayer an obligatory part of the prayer will fall beyond the prescribed time, one should not perform those recommended acts. For example, if on account of reciting the personal supplication (“qunoot”) a part of the prayer will fall after the lapse of time, one should do without the personal supplication.

Rule no.745. If the time at the disposal of a person is sufficient for performing one unit only he should offer the prayers with the intention of Ada, i.e. offering the same within its prescribed time. However, one should not delay offering prayer intentionally until such time.

Rule no.746. If a person who is not a traveller has at his disposal time for offering five units until sunset, he should offer both midday and afternoon prayers. And if he has less time than that he should offer only afternoon prayer, and thereafter he should offer the Qadha of midday prayer. Similarly if he has sufficient time until midnight for offering five units, he should offer sunset and evening prayers and if he has less time than that he should offer only evening prayer and then offer sunset prayer.

Rule no.747. If a person who is a traveller has sufficient time at his disposal until sunset for offering three units, he should offer midday and afternoon prayers, and if he has less time than that, he should offer only afternoon prayer and then offer Qadha of midday prayer. And if he has enough time for offering 4 units until midnight, he should offer sunset and evening prayers, and if the time remaining is less than that, then he should first offer evening prayer followed by sunset prayer. However, if he learns after completing evening prayer that there is still time for at least one unit, or more, he should hasten to offer sunset prayer with the intention of offering in time (Ada).

Rule no.748. It is recommended that a person should offer prayer at the prime time prescribed for it, and great emphasis has been laid on it; alternatively, the nearer the prayers are to its prime time, the better, except where there is good reason for delay, like, waiting to join the prayer in congregation.

Rule no.749. If a person has a justifiable excuse for offering prayer with dry ablution and he wishes to offer it at the prime time knowing that his excuse will continue until the end of the prescribed time, he can offer the prayer in the early part of the time. But if he has a hope that the excuse will cease to exist, he should wait until his excuse is removed. In case his excuse is not removed, he would offer the prayer in the last part of the time. But, in doing so, it is not necessary that he should wait so much that he may be able to perform only the obligatory acts of the prayers. In fact, if he has time for the recommended acts like Adhan, Iqamah and Qunut (personal supplication) as well, he can perform dry ablution and offer prayer along with these recommended acts. As for other excuses which do not justify dry ablution, it is permissible for him to offer prayers at its prime time, if he hopes that his excuse will continue. However, if the excuse actually ceases to exist within the prescribed time of prayer, he must repeat the prayer.

Rule no.750. If a person does not know the rules about prayer, doubts occurring in it, or about the forgotten parts, and if he feels that such problems would probably arise in his prayer, he should defer from its prime time so as to learn the relevant rules. However, if he is hopeful that he can offer prayer correctly, he may pray at its prime time. And if no problem arose during the prayer about which he does not know the relating rule, his prayers would be correct and valid. But if a problem arose and the rules relating to it were not known to him, he would be allowed to act on one of the two probabilities and complete the prayer. And, after the prayer, he should enquire about the rule so that if his prayer had been void he would offer it again, and if it had been valid, he need not repeat it. It should be clear that in the state of confusion one should pray with intention of Qurbah (complying with the orders of Allah) instead of the specific intention of obligation.

Rule no.751. If there is ample time for prayer, and at the same time his creditor demands repayment of his loan from him, he should repay the loan first, if possible, and then offer prayer. Similarly, if there emerges another obligatory matter which demands immediate attention, like if a man sees that the mosque is impure he should make it pure first and then offer prayers. And in both the cases if he offers his prayer first he commits a sin but his prayer is in order.

The prayers which should be performed in sequence

Rule no.752. One should always offer afternoon prayer after the midday prayer and the evening prayer after the sunset prayer. If one intentionally offers afternoon prayer before midday prayer, or evening prayer before sunset prayer, one's prayers would be void.

Rule no.753. If a person starts his prayer with the intention of midday prayer, and during the prayer he recollects that he has already offered midday prayer, he is not allowed to change the intention to the afternoon prayer. He should abandon that prayer, and start the afternoon prayer. And the same rule applies to the sunset and the evening prayer.

Rule no.754. If a person somehow becomes sure while offering the afternoon prayer that he has not offered the midday prayer, and changes intention to the midday prayer, but later he recollects that he has in fact already offered the midday prayer, he can again revert to the afternoon prayer and complete it.

Rule no.755. If, while offering the afternoon prayer, a man doubts whether he has offered the midday prayer, he should change the intention to midday prayer. However, if the time is so short, that the sun would set by the time he finishes the prayer, and there would be no time left even for one unit, then he should complete the prayer with the intention of afternoon prayer.

Rule no.756. If, while offering the evening prayer, a man doubts before reaching the bowing of the 4th unit whether he has offered the sunset prayer, and if time is so little that after finishing the prayer it would be midnight and there would be no time left for even one unit, then he should complete the prayer with the same intention of evening prayer. But if he does have sufficient time, then he should change intention to sunset prayer and then offer evening prayer.

Rule no.757. If while offering evening prayer, a person doubts after reaching the bowing of the 4th unit whether he has offered the sunset prayer, and if time is short, he should complete the evening prayer. But if time for five units still remain, then he should abandon the prayer and offer the sunset prayer and the evening prayer.

Rule no.758. If a person is praying a particular prayer again as a precaution, and during the prayer he recollects that he has not offered the preceding prayer, he cannot change intention to that prayer. For example, when offering the afternoon prayer again as a measure of precaution, he recollects that he has not offered the midday prayer, he cannot change intention to midday prayer.

Rule no.759. It is not permissible to change the intention from Qadha to Ada, nor from recommended prayer to obligatory prayer.

Rule no.760. If a person has sufficient time at his disposal to offer his prayer within the time, he can, while offering the prayer, change the intention to Qadha prayer, provided that it is possible to do so. For example, if he is offering midday prayer, he can change to Qadha of dawn prayers, only when he has not entered the bowing of the third unit.

Recommended prayers

Rule no.761. There are many recommended prayers which are generally called Nafilah, but more stress has been laid on the daily recommended prayers. The total number of the units of these prayers everyday, excluding Friday, is 34. They are as follows:

  • 8 units Nafilah for midday prayer
  • 8 units Nafilah for afternoon prayer
  • 4 units Nafilah for sunset prayer
  • 2 units Nafilah for evening prayer
  • 11 units Nafilah for night vigil prayers
  • 2 units Nafilah for dawn prayer

The Nafilah for evening prayer should be offered while sitting and therefore its 2 units are counted as one. But on Friday, 4 units are added to the 16 units of the midday and the afternoon Nafilah, and it is preferable that all these 20 units are offered before midday sets in.

Rule no.762. Out of the 11 units of the night vigil Nafilah prayers, 8 units should be offered with the intention of the Nafilah, 2 units with the intention of Shaf'a, and 1 unit with the intention of Witr. Complete instructions regarding night prayer are given in the relevant books of prayers.

Rule no.763. All Nafilah prayers can be offered while sitting.

Rule no.764.Midday Nafilah and afternoon Nafilah should not be offered when one is on a journey, and there is no harm if one may offer evening Nafilah with the intention of Qurbah.

The timings of daily Nafilah prayers

Rule no.765. The midday Nafilah is offered before midday prayer. Its time is from the commencement of the time of midday, up to the time when the shadow of the indicator (shakhis) equals 2/7th of its length. For example, if an indicator is 7 yards high, and the shadow appearing after midday reaches 2 yards, it is the end of the time for the midday Nafilah.

Rule no.766. The afternoon Nafilah are offered before afternoon prayer, and its time continues until the moment when the shadow of the indicator appearing after midday reaches 4/7th of its length.

In case a person wishes to offer midday and afternoon Nafilah after their recommended time, he can offer the midday Nafilah after midday prayer, and the afternoon Nafilah after afternoon prayer but as an obligatory precaution, he will not make the intention of Ada or Qadha.

Rule no.767. The time for sunset Nafilah begins from the end of the sunset prayer until the redness in the western sky disappears, which is seen on the sky after the sunset .

Rule no.768. The time for evening Nafilah is from the completion of the evening prayer until midnight. It is better to offer it immediately after evening prayer.

Rule no.769. The dawn Nafilah is offered before the dawn prayer, and its time commences after first dawn until the redness is seen in the eastern sky; it is also possible to offer dawn Nafilah after night vigil prayers (tahajjud).

Rule no.770. The time for night prayer is from midnight until the Adhan for dawn prayer, and it is better to offer it nearer the time of dawn prayer.

Rule no.771. A traveller and a person who finds it difficult to offer the night prayer after midnight, can offer it before midnight.

Ghufayla prayer

Rule no.772. The Ghufayla prayer is one of the recommended prayers, which is offered between sunset and evening prayers. And as a precaution, its time ends before the redness in the sky after sunset disappears. In its first unit after recitation of chapter al-Hamd of the holy Qur`an, instead of any other chapter, the following verses should be recited:

“Wa zannuni iz zahaba mughadhiban fazanna an lan naqdira 'alayhi fanada fiz zulumati an la ilaha illa anta subhanaka inni kuntu minaz-zalimeen fastajabna lahu wa najjaynahu minal ghammi wa kazalika nunjil mu'mineen.”

In the second unit after the recitation of chapter al-Hamd, instead of another chapter, the following verse should be recited:

“Wa 'indahu mafatihul ghaybi la ya'lamuha illa huwa wa ya'lamu ma fil barri wal bahri wa ma tasqutu min waraqatin illa ya'lamuha wa la habbatin fi zulumatil ardh wa la ratbin wa la yaabisin illa fi kitabim mubeen.”

And in the Qunoot (personal supplication) this should be recited:

“Alla humma inni as aluka bi mafatihil ghaybil lati la ya'lamuha illa anta an tusalliya 'ala Muhammadin wa Aali Muhammadin wa an taf'al bi … (here one should mention his wishes).”

Thereafter, the following should be read:

“Alla humma anta Waliyyu ni'mati wal Qadiru 'ala talabati ta'lamu hajati fa as aluka bihaqqi Muhammadin wa Aali Muhammadin 'alayhi wa 'alayhimussalamu lamma qazaytaha li.”

Rules of Qibla

Rule no.773. Our Qibla is the holy Ka'bah, which is situated in Makkah, and one must offer one's prayers facing it. However, a person who is far would stand in such a manner that he is certain that he is not deviating from the Qibla. This also applies to other acts which should be performed facing the Qibla, such as, while slaughtering an animal etc.

Rule no.774. A person offering an obligatory prayer while standing should have his face, chest and stomach facing Qibla; and the recommended precaution is that the toes of his feet should also be facing Qibla.

Rule no.775. If a person offers his prayer while sitting, it is necessary that his face, chest and stomach face Qibla.

Rule no.776. If a person cannot offer prayer in the sitting posture, he should lie on the right hand side in such a manner that the front part of the body would face the Qibla. And if that is not possible, he should lie on the left hand side in such a manner that the front part of his body would face the Qibla. And if even that is not possible, he should lie on his back in such a manner, that the sole of his feet face the Qibla.

Rule no.777. Precautionary prayers, and forgotten prostrations, and forgotten testimonies should all be offered facing the Qibla, and on the basis of recommended precaution, prostration of forgetfulness should also be offered facing the Qibla.

Rule no.778. A recommended prayer can be offered while one is walking, or riding, and if a person offers a recommended prayer in these two conditions, it is not necessary that he should be facing the Qibla.

Rule no.779. A person who wishes to offer prayer should make efforts to ascertain the direction of Qibla, and for that he has to either be absolutely sure, or acquire such information as may amount to certainty. If that is not possible, he should form an idea from the niche (Mehrab) of the mosque or from the graves of the Muslims, or by other ways, and act accordingly. In fact, if a non-Muslim who can determine Qibla by scientific methods, indicates Qibla satisfactorily, he can be relied upon.

Rule no.780. If a person, who has a mere surmise about Qibla, and is in a position to have a better idea, he should not act on that guesswork. For example, if a guest has an idea about the direction of Qibla on the statement of the owner of the house, but feels that he can acquire a firmer knowledge about Qibla by some means, he should not act on his host's words.

Rule no.781. If a person does not possess any means of determining the direction of Qibla, or in spite of his efforts, he cannot form an idea about it, it will be sufficient for him to offer his prayer facing any direction. And the obligatory precaution is that; if he has sufficient time at his disposal, he should offer the same prayers 4 times, each time facing every one of the four directions.

Rule no.782. If a person is sure or guesses that Qibla is on one of two directions, he should offer prayers facing both.

Rule no.783. If a person has to offer prayers facing a few directions, and wants to offer two prayers like midday prayer and afternoon prayer, which should be offered one after the other, the obligatory precaution is that he should offer the first prayer facing those few directions, and then commence the second prayer.

Rule no.784. If a person who is not certain about the direction of Qibla, wishes to perform acts other than prayer, which should be done facing the Qibla, like slaughtering an animal, he should act according to his surmise about the direction of Qibla , and if that does not seem possible, then performing the act facing any direction will be valid.

Covering the body in prayer

Rule no.785. While offering prayers, a man should cover his private parts even if no one is looking at him, and it is obligatory that he should also cover his body from the chest up to the knee.

Rule no.786. A woman should cover her entire body while offering prayers, including her head and hair. As a recommended precaution, she should also cover the soles of her feet. It is not necessary for her to cover that part of her face which is washed while performing ablution, or the hands up to the wrists, or the upper feet up to the ankles. And in order to ensure that she has covered the obligatory parts of her body adequately, she should also cover a part of the sides of her face as well as lower part of her wrists and the ankles.

Rule no.787. When a person offers the forgotten lapsed prostration or doctrinal testimony, he should cover himself in the same manner as in prayers, and the recommended precaution is that he should also cover himself at the time of offering prostration of forgetfulness.

Rule no.788. If while offering prayer, a person does not cover his private parts intentionally, or on account of not having cared to know the rule, his prayer is void.

Rule no.789. If a person realises while offering prayer, that his private parts are visible, his prayer will be void. If he learns after the completion of prayer that his private parts were visible, his prayer would be valid. The same rule applies if he learns while offering prayer that his private parts were visible but now they are covered, his prayer is in order.

Rule no.790. One is allowed to cover oneself at the time of offering prayer with grass, and the leaves of the trees, if he does not have a dress.

Rule no.791. In a state of helplessness, one may, while offering prayer, use mud to cover his body.

Rule no.792. If a person does not have anything with which to cover himself while offering prayer, but has a hope that he may get some cover, then it is better to delay offering the prayer. However, if he does not get anything, he should offer prayer discharging his obligation at the end of the time.

Rule no.793. If a person who intends to offer prayer does not have anything, not even leaves or grass or mud to cover himself, and if he has no hope of acquiring any such things until the end of the prayer time, then in this situation if he suspects there are people looking him, he should pray while sitting, and if he suspects that people are not looking him, he should pray while standing; and as a precaution in prayer he should cover his private parts with his hands, and in both states perform bowings and prostrations by signs, and as a recommended precaution, he should slightly prolong the sign of prostration.

Conditions for dress worn during prayer

Rule no.794. There are six conditions for the dress used in prayer:

(1) It should be pure.

(2) It should be permissible for him to use.

(3) It should not be made of the parts of a dead body.

(4) It should not be made of the animal, whose meat is prohibited.

(5) It should not be embroidered with gold (if the person is male).

(6) If a person who offers prayer is a male, his dress must not be made of pure silk.

The details of these conditions follow:

First condition

Rule no.795. The dress of a person who offers prayers should be pure. Therefore, if he prays with an impure body or dress, in normal situations, his prayers would be void.

Rule no.796. If a person did not care to know that prayer offered with impure body or dress is void, and he prayed in that state, his prayer is void.

Rule no.797. If a person did not care to learn the rule that a particular thing is impure, like, if he does not know that the sweat of an infidel is impure, and he prayed with it, his prayer is void.

Rule no.798. If a person does not know that his body or dress is impure, and comes to know after prayer that either of them was impure, the prayer is in order.

Rule no.799. If a person forgets that his body or dress is impure, and remembers during the prayer or after completing the prayer, he should offer the prayer again. And if the time has lapsed, he should perform its Qadha.

Rule no.800. If a person has ample time at his disposal and he is busy offering his prayer, and if his body or clothes become impure during the prayer, and before he offers any part of his prayer with that impurity he comes to know that his body or clothes have become impure, and he doubts whether they had just become impure or whether they were impure before he started the prayer, he should purify the body or clothes or change the clothes (while praying), provided that his prayer does not become invalidated by doing so, and if he has something else that is covering his private parts then he should just take off the impure clothes (without changing them). However, if the situation is that if he purifies his body or clothes, or if he changes his clothes, his prayer becomes nullified, or if he removes his impure clothes he becomes naked, then he should break his prayer and start his prayer again with pure body and clothes.

Rule no.801. When a person is praying and the time at his disposal is short, and during the prayer his clothes become impure, and before he offers any part of the prayer with that impurity he comes to know that his clothes are impure, and suspects that they may have been impure before he started the prayers or after starting it, he should wash it, change it or take it off (while praying), and if something else has covered his private parts then he should just take off his impure clothes and complete the prayer, provided that in so doing his prayer is not invalidated. But if he has no other clothes which would cover his private parts if he took off the dress, nor can he wash or change it, he should complete his prayer with the same impure dress.

Rule no.802. When a person is praying and the time at his disposal is short, and during the prayer his body become impure, and before he offers any part of the prayer with that impurity he comes to know that his body has become impure, suspecting that it may have been so before he started the prayers or after starting it, he should wash that impurity off his body, if in so doing his prayer is not invalidated. But if it becomes invalidated, then he should complete his prayer in the same state, and his prayer will be valid.

Rule no.803. If a person doubts whether his body or dress is pure and he offered his prayer, his prayer will be valid even if he learns after the prayer that his body or dress was actually impure.

Rule no.804. If a person washes his dress and becomes sure that it has become pure, and offers prayer with it, but learns after the prayer that it had not become pure, his prayer is in order.

Rule no.805. If a person sees blood on his body or dress, and is certain that it is not one of the impure bloods, for example, if he is sure that it is the blood of a mosquito, and if after offering the prayer he learns that it was one of those bloods with which prayer cannot be offered, his prayer is in order.

Rule no.806. If a person is sure that the blood which is on his body or dress, is a type of impure blood which is allowed in prayer, such as the blood from a wound or a sore, but comes to know after having offered his prayer, that it is the blood which makes prayers void, his prayer will be in order.

Rule no.807. If a person forgets that a particular thing is impure, and his wet body or dress touches that thing, and then he offers prayer forgetfully, recollecting after the prayer, his prayer is in order. But if his wet body touches that thing about which he forgot that it is impure, and he takes a ritual bath without first making his body pure, and then proceeds to pray, both his bath and prayer will be void. Similarly, if any wet part of ablution touches that thing about which he forgot that it is impure, and is washed without first making it pure, and prayers are offered, both the ablution and the prayers will be void.

Rule no.808. If a person possesses only one dress, and if his body and dress both are impure, and if the water in his possession is just enough to make one of them pure, then it is better to make the body pure, and offer prayer without clothing if no one is looking at him. And if someone is looking at him then he should offer the prayer with that impure dress.

Rule no.809. If a person has two sets of dresses, and knows that one of them is impure, but does not know which, and has sufficient time at his disposal, he should offer his prayer with each of them. For example, if he wishes to offer midday and afternoon prayers, he should offer one midday prayer and one afternoon prayer with each set. However, if the time at his disposal is short, he may offer the prayer with either of them, and it will be sufficient.

Second condition

Rule no.810. The dress which a person wears for offering prayer should be allowable for use. Hence, if a person knows that it is prohibited to use a usurped dress, or does not know the rule on account of negligence, and intentionally offers prayer with the usurped dress, his prayer would be void. But if his dress includes such usurped things which alone cannot cover the private parts, or even if they can cover the private parts, he is not actually wearing them at that time (for example, a big handkerchief which is in his pocket) or if he is wearing the usurped things together with allowable covering, in all these cases, the fact that such extra things are usurped would not affect the validity of the prayers; although, as a precautionary measure, their use should be avoided.

Rule no.811. If a person knows that it is prohibited to wear a usurped dress but does not know that it makes his prayer void, and if he intentionally offers prayer with a usurped dress, his prayer will be void, as explained in the foregoing article.

Rule no.812. If a person does not know that his dress is usurped, or forgets about it being usurped, and offers prayers with it, his prayers is in order, provided that he himself is not the usurper.

Rule no.813. If a person does not know that his dress is usurped, and realises it during his prayer, he should take off that dress, provided that his private parts are covered by something else and that it is possible for him to take off the usurped dress immediately without the continuity of the prayers being broken. And if his private parts are not covered by something else, or he cannot take off the usurped dress immediately, or the continuity of the prayer is not maintained if he takes if off, and if he has time for at least one unit, he should break the prayer and offer the prayer again with a dress which has not been usurped. But if he does not have so much time, he should take off the dress while praying, and complete the prayer according to the rules applicable to the prayers by the naked.

Rule no.814. If a person offers prayers with a usurped dress to safeguard his life or, for example, to save the dress from being stolen by a thief, his prayer is in order.

Rule no.815. If a person purchases a dress with the particular sum of money whose Khums has not been paid by him, then there are two situations:

(1) If a person specifies that a particular sum of money, whose Khums has not been paid, will be used for purchasing a dress; for example, he tells the seller that I am purchasing this dress with this note, prayer in that dress will amount to the prayer in a dress which has been usurped.

(2) If a person does not specify that a particular sum of money will be used for purchasing a dress, for example he purchases a dress and gives its payment with any money which was not specified for buying the dress and whose Khums was not paid, then in this situation offering prayer in that dress is permissible.

Third condition

Rule no.816. It is necessary that the dress of the person must not be made of the parts of the dead body of an animal whose blood would gush when slaughtered. And even if the dress is made of the parts of the dead body of an animal whose blood does not gush for example, fish or snake, as an obligatory precaution, it should not be used while offering prayer.

Rule no.817. If a person who is offering prayer, carries with him parts from a carcass which are counted as living parts, like its flesh and skin, the prayer will not be in order.

Rule no.818. If a person who is offering prayer has with him parts from a carcass, whose meat is permissible (halal), and which is not counted as a living part, e.g. its hair and wool, or if he offers prayer with a dress which has been made from such things, his prayers are in order.

Fourth condition

Rule no.819. The dress of one who is praying should not be made of any animal whose meat is prohibited. Even if there is one isolated hair with him, his prayer is void.

Rule no.820. If the saliva, or moisture from the nose, or any other moisture, from an animal whose meat is prohibited to eat, like that of a cat, is on the body or the dress of a person in prayer, and if it is wet, then the prayer will be void. But if it has dried up, and if its substance has been removed, then the prayer is valid.

Rule no.821. If hair and sweat and saliva of another Muslim person is on the body, or the dress of a person offering prayer, there is no harm in it. The same rule applies if animal products, like wax, honey or pearls are with him while he prays.

Rule no.822. If the person doubts whether his dress is made of the parts of an animal whose meat is permissible, or with the parts of the animal whose meat is prohibited, he is allowed to offer prayers with it, irrespective of whether it has been made in a Muslim country or in a non-Muslim country.

Rule no.823. It is not known whether a pearl oyster is one of the parts of an animal whose meat is prohibited; therefore it is permissible to offer prayer with it.

Rule no.824. There is no harm in wearing a dress woven with thread of pure raw silk, while offering prayer. However, the recommended precaution is that one should not offer prayer with a dress made with the hide of a grey squirrel.

Rule no.825. If a person prayed with a dress about which he did not know that it was made of the parts of an animal whose meat is prohibited, or if he forgot about it, he should, as a recommended precaution, pray again.

Fifth condition

Rule no.826. The use of a dress embroidered with gold is prohibited for men, and to pray in such a dress will make prayer void. But for women its use, whether in prayer or otherwise, is allowed.

Rule no.827. It is prohibited for men to wear gold, like hanging a golden chain on one's chest, or wearing a gold ring, or to use a wrist watch or spectacles made of gold, and the prayer offered wearing these things will be void. But women are allowed to wear these things in prayer or otherwise.

Rule no.828. If a person did not know, or forgot that his ring or dress was made of gold, or had a doubt about it, his prayers will be valid if he prayed wearing them. Similarly if he has gold or something made of gold in his pocket while praying, his prayer is valid.

Sixth condition

Rule no.829. In prayer, the dress of a man, as per precaution even his small cap or the laces for fastening the trousers, should not be made of pure silk. And it is also prohibited for men to wear pure silk at any time.

Rule no.830. If the entire lining of a dress or a part of it is made of pure silk, wearing it is prohibited for a man, and offering prayer with it will make it void.

Rule no.831. If a man does not know whether a particular dress is made of pure silk, or of something else, it is permissible for him to wear it, and there is also no harm in offering prayer wearing it.

Rule no.832. There is no harm if a silken handkerchief, or anything similar is in the pocket of a man and it does not invalidate the prayer.

Rule no.833. A woman is allowed to wear silken dress in prayer, and at all other times.

Rule no.834. When one is helpless, having no alternative, one can wear a usurped dress, or a dress made of gold fabrics, or of silk. Similarly, if a person is obliged to wear a dress, and has no other dress but one of those mentioned, he can offer prayer with such dresses.

Rule no.835. If a person does not have any dress but a usurped one and made of parts of a dead animal, and if he is not forced to put on that dress, he should pray according to rules prescribed for the one who has to offer prayer unclothed.

Rule no.836. If a person does not have a dress, except the one made of the parts of an animal whose meat is prohibited, and if he is obliged to put on that dress, he is allowed to pray with that dress. But if he is not obliged to put on a dress, he should act accordingly to the rules for the unclothed and offer prayer.

Rule no.837. If a person does not have a dress other than a dress which is made of pure silk or is woven with gold, and if he is not obliged to wear any dress, he should offer prayer in accordance with the rules applicable to the unclothed.

Rule no.838. If a person does not have anything with which he may cover his private parts in prayer, it is obligatory on him to procure such a thing on hire, or to purchase it. However, if it is going to cost him more than he can afford, or if he spends on the clothes it would cause him some harm, he can offer prayer according to the rules prescribed for the unclothed person.

Rule no.839. If a person does not have a dress, and another person presents or lends him a dress, he should accept it, if the acceptance will not cause any hardship to him. In fact, if it is not difficult for him to borrow, or to seek a gift, he should do so, from the one who may be able to give.

Rule no.840. Wearing a dress whose cloth, colour, or stitch, is not befitting to the status of a person, or is unusual for him, for example a scholarly man wearing the uniform of a soldier or a policeman, it is prohibited if it is undignified or humiliating. And if he offers prayer with such a dress, even if it is only enough to cover his private parts, it is most likely that his prayer would be void.

Rule no.841. If a man wears the dress of a woman, or a woman wears the dress of a man, adopting it as a usual garb, as a precaution this is prohibited, and praying in that dress has the same rule as discussed in the previous article.

Rule no.842. For a person who has to pray while lying down who has a blanket or a quilt made of the parts of an animal whose meat is prohibited, and if he does not become naked by taking it off, then praying in that blanket is not allowed. And if it is made of silk, or if it is impure, and if he wraps it around in such a way that it can be seen as worn, then praying in that blanket is also not allowed. But if he only draws it upon himself, there will be no harm, and his prayer will not be affected. As for the mattress, there is no objection at all, except when he wraps a part of it around his body, making it look like “wearing”. If he does so, then the same rule as that of the blanket will apply.

Exceptional cases

Rule no.843. In the following three cases, the prayer offered by a person will be valid, even if his body or dress be impure:

(1) If his body or dress is stained with the blood discharged from a wound or a sore on his body.

(2) If his body or dress is stained with blood, spread over a space lesser than a dirham (which is almost equal to the upper joint of the first finger, i.e. the finger next to the thumb).

(3) If he has no alternative but to offer prayer with the impure body or dress.

Furthermore, in the situation where small clothes items like socks, scalp caps, etc are impure, the prayer will be valid.

Rules of these four situations will be explained in detail below.

Rule no.844. If the body or the dress of a person wishing to pray is stained with blood from a wound or sore etc, and usually in that situation it is difficult to wash the body or dress or to change the dress, he can offer prayer with that blood as long as the wound or the sore has not healed up. And the same applies to pus, which may flow out with blood, or any medicine which became impure when applied to the wound or the sore.

Rule no.845. If blood on the dress or the body of a person who is praying originates from a small cut or wound which can be healed easily and which can be washed easily, then his prayer is void.

Rule no.846. If any part of the body or the dress which is a distance away from the wound becomes impure owing to the fluid which emerges from the wound, it is not permissible to offer prayer with it. However, if a part of the body or dress around the wound which usually becomes impure owing to suppuration, there is no harm in offering prayer with it.

Rule no.847. If the body or dress of a person is stained with blood from internal piles, or from a wound which is within one's mouth, nose etc., then the apparent position is that he can offer prayer with that blood. But if the blood is from external piles, then it is undoubtedly permissible to offer prayer with it.

Rule no.848. If a person has a wound on his body and he sees blood on his body or dress which is bigger than the area of a dirham, and does not know whether it is from his wound or some other blood, it is not permissible for him to pray with it.

Rule no.849. If a person has several wounds but they are so near one another that they may be treated as one wound, there is no harm in offering prayer with their blood as long as they have not healed. However, if they are at such distance apart that each wound is treated as an independent wound, he should wash and purify his body and dress each time when a wound is healed up for the purpose of prayer.

Rule no.850. If the clothes or the body of a person praying is stained with the blood of a dog, an infidel, a pig, a carcass, or an animal whose meat is prohibited, his prayer will be void, however little that blood may be. And as a recommended precaution, the same rule applies to the blood of menstruation, the blood discharged at childbirth, and menstrual irregular discharge. As regards other bloods, like the blood from a human body, or from an animal whose meat is permitted, there is no harm in offering prayer with them, even if they are found at several places on the dress or the body, provided that, when added together, their area is less than that of a dirham.

Rule no.851. If blood stains one side of the dress, and then seeps through to the other side, it will be considered as one. However, if the other side of the dress gets smeared with blood separately, and both bloods do not mix with each other, then each one will be considered as a separate blood. Therefore, if blood on both sides is less than a dirham in area when added together, prayer will be valid with them. But if it exceeds the area, then prayer will be void. As a precaution, same rule will be applicable if both bloods are mixed with each other.

Rule no.852. If blood falls on a dress which has a lining and reaches its lining, or falls on its lining and reaches the outer part of the dress, each of them will be considered separate blood. Hence, if the area of the blood of the dress and that of the lining, when added together, are less than the area of a dirham, the prayers offered with them will be in order, and if they are more, the prayers offered with that blood will be void.

Rule no.853. If the area of the blood on one's body or dress is less than that of a dirham, and some moisture reaches it and spreads over its sides, the prayer offered with that blood is void, even if the blood and the moisture which has spread there is not more than the area of a dirham. And if the moisture reaches the blood only and does not spread over its sides, then offering prayer with it is problematic.

Rule no.854. If there is no blood on the body or dress of a person, but it becomes impure because of contact with some moisture mixed with blood, prayer cannot be offered with it, even if the part which has become impure is less than the area of a dirham.

Rule no.855. If the area of the blood present on the body or dress of a person is less than that of a dirham, but another impurity reaches it, like when a drop of urine falls on it and reaches the body or the dress, it is not permissible to offer prayer with it.

Rule no.856. If small dresses belonging to a person offering prayer, like his socks or scalp cap, which would not ordinarily cover his private parts, become impure and if they are not made of the parts of a carcass or an animal whose meat is prohibited to eat, the prayer offered with them will be in order. And there is also no objection if one offers prayer with an impure ring.

Rule no.857. It is permissible for a person in prayer to carry with him impure things, like an impure handkerchief, key or knife. It is most likely that if he has a separate impure dress which he is carrying and which can not cover his private parts, it will not affect the validity of his prayer. But if it is large enough to cover the private parts, his prayer would be void.

Rule no.858. If a person knows that the area of the blood stain on his body or dress is less than that of a dirham but suspects that it may be one of those blood which are not excused in prayer (e.g. menses, post-labour discharge, menstrual irregular discharge), he is permitted to offer prayer with that blood, and it will not be necessary to wash it off.

Rule no.859. If the area of blood stains on the dress or body of a person is less than that of a dirham, but he is not aware that it is one which is not excused in the prayers, and learns later after prayer that it was the blood which are not excused, it is not necessary for him to offer the prayer again, although it is a recommended precaution to repeat the prayer. Similarly, if he believes that the area of the blood is less than that of a dirham and offers prayer then comes to know later that it was equal to or more than the area of a dirham, it is not necessary to offer the prayer again.

Recommended dress of prayer

Rule no.860. A number of things are recommended for the dress of a person who offers prayer. Some of these are: Turban, along with its final fold passed under the chin; loose garment on the shoulder ('Aba); white dress; and cleanest dress; use of perfume, and wearing an `Aqeeq (Agate stone).

Hateful dress of prayer

Rule no.861. Certain items are hateful for the dress of one who prays, and some of these are:

To wear a black, a dirty, or a tight dress; or to put on a dress of a person who is a drunkard, or of one who is careless about impurity; similarly, to keep the buttons open. And as an obligatory precaution to wear a dress or a ring on which images are not printed or drawn or engraved .

The place where prayer should be offered

There are seven conditions for the place where one should offer prayer:

The first condition:

Rule no.862. As a precaution, the place where the prayer is offered should be permissible to use (mubah). If a person prays on a usurped property, then as a precaution, his prayer is void, even if he prays on a carpet, or a couch, or similar objects; and if places used by parts of prostration are usurped, then as a precaution his prayer is void. However, there is no harm in offering prayer under a usurped roof or a usurped tent.

Rule no.863. Prayer offered in a property whose use and benefit belongs to someone else, will be void, unless permission is taken from the entitled person. For example, if a house has been rented out, and the owner of the house or anyone else offers prayers in that house without permission of the tenant, then as a measure of precaution, his prayer is void. And if a person made a will before his death that one-third of his estate should be used for a particular cause, then as a precaution, prayer cannot be offered in that property until that one-third has been dispensed with.

Rule no.864. If a person sitting in a mosque is made to quit his place by someone who then occupies his place and then offers prayer, as a precaution the prayer offered there by him will be void.

Rule no.865. If a person forgets that a place is usurped, and offers prayer on it and learns or remembers it after offering prayer, his prayer is in order. However, if a person usurped a place himself but forgets it and offers prayer there, as a precaution his prayer is void. If a person does not know that a place is usurped and offers prayer on it and learns after praying that the place of prostration was usurped then it is most likely that his prayer is void.

Rule no.866. If a person knows that a certain place is usurped, but does not know the rule that prayer at a usurped place is void, and offers prayer there, as a precaution his prayer is void.

Rule no.867. If a person is obliged to offer obligatory prayer while riding and if the animal of his riding or its saddle or stirrups are usurped, as a precaution his prayer is void. And the same rule applies if he wishes to offer recommended prayer while riding that animal.

Rule no.868. If a person owns a property in partnership with another person and his share is not defined, he cannot use that property and as a precaution he cannot offer prayer without the consent of his partner.

Rule no.869. If a person purchases a property with the sum of money from which Zakat or Khums has not been paid by him, his use of that property is prohibited and as a precaution the prayer which he offers in it is void.

Rule no.870. If the owner gives a verbal consent for offering prayer in his property but it is known that he is not happy about it at heart, then as a precaution offering prayers in his property is void. Conversely, if he does not give verbal permission but it is known with certainty that he is happy about it, then offering prayers in his property will be in order.

Rule no.871. Use of a property which belongs to a dead person, who has not paid Zakat or Khums or other similar dues is prohibited and as a precaution the prayer which is offered in it is void. But if the debt is paid up, or guaranteed for payment, there will be no objection in using it and offering prayer in it.

Rule no.872. The use of a property belonging to a dead person who is indebted to people and his heirs are not willing to pay it due to negligence is prohibited and as a precaution the prayer which is offered in it is void.

Rule no.873. If a dead person who is not indebted to people and did not owe anyone but some of his heirs are either minor, or insane, or absent, then use of that property without permission of the guardian of those heirs is prohibited and as a precaution the prayer which is offered in it is void.

Rule no.874. There is no objection in offering prayer in an inn or in a hotel or in a public bath or in other public places. But to pray in someone else's property is permissible only when the owner has given an explicit consent, or has made a hint implying permission. For example, if he permits a person to stay and sleep in his property, it will be implied that he has given him permission for offering prayer as well.

Rule no.875. It is permissible to pray on a vast expanse of land without taking permission from his owner, provided that it is generally difficult to leave that place at the time of prayer.

The second condition:

Rule no.876. The place for prayer should not have movement. But if one is forced to pray at such places, due to shortage of time or any other reason, like in a car, on a ship or on train, then one should try to remain still, and to maintain the direction of Qibla, as much as possible. And if the vehicles deviate from the direction, he should return to Qibla.

Rule no.877. There is no harm in offering prayer in a car or a boat, or on railway train or other vehicles, while they are motionless.

Rule no.878. Prayer offered on a heap of wheat, or barley, or any other similar thing, which cannot remain steady, is void.

The third condition:

A person should offer prayer at a place where he sees the possibility of completing the prayer. To pray at a place where one is sure that he cannot complete the prayer, because of strong winds or heavy rains or a teeming crowd is not in order even if one somehow manages to finish the prayer.

Rule no.879. If a person offers prayer at a place where it is forbidden to stay, like under a roof which is about to collapse, his prayer is in order, though he will have committed a sin.

Rule no.880. As a precaution, it is not in order to pray on an object upon which it is prohibited to step or sit, like a carpet upon which the name of Allah is written.

The fourth condition:

The ceiling of the place where one prays should not be so low that one may not be able to stand erect, nor should the place be so small, that there may be no room for performing bowing or prostration.

Rule no.881. If a person is forced to offer prayer at a place where it is not at all possible to stand, it is necessary for him to pray while sitting. And if it is not possible to perform bowing and prostration, he should perform them by head signs.

Rule no.882. One should not offer prayer in front of the graves of the holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) and the holy Imams (A.S.).

The fifth condition:

If the place where one wishes to pray is impure, it should not be so wet that its moisture would reach the body or the dress of the person praying. But, if the place where one places one's forehead while performing prostration is impure, the prayer will be void even if that place is dry. And the recommended precaution is that the place where one offers prayer should not be impure at all.

The sixth condition:

In state of prayer, there should be a distance of ten arms between the man and the woman if both are standing side by side or the woman is standing in front the man. And if the man is standing in front the woman and the place where he is standing is in front of the place of prostration of the woman then this distance is not necessary.

Rule no.883. If a woman stands in line with man or in front of him in prayer and the distance between them is less than ten arms, and both of them begin together, they should both repeat their prayer. And if one of them starts earlier than the other, then the person who had started later should repeat the prayer.

Rule no.884. If a man and a woman are standing side by side in prayer or the woman is in front but there is a wall, curtain, or something else separating them, so that they cannot see each other, the prayers of both of them are in order, even if the distance between them is less than ten arms.

The seventh condition:

The place where a person places his forehead while in prostration should not be higher or lower than the place of the toes of his feet by a span of four fingers. The details of this rule will be given in the rules relating to prostration.

Rule no.885. For a non-Mahram man and woman (i.e. who are permitted to marry each other) to be at a place where no one is present or no one can come and if there is a possibility of falling into sin, is prohibited. As a recommended precaution, one must avoid praying at such places.

Rule no.886. Offering prayers at a place where musical instruments etc. are being played does not void the prayers but hearing or performing it is a sin.

Rule no.887. The obligatory precaution is that in normal situation, obligatory prayers should not be offered on the roof of the Holy Ka'ba, but there will be no harm if one is forced to do so. And apparently it is permissible to offer prayer within the Holy Ka'ba even if one has a choice.

Rule no.888. There is no harm in offering recommended prayers in the Holy Ka'ba, or on its roof. In fact, it is recommended to offer two units of prayer before every wall within the Holy Ka'ba.

Recommended places for offering prayer

Rule no.889. In Islam, great emphasis is laid on offering prayer in a mosque. Masjidul-Haram (the Sacred Mosque) is superior to all the mosques, and after it, the order of priority is as follows:

(1) Masjidun-Nabi (the Mosque of the Prophet in Madina)

(2) Masjidul-Kufa (the Mosque of Kufa)

(3) Masjid Baytil Maqdas (in Jerusalem)

(4) Central mosque of the city

(5) Mosque situated in one’s locality

(6) Mosque of the local market

Rule no.890. For women, it is better to pray in home and is even better in a closed room or in the last room of the home.

Rule no.891. Prayer in the Shrines of the holy Imams is recommended and is even better than offering prayer in a mosque. It has been reported that the reward for offering prayer in the sacred Shrine of Amirul Mu'minin Imam Ali (A.S.) is equal to two hundred thousand (200,000) prayers.

Rule no.892. Frequenting a mosque and going to a mosque which is visited by very few people is recommended. And it is hateful for a neighbour of the mosque to pray elsewhere unless he has a justifiable excuse.

Rule no.893. It is recommended that one should not sit to eat with a person who does not attend prayer in a mosque, should not seek his advice, should not be his neighbour, and should not enter into matrimonial bond with him.

Places where offering prayer is hateful (makrooh)

Rule no.894. There are a number of places where it is hateful to offer prayers. Some of them are the following:

  • Public bath
  • Saline land
  • Facing a human person
  • Facing an open door
  • On a road or street, provided that offering of prayer at these places does not cause inconvenience to others. If it is a source of inconvenience and discomfort to them it is prohibited to obstruct their way.
  • Facing fire or a lamp
  • In the kitchens and at every place where there is a furnace
  • Facing a well or a pit where people often urinate
  • Facing the pictures or models of living creatures unless it is covered, but as an obligatory precaution prayer should not be offered there.
  • In the room where a sexual ritually impure person is present
  • At a place where there is a picture even if it may not be placed in front of the person who offers prayer
  • Facing a grave
  • On the grave
  • Between two graves
  • In the graveyard

Rule no.895. If a person is offering prayer at a place where people are passing or where somebody is present in front of him, it is recommended that he should set a demarcation before him even by keeping a wooden stick or a string.

Rules relating to a mosque

Rule no.896. It is prohibited to make the floor, roof, ceiling and inner walls of a mosque impure, and when a person comes to know that any of these parts has become impure, he should immediately make it pure. And the obligatory precaution is that the outer part of the wall of a mosque, too, should not be made impure. And if it becomes impure, it is obligatory to make it pure, if it is treated as a part of the mosque.

Rule no.897. If a person cannot make a mosque pure or needs help which is not available, then it is not obligatory for him to make it pure. But as an obligatory precaution, he should inform others who can make it pure.

Rule no.898. If a place in a mosque becomes impure and it cannot be made pure without digging or demolishing it, the place should be dug or demolished, provided that in doing so is not a cause of its complete destruction and loss. However, it is not obligatory to refill the dug area or to rebuild the demolished part. But if a small item, like a brick of a mosque became impure, if possible it should be put back in its place after making it pure.

Rule no.899. If a mosque is usurped, and houses etc. are built in its place or if it becomes so dilapidated that it is not possible to offer prayer there, even then, as a precaution, it should not be made impure. And if it becomes impure, as a precaution it should be made pure.

Rule no.900. It is prohibited to make the sacred precincts (haram) of the Holy Shrines impure but if any one of these precincts become impure and if its remaining in that state affects its sanctity, then it is obligatory to make it pure. And the recommended precaution is that it should be made pure, even if no desecration is involved.

Rule no.901. If the mat of a mosque becomes impure, as a precaution, it should be made pure. If the mat remaining impure affects the sanctity of the mosque, but washing may spoil or ruin the mat, then it is better that the part which has become impure should be cut off.

Rule no.902. It is prohibited to carry any impurity or a thing which has become impure into a mosque, if doing so desecrates the mosque. In fact, the recommended precaution is that even if desecration of the mosque is not involved, impurity should not be carried into it.

Rule no.903. If a mosque is draped with black cloth, or covered with a marquee in preparation of the gatherings in commemoration of the martyrdom of Imam Hussain or Household of the Prophet (A.S.) to be held there and tea is prepared, there will be no objection at all if they do not have any harmful effect on the mosque and if it does not obstruct those who come to pray.

Rule no.904. The recommended precaution is that a mosque should not be adorned with gold and that it should not be adorned with the pictures of men and animals and animate beings.

Rule no.905. Even when a mosque is ruined, it is not permissible to sell it or to make it a part of a property or a road.

Rule no.906. It is prohibited to sell doors, windows, and other things of a mosque and if the mosque becomes dilapidated, those things should be used for the renovation of the same mosque. If they are not useful for that mosque they should be used in any other mosque and if they are not of any use for other mosques also, then they may be sold and the proceeds should be used for that very mosque, if possible. If that is not possible, then it should be spent on the repairs of any other mosque.

Rule no.907. Building a mosque and renovating a dilapidated mosque is recommended. And if a mosque is so ruined, that it is not possible to repair it then it can be demolished and rebuilt. In fact, a mosque which may not be in a bad state can be demolished for extension to facilitate the needs of the people.

Rule no.908. To keep a mosque clean and tidy and to illuminate it, is recommended. And for a person visiting a mosque, it is recommended to apply perfume and wear neat and good clothing and to ensure that the soles of his shoes do not contain any impurity and when entering the mosque, to put his right foot in first, and on exit, to put his left foot out first. Similarly, it is recommended that one should come to the mosque earlier than others and leave it after they have departed.

Rule no.909. It is recommended that when a person enters a mosque, he should offer two units of prayer as a gesture of greeting and respect to the mosque but it will suffice if he offers any obligatory or recommended prayer.

Rule no.910. It is hateful to sleep in a mosque (except when helpless) and to talk about worldly affairs, to engage oneself in some craft and to recite poetry which is not religiously instructive. It is also hateful to spit or throw phlegm or mucus from the nose in a mosque or to announce about a missing person or to shout or raise one's voice, except for Adhan. It is prohibited if all these affect the sanctity of the mosque.

Rule no.911. It is hateful to allow an insane person or an infant to enter a mosque. Similarly, it is hateful for people who have eaten onions, garlic etc. to enter a mosque when their bad breath may upset others.

Adhan and Iqamah

Rule no.912. It is recommended for men and women to recite the Adhan and Iqamah before offering the daily obligatory prayers, but for other recommended or obligatory prayers, they are not prescribed. But the obligatory prayers which are not offered daily, like the Prayer of Phenomena, it is recommended to say "As-Salah" three times, provided that the prayers are going to be offered in congregation.

Rule no.913. It is recommended that the Adhan be pronounced in the right ear of the child, and Iqamah in its left ear on the day it is born or before the umbilical cord is cast off.

Rule no.914. Calling consists of the following 18 sentences:

“Allahu Akbar”................................................................................. four times

(Allah is the Greatest)

Ash hadu an la ilaha illallah ............................................................. two times

(I testify that there is no god but Allah)

Ash hadu anna Muhammadan Rasoolullah ....................................... two times

(I testify that Muhammad is Allah's Messenger)

Hayya 'alas-Salah ............................................................................ two times

(Hasten to prayers)

Hayya 'alal-Falah ............................................................................. two times

(Hasten to success)

Hayya 'ala khayril 'amal ................................................................... two times

(Hasten to the best of acts)

Allahu Akbar.................................................................................... two times

(Allah is the greatest)

La ilaha illal lah………………………………………………………………… two times

(There is no god but Allah)

As regard to Iqamah, it consists of 17 sentences.

In Iqamah, “Allahu Akbar” is recited only twice, and at the end, “La ilaha illallah” is recited only once, and after “Hayya 'ala khayril 'amal”, “Qad qamatis-Salah” (i.e. the prayers has certainly been established) must be recited twice.

“Ash hadu anna Amiral Mu'mineena 'Aliyyan Waliyyullah” (i.e. I testify that the Commander of the faithful, Imam Ali (AS) is the vicegerent of Allah) is not a part of either Adhan or Iqamah. But it is preferable that it is pronounced after “Ash hadu anna Muhammadan Rasuloollah” with the intention of Qurbah.

Rule no.915. There should not be an unusual interval between the sentences of Adhan or Iqamah, and if an unusual gap is allowed between them, the Adhan or Iqamah will have to be repeated.

Rule no.916. If the Adhan and Iqamah are recited in a melodious tune, rendering it musical, like the way singers sing to entertain the people, it is prohibited. If it does not become musical, it is hateful.

Rule no.917. Adhan should not be recited before two particular prayers: the afternoon prayer on the day of Arafah (9th Dhul-Hijjah) and the evening prayer on the night of Eid-ul-Adha, for a person who is at Mash'arul-Haram. But Adhan is excluded in these two prayers only if there is no prolonged gap or there is a small time lapse between this prayer and its preceding prayer.

Rule no.918. If Adhan and Iqamah has been pronounced for congregational prayer, a person joining that congregation should not pronounce Adhan and Iqamah for his own prayer.

Rule no.919. If a person entering a mosque finds that the congregational prayer is over, he may not recite the Adhan or Iqamah for his own prayer, as long as the lines have not broken up and the people have not dispersed.

Rule no.920. At a place where congregational prayer has just ended, and the lines have broken up, if a person wants to begin his prayer individually or with another congregation, he is exempted from pronouncing the Adhan and Iqamah on the fulfilment of six conditions:

(i) If the prayer is offered in a mosque. If it is not offered in a mosque, the exemption from pronouncing Adhan and Iqamah is not established.

(ii) If Adhan and Iqamah has already been recited for the preceding prayer.

(iii) If the congregational prayer offered is not void.

(iv) When the prayer of the person concerned and the congregational prayer are offered at one and the same place. If the congregational prayer is offered within the mosque, and he wants to offer prayer on its roof, it is recommended that he should pronounce the Adhan and Iqamah.

(v) When the congregational prayer and his own prayer have been offered within the prescribed time (Ada').

(vi) When both, his prayer and the congregational prayer, are for a common time. For example, both of them should be offering midday prayer or afternoon prayer. The same is applicable if he prays midday while the congregation prays afternoon or vice versa.

Rule no.921. If a person doubts about the third condition out of the six conditions mentioned above, that is, if he doubts whether or not the congregational prayer is void, he is exempted from pronouncing the Adhan and Iqamah. But if he doubts about any one of the remaining conditions, it is recommended that he should pronounce the Adhan and Iqamah.

Rule no.922. It is recommended that when a person hears the Adhan and Iqamah recited by someone, he follows by uttering in a low voice whatever he hears.

Rule no.923. If a person hears another person pronouncing Adhan and Iqamah, regardless of whether he has repeated with him the same or not, he may not recite the Adhan and Iqamah for his own prayer if there is no delay or time gap between them and his prayer.

Rule no.924. If a man listens to the Adhan pronounced by a woman with lustful amusement, he will not be exempted from pronouncing Adhan. In fact, even if the intention is not lustful, he will not be exempted.

Rule no.925. It is necessary that the Adhan and Iqamah of a congregational prayer is pronounced by a man. However, if a woman pronounces the Adhan and Iqamah in a congregational prayer of women, it is sufficient.

Rule no.926. The Iqamah should be recited after the Adhan. Moreover, the Iqamah should be pronounced in a standing position and with ablution, ritual bath or dry ablution.

Rule no.927. If a person pronounces the sentences of Adhan or Iqamah without proper order, like if he says “Hayya 'alal-falah” before “Hayya 'alas-Salah”, he should repeat from the place where the order has been disturbed.

Rule no.928. An inordinate lapse of time should not be allowed between the Adhan and Iqamah and if an excessive gap is allowed between them that it cannot be treated as the Adhan of that Iqamah, it is recommended that the Adhan be pronounced once again. Similarly, if an excessive time gap is allowed between the Adhan and Iqamah, and the prayer, that they cannot be treated as the Adhan and Iqamah of that prayer, then it is recommended to repeat them for that prayer.

Rule no.929. Adhan and Iqamah should be pronounced in correct Arabic. Hence, if they are pronounced in incorrect Arabic or one letter is uttered in the place of another, or if, for example, its translation is pronounced, it will not be valid.

Rule no.930. Adhan and Iqamah for a prayer should be pronounced when the time for that prayer has set in. If a person pronounces them before time whether it is intentionally or due to forgetfulness, his action is void.

Rule no.931. If a person doubts before reciting the Iqamah whether he has pronounced the Adhan or not, he should pronounce the Adhan. But, if he doubts during Iqamah whether he has pronounced the Adhan, the pronouncing of the Adhan is not necessary.

Rule no.932. If before pronouncing a part of the Adhan or Iqamah a person doubts whether he has pronounced the part preceding it, he should pronounce the preceding part. But, if he doubts when in the process of pronouncing a part of Adhan or Iqamah whether he has pronounced the part preceding it correctly, it is not necessary to pronounce that part.

Rule no.933. It is recommended that while pronouncing the Adhan, a person should stand facing Qibla and should have performed ablution or ritual bath, and he should place the hands on his ears and raise one's voice. Also, one should pause between the recitals of different sentences and should not engage in talking during the Adhan.

Rule no.934. It is recommended that at the time of pronouncing the Iqamah, the body of the person is stationary and he pronounces it with a lower voice as compared to the Adhan. While it is recommended not to join the sentences of Iqamah, the gaps between them should not be as long as they normally are between the sentences of Adhan.

Rule no.935. It is recommended that between the Adhan and Iqamah, a man should take a step forward, or should sit down for a while, or perform prostration, or recite any dhikr (remembrance of Allah by uttering His Names or His Praise), or supplications, or become quiet for some time, or talk, or offer two units of prayer. However, talking between the Adhan and Iqamah of dawn prayer, or offering prayer between the Adhan and Iqamah of sunset prayer, is not recommended.

Rule no.936. It is recommended that a person who is appointed to pronounce the Adhan is a just person ('Adil), with the knowledge of timings and his voice is loud. He should pronounce the Adhan from an elevated place.

Obligatory acts of prayer

There are eleven obligatory acts for prayers:

(1) Intention (Niyyah)

(2) Standing erect (Qiyam)

(3) Takbeeratul-Ihram (saying Allahu Akbar at the commencements of the prayer)

(4) Bowing (Ruku)

(5) Two prostrations (Sajdatayn)

(6) Recitation (Qira`ah: recitation of parts of the holy Quran)

(7) Dhikr (Remembrance: prescribed recitation in bowing and prostration)

(8) Tashahhud (Doctrinal testimony)

(9) Salam (Final salutations)

(10) Sequence (Tarteeb)

(11) Continuity of sequence (Muwalat)

Rule no.937. Some of the obligatory acts of prayers are elemental (Rukn). Hence, a person who does not offer them, whether intentionally or by mistake, his prayers become void. Other obligatory acts of prayers are not elemental. Therefore, if they are omitted by mistake, the prayer does not become void.

The elementals of prayer are five:

(1) Intention (Niyyah)

(2) Takbeeratul-Ihram

(3) Standing erect (Qiyam) before the Bowing (Ruku)

(4) Bowing (Ruku)

(5) Two prostrations (Sajdatayn) in every unit.

As regards to additions made to the prescribed performances of the above mentioned elemental acts, any such addition or excess made intentionally will void the prayer. If the addition is done by mistake, the prayer does not become void, except when a bowing is added or more than two prostrations are offered in one unit.

Intention (Niyyah)

Rule no.938. A person should offer prayer with the intention of Qurbah, that is, complying with the orders of the Almighty Allah. It is necessary, as a precaution, that he should not pronounce the intention by his tongue but only pass through his mind the specific prayer he wishes to pray and its time and the number of units.

Rule no.939. If a person stands for midday prayer or for afternoon prayer, with the intention of offering four units without specifying whether it is midday or afternoon prayer, his prayer is void. Similarly, if he wants to offer a Qadha midday prayer at the time of midday, he should specify whether he is offering the midday prayer of the day, or the lapsed midday prayer’s Qadha.

Rule no.940. A person must remain consistent in his intention from the beginning of the prayer until its end. Hence, if during the prayer he becomes so lost and careless that he is unable to say what he is doing if asked, his prayer is void.

Rule no.941. A person should offer prayer to carry out the orders of the Almighty Allah only. So, if a person prays to show off to the people, his prayer is void. It will be void even if he couples the intention of showing off with the performance for the pleasure of Allah.

Rule no.942. If a person offers any part of his prayer for the sake of anyone other than Allah, his prayer is void. Similarly, if he offers prayer for the pleasure of Allah, but for the purpose of showing off one prays at a special place, like in the mosque, or at a special time, like at the prime time, or in a special manner, like joining congregational prayer, his prayer will also be void. As a precaution if someone offers any recommended part for example the Qunoot (personal supplication) of the prayer for the sake of anyone other than Allah, his prayer is void.

Takbeeratul-Ihram

Rule no.943. To say “Allahu Akbar” in the beginning of every prayer is obligatory and it is one of its elemental parts, and it is necessary that the letters of Allah and Akbar and the two words are uttered in proper succession. It is also necessary that these two words should be pronounced in correct Arabic. If a person pronounces these words incorrectly, or utters their translation, it will not be valid.

Rule no.944. The obligatory precaution is that one should not join Takbeeratul-Ihram of the prayer with any preceding recitations, like Iqamah or with a supplication which he may be reciting before the Takbeer.

Rule no.945. If a person wishes to join “Allahu Akbar” with a recitation to follow, such as with “Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem”, he should pronounce the "R" of Akbar as “Akbaru”. However, the obligatory precaution is that he should not join it with any other thing in obligatory prayer.

Rule no.946. It is necessary that when a person pronounces Takbeeratul-Ihram, his body is steady. If he pronounces Takbeeratul-Ihram intentionally when his body is in motion, his Takbeer is void and prayer is also void.

Rule no.947. A person should pronounce Takbeer, al-Hamd, a chapter of Holy Quran, dhikr and supplication in such a manner that he can hear it. And if he cannot hear it because of deafness or too much noise, he should pronounce them in such a manner that he would be able to hear, if there were no impediment.

Rule no.948. If a person is dumb or has some defect in his tongue, rendering him unable to pronounce the Takbeer, he should pronounce it in whatever manner he can. And if he cannot pronounce it at all, then as a precaution, he should say it is his mind and should make a suitable sign for Takbeer and should also move his tongue if he can.

Rule no.949. It is recommended that before or after the Takbeeratul-Ihram, a person should say this:

“Ya Muhsinu, qad atakal musiu wa qad amartal muhsina an yatajawaza 'anil musiei antal Muhsinu wa anal Musio bihaqqi Muhammadin wa Aali Muhammadin salli 'ala Muhammadin wa Aali Muhammadin wa tajawaz 'an qabeehi ma ta'lamu minni.” (O Lord Who art Beneficent! This sinner has come before You and You have ordered the charitable to show indulgence to the sinners. You are Beneficent, and I am a sinner. Bestow Your blessings on Muhammad and his progeny, and pardon my evil acts of which You are aware).

Rule no.950. It is obligatory for a person pronouncing the first Takbeer of the prayer to raise his hands parallel to his ears and palms should face the Qibla, and it is recommended to raise his hands parallel to his ears while pronouncing Takbeers which occur during the prayer.

Rule no.951. If a person doubts whether he has pronounced Takbeeratul-Ihram or not and if he has started recitation, he should ignore his doubt. But if he has not recited anything, he should pronounce the Takbeer.

Rule no.952. If after having pronounced Takbeeratul-Ihram, a person doubts whether he has pronounced it correctly, he should ignore his doubt at any stage. After the Takbeeratul-Ihram and before recitation, as a precaution it is necessary to recite “A`uzubillahi minash-Shaytan-ir-Rajeem”, but it should be pronounced in low voice.

Standing erect (Qiyam)

Rule no.953. To stand erect while reciting Takbeeratul-Ihram, and to stand before the bowing (which is called “qiyam muttasil bih ruku”) is the element of the prayer. But, standing while reciting Al-Hamd chapter and the other chapter and standing after performing the bowing, is not elemental and if a person omits it inadvertently, his prayer is in order.

Rule no.954. It is obligatory for a person to stand a while before and after pronouncing Takbeeratul-Ihram, so as to ensure that he has pronounced the Takbeer while standing.

Rule no.955. If a person forgets to perform bowing and sits down after reciting al-Hamd and the other chapter of the holy Quran, and then remembers that he has not performed bowing, he should first stand up and then go into the bowing. If he does not stand up first, and performs the bowing directly, his prayers will be void because of not having performed qiyam (standing) before bowing (Qiyam muttasil bih Ruku').

Rule no.956. When a person stands for Takbeeratul-Ihram or recitation, he should not move his body, nor should he incline on one side, and as a precaution, he should not lean on anything in normal situation. However, if he is helpless and is obliged to lean on something, there is no harm in it.

Rule no.957. If while standing, a person forgetfully moves his body, or inclines on one side, or leans on something, there is no harm in it.

Rule no.958. The recommended precaution is that at the time of standing for prayer, both the feet of a person are on the ground. However it is not necessary that the weight of his body should be on both the feet. If the weight is on one foot, there is no harm in it.

Rule no.959. If a person, who can stand properly, keeps his feet so wide that it may not be considered as standing or not as normal standing, his prayer is void.

Rule no.960. When a person is engaged in obligatory dhikr in the prayer, his body should be still. And when he wishes to go a little backward or forward or to move his body a little towards right or left, he should not recite anything at that time.

Rule no.961. If he recites something recommended while in motion, for example, if he says “Takbeer” while going into the bowing or prostration, his prayer will be valid. “Bi hawlillahi wa quwwati aqumu wa aq'ud” should be recited in the state of rising.

Rule no.962. There is no harm in the movement of the hands and fingers at the time of reciting al-Hamd, although the recommended precaution is that it should be avoided.

Rule no.963. If at the time of reciting al-Hamd, the second chapter or the Tasbeehat, somebody moves so much involuntarily that the body is no more steady, the recommended precaution is that after his body resumes steadiness, he should recite again all that he has recited while his body moved.

Rule no.964. If a person becomes unable to stand while offering prayer, he should sit down and if he is unable to sit, he should lie down. However, until his body becomes steady, he should not utter any of the obligatory dhikr.

Rule no.965. As long as a person is able to offer prayer standing, he should not sit down. For example, if the body of a person shakes, or moves when he stands, or he is obliged to lean on something, or to incline his body a bit, he should continue to offer prayer standing in whatever manner he can. But, if he cannot stand at all, he should sit upright, and offer prayer in that position.

Rule no.966. As long as a person can sit, he should not offer prayer in a lying posture and if he cannot sit straight, he should sit in any manner he can. And if he cannot sit at all, he should lie, as stated in the rules of Qibla, on his right side. If he cannot lie on that side, he should lie on his left side, and when it is not possible to lie on either side, then he should lie on his back, with his feet facing Qibla.

Rule no.967. If a person is offering prayer in a sitting position and if after reciting al-Hamd and the other chapter, he is able to stand up and perform bowing, he should first stand and then perform bowing. But if he cannot do so, he should perform bowing while sitting.

Rule no.968. If a person, who is offering prayer in a lying position, can sit during the prayer, he should offer those parts of the prayer while sitting. Also, if he can manage to stand, he should offer those parts of the prayer while standing. But, as long as his body is not still, he should not utter any of the obligatory dhikr.

Rule no.969. If a person offering prayer in a sitting position becomes capable during prayer to stand up, he should offer that part of the prayer which he can, while standing. But as long as his body is not still, he should not utter any of the obligatory dhikr.

Rule no.970. If a person who can stand, fears that owing to standing he will become ill, or will be harmed, he can offer prayer in a sitting position, and if he fears sitting, he can offer the prayer in a lying posture.

Rule no.971. If a person had some hope that at the end of the time for prayer, he will be able to offer prayer standing, it is better he should delay the prayer. But if he is not able to stand until the end of the time, he should offer prayer according to his obligation at the end of the time. And if in this situation he prayed at the prime time, and then became capable of standing at the end of the time, he should pray again.

Rule no.972. It is recommended for the person offering prayer to stand erect, slacken down his shoulders, place his hands on his thighs, join his fingers together, look at the place of prostration, place the weight of his body equally on two feet, stand in humility, keep both his feet in line. Men offering prayer should keep a distance of three open fingers, or a span between his feet, and women should keep the feet together.

Recitation or Qira`ah (reciting the chapter of al-Hamd and another chapter of holy Qur'an)

Rule no.973. In the daily obligatory prayers, one should recite the chapter al-Hamd in the first and second units, and thereafter one should, on the basis of obligatory precaution, recite one complete chapter. The chapter Az-Zuha and the chapter Al- Inshirah are treated as one chapter in prayer.

Rule no.974. If the time left for prayer is little or if a person has to helplessly abandon the chapter because of fear that a thief, a beast, or anything else, may do him harm, it is not necessary for him to recite the other chapter.

Rule no.975. If a person intentionally recites another chapter before al-Hamd, his prayer is void, and if he does it by mistake, and realises this while reciting it, he should abandon the other chapter and recite al-Hamd first, and then the other chapter.

Rule no.976. If a person forgets to recite al-Hamd and other chapter or either of them and realises after reaching the bowing, his prayer is in order.

Rule no.977. If a person realises before the bowing that he has not recited al-Hamd and the other chapter, he should recite them, and if he realises that he has not recited the other chapter, he should recite the other chapter only. But, if he realises that he has not recited al-Hamd only, he should recite al-Hamd first and then recite the other chapter again.

Moreover, if he begins to bows but before reaching the bowing position realises that he has not recited al-Hamd and other chapter, or only al-Hamd, he should stand up and act according to the foregoing rules, and as a precaution repeat his prayer again.

Rule no.978. If a person intentionally recites one of the four chapters which contain the verses of obligatory prostration in prayer, as a precaution his prayer will be void.

Rule no.979. If a person begins reciting by mistake a chapter which contains verses of obligatory prostration and he realises this before reaching the particular verse of prostration, he should abandon that chapter and recite some other chapter. But if he realises this after reciting the verse of prostration, then as a precaution he should make a sign for prostration and complete the chapter, and after completing the prayer perform the prostration.

Rule no.980. If during his prayer a man listens to the verses making prostration obligatory, his prayer is in order, and on the basis of precaution, he should make a sign of prostration, and should also offer prostration after the prayer.

Rule no.981. It is not necessary to recite a chapter after al-Hamd in recommended prayers, even if that prayer may have become obligatory due to a vow. But, as for some recommended prayers like the prayer of desolateness (Salatul-Wahshah), in which particular chapters and verses are recited, if a person wishes to offer that prayer, he should act according to the rules and he should recite the prescribed chapter and verses.

Rule no.982. While offering Friday prayer or midday prayer on Friday, it is recommended that after reciting chapter al-Hamd, chapter al-Jumu'ah should be recited in the first unit, and chapter al-Munafiqoon in the second unit, and once a person begins reciting one of these chapters, he is not allowed as per obligatory precaution to abandon it and recite another chapter in its place.

Rule no.983. If after al-Hamd, somebody begins reciting the chapter al-Ikhlas (“Qul Huwallah”) or al-Kafiroon (“Qul ya ayyuhal Kafiroon”), he cannot abandon it and recite some other chapter. However, if in Friday prayer and in midday prayer on Friday, he recites one of these chapters forgetfully, instead of chapter al-Jumu'ah and chapter al-Munafiqoon, he can abandon it and recite chapter al-Jumu'ah and chapter al-Munafiqoon, but the precaution is that he should not abandon that chapter after having read more than half of it.

Rule no.984. If a person recites intentionally chapter al-Ikhlas or chapter al-Kafiroon in Friday prayer or in midday prayer on Friday, he cannot, as an obligatory precaution, abandon it to recite chapter Jumu'ah and chapter Munafiqun, even if he may not have reached half of it.

Rule no.985. If in prayer a person recites a chapter other than al-Ikhlas and al-Kafiroon, he can abandon that chapter before reaching half of it, and recite some other chapter. But as a precaution, he should not abandon it after having reached between a half and two-thirds, and it is not permissible to resort to another chapter after reciting two-thirds of the chapter.

Rule no.986. If the person in prayer forgets a part of a chapter or cannot complete it owing to helplessness, like very little time of prayer is left, or for some other reason, he can abandon that chapter and recite some other chapter even if he may have reached two-thirds or more than two-thirds of it. This applies to chapter al-Ikhlas and al-Kafiroon also.

Rule no.987. It is obligatory for a man to recite chapter al-Hamd and the other chapter loudly, while offering dawn, sunset and evening prayers and it is obligatory for a man and a woman to recite chapter al-Hamd and the other chapter silently while offering midday and afternoon prayers.

Rule no.988. A man must take care to recite loudly every word of chapter al-Hamd and the other chapter, including their last letters, in the prayers of dawn, sunset and evening.

Rule no.989. A woman can recite chapter al-Hamd and the other chapter in dawn, sunset and evening prayers loudly or silently. But, if a non-Mahram hears her voice, she should, on the basis of obligatory precaution, recite them silently.

Rule no.990. If a person intentionally prays loudly where he should pray silently and vice versa, his prayer is void. But, if, he does so owing to forgetfulness, or not knowing the rule, his prayer is in order. And if he realises that he is doing a mistake while reciting the chapter al-Hamd and the other chapter, it is not necessary to recite again what he has recited not following the rule.

Rule no.991. If a person raises his voice unusually high while reciting chapter al-Hamd and the other chapter, as if he is shouting, his prayer will be void.

Rule no.992. A person should learn how to offer prayers correctly, so that he may not offer it incorrectly and if one cannot by any means learn the prayer correctly, he should offer it as he can. The recommended precaution for him is to join the congregational prayer.

Rule no.993. If a person does not know the chapter al-Hamd and the other chapter and the other parts of the prayer well, but he can learn it, he should do so if the time of prayer permits. And if the time does not permits, wherever possible, such a person should join congregational prayer.

Rule no.994. It is better not to take wages for teaching obligatory acts of prayer, and taking wages for teaching recommended things is permissible.

Rule no.995. If a person does not know a certain word of the chapter al-Hamd or another chapter, or does not utter it intentionally, or utters one letter for another, like Za for Dhad, or changes the inflections, by giving movements of Fatha or Kasra where not needed, or does not render tashdeed (double letters) properly, his prayer is void.

Rule no.996. If a person has learnt a word which he believes to be correct and recites it that way in prayer but comes to know later that he has been reciting it incorrectly, it is not necessary for him to offer the prayer again.

Rule no.997. If a person does not know whether a particular word is to be read with Fatha or Kasra, or if he does not know whether a particular word has the letter "seen" or "suad" in it, and if he tries to recite in two or more ways, for example in “Ihdinas siratal mustaqeem” one recites “mustaqeem” once with the letter “seen” and then with “suad”, his prayer is void. But if the wrong or incorrect recitation is from the dhikrs, and in spite of incorrect recitation it can still be called dhikr, his prayer is in order.

Rule no.998. Whenever the letter “wao” in a word is preceded by a letter with dhamma and after “wao” is the letter “hamza”, the “wao” should be recited with “madd”, that is, “waoo” should be prolonged. Similarly, when the “alif” in a word is preceded by a letter with fatha, and after “alif” there is a “hamza”, it has to be prolonged with “madd”. And similarly if a word has “ya” and its preceding letter has kasra, and “ya” is proceded by “hamza”, one should prolong “ya”. And if “wao”, “alif” and “ya” are proceeded by a word other then “hamza” which is slient (sakin), i.e. without fatha, kasra or dfamma, all the three should be prolonged with “madd”. For example, “Wa ladh-Dhaal-leen”, in which the “alif” is proceeded by a “laam” which is silent, so the “alif” will be prolonged. If one prays without following the aforementioned rule in recitation, on the basis of obligatory precaution, he should complete his prayer and then pray again.

Rule no.999. The obligatory precaution is that while offering prayer, one should not recite the ending word of any verse with pause if one wishes to join it to the next verse. Nor should one render it without pause and join. For example, if you recite "ar Rahmanir Raheemi" and then wait before starting the next, it is not proper. You should continue with no waiting. (i.e. One should render a pause at then end of “Raheem” if one wishes to wait, or one should not render a pause and recite “Raheemi” and continue with the next word without waiting). Similarly, in the same verse, that is, "ar Rahmanir Rahim", if you read the last letter "mim" with sakin, you should not attach the "mim" to "Maliki Yawmiddeen".

(Note: one should refer to the books of Tajweed (the art of reciting the holy Quran correctly) to learn these and other rules of recitation.)

Rule no.1000. In the third and fourth units of prayer, one may either recite only chapter al-Hamd once or only the Tasbeehat: “Subhanallahi wal-hamdu lillahi wa la ilaha illallahu wallahu Akbar”, which may be recited once, although it is better that it should be recited three times. It is also permissible to recite chapter al-Hamd in the third unit, and the Tasbeehat in the fourth but if one is offering prayer individually it is better to recite the Tasbeehat in both units. And the prayers which are offered in loud voice, as an obligatory precaution, the follower in congregational prayers should recite the Tasbeehat.

Rule no.1001. When the time for prayer is short, one must recite the Tasbeehat once.

Rule no.1002. It is obligatory for men and women that in the third and fourth units they should recite chapter al-Hamd or the Tasbeehat silently.

Rule no.1003. If a person recites chapter al-Hamd in the third and fourth units as an obligatory precaution, it is necessary that the "Bismillah" is recited silently.

Rule no.1004. A person who cannot learn the Tasbeehat or cannot pronounce them correctly, should recite chapter al-Hamd in the third and fourth units.

Rule no.1005. If a person recites the Tasbeehat in the first two units, thinking that they are the last two units, and if he realises the error before the bowing, he should recite chapter al-Hamd and another chapter. But if he realises this during or after the bowing, his prayer is in order.

Rule no.1006. If a person recites chapter al-Hamd in the last two units, thinking that they are the first two units or recites chapter al-Hamd in the first two units, thinking that they are the last two units, his prayer is in order, whether he realises the mistake before or after bowing.

Rule no.1007. If in the third or fourth unit, a person wanted to recite chapter al-Hamd but instead the Tasbeehat come on his tongue or if he wishes to recite the Tasbeehat but chapter al-Hamd comes on his tongue, he should abandon it and recite the Tasbeehat or chapter al-Hamd again as per his original intention. However, if the recitation which came on his tongue was the one to which he was habituated, then he can complete it and his prayer will be valid.

Rule no.1008. If a person who has the habit of reciting the Tasbeehat in the third and fourth units, ignores his habit and begins reciting al-Hamd with the intention of performing his obligation, it will be sufficient, and it will not be not necessary for him to recite chapter al-Hamd or the Tasbeehat again.

Rule no.1009. In the third and fourth units, it is recommended to seek forgiveness from Allah after the Tasbeehat; that is, one should say, “Astaghfirullaha Rabbi wa Atubu Illayh” or one should say, “Allahummaghfir li”. And before bending for bowing, while he is reciting the seeking of forgiveness or has finished it, if he doubts whether he has recited al-Hamd or the Tasbeehat, he should recite either of them.

Rule no.1010. If the person doubts while in the bowing of third or fourth unit, whether or not he has recited chapter al-Hamd or the Tasbeehat, he should ignore his doubt. If the doubt occurs while bending for the bow then it is necessary one should return back (to the standing position) and recite chapter al-Hamd or the Tasbeehat.

Rule no.1011. If a person doubts whether he has pronounced a verse or a word correctly, like, whether he has uttered “Qul Huwallahu Ahad” correctly or not, he may ignore his doubt. However, if he repeats that verse or word correctly as a precautionary measure, there is no harm in it. And if he doubts often he may repeat as many times. However, if it becomes an obsession, and he still goes on reciting it again, as a recommended precaution, he should pray all over again.

Rule no.1012. In the first and second units of midday and afternoon prayers one should say “Bismillah” loudly and recite chapter al-Hamd and the other chapter distinctly, with a pause at the end of every verse i.e. not joining it with the next verse, and while reciting chapter al-Hamd and the other chapter, one should pay attention to the meanings of each verse. One should say “Alhamdulillahi Rabbil 'Alameen” after the completion of chapter al-Hamd by the Imam in the congregation and by himself if he is praying alone and pause a little after reciting the next chapter and then pronounce the Takbeer or recite the Qunoot (personal supplication), before going to the bowing.

Rule no.1013. It is recommended that in all the prayers, one should recite chapter al-Qadr (“Inna Anzalnahu”) in the first unit after al-Hamd and chapter al-Ikhlas in the second unit.

Rule no.1014. It is hateful not to recite chapter al-Ikhlas even in one of the daily prayers.

Rule no.1015. It is hateful to recite the whole of chapter al-Ikhlas in one breath.

Rule no.1016. It is hateful to recite, after al-Hamd in the second unit, the same chapter which one has recited in the first unit. However, if one recites chapter al-Ikhlas in both the units, it is not hateful.

Bowing (Ruku)

Rule no.1017. In every unit, a person offering prayer should, after reciting the chapters (Qira'ah), bow to an extent that he is able to rest his hands on his knees. This act is called Ruku (bowing).

Rule no.1018. If the person performs bowing in a usual manner and does not rest his hands on his knees, his bowing is correct.

Rule no.1019. If the person performs bowing in an unusual manner, like if he bends towards the left or right, his bowing is not correct, even if his hands reach his knees.

Rule no.1020. Bending should be with the intention of bowing. If a person bends for some other purpose (e.g. to kill an insect), he cannot reckon it as bowing. He will have to stand up and bend again for bowing, and in so doing, he will not have added anything additional, nor will his prayers be void.

Rule no.1021. If a person has abnormally long hands, so that if he bends a little they reach his knees, or if his knees are lower than usual, so that he has to bend himself lower to make his hands reach his knees, he should follow the normal bowing by the others.

Rule no.1022. A person, who performs bowing in the sitting position, should bow down until his face is parallel to his knees. And it is better that he should bow down until his face reaches near the place of prostration.

Rule no.1023. It is better that in normal situations one should say in bowing: “Subhanallah” three times; or “Subhana Rabbiyal 'Azeemi wa bi hamdih” once. But actually, uttering any dhikr to this extent is sufficient. However, if prayer time is short, or due to helplessness, it will be sufficient to say “Subhanallah” once.

Rule no.1024. The dhikr of bowing should be uttered in succession, and in correct Arabic, and it is recommended that it should be uttered 3, 5 or 7 times or more.

Rule no.1025. In bowing, the body should be steady to an extent of the obligatory dhikr, and in recommended dhikr it is better that the body should be steady when one’s intention is to offer it in bowing.

Rule no.1026. If at the time of uttering the obligatory dhikr of bowing, he loses steadiness because of uncontrollable vigorous movement, it will be better that after his body resumes steadiness he repeats the dhikr. However, if the movement is so negligible that steadiness is not lost, or if he just moves his fingers, there is no harm in it.

Rule no.1027. If a person intentionally recites the dhikr of bowing before he has properly bowed down, and before his body becomes still, his prayers will be void.

Rule no.1028. If a person intentionally raises his head from the bowing before completing obligatory dhikr, his prayer is void. If he raises his head by mistake, and if he has not completely ceased to be in bowing and he recollects that he has not completed the dhikr of bowing, he should make himself steady and recite the dhikr. And if he recollects after he has arisen totally from bowing, his prayer is in order.

Rule no.1029. If a person is unable to remain in the state of bowing all the time while reciting the dhikr, then the obligatory precaution is that he should complete the remainder while standing up from bowing.

Rule no.1030. If a person cannot remain steady during bowing owing to some illness etc, his prayer is in order. But he should complete the obligatory part of dhikr, as explained, before totally rising from bowing.

Rule no.1031. If a person cannot bend down for bowing properly, he should lean on something and perform the bowing. And if he cannot perform the bowing even after he has leaned on something, then as a precaution, he should bow down to the maximum extent he can, and also make a sign for bowing. And if he cannot bend at all, he should make a sign for bowing with his head.

Rule no.1032. If a person who has to make a sign with his head for bowing is unable to do so, he should close his eyes with the intention of bowing, and then recite the dhikr. And he should open his eyes with the intention of rising from bowing. And if he is unable to do even that, he should, as a precaution, make an intention of bowing in his mind and recite the dhikr.

Rule no.1033. If a person cannot perform bowing while standing, but can bend for it while sitting, he should offer prayer standing and should make a sign with his head for bowing. And the recommended precaution is that he should offer another prayer in which he would sit down at the time of bowing, and bow down for it.

Rule no.1034. If someone raises his head after reaching the bowing and again bows down to the extent of bowing with the intention of bowing, his prayer is void.

Rule no.1035. After the completion of the dhikr of bowing, one should stand straight and proceed to prostration after the body has become steady. If one goes to prostration intentionally before standing erect, or before the body is steady, the prayer is void.

Rule no.1036. If a person forgets to perform the bowing, remembering it before prostration, he should stand up first and then go into bowing. And if he goes into bowing from a bent position (without standing straight first) his prayer will be void.

Rule no.1037. If a person offering prayer remembers after his forehead reaches the earth for prostration, that he has not performed the bowing, it is necessary that he should return to the standing position and then perform the bowing. But, if he remembers this in the second prostration, his prayer is void.

Rule no.1038. It is recommended that before going into bowing, a person should recite Takbeer while he is standing erect, and in bowing, he should push his knees back, keep his back flat, stretch forth his neck, keep it in line with his back, look between his two feet, recite the Salawat before or after remembrance. And when he rises after bowing, it is recommended to stand erect and while achieving a state of steadiness say “Sami'Allahu liman hamidah”.

Rule no.1039. It is recommended for women that while performing the bowing, they should keep their hands above their knees, and should not push back their knees.

Prostration or Sujood

Rule no.1040. A person offering prayer should perform two prostrations after the bowing in each unit of the obligatory as well as recommended prayers. Prostration means that one should place one's forehead on the earth with the intention of humility (before Allah). While performing prostrations during prayer, it is obligatory that both the palms and the knees and both the big toes are placed on the ground.

Rule no.1041. Two prostrations together are an elemental act in prayer and if a person omits to perform two prostrations in one unit of an obligatory prayer, whether intentionally or owing to forgetfulness or adds two more prostrations, his prayer is void.

Rule no.1042. If a person omits or adds one prostration intentionally, his prayers become void. And if he omits or adds one prostration forgetfully, the rules regarding it will be explained later.

Rule no.1043. If a person does not keep his forehead on the ground whether intentionally or forgetfully, he has not performed prostration, even if other parts of prostration may have touched the ground. But, if he places his forehead on the earth, but forgets to keep other parts of his body on the ground, or forgets to utter the dhikr, his prostration is in order.

Rule no.1044. It is better in normal situations to say “Subahanallah” three times, or “Subhana Rabbiyal-A'ala wa bihamdih” once. And he should utter these words in succession and in correct Arabic. And uttering any dhikr to this extent is sufficient. And it is recommended that “Subhana Rabbiyal A'ala wa bihamdih” should be said three, five or seven times, or more.

Rule no.1045. In the prostration, the body should be steady and one should not move or shake oneself purposely and in recommended dhikr it is better that the body should be steady when one’s intention is to offer it in prostration. As a precaution, one should be totally steady in prostration even while one is not engaged in any obligatory remembrance.

Rule no.1046. If a person intentionally utters the dhikr of prostration before his forehead reaches the ground and his body becomes steady or if he raises his head from prostration intentionally before the dhikr is completed, his prayer is void.

Rule no.1047. If a person utters the dhikr of prostration by mistake before his forehead reaches the ground and realises his mistake before he raises his head from prostration, he should utter the dhikr again, when his body is steady.

Rule no.1048. If after raising his head from prostration, a person realises that he has done so before the completion of the dhikr of prostration, his prayer is in order.

Rule no.1049. If at the time of uttering the dhikr of prostration, a person intentionally lifts one of his seven limbs from the ground, his prayer will be void. But if he lifts the limbs, other than the forehead, when he is not reciting anything, and then places them back again, there will be no harm.

Rule no.1050. If a person raises his forehead from the ground by mistake, before the completion of the dhikr of prostration, he should not place it on the ground again, and he should treat it as one prostration. However, if he raises the other parts of the body from the ground by mistake, he should place them back on the ground and utter the dhikr.

Rule no.1051. After the dhikr of the first prostration is completed, one should sit until the body is steady and then perform prostration again.

Rule no.1052. The place where a person places his forehead for prostration should not be higher than four joined fingers, compared to where he places the tips of the toes. And it is obligatory that the place of his forehead should not be more than four joined fingers lower than the place of the tips of the toes of his feet.

Rule no.1053. If a person prays on a sloped ground, whose slant may not be known exactly and if his forehead goes higher than the place where he keeps his tips of the toes by a span of four joined fingers, there will be no harm.

Rule no.1054. If a person places his forehead by mistake on a thing which is higher than the span of four joined fingers compared to the place where the tips of his toes are, he should raise his head and place on a thing which is not high, or its height is equal or less than the span of four joined fingers, and as a precaution, he should complete the prayer and repeat it again.

Rule no.1055. It is necessary that there should be nothing between the forehead of the person offering prayer and the thing on which he offers prostration. If the clay disc is so dirty that the forehead does not reach the clay disc itself, the prostration is void. But if only the colour of clay disc has changed, there is no harm.

Rule no.1056. In prostration a person offering prayer should place his two palms on the ground. In a state of helplessness, there will be no harm in placing the back of the hands on the ground and if even this is not possible, he should, on the basis of precaution, place the wrists of hands on the ground. And if he cannot do even this, he should place any part of the body up to his elbow on the ground and if even that is not possible it is sufficient to place the arms on the ground.

Rule no.1057. In prostration, a person should place his two big toes on the ground but if he places the other smaller toes on the ground instead, or the outer part of his feet, or if the tips of his big toe does not rest on the ground due to having very long nails, his prayer will be void. And if a person does not follow this rule due to ignorance or carelessness, he has to pray again.

Rule no.1058. If a part of the big toe is cut off, one should place the remaining part of it on the ground, and if nothing of it has remained or what has remained is too short, he should, on the basis of precaution, place the other toes on the ground, but if he has no toes at all, he should place on the ground whatever part of the foot has remained.

Rule no.1059. If a person performs prostration in an unusual manner, like if he rests his chest and stomach on the ground, or stretches his feet, even if all the seven parts of prostration are on the ground, as a recommended precaution he should repeat his prayer. But if it does not appear like a normal prostration, his prayer will be void.

Rule no.1060. The clay disc or other thing on which a person performs prostration should be pure. If, he places the clay disc on an impure carpet or if one side of the clay disc is impure and he places his forehead on its pure side, there is no harm in it.

Rule no.1061. If there is a sore or a wound etc. on the forehead of a person, he should perform prostration with the unaffected part of the forehead. And if it is not possible, then he should dig a hole or a pit and place the part with the sore or the wound in the pit and place the healthy part sufficient for prostration on the ground.

Rule no.1062. If the sore or the wound has covered the entire forehead, as a precaution, he should perform prostration with one of the two sides of the forehead and with his chin, by offering the prayer twice. When it is not possible, he should perform prostration with his chin only, and even if it is not possible he should perform prostration by sign.

Rule no.1063. If a person cannot make his forehead reach the ground, he should bow as much as he can, and should place the clay disc or any other allowable thing on something high and place his forehead on it in such a way that it may be said that he has performed prostration. But his palms, his knees, and toes should be on the ground as usual.

Rule no.1064. If a person cannot find something high on which he may place the clay disc or any other allowable thing, then it is obligatory that he should raise it with his hand and do prostration on it.

Rule no.1065. If a person cannot perform prostration at all, he should make a sign for it with his head and if he cannot do even that, he should make a sign with his eyes. And if he cannot make a sign even with his eyes he should, on the basis of recommended precaution, make a sign for prostration with his hands etc. and should also make the intention for prostration in his mind.

Rule no.1066. If the forehead of a person is raised involuntarily from the place of prostration, he should not, if possible, allow it to reach the place of prostration again and this will be treated as one prostration, even if he may not have uttered the dhikr of prostration. And if he cannot control his head, and it reaches the place of prostration again involuntarily, both of them will be reckoned as one prostration, and if he has not uttered the dhikr, as a precaution, he will do so.

Rule no.1067. At a place where a person has to observe Taqiyyah (concealing one's faith in dangerous situations) he can perform prostration on a carpet, or other similar things, and it is not necessary for him to go elsewhere. But if he finds that he can perform prostration on a mat, or any other allowed objects, without any hardship, then he should not perform prostration on carpet or such things.

Rule no.1068. If a person performs prostration on a mattress filled with feathers or any other similar thing, on which the body cannot remain steady, his prayer will be void.

Rule no.1069. If a person is obliged to offer prayer on a muddy ground and if no hardship will be caused to him if his body and dress become soiled with mud, he should perform prostration and the doctrinal testimony (tashahhud) as usual. If it is going to prove extremely hard for him, he should make a sign for prostration with his head while he is standing, and recite the Tashahhud in the standing position. His prayers will be in order.

Rule no.1070. It is obligatory that in the first unit and in the third unit, which do not contain the doctrinal testimony (tashahhud) (like the third unit in midday, afternoon and evening prayers) one should sit for a while after the second prostration before rising (for the next unit).

Things on which prostration is allowed

Rule no.1071. Prostration should be performed on earth and on those things which grow from the earth and are neither edible nor worn e.g. wood and leaves of trees. It is not permissible to prostrate on things which are used as food or clothing e.g. wheat, barley and cotton etc. or on things which are not considered to be parts of the earth e.g. gold, silver, asphalt, tar coal, leather, plastic, rubber etc.

Rule no.1072. As an obligatory precaution, prostration should not be performed on the leaves of grapes, when they are not dried up completely.

Rule no.1073. It is in order to perform prostration on things which grow from the earth and serve as fodder for animals e.g. grass etc.

Rule no.1074. It is in order to perform prostration on flowers which are not edible, and also on medicinal herbs which grow from the earth, for example “Gul-e-Bunafsha” and “Gul-e-Gauzban”.

Rule no.1075. Performing prostration on a grass which is eaten in some parts of the world but not in the rest, will not be permissible. Similarly, prostration on raw fruits is not allowed.

Rule no.1076. It is allowed to perform prostration on limestone and gypsum, but prostration should not be performed on baked gypsum, lime, brick and baked earthenware etc.

Rule no.1077. It is in order to perform prostration on paper, even it is manufactured from cotton or similar things.

Rule no.1078. The clay called Turbat-ul-Husain or Khak-e-Shifa (which is the clay of Karbala where Imam Husain (A.S.) was martyred) is the best thing for performing prostration on. After it, there is earth, stone and grass, in order of priority.

Rule no.1079. If a person does not possess anything on which it is allowed to perform prostration, or, even if he possesses such a thing but he cannot perform prostration on it due to severe heat or cold, he should perform prostration on the back of his hand or on his dress. And if he does not possess a dress then he should perform prostration on anything on which it is not permissible to perform prostration optionally. However, as long as it is possible to perform prostration on the back of his hand, he should not do prostration on any other thing.

Rule no.1080. The prostration performed on mud, and on soft clay on which one's forehead cannot rest steadily, is void.

Rule no.1081. If the clay disc sticks to the forehead in the first prostration, it should be removed from the forehead for the second prostration.

Rule no.1082. If a thing on which a person performs prostration gets lost while he is offering prayer, and he does not possess any other thing on which prostration is allowed, he should abandon the prayer if he has ample time for prayer. But if the time for prayer is limited he can act according to the rule as explained earlier.

Rule no.1083. If a person realises in the state of prostration that he has placed his forehead on a thing on which prostration is void, he should raise his head and place his head on a thing which is allowed for prostration and if it is not possible to do so, then he should abandon the prayer if time for prayer is ample. But if the time for prayer is limited he can act according to the order as explained earlier.

Rule no.1084. If a person realises after prostration that he had placed his forehead on a thing which is not permissible for prostration, he should perform prostration on an allowed object and the recommended precaution is that he should pray again. And if this happened in both prostrations, he should perform one prostration on an allowed object. And as an obligatory precaution he should offer prayer again.

Rule no.1085. It is prohibited to perform prostration for anyone other than Almighty Allah. Some people place their foreheads on earth before the graves of the holy Imams (A.S.). If this is done to thank Allah, there is no harm in it; otherwise it is prohibited.

The recommended and hateful things in prostration

Rule no.1086. Certain things are recommended in prostration:

· It is recommended to recite Takbeer before going to prostration. A person who prays standing will do so after having stood up from bowing, and a person who prays sitting will do so after having sat properly.

· While going into prostration, a man should first place his hands on the ground, and woman should first place her knees on the ground.

· The person offering prayer should place his nose on a clay disc, or on any other thing on which prostration is allowed.

· While performing prostration, fingers should be kept close to each other, parallel to the ears, with their tips towards Qibla.

· While in prostration one should pray to Allah, and express his wishes, and should recite this supplication: “Ya Khayral Mas'ooleen wa Ya Khayral Mu'teen, Urzuqni warzuq 'Ayali Min Fazlika Fa Innaka Zulfadhlil 'Azeem” (Oh You Who are the best from whom people seek their needs, and O You, Who are the best bestower of gifts! Give me and the members of my family sustenance with Your grace. Undoubtedly You possess the greatest grace).

· After performing prostration, one should sit on his left thigh, placing the upper part of the right foot on the sole of the left foot.

· After every prostration, when a person has sat down and his body is still, one should say Takbeer.

· When his body is steady after the first prostration, he should say: "Astaghfirullaha Rabbi wa Atubu Ilayhi".

· One should prolong the prostration, and when sitting after the prostration, place one's hands on the thighs.

· He should say “Allahu Akbar” for going into the second prostration, when his body is steady.

· He should recite Salawat while in prostrations.

· At the time of rising, he should raise his hands from the ground, after raising his knees.

· Men should not make their elbows and stomach touch the ground; they should keep their arms separated from their sides. And women should place their elbows and stomachs on the ground, and should join their limbs with one another.

Other recommended acts in prostration have been mentioned in detailed books.

Rule no.1087. It is hateful to recite the holy Qur'an in prostration. It is also hateful to blow off the dust from the place of prostration if someone is present next to him and is affected from the dust, and even if, by so doing, one utters anything intentionally, the prayers will be, void. Besides these, there are other hateful acts, which are given in detailed books.

Obligatory prostrations in the holy Qur'an

Rule no.1088. Upon reciting or hearing any of the following verses of the holy Qur'an, the performance of prostration becomes obligatory:

Chapter as-Sajdah, 32:15

Chapter Haa Meem Sajdah, 41:38

Chapter an-Najm, 53:62

Chapter al-'Alaq, 96:19

Whenever a person recites the verse or hears it when recited by someone else, he should perform prostration immediately when the verse ends, and if he forgets to perform it, he should do it as and when he remembers. If one hears the verse without any expectation in an involuntary situation, prostration is not obligatory, though it is better to perform it.

Rule no.1089. If a person hears the prostration verse, and recites it himself also, as an obligatory precaution, he should perform two prostrations.

Rule no.1090. If a person hears a verse of prostration, while he is in prostration other than that of prayer, or recites it himself, he should raise his head from that prostration, and perform another one.

Rule no.1091. If a person hears the verse of obligatory prostration from a gramophone or a tape recorder, or from a child who cannot discern between good and evil, or from a person who does not intend to recite the Holy Quran, it will not be obligatory upon him to perform prostration. The same is the case if he hears a verse of prostration as a taped recitation from radio. But if there is a person reciting from the radio station with the intention of reciting a verse of prostration and he recites the verse of prostration, it will be obligatory to perform prostration.

Rule no.1092. The place where a person performs an obligatory prostration upon hearing the verse, should not be usurped and the place where he places his forehead should not be higher or lower by a span of four joined fingers than the place where his tips of the toes rest. However, it is not necessary to be in ablution or ritual purity, or to face Qibla, nor it is necessary to conceal one's private parts or to ensure that the body and the place where he has to place his forehead are pure. Moreover, the conditions for dress in prayer do not apply to the performance of these obligatory prostrations.

Rule no.1093. The obligatory precaution is that in the obligatory prostration caused by the Qur'anic verses, a person should place his forehead on a clay disc, or any other thing on which prostration is allowed, and also one should keep other parts of one's body on the ground, as required in a prostration of prayer.

Rule no.1094. When a person performs the obligatory prostration upon hearing the relevant verse, it will be sufficient even if he does not recite any dhikr. However, it is recommended to recite dhikr, preferably the following: “La ilaha illal lahu haqqan haqqa; La ilaha illal lahu imanan wa tasdiqa; la ilaha illal lahu 'ubudiyyatan wa riqqa; Sajadtu laka ya Rabbi ta'abbudan wa riqqa la mustankifan wa la mustak biran bal ana 'abdun dhaleelun dha`eefun kha'ifun mustajeer”.

Doctrinal testimony (or tashahhud)

Rule no.1095. In the second unit of all obligatory and recommended prayers, and in the third unit of sunset prayer and in the fourth unit of midday, afternoon and evening prayers, one should sit after the second prostration with a tranquil body, and recite the tashahhud thus: "Ash hadu an la ilaha illallahu wahdahu la shareeka lah, wa ash hadu anna Muhammadan 'Abduhu wa Rasooluh, Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammadin wa Aali Muhammad”. As an obligatory precaution one should recite in the same order not in any other. It is also necessary to recite the tashahhud while offering Witr prayer.

Rule no.1096. It is necessary that the words of tashahhud should be recited in correct Arabic, and in usual succession.

Rule no.1097. If a person forgets tashahhud and rises and remembers before bowing, he should sit down to recite it and then stand up again. He will then continue with his prayer. After the prayer, it is an obligatory precaution that he should perform prostration of forgetfulness for the additional standing. But if he remembers this in bowing or thereafter, he should complete the prayer and after the salutation of prayer, should, as an obligatory precaution, perform the Qadha of the lapsed tashahhud. As a measure of precaution he should perform two prostrations of forgetfulness for the forgotten tashahhud.

Rule no.1098. It is recommended to sit on the left thigh during tashahhud and to place the upper part of the right foot on the sole of the left foot and to say: “Al-hamdu lillah” or “Bismillahi wa billahi wal-hamdu lillahi wa khayrul asma'i lillah” before reciting tashahhud.

It is also recommended to place one's hands on one's thighs, with joined fingers, and to look at one's laps, and to say this after the tashahhud and Salawat: “Wa taqabbal shafa'atahu warfa' darajatah”.

Rule no.1099. It is recommended for women to keep their thighs close to each other when reciting tashahhud.

Salutations (Salam) of the prayers

Rule no.1100. While a person sits after reciting the tashahhud in the last unit, and his body is tranquil, it is recommended to say: “Assalamu 'alayka ayyuhan Nabiyyu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh”. After this it is obligatory to say “Assalamu Alayna wa `ala `Ibadillahis Saliheen”. And after this it is recommended to say: “Assalamu Alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.”

Rule no.1101. If a person forgets the salutations in prayer and remembers when the form of prayer has not been disrupted, nor he has performed any act which if done intentionally or forgetfully invalidates the prayers (e.g. turning away from Qibla), he should recite the salutation and his prayers will be valid.

Rule no.1102. If a person forgets the salutations of prayer and remembers after the form of prayer has been disrupted, or after he has performed an act which if done intentionally or forgetfully invalidates the prayers (e.g. turning away from Qibla), his prayer is in order.

Sequence (Tarteeb)

Rule no.1103. If a person intentionally changes the sequence of the prayer, for example, if he recites the other chapter before reciting chapter al-Hamd or performs the prostrations before the bowing, his prayer is void.

Rule no.1104. If a person forgets an elemental part of the prayer and performs the next elemental part, for example, before performing bowing if he performs the two prostrations, his prayer is void.

Rule no.1105. If a person forgets an elemental part of prayer and performs an act after it which is not elemental, like if he recites the tashahhud without performing the two prostrations, he should perform the elemental part and should recite again the part which he performed erroneously before the elemental part.

Rule no.1106. If a person forgets a thing which is not elemental and performs an elemental part which comes after it, like if he forgets chapter al-Hamd and begins performing bowing, his prayer is in order.

Rule no.1107. If a person forgets an act which is not elemental and performs the next act which too is not elemental, like if he forgets chapter al-Hamd and recites the other chapter, he should perform what he has forgotten and then recite again the thing which he mistakenly recited earlier.

Rule no.1108. If a person performs the first prostration thinking that it is the second one, or performs the second one under the impression that it is the first prostration, his prayer is in order; his first prostration will be treated as the first one, and his second prostration will be treated as the second one.

Continuity of the sequence, or Muwalat

Rule no.1109. A person should maintain continuity during prayer, that is, he should perform various acts of prayer, like bowing, two prostrations and doctrinal testimony, in continuous succession, and he should recite the dhikr etc. also in usual succession. If he allows an undue interval between different acts until it becomes difficult to visualise that he is praying, his prayer will be void.

Rule no.1110. If a person in prayer forgetfully allows a gap between letters or words, and if the gap is not big enough so that the form of the prayer is disrupted, he should repeat those letters or words in the usual manner, provided that he has not proceeded to the ensuing elemental part of prayer. And he will repeat those lines which were read in continuation. But if he has already got into the ensuing elemental part then his prayer is in order.

Rule no.1111. Prolonging bowing and prostration or reciting long chapters does not break succession.

Personal supplication or Qunoot

Rule no.1112. It is recommended that the Qunoot be recited in all obligatory and recommended prayers before the bowing of the second unit, and it is also recommended that the Qunoot be recited in the Witr prayer before bowing, although that prayer is of one unit only. In the Friday prayer there is one Qunoot in every unit. In the Prayer of Phenomena there are five Qunoots, and in Eid Prayers there are five Qunoots in the first unit and four in the second unit.

Rule no.1113. It is recommended that while reciting Qunoot, a person keeps his hands in front of his face, facing the palms towards the sky, and keeping both the hands and the fingers close together except the thumbs, and looking at the palms while reciting.

Rule no.1114. Any dhikr in Qunoot is sufficient, even if one says, “Subhanallah” only once. It is however better to make the following supplication: “La ilaha illallahul Haleemul Kareem, La ilaha illallahul 'Aliyyul 'Azeem, Subhanallahi Rabbis samawatis sab', wa Rabbil 'aradheenas sab', wama fee hinna wama bayna hunna, wa Rabbil 'arshil 'azeem, wal hamdu lillahi Rabbil'alameen.”

Rule no.1115. It is recommended that the Qunoot is recited loudly. However, if a person is offering prayer in congregation and if the Imam can hear his voice, it will not be recommended for him to recite Qunoot loudly.

Rule no.1116. If a person does not recite the Qunoot intentionally, there is no Qadha for it. And if he forgets it and remembers before reaching the bowing, it is recommended that he should stand up and recite it. And if he remembers while performing the bowing, it is recommended that he should perform its Qadha after the bowing. And if he remembers it while performing prostration, it is recommended that he should perform its Qadha after the salutations (Salam).

Translation of prayer

I. Translation of chapter al-Hamd

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

Alhamdu lillahi Rabbil 'alameen

All Praise be to Allah, the Sustainer of the worlds;

Arrahmanir Raheem

The Compassionate, the Merciful;

Maliki yawmiddeen

Master of the Day of Judgement.

Iyyaka na'budu wa iyyaka nasta'een

You alone we worship, and Your help alone do we seek.

Ihdinas siratal mustaqeem

Guide us to the straight path.

Siratal lazeena an'amta 'alayhim

The path of those upon whom You have bestowed Your Grace.

Ghayril magh-dhoobi 'alayhim waladh-dhaal-leen.

Not of those who have incurred Your wrath, nor of those who have gone astray.

II. Translation of chapter al-Ikhlas

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

Qul huwallahu Ahad

Say: Allah is One

Allahus Samad

Allah is He Who is independent of all beings.

Lam yalid walam yulad

He begets not, nor is He begotten.

Walam yakullahu kufuwan ahad.

And there is none like unto Him.

III. Translation of the dhikr during the bowing and prostration, and of those which are recommended

Subhana Rabbi yal 'Azeemi wa bihamdih

Glory to my Lord the Great, and all praise is His

Subhana Rabbi yal A'ala wa bihamdih

Glory to my Lord, the Most High, and all praise is His

Sami' Allahu liman hamidah

Allah hears and accepts he who praises Him

Astaghfirullaha Rabbi wa atubu ilayh

I seek forgiveness from Allah my Sustainer, and I repent to Him.

Bi hawlillahi ta’la wa quwwatihi aqoomu wa aq'ud

I stand and sit with the help and strength of Allah.

IV. Translation of the Qunoot (personal supplication)

La ilaha illallahul Haleemul Kareem

There is no god but Allah, the Forbearing and Generous.

La ilaha illallahul 'Aliyyul 'Azeem

There is no god but Allah, the Exalter and Great.

Subhanallahi Rabbis samawatis sab' wa Rabbil aradhrrnas sab'

Glory be to Allah, the Sustainer of the seven heavens and the Sustainer of the seven earths.

Wama fee hinna wama bayna hunna, wa Rabbil 'arshil 'azeem

And (the Sustainer) of all things in them and between them, the Sustainer of the Great `Arsh (Divine Power).

Wal hamdu lillahi Rabbil `Aalameen

And all praise is for Allah, the Sustainer of the worlds.

V. Translation of the Tasbeehat

Subhanallahi wal hamdu lillahi wa la ilaha lallahu wallahu Akbar.

Glory be to Allah, and all praise is for Him, and there is no god but Allah, and Allah is the Greatest.

VI. Translation of Doctrinal Testimony (Tashahhud) and Salutations (Salam)

Al Hamdu lillah, Ash hadu an la ilaha illal lahu wahdahu la shareeka lah

All praise is for Allah, and I testify that there is no god but Allah alone and he has no partner.

Wa Ashhadu anna Muhammadan 'abduhu wa Rasooluh

And I testify that Muhammad is His servant and messenger.

Alla humma salli 'ala Muhammadin wa Aali Muhammad.

O Allah! Send Your blessings on Muhammad and his progeny.

Wa taqqabal shafa'atahu warfa' darajatahu

And accept his intercession, and raise his rank.

Assalamu 'alayka ayyuhan Nabiyyu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

The Peace (of Allah) be upon you O Prophet, and His Blessings and Grace.

Assalamu 'alayna wa 'ala 'ibadil lahis saliheen

The Peace (of Allah) be upon us and upon all the pious servants of Allah.

Assalamu 'alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

The Peace (of Allah) be upon you (the believers) all, and His Blessings and Grace.

Supplications after prayer (or Ta'qeeb)

Rule no.1117. It is recommended that after offering the prayer, one should engage oneself in reciting the dhikr and supplications and reading from the holy Qur'an. It is better that before he leaves his place, and before his ablution or ritual bath or dry ablution becomes void, he should recite the supplications facing Qibla. It is not necessary that supplications be recited in Arabic, but it is better to recite those prescribed supplications which have been given in the books of supplications. The Tasbeeh of Sayyida Fatima-tuz-Zahra (peace be on her) is one of those acts which have been emphasised. This Tasbeeh should be recited in the following order:

Allahu Akbar - 34 times

Alhamdulillah - 33 times

Subhanallah - 33 times

Subhanallah can be recited before Alhamdulillah, but it is better to maintain the mentioned order.

Rule no.1118. It is recommended that after the prayer a person performs a prostration of thanksgiving and it will be sufficient if one placed his forehead on the ground with that intention. However, it is better that he should say “Shukran lillah” or “Al-`afw” 100 times, or three times, or even once. It is also recommended that whenever a person is blessed with His Bounties, or when adversities are averted, he should go to prostration for thanksgiving.

Salawat on the Holy Prophet

Rule no.1119. It is obligatory that whenever a person hears or utters the sacred name of the Holy Prophet of Islam (i.e. Muhammad) he should recite the Salawat, that is, "Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammadin wa Aali Muhammad", even if that happens during the prayer.

And it is recommended that whenever a person hears or utters his sacred name Ahmad, or his title (like Al-Mustafa), or his patronymic appellation (like Abul-Qasim), that he should recite the Salawat, even if that happens during the prayer.

Rule no.1120. It is recommended that after writing the sacred name of the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H.), Salawat also should be written with it. And it is better that whenever his name is remembered or mentioned, Salawat should be recited.