Muslim Prayer Guide

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Book of Salaah

The Five Obligatory Prayers

The Messenger of Allah (Sallallaahu Alaihi WaSallam) said: “There are five prayers that Allah obligated the slaves to perform. Whoever performs them properly without belittling their obligation, Allah promised to admit him into Paradise. Whoever leaves them out does not have a promise from Allah to have Paradise without torture before. If He willed, He tortures him, and if He willed, He forgives him” – Narrated by Ahmad in his Musnad.

As such, it is obligatory to perform each of these five prayers in its due time. It is better to perform each prayer early in its time.

Subh or Fajr (Dawn) Prayer – 2 Rak’ats (Cycles)

The true dawn begins when we see light spread at the horizon in the East. When the true dawn appears the Fajr prayer time has begun and this prayer time remains until the first glimpse of the disk of the sun appears on the Eastern horizon.

Dhuhr (Noon) Prayer – 4 Rak’ats (Cycles)

Its time begins when the sun has declined westward from the middle of the sky (zenith). The time remains until the length of the shadow of an object becomes equal to that of the object per Se, in addition to the length of the shadow of that object when the sun was at its zenith. For example, if the length of your shadow when the sun is at its zenith is 5 feet and you are 6feet high, then once your shadow becomes 11feet long the Dhuhr prayer time ends.

Asr (Mid-afternoon) Prayer – 4 Rak’ats (Cycles)

As soon as the Dhuhr prayer time ends the Asr prayer time starts. Its time remains until sunset.

Maghrib (Sunset) Prayer – 3 Rak’ats (Cycles)

After the entire disk of the sun has set, then the Maghrib prayer time begins. This prayer time lasts until the redness has disappeared in the western horizon.

Isha’ (Nightfall) Prayer – 4 Rak’ats (Cycles)

As soon as the Maghrib prayer time is finished the Isha’ prayer time begins. You can be certain that this prayer time is in when you can see many small stars in the sky on a clear night. This prayer time lasts until the true dawn appears.

Conduct of Salaah


Before a person starts to pray he should place something a short distance in front of him of the place where he prostrates (does Sajdah). Such an object is called SUTRA and isused when the person is praying alone. A person passing in front of the person in prayer, should pass on the outside of the sutra. If someone is praying in congregation, then the imam acts as the sutra. The imam, however, must have his own individual sutra in front of him.


Wherever a person is in the world, he should face towards the Ka’bah when he is going to pray. The Ka’bah is in the sacred masjid of Makkah in Saudi Arabi. Facing towards Qiblah (Ka’bah) is a very important condition of performance of prayer.


After facing the Qiblah the person should make niyyah (intention). The intention is made within his mind, so the person should think about the particular obligatory, optional or nafl prayer he intends to perform.



After making Niyyah the person should start his prayer saying “Allahu Akbar” (Allah is the greatest) raising both of his hands to the shoulders, with fingers stretching to the ear lobes. (For Hanafis, the thumbs should rub against the ear lobes).

He should then fold his hands in between his chest and navel (Shafi’i) or on the navel (Hanafi) with his right hand over the left hand. This time “Allahu Akbar” is called Takbir Tahrimah because after saying Takbir Tahrimah every common and worldly action, talk or movement is forbidden. Throughout the prayer the eyes of the worshiper should point to the spot where the forehead rests in Sajdah.


There are several Duas the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alaihi WaSallam) recited before Fatihah,

اللَّهُمَّ باعِدْ بَيْني وَ بَيْنَ خَطايايَ كَما باعَدْتَ بَيْنَ المَشْرِقِ وَ المَغْرَبِ، اللَّهُمَّ نَقِّني مِن خَطايايَ كَما يُنَقّى الثَّوْبُ الأَبْيَضُ مِنَ الدَّنَسِ، اللَّهُمَّ اغْسِلْني مِن خَطايايَ بِالماءِ وَ الثَّلْجِ وَ البَرَدِ.

“O Allah set me apart from my sins as East and West are apart from each other. O Allah, cleanse me from my sins as a white garment is deansed from dirt after thorough washing. O Allah, wash me off from my sins with water, snow and hail.”

If a person does not know the above Dua then he should recite the following one:

سُبْحانَكَ اللَّهُمَّ وَ بِحَمْدِكَ وَ تَبارَكَ اسْمُكَ وَ تَعالى جَدُّكَ وَ لا إِلهَ غَيْرُكَ

“Glory be to you, O Allah, and all praises are due unto you, and blessed is your name and high is your majesty and none is worthy of worship but you.”


Then the person who is praying should recite the following silently:

أَعوذُ بِاللهِ مِنَ الشَّيْطانِ الرَّجيمِ. بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيم

“I seek Allah’s protection from satan who is accursed. In the name of Allah, the most kind and the most merciful” (The Basmalah should be said in every rak’at before reciting Surah Al-Fatihah.)


Then the person should recite Surah Al-Fatihah:

الْحَمْدُ للهِ رَبِّ الْعالَمينَ۞ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحيمِ۞ مالِكِ يَوْمَ الدّينِ۞ إِيّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَ إِيّاكَ نَسْتَعينَ۞ اِهْدِنا الصِّراطَ الْمُسْتَقيمَ۞ صِراطَ الَّذيْنَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ الْمَغْضوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَ لا الضَّآلِّينَ۞ آمين.

“Praise is only for Allah, Lord of the Universe. The most kind, the most merciful. The master of the Day of Judgment. You alone we worship and to you alone we pray for help. Show us the straight way, the way of those whom you have blessed. Who have not deserved your anger, Nor gone astray.”

Reciting A-Fatihah is so important that Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaahu Alaihi WaSallam) said that no prayer was acceptable wi1thout the recitation of Al-Fatihah.


It is sunnah to say Ameen when a person finishes recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah. If he is praying alone he should say “Ameen” in silence and if he is praying with congregation behind an Imam then he should say Ameen fairly loudly when the Imam finishes saying the last verse of Surah Al-Fatihah. When saying Ameen the voice of the whole congregation should resound at the same time.


It is sunnah for a person who is praying that he should read a surah from Quran after Al-Fatihah in the first two rak’ats of the fard prayer. Here are a few short Surahs which you can recite.


بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ

قُلْ هُوَ اللهُ أَحَدٌ۞ اللهُ الصَّمَدُ۞ لِمْ يَلِدْ وَ لَمْ يولَدْ۞ وَ لَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ كُفُواً أَحَدُ۞

“Say: He is Allah, the only one. Allah helps and does not need help. He does not produce a child, and He Was not born of anyone. There is no one equal to Him.”


بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ

قُلْ أَعوذُ بِرَبِّ الْفَلَقِ۞ مِنْ شَرِّ ما خَلَقَ۞ وَ مِنْ شَرِّ غاسِقٍ إِذا وَقَبَ۞ وَ مِنْ شَرِّ النَّـفَّثَّـتِ في الْعُقَدِ۞ وَمِنْ شَرِّ حاسِدٍ إِذَا حَسَدَ۞

“Say: I seek refuge in the Lord of the dawn, from the evil of all that He has treated, and from the evil of the darkness of night when it falls, and from the evil of those (charmers) who blow into knots. And from the evil of the envier when he envies.”


بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ

قُلْ أَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ النَّاسِ۞ مَلِكِ النَّاسِ۞ إِلهِ النَّاسِ۞ مِنْ شَرِّ الْوَسُواسِ الْخَنَّاسِ۞ الَّذِي يُوَسْوِسُ فِي صُدُورِ النَّاسِ۞ مِنَ الْجِنَّةِ وَ النَّاسِ۞

“Say: I seek refuge in the sustainer of mankind. the Owner of Mankind, Lord of Mankind. From the evil of the sneaking whisperer. Who whispers in the hearts of mankind. (Whether he be) from among jinns or mankind.”



Then the person praying should say “Allahu Akbar” raising both his hands to shoulder level with the palms facing outwards and fingers stretching to earlobes. He should then bend in ruku’ so that his trunk (i.e. from head to hips) is perpendicular to the rest of the body. His hands should rest on his knees with the fingers spread apart, taking care that his arms do not touch his body. The person should be calm and composed in the ruku’ posture and not hurry it.

سُبْحانَ رَبِّيَ الْعَظيم

Then he should read :”Subhana Rab-bi yal azeem”at least three times. This means: “Glory be to my lord who is the Greatest.”


Abi Masud al Badri (RadiAllahu Anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallaahu Alaihi WaSallam) said:

“Allah does not consider the prayer of a man who does not straighten his back when bowing for Ruku’ and performing Sajdah.” (Ibn Khuzaimah, Ibn Hibban, Tabrani)

Abi Qatadah (RadiAllahu Anhu) reported that the Messengerof Allah (Sallallaahu Alaihi WaSallam) said: ”The worst thief is one who steals in his prayer.”

Then the companions asked, “How can someone steal from his prayer?” Prophet (Sallallaahu Alaihi WaSallam) answered, “He does complete his Ruku’ and Sajdah with perfection.” (Ahmad, Tabrani, Ibn Khuzaimah, Hakim).

These hadiths prove that Ruku’ and Sajdah should be done calmly, slowly and perfectly. Otherwise the salaah of the person will be deficient.



After the perfect Ruku’ the person praying should raise his head from Ruku’ saying:

سَمِعَ اللهُ لِمَنْ حَمِدَه

This means, “Verily Allah listens toone who praises him.” One should raise the hands up to the level of his shoulders with palms facing outwards and fingers stretched to the earlobes and then he should lower his hands to his sides. In the standing position he should be erect so that the jointsof his body go hack in place.


رَبَّنا لَكَ الْحمْدُ حَمْداً كَثِيراً طَيِّبَاً مُبَارَكاً فِيهِ

“Oh our Lord, all praises be to You, Very many, pure and blessed praises be to You.”



After the perfect qawmah the person praying should move to perform sajdah saying:- “Allahu Akbar,” putting palms downwards on the ground below the ears. The knees should be brought downwards on the ground. His fingers and toes should be pointing towards Qiblah without spreading the fingers of the hands. In this position he should say:

سُبْحَانَ رَبِّيَ الْأَعْلى

This means, “Oh Allah, glory be to you, the most high.” Importantly, during prostration seven parts of the body should touch the ground:

  1. The forehead along with the tip of the nose
  2. Both hands
  3. Both knees
  4. The bottom surface of the toes of both feet



After performing one sajdah perfectly and calmly, the person praying should raise his head from sajdah saying, “Allahu akbar”, bending the left foot and sitting on it while ‘keeping the right foot propped up with its toes pointing towards the Qiblah, the palms of his hands should rest onhis thighs and knees. the back should be straight so that the joints go back in place. It is Sunnah to say the following Dua while sitting in between the two Sajdahs:

اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْلي وَ ارْحَمْنِي وَ اهْدِنِي وَ عَافِنِي وَ ارْزُقْنِي وَ اجْبُرْنِي وَ ارْفَعْنِي

“Oh Allah, forgive me, and have mercy on me, and keep me on the right path, and keep me healthy, and provide me with halal sources of living, and complete my shortcomings, and make my rank high.”


Then the person should perform the second sajdah saying, “Allahu Akbar” and repeat what he did in the first sajdah.


Then he should raise his head up saying. “Allahu Akbar” and sit for a short while as he did in jalsah. He does this before standing up for the second rak’at.


After standing up for the second rak’at he should fold his hands over his chest as he did in the first rak’at and start his recitation by reading “Basmalah and Surah-Fatihah followed by any passage or a chapter of the Holy Quran.” Then he should complete his second rak’at in the manner of the first one.

While choosing a passage or a chapter for the recitation in the second or a subsequent rak’at the worshipper should observe the order in which they occur in the Holy Quran. Also, each Surah or verse should be shorter than the one recited before it. Hence, longer surahs are recited before shorter surahs.



After completing the last sajdah of the second rak’at, the person should raise his head saying: “Allah Akbar”. He should sit as he sat between the two sajdah, putting his left hand on his left knee and right hand on his right knee. The fist of the right hand is closed except for the index finger which is protruded.

التَّحِيَّاتُ لله وَ الصَّلَوَاتُ وَ الطَّيِّبَاتُ السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ أَيُّهَا النَّبيُّ وَ رَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَ بَرَكَاتُهُ السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْنَا وَ عَلَى عِبَادِ اللهِ الصَّالِحِينَ

أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لا إلهَ إلا اللهُ وَ أَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّداً عَبْدُهُ ورَسُولُهُ

“All compliments, all physical prayer, and all monitary worship are for Allah. Peace be upon you, Oh Prophet, and Allah’s mercy and blessings. Peace be on us and on all righteous slaves of Allah.”

“I bear witness that no one is worthy of worship except Allah. And I bear witness that Muhammad (Sallallaahu Alaihi WaSallam) is His slave and Messenger.”

While reading “Ash hadu ……’abduhu wa rasuluh.” A person should raise the index finger of his right hand slightly and return it to its previous position after he has finished saying it. A person praying 2 rak’ats only should end with salaah with Salawat Ibrahimiyyah.


If a person is praying three or four rak’ats, then he should stand up after tashahud saying “Allahu Akbar” and raising his hands as he did in Takbir Tahrimah start his recitation with of Basmalah, Surah Al-Fatihah and then a short Surah.

After the mentioned recitation one should continue to complete his third rak’at (or fourth rak’at). In the last rak’at, after reciting the Tashahud, the Salawat Ibrahimiyyah must be recited:

اللّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَ عَلَى آلِ مُحمَّدٍ كمَا صَلَّيْتَ عَلَى إِبْراهيمَ وَ عَلَى آلِ إبْرَاهيمَ وَ بَارِكْ عَلَى مُحمَّدٍ وَ عَلَى آلِ مُحمَّدٍ كمَا بَارَكْتَ عَلَى إبْرَاهيمَ وَعَلَى آلِ إبْرَاهيمَ إنَّكَ حَمِيدٌ مَجِيدٌ

“Oh Allah, send grace and honour on Muhammad (Sallallaahu Alaihi WaSallam) and on the family and true followers of Muhammad (Sallallaahu Alaihi WaSallam), just as you sent Grace and Honour on Ibrahim (Alaihi WaSallam) and on the family and true followers of Ibrahim (Alaihi WaSallam). Surely, you are praiseworthy, the Great.”


There are several Duas which Prophet (Sallallaahu Alaihi WaSallam) used to say after Salawat Ibrahimiyyah and he taught them to the companions. Some are as follows:

i) ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr (RadiAllahu Anhu) said that Abu Bakr (RadiAllahu Anhu) said to the Masenger of Allah,”Please teach me a Dua so I can say it in my prayer.” So the Messenger of Allah said:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي ظَلَمْتُ نَفْسِي ظُلْمًا كَثِيرًا وَ لا يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلا أَنْتَ فَاغْفِرْ لِي مَغْفِرَةً مِنْ عِنْدِكَ وَ ارْحَمْنِي إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ

“Oh Allah, I have been very cruel to myself (by ignoring my duty to you) and there is no one who can forgive the sins except you. So forgive me because you are the only forgiver and have mercy on me. Verily you are the forgiver and merciful.”

ii) Shaddad ibn ‘Aus (RadiAllahu Anhu) reported that the Prophet of Allah (Sallallaahu Alaihi WaSallam) used to say in his prayer the following:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ الثَّبَاتَ فِي الْأَمْرِ وَ الْعَزِيمَةَ عَلَى الرُّشْدِ وَ أَسْأَلُكَ شُكْرَ نِعْمَتِكَ وَ حُسْنَ عِبَادَتِكَ وَ أَسْأَلُكَ قَلْبًا سَلِيمًا وَ لِسَانًا صَادِقًا وَ أَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ خَيْرِ مَا تَعْلَمُ وَ أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا تَعْلَمُ وَ أَسْتَغْفِرُكَ لِمَا تَعْلَمُ

“Oh Allah, I ask you for strength in every matter of dean and a strong will power to be on the right path. And I ask you to make me thankful for your bounties and give me the ability to worship you perfectly. And I ask you to make my heart sincere and my tongue truthful. I ask you for everygoodness known to you and I seekrefuge in you from everything bad that you know is bad. I ask your forgiveness for all mistakes you know.”

iii) A’ishah (RadiAllahu Anha) reported that the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alaihi WaSallam) used to say this Dua in his prayer:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ عَذَابِ الْقَبْرِ وَ أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ فِتْنَةِ الدَّجَّالِ وَ أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ فِتْنَةِ الْمَحْيَا وَ الْمَمَاتِ، اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ الْمَأْثَمِ وَ الْمَغْرَمِ

“Oh Allah I seek refuge in you from the punishment of the grave, and I seek refuge in you from the troubles of dajjal, and I seek refuge in you from the difficulties and troubles of the life and death. Oh Allah, I seek refuge in you from every kind of sin and unexpected troubles.”



After praying for himself as much as the person wishes he should end his prayer saying:

السَّلامُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَ رَحْمَةُ اللهِ

Peace be on you and the mercy of Allah,” turning the face first to the right and then to the left, both times over the shoulder. This brings the two, three or four rak’ats of the prayer to completion.


There are many Duas which Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaahu Alaihi WaSallam) used to say after salutation. So, a person praying should try to memorize them and follow the practice of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaahu Alaihi WaSallam). Some of these du’as we will mention here. It was the continuous practice of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaahu Alaihi WaSallam) when he turned away from his prayer to say:

لا إِلهَ إلاّ ال

La ilaha illal’laah – “There is no God but Allah” (3 times)

أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ، أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ، أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ

Asthagfirullah – “I ask Allah to forgive me” (3 times)

اللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ السَّلامُ وَ مِنْكَ السَّلامُ تَبَارَكْتَ يَاذَا الجَلالِ وَ الإِكْرامِ

Allah humma antassalamu Wa minkassalamu tabarakta ya Zaljalali walikram “Oh Allah, you are the peace, And you are the source of peace, you are blessed, O possessor of Glory and Honour.” (MUSLIM)

اللَّهُمَّ أَعِنِّي عَلَى ذِكْرِكَ وَ شُكْرِكَ وَ حُسْنِ عِبَادَتِكَ

Allah humma a’innee ala Zikrika wa shukrika wa Hunsni ‘ibadatik “Oh Allah, help me torememberyou all the time, And tothankyou, and to worship you perfectly.” (Ahmad, Abu Dawud)

لا إِلهَ إلاّ اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لا شَرِيكَ لَهُ، لهُ المُلْكُ وَ لهُ الحَمْدُ وَ هوَ عَلَى كُلّ شَيْءٍ قَدير

La ilaha illal’laahu Wah’dahu laa Sha-reekalahu Lahul Mulku wala-hul hamdu wahuwa ‘ala kul-li shay-in Qadeer – “There is no God but Allah, He is the only One and has no partner, Sovereignty and praise are only for Him. He has full authority over everything.”

اللَّهُمَّ لا مَانِعَ لِما أَعْطَيْتَ وَ لا مُعْطِيَ لِما مَنَعْتَ وَ لا يَنْفَـعُ ذَا الجَـِّ مِنْكَ الجَد

Allah humma la ma’ni ‘alima a’tayta wa laa mu’ti ‘alima mana’ta wala-yanfa’u zaljad-di minkal jad – “Nobody can prevent whatever you want to give and nobody can give whatever you want to prevent and a person with high rank cannot benefit himself or another from his high rank against your will.” (Bukhari, Muslim)

سُبْحَانَ اللهِ (۳۳ مرة) ، الْحَمْدُ للهِ (۳۳ مرة) ، اللهُ أَكْبَرُ (۳٤ مرة

It is Sunnah to say Subhan’Allah – “Glory be to Allah” (33 times), Alhamdulillah – “Praise be to Allah” (33 times), and Allahu Akbar – “Allah is the greatest” (34 times)


2 Responses to Muslim Prayer Guide

  1. vahab says:

    assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh

    this work is absolute amazing, very good by all means. for the duaas if you can add the reference for all peoples benifit, its would be fantastic.
    jazakumullau khair



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