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1. The Early Morning Prayer (Salatu-l-Fajr)

In this prayer two units (Rak’ahs) are offered first as supererogatory (Sunnah). These are followed by two other units as obligatory (Fard). Both supererogatory and obligatory units are offered in the same manner except that, when declaring the intention, one has to distinguish between the two kinds. This is the description of performance:

 

Act 1. One stands in reverence and humility, facing the Qiblah, raising his hands up to the ears, and says his intention by heart “Nawaytu Osalli Sunnata Salati-Fajr or Farda Salati-Fajr (As the case may be);

 

This means: I declare my intention to offer the supererogatory or obligatory (as the case may be) prayer of morning.

 

And then the prayer begins by pronouncing "Takberatul-Ihram": "Allah Akbar" God is the Greatest.

 

Then he lowers his arm and places the right hand over the left hand, right above the navel. (This position of the hands is in accordance with one school of law. Other positions are preferred by other schools. However, these are minor differences and do not affect the validity of the prayer. In fact, all such differences are considered as conveniences and facilities rather than hindrances and restriction.) This the waquf position (standing position).

 

Act 2. He then says in a low voice the following: "Du'a Thana" (Praise supplication):

 

“Subhanaka-l-lahumma wa bihamdik, wa tabaraka-smuk, wa ta’ala jadduk, wa La Ilaha Ghayruk. A’udhu bi-l-lahi mina-sh-shaytani-r-rajeem. Bismi-l-lahi-r-rah-mani-r-raheem

 

This means: “Glory be to You, O God, and Yours is the praise and blessed is Your name, and exalted is Your majesty, and there is no god besides You. I seek the refuge of God from the condemned devil. In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.” (This part is recommended. It is not absolutely essential for the completion of the prayer.)

 

Act 3. Then in a low or audible voice he recites the Opening Chapter of the Qur’an (al-Fatihah), followed by any passage from the Holy Book. (The Opening and examples of these short chapters and verses will be found later in this chapter.)

 

Act 4. Then he says: “Allahu Akbar,” (God is the Greatest ), bowing his trunk down at a right angle, placing the palms of his hands on the knees. This is the Ruku’ position (bowing position), and saying in a low voice:

 

“Subhana Rabbiya-l-Azeem”.

 

This means: “Glory to my Lord the Great”, (repeated three times).

 

After that the standing position is resumed with these words:

 

“Sami’ a-l-ahu Liman Hamidah; Rabbana Laka-l-Hamd

 

This means: ("God accepts any who are thankful to Him; Our Lord, praise be to You"). When saying this the hands remain on the sides.

Act 5. The worshipper then says: Allahu Akbar, prostrating himself with the toes of both feet, both knees, both hands and the forehead touching the ground. This is the Sujud position (prostration position) and is accompanied with these words:

 

"Subhana Rabbiya-l-A’La"

 

This means: "Glory to my Lord the most High", ( repeated three times).

 

Act 6. Then with the utterance of Allahu Akbar comes the Julus position (sitting position), a short rest in sitting posture: the outer side of the left foot and the toes of the right one, which are in an erect position, touching the ground and the two hands are placed on the knees.

 

After this a second prostration (Sujud) is repeated in the same way with the same utterances as in the first one. This completes one unit (Rak’ah) of the prayer.

 

Act 7. After the first unit the worshipper rises, saying Allahu Akbar, to assume a standing position for the second unit and recites the Opening (the Fatihah) followed by a Qur’anic passage as in the first unit.

 

Act 8. When he has finished the second bowing and the two prostrations in the same way as the first, he takes a sitting position as in Julus and recites the Tashahhud with its two parts. (This will be found later in this chapter.)

 

Act 9. Finally he turns his face to the right side saying these word: “Assalamu ‘Alaykum wa rahmatu-l-Lah (peace be on you and the mercy of God). Then he turns his face to the left side uttering the same greetings (Taslim).

 

This is how any prayer of two units (Rak’ahs), whether obligatory or supererogatory, is performed. When knowing how to perform this prayer in the right way, all other prayers will be found very easy. It should be pointed out that every move or every word in the Islamic prayer has a great significance attached to it and is symbolic of a very deep meaning.

 

 
 
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