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The Wajib Acts of the Salat

The Salat, which is incumbent upon us, consists of some Wajib acts which we are to perform in the Salat, as it would not be valid without them. These Wajibs are:1

1. An-Niyyah (Intention]: The meaning of the Niyyah is the intention to do something. For example before performing our Salat we must first make the intention to do so, so we say; "I perform the Salat for the pleasure of Allah, the Exalted." When we want to perform Salatus-Subh, for example, we are to make our Niyyah like this: "Usalli Salatus-Subh Qurbatan Ila­ Llahl Ta Ala". In this way we make the Niyyah for the Salat whenever we want to perform the Salat.

2. Takbiratul-Ihram: The second Wajib in Salat is Takbiratul-Ihram, which comes after the Niyyah. It means to say "Allahu-Akbar", with which the Salat is commenced, That is we are no longer allowed to talk, laugh, eat, drink, or turn to the sides, and the like. Because doing any of these acts would render the Salat Batil.

3. Al-Qiyam [standing]: The Salat is to be performed in standing position. But if a person could not stand because of some illness, for example, he may perform the Salat sitting. If he could not do it sitting, he may do it lying on his right side. If he could not lay on his right side, he may do it while lying on his left side. If he still could not do it in this position, he may do it lying on his back. If he still could not perform it in this position, he could make a signal or gesture. And if he couldn't, he may do it by heart. In all positions one has to keep facing the Qiblah.

N. B. During the Qiyam, the Musalli is to let his arms along his sides, on his thighs.

4. Al-Qira'ah and Adh-Dhikr. [Reciting and Glorifying]:2 It is Wajib to recite Suratul-Fatihah, which is also called "Al­Hamd'', and another Surah of the Qur'an in the first and the second Rak’ahs. As to the third and fourth Rak’ahs, we may choose either to recite Suratul-Fatihah or to say the Dhikr, i.e. "Subhana Llahi Wal-Hamdu Li-Llahi Wa La Ilaha Illa-Llahu Akbar", once, though three times is preferred.

5. Ar-Ruku [Genuflection]: It is Wajib in each Rak’ah. The Ruku is to bow down in submission to Allah, the Exalted. In this bowing position we are to place the palms of the two hands on the two knees.3 While in the Ruku a Dhikr4 is to be recited, such as: "Subhana Rabbi-Yal-Azimi Wa Bi-Hamdih”.

6. As-Sujud5 (Prostration): In each Rak'ah two Sujuds are Wajib. How to Perform the Sujud:

The Musalli is to place his forehead, two palms, two knees and two toes6, on the ground, and then he is to say: "Subhana Rabbiyal-Ala Wa Bi-Hamdih" or to say: "Subhana-Llah" three times. Then he sits still7 for a moment, then repeats the Sujud and the Dhikr as before, then sits once again.

7. At-Tashahhud8: The Tashahhud is Wajib in the Salat, and is to be performed once in the 2-rak'ah Salats, such as Salatus-Subh, after the second Rak’ah. As to the other Salats of the Zuhr, the Asr, the Maghrib and the Isha, the Tashahhud is to be done twice, the first after the second Rak’ah, and the second after the last Sujud of the Salat. The Text of the Tashahhud:

"Ashhadu An La Ilaha Illa-Llah, Wahdahu La Sharika Lah, Wa Ashhadu Anna Muhammadan Abduhu Wa Rasuluh. Allahumma Salli Ala Muhammadin Wa Alee Muhammad." The meaning is: "I testify that there is no God but Allah, and I testify that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger. O Allah! send your blessings upon Muhammad and his Progeny (descendants)."9

8. At-Taslim10: It is the last part of the Salat, and its text is: "As-Salamu Alayna Wa Ala Ibadillahis Salihin" and "As-Salamu Alaykum Wa Rahmatu-Llahi Wa Barakatuh". It is preferred, however, to say first. "As-Salamu Alayka Ayyuhan-Nabiyyu Wa Rahmatu-Llahi Wa Barakatuh", then you recite the former first and second texts. By this Taslim, the Salat is completed.

9. At-Tartib [Sequence]: It means performance of the acts of the Salat in succession, one by one.

10. Al-Muwalat [Continuity]: It means continuing the performance of the acts of the Salat without a breach that may affect the form of the Salat. That is, after Takbiratul­Ihram we immediately recite Suratul-Fatihah, and when it is finished we read the Surah without any lapse of time, and so on.

The Qunut

The Qunut11:

It is an invocation expressing submission to Allah. It is Mustahabb in all the daily Salats, as well as in the Nafilahs. It is done after the recitation of the second Rak’ah, before bowing in the Ruku. It is to our option to choose any Du’a [invocation or prayer] to recite it in the Qunut. The best of these prayers are those extracted from the Qur'an, such as: "Rabbana Atina Fid-Dunya Hasanatan Wa Fil-Akhirati Hasanah Wa Qina Adhaban-Nar."

“Our Lord! give us good in this world and good in the Hereafter, and save us from the torment of the Fire” (2:201)

During the Qunut, we raise our hands with the palms in front of our faces.

Discussion

Q1. Write T for the True statement, and F for the false one.
a. It is Wajib to do two Sajdahs in each Rak’ah.

b. During the Qiyam, the Musalli places his arms on his thighs.

Q2. If one performs the Salat out of hypocrisy, will his Salat be valid or Batil and need to be repeated?

Q3. Is observing the Tartib of the parts of the Salat Wajib?

Q4. What does the Muwalat mean? Explain it to your fellow-students.

Q5. Tell which of the following parts of the Salat is Wajib; Al-Qunut, At-Tashahhud, At-Taslim.

  • 1. Except Salatul-Mayyit which is different from the other Salats.
  • 2. The Hanafis say: "The Musalli is allowed to recite in the third and fourth Rak’ahs a Surah of the Qur'an, or to do the Dhikr instead. The other three sects say that to recite Suratul-Fatihah in every Rak'ah is Wajib. (Look up Al-Fiqh Alal­Madhahibil-Khamsah" by Muhammad Jawad Maghniyyah).
  • 3. The Hanafis say: The Wajib is just to bow, disregarding how, and the Tuma’ninah [quietude] in the Salat is not Wajib.
  • 4. The Shafi 'is, the Hanafis and the Malikis say that the Dhikr is not Wajib during the Ruku.
  • 5. All sects unanimously agree that the Sujud is allowed to be done on the ground or on whatever grows on it, which is neither eaten nor worn. But the Imami Shi'ahs do not allow the Sujud on other than the earth, and say that to do it on the earth is preferred to anything else.
  • 6. The Malikis, the Shafi'is and the Hanafis say: It is Wajib to do the Sujud on the forehead, while to do it on other parts of the head is Mustahabb.
  • 7. The Hanafis say that it is not Wajib to sit between the two Sujuds .
  • 8. The Imamis and the Hanbalis say that the first Tashahhud is Wajib. The other sects say that it is Mustahabb, not Wajib. As to the last Tashahhud, the Shafi'is, the Hanbalis and the Imamis say that it is Wajib, while the Malikis and the Hanafis say that it is Mustahabb not Wajib (Look "Bidayatul-Mujtahid”, quoted from "Al-Fiqh Alal-Madhahibil-Khamsah" by M.J. Maghniyyah).
  • 9. There are Mustahabb forms for the Tashahhud, such as: "Bismillahi Wal Hamdu Li­Llah, Wa Khayrul-Asma'i Li-Llah Ashhadu An La Llaha Illa-Llah Wahdahu, La Sharika Lah, Wa Ashhadu Anna Muhammadan Abduhu Wa Rasuluh Arsalahu Bilhaqqi Bashiran Wa Nadhiran Bayna Yadayi-Assa'ah. Ashhadu Annaka Ni'mar-Rabb, Wa Anna Muhammadan Ni'mar-Rasul. At-Tahiyyatu Li-Llah Wa Salawatut-Tahiratuz-Zakiyatul-Ghadiyatur-Raihatus-Sabighatun-Na'imat Ma Taba Wa Zaka Wa Tahura Wa Khalusa Wa Safa. Ashhadu An La Ilaha Illa-Llahu Wahdahu La Sharika Lah, Wa Ashhadu Anna Muhammadan Abduhu Wa Rasaluhu Arsalahu Bilhaqqi Bashiran Wa Nadhira. Allahumma Salli Ala Muhammadin Wa Ali Muhammad Kama Sallayta Wa Barakta Wa Tarahhamta Ala Ibrahima Wa Ali Ibrahima Innaka Hamidun Majid. "(Look up "Al­Urwatul-Wuthqa” by the late Sayyid Muhammad Kaim Al-Yazdi, a Shi’a authority. Other great Faqihs also confirmed that in their comments on the book. The important thing in the Tashahudd is the two testimonies and sending the blessings on Muhammad (s) and his Progeny (descendants). The shorter Tashahudd has formerly been mentioned. The Imamis say that it is Wajib to say ''Allahhumma Salli Ala Muhammadin Wa Alee Muhammad'' after the Tashahhud. But the opinion of Ash-Shafi'I goes to say that it is Wajib after the second Tashahhud, and that the Salat of the one who does not repeat it will not be accepted. In a footnote in the "Ar-Rawadatun-Nadiyyah" it is said: "This is the truth. Allah, the Exalted, enjoined on us to send blessings on the Prophet, when He said;'' "O you who believe! Ask blessings on him and salute him with a (becoming) salutation." (Suratul-Ahzab: 56). His Companions asked him how to send blessings on him. He taught them what to say, though there are different versions. However, they understood that the sending of the blessings should be after the Tashahhud, as the Messenger had ordered them. They have continued to follow the Prophet's (s) wishes and thus it has reached us by the Fiqhi succession. In a noble Hadith it is said: "... and no Salat is acceptable from the one who does not send Salat (blessings) on the Prophet''. This is stated by At-Tirmidhi in his "Sahih” book 45, chapter 64, and by Ibn Majah in his "Sunan'', book 1, chapter 41. Malik in his "Al-Muwatta" book 13, ch. 41-56, mentions the sending of blessings on the Prophet (s) in the Salat and recommends it.
  • 10. The Shafi'is, the Malikis, the Hanbalis and most of the Imami Shi'ahs say that the Taslim is Wajib, while the Hanafis say that it is not Wajib.
  • 11. The Shafi'is and the Malikis say that the Qunut is Mustahabb in the morning Salat, while the Hanafis and the Hanbalis say that it is Mustahabb in the odd Salat).