Obligatory Salah and some rulings of it

Obligatory Salah

Allah Ta’ala created human beings and jinns only to worship Him. The most important of the acts of worship that he has asked them to perform is Salah. It is one of the pillars of Islam. Believers perform the Obligatory Salah regularly. And those who disbelieve do not perform prayer.

So I will discuss with you the obligatory prayer and some of its important issues. At the same time, I will mention some conditions for Salah to be correct. So let’s first know the identity of Salah and its types.

Obligatory Salah, the identity of Salah, and its types

According to most scholars, Salah is the words and deeds with certain conditions and intentions; it’s beginning with Takbir and ending with Salaam. [Al-Mawsoo‘ah Al-Fiqhiyyah, page no. 16707]

There are mainly two types of Salah. 1. Obligatory Salah, 2. Nafl Salah. And the Obligatory Salah is the prayer that must perform. Forsaking it will be a grave sin and will lead to severe punishment in the Hereafter. And the Nafl Salah is a prayer that does not must to be performed. Failure to perform so will not be a grave sin. However, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) has inspired his ummah to perform Nafl prayers.

It is obligatory to perform Salah only five times in 24 hours. Each of those Salah has to be performed at appointed times. The names of those prayers are Fajr, Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib, and Isha. Apart from these prayers, other prayers are considered Nafl prayers. However, the importance of Nafl’s prayers increases due to various reasons.

Obligatory Salah and its importance

In this regard, Allah Ta’ala said: “(O Allah’s Messenger), tell My servants who have believed to establish Salah and spend from what I have provided them, secretly and publicly, before a Day comes in which there will be no exchange (i.e., ransom), nor any friendships.” [Surah Ibrahim, verse 31]

Allah Ta’ala also said, “And when you have completed the Salah, remember Allah standing, sitting, or (lying) on your sides. But when you become secure, re-establish (regular) prayer. Indeed, performing prayers is a duty on the believers at the appointed times.” [Surah An-Nisa, verse 103]

And Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “The first thing that a servant will be held accountable for on the Day of Resurrection will be his Salah. If it is complete, he will be successful and saved, and if it is defective, he will fail and lose. So if something is deficient in his obligatory (prayers), then the Lord, Mighty, and Sublime say: ‘Look! Are there any voluntary (Nafl’s prayers) for my servant?’ So with them, what was deficient in his obligatory (prayers) will be completed. Then the rest of his deeds will be treated like that.” [Jami at-Tirmidhi, Hadith No. 413]

The number of obligatory rak’ahs of the five daily prayers

The number of obligatory rak’ahs of Fajr prayer is 2 rak’ahs, of Zuhr is 4 rak’ahs, of Asr is 4 rak’ahs, of Maghrib is 3 rak’ahs and of Isha is 4 rak’ahs.

These obligatory rak’ahs have to be performed with the congregation. If one cannot perform these obligatory rak’ahs with the congregation due to valid excuses, will perform these rak’ahs alone. And must perform five daily prayers at their appointed time. If a person forgets to perform the prayer, he will perform the missed prayer whenever he remembers. In this regard, Allah Messenger (peace be upon him) said:

When any one of you omits the Salah due to sleep or forgets it, he should observe it when he remembers it, for Allah has said:” Observe Salah for remembrance of Me.” [Sahih Muslim, Hadith No. 1457]

On whom are the five obligatory prayers obligatory?

Among whom can be found three conditions, on them, five times prayer will be obligatory. Those conditions are:

  • Being a Muslim. So for non-Muslims, any prayers are not obligatory.
  • Being an adult. So who is not an adult; Five-times prayers are not obligatory for him. But Islam inspires the non-adult person to perform Salah. And their parent’s responsibility is to give importance and rule their child for performing the Salah.
  • Having a healthy brain. Therefore, if a person goes insane, the Salah is not obligatory until his insanity is removed. And if anyone becomes unconscious or intoxicated, the prayer will be suspended on him. When he regains consciousness, prayer will be obligatory on him.

What are the conditions for the prayer to be correct?

There are usually six conditions for the prayer to be correct. E.g.

  1. Being holiness the body. Therefore, if a person performs the Salah in an impure state without a valid excuse, his Salah will not be correct. In this regard, Allah Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “The key to prayer is purification; its beginning is Takbir (i.e., to say Allahu Akbar), and its end is Taslim (i.e., to say Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah).” [Sunan Abi Dawud, Hadith No. 61] 
  2. Being purified the garments. Allah Ta’ala said: “Purify your garments.” [Surah Al-Muddaththir, verse 4]
  3. To be holy the place of Salah. Allah Ta’ala said: “Purify My House for those who perform Tawaf and those who stand (in prayer), and those who bow and prostrate.” [Surah Al-Hajj, verse 26]
  4. Covering the Awrah. The extent of a man’s awrah is from the navel to the knees. And must also be covered the knees. And women’s awrah is full body. Therefore, must be covered everything in Salah except her face and the palms of his hands. [Fiqh al-Sunnah, page no. 120] 
  5. Performing Salah facing towards the Ka’ba. Allah Ta’ala said: “So turn your face toward al-Masjid al-Ḥaram. And wherever you (believers) are, turn your faces (i.e., yourselves) toward it (in Salah).” [Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 144]
  6. Performing every obligatory salah within its appointed time. In this regard, Allah Ta’ala said: “Indeed, performing prayers is a duty on the believers at the appointed times.” [Surah An-Nisa, verse 103]

Obligatory matters of every Salah

The intention of Salah. Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions, and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended.” [Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith No. 1]

To say, Allahu Akbar. Muhammad bin ‘Amr bin ‘Ata’ said: “I heard Abu Humaid As-Sa’idi (R) say: ‘When the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) stood up for Salah, he would face the prayer direction towards Kaaba, raise his hands, and say: “Allahu Akbar (Allah is Most Great).” [Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith No. 803]

Performing Salah standing. Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “Pray while standing and if you can’t, pray while sitting and if you cannot do even that, then pray Lying on your side.” [Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith No. 1117]

Reciting Al-Fatiha. Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever does not recite Al-Fatiha in his prayer, his prayer is not valid.” [Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith No. 756] 

Doing the Ruku. Allah Ta’ala said: “O you who have believed, bow and prostrate and worship your Lord and do good – that you may succeed.” [Surah Al-Hajj, verse 77]

More Obligatory matters

Getting up from the Ruku and standing up still for a while. Abu Humaid As-Sa’idi (R) said, “I remember the prayer of Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) better than any one of you. I saw him raising both his hands up to the level of the shoulders on saying the Takbir, and on bowing, he placed his hands on both knees and bent his back straight, then he stood up straight from bowing till all the vertebrate took their normal positions.” [Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith No. 828]

Performing two prostrations and sitting still for some time between the two prostrations. Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “Afterwards prostrate with calmness till you feel at ease and then raise (your head) and sit with Calmness till you feel at ease and then prostrate with calmness till you feel at ease in prostration.” [Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith No. 793]

Sitting for the last Tashahhud. Abdullah bin Mas’ud (R) said: While observing prayer behind the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), we used to recite: Peace be upon Allah, peace be upon so and so. One day the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said to us: Verily Allah is Himself, Peace. When any one of you sits during the prayer, he should say: “All services rendered by words, acts of worship, and all good things are due to Allah. Peace be upon you, O Prophet, and Allah’s mercy and blessings. Peace be upon us and Allah’s upright servants. I testify that there is no god but Allah, and I testify that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger.” [Sahih Muslim, Hadith No. 402]

Last Obligatory matter of Salah

Concluding prayers through Salam. ‘Amir bin Sa’d narrated from his father, he said; “I saw the Messenger of Allah (may peace be open him) pronouncing Salam on his right and his left. Even I saw the whiteness of his cheek.” [Sahih Muslim, Hadith No. 582] 

 Our Dua

May Allah Ta’ala grant us the grace to perform the prayers five times at appointed times and to complete the prayers for his satisfaction. Ameen.


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