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Part III: Arkaan of Salaah

Q.        What are the arkaan of salaah?
A.        Things which are fard while in prayer are called arkaan. Arkaan is plural of rukn which means a pillar, a support, or a thing which is compulsory.

Q.        How many things are fard in namaaz?
            (Things that are fard to observe before saying namaaz are called Sharaa’it-e-namaaz: we have discussed the seven of them above. Things that are fard to observe during performance of the prayer are called Arkaan-e-namaaz.)

A.        Six things are fard in prayer:

bulletTakbeer Tahreemah.
bulletQiyaam or standing up.
bulletQiraa’ah or recitation of the Qur’aan.
bulletQa’dah aakhirah or the sitting at the end of the prayer.

The takbeer tahreemah is actually a condition of beginning the prayer, not a rukn.

Q.        If takbeer tahreemah is a condition of the prayer, why was it not dealt with when the previous seven conditions were being discussed?
A.        As there is no interval between takbeer tahreemah and the other arkaan of the prayer, and the prayer begins with it, it is more appropriate to discuss takbeer tahreemah with the arkaan of salaah.


Takbeer Tahreemah

Q.        What is meant by takbeer tahreemah?
A.        To begin the prayer, after making the niyyah, one says “Allaahu akbar”. After saying this takbeer, the prayer begins and all those actions which do not pertain to the namaaz become haraam. This is why it is called takbeer tahreemah.

Q.        Can one say the takbeer tahreemah of a fard prayer while bowing?
A.        This is not allowed because standing upright while saying takbeer tahreemah, in fard or waajib prayer, is compulsory unless there is an excuse not to do so.


First Rukn of Prayer: Qiyaam

Q.        What is meant by Qiyaam?
A.        Qiyaam means standing up and standing so that the hands do not reach down to the knees.

Q.        For which namaaz and for how long is the Qiyaam a fard?
A.        In fard and waajib prayers, it is necessary to stand up long enough to read the Qur’aanic verses necessary for the prayer.

Q.        What if one has no strength to do Qiyaam?
A.        One can say fard or waajib prayers sitting if there is some strong excuse. For example, one has disease, injury or fear of an enemy.

Q.        What is the ruling for Qiyaam in nafl prayer?
A.        Qiyaam is not fard in nafl. One is allowed to say nafl while sitting even without an excuse. But one gets only half blessings if one says nafl while sitting without an excuse.


Second Rukn of Prayer: Qiraa’ah

Q.        What is meant by Qiraa’ah?
A.        Qiraa’ah means recitation. Here it means recitation of the Qur’aan.

Q.        How much Qiraa’ah of the Qur’aan is necessary in prayer?
A.        Reciting at least one aayah is fard, saying Surah Faatihah is waajib and reciting a surah or one long aayah or three shorter aayaat in addition to Surah Faatihah in the first two rak’aat of fard and in all rak’aat of witr, sunnah and nafl is waajib also.

Q.        Is Surah Faatihah waajib in all rak’aat of every namaaz?
A.        With the exception of the third and fourth rak’aat of fard namaaz, reading Surah Faatihah is waajib in all rak’aat of every prayer whether it be fard, waajib, sunnah or nafl.

Q.        What if one does not remember even one aayah (verse of Qur’aan)?
A.        Then one may read “Subhaanallaah” or “Al-hamdu lillaah” in place of Qira’ah. It is fard to learn by heart some aayaat of the Qur’aan as soon as possible. To learn by heart as much of the Qur’aan as is necessary for fard namaaz is fard; and for waajib, to its extent, it is waajib and if one does not learn it, he will be most sinful.

Q.        In which salaah should the Qira’ah be read aloud?
A.        It is waajib for the imaam to say it aloud in the first two rak’aat of Maghrib, ‘Ishaa and Fajr prayers, the Friday prayer and the two ‘Eid prayers. In the month of Ramadaan, the Qira’ah should be read aloud in the witr and taraaweeh prayers by the imaam also.

Q.        In which prayers should the recitation be done in a low voice?
A.        The imaam and munfarid should recite it in a low voice for the Zuhr and ‘Asr prayers and the munfarid should recite so in witr prayers.

Q.        How loud the recitation should be recited?
A.        The lowest degree of “reading aloud” is that the voice reaches the ear of the person standing next to him and the lowest degree of “reading low” is that in which the voice of the person is audible to himself.

Q.        What do we call the namaaz in which recitation is done loudly?
A.        These are called Jahri Namaaz. Jahr means “reading aloud.”

Q.        What do we call the prayers in which Qira’ah is done in a low voice?
A.        These are called Sirri Namaaz. Sirr means “secret” (not open), hence to say in a low voice.

Q.        If one does not say the words by tongue but only thinks of them in mind, will it be proper?
A.        Merely thinking of the recitation in the mind does not complete the salaah. The words should be said with the lips.


Third and Fourth Rukn of Prayer: Rukuu’ and Sajdah

Q.        What is the least extent of Rukuu’?
A.        The least extent is bowing so much that the hands touch the knees.

Q.        What is the sunnat method of rukuu’?
A.        Bowing so much that the head and the waist come to the same level. The hands be away from the ribs and knees held firmly by the hands.

Q.        How to perform rukuu’ if a person is already bent down by age or is a hunchback?
A.        He should perform the rukuu’ by the motion of his head. That is, such a person’s rukuu’ will be complete if he only bends his head a little.

Q.        What is meant by sajdah or sujood?
A.        To rest one’s forehead on the ground to express humility and respect is called sajdah.

Q.        Will sajdah be complete if one rests only the nose or forehead?
A.        It is allowed if there is an excuse. If one does sajdah by touching only the forehead to the ground without any excuse, such sajdah will be makrooh. If one does sajdah by resting his nose only, such sajdah will not be complete.

Q.        What to do if there are wounds both over the forehead and nose?
A.        For such a person, it is enough to do sajdah by the motion of the head only.

Q.        In every rak’ah is one sajdah fard or two?
A.        Both of the sajdahs are fard.

Q.        How long to wait after the first sajdah to perform the second sajdah?
A.        Just gain the posture of sitting after the first sajdah and then perform the second one.

Q.        Will sajdah be allowed if a person does sajdah on the back of a person in front of him, due to lack of space in ‘Eid, Friday, or any other such big prayer gatherings?
A.        It is allowed.


Fifth Rukn of Prayer: Qa’dah al-Aakhirah

Q.        Sitting how long in Qa’dah-e-Aakhirah (final sitting) is fard?
A.        Sitting up to the last words of at-Tahiyyahaat: that is, up to “…’abduhu wa rasooluh”, is fard.

Q.        In which prayers is Qa’dah-e-Aakhirah a fard?
A.        In all types of prayers- fard, waajib, sunnat and nafl.



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