1. Takbiratul Iftitah (Opening Takbir)
Takbiratul iftitah, or the opening takbir, is proclaiming God’s name by reciting “Allahu Akbar” at the beginning of the prayer. The intention for the prayer must be made before the opening takbir is pronounced, and the takbir must be pronounced while in the standing position, looking at the point where one puts his forehead during prostration. While reciting takbir, one raises the hands with the palms facing the qiblah, according to the Hanafis, to the ears, with the thumbs touching the earlobes (or front of the chest for women). In addition to this, a person should not eat, drink, speak or perform any action between the intention and the takbir of the prayer.
2. Qiyam (Standing Position)
Qiyam means standing upright during the prayer. It is compulsory to perform the obligatory prayers in the standing position. However, those who are unable to pray standing up may perform the prayer in the sitting position. A person who begins the prayer standing but during the prayer feels too weak to pray in the standing position may continue the prayer in the sitting position.
3. Qira’ah (Recitation)
During the prayer, it is compulsory to recite a portion of the Qur’an this is called Qira’ah. It is compulsory to recite three short or one equally long verse of the Qur’an while standing during the prayer. During the congregational prayers, the imam recites verses of the Qur’an, and those who comply with the imam for the prayer do not recite the Qur’an themselves but listen to the imam’s recitation.
4. Ruku (Bowing)
Ruku is bowing during the prayer to the extent that the head and back are straight in alignment towards the kneecaps with the fingers spread out. According to the Hanafis, women are not required to bow fully during the prayer. They bow over slightly and do not hold the knees during the ruku but simply place both hands on the knees.
5. Sajdah (Prostration)
Sajdah is prostrating by placing the nose, forehead, hands, knees, and feet on the ground. During the prayer, we prostrate by firstly placing both knees, then both hands together with the head on the ground. It is compulsory to perform the prostration twice during every rak’ah (unit) of the prayer. It is not advisable to prostrate on a soft object that prevents the individual from sensing the firmness of the ground.
Prostration is the most important element of the prayer; it is the ultimate display of a person’s respect and submission to the Creator. Prostration is the clear expression of devotion, a believer’s demonstration of servitude. This is why the Prophet said: “The closest a servant comes to God is when he prostrates.”
Throught the prayer the eyes of the praying person should point to the spot where the forehead rests in the prostrations.
6. Qa’dal Al-Akhirah (Remaining In The Seated Position)
Qa’dal al-akhirah is remaining in the seated position following the prostration of the final rak’ah of the prayer for a duration sufficient to recite at-tahiyat. This is called the last sitting. In the Hanafi School, during qa’dah al-akhirah, or the last sitting, men sit in the kneeling position with the outer side of the left food and leg on the ground and the right foot and toes pointing downwards, whereas women sit on the left hip and leg, with both legs facing towards the right. Altering the methods of sitting position due to health or disability reasons is permissible.
- October 13, 2013
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