The Arkaan of Salah

The Arkaan (pillars) of the salaah are the integral parts, which if missed out invalidates the prayer or unit, whether intentionally or unintentionally missed out. Therefore, these integral parts are fundamental to attaining Khushu’. For how can one concentrate on the prayer, if one perform’s it incorrectly, missing parts out?! Khushu cannot be achieved unless one performs the prayer correctly.

There are fourteen integral parts of the prayer, and they are as follows:

  • To stand whilst performing the obligatory prayers:

Allah says, “and stand before Allah, devoutly obedient.” (Al-Baqarah 2:238)

And in the authentic hadith, the Prophet said, “perform prayer while standing; if you cannot, perform it while sitting; if you cannot, then perform it while lying on your side.” (Bukhari)

Thus one should stand as long as he/she is able to do so.

  • Takbeeratul-Ihram-The Opening Takbeer: This begins the prayer. The prophet was never reported to have missed it, and he accompanied it with saying “Allahu Akbar.” If one does not perform it, he does not begin his prayers.
  • Reciting Suratul-Fatihah: Reciting the Mother of the Book is an integral part of the prayer, and must be done in every unit. If it is missed in a rakaah, the rakaah becomes invalid and is automatically replaced by the next unit.
  • To perform ruku, in every rakaah; otherwise the unit is invalid, the next one replaces it.
  • Rising after bowing: be gentle when rising, there is no rush. Remember you are in Allah’s presence, so be composed.
  • Standing up after bowing: let every bone in you spine, return to a relaxing position before moving onto the next action, this will help you to be calm and collected in your prayer. Tip: there are various athkar that can be recited while standing in this position, which can help you to focus in your prayer
  • To prostrate twice in every unit of the prayer: ensure your posture in sujud is perfect,

Ibn Abbas reported that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: I have been commanded to prostrate myself on seven bones: “forehead,” and then pointed with his hand towards his nose, hands, feet, and the extremities of the feet; and we were forbidden to fold back clothing and hair. (Muslim)

  • Rising between the two prostrations and sitting up straight in between them: if you find yourself eager for next prostration, take some time to allow your bones to relax in the sitting position, recite some athkaar, to help you concentrate before moving off for the second sajdah.

Aishah narrated, “when he (the prophet) raised his head after prostration, he did not prostrate himself again until he had sat erect.” (Muslim)

  • Being tranquil whilst performing the various actions of the prayer: to be submissive, calm, collected. Not rushing, nor hurrying, nor lacking concentration. To maintain focus as best as you can.
  • Sitting for the final tashahhud
  • Reciting the final tashahhud: this can be found in the Hisnul Muslim Duaa book
  • Sending Salaat and Salaam upon the prophet: i.e. reciting Durood Ibrahim (this can be found in the Hisnul Muslim book)
  • Observing succession: performing each act after the other, but without rushing it
  • To conclude the prayer with tasleem: tasleem (saying salaam and turning the head to the right and left alternatively), signifies the end of the prayer.

This is a summary of the actions of the prayer, without which the prayer is invalid.

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