The Fard and Waajib Acts of Salaat
(From Beheshti Zewar)
The Fard Acts of Salaat
There are six acts which are fard in salaat:
- To say Allahu Akbar at the time of making the intention.
- To stand up.
- To recite any verse or Surah from the Quran.
- To make the ruku.
- To make the two sajdahs.
- To sit down at the end of salaat for as long as it takes one to recite the entire at-tahiyyaat.
The Wajib Acts of Salaat
The following things are wajib in salaat:
- To recite Surah Faatihah.
- To recite some other Surah with it.
- To execute every fard act at its specific place.
- To stand and recite Surah Faatihah and to recite some Surah with it.
- To go into ruku.
- To go into sajdah.
- To sit down after two rakaats.
- To recite at-tahiyyaat in both the sitting postures.
- To recite dua-e-qunoot in witr salaat.
- To complete the salaat by saying As salaamu alaykum wa rahmatullah.
- To perform all the acts with patience and without rushing.
1. Apart from the above acts, all the others are either sunnah or mustahab.
2. A person does not recite Surah Faatihah but reads some other verse or some other Surah, or he only recites Surah Faatihah and does not read any other verse or Surah, or he does not sit down after the second rakaat but stands up for the third rakaat without sitting down and without reading at-tahiyyaat, or he sat down but did not read at-tahiyyaat – in all these cases, although he will be absolved of his fard duty, his salaat will be worthless. It is wajib on him to repeat his salaat. If he does not repeat his salaat, he will be committing a great sin. However, if he does all these things unintentionally, then by making sajdah-e-sahw, his salaat will become valid.
3. At the time of making salaam, the person did not make salaam. Instead he started to speak, or conversed with someone, or got up and went away somewhere, or did something else with which salaat breaks; then the same rule applies over here. That is, although he will be absolved of his fard duty, he will still have to repeat his salaat. If he does not do so, he will be sinful.
4. If a person recited a Surah before Surah Faatihah, even then he will have to repeat his salaat. If he did this unintentionally, he should make sajdah-e-sahw.
5. After Surah Faatihah, at least three verses should be recited. If only one or two verses are recited and they are such that they equal three verses in length, salaat will still be valid.
6. After standing up from ruku, a person did not recite:
samiAllaahu liman Hamida rabbanaa lakal Hamd
or in ruku he did not recite:
subHaana rabbiyal AZeem
or in sajdah he did not recite:
subHaana rabbiyal a”laa
or in the last sitting position he did not recite durood after at-tahiyyaat. Then in all the above cases his salaat will be valid, but it will be contrary to the sunnah. Similarly, if after the durood, he did not read any dua, but made salaam immediately after reciting the durood, then too his salaat will be valid but contrary to the sunnah.
7. It is sunnah to raise the hands at the time of commencing the salaat. If one does not raise his hands, it will still be proper but contrary to the sunnah.
8. In every rakaat, Bismillah should be read before Surah Faatihah. When the next Surah is read, Bismillah should be read again. This is the preferable method.
9. When making sajdah, if one does not place the forehead and nose on the ground, but places the forehead only, even then the salaat will be valid. But if one does not place the forehead, and places the nose only, the salaat will not be valid. However, if a person has a valid excuse, it will be permissible to place his nose only.
10. If a person did not stand upright in ruku, but merely lifted his head slightly and went straight into sajdah, he will have to repeat his salaat.
11. A person did not sit properly in-between the two sajdahs, he merely lifted his head slightly and went down for the second sajdah. If he does this, he has in fact made only one sajdah and did not complete the two sajdahs. His salaat is not valid. But if he lifted his head in such a way that he was near the sitting position, he will be absolved of his duty but it will be worthless. He should therefore repeat his salaat. If he does not do so, he will be sinful.
12. If a person makes sajdah on something made out of straw or cotton wool, he should press his head down firmly and make sajdah. He should press it down in such a way that he cannot press any further. If he does not press it down firmly but merely places his head lightly, his sajdah will not be considered.
13. If a person adds another Surah after Surah Faatihah in the latter two rakaats of a four rakaat fard salaat, then no harm will come to the salaat. His salaat will be perfectly correct.
14. If a person does not read Surah Faatihah in the latter two rakaats but merely reads Sub’haanallah three times, even then his salaat will be proper. However, it is preferable to recite Surah Faatihah. And if he reads nothing at all and merely remains silent, even then there is no harm and the salaat will be proper.
15. It is wajib to read a Surah after Surah Faatihah in the first two rakaats. If a person only recites Surah Faatihah in the first two rakaats or does not even read Surah Faatihah but merely reads Sub’haanallah; then in the latter two rakaats he should read a Surah after Surah Faatihah. If he did this intentionally he will have to repeat his salaat. And if he did this unintentionally, he will have to make sajdah-e-sahw.
16. In her salaat, a woman must recite Surah Faatihah, another Surah, and all the other duas softly and silently. But she should recite them in such a way that her voice reaches her own ears. If she cannot hear her own voice, her salaat will not be valid.
17. One should not set aside or specify a particular Surah for a particular salaat. Instead, one should read whatever one wishes. To set aside a particular surah is makruh.
18. In the second rakaat, one should not recite a Surah that is longer than the one that one recited in the first rakaat.
19. Women should offer their salaat individually and not in congregation. They should not go to the musjid to offer their salaat in congregation with the men. If a woman offers her salaat in congregation with her husband or any other mahram, she should find out the relevant rules in this regard. This occurs very seldom. We have therefore not gone into details in this regard. However, it should be noted that if such an occasion arises, the woman should not stand in line with the man. She should stand behind him. If not, her salaat and even his salaat will not be valid.
20. If one’s wudu breaks while offering salaat, one should make wudu and repeat the salaat.
21. It is mustahab to fix the eyes on the spot of sajdah when one is standing. In ruku the eyes should be fixed on the feet, in sajdah on the nose, and when making salaam on the shoulders. If one yawns, one should close one’s mouth tightly. If it does not stop in any other way, it should be stopped with the back of the hand. If one feels an irritation in the throat, then as far as possible, one should try to stop the cough or subdue it.
A few rules related to Fard Salaat
1. The “alif” of aameen should be lengthened and read. Thereafter, any Surah of the Quran should be read.
2. If a person is travelling or he has some other necessity to fulfil, then after reading Surah Faatihah, he has the choice of reading any other Surah. But if he is not travelling or has no other necessity to fulfil, then in fajr and zuhr salaat, he should recite any Surah from Surah Hujurat till Surah Burooj. The Surah of the first rakaat of fajr should be longer than that of the second rakaat. As for the rest of the salaats, the Surahs of both the rakaats should be more or less equal. If they are longer or shorter by one or two verses, there is no harm in this. In asr and esha salaats, any Surah from Surah Tariq till Surah Lam Yakun could be recited. In maghrib salaat, from Surah Zilzal till the end of the Quran.
3. Whilst standing up from ruku, the imam should only say Sami Allahu liman hamidah and the muqtadi should only say Rabbana lakal hamd. The person offering salaat on his own should read both. While saying the takbeer, the person should place his hands on his knees and then go into sajdah. The termination of his takbeer and the beginning of his sajdah should be done simultaneously. In other words, the moment he reaches the sajdah posture, his takbeer should end.
4. When going into sajdah, the knees should first touch the ground. Thereafter, the hands, nose, and forehead. The face should be in-between both the hands and the fingers should be together pointing towards theqiblah. The toes should be upright pointing towards the qiblah. The stomach should be away from the thighs and the arms away from the sides. The stomach should be so high from the ground that a small kid (young goat) could pass through.
5. In the first two rakaats of fajr, maghrib, and esha; the imam should recite Surah Faatihah, any other Surah, Sami Allahu liman hamidah, and all the other takbeers in a loud voice. The one offering salaat on his own has the choice of reciting the Quran aloud or softly while Sami Allahu liman hamidah and all the other takbeers should be read softly.
As for zuhr and asr, the imam should only read Sami Allahu liman hamidah and all the takbeers in a loud voice. The one offering salaat on his own should read everything softly.
As for the muqtadi, he should always say the takbeers, etc. softly – irrespective of what salaat it is.
6. On completing the salaat, both the hands should be raised upto the chest and dua to Allah Ta’ala should be made for oneself. And if he is an imam, he should make dua for all those following him as well. On completing the dua, both hands should be passed over the face. The muqtadis could make their individual duas or, if they can hear the dua of the imam, they could say aameen to it.
7. One should not make very lengthy duas after those salaats that are followed by sunnah salaats, eg. zuhr, maghrib and esha. The person should make a brief dua and occupy himself with the sunnah salaats. One could lengthen the duas for as long as one wishes for those salaats that are not followed by sunnah salaats, such as the fajr and asr salaats. If the person is the imam, he should turn towards his right or left, facing the muqtadis. Thereafter, he should make the dua on condition that there is no masbuq facing him.
8. It is preferable to read the following after the fard salaat:
astaghfirullaahallazee laa ilaaha illaa huwal Hayyul Qayyoom wa atoobu ilayhi
three times, aayatul kursi, Surah Ikhlaas, Surah al-Falaq, Surah an-Naas, 33 times Sub’haanallah, 33 times Alhamdolillah, and 34 times Allahu Akbar. All this is on the condition that there is no sunnah after the fard salaat. If there is, then it will be preferable to recite these duas after the sunnah salaat.
9. On entering the musjid and finding the imam in ruku, a few ignorant people rush to join the congregation. They immediately go into ruku and in the same instance they say the takbeer-e-tahreemah. Their salaat is not valid because the takbeer-e-tahreemah is a prerequisite of salaat. And the prerequisite for takbeer-e-tahreemah is that one must be standing. So if the person did not stand, his takbeer-e-tahreemah is not valid, and if that is not valid, his salaat will not be valid.