25 April, 2018 | 9 Sha’ban, 1439 H

"A man who sits with his family is more beloved to Allah (swt) than spending the night in worship (itikaf) in my masjid"

- The Prophet Muhammad (s)

Learning
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Core Curriculum

Section 1 - God, Religion and Islam: An Introduction
  • Topic 1.1 - The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

  • Topic 1.2 - God, Allah and Religion

  • Topic 1.3 - Introduction to Islam

  • Topic 1.4 - What is “Religion” and What’s the Point of it Anyways?

  • Topic 1.5 - A Brief Introduction to the Prophet Muhammad (s), the Prophet of Islam

Section 2 - Foundations of Islam - Theology
  • Topic 2.1 - Entering Islam: The Shahada

  • Topic 2.2 - The Usūl al-Dīn: The Fundamental Beliefs of Islam

  • Topic 2.3 - Tawhīd: The Unity and Oneness of God in Islam

  • Topic 2.4 - Adala: Divine Justice in Islam

  • Topic 2.5 - Nubuwwa: The Purpose of Prophethood in Islam

  • Topic 2.6 - Imāmah or divinely guided leadership in Islam after the Prophet Muhammad.

  • Topic 2.7 - Maʿād: The Day of Judgment in Islam

  • Topic 2.8 - The Sharīʿa: Purpose and Practice

  • Topic 2.9 - The Islamic Concept of the Nafs: Battling the Human Ego

  • Topic 2.10 - Satan, Jinns and Angels: Their Influence in the World

  • Topic 2.11 - The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

Section 3 - Foundations of Islam - Obligatory Acts
  • Topic 3.1 - Accepting Islam: Putting Faith into Action

  • Topic 3.2 - Jihād in Islamic Law and Spirituality

  • Topic 3.3 - Salāt: Obligatory Ritual Prayers in Islam

  • Topic 3.4 - Ritual Purity in Islamic Law: Understanding Tahāra and Najāsa

  • Topic 3.5 - The Five Categories of Islamic Law

  • Topic 3.6 - Tawalla and Tabarra, its Basics and Purpose

  • Topic 3.7 - The Purpose of Zakat and Khums in Islamic Law

  • Topic 3.8 - The Hajj Pilgrimage

  • Topic 3.9 - The Furūʿ al-Dīn: The Fundamental Practices of Islam

  • Topic 3.10 - Fasting in Islam, its Purpose, Dos and Don’ts

  • Topic 3.11 - Other Obligatory and Forbidden Acts in Islam

  • Topic 3.12 - Niyya: Religious Intention as the Foundation of Islamic Practice

  • Topic 3.13 - Commanding the Good and Forbidding Evil in Islam

Section 4 - Prophethood in Islam
  • Topic 4.1 - A Brief Biography of the Prophet Muhammad (s): The Prophet’s Childhood (PART I of III)

  • Topic 4.2 - Bio: The Prophet Muhammad as a Prophet of God (PART II of III)

  • Topic 4.3 - A Brief Biography of the Prophet Muhammad (s): The Prophet’s Character (PART III of III)

  • Topic 4.4 - The Prophet Muhammad (s) as Messenger and Teacher

  • Topic 4.5 - The Prophet and his Relationships

  • Topic 4.6 - The Prophet’s Sunnah and Hadith

  • Topic 4.7 - Ghadīr and Arafah: The Two Last Sermons of the Prophet

  • Topic 4.8 - Jesus and Mary in Islam

Section 5 - The Qur'an and Hadith
  • Topic 5.1 - Islam and Other Religions

  • Topic 5.2 - What is the Qur’an? A Short Introduction to Islam’s Holy Book

  • Topic 5.3 - The Structure of the Holy Qur’an

  • Topic 5.4 - The Quran and Islamic law

  • Topic 5.5 - The Qur’an, Allah and Humankind

  • Topic 5.6 - Hadith and Sunnah, difference and variations

  • Topic 5.7 - The Reliability of Hadiths

  • Topic 5.8 - A Reflection on Verses of the Holy Qur’an

  • Topic 5.9 - Hadith al-Thaqalayn

  • Topic 5.10 - Imam Ali (as) and Nahj al-Balagha.

  • Topic 5.11 - Taqlid and Tawḍih Al Masail Genre of Literature

Section 6 - Measuring Good and Bad in Islam
  • Topic 6.1 - The Effects of Our Actions in this World

  • Topic 6.2 - The Gray Areas of Islamic Law and Morality

  • Topic 6.3 - Heaven and Hell in Islam

  • Topic 6.4 - Life and Death in Islam

  • Topic 6.5 - Guidance According to Islam

  • Topic 6.6 - Fate and the Consequences of our Choices in Islam

  • Topic 6.7 - The Effect of Culture and Environment in Shaping our Religious Choices

  • Topic 6.8 - Major Sins in Islam

  • Topic 6.9 - Why Allah Allows People to Sin

  • Topic 6.10 - Repentance and Forgiveness of Sins in Islam

  • Topic 6.11 - The Three Kinds of Rights in Islam

  • Topic 6.12 - Sinning Against Others and their Delayed Punishment

  • Topic 6.13 - Kufr in Islam

  • Topic 6.14 - Trivializing the Harām

  • Topic 6.15 - Benefits of Islamic Law in this World

  • Topic 6.16 - Good and Bad Deeds: The Spiritual Consequences of our Choices

Section 7 - The Legacy of the Prophet Muhammad (s) and his Ahl al-Bayt (as)
  • Topic 7.1 - Islam and Knowledge: the Importance of Islamic Education

  • Topic 7.2 - The Ahl al-Kisa

  • Topic 7.3 - Imamah in the Qur’an

  • Topic 7.4 - Fatima al-Zahrah (as)

  • Topic 7.5 - A Brief Look at the Lives of the Imams (Imam al-Hasan until Imam Muhammad al-Baqir)

  • Topic 7.6 - A Brief Look at the Lives of the Imams (Imam Jafar al-Sadiq until Imam Hasan al-Askari)

  • Topic 7.7 - A Brief Look at the Life and Importance of Imam al-Mahdi (aj)

  • Topic 7.8 - Salawat and Atonement in Islam

  • Topic 7.9 - The Companions (Sahaba) of the Prophet According to the Qur’an

  • Topic 7.10 - Clerical Hierarchies in Muslim Communities

  • Topic 7.11 - Mosques in Islam

  • Topic 7.12 - The Philosophy of Karbala and Majalis

  • Topic 7.13 - A Brief Biography of Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (as)

  • Topic 7.14 - The Battle of Karbala: A Brief History

Section 8 - Islamic Relationships, Sects and Conflicts
  • Topic 8.1 - Misconceptions about Shi’ism

  • Topic 8.2 - Major Sects of Islam

  • Topic 8.3 - Islam and Religious Conflicts

  • Topic 8.4 - Islam and Rights

  • Topic 8.5 - Sunnism and Shi’ism, beginnings and historical developments.

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Special Topics

Section 9 - Independent Topics
  • Topic 9.1 - Muslim Converts – Welcome to Islam!

  • Topic 9.2 - Basic Dos and Don’ts of Being a Muslim

  • Topic 9.3 - Halal Food and Zabiha

  • Topic 9.4 - Family, Parents and Marriage in Islam

  • Topic 9.5 - Marriage in Islam

  • Topic 9.6 - Islam and Sex

  • Topic 9.7 - Modesty in Islam

  • Topic 9.8 - Women’s Menstruation in Islam

  • Topic 9.9 - Music, Alcohol, Drugs and Pork in Islam

  • Topic 9.10 - Islam and Science

  • Topic 9.11 - A Reading List of Islamic Knowledge

  • Topic 9.13 - Ritual Prayers and Supplications in Islam

  • Topic 9.14 - Death & Burial Rituals in Islam

  • Topic 9.15 - The Battle of Armageddon: An Islamic View

  • Topic 9.16 - The Muslim Calendar

  • Topic 9.17 - Muslims and non-Muslims in the Shariah

  • Topic 9.18 - A Timeline of Major Events in Islamic History

  • Topic 9.19 - Introducing the Qur’an: Why it is the way it is

  • Topic 9.20 - The School of Imam Jafar al-Sadiq

  • Topic 9.21 - Major Fields in Islamic Studies

  • Topic 9.22 - The Caliphate in Sunni and Shia Islam

  • Topic 9.24 - Islam, Racism and Anti-Semitism

Section 10 - Islam, Religion, and Modern Controversies
  • Topic 10.1 - Modern Fallacies about God: where Theists and Atheists Agree

  • Topic 10.2 - Tawhīd: The Muslim God according to the Prophet Muhammad and the Ahl al-Bayt (as)

  • Topic 10.3 - God’s Existence: The Argument From Being (Wujūd)

  • Topic 10.4 - God’s Existence: The Kalam Cosmological Argument

  • Topic 10.5 - God’s Existence: The Argument From Design

  • Topic 10.6 - The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

  • Topic 10.7 - Why did God Create Us? The Purpose of our Creation

  • Topic 10.8 - Why Humans Need Religion according to Islam

  • Topic 10.9 - Jahl and Spiritual Ignorance in Islam

  • Topic 10.11 - Do Non-Muslims Go to Hell?

Salāt: Obligatory Ritual Prayers in Islam

Abstract

The five obligatory ritual prayers or salāt are the foundations of both Islamic practice and belief. Salāt is the primary means through which a relationship between a person and God is established. Without salāt, there is no Islam.

INTRODUCTION 

 

Bismillāhir Rahmānir Rahīm, As-salāmu ʿAlaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh. Peace be upon you brothers and sisters. 

 

Welcome back to the Muslim Converts Channel! In this lesson, we will have an overview of the first and the most important of the furūʿ al-dīn called salāt.  

 

More specifically, we will look into the difference between ritual prayer and supplication as well as the different kinds of obligatory and non-obligatory prayers in Islamic law. 

 

BODY OF TEXT 

 

And observe prayer (salāt) for it restrains one from immorality and wrongdoing and remembrance of God is indeed the greatest [good.] (Chapter 29, verse 45 of the Holy Qur’an) 

 

The term for ritual prayer in Islam is called salāt. In pre-Islamic Arabic, salāt meant different things. The most common meaning, however, was that of an invocation, as in invoking God. The meaning, of course, is much more specific in Islam. When we talk about salāt in the furūʿ al-dīn we are talking about the five obligatory ritual prayers which all Muslims must believe in. 

 

The times of these prayers are not static but dynamic as they follow the movement of the sun.  

 

The first prayer is the morning prayer. In Arabic it is called salāt al-fajr and it begins at dawn.  

 

The second prayer begins at noon and is called salāt al-dhuhur,  

 

the third is the afternoon prayer and it is called salāt al-ʿasr,  

 

the fourth praying is the sunset prayer called salāt al-maghrib  

 

and finally, the last prayer is called salāt al-ʿishā which is the night-time prayer.  

 

Each prayer has units called rakʿats where you bow with your hands on your knees. The total amount of times a Muslim must do this is 17 times across 5 prayers throughout the day.   

 

The five obligatory salāt are the most important rituals of Islam. Knowingly dismissing their obligatory nature is tantamount to apostasy in Islam. It is important for it is the foremost method of worship in Islam and it is the central practice which keeps a Muslim connected to Allah.  

 

In one hadīth from our fifth Imām Muhammad al-Bāqir (as), he said the following about salāt: 

 

The prayer is the pillar of religion and its parable is that of the pole of a tent – when the pole remains upright, the pegs and ropes remain straight and upright, but when the pole bends or breaks neither the pegs nor ropes remain straight. 

 

Salāt is the foundation of religion. Without it, none of Islam’s other practices or beliefs will stand. We say this because salāt is what establishes our relationship with God. 

 

 But prayer must be done on God’s terms. We often think of praying to God in the form of a supplication where we supplicate to him in our own personal manner and on our own time.  

 

In Islam this is called a duʿā, which is different from salāt as the latter is obligatory and involves special physical movements such as bowing and prostrating. Duʿā, although a highly recommended act, is not obligatory to do. 

 

But a relationship of servitude means that we must pray to God the way He wants and how He wants. This is how ritual prayer develops with its own specific movements and recitations. 

 

Prayer is the only ritual in Islam that a person cannot be free from. One may be relieved from fasting, or Hajj, or any other ritual, but with prayer one may not do away with it as long as one is conscious, sane and reached puberty.  

 

If we are too sick to pray for example, we can pray sitting down. If we are too sick for that, then we can pray lying down. If we cannot pray this way either, we can pray with our eyelids by opening and closing them as a sign of prostration. If our eyelids don’t open, then we can pray inside our minds. Either way, we cannot escape from this obligation as long as one we are conscious.  

 

There is another set of obligatory prayers in Islam, but they are less regular. These are called the Prayers of the Signs called salāt al-ayāt. These prayers are performed when special natural events happen. As a response to these events, like earthquakes, or special eclipses, it is obligatory for a Muslim to perform the salāt.  

 

There are also funeral prayers for the dead called salāt al-mayyit which are obligatory on the community. This means that as long as a group of people fulfill this obligation, then others are relieved of it. 

 

The other set of prayers in Islam are what we call “recommended” prayers. The word for recommended in Arabic is mustahab. Among other prayers, these include the Friday Prayers (called Salāt al-Jumuʿa in Arabic) and the two Eid Prayers. The first Eid prayer marks the end of Ramadan, and the other marks the end of the Hajj season. 

 

Connected to the daily obligatory salāt is a set of prayers we called nāfila. Nāfila prayers are extra prayers that one offers after an obligatory prayer. The most important of all of these extra prayers is what we call the late night prayer. The late night prayer is known as salāt al-layl in Arabic.  This prayer is the most recommended of all extra prayers and it is the one prayer that is characteristic of spiritually high achieving Muslims.  

 

In one hadīth from the Prophet Muhammad (s), he said the following about salāt al-layl: 

 

When the servant of Allah turns to his Lord in the middle of the dark night, and whispers to Him, Allah establishes His light in his heart . . . then He tells the angels: O my angels, look at my servant. He has turned to Me in the middle of the dark night while the false ones are playing, and the heedless ones are sleeping; bear witness that I have forgiven him. 

 

Until Next Time, Thank you for watching. As-salāmu ʿAlaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh

Salāt al-Mayyit

Funeral prayers

Duʿā

Supplication

Salāt al-Ayāt

Prayers performed when special (awesome) natural events happen

Nāfila

Supererogatory prayers offered after one’s daily obligatory salāt

Mustahab

Recommended

Q1

What is the difference between duʿā and the five daily salāt?

Duʿā is a supplication and not obligatory on its own, salāt is a ritual prayer and is obligatory. 

Q2

How many daily obligatory prayers/salāt do we have?

Five

Q3

Is salāt performed at the same time every day?

Not exactly, the daily prayers follow the movement of the sun.

Q4

Can I be a Muslim and not pray?

If you dismiss it entirely, no you cannot.

Q5

Is it ok that I perform salāt on my own time if I’m too busy?

No, you must pray on God’s time. The various times can be found in Muslim prayer calendars.

Faroo-e-Deen
Laws
Practice
and Worship
belief
hadith
Islamic law
furū al-dīn
salāt
salāt al-layl
prayers
supplication
duʿā
fajr
ʿishā
maghrib
dhuhur
ʿasr
salāt al-mayyit
funeral prayers
satan
nāfila
recommended prayers
ritual prayers
obligatory prayers
five daily prayers
mustahab

Adabus Salat by Imam Khomeini 

 Salat al-Jumah by Murtaza Mutahhari 

 Sound of Salat by Amir Khorooshi