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Salaah

Salaah is the most important dimension of a Muslim's life on earth. It is a unique encounter between man and his Creator, incumbent on every Muslim, male or female, rich or poor, Arab or non-Arab, angry or happy, every day of our lives. It's obligatory performance is as much an oppertunity for Muslims to be honoured with a divine audience as a fulcrum around which to structure their lives. It is thus essential for every Muslim to be familiar with the essential movements and utterances of the Salaah.

The Mode of Salaah of Women

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The mode of SALAAH of women is the same as that of men except for a few differences which are as follows:

1. A woman should cover her entire body, including her hair and feet, barring her face and her hands up to the wrists with any material that is not transparent.

2. At the TAKBIRAT-UL-IHRAAM men raise their hands up to their ears but women should raise their hands up to their shoulders.

3. In the QIYAAM men should place the right palm over the back of the left hand below the chest but women should fold them on their chest.

4. In the RUKOO men should bow in such a manner that their head, back and haunches form a straight line, but women should bend only to the extent that their hands reach their knees.

5. In the RUKOO men should keep their fingers apart on their knees but women should keep their fingers close to each other.

6. In the RUKOO the men should keep their arms away from the sides and their feet slightly apart, but the arms of the women should rest on the sides and the feet should be kept close to each other in such a way that the ankles touch each other.

7. In the SUJOOD the men should keep their arms, abdomen and thighs separated from each other and their elbows higher than the ground, but the women should

SUNNAH AND NAFL PRAYERS

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Sunnah and Nafl prayers are acts of worship that are not obligatory which the Holy Prophet performed either regularly or occasionally. There are different categories of optional salaah, viz. Sunnatu Mu’akkadah – prayers that the Holy Prophet observed regularly and strongly encouraged his followers to do likewise. Sunnatu Ghair-il-Mu’akkadah – prayers that the Holy Prophet did not perform regularly and may therefore be offered at our discretion. The Sunnah prayers linked to the 5 fard salaah are called Raatibah Prayers of which 10 raka’ahs are Mu’akkadah, and 12 are Ghair-il-Ma’akaddah. Nafl prayers are optional prayers for which no particular time, place nor purpose is prescribed. It may be offered at all times except at the pro¬hibited times for salaah. It is permissible to offer even one rak'ah of this salaah in the usual manner, reciting Tashahhud (attahiyaat) at the end and pronouncing Salaam. When a worshipper desires to offer more thanone rak'ah, it is sunnah to recite Tashahhud and to pronounce Salaam at the end of every two rak'ahs.

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Sunnatu Mu’akkadah Salaah
Described below are two highly recommended Sunnah Salaah.

SALAAH-TUL WITR

The Odd- Numbered Prayer WITR, meaning literally 'an odd number,' is a SUNNAH MU¬AKKADAH prayer to which the Prophet, (peace and bles¬sings be upon him) attached the greatest

SAJDAT-UT-TILAAWAH

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The prostration of recitation is SUNNAH upon whoever recites or hears one of the fourteen prostration verses of the Quran. For the one who is in salaah, it is necessary to make intent (NIYYAH) to perform SAJDAH, in the heart only. When in SUJOOD, the following should be recited :

Allahum maktubbe lee bihaa ‘indakka ajran. Wa da’ ‘annee wizran.  Waj ‘al haa lee ‘’indakka dhukhran. Wa ta qabbal haa min nee kamaa ta qabbal tahaa min ‘abbe dikka daawood

O Allah, ordain for me a reward with Thee by virtue of the it (the SUJOOD),
Unburden me of any sin through it, Let it be for me by Thy Grace a treasure, And accept it from me as Thou accepted it from Thy slave David (peace and blessings be upon him)


RECOMMENDED SURAHS TO BE RECITED IN SALAAH

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It is sunnah to recite a surah (chapter) or any other portion of the Quran after the Faatihah, in the first two raka’aat of the salaah. The following are chosen chapters that are recommended to be memorized. Every two chapters are placed together, the first to be recited in the first raka’ah and the second to be recited in the second raka’ah.

A1 Ara ay tal lathee ..

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. Has Thou observed him who denies religion? That is he who repels the orphan with harshness. And urges not feeding of the poor. So woe to the worshippers, who are neglectful of their prayers; those who want to be seen of men, but refuses to supply even neighbourly needs.

A2. In naa a’taynaa …..

MASBOOQ - Joining a jama’ah salaah late

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MASBOOQ is the follower who fails to find sufficient time with the Imaam to complete the recitation of the Fatighah – reciting it at a moderate pace – even though he joined the Imaam in the first Raka’ah. The the MASBOOQ there are three different possible situations in salaah :

1. He may enter into SALAAH behind the Imaam while the Imaam performs the RUKOO.

2. He may enter into SALAAH while theImaam is still standing but at the time he performs the Tabiratul-Ihraam the Imaam proceeds to the RUKOO.

3. He may enter into SALAAH while the Imaam is still standing but close to performing the RUKOO so that he (the Ma’moom) can still recite some part of the Fatighah. THE MA’MOOM IN THE FIRST TWO SITUATIONS. Follow the Imaam in the RUKOO.

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