Resources>Salah (Prayer)

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"And establish regular prayers at the two ends of the day and at the approaches of the night: for those things that are good remove those that are evil: be that the word of remembrance to those who remember (their Lord)". [Al-Qur’an 11:114]

There are a number of traditions on how salah is performed. The two most common forms are within the various Madhabs (Islamic schools of thought) of Sunni and Shia Islam. However, other forms also exist and it is upto individuals to inform themselves on which ritual they wish to follow.

Below is an outline of how salah is conducted, this text can also be downloaded as a.pdf file. Inclusive Mosque Initiative - Salah (prayer) sheet.pdf

If the Imam performs salah differently to what you are used to, you should follow the Imam: the Sunnah (practice of the prophet Muhammad –peace be upon him) has been reported in different ways, and the difference between the Madhabs on this is in terms of optimality, not validity.

Sunni
Step 1: Standing behind the Imam for salah (prayer), in your mind make an intention of offering this prayer (its name) and the number of Rakats.

The First Raka
Step 2:
After the Imam has said "Allahu Akbar" (Allah is Great), you should raise your hands and follow. Put your hands on your chest/abdomen, with your right hand on top of the left or you can keep your arms down by your sides.

Step 3: The Imam will begin reciting from the Holy Quran. The Imam will recite Surah Al Fatiha (the first Surah of the Quran) and then another Surah.

Step 4: When the Imam says "Allahu Akbar" go into Ruku (the bowing position).

Step 5: Stand up straight when she says Sami Allahu liman Hamidah (Allah hears those who praise Him), and say "Rabbana lakal Hamd" (Our Lord praise be to You) in a low voice.

Step 6: When the Imam says "Allahu Akbar" go into Sujud (prostration). You will do two prostrations.

The Second Raka
Step 7: Rise as the Imam says, "Allahu Akbar" after the two prostrations.

Step 8: Imam will first recite from the Holy Quran (first Surah Al Fatiha) and another Surah.

Step 9: When the Imam says "Allahu Akbar" go into Ruku (the bowing position).

Step 10: Stand up straight when she says Sami Allahu liman Hamidah (Allah hears those who praise Him), and say "Rabbana lakal Hamd" (Our Lord praise be to You) in a low voice.

Step 11: When the Imam says "Allahu Akbar" go into Sujud (prostration). You will do two prostrations. Allahu Akbar is said twice after 1st prostration before going into the second Sujud (prostration).

Step 12: Remain seated for the Tashshahud.

Step 13: If there are only 2 rakats being recited, the Imam ends the prayer by turning her face to the right first and saying "Assalamu alaikum wa Rahmatullah" and then to her left and doing the same, you should follow. If there are further rakats repeat steps 7-11 and there will only be one Surah read out.

Step 14: Do not get up right away. The Imam will recite a brief dua (supplication of prayer).


Shia
Step 1: Standing behind the Imam for salah (prayer), in your mind make an intention of offering this prayer (its name) and the number of Rakats.

The First Raka
Step 2:
After the Imam has said "Allahu Akbar" (Allah is Great), you should raise your hands and follow. Put your hands down to your sides.

Step 3: The Imam will begin reciting from the Holy Quran. The Imam will recite Surah Al Fatiha and then another Surah.

Step 4: When the Imam says "Allahu Akbar" go into Ruku (the bowing position).

Step 5: Stand up straight when she says Sami Allahu liman Hamidah (Allah hears those who praise Him).

Step 6: When the Imam says "Allahu Akbar" go into Sujud (prostration). You will do two prostrations. Allahu Akbar is said twice after 1st prostration before going into the second Sujud (prostration).

The Second Raka
Step 7
: Rise as the Imam says, "Allahu Akbar" after the two prostrations.

Step 8: Imam will first recite from the Holy Quran (first Surah Al Fatiha) and another Surah.

Step 9: Raise your hands in front of your face, turning the palms facing upwards, and keeping both the hands and fingers close together Qunut is recited, during which you can ask or thank Allah for what you need or have.

Step 10: When the Imam says "Allahu Akbar" go into Ruku (the bowing position).

Step 11: Stand up straight when she says Sami Allahu liman Hamidah (Allah hears those who praise Him).

Step 12: When the Imam says "Allahu Akbar" go into Sujud (prostration). You will do two prostrations. Allahu Akbar is said twice after 1st prostration before going into the second Sujud (prostration).

Step 13: Remain seated for the Tashshahud.

Step 14: If there are only 2 rakats being recited, the Imam ends the prayer by saying "Assalamu alaikum wa Rahmatullah". If there are further rakats repeat steps 7-8 & 10-12 and there will only be one Surah read out.

Step 15: Do not get up right away. The Imam will recite a brief dua (supplication of prayer).