Salat (Prayer)

The importance of prayer in Islam is great as it is the foremost duty of Muslims and one of the pillars on which the structure of Islam stands. It distinguishes Muslims from non-Muslims. The Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, said:

"What stands between a man and disbelief is the abandonment of prayer."

"Know that among your duties, prayer is foremost."

The object of prayer is to remember Allah. That is why prayer was dearest to the Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, as he said:

"He who gives up prayer has indeed disbelieved."

It is also important not to pray carelessly as the Quran says:

"Woe to praying ones who are heedless of their prayers." [Al-Ma'un 107:4-5]

Praying five times a day is compulsory. Prayer consists of recitation of the Holy Quran and glorification of Allah accompanied by various body postures such as standing, bowing, prostrating, and sitting. Through these postures, Muslims express submission, adoration, and humility to Allah. The Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam said:

"You should worship Allah as if you see Him; because though you don't see Him, He surely sees you."

Prayer protects one from sins and shameful deeds. Prayer purifies a person and brings him closer to Allah. The Quran says:

"Establish prayer, for prayer restrains from shameful and unjust deeds." [Al-'Ankabut 29:45]

The five daily prayers consist of

  1. Fard: obligatory prayer

  2. Sunnah: Prophet's tradition

  3. Wajib: obligatory prayer (Denying a Fard makes one a non-Muslim but denying a Wajib makes one a sinner. One must make up any missed Fard or Wajib prayers.)

  4. Nafl: voluntary prayer

The sunnah are again divided into Sunnah Muakkadah and Sunnah Ghair Muakkadah. Sunnah Muakkadah means an act that Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, always used to do. These rakats must be offered. (However if missed, there is no makeup or qada for it). Sunnah Ghair Muakkadah are sunnahs that Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, used to leave sometimes without any reason. These are not obligatory.


2 Sunnah Muakkadah
2 Fard


4 Sunnah Muakkadah
4 Fard
2 Sunnah Muakkadah
2 Nafl


4 Sunnah Ghair Muakkadah
4 Fard


3 Fard
2 Sunnah Muakkadah
2 Nafl


4 Sunnah Ghair Muakkadah
4 Fard
2 Sunnah Muakkadah
2 Nafl
3 Witr
2 Nafl

In addition to the above, the terms Fard, Wajib, Sunnah, and Nafl are also applied to conditions or actions within salat. If one misses any Fard part of salat, the salat will be invalid. That omission cannot be compensated by making Sajda Sahv. If a Wajib is missed unintentionally, one can make Sajda Sahv to make up for it.

Fard Parts before the Salat:

Fard Parts During the Salat

Wajib Parts

Sunnah Parts

Mustahabb Part

Things That Break Salat

Undesirable Things

Cases in Which Salat Can Be Broken

Fidyah for one missed salat is the same as that of one missed fast. Therefore, if a person missed all the salats on a day, he will be required to pay fidyah for 6 salats (including the obligatory Witr salat).