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Some legal rules regarding the Prayer (Salah)

Place : Saudi Arabia / Riyadh / None / None /
Business Category : Prayer
date of publication : 1439/05/26
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Elements speech
1- The obligatoriness of establishing the prayer (Salah). 2- The actual meaning of establishing the prayer (Salah). 3- Hints relating to the basic elements (Arkaan) and prerequisites (Shuroot) of prayer (Salah). 4- Rules relating to the prostration of forgetfulness.


First Sermon:


All praise is due and belongs to Allâh. We praise Him, seek His help and forgiveness and repent to Him. We seek refuge with Allâh from the evils of ourselves and from the wickedness of our own deeds. Whomever that Allâh guides, none can mislead him, and whomever He sends astray, none can guide. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allâh alone with no partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.


( يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اتَّقُواْ اللّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلاَ تَمُوتُنَّ إِلاَّ وَأَنتُم مُّسْلِمُونَ )

(O you who believe, fear Allâh as he should be feared and die not unless you are Muslims) [Al-Imran: 102]


( يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُواْ رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُم مِّن نَّفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ وَخَلَقَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا وَبَثَّ مِنْهُمَا رِجَالاً كَثِيرًا وَنِسَاء وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ الَّذِي تَسَاءلُونَ بِهِ وَالأَرْحَامَ إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ عَلَيْكُمْ رَقِيبًا )

(O people fear your Lord, who created you from a single soul. From it, He created its spouse, and from both of them scattered many men and women. Fear Allâh, by whom you ask one another, and (fear) the wombs (lest you sever its relationship). Allâh is ever watching over you). [An-Nisa: 1].


( يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَقُولُوا قَوْلًا سَدِيدًا * يُصْلِحْ لَكُمْ أَعْمَالَكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَمَن يُطِعْ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ فَازَ فَوْزًا عَظِيمًا )

(O you, who believe, fear Allâh and say sound statements. He will mend your deeds for you and forgive your sins. Whosoever obeys Allâh and His Messenger shall win a great victory) [Al-Ahzab: 70-71].

Slaves of Allâh! Allâh has imposed prayer on His slaves, and enjoined them to establish five prayers in the day and night. Among the evidence to prove that prayer is obligatory is His saying, the Most Purified:

( وَأَقِيمُواْ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَءَاتُواْ ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ وَٱرۡكَعُواْ مَعَ ٱلرَّٲكِعِينَ)

And establish prayer (As-Salâh) and give Zakâh, and bow down (or submit yourselves with obedience to Allâh) along with those who bow down [Al-Baqarah 43].


The Prophet,(May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) considered the prayer (Salah) one of the pillars of Islam, saying, “Islam is built upon five pillars”, “and he mentioned  “the establishment of prayer” (Agreed upon).


The real concept or meaning of prayer is to perform it with its actions, ruku’ (bowing), sujud (prostration), humility, groveling before Allâh, the Almighty, reflection on what one who is reciting from the noble Qur’an, casting the affairs of this world behind one’s back and devotion to Allâh, the Most High.


Through the word (Establish) it is clear that establishment includes all of the above, which is part of the eloquence of the Qur’an. There is no verse in the Qur’an that orders to perform the prayer using the word: (Pray) with abstract command void of the meaning of establishment.


It is already clear from the above that what is meant by establishing the prayer is as follows:

  1. To maintain its prerequisites in terms of purification, facing the direction of the Qiblah, and removal of minor and major impurities.
  2. It is part of its establishment to maintain its ruku’ (bowing) and sujud (prostration).
  3. It is part of its establishment to maintain its solemnity and full submissiveness: Solemnity and full submissiveness (Al-Khushu’) is the heart of prayer, which is intended from it. Allâh, the Most High, said,

( قَدۡ أَفۡلَحَ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنُونَ (١) ٱلَّذِينَ هُمۡ فِى صَلَاتِہِمۡ خَـٰشِعُونَ )

Successful indeed are the believers. (1) Those who offer their Salâh (prayers) with all solemnity and full submissiveness. [Al-Mu’minoon: 1-2].


He stated solemnity and full submissiveness precisely because of their importance, and for the fact that it is the intended. The Prophet, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him), has alerted about this matter, and spoken more about it, including his words: ” A man returns after saying his prayer while a tenth part of his prayer, or a ninth part, or an eight part, or a seventh part, or a sixth part, or a fifth part, or a third part, or half of it, is recorded for him ” ( Ahmad).


Solemnity and full submissiveness includes reflection on the meanings of the verses, and what is intended by them, and to interact with them, and weep out of the fear of Allâh. The Messenger of Allâh, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) would not come to any verse that spoke of fear or glorification of Allâh, but he would repeat it”  (Muslim).


Whenever the Prophet, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him), ” came across a verse of mercy, he would pause and beseech Allâh of His Mercy. In the same manner whenever he came across a verse of punishment, he would pause and beseech Allâh for His refuge against the punishment and whenever he came across a verse involving glorification of Allâh, he would glorify Allâh ” (Muslim).


Prayer has prerequisites, basic elements and obligatory aspects upon which the validity and nullity of prayer is based, and by which it swings between being performed or established. Here, it is necessary to caution and remind about what might happen with respect to the shortcomings that may occur when one is praying, whether in the basic elements (Arkaan), or prerequisites (Shurut) or the obligations (Wajibaat), including as follows:


  • When a Muslim intends to observe prayer, he should perform the ablution perfectly, and then face the Qiblah direction, because facing it is a prerequisite for the validity of the prayer (Salah). Allâh, the Most High, said,

( وَمِنۡ حَيۡثُ خَرَجۡتَ فَوَلِّ وَجۡهَكَ شَطۡرَ ٱلۡمَسۡجِدِ ٱلۡحَرَامِ‌ۚ وَحَيۡثُ مَا كُنتُمۡ فَوَلُّواْ وُجُوهَڪُمۡ شَطۡرَهُ )

And from wheresoever you start forth (for prayers), turn your face in the direction of Al-Masjid-Al-Harâm (at Makkah), and wheresoever you are, turn your faces towards, it (when you pray) [Al-Baqarah: 150].


This verse involves an address from Allâh to His Prophet and his nation to turn their faces towards the Sacred Mosque (in Makkah), from all nooks and crannies of the earth; to cut off the protest of the people of the Book and the idolaters against them. This is because; if he had remained facing the direction of Jerusalem the evidence would have been directed and established against him “(Tafseer As-Sa’di).


  • When a Muslim intends to observe the prayer, he should stand well prepared before the only Omniscient, and then say the opening takbeer (Takbeeratu Al-Ihraam) for beginning the prayer. Then he should begin his prayer by reciting the adhkaar reported from the best of all prophets, Muhammad, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him), and then seek refuge with Allâh from the accursed Satan and recite the Opening Chapter of the Qur’an (Surah Al-Fatihah), because no prayer (Salah) is acceptable without reciting it. Moreover, it was narrated from the Prophet, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him), that he said, “There is no prayer for the one who does not recite Ummul-Kitab (Surah Al-Fatihah) in it” (Agreed upon).

In this hadith, there is evidence that reciting Surah Al-Fatihah, is a basic element of the prayer, without which it is not valid.


Among the things the worshiper can be notified of here with respect to the obligatory and Sunnah aspects of the prayer (Salah) is the recitation of whatever that is possible from the noble Qur’an after completing Surah Al-Fatihah. During Maghrib prayer, it is desirable to recite from Qisaar Al-Mufassal of the Qur’an (i.e. any chapter from Surah Ad-Dwuha to the end of the Qur’an according to an opinion of some learned scholars) at most times and to recite other chapters at other times, as would not be stressful for the congregation. It has been proven that the Prophet, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him),  “recited Surah Al-A’raf, Surah Muhammad, Surah At-Tur, and Surah Al-Mursalaat in Maghrib prayer. However, in Fajr prayer, he should recite from Tiwal Al-Mufassal (i.e. any chapter from Surah Al-Hujuraat to Surah An-Nazi’aat). In Dhuhr, Asr and ‘Esha prayers, he should recite from the Awasit Al-Mufassal (i.e. any chapter from Surah ‘Abas to Surah Ad-Dwuha) but the recitation in Dhuhr prayer should be longer than the one in Asr.


  • The Muslim should glorify the Generous God during ruku’ (bowing) and sujud (prostration). Uqbah bin Amir said: ” When the following was revealed:

( فَسَبِّحْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الْعَظِيمِ )

‘So glorify the Name of your Lord, the Most Great’,[Al-Waqi’ah:52]


the Messenger of Allâh (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him), said: ‘Say this in your Ruku’. And when the following was revealed:

( سَبِّحِ اسْمَ رَبِّكَ الأَعْلَى )

‘Glorify the Name of your Lord, the Most High.’[Al-‘A’la:1]


the Messenger of Allâh (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him), said: ‘Say this in your sujud (prostration)” (Agreed upon ).

While in the ruku’ (bowing position) he should say: “Subhana Rabbiya Al-‘Adhweem – Glory be to my Lord,  the Almighty “. Then, he should raise his head, saying: (Sami Allâhu liman hamidah)- ‘Allâh listens to those who praise Him’. When he has fully stood up, he should say: “(Rabbana wa lakal-hamd) ‘O our Lord! And to You is all praise”. Though, if he is praying behind an imam he should say while rising from the ruku’: “(Rabbana wa lakal-hamd) ‘O our Lord! And to You is all praise but should not say: (Sami Allâhu liman hamidah) ‘Allâh listens to those who praise Him’, because of the saying of the Prophet, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him),  “When the Imam says: (Sami Allâhu liman hamidah) – ‘Allâh listens to those who praise Him. Then (all of you) should say: (Rabbana wa lakal-hamd) ‘O our Lord! And to You is all praise”. Then he should prostrate on seven of his organs: forehead with the nose together, the two hands and knees and the edges of the two feet.


However, during the sujud, he should say, Subahana Rabbial-A’la, Subahna Rabbial-A’la (Glory be to my Lord, the Most High). To say it thrice is more perfect, though he may say it lesser number of times. It is not permissible for him to raise his two feet nor raise his nose or any of the organs off the ground during prostration position, because they are the organs of prostration and prostration (sujud) will not be perfect and complete except by placing all the other organs on the ground.


Among the rules relating to the prayer as well, is the prohibition of reciting the noble Qur’an in the Ruku’ and Sujud positions. Ali bin Abi Talib, may Allâh be pleased with him, said, ” The Messenger of Allâh (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him),  forbade me to recite the Qur’an, while I am in the state of bowing and prostration ” (An-Nasaei).


On the other hand, if he supplicates in his prostration using a verse from the Qur’an, without intending to recite the Qur’an but to make du’a, that is okay, just like when he says:

( رَبَّنَآ إِنَّنَآ ءَامَنَّا فَٱغۡفِرۡ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَا وَقِنَا عَذَابَ ٱلنَّارِ )

Our Lord! We have indeed believed, so forgive us our sins and save us from the punishment of the Fire

or any other verses that involve supplication, that will be all right, because he only supplicated using words from the Qur’an that came in the format of du’a, or words that were uttered through the tongue of a Prophet, like making the du’a of Prophet Ayyub, peace be upon him,

(رَبِّ إنِّى مَسَّنِىَ ٱلضُّرُّ وَأَنتَ أَرۡحَمُ ٱلرَّٲحِمِينَ)

O My Lord! “Verily, distress has seized me, and You are the Most Merciful of all those who show mercy.” Or when he invokes using the supplication of Prophet Ibrahim, peace be upon him:

( رَبِّ ٱجۡعَلۡنِى مُقِيمَ ٱلصَّلَوٰةِ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِى‌ۚ )

O my Lord! Make me one who performs (As-Salâh) prayer, and (also) from my offspring [Ibrahim: 40],


Or the invocation of prophet Zakariyya, peace be upon him:

( رَبِّ لَا تَذَرۡنِى فَرۡدً۬ا وَأَنتَ خَيۡرُ ٱلۡوَٲرِثِينَ )

O My Lord! Leave me not single (childless), though You are the Best of the inheritors [al-Anbiya: 89].


And other invocations.  Then he should raise his head from prostration and say between the two prostrations: (Rabbi-ighfir li, warhamni, wahdini, wa ‘afini warzuqni) ” O My Lord, grant me pardon, have mercy upon me, direct me to the path of righteousness, grant me protection and provide me sustenance ” (Muslim ).


Then he should do like this throughout his prayer. Moreover, reassurance is compulsory in the prayer, because no prayer will be credited to anyone who does not have reassurance in it.


May Allâh bless me and you in the Holy Qur’an, and benefit me and you with the verses and wise reminder it contains. May Allâh make me and you of those who act upon what they have learnt. This is what I say, and I ask forgiveness from Allâh, the Almighty, for me and you and the other Muslims from every sin. Hence, ask for His forgiveness, for He is the All-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.


Second sermon:


All praise is due and belongs to Allâh , the Lord of the worlds. The good end shall be for the righteous, and no aggression except upon the oppressors. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allâh, the Patron of the righteous, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and His Messenger, the leader of the prophets and messengers.


O believers! Among the most common mistakes committed by the worshipers during the prayer is sujud As-Sahw (the prostration of forgetfulness); where a lot of them are ignorant of many of its cases and positions. So, prostration of forgetfulness has reasons, rules and positions, and every Muslim needs to know them, in order to be aware of his affairs, in case he forgets something in any of his prayers. This is something that predominantly occurs to everybody. Accordingly, the reasons for the prostration of forgetfulness altogether are three: increase, decrease and uncertainty:


  • As for the increase, whenever the worshipper adds a rak’ah and more in his prayer whether in ruku’, sujud, or while standing or sitting, he shall observe the prostration of forgetfulness, after saying the closing salaam, as it occurred to the Prophet, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him). Ibn Masood, may Allâh be pleased with him, stated that ” The Messenger of Allâh (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him), prayed five rak’ahs in the noon prayer. He was asked whether the prayer had been extended. He asked what they meant by that. The people said : you prayed five rak’ahs. Then he made two prostrations after having given the salutation “(Agreed upon).
  • As for decrease, whenever the worshipper reduces something of the obligatory aspect of the prayer, out of forgetfulness, he shall observe the prostration of forgetfulness after the salutation (salaam), to reconcile what he has reduced from his prayer. So, if he forgets to say the first tashahhud and instead stood up to the third rak’ah, and stood perfectly, he should carry on his prayer and should not return to the position he has missed. Then he should observe two prostrations of forgetfulness before saying the concluding salaam. In the hadith, it was reported that the “Prophet, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him), prayed and stood up following the first two rak’ahs, and they said (SubhanAllâh). He carried on, then when he finished his prayer he performed two prostrations, then he said the Salam ” (Agreed upon).
  • As for uncertainty, if the worshiper doubts how many rak’ahs he has prayed three or four and could not conclude on anything, he should cast away his doubts and capitalize on what he is certain about which is the fewer number of rak’ahs. He should complete his prayer on that and then prostrate two prostrations before saying salaam. The Messenger of Allâh (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him), said: When any one of you is in doubt about his prayer and he does not know how much he has prayed, three or four (rak’ahs), he should cast aside his doubt and base his prayer on what he is sure of, then perform two prostrations before giving salutations. If he has prayed five rak’ahs, they will make his prayer an even number for him, and if he has prayed exactly four, they will be humiliation for the devil “(Sahih Muslim).

Nevertheless, if the worshiper doubts whether he prayed three or four rak’ahs, and concludes on one of the two things, he should capitalize on that and complete his prayer and then make two prostrations after salaam, according to the hadith of Ibn Mas’ood, may Allâh be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allâh (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him), said: ‘If anyone of you is uncertain about his prayer, let him try to do what is correct then let him prostrate twice’”. (Agreed upon).


These are the fundamentals of the prostration of forgetfulness and its rules. Hence, it has been shown here that the prostration of forgetfulness has two positions: A position where it is said before the salaam when one reduces from the prayer and the other position after the salaam when one adds to the prayer. Though, the scholars unanimously agree on the permissibility of observing the prostration of forgetfulness before and after the salaam whether for increase or decrease.


O Allâh! Help us to remember You, thank You and worship You nicely, and accept our prayers, our ruku’, our sujud, and all our acts of obedience to You. O Allâh! Grant us sincerity in speech and action.


Invoke prayers and blessings of Allâh upon the one Allâh, the Most Exalted and Glorified, has commanded you to do so when He said,

( إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا )

Allâh sends His Salah (Graces, Honours, Blessings, Mercy, etc.) on the Prophet (Muhammad) and also His angels too (ask Allâh to bless and forgive him). O you who believe! Send your Salah on (ask Allâh to bless) him (Muhammad), and (you should) greet him with the Islamic way of greeting [Al-Ahzab: 56].


All praise is due and belongs to Allâh , the Lord and Cherisher of the worlds.