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 The Abridgement Of The Prophet Prayer
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The Abridgement of the Prophet Prayer

Contents – The Abridgement of the Prophet Prayer

  • Introduction Facing the Ka bah Standing (Qiyaam)
  • The Intention (An-Niyyah) The Takbeer
  • The Recitation (Al-Qiraa’ah) The Bowing (Rukoo)
  • The Prostration (Sujood) The Second Rak’ah
  • The Tashahhud
  • The Third and Fourth Rak’ahs The Qunoot in the Witr Prayer The Final Tashahhud
  • Supplicating Before the Salutation. The Salutation and its Types Appendix One – Soorah al-Faatihah
  • Glossary of Terms

Introduction – The Abridgement of the Prophet Prayer

All praise is for Allaah. We praise Him, we seek His aid, and we ask for His forgiveness. We seek Allaah’s refuge from the evils of ourselves and from our evil actions. Whomsoever Allaah guides then none can misguide him, and whomsoever Allaah misguides then none can guide him. I testify that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah, alone, having no partner, and I testify that Muhammad is His slave and His Messenger. To proceed:

Then it was suggested to me that I should undertake an abridgement of my book, Sifat Salaatin-Nabiyy � minat-Takbeer ilat-Tasleem Ka’annaka Taraahaa, “A Description of the Prophet’s � Prayer from the Takbeer to the Tasleem as if You Were Seeing It,” and that I should shorten it and rephrase it for it to be more accessible to the common people.

So I saw this to be a favorable suggestion, and it agreed with what I myself had felt for a long time. I had also frequently heard such advice from brothers and friends. So this encouraged me to allocate to it a small part of my time which is crowded with knowledge related work and research. So I hastened, as far as my ability and efforts allowed, to carry out the suggestion, whilst asking the Guardian Lord, the One free of all imperfections and the Most High, that He should make it an action done purely and sincerely for His Face, and that He should cause it to be of benefit to my brother Muslims.

In it I have quoted some extra points of benefit additional to what is to be found in Sifatus-Salaat. These were matters that came to my attention and I saw that it would be appropriate to mention them in the abridgement.

I also gave particular attention to explaining some phrases occurring  in  some  of  the  ahaadeeth  and the adhkaar (words of remembrance of Allaah). I also provided major headings for each section, and also sub-headings for further clarification. Under these I quoted the points under discussion, numbered consecutively. Alongside each issue I quoted the ruling: whether it is a pillar (rukn) or an obligation (waajib). As for those matters about which I remained silent and did not mention a ruling, then they are from the Sunan1, and some of them carry the possibility of being declared obligatory – however stating one or the other with certainty would conflict with what is befitting from scholarly research.

So the pillar (rukn) is that which is essential for completion of the affair that it falls within, being such that its absence necessitates that the action depending upon it is nullified. An example is the bowing (rukoo [01]1 Sunan: pl. of sunnah, referring here to recommended actions established from the practice of the Prophet * [Trans. Note]) in the Prayer – it is a pillar of it, and if it is absent then the Prayer is nullified.

The condition (shart) is like the pillar (rukn) except that it is something outside the action that is dependant upon it. An example is the ablution (wudoo) for the Prayer. Prayer is not correct without it.

The obligation (waajib) is that which has an established command in the Book or the Sunnah, but there is no proof that it is a pillar (rukn) or a condition (shart). One who carries it out is rewarded, and one who leaves it without valid excuse is punished. Just like it is the fard (obligation) and making a difference between the fard and the waajib is a newly invented use of terminology for which there is no proof.

The sunnah is an action of worship that the Prophet � continually performed, either always doing it or usually doing it, but which he did not command in a manner causing it to be an obligation. It is such that one who carries it out is rewarded, but one who leaves it out is not punished or blameworthy.

As for the hadeeth that some blind-followers mention and attribute to the Prophet �, “Whoever leaves my sunnah will not receive my intercession,” then there is no basis for it from Allaah’s Messenger

� and whatever is not established as his � saying, then it is not allowed to attribute it to him �, for fear of falsely attributing something to him. As he � said, “Whoever falsely quotes me as saying that which I have not said-then let him take his sitting place in the Hell-Fire.”

Then it goes without saying that in it, just as in the original work, I do not restrict myself to any particular madhhab from the four followed madhhabs. Rather in it I followed the way of the people of the hadeeth: those who adhere to acceptance of every hadeeth that is established from the Prophet �. Because of this fact their position is stronger than the madhhabs of those besides them, and this is something witnessed to by the fair-minded people of every madhhab. Amongst those witnessing to this was Abul-Hasanaat al- Luknawee al-Hanafee who said, “How could that not be the case when they are the true inheritors of the Prophet �, and are the true  representatives of his Religion. May Allaah raise us up amongst them, and cause us to die whilst having love for them and whilst following their way.”

And may Allaah have mercy upon Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal who said, ‘The Religion of Muhammad is the narrations (akhbaar)’ – what a fine means for the youth are the reports (aathaar). Do not turn away desiring other then the hadeeth and its people. For

opinion (ra’y) is night and the hadeeth is day. And perhaps a youth may be ignorant of where guidance lies whilst the sun has arisen and is shining brightly.’

Muhammad Naasirud-deen al-Albaanee

FACING THE KA’BAH (Istiqbaalul-Ka’bah)

  • If you stand, O Muslim, to pray – then face the direction of the Ka’bah, wherever you are, in obligatory Prayers and optional Prayers. This is one of the pillars of the Prayer, such that the Prayer is not valid without it.
  • The obligation to face the direction of the Ka’bah is removed from a warrior having to pray the Fear Prayer and during severe fighting. It is also removed from one who is rendered incapable of it, such as one who is (very) ill, or one who is upon a ship, car or airplane and who fears that the Prayer time will reach its end. It is also removed from one who prays optional Prayer  or  the  Witr Prayer upon a riding beast or vehicle. It is, however, preferable for him, if he is able, to turn it towards the Qiblah for the initial takbeer. After that it does not matter in which direction it turns.
  • It is obligatory upon everyone who can actually see the Ka’bah to face it directly. As for those who cannot actually see it then they should face its direction.


  • If a person prays towards other than the Qiblah due to the sky being cloudy or for any reason other than that, after having tried to the best of his knowledge and ability to face the correct direction, then his Prayer will be correct and he will not have to repeat it.
  • However if a person whom he holds to be reliable comes to him whilst he is praying and informs him of the correct direction, then

he must immediately turn to the correct direction, and his Prayer will be correct.


  • It is obligatory that the person prays standing. This is a pillar (rukn) except for:
  • The one who is praying the Fear Prayer or during severe fighting. In these circumstances it is permissible for him to pray whilst riding.
    • Also the one who is ill and the one who is unable to stand, he should pray sitting if he is able, or if not then whilst lying down.
    • Also the person praying Optional (Nafl) Prayer, he may pray whilst riding or whilst sitting if he wishes, and in this case he should perform rukoo’ (bowing) and sujood (prostration) by lowering his head and likewise the sick. He should lower his head further for the prostration than for the bowing.
  • It is not permissible for the person praying sitting to place something raised upon the ground to prostrate upon. Rather he should only make the movement for his prostration lower than that for his bowing, as we have already mentioned, this is what he does if he is unable to directly place his head upon the ground.


  • It is permissible to pray the Obligatory Prayer upon a ship, and likewise in an airplane.
  • A person may pray sitting in either of them if he fears that he will fall over.
  • (10)   In the case of old age or bodily weakness, it is allowed for him during the standing to support himself against a pillar or with a stick.
  • It is permissible to pray the voluntary Prayer during the night standing or even sitting without an excuse, and he can combine both of these. So he may pray and recite whilst sitting, and then shortly before the rukoo’ he may stand and recite the few aayahs that remain for him whilst standing. Then he bows and prostrates, and then he does the same in the second rak’ah.
  • If he prays sitting, he sits with his legs crossed, or in any manner of sitting that is comfortable for him.


  • It is allowed for him to stand in Prayer barefooted, just as it is allowed for him to pray whilst wearing shoes.
  • What is better is that he sometimes prays barefooted and sometimes prays wearing shoes, doing what is easy for him. So he should not force himself to wear them for the Prayer nor force himself to remove them. Rather if he happens to be barefooted he should pray barefooted, and if he is wearing shoes he should pray whilst wearing the shoes, unless a situation requires otherwise.
  • If he does remove his shoes then he should not place them on his right-hand side, rather he should place them to his left as long as there is nobody praying to his left. Otherwise he should place

them between his feet2. This order is authentically reported from the Prophet �.


(16) It is allowed for the Imaam to pray upon an elevated place, such as the minbar – for the purpose of teaching the people. He stands upon it and says the takbeer3 and recites and bows upon it. Then he steps backwards in order to perform the prostrations on the ground at the foot of the pulpit. Then he can return to it a d do in the second rak’ah the same as that which he did in the first.



  • It is obligatory that he prays towards a barrier (sutrah). It makes no difference whether he is praying in a mosque or elsewhere, nor whether the mosque is large or small. This is because of the all-embracing statement of the Prophet , “Do not pray except towards a sutrah, and do not let anyone walk in front o f you. So if a person insists (on trying to pass) then fight him, because he has an evil companion along with him,” meaning a devil.
  • It is obligatory that he is close to it, since the Prophet �

commanded that.

  • Between his � place of prostration and the wall towards which he prayed there would be a space approximately wide enough for a sheep to pass through. So if one does likewise then he has carried out the closeness that is obligatory upon him.4


  • It is obligatory that the height of the sutrah above the ground be at least a span or two spans, due to his saying, “If one of you places in front of him the like of the back-part of a camel-saddle5, then let him pray and not care about what passes beyond that.”

4 I say: We know from this that what the Muslims do in all mosques that I have seen in Syria and elsewhere with regard to praying in the middle of the mosque, far away from any wall or pillar, is nothing but negligence of the command and the practice of the Prophet *

5 Mu’khiratur-Rahl: It is the piece of wood placed at the back of the saddle, so the hadeeth contains an indication that it is not sufficient to use a line upon the ground. The hadeeth

that is not authentic.

  • (7)    The person praying faces the sutrah directly. This is what is apparent from the command to pray towards the sutrah. As for the matter of moving slightly to the right or the left, so that he does not stand directly in line with it, then this is not authentically established.
  • It is permissible to pray towards a staff stuck into the ground or its like, or towards a tree, or a pillar, or towards his wife who is lying upon the bed beneath the blanket, or towards his riding beast, even if it is a camel.


  • It is not allowed to pray towards graves whatever the case, whether it be the graves of Prophets or anyone else besides them.


  • It is not allowed to pass directly in front of a person who is praying if he has a sutrah in front of him. There is no difference in this between al-Masjidul-Haraam and other mosques. The forbiddance applies equally to all of them, due to the generality of his � saying, “If the one who passes directly in front of a person knew the (sin) that was upon him, then he would rather stand and wait for forty than pass in front of him.” Meaning, passing in between him and the place of his sutrah.6

6 As for the hadeeth that he * prayed at the outer edge of the area for tawaaf without any sutrah and the people were passing in front of him, then this is not authentic.

Furthermore, it does not mention that they were passing between him and his place of prostration.


  • It is not allowed for a person praying towards a sutrah to allow anyone to pass in front of him, due to the previous hadeeth, “… and do not let anyone walk in front of him …” and his � saying, “If oneof you prays towards something that screens him from the people, and someone wants to pass in front of him, then let him repel him by pushing him on the chest, and let him repel him as much as he can … [and in a narration … then let him fight him, for he is a devil].”


  • And it is allowed for him to take a step or more forwards in order to prevent an animal or a child from passing in front of him, so that they pass behind him.


  • From the importance of the sutrah in Prayer is that it prevents the person’s Prayer being nullified by the passing of that which will disrupt it. Contrary to the one who prays without a sutrah, since his Prayer will be nullified if an adult woman, or likewise a donkey, or a black dog passes in front of him.


  • The person who is going to pray must have in his heart the intention to pray that particular Prayer, be it the Obligatory Zuhr or ‘Asr Prayer, or the sunnah Prayer’s for them, for example. This is a condition (shart) or a pillar (rukn). As for expressing that upon the tongue, then it is an innovation (bid’ah), contrary to the sunnah….

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References / Footnotes

011 Sunan: pl. of sunnah, referring here to recommended actions established from the practice of the Prophet * [Trans. Note]