How To Pray as a Muslim
Once you have taken your Shahadah , you are now a Muslim and you should begin to learn how to pray as a Muslim.
Allah tells us in the Qur’an that we must “establish” prayer in our lives
Establishing prayer means that we have to start from the beginning and that we have to work at building and strengthening prayer in our life. This may mean that it can take us some time to get to the place where we are fully performing our prayers as a Muslim.
Remember that you cannot become a perfect Muslim overnight and that it will take time to learn things and establish them in your life.
Remember also that we said slowly, slowly is the best way to progress and to develop your learning and understanding as a Muslim.
As a new Muslim, it will take you some time to learn how to pray and to establish these prayers in your daily life. This is permitted – you are not expected to be able to perform everything perfectly and completely from the first day. But you must work towards putting these prayers into practice as soon as you can.
Five Daily Prayers
You will hear the formal prayers in Islam more often being referred to as salah or as namaz, – rather than as prayers.
This distinguishes them from another type of prayer which is more of a supplication to Allah – where these sorts of prayers are referred to as du’a in Islam.
Muslims are required to pray five salah every day. These prayers are obligatory and are one of the acts that defines a believer as a Muslim.
Each of the five daily salah has a set time period within the day during which they must be prayed.
Fajr is the Dawn Prayer and is performed in the time between dawn until shortly before sunrise.
You might also see it referred to as Suhb.
Zuhr is the Midday Prayer and it is performed in the time between when the sun is at it’s highest point in the sky – it’s zenith – until midway through the afternoon.
You might also see it referred to as Dhuhr.
Asr is the Afternoon Prayer and the time for performing it is from midway through the afternoon until an hour or so before sunset.
Maghrib is the Sunset Prayer and it is performed just after sunset.
‘Isha is the last prayer of the day and it is performed in the time between when all the redness of the sunset has disappeared from the sky until the first third of the night has passed. This end time is often taken to be at midnight.
Friday is a special day of the week for Muslims. The Muslim community will come together in the mosque for a weekly communal prayer called Jumu’ah – the Prayer of Gathering.
Jumu’ah in the mosque takes the place of the Duhr prayer. It is prayed at the same time as Duhr Salah would normally take place.
Jumu’ah Salah is looked upon as compulsory for men to attend and it should only be missed when there is a good reason e.g. if someone is travelling.
Jumu’ah Salah is not compulsory for women to attend – it is optional for them. Many women do go along to the mosque for Jumu’ah Salah.
Where someone does not attend Jumu’ah Salah in the mosque then they must pray the Duhr Salah as normal.
Jumu’ah Salah is the one prayer during the week when there is a short talk given by the Imam. People will try to wear some of their best clothes for Jumu’ah.
The Times for Salah
The times of all the daily prayers can usually be found on the website for your local mosque.
The prayer timetable will show when the time period for performing each salah begins and ends and also when the congregational prayer for that salah will take place in the mosque.
You can also find out the local times for salah in your area by carrying out an internet search for something like :-
- salah times placename
- prayer times placename
If you have a smart phone, you can also download an App to your phone which will be able to tell you the salah times for the area you are located in.