Posted In Islam Pillars - By islampillars On Tuesday, January 10th, 2012 With 0 Comments

Is the practice of formal prayer in Islam. Its importance for Muslims is indicated by its status as one of the Five Pillars of Sunni Islam, of the Ten Practices of the Religion of Twelver Islam and of the 7 pillars of Musta’līIsmailis. Salah is a ritual prayer, having prescribed conditions, a prescribed procedure, and prescribed times. Some salahs are obligatory, with a few dispensations for those for whom it would be difficult. For those whom it is physically difficult they can perform Salah in a way suitable for them. To perform valid Salah, Muslims must be in a state of ritual purity, which is mainly achieved by ritual ablution according to prescribed procedures.

Salah consists of the repetition of a unit called a raka’ah (pl. raka’āt) consisting of prescribed actions and words. The number of obligatory (fard) raka’āt varies according to the time of day or other circumstances (such as Friday congregational prayers). The minimal, obligatory raka’atmay be supplemented with acts that are optional but are considered meritorious.

For Sunnis and Musta’lids, obligatory salah is prescribed at five periods of the day, which are measured according to the movement of the sun. These are: near dawn (fajr), just after noon (dhuhr), in the afternoon (asr), just after sunset (maghrib) and around nightfall (isha’a). Under some circumstances prayers can be shortened or combined (according to prescribed procedures). In case a prayer is skipped, it must be made up later. Shia doctrine permits two sets of these prayers to be performed in succession.

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