By Mufti Taqi Usmani
Salah is a pillar of Din.
Doing it just right in accordance with Sunnah is the responsibility of
every Muslim. Unfortunately, we go about performing the cardinal dictates
of Salah in a carefree manner following our whims, hardly caring to see
that those dictates have to be carried out in the manner they were passed
on to us by the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam).
This is why most of our Salah offerings remain deprived of the gleams and
blessings of Sunnah, although, following these dictates just right hardly
takes any more time or labour. What is needed is a touch of concern. If we
give a little time and some attention, learn the correct method and make a
habit of it, then the time that we spend in making our Salah today would
remain the same yet the Salah thus performed would have the advantage of
having been made in accordance with Sunnah and its rewards and merits and
its gleams and blessings would be much more then what you experienced
The revered Companions, may Allah be pleased with them all, took great
care while performing each single unit of the act of Salah, and while
doing so, they continued learning about the Sunnah of the Prophet from
each other.With this need in view, this humble write had explained to a
gathering the Sunnah method of Salah as mentioned by the Hanafi jurists
and had pointed out to incorrect practices which seem to have gained
currency. By the grace of Allah, the listeners found it very beneficial.
Some friends wished to make this discourse available as a printed brochure
so that a much larger number of people would be able to use it to their
advantage. So, in this brief write-up, the objective is to explain the
Masnun method of and the step-by-step way of putting it into practice with
due etiquette. May Allah Almighty make it beneficial for all of us and
give us the taufiq it. AminBy the grace of Allah, there are a large number
of books, big and small, dealing with the precepts of Salah.
Hence, presenting a comprehensive account of Salah problems and rulings is
not the objective here, instead, the immediate concern is to relate a few
important points which would help synchronize the form of Salah with the
demands of Sunnah. Another aim is to sound a note of warning against
mistakes and shortcomings that seem to have gained a lot of currency these
days.Acting in accordance with the brief words of advice given here will,
Inshallah, help make our Salah fall in line with Sunnah, at least in it’s
outward appearance when a Muslim could humbly submit before his Lord.
Lord, here I am, bearing similarly to Your beloved, through in form only,
yet hoping---- You shall make it real.
And what get to do is by the help and support of Allah, in Him I place my
trust and towards Him I turn passionately.
( Muhammad Taqi Usmani )
Before you begin the Salah:
Check the following and be sure that you are doing things the way they
should be done
1. It is necessary that you face the Qiblah.
2. You should stand upright and your eyes should be focused on the
spot where you make your Sajdah. Bending your neck and resting your chin
on the chest is makruh (reprehensible). Similarly, standing in Salah while
your chest is bent down is also not correct. Stand upright in a way that
your ayes keep looking at the spot where you make your Sajdah.
3. Note that the direction of the fingers on your feet is towards
the Qiblah and that your feet also have the same straight stance facing
Qiblah. (Placing feet tilting to the right or left is contrary to Sunnah).
Both feet should be in the direction of the Qiblah.
4. In between both feet, there should be a minimum span of four
fingers of the hands as ready measure.
5. If you are making your Salah with jama’ah (congregation), make
sure the line you are standing in is straight. The best method to make
sure that the line is straight is that each person position the farthest
ends of both his heels at the farthest end of the prayer-rug or at lines
that mark out on rug from the other.
6. While in jama’ah, satisfy yourself by making certain that your
arms are close to the arms of those who are standing on your right and
left and that there is no gap in between.
7. It is impermissible, under all conditions, to let the lower
portion of your ankles. It is obvious that its repugnance while standing
for Salah increase much more. Therefore, be sure that the dress you are
wearing is higher then your ankles.
8. Sleeves should be full, covering the whole arm. Only hands
remain uncovered. Some people make their Salah with sleeves rolled up.
This method is not correct.
9. It is makruh to stand for Salah while wearing clothes which one
would not normally wear in public.
begin the Salah
1. Make niyyah or intention in your heart to the effect you are
offering such and such Salah. It is not necessary to say the words of the
2. Raise your hands upto your ears in a way that palms face Qiblah
and the end of the thumbs either touch the lobes of the ears or come
parallel to them. The rest o the fingers stay straight pointing upwards.
there are some who would tend to turn the direction of their palms towards
their ears rather then having them face the Qiblah. There are some others
who almost cover their ears with their hands. There are still others who
would make a faint symbolic gesture without raising their hands fully upto
the ears. Some others grip the lobes of their ears with their hands. All
these practices are incorrect and contrary to Sunnah. These should be
3. While raising your hands in the manner stated above, say "Allahu-Akbar".
Then,using the thumb and the little finger of your right hand, make a
circle round the wrist of your left hand and hold it. You should then
spread out the three remaining fingers of our right hand on the back of
your left hand so that these three fingers face the elbow.
4. Placing both hands slightly below the navel, fold them as explained
When you are standing:
1. If you are making your Salah alone, or leading it as Imam, you
first recite Thana’; then Surah al-Fatihah, then some other Surah. If you
are behind an Imam, you only recite Thana’ : and then stand silent
listening attentively to the recitation of the Imam. If the Imam’s
recitation is not loud enough for you to hear, you should be thinking of
Surah al-Fatihah using you heart and mind without moving your tongue.
2. When you are reciting yourself, it is better that you, While
reciting Surah al-Fatihah, stop at every verse and break your breath.
Recite the next verse with fresh breath. Do not recite more then one verse
in a single breath. For example, break your breath at "Alhum do lillahi
Rabbil Aa'lameen" and then on "Ar-Rahmanir-Rahim" and then on
Recite the whole Surah al-Fatihah in this manner. But, there is no harm
if, during recitation that follows, more then one verse has been recited
in a single breath.
3. Do not move any part of your body without the need. Stand in
peace - the more, the better. If you have to scratch or do something else
like that, use only one hand and that too, under very serious compulsion
using the least time and effort.
4. Transferring all the weight of the body on to one leg and
leaving the other weightlessly loose to the limit that it shows a certain
bend is against the etiquette of Salah. Abstain from it. Either you
transfer your body weight equally on both legs or if you must channel your
body weight on one leg, you have to do it in a way that the other leg
shows no bend or curve.
5. If you feel like yawning, try your best to stop it.
6. When standing for Salat, keep you eyes looking at the spot where
you make your Sajdah. Abstain from looking to your right and left, or
When in Ruku:
When you bend for Ruku’, watch out for the following:
1. Bend the upper part of your body upto a point where the neck and
back nearly level up. Do not bend any more or less then that.
2. While in Ruku’, do not bend the neck to the limit that the chin
starts touching the chest, nor raise it is high that the neck goes higher
than the waist level. Instead, the neck and the waist should be in one
3. In Ruku’, keep feet straight. Do not place them with an outward
or inward slant.
4. Place both hands on your knees in a way that fingers on both
hands stay open. In other wards, there should be space between every two
fingers when you thus go on to hold the right knee with your right hand
and the left knee with your left hand.
5. In the state of Ruku’, wrists and arms should remain stretched
straight. They should not bend, curve or sag.
6. Stay in Ruku’, at least for a time during which "Saubhan
Rabbiyal Azeem" could be said three times calmly and comfortably.
7. In the state of Ruku’, the ayes should be looking towards the
8. Body weight should be evenly distributed on both feet and both
knees should be parallel to each other.
Returning to the standing position from Ruku:
1. While returning from Ruku’, back to the standing position, see
that you stand straight leaving no sag or droop in the body.
2. In this position as well, eyes should be fixed on the spot where
you do your Sajdah.
3. Three are those who simply make a ‘gesture’ of rising from the
Ruku’ instead of rising fully and standing upright when it is time to do
so and who, in that every state, when their body is still bent downwards,
go on to do their Sajdah - for them it becomes obligatory that they make
their Salah all over again. Therefore, abstain from it very firmly. Unless
you make sure about having become perfectly straight in your standing
position, do not go for Sajdah.
When gowing down for Sajdah:
Remember the following method when gowing down for Sajdah:
1. Bending the knees first of all, take them towards the prayer
floor in a way that the chest does not lean forward. When the knees have
already been rested on the floor, the chest should then be lowered down.
2. Until such time that the knees have come to rest against the
floor, abstain, as far as possible, from bending or lowering the upper
part of the body. These days negligence in observing this particular rule
of etiquette while getting ready to go for Sajdah has become very common.
Many people would lower down their chest right from the start and go on to
do their Sajdah. But, the correct method is what has been stated in #1 and
#2 above. Unless it be for a valid reason, this method should not be
3. After having rested your knees on the floor, place your hands
first, then the tip of the nose, then the forehead.
1. While in Sajdah, keep your head in between your two hands in a
way that the end of the two thumbs come parallel to the ear-lobes.
2. In Sajdah, fingers on both hands should remain close together,
that is, the fingers should be adjacent to each other leaving no space in
3. The direction of the fingers should be towards the Qiblah.
4. The elbows should stay raised off the floor. It is not correct
to rest the elbows on the floor.
5. Both arms should stay apart from armpits and sides. Never keep
them tucked in.
6. Do not, at the same time, poke your elbows far out to your right
and left causing discomfort to those making Salah next to you.
7. The thighs should not come in contact with the stomach-wall. The
stomach and the thighs should stay apart.
8. During the entire Sajdah, the nose-tip should continue to rest
on the floor.
9. Both feet should be placed upright on the floor with heels
showing on top and all fingers turned flat on the floor in the direction
of the Qiblah. Those who cannot turn all their fingers because of the
physical formation of their feet, they will still do well to turn them as
much as they can. It is not correct to place the fingers vertically on the
floor just for no valid reason.
10. Be careful that your feet do not lift off the floor during
Sajdah. Some people would their Sajdah while none of the fingers on their
feet come to rest on the floor even for a moment. This way the obligation
of Sajdah is not liquidated at all, as a result, the Salah too becomes
invalid. Be very particular in abstaining from this error.
11. In the state of Sajdah, the least time you can give yourself
should be sufficient enough to say "Saubhan Rabbiyal Aa'la" three
times, calmly and comfortably. Raising the forehead immediately after
having rested it on the floor is prohibited.
In between the two Sajdahs:
1. Rising from the first Sajdah, sit up straight, on the hams, calmly
and comfortably. Then go for the second Sajdah. Doing the second Sajdah
after raising the head just a little bit and without becoming straight is
a sin. If one does it like that, it becomes obligatory that the Salah be
made all over again.
2. Spared out the left foot (like the blade of a hockey stick) and
sit on it. Let the right foot stand vertically with fingers turned towards
the Qiblah. Some people let both feet remain in upright position and sit
on the heels. This method is not correct.
3. While sitting, both hands should be placed on the things but
fingers should not taper down onto the knees., instead, the far ends of
the finger tips should reach only as far as the beginning edge of the
4. While sitting, let your eyes be on the lap.
5. Sit for a time during which "Saubhanul-Allah"could be
said at least once and if your can sit for a time during "AllahummaghFirli
Warhamni Wasturni Wahdini Warzuqni"could be recited, it is better.
But, reciting this during Fard (obligatory) Salah is not necessary. It is
better to do so in Nafl Salah.
The second Sajdah and rising from it:
1. Go on to do your second Sajdah in the same manner by first
placing both hands on the floor, then the nose-tip, then the forehead.
2. The complete from of Sajdah should be the same as mentioned in
connection with the first Sajdah.
3. When rising from Sajdah, first raise the forehead off the floor,
then the nose-tip, then the hands, and then the knees.
4. While rising, it is better not to learn for support off the
floor, however, should it be difficult to get up from the floor because of
body-weight, sickness or old age, making use of the floor for support is
5. After you have risen back to your standing position, recite "Bismillah"
before Surah al-Fatihah in the begining of each raka’ah.
1. The method of sitting in Qa’dah shall be the same as mentioned
in connection with the method of sitting between Sajdahs.
2. When you reach "Ashhadu Allah-ilaha" while reciting
"At-tahiyyat"raise the shahadah finger (the fore-finger or the index
finger) with a pointing motion and let it fall back at "Illul-lah".
3. The method of making a pointing motion is that you make a circle
by joining your middle finger and the thumb, close the little finger and
the ringfinger (the one next to it), then raise the shahadah finger in a
way that it is tapered towards the Qiblah. It should not be raised up
straight in the direction of the sky.
4. However, lower the shahadah finger while saying "Illul-lah".but
retain, right through the end, the initial formation of the rest of the
fingers you already had when making the pointing motion.
When turning for Salam:
1. When turning for Salam on both sides, you should turn your neck
just enough that your cheeks become visible to the person sitting behind
2. When turning for Salam, eyes should be towards the shoulders.
3. When turning your neck to the right to say "Asslamu Allaikum
Wa-Rahmatullah"make an intention that you are offering your Salam
greetings to all human beings and angles on your right. Similarly, while
turning for Salam to the left, have the intention of offering your Salam
greeting to all human beings and angels present on your left.
The method of Du’a:
1. The method of Du’a is that both hands be raised high enough so
that they come in front of the chest. Let there be some space between the
two hands. Do not bring the hands close together nor keep them far apart.
2. When making Du’a, keep the inner side of the hands turned
towards your face.
Salah For Women:
The method of Salah describe earlier is for men. The Salah as offered by
women differs from that of men in the following aspects. Women should be
careful about what is required of them:
1. Before they begin their Salah, women should make sure that their
whole body, except the face, the hands and the feet, is covered with
clothes.Some women offer their Salah with the hair on their head remaining
uncovered. Some have their wrists left uncovered. Some women use scarfs so
thin or small that their hair tresses are visible dangling down
underneath. If, during the Salah, any part of the body, even if it be
equal to one-fourth, remains uncovered for a time during which one could
say "Saubhan Rabbiyal Azeem" three times, the Salah itself would
not be valid. However, should the uncovered portion be less than that,
Salah would take place but the sin shall stay.
2. For women, making Salah in the room is better than doing it in
the verandah and doing it in the verandah is better than doing it in the
3. While starting the Salah, women should not raise their hands
upto their ears, instead, they should raise them upto their shoulders, and
that too, from within the scarf or other outer wrap being used. Hands
should not be taken out of this cover.
4. When women fold their hands on the chest, they should simply
place the palm of their right hand on the back of the left forehand. They
should not fold their hands on the navel like men.
5. In Ruku’, women are not required to straighten their backs fully
like men. Women should bend less as compared to men.
6. In the position of Ruku’, men should open up their fingers while
placing them on the knees, but women are required that they place their
hands on the knees with fingers close together, that is, there be on space
7. Women should not stand on legs absolutely straight, instead,
they should stand with knees slightly bent forward.
8. In Ruku’, men are required to keep their arms stretched, away
from the sides. But, women should stand with their arms close to their
9. Women should stand with both feet close together. Specially, both
their knees should just about be joined together. Let their be no
separating distance between legs.
10. While doing Sajdah, the method prescribed for men is that they
should not lower their chest until such time that their knees come to rest
on the floor. But this method is not for women. They can, right from the
start, lower their chest and go for Sajdah.
11. Women should do their Salah in a manner that the stomach-wall
come to rest against the thighs and the arms stay close to the sides. In
addition to that, omen do have to position their feet, upright, they
should spread them on the floor sliding them out towards the right.
12. Men are prohibited to place their elbows on the floor while
making Salah. But, women should place the whole arm, including the elbows,
on the floor.
13. When sitting between Sajdah and when reciting "At-Tahiyyat",
sit on the left hip, side both feet out to the side and let the left foot
reset on the right calf of the leg.
14. Men are required that they be careful about keeping their
finger upon when bending for Ruku’, and keeping then close together in
Sajdah, and then, leave them as they are during the rest of the Salah,
when they make no effort either to close or open them. But, it required of
women, under all conditions, that they keep fingers close together, that
is leave no space between them. This is required all along in Ruku’, in
Sajdah, between two Sajdah and in the Qa’dahs.
15. It is makruh (reprehensible) for women to make a jama’ah
(congregation) The very act of offering their Salah alone is better for
them. However, should mahram-members of the family be making their Salah
with jama’ah within the house, there is no harm if they join in with them
in the jama’ah. But, in a situation like this, it is necessary that they
stand exactly behind men. They should never stand next to them in the same
The Masjid Some Essential Rules Of Conduct:
1. While entering the Masjid, recite the following Du’a:
"Bismillahi Was-Salatu Was-Salam Ala Rasul-ullah. Allahumma
Aftahli Abwaba Rahmatik"
( I enter with the name of Allah and with the prayer that Allah bless His
Messenger and bestow upon him. O Allah, open for me the doors of Thy
2. Immediately on entering the Masjid, make an intention that ‘I
shall be in I’tikaf for whatever time I stay in the Masjid: By doing so,
Insha’-Allah, the spiritual reward of I’tikaf can also be hoped for.
3. Following entry into the Masjid, it is better to sit in the
front row. But, in case space in the front has already been taken up, sit
wherever you find an opening. Advancing forward by leap-frogging people’s
necks is not permissible.
4. Salam greeting should not be offered to those already sitting in
the Masjid and busy in Dhikr or recitation of the Qu’ran. However, should
one of them be not so engaged and looking at you on his own, there is no
harm in offering such Salam greeting to him.
5. If you have to offer Sunnah or Nafl Salah in the Masjid, select
a spot where there is the least likelihood of people crossing in front of
you. Some people start up their Salah in the back rows while ample space
remains open in the front. Because of this act of theirs, it becomes
difficult for other to cross over and they have to make a long detour to
reach open sitting spots. Offering Salah in this manner is a sin in
itself, and should a person happen to cross in front of the person making
his Salah, then this sin of his crossing over in that manner will also
rest on the shoulders of the person making such a Salah.
6. After entering the Masjid, if you find that you are there a
little ahead of the Salah timing, then, before you sit down, make two
raka’ahs with the intention of Tahiyyah al-Masjid. This has great merit.
If there is not time for that, you can combine the intention of Tahiyyah
al-Masjid within the Sunnah Salah. And if, you do not have the time even
to make your Sunnah Salah and the jama’ah is ready, this intention could
also be combine with that of the Fard Salah.
7. As long as you sit in the Masjid, keep doing Dhikr. Specially,
keep reciting the following Kalimah devotedly:
"Saubhanullahi Walhumdo Lillahi Wala
Ilaha Illullaho Wallaho Akbar"
Sanctified is Allah and for Allah is all praise and there is
no god but Allah is great.
8. Do not engage yourself in unnecessary conversation while sitting
in the nothing else that may disturb those devoting to their ‘Ibadah of
Salah or Dhikr.
9. If the jama’ah is ready, fill in the front rows first. If space
is open in the front row, it is not permissible to stand in the back row.
10. From the time when the Iman takes his place on the Mimber to
deliver the Friday Khutbah right through the end of the Salah, it is not
permissible for anyone to talk, make Salah or to offer Salam to anyone or
to answer Salam offered. However, should anyone start talking during this
time, it is also not permissible that he be asked to keep quiet.
11. Sit during the Khutbah as you sit in Qa’dah when reciting at-Tahiyyat.
Some people sit hand folded during the first part of the Khutbah and then
place their hands on the things during the second. This method is
baseless. One should sit with hands on the thighs during both.
12. Abstain from everything that may spread filth or smell in the
Masjid or cause pain to anyone.
13. When you see anyone doing something wrong, ask him not to do
so, quietly and softly. Totally avoid insulting him openly, or rebuking
him, or quarrelling with him
Article taken (with Thanks) from darululoomkhi.edu.pk
| Browse Central-Mosque.com
regularly update this site so visit us frequently