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3.2. PRAYER (SALAH)

Praying to the Creator on a daily basis is the best way to cultivate in a man a sound personality and to actualize his aspiration. Allah does not need man's prayer because He is free of all needs. Prayer is for our immeasurable benefit, and the blessings are beyond imagination.
In prayer, every muscle of the body joins the soul and the mind in the worship and glory of Allah. Prayer is an act of worship. It is a matchless and unprecedented formula of intellectual meditation and spiritual devotion, of moral elevation and physical exercise, all combined.
Offering of prayers is obligatory upon every Muslim male and female who is sane, mature and in the case of women free from menstruation and confinement due to child birth. Requirements of prayer: performing of ablution (Wudu), purity of the whole body, clothes and ground used for prayer, dressing properly and having the intention and facing the Qiblah (the direction of the Ka'bah at Mecca).
Obligatory prayers: Five daily prayers, the Friday's noon congregation prayer and the funeral prayer. Times of obligatory prayers:
1. Early morning: After dawn and before sunrise.
2. Noon: After the sun begins to decline from its zenith until it is about midway on its course to set.
3. Mid-afternoon: After the expiration of the noon prayer time until sunset.
4. Sunset: Immediately after sunset until the red glow in the western horizon disappears.
5. Evening: After the expiration of the sunset prayer until dawn.
Highly recommended prayer: Those accompanying the obligatory prayer and the two great festival prayers.
Optional prayer:Voluntary prayer during the day and night.
Prayer should be offered in its due time, unless there is a reasonable excuse. Delayed obligatory prayers must be made up. In addition to the prescribed prayer, a Muslim expresses gratitude to God and appreciation of His favours and asks for His mercy all the time. Especially at times of, for example, childbirth, marriage, going to or rising from bed, leaving and returning to his home, starting a journey or entering a city, riding or driving, before or after eating or drinking, harvesting, visiting graveyards and at time of distress and sickness.


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