DesCripion of the Prophet’s prayer

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1 – Facing the direction of the Ka’bah

1-When you stand up to pray, face the direction of the Ka’bah wherever you are, in both fard (obligatory) and naafil (supererogatory) prayers. This is one of the pillars of prayer, without which prayer is not valid.

2-The obligation of facing the direction of prayer does not apply to one who is engaged in warfare, when he prays the fear prayer (salaat al-khawf) or is engaged in heavy fighting. It also does not apply to those who are unable to do it, such as one who is sick, or one who is traveling on a ship, in a car or on a plane, if they fear that the time of the prayer will elapse (before they reach a place where they can find the correct direction). And it does not apply to one who is praying a naafil prayer or witr prayer whilst riding on a riding-animal etc., but it is mustahabb for him to face the qiblah if he is able to do so when pronouncing the takbeer of ihraam (at the beginning of the prayer), then he may face whatever direction he is facing.

3-Everyone who can see the Ka’bah must face it; those who cannot see it must face its direction.

Ruling on not facing the Ka’bah in prayer by mistake:

4-If a person prays not facing the qiblah, because of clouds [preventing him from working out the direction from the position of the sun] or some other reason, after he did his best to work out the right direction, his prayer is valid and he does not have to repeat it.

5-If someone whom he trusts comes – whilst he is praying – and tells him of the right direction, then he must hasten to turn that way, and his prayer is valid.

2 – Qiyaam (standing in prayer)

6-It is obligatory to pray standing. This is a pillar (essential part of prayer), except for the one who is praying the fear prayer or at times of intense fighting, when it is permitted to pray whilst riding; for the one who is sick and unable to stand, who should pray sitting if he is able, otherwise lying on his side; and the one who is praying a naafil prayer, who may pray whilst riding or sitting if he wishes, and he indicates the rukoo’ and sujood with his head. The one who is sick may also do this, and he should make his sujood lower than his rukoo’.

7-It is not permissible for one who is praying sitting down to put something raised up on the ground in order to prostrate on it. Rather he should make his sujood lower than his rukoo’ – as we have mentioned – if he is unable to touch the ground directly with his forehead.

Prayer on board a ship or airplane

8-It is permissible to pray fard prayers on board a ship or airplane.

9-It is permissible to pray them sitting down if one fears that one may fall.

10-.It is permissible to lean on a pillar or stick when standing, if one is old or weak in body.

Combining standing and sitting in prayer

11-.It is permissible to pray qiyaam al-layl standing or sitting with no excuse, or to do both. So a person may pray and reciting sitting down, and just before doing rukoo’ he may stand up and recite the rest of the aayahs standing up, then do rukoo’ and sujood, then he can do likewise in the second rak’ah.

12-.If he prays sitting down, he should pray sitting cross-legged or in whatever position he finds comfortable.

Praying wearing shoes

13-.It is permissible to pray barefoot, or to pray wearing shoes.

14-.It is better to pray sometimes barefoot and sometimes wearing shoes, according to what is easy; one should not make it difficult to put shoes on or to take them off in order to pray If a person is barefoot, he should pray barefoot and if he is wearing shoes then he should pray wearing shoes, except when there is a reason not to do so.

15-.If he takes them off, then he should not place them to his right; rather he should place them to his left, if there is no one on his left, otherwise he should put them between his feet. There is a subtle hint that he should not place them in front of himself. This is the etiquette which most worshippers ignore, so you see them praying facing their shoes! This is what was narrated in the saheeh reports from the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).

Praying on the minbar

16-.It is permissible for the imaam to pray on an elevated place such as the minbar, in order to teach the people. So he should stand up on it to pray, then say takbeer, recite Qur’aan and do rukoo’ whilst he is on that place, then he should come down backwards so that he can prostrate on the ground at the **** of the minbar, then he may go back to it and do the same in the second rak’ah as he did in the first.

It is obligatory to pray facing a sutrah and be close to it

17-.It is obligatory to pray facing a sutrah (screen or cover), there is no difference whether that is in the mosque or elsewhere, whether the mosque is big or small, because of the general meaning of the hadeeth of the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), “Do not pray except facing a sutrah, and do not let anyone pass in front of you, and if he insists then fight him, for he has a companion (qareen) with him” – meaning the Shaytaan.

18-.It is obligatory to be close to the sutrah, because this is what the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) commanded.

19-.Between the place where the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) prostrated and the wall there would be a space nearly big enough for a sheep to pass through. Whoever does that is close enough [to the sutrah] as is required. I say: from this we known that what people do in all the mosques that I have seen in Syria and elsewhere, by praying in the middle of the mosque far away from the wall or pillars is but negligence towards the command and action of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).