The Acts of Worship of People of Perfected Faith
A man of perfected faith also distinguishes himself through the meticulous
attention he pays to his acts of worship. Throughout his life -as long
as he is able-, he zealosly performs his salat (regular prayers), fasts,
pays his alms, that is, fulfills the acts of worship Allah made obligatory.
In many verses, Allah informs us about the excitement true Muslims feel
while performing their acts of worship:
Those who are steadfast in seeking the face of their Lord, and establish
salat and give from the provision We have given them, secretly and openly,
and stave off evil with good, it is they who will have the Ultimate Abode
(Surat ar-Ra'd, 22)
...(Those) whose hearts quake at the mention of Allah,
and who are steadfast in the face of all that happens to them, those who
establish salat and give of what We have provided for them. (Surat al-Hajj,
The importance of salat
Salat (obligatory prayers which are performed five times a day), is one
of the most important acts of worship after faith. A believer is obliged
to perform salat, which is an act of worship prescribed at specific times,
throughout his life.
Man is prone to forgetfulness. Engrossed in everyday routines, he may
easily become distracted from the real issues to which he actually needs
to pay attention. He may easily forget that Allah encompasses him all
around, that He watches him at every moment, that He listens to him, and
that he will one day have to give an account of his actions to Allah.
He may well forget about the certainty of death, the grave, Paradise and
Hell, that nothing happens other than that which is Allah's will, and
that there is ultimately a reason for everything.
Performing salat five times a day, however, removes this state of forgetfulness
and keeps the believer's will and conscious vivid. Salat makes him constantly
turn to Allah and live by the commands of our Lord. A person of perfected
faith who stands before the presence of Allah to perform his salat secures
a strong spiritual bond with Allah. That salat reminds man of Allah and
that it hinders him from all kinds of evil is stated in a verse as follows:
Recite what has been revealed to you of the Book and establish salat.
Salat precludes indecency and wrongdoing. And remembrance of Allah is
greater still. Allah knows what you do. (Surat al-'Ankabut, 45)
Salat is an act of worship that is obligatory upon all prophets and believers.
The prophets sent to humanity throughout history summoned their people
to this obligatory act of worship. Meanwhile, they performed it themselves
in the most accurate manner and became role models to follow for all believers.
In this respect, salat is a form of message communicated by Allah's prophets
to their individual peoples.
In the Qur'an, there are several verses about Allah's commands to His
prophets about establishing salat, the importance attached to this act
of worship, the prophets' meticulous observance of it, and their commands
to their peoples about establishing salat:
- In one verse, Allah relates the following about the
Prophet Ibrahim (as):
My Lord! Make me and my descendants people who establish salat. My Lord!
Accept my prayer. (Surah Ibrahim, 40)
- In the Qur'an, the Prophet Isma'il (as) is related
Mention Isma'il in the Book. He was true to his promise and was a Messenger
and a Prophet. He used to command his people to do salat and give zakat
and he was pleasing to his Lord. (Surah Maryam, 54-55)
- In another verse, Allah says to the Prophet Musa (as) the following:
I am Allah. There is no god but Me, so worship Me and establish salat
to remember Me. (Surah Ta Ha, 14)
Allah also commanded Maryam, who is given as an example in the Qur'an
to all women in the world, to establish salat:
Maryam, obey your Lord and prostrate and bow with those who bow. (Surah
Al 'Imran, 43)
'Isa (as), who is decribed as the "word of Allah" in the Qur'an also
received the same command:
He said, "I am the servant of Allah, He has given me
the Book and made me a Prophet. He has made me blessed wherever I am and
directed me to do salat and give zakat as long as I live." (Surah Maryam,
What are The Times of the Salat?
In the Qur'an, salat is described as an obligatory act of worship that
is prescribed for believers at certain times. The related verse reads:
When you have finished salat remember Allah standing, sitting and lying
on your sides. When you are safe again do salat in the normal way. The
salat is prescribed for the muminun at specific times. (Surat an-Nisa',
The times of the five obligatory salats are "morning", "noon", "mid-afternoon",
"evening" and "night". The times of salat are made explicit in many verses
of the Qur'an. One of them reads:
So be steadfast in the face of what they say and glorify your Lord with
praise before the rising of the sun and before its setting. And glorify
Him during part of the night and at both ends of the day, so that hopefully
you will be pleased. (Surah Ta Ha, 130)
Our Prophet (saas), who best understood and interpreted the Qur'an, thanks
to the revelation and inspiration of Allah, described to believers the
beginning and ending times of the five performances of salat during the
course of a day. The following hadith narrated by Abdullah b. Amr b. Al-
As is one of the most well-known of these hadiths:
Our Prophet (saas) said:
The time for the morning prayer (lasts) as long as the first visible
part of the rising sun does not appear, an the time of the noon prayer
is when the sun declines from the zenith and there is not a time for the
afternoon prayer and the time for the afternoon prayer is as long as the
sun does not become pale and its first visible part does not set, and
the time for the evening prayer is that when the sun disappears and (it
lasts) till the twilight is no more and the time for the night prayer
is up to the midnight. (Muslim)
Both the verses of the Qur'an and the hadiths of our Prophet (saas) and
the explanations of Islamic scholars make it certain that the obligatory
salat is to be performed five times a day.
The total number of rakats for the five obligatory prayers is 40. The
allocation of these rakats according to the times is as follows:
- Morning prayer: 2 rakats sunnat, 2 rakats fard
- Noon prayer: 4 rakats initial sunnat, 4 rakats fard, 2 rakats last sunnat
- Midafternoon prayer: 4 rakats sunnat, 4 rakats fard
- Evening prayers: 3 rakats fard, 2 rakats sunnat
- Night prayers: 4 rakats initial sunnat, 4 rakats fard, 2 rakats last
sunnat, 3 rakats witr.
A Person of Perfected Faith Prays in Awe
Awe is a kind of fear mixed with respect. Feeling awe while praying,
on the other hand, is to feel the majesty and might of Allah before His
presence and harbour a deep seated fear while performing this act of worship.
A believer who is aware that he is before Allah, the Lord of all the worlds,
will surely feel this might and draw near to Allah in relation with the
fear and respect he feels for Him.
A believer who aims to perform his prayer with due care must take all
measures against the obstacles likely to hinder his concentration and
pay the utmost attention to ensure the required mood and concentration.
Before His presence, our Lord commands us to remember and glorify Him
alone and be people of pure, natural belief in Him. Praying with due care
is a great opportunity to realize all these. Indeed, Allah commands us
to perform prayers to remember Him:
I am Allah. There is no god but Me, so worship Me and establish salat
to remember Me. (Surah Ta Ha, 14)
Fards (obligations) of salat
A- There are seven fards (obligations) a believer must fulfill before
he establishes his prayer. These are:
- Ritual Cleanliness
- Actual Cleanliness
- Covering the Private Parts of the Body
- Facing the Qiblah
- Proper Time
B- The other five fard actions, called the Pillars of Prayer,
are executed during the actual performance of prayer.
Ritual Cleanliness: Cleansing by performing the minor ritual ablution
or major ritual ablution.
Actual Cleanliness: Cleansing actual impurities on the body, clothes
or the place that are likely to hinder the prayer.
Time: Performing the prayers within the prescribed times.
Facing the Qiblah: Performing the prayer by turning to Mecca.
Intention: is the remembrance and inner declaration of the believer's
intention to perform the specific prayer.
Glorifying: Glorifying Allah with the words, "Allahu akbar".
Qiym: Standing position (for those who are able)
Qirah: Reading a few verses from the Qur'an while in qiym.
Rükû': Bowing Position, in which the knees are grasped by the palms of
both hands, thus supporting the body
Sajdah: Prostration, in such a way that only the nose, forehead, both
palms of hands, knees and toes are touching the ground
Qadah: Sitting in the last rakat of the prayer as long as reading "Ettehiyyatu."
Below, we will expand on ablution, Covering the Private Parts of Body
What is covering the Private Parts of the Body?
Every person who is liable to religious duties needs to cover her/his
private parts of her/his body that need to be covered during prayer and
forbidden to exposure to others at other times. Dress for men should be
such that it covers from the navel to the knees at least. The dress of
the woman should be such that it covers her whole body, from head to feet,
leaving only the face and the hands uncovered.
Before offering prayers, a believer must first perform ablution. There
are certain conditions of ablution. There are:
-Washing the face once
- Wash the hands up to the wrists once
-Wiping the one fourth of head
- Washing the two feet up to the ankles once
There are also sunnats of ablution. The sunnats of ablution that must
be performed by a believer of perfected faith is as follows:
- Starting by saying "Bismillah."
- Washing the hands up to the wrists, three times
- Rinsing out the mouth with water, three times
- Cleansing the nostrils of the nose by sniffing water into them, three
- Wetting the hidden skin below eyebrows, beard and mustache
- Wetting below the eyebrows
- Wetting the protruding part of the beard
- Cleansing the teeth, rubbing them with something if possible
- Wiping both sides of the head once
- Wiping both ears once
- Wiping the back of the neck once with three fingers joined
- Thoroughly wetting the spaces between fingers and toes
- Thoroughly wetting all the organs that needs to be washed.
- Making an inner intention while washing the face
-Washing and wiping both hands, mouth, nose, face, arms, head, ears and
scruff and feet one after the other
- Rubbing the organs that are washed
- Washing every organ one after the other, without any interruption.
In the Qur'an, it is stated that Muslims have to face Kabah in Mecca
while performing their prayers. It is sufficient for those who are not
in Macca to stand in a direction that makes one say "he is standing in
the direction of Qiblah."
The religion of Islam introduces Kabah as the center of worship of Allah
and Muslims are commanded to turn to Qiblah whereever they may be on earth,
so that solidarity, unity and order can be maintained among them.
Praying in the direction of Qiblah is an opportunity to bring the memories
of the Prophet Ibrahim (as) and the Prophet Isma'il (as), the noble messengers
of Allah who built the Kabah, to mind and turning to Allah for worship.
Also, turning in the direction of Kabah while eating and sleeping is good.
In addition, the deceased are also buried with their faces turned to the
How is the Qiblah determined?
Qiblah is not the building of Kabah but the land on which it stands.
That is to say, that space from the earth to the sky is the Qiblah. For
this reason, if one is under the water or in the sky, he can still pray.
It is possible to determine the direction of the Qiblah through mathematical
calculations. This can also be accomplished by a compass. Even if a very
accurate determination of the Qiblah can not be made by calculations and
equipment, one can have a strong conviction of the true direction, and
this conviction is acceptable.
At places where equipment, compass, stars etc. are not available, believers
must consult Muslims who know the direction of the Qiblah.
In moving vehicles such as ships or trains, one must stand in the direction
of the Qiblah and put a compass next to the place of the sajdah. In this
way, as the vehicle turns, the person must also turn to the Qiblah. Alternatively,
another person may turn him in the right direction.
If a person performs his prayer without consulting a Muslim who knows
the direction of the Qiblah, establishing the direction himself or exhausting
all the other methods to learn it, he will not totally fulfill the obligations
of prayer, even if he has coincidentally prayed in the right direction.