Following are the rituals of the prayer which are laid down
in the shari‘ah:
The prayer should begin with raf‘ al-yadayn (raising high
qiyam (standing upright) should ensue;
It should be followed by the ruku‘ (kneeling down);
qawmah (standing up after the ruku‘) should then be done;
two prostrations should then follow;
in the second and last rak‘at of each prayer, a person should
do qa‘dah (to sit with legs folded backwards);
during the qa‘dah, the pointing finger of the right hand
should be used for gesturing;
when a person intends to end the prayer, he can do so by
first turning his face to the right and then to the left during this qa‘dah.
These rituals are substantiated by the consensus of the
Companions (rta) and perpetual adherence (tawatur) to them by the ummah. The
Prophet (sws) is reported to have said: صَلُّوا
كَمَا رَأَيْتُمُوْنِي أُصَلِّي (Offer the prayer in the very
manner you see me offering it).
Consequently, for this purpose, the thorough and befitting manner in which the
Prophet (sws) used to say his prayer is detailed out below:
Sometimes, the Prophet (sws) would do raf‘ al-yadayn while saying the takbir,
sometimes before it and sometimes after it.
His hands would be open, and he would not completely join together the fingers
of the hand nor open them completely.
He would sometimes raise his hands up to the level of his shoulders, and
sometimes as high as the upper portion of the ears.
evident from certain narratives that the Prophet (sws) at some instances did the
raf‘ al-yadayn before and after the ruku‘.
Similarly, he would also do it after getting up from the third rak‘at
and sometimes before and after prostrating too.
he would stand straight with hands tied in front.
He would hold his hands in a manner that a part of the right hand would be
placed on the back of the left hand, a part of it below the left hand and a part
on the wrist.
He stopped people from tying hands in a manner that the left hand be placed on
top of the right one.
some Ahadith which mention that the Prophet (sws) tied his hands on his chest.
This depiction can be understood to mean any place above the naval on which
hands are tied. Thus it does not necessarily follow, as certain people have
concluded, that the Prophet (sws) tied hands right on the chest.
doing the ruku‘, the Prophet (sws) would place his hands on his knees such that
it would seem that he is grasping them.
The fingers would be open and placed below the knees.
He would not let his elbows touch his sides.
Both hands would be stretched like a bow.
He would neither bend his head nor lift it upwards but would keep it aligned
with his back
and would say: “O People! A person who did not straighten his back while
kneeling and prostrating has [in fact] not prayed”.
Prophet (sws) would rise after kneeling, he would stand up straight such that
his spine would come back to its original position.
Generally, he would stand for the same amount of time as he would kneel but
sometimes would stand for longer periods of time giving the impression that he
had forgotten to proceed for the next ritual.
He would remark: “A person’s prayer would not be worth God’s attention who while
rising after kneeling does not straighten his back and goes into prostration”.
Prophet (sws) would go into prostration, he would join his fingers and spread
The fingers would face the ka‘bah
and the hands would be placed adjacent to the shoulders and sometimes in front
of the ears
and so far apart that a baby goat could pass below them.
He would also keep apart his arms from his body to the extent that a person
standing behind him could see the whiteness of his arm pits.
He would place his feet upright,
join both his heels,
and would turn the fingers of his feet in the direction of the ka‘bah.
He would say: “I have been directed to prostrate through my forehead, nose, both
hands, both knees and the fore-feet”
between the two prostrations, the Prophet (sws) would spread his feet and
composedly sit on them.
He would use up almost equal time in jilsah, prostration, qawmah;
however, sometimes, like qawmah, he would sit in the jilsah for a long time
giving the impression that he had forgotten to proceed.
It has also been reported that sometimes instead of standing up straight after
the second prostration, he would sit down and then stand up for the next rak‘at.
Prophet (sws) would sit in qa‘dah in just the same way as in jilsah by spreading
one feet and sitting on it.
The right foot would be upright
and he would spread his right hand on the right knee and the left one on the
left knee and would raise his pointing finger.
He would do this by coiling all the other fingers and placing his thumb on the
centre finger and sometimes would make a circle with both of them.
last rak‘at of the prayer, he would sometimes sit in a manner that he would
place his left hip on the floor and take out the left feet towards the right one.
Prophet (sws) would complete all these rituals of the prayer with thoroughness
and would counsel people to do so as wel.
(Translated from Qanun-i ‘Ibadat by Shehzad Saleem)
Bukhari: No. 605.
Bukhari, No: 605; Muslim, Nos: 390, 391.
Abu Da’ud, No: 753; Ibn Khuzaymah, No: 459.
Bukhari, Nos: 702, 705; Muslim, No: 391; Abu Da’ud, No: 726; Nasa’i, No: 881.
Bukhari, No: 702; Muslim, No: 390.
Bukhari, No: 702.
Nasa’i, No: 1085.
Abu Da’ud, No: 730; Ibn Majah, No: 862.
Muslim, 401; Abu Da’ud, No: 759.
Nasa’i, No: 889.
Abu Da’ud, No: 755.
Ahmad, No: 22017, Abu Da’ud, No: 759.
Bukhari, No: 794; Abu Da’ud, No: 759.
Ahmad, Nos: 17117, 17122.
Abu Da’ud, No: 734.
Muslim, No: 498; Abu Da’ud, No: 730.
Abu Da’ud, No: 855, Nasa’i, No: 1027;
Ibn Majah, Nos: 870, 871.
Bukhari, No: 794.
Bukhari, No: 787; Muslim, No: 472.
Musnad Ahmad, No: 10812.
Ibn Abi Shaybah, No: 2716.
Abu Da’ud, No: 734; Nasa’i, No: 889.
Muslim, No: 496
Muslim, Nos: 495, 496, 497.
Muslim, No: 486.
Ibn Khuzaymah, No: 654.
Bukhari, No: 793.
Bukhari, No: 779; Muslim, No: 490.
Abu Da’ud, Nos: 730, 734.
Bukhari, No: 759; Muslim, No: 471.
Bukhari, No: 787; Muslim, No: 472.
Bukhari, No: 789; Abu Da’ud, No: 730.
Bukhari, No: 794; Abu Da’ud, Nos: 731, 734.
Bukhari, No: 794; Abu Da’ud, Nos: 730, 734.
Muslim, Nos: 579, 580; Abu Da’ud, No: 734.
Muslim, No: 580.
Bukhari, No: 793; Abu Da’ud, Nos: 730, 731. 1. This gesturing with the pointing finger is a symbolic expression of tawhid. Hence it is more probable that it be done in this sitting position while remembering Allah’s name in the various supplications that are said in this position.
Abu Da’ud, No: 730.
Bukhari, No: 724.