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Welcome to New Muslims eLearning site. It is for new Muslim converts who would like to learn their new religion in an easy and systematic way. Lessons here are organized under levels. So first you go to lesson 1 under level 1. Study it and then take its quiz. When you pass it move on to lesson 2 and so on. Best wishes.

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Prayer for Beginners (part 1 of 2): Before you Pray

Description: A two-part lesson that gives an overview of Prayer (Salah), which is the most important form of worship for a Muslim. Part 1: Preparation for prayers along with learning their names, specific timings and the direction of prayer.

By NewMuslims.com

Published on 14 Dec 2011 - Last modified on 17 Jun 2012

Printed: 166 - Emailed: 4 - Viewed: 15006 (daily average: 14)

Category: Lessons > Acts of Worship > Prayers


Prerequisites

·        How to Pray for a Recent Convert (Part 1 & 2)

Objectives

·        ability to figure out prayer times

·        ability to figure out the direction to pray (Qibla)

·        identify five prayers by name, their timings, and number of units (rak’ah) in each prayer

·        how to get ready for prayer (salah)

New Terms

·        Adhan, Qibla, Ka’bah, fard, Fajr, Dhuhr, ‘Asr, Maghrib, ‘Isha,

Prayer Times

Prayer times change considerably between winter and summer. You have four options:

(a)   Ask a devout Muslim when are the prayer times and note them.  They will change little over the next few days.

(b)  Get them online from here:

http://www.islamicfinder.org/

You can find the prayer (salah) timings anywhere in the world.  This site will also list the mosques nearest to you.

(c)   Download the Prayer Times Program from here:

http://www.muhaddith.org/prayer_times.html

It will give you the prayer times for any location in the world and play the call to prayer (called Adhan in Arabic) on your PC to remind you it’s time to pray.

(d)  Your local mosque or Islamic center most likely prints a prayer schedule that will also list the timings for the congregational prayers held in the mosque.  Please contact them to obtain a copy.  In the mosque a new Muslim will find much needed support as well.

Prayer Name

in Arabic

Prayer Name

in English

Number of Units (Rak’ah)

Timings

Fajr

Dawn Prayer

2

From the time of Fajr (dawn) till sunrise

 

Dhuhr

 

Mid-day Prayer

 

4

From the time of Dhuhr till the time Asr begins

 

Asr

 

Afternoon Prayer

 

4

From the time of Asr till the time Magrib begins

 

Maghrib

 

Sunset Prayer

 

3

From the time of Magrib till the time Isha begins

‘Isha

Night Prayer

4

From the time of Isha till the middle of the night. Due to necessity, can be extended up to the time of Fajr (dawn)

 

Table 1 lists the five daily prayers and the number of units (rak’at) for each obligatory (fard) prayer.

Which Direction Do I pray in?

A Muslim is required to face the direction of the Ka’bah (the Sacred House of Allah in Mecca) for each prayer (salah).  The Ka’bah is the first house built to worship humanity’s One, True Lord.  All Muslims throughout the world face it when they pray, leaving the world behind them whilst submitting themselves to their Sustainer.  This direction is called the Qibla and it is fairly easy to figure it out.

Again, you have several options to figure out the direction of prayer (Qibla).

(1)  Ask a fellow Muslim which in which direction you need to pray.

(2)  http://www.islamicfinder.org/ will tell you where the Ka’bah is located from where you are.  Note the bearing and use a compass to figure out which way you should face when you pray.

(3)  Some wrist watches are available in the market that make finding the direction of prayer quite easy, especially when one is in an unfamiliar place or traveling.  They can be ordered online[1].

Getting Ready for Prayer (Salah)

1.    The prayer is obligatory on every adult, sane Muslim once the time for a certain prayer has started.

2.    Minimum clothing requirements must be met by both men and women for prayer.

A Muslim man must wear clothing that at least covers him from navel to knee, and make sure that his shoulders are covered.

A Muslim woman must wear loose clothing that covers her whole body, including her head (and ears) and feet. She need not cover her hands and face.

3.    A Muslim must be in the state of purity, meaning the person:

·        should perform ablution (wudoo’) if he has passed wind, urinated, defecated or woke up from sleep since the last time he performed wudoo’.

·        should perform the ritual bath (ghusl) if he woke up from a wet-dream, ejaculated semen, had intercourse and additionally, in case of a woman, she ended her monthly cycle or her post-childbirth bleeding.

4.    He must make sure there is no impurity on his clothes, body, or the spot he will pray.

5.    He should face the direction of prayer (Qibla).

6.    Make intention to perform the prayers in the heart.

7.    The formal prayer (salah) must be offered in Arabic, so please read the transliteration of the Arabic text provided at the end of ‘Prayer for Beginners (part 2 of 2)’. The translation is given just to help know what you are saying.

(Disclaimer: All links are provided for educational purposes only.  NewMuslims.com is not responsible for the content of external websites.)

 



Footnotes:

[1] See: www.alasr.com, www.alfajr.com/default_en.asp

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