As-Salat / The Prayers

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

‘Salat’ in Arabic is translated as ‘prayer’. Most people, irrespective of what religion they follow, use some sort of prayers to connect to God. Allah teaches in His book, how to establish communication with Allah. A great way to establish communication with Allah is As-Salat (The Prayer). In As-Salat, believers communicate with Allah, in words which are taught by Allah in a specific format which is established in the house of Allah in Makkah. This house of Allah is a guidance for all worlds and prophet Ibraheem (a.s) and prophet Ismaeel (a.s) were ordered to keep the house of the Lord clean for people who do rukoo(bowing down), sujjood (prostrating) and tawaf (Hajj & Umra ritual).

To make As-Salat/the prayer an effective communication tool, it is imperative that we understand what the words mean which we recite in As-Salat. Allah has taught many supplications in His book for various situations which a person may encounter in life. It is important that we recognize the proper supplication, know the meanings, and repeat the supplication in our prayers, in order to ensure response from Allah. As prayers are enjoined on believers several times a day, it is an excellent tool, to enhance familiarity with Quran.  We can learn and grow in our understanding of ayahs, and repeat them in As-Salat. If we learn and repeat even a few new verses of Quran in prayers, our understanding of Quran Insha-Allah will grow rapidly.  By learning more ayahs, understanding them and repeating them in As-Salat, our prayers will not be a burden but can become an interesting experience. Quran warns that As-Salat is a burden on Munafiqeen/hypocrites.

The spirit of as-Salat is learning Al-Quran and its remembrance. Rote repetition of only a few sura’s over and over again like most people do, does not serve the purpose of as-Salat effectively. As-Salat provides the mechanism and adds a discipline to it so that believers are obliged to find time resorting to Al-Quran, several times during the day. Human beings need some discipline, therefore the institution of as-Salat is enjoined by Allah on believers.

In As-Salat we have to pray in words taught by Allah. For example Allah taught Adam some words to ask forgiveness. When Adam made the supplication in these words, Allah responded to him.

2:37  فَتَلَقَّىٰ آدَمُ مِن رَّبِّهِ كَلِمَاتٍ فَتَابَ عَلَيْهِ ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ

Thus Adam received ‘Words’ from his Lord, and his Lord turned towards him; for He is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.

7:23  قَالَا رَبَّنَا ظَلَمْنَا أَنفُسَنَا وَإِن لَّمْ تَغْفِرْ لَنَا وَتَرْحَمْنَا لَنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ

They both said. “O Our Lord! We have oppressed our nafs/psyche and if You do not have forgiveness for us and mercy for us, definitely we will be of the losers.”

Format of Prayers:

There is also a specific format for As-Salat/the prayers, enjoined in Quran. In this format, ayahs/kalamat of Allah are recited while standing, then the believer bows down and prostrate, symbolizing bowing and submitting to the ayahs that he just recited. This system of prayers is established in Allah’s house in Bakka/Makka. The House of Allah is declared to be for the guidance for the entire world.

3:96  إِنَّ أَوَّلَ بَيْتٍ وُضِعَ لِلنَّاسِ لَلَّذِي بِبَكَّةَ مُبَارَكًا وَهُدًى لِّلْعَالَمِينَ

The first House appointed for mankind is that at Bakka/Makkah: full of blessings and of guidance for all worlds.

What guidance can the world take from the House of Lord? Allah has established place of Ibrahim at the House/Kaaba and ordered mankind to take their ‘mussala’ from the place of Ibrahim, who is the Imam for mankind. See earlier post about procedure of As-Salat from Quran ( ).

Allah has also ordered Ibrahim (a.s) and Ismaeel (a.s) to purify His house for people. The system of As-Salat is established in this House (2: 125  وَاتَّخِذُوا مِن مَّقَامِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ مُصَلًّى   ), however in many people’s mind, the House is highjacked by impure people and they have established their incorrect format of As-Salat in the House (8:34). Allah declares that the protectors of Majid Ul-Haram are Muttaqeen and those people who adhere to a different format of As-Salat and oppose the Masjid ul Haram, their salat near Masjid is tantamount to clapping and whistling (8:35). Some people say the messenger (pbuh) established As-Salat in different formats/ways, (which are followed by different sectarian Muslims). Had it been a true statement, then the sunnat/practice of the messenger (pbuh) is to establish salat in all different formats, instead of sticking to one way according to one’s sect. The sectarian Muslims should establish salat in all sectarian formats if they are true followers of the messenger (pbuh). But they are actually followers of the imams of their sect therefore they will not do that. We see that as per Quran, there is only one format of As-Salat/the prayer which is established in Masjidul Haram.

7:29  قُلْ أَمَرَ رَبِّي بِالْقِسْطِ ۖ وَأَقِيمُوا وُجُوهَكُمْ عِندَ كُلِّ مَسْجِدٍ وَادْعُوهُ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ ۚ كَمَا بَدَأَكُمْ تَعُودُونَ

Say; “My lord has ordered with justice; and you establish your faces/souls near every mosque and call Him, making your din/judgment pure for Him. As He originated you, so you will return”.

In the above ayat, Allah orders to establish yourselves in all mosques. What we practically see is that. people who go to mosques for prayers they normally prefer to go in the mosques of their sect only. When you know the format of As-Salat from Quran then you can go to mosques of all sects and pray there. In case there is a discussion and engagement about  you format of As-Salat, you can provide your justification of praying according to the format of As-Salat given in Quran.

Salat is not a new phenomena brought by the messenger Mohammad (pbuh), all messengers and prophets of Allah since day one, have been performing the same As-Salat. Some examples of the mention of As-Salat with prophets and people of earlier times in Quran is given below:

Prophet Ibrahim’s supplication:

14:37  رَّبَّنَا إِنِّي أَسْكَنتُ مِن ذُرِّيَّتِي بِوَادٍ غَيْرِ ذِي زَرْعٍ عِندَ بَيْتِكَ الْمُحَرَّمِ رَبَّنَا لِيُقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ فَاجْعَلْ أَفْئِدَةً مِّنَ النَّاسِ تَهْوِي إِلَيْهِمْ وَارْزُقْهُم مِّنَ الثَّمَرَاتِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَشْكُرُونَ

“O’ our Lord, surely I have settled from my offspring within the valley without cultivation/agriculture near your sacred house, O’ Our Lord, so that they establish As-Salat/the prayer, so make the hearts of people loving towards them and provide them with fruits so that they will be thankful.”

Ibrahim, Ishaq, Yaqub are the Imams:

21:73  وَجَعَلْنَاهُمْ أَئِمَّةً يَهْدُونَ بِأَمْرِنَا وَأَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْهِمْ فِعْلَ الْخَيْرَاتِ وَإِقَامَ الصَّلَاةِ وَإِيتَاءَ الزَّكَاةِ ۖ وَكَانُوا لَنَا عَابِدِينَ

And We made them the Imams/leaders that they guide with Our order and We inspired towards them to do good deeds and establish As-Salat/the prayer and give zakat/justification and to Us they served.

Prophet Ismail (a.s):

19:54-55  وَاذْكُرْ فِي الْكِتَابِ إِسْمَاعِيلَ ۚ إِنَّهُ كَانَ صَادِقَ الْوَعْدِ وَكَانَ رَسُولًا نَّبِيًّا  وَكَانَ يَأْمُرُ أَهْلَهُ بِالصَّلَاةِ وَالزَّكَاةِ وَكَانَ عِندَ رَبِّهِ مَرْضِيًّا

Also mention in the book, Ismail: He was true to what he promised, and he was a messenger (and) a prophet. He enjoined on his people As-Salat/the prayer and Az-Zakat, and he was most acceptable in the sight of his Lord.

Salat is enjoined on Bani-Israeel:

2:83  وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِيثَاقَ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ لَا تَعْبُدُونَ إِلَّا اللَّهَ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا وَذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَقُولُوا لِلنَّاسِ حُسْنًا وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ ثُمَّ تَوَلَّيْتُمْ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا مِّنكُمْ وَأَنتُم مُّعْرِضُونَ

When We took a covenant with the Bani-Israeel/Children of Israel that you will serve none but Allah and be good with your parents and with relatives and the orphan and the needy and say to mankind good words and establish As-Salat/the prayer and give Az-Zakat/the Justification then except few from you, turn away avoiding it.

Salat of Prophet Shoaib (a.s):

11:87  قَالُوا يَا شُعَيْبُ أَصَلَاتُكَ تَأْمُرُكَ أَن نَّتْرُكَ مَا يَعْبُدُ آبَاؤُنَا أَوْ أَن نَّفْعَلَ فِي أَمْوَالِنَا مَا نَشَاءُ ۖ إِنَّكَ لَأَنتَ الْحَلِيمُ الرَّشِيدُ

They said, “O Shoaib, does your salat/prayer dictates upon you that we must abandon what our forefathers served, or running our businesses in any manner we choose? Surely, you are known for being clement, wise.”

Prophet Zakarya’s Hadith:

3:38  فَنَادَتْهُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ وَهُوَ قَائِمٌ يُصَلِّي فِي الْمِحْرَابِ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يُبَشِّرُكَ بِيَحْيَىٰ مُصَدِّقًا بِكَلِمَةٍ مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَسَيِّدًا وَحَصُورًا وَنَبِيًّا مِّنَ الصَّالِحِينَ

Thus the angels called unto him while he was establishing prayer in the chamber, . “Allah gives you glad tidings of Yahya, confirming the truth of a Word from Allah, and Syed (Leader), chaste, and a prophet,- of the company of the righteous.”

Prophet Moosa and Haroon’s Salat:

10:87  وَأَوْحَيْنَا إِلَىٰ مُوسَىٰ وَأَخِيهِ أَن تَبَوَّآ لِقَوْمِكُمَا بِمِصْرَ بُيُوتًا وَاجْعَلُوا بُيُوتَكُمْ قِبْلَةً وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ ۗ وَبَشِّرِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

And We inspired to Moosa and his brother that you appoint for your people, houses in Egypt and make your houses a Qiblah/direction. And establish As-Salat/the prayer and give good news to the believers.

Group prayers for women:

3:43 يَا مَرْيَمُ اقْنُتِي لِرَبِّكِ وَاسْجُدِي وَارْكَعِي مَعَ الرَّاكِعِينَ

“O Maryam! Be obedient to your Lord devoutly. Prostrate yourself, and bow down (in prayer) with those who bow down.”

Prophet Essa/Jesus words:

3:31  وَجَعَلَنِي مُبَارَكًا أَيْنَ مَا كُنتُ وَأَوْصَانِي بِالصَّلَاةِ وَالزَّكَاةِ مَا دُمْتُ حَيًّا

And he has made me blessed where-ever I be, And has enjoined on me As-Salat(the prayer) and Az-zakat as long as I live.

Wise man Luqman’s advise to his son in Quran:

31:17  يَا بُنَيَّ أَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ وَأْمُرْ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَانْهَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَاصْبِرْ عَلَىٰ مَا أَصَابَكَ ۖ إِنَّ ذَٰلِكَ مِنْ عَزْمِ الْأُمُورِ

“O my son! establish As-Salat/the prayer, enjoin what is just, and forbid what is wrong. and bear with patience whatever befalls on you; for this is firmness (of purpose) in (the conduct of) affairs.

Also, in 19:58-59, it is stated that those who came after the blessed people from the children of Adam, Nooh and Ibrahim and Isreael, wasted their salat.

24:41  أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يُسَبِّحُ لَهُ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَالطَّيْرُ صَافَّاتٍ ۖ كُلٌّ قَدْ عَلِمَ صَلَاتَهُ وَتَسْبِيحَهُ ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِمَا يَفْعَلُونَ

Have you not seen that whatsoever is in the skies and in the earth, praises for Allah and the birds in the rows. Everyone knows his salat/prayers and his praise. And Allah knows with what they do.

Even the birds and other creatures in the Universe know their prayers. We humans don’t know their prayers, Allah has instilled their prayers into them and He knows their prayers. We should be concerned with our prayers which Allah has taught us in His Book. We cannot make assumption of same human Salat for other creatures. The salat of other creature and beings is definitely according to their composition.

33:43  هُوَ الَّذِي يُصَلِّي عَلَيْكُمْ وَمَلَائِكَتُهُ لِيُخْرِجَكُم مِّنَ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ ۚ وَكَانَ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَحِيمًا

It is He (Allah) who does salat on you, as do His angels, that He may bring you out from the darkness into the light and He is full of mercy to the believers.

As we don’t know about salat of other creatures like birds, we also don’t know about Salat of Allah, who does salat on believers as per above ayat. Most probably this is His communication to believers to bring them from darkness of ignorance into light of Allah’s awareness and knowledge.

Timings of Prayers:

4:103  فَإِذَا قَضَيْتُمُ الصَّلَاةَ فَاذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَىٰ جُنُوبِكُمْ ۚ فَإِذَا اطْمَأْنَنتُمْ فَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ ۚ إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ كَانَتْ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ كِتَابًا مَّوْقُوتًا

So when you complete the (shortened) As-Salat then remember Allah in standing and sitting and on your sides, so when you are in tranquility then establish As-Salat/prayer, surely As-salat is written over the believers on appointed times.

Every person has a biological clock built in him, which is tuned to a 24 hours day. According to this clock we get up in the morning, eat food, do work, take rest and finally go back to sleep. If a person for example  goes to a place where the Sun last for 6 month at a stretch, he will still be following his 24 hour internal clock for sleeping, working and eating food.

30:17-18  فَسُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ حِينَ تُمْسُونَ وَحِينَ تُصْبِحُونَ وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَعَشِيًّا وَحِينَ تُظْهِرُونَ

So gloryify Allah’s praises, when you make your evenings and when you make your mornings; and the night and when you make your noons, and for him is the praise in the heavens and the earth.

The above ayahs state that when ever you do you mornings, evenings, days and nights, glorify Allah’s praise. Even if you are at a place where the time is different than 24 hours day, you are to follow your biological clock inside you, which follows the 24 hours day system.

The 24 hours day is according to the movement of Sun. We experience different times in it, a reference of which we can find in different ayahs of Quran; some given as below:

89:1 وَالْفَجْرِ

(FAJR) By the day when it breaks.

81:18 وَالصُّبْحِ إِذَا تَنَفَّسَ

And the Dawn as it breathes

92:2 وَالنَّهَارِ إِذَا تَجَلَّىٰ

By the day when it shines.

103:1  وَالْعَصْرِ

By the (time of) squeeze/summary

92: 1  وَاللَّيْلِ إِذَا يَغْشَىٰ

By the night when it envelopes

93:2  وَاللَّيْلِ إِذَا سَجَىٰ

By the night when it darkens

74:33  وَاللَّيْلِ إِذْ أَدْبَرَ

By the night when it retreats

11:114  وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ طَرَفَيِ النَّهَارِ وَزُلَفًا مِّنَ اللَّيْلِ ۚ إِنَّ الْحَسَنَاتِ يُذْهِبْنَ السَّيِّئَاتِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ ذِكْرَىٰ لِلذَّاكِرِينَ

And establish As-Salat/the prayer, the two sides of the day and in the advances of the night. Surely the goodness will take away the badness. That is the remembrance for those who remember.

We had previously seen that the Mussla i.e the system of Salat is to be taken from Masjidul Haram. That system  comprises 5 mandatory prayers  during 24 hours cycle. There are different interpretations for the timings of Salat in the above ayat. One interpretation could be that this Ayat is referring to the three out of 5 salats which are Fajr, Maghrib and Isha.   

17:78  أَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ لِدُلُوكِ الشَّمْسِ إِلَىٰ غَسَقِ اللَّيْلِ وَقُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ ۖ إِنَّ قُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ كَانَ مَشْهُودًا

Establish As-salat by the sun’s decline till the darkening of the night and the reading (of Quran) at dawn, (Fajr) surely the reading (of the Quran) at the dawn is witnessed.

The above ayat states that the salat to be established from the decline of the Sun to the darkening of the night. During day time when the sun reaches its peak and begins to decline from the peak until beginning of night are the 2, day-prayers i.e Zuhar and Asar. From beginning of darkness is Maghrib and with further darkening of night is Isha prayer, and little before beginning of day is Fajr prayers. The above Ayat states that there is no mandatory prayer during the time after Fajr i.e from start of the day till the decline of the sun (before Zuhr) and after that from decline of the Sun to the darkness of the nights the  prayers can be performed (as per system established in the Sacred Mosque) 

17:79  وَمِنَ اللَّيْلِ فَتَهَجَّدْ بِهِ نَافِلَةً لَّكَ عَسَىٰ أَن يَبْعَثَكَ رَبُّكَ مَقَامًا مَّحْمُودًا

And in some hours of the night, strive with it (Quran), This is additional for you, so it may be that your Lord will raise you to a standing position of praise.

Nafal is optional. Night time is a peaceful time without expected disturbance to strive with Quran.

Conditions when one is not to establish As-Salat:

4:43  يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَقْرَبُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَأَنتُمْ سُكَارَىٰ حَتَّىٰ تَعْلَمُوا مَا تَقُولُونَ وَلَا جُنُبًا إِلَّا عَابِرِي سَبِيلٍ حَتَّىٰ تَغْتَسِلُوا ۚ وَإِن كُنتُم مَّرْضَىٰ أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ أَوْ جَاءَ أَحَدٌ مِّنكُم مِّنَ الْغَائِطِ أَوْ لَامَسْتُمُ النِّسَاءَ فَلَمْ تَجِدُوا مَاءً فَتَيَمَّمُوا صَعِيدًا طَيِّبًا فَامْسَحُوا بِوُجُوهِكُمْ وَأَيْدِيكُمْ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَفُوًّا غَفُورًا

“O’ you who believe, you do not go near to As-Salat/the prayer with a mind befogged, until you can understand what you say; and nor in a state of stranger except you are crossing the way until you have washed yourselves, if you are ill, or on a journey, or one of you come from offices of nature, or you have been in contact with women, and you find no water, then take for yourselves clean sand, and therewith rub your faces and hands, for Allah does blot out sins and forgive again and again.”

Sukara is a condition of either intoxication, or confusion, when your mind is not focused and you are not able to understand  and focus on what you are saying. In this state it is not permissible to establish Salat.

Purpose of Salat:

20:14  إِنَّنِي أَنَا اللَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا أَنَا فَاعْبُدْنِي وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ لِذِكْرِي

“Surely I am Allah, there is no god except Me, so serve Me and establish As-Salat/the prayer for My remembrance”.

As-Salat is for remembering Allah and his Kalamat/Words.

29:45  اتْلُ مَا أُوحِيَ إِلَيْكَ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ ۖ إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ تَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ ۗ وَلَذِكْرُ اللَّهِ أَكْبَرُ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَصْنَعُونَ

Recite what is inspired to you from The Book and establish As-Salat/the prayer. Surely As-Salat/the prayer stops from obscenity and that which is disguised. and definitely remembrance of Allah is great. And Allah knows what you fabricate.

Salat is about getting the spirit of words of Allah. The below ayat states that the people who are rewarded, when they hear what is recited in ayahs of Allah they fall in prostration, crying. You can only get the feel of the ayahs of Quran when you understand the spirit behind the ayahs. Without understanding them, is like being deaf and dumb to the ayahs. So the rewarded people don’t fall upon the ayahs of Quran, deaf and dumb.

19:58  أُولَٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِم مِّنَ النَّبِيِّينَ مِن ذُرِّيَّةِ آدَمَ وَمِمَّنْ حَمَلْنَا مَعَ نُوحٍ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّةِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْرَائِيلَ وَمِمَّنْ هَدَيْنَا وَاجْتَبَيْنَا ۚ إِذَا تُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتُ الرَّحْمَٰنِ خَرُّوا سُجَّدًا وَبُكِيًّا ۩

Those were among the prophets for whom Allah has blessed from the offspring of Adam and from those whom We carried with Nooh and from the offspring of Ibrahim and Israel and from those whom We guided and We chose, when the ayats/signs of the Most Gracious were recited on them they fall down prostrating, weeping. ۩(Sajda)

25:73  وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِّرُوا بِآيَاتِ رَبِّهِمْ لَمْ يَخِرُّوا عَلَيْهَا صُمًّا وَعُمْيَانًا

And when they are reminded with the ayahs / signs of their Lord they do not fall down over them, deaf and blind.

How can one waste his Salat/prayer? by not understanding the spirit of the ayahs he is reciting and not using ayahs to correct one’s mistakes by acting on them. Just doing as ritual to desire ‘Sawab’ from prayers will have little benefit.

19:59  فَخَلَفَ مِن بَعْدِهِمْ خَلْفٌ أَضَاعُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَاتَّبَعُوا الشَّهَوَاتِ ۖ فَسَوْفَ يَلْقَوْنَ غَيًّا

Thus after them, succeeded successors who wasted As-Salat/the prayer and followed the desires, so soon they shall encounter wrong.

If As-salat becomes burdensome, it is a characteristic trait of hypocrites. If it is performed as a ritual with rote repetition of few suras, and is not being used to increase awareness of Allah’s ayahs, it is likely to become burdensome.

4:152  إِنَّ الْمُنَافِقِينَ يُخَادِعُونَ اللَّهَ وَهُوَ خَادِعُهُمْ وَإِذَا قَامُوا إِلَى الصَّلَاةِ قَامُوا كُسَالَىٰ يُرَاءُونَ النَّاسَ وَلَا يَذْكُرُونَ اللَّهَ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا

The hypocrites (think that they) are deceiving Allah, but He deceives them. When they stand for As-salat/the prayer they stand sluggishly, to be seen by men, but little do they hold Allah in remembrance.

The mention of funeral prayers is in Sura 9: Funeral prayers are not for hypocrites but for believers.

9:84 وَلَا تُصَلِّ عَلَىٰ أَحَدٍ مِّنْهُم مَّاتَ أَبَدًا وَلَا تَقُمْ عَلَىٰ قَبْرِهِ ۖ إِنَّهُمْ كَفَرُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَمَاتُوا وَهُمْ فَاسِقُونَ

Nor do you ever pray for any of them who dies, nor stand at his grave; for they rejected Allah and His Messenger, and died in a state of perverse rebellion.

Shortened Prayer:

4:101  وَإِذَا ضَرَبْتُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ فَلَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ أَن تَقْصُرُوا مِنَ الصَّلَاةِ إِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَن يَفْتِنَكُمُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا ۚ إِنَّ الْكَافِرِينَ كَانُوا لَكُمْ عَدُوًّا مُّبِينًا

When you strike in the earth, there is no blame on you if you shorten your prayers, if you fear that those people who disbelieved would inflict you with fitna/temptation. Verily the unbelievers are for you, open enemies.

When you are striving on earth i.e at work in offices or sites (does not necessarily mean travelling 2:273), where management is mainly non-muslim or where establishing As-Salat may not be looked upon favorably or interfere with work/site work/meeting etc, then it is permissible to shorten the prayers. The shortened prayer will follow the practice established during Hajj in Makkah. In offices or work places there is usually a lunch break. During that break the Zuhar prayer and Asar prayers may be combined with 2 rakas each. If the work has extended time in the evening, then you may combine Maghrib and Isha prayers when you come back home from work, offering Maghrib prayers at Isha’s time with Maghrib 3 Raka and Isha as 2 rakas.

2:239  فَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ فَرِجَالًا أَوْ رُكْبَانًا ۖ فَإِذَا أَمِنتُمْ فَاذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ كَمَا عَلَّمَكُم مَّا لَمْ تَكُونُوا تَعْلَمُونَ

So if you are in fear, then (pray) on foot or riding. So when you are in security remember Allah as He taught you, which you knew not.

If you are travelling and you fear or are concerned that you may not be able to establish As-Salat in time, then you may do As-salat mentally while on a vehicle or walking during your travel. This is an exception for travelers. However, safety first therefore if you are driving your self then better to stop at the side for a break and do prayers in the car.

Training ‘Salat’ for the group of believers:

After the believers start implementing the ayahs of Allah in their life, the next step is to prepare themselves from ideological attacks from unbelievers party on their belief system. So, a system of the training is described in below ayat. For their ideological fight they need be trained in the ayahs from Al-Quran which they can present to attack on the unbelievers belief system and the ayahs which protect them from the attacks of unbelievers on their belief system. For example, a common attack point of unbelievers is Al-Quran does not provide with the procedure of Salat, Hajj and Zakat, so you cannot act on al-Quran without needing to take guidance form other books which are not from Allah. These precautions and attacks are to be prepared with ayahs from Al-Quran and practiced in group congregations. Once one group has understood and remembered them and totally submitted on them, then other group to be trained. 

4:102  وَإِذَا كُنتَ فِيهِمْ فَأَقَمْتَ لَهُمُ الصَّلَاةَ فَلْتَقُمْ طَائِفَةٌ مِّنْهُم مَّعَكَ وَلْيَأْخُذُوا أَسْلِحَتَهُمْ فَإِذَا سَجَدُوا فَلْيَكُونُوا مِن وَرَائِكُمْ وَلْتَأْتِ طَائِفَةٌ أُخْرَىٰ لَمْ يُصَلُّوا فَلْيُصَلُّوا مَعَكَ وَلْيَأْخُذُوا حِذْرَهُمْ وَأَسْلِحَتَهُمْ ۗ وَدَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لَوْ تَغْفُلُونَ عَنْ أَسْلِحَتِكُمْ وَأَمْتِعَتِكُمْ فَيَمِيلُونَ عَلَيْكُم مَّيْلَةً وَاحِدَةً ۚ وَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ إِن كَانَ بِكُمْ أَذًى مِّن مَّطَرٍ أَوْ كُنتُم مَّرْضَىٰ أَن تَضَعُوا أَسْلِحَتَكُمْ ۖ وَخُذُوا حِذْرَكُمْ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ أَعَدَّ لِلْكَافِرِينَ عَذَابًا مُّهِينًا

When you (the messenger) are with them, thus establish for them prayer, then one party of them should establish (the prayer) with you, and they should take their arsenal with them. When they finish their prostrations, let them be on your backs and let the other party come up which has not yet prayed – and let them pray with you, taking their precaution, and their arsenals. The unbelievers wish, that you people were negligent of your arsenals and your means, to bow you down in a single attempt. And there is no blame on you if you are in trouble because of downpour (of attacks) or if you are sick/weak, that you put away your arsental but take your precautions. For the Unbelievers Allah has prepared a humiliating punishment.

The prophet Ibrahim’s prayers:

14:40-41  رَبِّ اجْعَلْنِي مُقِيمَ الصَّلَاةِ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِي ۚ رَبَّنَا وَتَقَبَّلْ دُعَاءِ  رَبَّنَا اغْفِرْ لِي وَلِوَالِدَيَّ وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ يَوْمَ يَقُومُ الْحِسَابُ

“O’ my Lord! make me one who establishes As-Salah/the prayer and also from my offspring and O my Lord! you accept my call. O’ our Lord! have forgiveness for me, for my parents and for the believers when the day of account is established!”.


A detailed lecture explaining, Salat, timing of Salat, procedure of Salat in Quran by Scholar Mohammad Shaikh in in below link. This post is mainly an excerpt of this lecture:    (in Urdu)

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