How to pray for absolute beginners

The following is a guide for people who have just embraced Islam(a day or a few days or a few weeks).

The process described below is for the 5 daily “salah/namaz/prayer”.

You should NOT use this guide to delay learning how to pray properly. Your duty as a Muslim is to learn how to pray by learning chapters of the Quran and the other required/recommended procedures. For a full guide of how to pray, download the book called Taleemul Haqq and the glossary of it Taleemul Haqq – Glossary

Firstly, the following video should be watched(depending on male or female) to understand how the actions are performed:

How to pray female(Hanafi)
How to pray male(Hanafi)

Glossary:

Unit of prayer – also called raka’ah/rakaat, each prayer(Fajr/Esha) is made up of units. See below for how many units for each compulsory prayer time
Ruku/Bowing – placing the hands on the knees and lowering the upper body roughly 90 degrees
Prostration/Sajda – placing the face/head, hands, knees on the ground
Shahada/Testimony – Ašhadu an lā ilāha illā-llāh waḥdahu lā šarīka lahu, wa ašhadu anna muḥammadan ʿabduhu wa rasūluhu.

Compulsory Prayers:

Fajr – early morning prayer(before sunrise) = 2 units
Dhuhr – early afternoon prayer = 4 units
Asr – late afternoon prayer = 4 units
Maghreb – after sunset prayer = 3 units
Esha – night prayer = 4 units + 3 units(witr)

Example website to see what the prayer times are for the UK: UK prayer times

In order to pray, you need to be in a state of purity. This means you either need to perform ghusl(major ablution) or wudhu(minor ablution) if you are in a state of impurity. See the book Taleemul Haqq that explains more about this and our Learn section for videos on how to make ghusl/wudhu.

How to pray 4 Units of Prayer(Dhuhr/Asr/Esha):

UNIT 1 & UNIT 3(they are the same so they are mentioned together):

  • Raise hands to ears and say “allahu akbar” (do this for UNIT 1 only)
  • While standing say 3 x “subhaannallah”
  • While going into prostration say “allahu akbar”
  • In ruku/bowing say 3 x “subhaannallah”
  • While coming up from ruku/bowing say “allahu akbar”
  • After standing up from ruku/bowing say 3 x “subhaannallah”
  • While going into prostration say “allahu akbar”
  • In prostration/sajdah say 3 x “subhaannallah”
  • While coming up into the sitting position between the 2 prostrations, say “allahu akbar”
  • Sitting in between the 2 prostrations say 3 x “subhaannallah”
  • While going down into the 2nd prostration say “allahu akbar”
  • In prostration/sajdah say 3 x “subhaannallah”
  • While coming up from prostration say “allahu akbar” and go back into the standing position

UNIT 2:

  • While standing say 3 x “subhaannallah”
  • While going into prostration say “allahu akbar”
  • In ruku/bowing say 3 x “subhaannallah”
  • While coming up from ruku/bowing say “allahu akbar”
  • After standing up from ruku/bowing say 3 x “subhaannallah”
  • While going into prostration say “allahu akbar”
  • In prostration/sajdah say 3 x “subhaannallah”
  • While coming up into the sitting position between the 2 prostrations, say “allahu akbar”
  • Sitting in between the 2 prostrations say 3 x “subhaannallah”
  • While going down into the 2nd prostration say “allahu akbar”
  • In prostration/sajdah say 3 x “subhaannallah”
  • After the 2nd prostration, you will sit again(like the sitting between the 2 prostrations) and you can say 3 x “subhaannallah” or you can recite the shahada/testimony
  • While coming up from the sitting position say “allahu akbar” and go back into the standing position

UNIT 4:

  • While standing say 3 x “subhaannallah”
  • While going into prostration say “allahu akbar”
  • In ruku/bowing say 3 x “subhaannallah”
  • While coming up from ruku/bowing say “allahu akbar”
  • After standing up from ruku/bowing say 3 x “subhaannallah”
  • While going into prostration say “allahu akbar”
  • In prostration/sajdah say 3 x “subhaannallah”
  • While coming up into the sitting position between the 2 prostrations, say “allahu akbar”
  • Sitting in between the 2 prostrations say 3 x “subhaannallah”
  • While going down into the 2nd prostration say “allahu akbar”
  • In prostration/sajdah say 3 x “subhaannallah”
  • After the 2nd prostration, you will sit again(like the sitting between the 2 prostrations) and you can say 3 x “subhaannallah” or you can recite the shahada/testimony
  • After saying 3 x “subhaannallah” or Shahada, turn your head to the right and say “assalamu alaykum” and turn your head to the left and say “assalamu alaykum”

The prayer is now complete.

How to pray 3 Units of Prayer(Maghreb):

You will perform Unit 1 + Unit 2 (as explained above). Unit 3 will be equivalent to Unit 4(meaning that instead of praying Unit 3 as explained above, you will pray it like it is Unit 4).

How to pray 2 Units of Prayer(Fajr):

You will perform Unit 1 + Unit 4 (as explained above).