SALAT. The Salat is a ritually
prescribed prayer in the Islamic faith. Although the Quran mentions Salat many
times, the specific details of how, when, where, and under what conditions to
perform the ritual prayer are not minutely described in the Quran. Rather, the
early Muslim community formalized the ritual on the basis of the Prophet
Muhammad's example, or sunnah. Such matters as the exact postures, times,
conditions, and recitations of the Salat were arrived at thanks to the early
community's recollections of the prophet's practice. Inspired by the Quranic
decree to emulate Muhammad as their most beautiful model (uswa al-?asana), oral
reports called Hadith recalling what Muhammad said or did began to circulate
soon after his death.
As many spurious Hadith also proliferated, eventually they had to be sifted in
terms of their reliability on the basis of criteria developed by Hadith
scholars. In the century after Muhammad's demise, Muslims sought to consolidate
their faith and identity in institutional, legal, and theological terms. To this
end, scholars (?ulama?) and jurists (fuqaha) devoted considerable attention to
debating and determining the religious duties of Muslims. What it meant to be a
Muslim in terms of doctrines and practices was still in a state of flux, and
Salat was part of this process of discovery and construction of identity.
How do we perform Salaat (prayer):
When beginning salaat, men raise both hands. Tips of thumbs touch earlobes.
Palms must be turned towards the Qibla. Saying of Allahu Akbar (Takbir) begins
as hands leave ears and finished as they are folded under the navel. NOTE: Women
raise their both hands as high as their shoulders and say the takbir of
beginning. Then they put their hands on their chest.
There are seven conditions for a salaat to be corrected.
2-Tahrima (To say Allah Akbar)
4-Qiraat (Recitation of
Quran by mouth gently)
5-Ruku (To bow)
7-Qa'da-i- Akhira (Last sitting)
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MEN & WOMEN PERFORMING SALAAT:
(i) When beginning to perform salaat, a woman raises both hands up to the level
of her shoulders. While standing she puts her right hand on the left hand.
However, she does not grasp her left wrist the fingers of her right hand. She
puts her hands on her breast. While making ruku, her hands are placed on the
knees, but do not grasp them. She keeps her fingers close together. She does not
keep her legs straight, nor her back level. While making sajda, she lowers
herself, bringing her arms to her side while she keeps her abdomen placed over
her thighs. She sits on the buttocks, her legs inclined towards right.
(ii) A woman cannot be imam for men. If they follow a man as imam, they should
be in last line of the jama'at.
(iii) While performing salaat in jama'at, if a woman stands besides or in front
of a man, the man salaat will be Fasid (nullified).