Salah: Sunan

Sunnah السنة

  • Plural: Sunan سنن
  • Voluntary/optional
  • An act, without which the act would still be complete/correct
  • Rewarded for doing it and no punishment for leaving it
  • Salah is valid without it, either due to ignorance, forgetfulness or deliberate omission
  • However, if one intended to do it but forgot after, do Sujud As-Sahu (Sunnah)
  • 2 kinds: voluntary word (Sunnah Qawliyyah) and voluntary act (Sunnah Fa’liyyah)


  1. Qiyam (standing) in Takbirat-ul-Ihram: Hands = raise hands straight up to the shoulders, fingertips parallel to the ears, with palms open facing Qiblah. Other times when hands are raised (before Ruku, upon coming up from Ruku and after rising from first sitting (in a 3/4-unit prayer); Hanafi: raise hands only at the first Takbir. Feet = stand straight, keep feet apart a little bit; pointing towards the Qiblah. Eyes = keep looking towards the place of Sujud with eyes open; permitted to close eyes if it increases concentration, or if one is distracted by keeping eyes open (Ibn Qayyim); not permitted to raise eyesight towards the sky/above. Placement of hands after raising = right hand over left wrist and forearm; right hand grasping left wrist and forearm; hands can be placed on the chest, above the navel, or below the navel. Saying opening Takbir aloud.
  2. Pausing after each Ayah in Surah Al-Fatihah, concentrating on their meanings
  3. Doing the 1st Rak’atin (2 units) longer than the following Rak’at (units). Avoiding long Salah for the Imam. Making the recitation beautiful, but not innovating tones or trying to sing Qur’an
  4. Reading longer Ayah in 1st Rak’ah than 2nd. “The Prophet used to read in the 1st 2 Rak’ah of Duhr, the 1st Rak’ah used to be longer than the 2nd one.” Raising voice or reading silently when should do so. Not recommended for woman praying alone to read aloud. Reading Ayah in the wrong position, intentional or not, Salah (Fard & Sunnah) is correct
  5. Ruku (bowing): put hands on knees with fingers apart, back straight. “The Prophet, when he bowed, would be straight, his head neither up nor down (with respect to the hips), and he would place his hands on his knees as if he was holding them.” (An-Nasa’i). The arms can be placed on the side or joined them on the chest after Ruku.
  6. Sujud (prostration): Start Sujud with knees 1st on the ground; Other opinions: knees 1st & rise 1st with them; knees 1st & rise 1st with hands; hands 1st & rise 1st w/them. Do full Sujud (7 parts of the body) Keep a gap between body parts – arms away from body, tummy from thighs, thighs from legs, toes facing the ground with them
  7. Jilsah (sitting between Sujud): Lay the left and sit on it with right foot upright with toes pointing towards the Qiblah; fingers slightly separated and should not go beyond the knees.
  8. Rising from Sujud into Qiyam: Knees before hand, or hands before knees
  9. Sitting on the left hip in final Tashah-hud
  10. Tashah-hud (testimony): Raise and point the right index finger (Hanafi: raise it when saying “LA ILAHA” and drop it when saying “ILLALLAH;” Shafi’i: raise it upon saying ‘”ILLALLAH;” Hanbali: raise it whenever you get to “ALLAH;” Maliki: raise and point it without moving until Taslim).
  11. Taslim (salutation): face Qiblah in Taslim. Amin Bin Sa’ad: “I used to see the white cheek of the Prophet when he was performing Taslim.


  1. Dua Al-Istiftah (opening supplication)
  2. At-Ta’awudh/Isti’adah التعوذ (seeking refuge): Saying “AUDHU BILLAH…” should only be recited in the first Rak’ah
  3. Tasmiyah/Basmalah (mentioning the name of Allah): Saying “BISMILLAH…”
  4. Reciting Surah Al-Fatihah in congregation: remain silent when Imam is reciting out loud; recite in the pause between Al-Fatihah and Surah. If Imam does not pause, then recite Al-Fatihah by heart while concentrating on the Surah. Recite Al-Fatihah in 3rd and 4th units of prayer individually.
  5. Ta’min after Al-Fatihah by saying: “AMIN” loud in Jama’ah for Imam &  Ma’mum (follower) in audible Salah الصلاة الجهريه
  6. Reading some Ayah in the 1st 2 Rak’ah of any Salah after Al-Fatihah by concentrating on meanings.
  7. Second unit of prayer same like first with following exceptions: no ‘opening supplication; preferable not to recite “audhubillah…” before Surah Al-Fatihah
  8. Tahmid: saying after “RABBANA WA LAKAL HAMD” the following “MIL’AS SAMAWATI WA MIL’AL ARDI WA MIL’A MA SHI’TA MIN SHAY’IM BA’D” for Imam & for anyone praying alone. Not recommended for Ma’mum to say more than “Rabbana Wa Lakal Hamd.”
  9. More than one Tasbih/Dhikr in Ruku & Sujud: Ruku: Say “SUBHANA RABBIYAL ADHIM” 3X; Sujud: Say “SUBHANA RABBIYAL ALA” 3X; and any Dhikr, as long as it is not Qur’an
  10. More than one Istighfar by saying “RABBIGHFIRLI” 3X in Jilsah
  12. Dua after Tashah-hud before Taslim: Say “ALLAHUMMA INNI A’U-DHU BIKA MIN A-DHABI JAHANNAM WA MIN A-DHABIL QABR WA MIN FITNATIL MAHYA WAL MAMAT WA MIN SHARRI FITNATIL MASIHID DAJJAL.” (O Allah, I seek refuge in You from the torment of the Hell-fire and the grave, from the trials of life and death, and from the trials of the false Messiah).
  13.  The 2nd Taslim to the left side is Sunnah (most common opinion)
  14. Adh-kar ba’ad As-Salah (remembering Allah after prayer):  To be said individually by saying “ASTAGHFIRULLAH” (Forgive me O Allah) 3X. Then say “ALLAHUMMA ANTAS SALAM WA MINKAS SALAMTABARAKTA YA DHAL JALALI WAL IKRAM” (O Allah! You are peace and from You is peace. You are filled with good, O Sublime and Honorable One).

Matters That Invalidate Salah مبطلات الصلاة

  1. Eating/Drinking: Food between teeth swallowed without chewing, Salah is correct
  2. Talking
  3. Laughing
  4. Hemming تنحنح unnecessarily
  5. Moving ahead the Imam: Go to former position & follow the Imam. Salah is correct due to ignorance or forgetfulness.
  6. Changing the Ayah meaning
  7. Moving a lot
  8. When Wudu is invalidated
  9. Having Najasah on body/clothes
  10. Showing Awrah purposely
  11. Not facing Qiblah
  12. Resting on something unnecessarily
  13. Not doing a pillar or an obligatory or adding a pillar purposely
  14. Not sitting on 1st Tashah-hud after Imam started Al-Fatihah

More on Salah

  • Slept, lost consciousness or similar to it should make-up the missed Salah when he recovers. “He who sleeps during prayer or forgets it should pray when he remembers.”
  • Children should be ordered to pray when they reach the age of 7 as training. They must be beaten when they reach the age of 10. “Order your children to pray when they are 7 years of age, & beat them when they are 10 years of age. Keep separation between their beds.“
  • Those who reject the obligation of prayer; ridicule it & missed it because of laziness are considered disbelievers. “Between the servant & the disbelief is discarding the prayer.”