The Pillars (Arkan) of Prayer
There are fourteen pillars of prayer: standing, if able; the opening Takbir; recitation of Al-Fatihah; bowing; standing up straight after bowing; prostrating, with seven specific body parts touching the ground; rising from the prostration; sitting between the two prostrations; tranquility in all of the prayer's actions; performing these pillars in order; the final Tashahhud; sitting down for it; sending Salat upon the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam); and the two Taslims.
if able: this is a pillar in the obligatory prayers. That this is a pillar of prayer is taken from this verse: Guard strictly As-Salawat (the prayers) especially the middle Salat (i.e., the best prayer 'Asr). And stand before Allah with obedience. (Surah Al-Baqarah 2: 238)
Pray in a standing position.
2) The opening Takbir,
i.e., to begin the prayer by saying, "Allahu Akbar,"
and no other phrase can act as a substitute for this one. The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said:
Its sacred state is entered with its Takbir and it is ended with its Taslim.
In the famous, long Hadith regarding the one who didn't pray correctly, the Prophet said:
When you stand for prayer, then say, "Allahu Akbar."
3) Reciting Al-Fatihah.
It must be recited in every unit of prayer.
The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said:
There is no prayer for one who does not recite Al-Fatihah of the Book.
5) Standing up straight after bowing.
6) Prostrating, with seven specific body parts touching the ground.
7) Rising from the prostration.
8) Sitting between the two prostrations.
The proof for these pillars can be found in this verse:
O you who believe! Bow down, and prostrate yourselves. (Surah Al-Hajj 22: 77)
Another proof is the saying of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam)
I have been ordered to prostrate on seven bones. (Recorded by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
in all of the prayer's actions.
10) Performing all of these pillars in order.
The Hadith about the one who prayed incorrectly can be considered a comprehensive proof for this and for all preceding pillars. Abu Hurairah (Radhi Allahu Anhu) said, "As we were sitting with the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) a man entered and prayed. He then stood and gave greetings of peace to the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) who replied:
Go back and pray, for indeed you have not prayed.
The man went back, but the same occurred three times, after which the man said, 'By He Who has sent you as a Prophet with the truth, I can do no better than this, so teach me.' The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said: When you stand for prayer, say: "Allahu Akbar," then recite what is easy for you from the Qur'an. Then bow down until you become tranquil in your bowing. Then rise until you are standing upright. Next, prostrate until you become tranquil in your prostration. Then rise and sit until you become tranquil in the seated position. And then continue to do that for the rest of your prayer."
11) The final Tashahhud;
This pillar is taken from the Hadith of Ibn Mas'ud (Radhi Allahu Anhu) who said, "Before the
Tashahhud became obligatory upon us, we used to say: 'Peace upon Allah from His worshippers, and peace upon Jibril and Mika'il.' But then the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said: Do not say: 'Peace upon Allah from His worshippers,' for indeed Allah is As-Salam; rather, you should say: 'At-Tahiyyat is for Allah. All acts of worship and good deeds are for Him.'
We will give the exact wording of the Tashahhud mentioned in this Hadith, along with its meaning in the next lesson - if Allah wills.
12) Sitting down for it
, i.e., sitting down for the Tashahhud. The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said:
When one of you sits for the prayer, then let him say At¬-Tahiyyat. (Agreed upon)
13) Sending Salat
(blessings) upon the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) In one narration the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said:
When one of you prays, then in it let him send blessing upon the Prophet
In another narration:
Then let him send blessings upon the Prophet then supplicate ...
(Recorded by Ahmad and Abu Dawud)
14)The two Taslims
(i.e. to say As-Salamu 'Alaikum wa Rahma¬tullah, turning one's head to the right, and then saying the same, turning to the left), for the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said:
.. .it is ended with its Taslim.