How Our Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) Taught Us To Pray

Date: 14th August 2015; 28st Shawwāl 1436

Last week we discussed about how we important it is for us to follow the Sunnah of the Salah so as to receive acceptance of our deed by Allah (Subḥānahu Wa Ta’Ala). The beauty of our Salah lies with the amount of Sunnahs we are following while we are moving and taking various positions during our prayers. Whether it is the Ruku or the Shajdah, every position has specific Sunnahs which are expected to be followed.

Here are the Sunnahs during Salah followed according to the Hanafi fiqh and their respective Hadiths:


THE 11 SUNNATS OF QIYAAM (Standing Position):

  1. One of the Sunnah governing Qiyaam (the standing position in Salah) is to stand facing the Qibla upright. The head should not be bent. The eyesight should be focused on the place of Sajdah.

References: Sahih Muslim, Vol. 1; Sunan An-Nasai, Hadith 1196 & Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith 803.

  1. The toes should also be pointing towards the Qibla, there should be a gap of four fingers width between the feet.

References: Daru Qutuni, Vol. 1; Musanaf Abdul Razzaq, Vol. 2 & Al Mughni, Vol. 2.

  1. When Salah is performed in Jamaah, the Imam reads the Takbeer-e-Tahreema the Muqtadi (one following the Imam) should also read (quietly) Takbeer-e-Tahreema immediately after the Imam.

References: Sahih Muslim, Vol. 1 & Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith 803.

  1. The male while saying the Allahu-Akbar should raise both his hands towards his earlobes making contact with the tip of his thumbs to the tip of his earlobes.

References: Sahih Muslim, Hadith 391; Sunan Abu Dawood, Hadith 728; Sunan Tibaraani, Vol. 22 & Sunan An-Nasai Vol 1.

  1. While saying the Takbeer-e-Tahreema, the palms of the hand (while being raised) should face the Qibla, the hands are raised with Takbeer-e-Tahreema at the beginning of first Rakat only.

References: Jami Tirmidhi Hadith 257; Sunan Abu Dawood Hadith 749; Sunan An-Nasai; Sahih Muslim.

  1. While raising the hands during the Takbeer-e-Tahreema the fingers should be kept naturally relaxed (neither completely open nor tightly together) but in their natural relaxed position.

References: Jami Tirmidhi; Sahih Ibn Habban Vol. 3 & Sunan Baihaqi Vol. 2.

  1. Then, when folding the hands, the palm of his right hand should be placed on the back of the wrist of his left hand.

References: Sahih Bukhari Vol. 1 & Majma ul Zawahed Vol. 2.

  1. The males should form a ring around the wrist of the left hand by gripping it with the thumb and the little finger of the right hand.

References: Sahih Bukhari Vol. 1 & Ibn Abi Shaybah Vol. 1.

  1. The males should then place the middle three fingers of the right hand over the forearm.

References: Sunan Ibn Majah & A’tharul Sunan Vol. 1.

  1. The males should fasten their hands in the above mentioned manner below the navel.

References: Sunan Abu Dawood, Hadith 756; Musnad Ahmed, Vol. 1, Ibn Abi Shaybah, Vol. 1 & Daru Qutuni Vol 1.

  1. Then one should recite Thana (Subhanakallah Humma Wa Bihamdika Wa Tabarakasmuka Wa Ta’ala Jadduka Wa Laa ila’ha Ghairuk)

References: Sunan Abu Dawood, Vol. 1; Jami Tirmidhi & Sunan An-Nasai, Vol 1.


THE 7 SUNNATS OF QIRAAT (Qur’an Reciting Position)

  1. After the Sana, Ta’awwuz meaning “A’oozu Billahi Minas Shaitaanir Rajeem” should be recited quietly in the first Rakaat only.

Reference: Tibaraani Kaber, Vol. 9.

  1. After Ta’aw-wuth, the Tas-mi-yah “Bismillah’ ir’rahman’ir’ Raheem” should be recited quietly and thereafter in every Rakaat.

References: Sahih Muslim, Vol. 1, Sunan Tahaawi, Vol. 1, Jami Tirmidhi Vol. 1 & A’tharul Sunan.

  1. Then after reciting Surah Fatihah, Ameen should be said softly.

References: Holy Qur’an 7:55/ 19:3; Jami At-Tirmidhi Hadith 248; Sahih Muslim, Vol. 1, Musnad Ahmad, Vol 4.

  1. To recite extended Surahs from (Surah 29 Al-Hujurat to Surah 85 Al-Buruj) in Fajr and Zuhr and from Surahs (Surah 85 Al-Buruj to Surah 98 Al-Bayyinah) in Asar and Isha, and from Surahs (Surah 99 Az-Zalzalah to Surah114 An-Nas) in Maghrib Salah.

References: Sunan An-Nasai, Vol. 1 & Musanaf Abdul Razzaq, Vol. 2.

  1. To lengthen the first Rakaat of the Fajr Salah.

References: Musanaf Ibn Abi Shayba, Vol. 1 & Sunan An-Nasai, Vol. 1.

  1. The Qur’an should not be recited too fast nor too slow but at a medium pace.

Sahih Bukhari, Vol 1 & Sahih Muslim, Hadith 766

  1. Only Surah Fatihah should be read in the third and fourth Rakaats of each Farz Salah. In any Jamaat (congregation) Salah the Muqtadi should not recite Qiraat, only the Imam is to recite the Surahs.

References: Holy Qur’an 7:204; Sahih Bukhari Vol 1, Sahih Muslim Hadith 398 & Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith 850.



  1. Takbir should be said while making the Ruku.

References: Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 1 & Sahih Muslim Vol. 1.

  1. In Ruku, males should grasp their knees with their hands.

Reference: Jami At-Tirmidhi, Vol. 1.

  1. The male’s fingers should be spread while grasping their knees.

References: Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith 753.

  1. In Ruku, the legs should be kept straight.

References: A’tharul Sunan p112 & Sunan An-Nasai, Hadith 1038.

  1. In Ruku, the males should keep their back level.

References: Sunan Nasai, Musnad Ahmad Vol. 4 & Shami-Vol. 1.

  1. The head and the lower back of the males should be in a straight line.

References: Sunan Abu Dawood, Vol. 1 & Sunan Nasai, Vol. 1.

  1. “Subhana Rabbi’al Azueem (Glory be to my Lord, the Great) should be recited at least three times in Ruku.

References: Jami Tirmidhi, Vol. 1 & Sunan Nasai, Hadith 1049.

  1. While getting up from Ruku, the imam should say Sami Allahu Liman Hamidah (Allah hears one who praises Him). The Muqtadi should thereafter say Rabbana lakal hamd (Our Lord! all praise be to You). The Munfarid (person who is performing his Salah individually) should say both.

References: Jami At=-Tirmidhi Vol.1; Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 1 & Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith 875.

When we go down for making Sujood, the Hanafi Mazhab asks a praying person to let his knees reach the floor before his hands. Hadith mentions:

On the authority of Wail Ibn Hujr (Radi Allahu Anhu) he said: “I saw the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), while prostrating, he was placing his knees (on the floor) before his hands and when on getting up from prostration raising his hands before his knees”.

References: Sunan Abu Dawood; Jami At-Tirmidhi, Sunan An-Nasai.



  1. While proceeding for Sajdah, the Takbeer of Sajdah (‘Al-laa Hu’ak-bar’) should be said.

Reference: Sunan An-Nasai, Hadith 1145.

  1. While proceeding for Sajdah, the knees should first be placed upon the earth.

Reference: Sunan Abu Dawood, Hadith 829.

  1. Thereafter, the palms should be placed upon the ground. In Sajdah, the fingers should be close together.

Reference: Sunan Abu Dawood, Hadith 830.

  1. Then the nose should be placed on the ground.

Reference: Sunan Abu Dawood, Hadith 885.

  1. Thereafter, the forehead should be placed on the ground.

References: Sunan An-Nasai Hadith 1099 & Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith 775.

  1. To make Sajdah between the two hands i.e. to place the head between the palms.

References: Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith 771 & Sunan Tahaawi, Vol. 1.

  1. In Sajdah, the males should keep their stomachs separate from their thighs. They should also ensure that the toes on both feet are pointing towards Qibla.

Reference: Sahih Muslim, Hadith 495; Sahih Bukhari, Hadith 769, 828 & Sunan Baihaqi, Hadith 2717.

  1. Males should keep their arm separate from their sides.

Reference: Sunan An-Nasai, Hadith 1109.

  1. To keep the elbows away from the ground.

Reference: Mustadarak Hakim, Vol. 1.

  1. ‘Subhana Rabbi al A’ala’ (Glory be to my Lord, the Most High) should be read at least three times.

References: Sunan Abu Dawood, Vol 1; Jami At-Tirmidhi & Sunan An-Nasai, Hadith 1049.

  1. To recite the Takbeer of Sajdah when getting up.

Reference: Sunan An-Nasai, Hadith 1085.

  1. When getting up from Sajdah, the head should be raised first and then nose, and then the hands, and then the knees. (Opposite to the manner when doing Sajdah) Also, to sit with ease between the two Sajdahs.

References: Sunan Abu Dawood Hadith 829 & Sahih Muslim Hadith 473.


  1. In Qa’dah (sitting posture between the two Sajdahs), the males should keep their right foot up whilst the toes should face the Qiblah and let the left foot lie flat and sit on it.

References: Sahih al-Bukhari & Muwatta of Imam Malik (Rahmatullah Allaih).

  1. Both hands should be placed upon the thighs.

Reference: Sahih Muslim

  1. In Tashahhud, the forefinger should be raised while reciting ‘Ash-hadu an laa ilaaha ill-Allaah and should be lowered while reciting ‘ill-Allaah ’. The Hanafis say that the finger should be raised when saying “Laa (no)” in the phrase “Ash-hadu an laa ilaaha ill-Allaah (I bear witness that there is no god except Allaah)” and it should be lowered when saying, “ill-Allaah (except Allaah).”

Reference: Sunan Baihaqi, Vol. 2 & Musnad Ahmad, Vol. 2.

  1. To recite Durood Salam in the last Qa’dah.

Reference: Sahih Muslim

  1. After the recitation of the Durood Salam, a Du’ã from the Qur’an or Hadith should be read.

Reference: Sahih Bukhari, Hadith 835.

Usually at this point we recite the Dua Masura. The Hadith reference to this is:

Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr (Radi Allahu Anhu): Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (Radi Allahu Anhu) said to the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), “Teach me an invocation with which I may invoke (Allah) in my prayer.” The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “Say: Allahumma inni zalamtu nafsi zulman kathiran wala yaghfirudh-dhunuba illa anta, Faghfirli maghfiratan min indika war-hamni, innaka antalGhafur-Rahim.” The meaning of this dua: “O Allah, I have greatly wronged myself and on one forgives sins but You. So, grant me forgiveness and have mercy on me. Surely, You are Forgiving, Merciful.”

Reference: Sahih Bukhari & Sahih Muslim.

  1. To make Salam on both sides.

References: Sunan An-Nasai, Hadith 1145 & Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith 915.

  1. When making Salam, ‘Assalamu Alai’kumWarah’matullah’ to begin with the right side first.

References: Sahih Muslim, Vol. 1 & Musanaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, Vol. 1.

One thing should be noted that when making Salam to the Angels on our shoulders, we should fix our eyes on our shoulder rather than look at the Muslims beside us.

  1. The Imam should make the intention of Salam to the Muqtadi’s, Angels and Pious Jinns.

References: Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith 923 & Sunan Abu Dawood, Hadith 988.

  1. The Muqtadi (follower of the Imam) should make their intention of Salam for the Imam, Angels and Pious Jinns and they should also make the intention for the Muqtadis on their right and left respectively.

Reference: Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith 922.

  1. The Munfarid (person offering Salah individually) should only make the intention of Salam for the Angels.

References: Tahtaawi; Kabeeri & Sharah Niqayah Vol. 1

  1. The Muqtadi should make his Salam at the same time as that of the Imam.

References: Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith 921; Sunan An-Nasai, Hadith 797; Sunan Abu Dawood, Hadith 988.

  1. The Imam should not stretch Salam, and say the second Salam in a softer tone than the first Salam.

References: Sunan Abu Dawood, Hadith 991 & Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith 798.

  1. The Masbooq (a person who has joined Jamaat late) should wait for the Imam to finish his second Salam (before getting up to perform the missed Rakaats).

References: Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 1 & Duri Mukhtar, Vol. 1.


There are many duas which Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) used to say after salutation. So, a person praying should try to memorize them and follow the practice of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). Some of these du`as we will mention here. It was the continuous practice of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) when he turned away from his prayer to say:

La ilaha illal’laah – There is no God but Allah (3 times)

Astagfirullah – “I ask Allah to forgive me” (3 times)

Allahumma anta ‘s-salamu wa minka ‘s-salamu tabarakta ya dhal-jalali wa ‘l-ikram

Translation: Oh Allah, you are the peace, And you are the source of peace, you are blessed, O possessor of Glory and Honor.

Reference: Sahih Muslim

Allahumma a`innee `ala dhikrika wa shukrika wa husni `ibadatik

Translation: Oh Allah, help me torememberyou all the time, And tothankyou, and to worship you perfectly.

Reference: Musnad of Imam Ahmad & Sunan Abu Dawud

La ilaha illa ‘Llahu wahdahu la shareeka lahu lahu ‘l-mulku wa lahu ‘l-hamdu wa huwa `ala kulli shay-in Qadeer

Translation: There is no God but Allah, He is the only One and has no partner, Sovereignty and praise are only for Him. He has full authority over everything.

Allahumma la mani`a lima a`tayta wa la mu`tiyya lima mana`ta wa la-yanfaw dhal-jaddi minka ‘l-jad

Translation: O Allah! None can deny that which You bestow and none can bestow that which You hold back; and the greatness of the great will be of no avail to them against You.

Al-Mughirah bin Shu’bah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) used to say at the conclusion of prayer: “La ilaha illallahu wahdahu la sharika lahu, lahul-mulku, wa lahul-hamdu, wa Huwa ‘ala kulli shai’in Qadir. Allahumma la mani’a lima a’tayta, wa la mu’tiya lima mana’ta, wa la yanfa’u dhal-jaddi, minkal-jaddu (there is no true god except Allah. He is One and He has no partner with Him, His is the sovereignty and His is the praise, and He is Omnipotent. O Allah! None can deny that which You bestow and none can bestow that which You hold back; and the greatness of the great will be of no avail to them against You).”

References: Sahih al-Bukhari & Sahih Muslim

It is Sunnah to say Subhan’Allah – “Glory be to Allah” (33 times), Alhamdulillah – “Praise be to Allah” (33 times), and Allahu Akbar – “Allah is the greatest” (34 times)

Ka’b bin ‘Ujrah (Radi Allahu Anhu) reported: The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “There are some words, the reciters of which will never be disappointed. These are: Tasbih [saying ‘Subhan-Allah’ (Allah is free from imperfection)], thirty-three times, Tahmid [saying ‘Al-hamdu lillah’ (praise be to Allah)] thirty-three times and Takbir [saying ‘Allahu Akbar’ (Allah is Greatest)] thirty-four times; and these should be recited after the conclusion of every prescribed prayer.”

Reference: Sahih Muslim, Book 16, Hadith 1420.

One of the Sunnahs of doing Dhikr is count the recitations using fingers rather than using the Tasbeeh or Masbahah. In fact, many scholars have even ruled the use of Masbahah as “Makrooh” meaning “dislikable”. Two Hadiths state that:

Abdullah ibn Umar (Radi Allahu Anhu) said, “I saw the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) counting his praises of his Lord on his right hand.”

Reference: Jami At-Tirmidhi

The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “Count on your fingers, for they will be asked, and will be made to speak.”

Reference: Haashiyat al-Tahtaawi

Regarding the Mashbooq (Latecomers) of Salah, they must ajoin the Muqtadi as soon as possible and should not await while the Muqtadi completes Salah.

If a person is late for Jamat and joins the Jamat after the prayer has begun, he should perform the prayer as follows:

Join the Jamat by performing Takbeer-e-Tahreema (by saying Allah-o-Akbar, raising one’s hands to the ears and then folding and placing them below the navel).

Then one have one of the following options:

Imam is in Qiyaam (standing) Imam is not in Qiyaam (standing)
– After performing Takbeer-e-Tahreema, keep standing with the Imam.

– If the Imam is reading the Holy Quran aloud, do not read Thana.

– Also, if you believe you have joined after the first Rakat, do not read Thana.

– After performing Takbeer-e-Tahreema, stand just for a second and then by saying the Takbeer (Allah-o- Akbar), move into the position of the Imam.

Sometimes, we end up omitting from Salah, adding to it, or having doubts regarding a part of our prayer. In all three cases, we have been instructed by our beloved Prophet’s (sa) example to perform Sujood-as-Sahu (two prostrations of forgetfulness).

Narrated by Abdullah ibn Abbas (Radi Allahu Anhu): “The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) named the two prostrations of forgetfulness disgraceful for the devil.”

Reference: Abu Dawood

Abu Hurairah (Radi Allahu Anhu) describes the way the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) performed these prostrations: “He said Takbir (Allahu Akbar), performed a prostration of ordinary duration or longer, then he raised his head and said Takbir and performed another prostration of ordinary duration or longer, and then raised his head and said Takbir (i.e., he performed the two prostrations of Sahu, i.e., forgetfulness).”

Reference: Sahih Bukhari

The point of prayer, when the prostrations must be made, depends on the error committed.

When addition is made to the positions of Salah-bowing, prostrating, standing or an entire Rakah (unit or prayer)-Sujood-as-Sahu must be performed after Salam.

The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) once made five Rakahs, instead of four, for Dhuhr. When questioned about the addition, he made two prostrations (Sujood-as-Sahu). He had also pointed out: “I am a human being like you and liable to forget like you. So if I forget, remind me…”

Reference: Sahih Bukhari & Sahih Muslim

Note: If you realize you are adding a Rakah while still praying, stop and return to the original position before the addition was made, complete the Salah, and perform Sujood-as-Sahu.

Furthermore, if one adds Salam before completing the required Rakahs (for example, making two Rakahs and then saying Salam (ending Salah), where four Rakahs are required), the missing Rakahs must be prayed as soon as the omission is remembered. In this case, Sujood-as-Sahu should be performed after Salam.

Once, the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) led the Dhuhr prayer, offering only two Rakat and then (finished it) with Salam. The people then informed him, upon which he proceeded and completed his prayer and then prostrated twice after Salam. He also said Salam after completing the two prostrations.”

Reference: Shahih Bukhari

However, if your Wudu needs to be repeated (due to nullification: by passing wind, answering the call of nature or vomiting) before praying the omitted Rakahs of Salah, you must then repeat the entire Salah again, regardless of the Rakahs you had previously prayed.

If omission is made from the positions of Salah, the prostrations of forgetfulness are performed before Salam.

“Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) stood up for the Dhuhr prayer and he should have sat (after the second Rakah, but he stood up for the third Rakah without sitting for Tashah-hud (the sitting position after the second Rakah), and when he finished the prayer, he performed two prostrations and said Takbir on each prostration while sitting, before ending (the prayer) with Salam; and the people too performed the two prostrations with him, instead of the sitting he forgot.”

Reference: Sahih Bukhari

When unsure of how many Rakahs have been performed, the lesser number must be considered and the prayer accordingly completed with Sujood-as-Sahu made before making Salam.

The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) has instructed: “When any one of you is in doubt about his prayer, and he does not know, how much he has prayed, three or four (Rakahs), he should cast aside his doubt and base his prayer on what he is sure of, then perform two prostrations before giving salutations. If he has prayed five Rakahs, they will make his prayer an even number for him, and if he has prayed exactly four, they will be humiliation for the devil.”

Reference: Sahih Muslim

However, if a person positively determines the number of Rakahs performed, then he should complete his Salah accordingly with Sujood-as-Sahu after the Salam.

The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) has said, “If any of you is uncertain about his prayer (how much he has prayed), he should strive to achieve certainty, then complete his prayer accordingly and prostrate twice after Salam”

Reference: Sahih Bukhari

Thus, our beloved Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) has guided us in correcting unintentional errors in Salah, so we may defy Shaitan by making our prayers acceptable to Allah and continue to strive for perfection in Salah.

That’s all for this week’s Khutbah. May Allah guide us to perform our Salah the way our Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) used to pray, Ameen.


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