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>>Islam at a Glance
Islam at a Glance
By Suhel Farooq Khan
The Five Pillars of Islam
(a) Prayers (Salah)

Muslims are required to offer prayers five times every day:

  1. Morning Prayers (Fajr Salah): Offered before dawn.
  2. Early Afternoon Prayers (Zuhr Salah): Offered after high-noon in the early afternoon.
  3. Late Afternoon Prayers (‘Asr Salah): Offered in the late afternoon when the sun is still yellow.
  4. Sunset Prayers (Maghrib Salah): Offered just after sunset.
  5. Night Prayers (‘Isha Salah): Offered one and a half hours after Maghrib Prayers till midnight.

Muslims must try to offer their prayers in a group in a mosque, but they can be offered anywhere if one cannot reach a mosque for any genuine reason. There is no clergy in Islam and any practicing Muslim, who has knowledge of Islam, can lead the group prayers.
Muslims stand shoulder to shoulder with each other while offering prayers, irrespective of their social status. It presents a unique picture of brotherhood and solidarity.

There are two prerequisites for offering prayers:

  1. Purification (Taharah): A clean body, a set of clean clothes and a mind with clean thoughts.
  2. Ablution (Wudu): Washing the hands, rinsing the mouth, cleaning the nose, washing the face, arms and feet in the prescribed manner.
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