salahprayThe first key to learning HOW to pray is knowing WHEN to.

Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) informs us in His Book:

{Verily, As-Salah [the prayer] is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours.} (4:103)

Prayer is performed five times a day:

  • At dawn (this prayer is called Fajr),
  • At noon (this prayer is call Dhuhr),
  • In the afternoon (this prayer is called Asr),
  • At sunset (this prayer is called Maghrib) and
  • At nightfall (this prayer is called Isha).

The five prayers are fardh (obligatory) for all Muslims once they have reached puberty--to neglect them or abandon them is to sin.

We know the times for the prayers because the Prophet (salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said in authentic ahadith:

"The time for the morning prayer [lasts] as long as the first visible part of the sun does not appear, and the time of the noon prayer is when the sun declines from its zenith and there is not a time for the afternoon prayer and the time for the afternoon prayer is so long as the sun does not become pale and its first visible part does not set and the time for the evening prayer is that when the sun disappears and the time for the night prayer is to the middle of the night." (Sahih Muslim, [Eng. Trans. vol. 1 #1276])

If you are lucky enough to live in a country where Islam is a major religion you will hear the prayer announced, but if you do not, here is a link for a website that will help you search the prayer times for your local area: Click Here. Just search your country, then your city, and you will be able to have a timetable for all the prayer times for the month that we are in.

Prayers cannot be made early [before their prescribed times] or delayed past their times. This is known to us because Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) wrote in the beloved gift of the holy Qu'ran:

{So woe unto those performers of salah [i.e hypocrites] who delay their salah from their fixed times.} (107:4-5)

Now that you know the prayer times for where you are in this world, set about thinking of Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) within those times, and if you know nothing else yet, repeat the words of your Shahaadah (Declaration of Faith):

"Ashadu an laa illaah illa Allah, wa ashadu anna Muhammadar rasoolullah."

within these times. Make the intention to learn more, and ask Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala to make learning easy for you.

In Summary:

Prayer timings vary throughout the globe and slight variations from day to day due to changes in daylight hours.

There are five obligatory prayers which are performed at five different times of the day.

1. FAJR PRAYER (The Morning Prayer)

It starts at dawn and ends at sunrise. Thus it can be prayed between these points. But it is best to pray at the beginning of its time (i.e. just after start of dawn)

2. DHUHR PRAYER (The Early Afternoon Prayer)

It starts when the sun begins to decline from its zenith and ends when the the size of an object's shadow is equal to the objects size.

3. ASR PRAYER (The Late Prayer)

It starts when an object's shadow is equal to the objects size and ends when just before sunset.

It is better to pray Asr before the sky becomes yellow (even though it is allowed to pray at such a time) because the Prophet (peace be upon him) disliked Muslims praying at such as time and remarked that the the Munafiq (Hypocrite) offers his pray at this time.

4. MAGHRIB PRAYER (The Sunset Prayer)

Its time begins just after sunset and ends when twilight has just disappeared

5. ISHA PRAYER (The Night Prayer)

It starts when twilight has disappeared and ends before midnight.

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