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A quick summary of the long and wordy Wikipedia article on Islamic prayer, i.e., salat (or salah, salaah, salaat, Persian: namaaz).


Who prays

All Muslims pray five times. Menstruating women (haaez) do not pray.

Prayer times

All salat consist of an even number of prayers (raka'ah), and are done every day. The five fard salat (compulsory prayers) are fajr, dhuhr, asr, maghrib, and isha'a. There are many nafilah salat, or optional prayers to incur the reward of God, not listed here.

Witr is often included in isha but hadiths place it as part of tahajjud. It is not a separate prayer, but an "extra" prayer that makes the number of prayers in isha or tahajjud odd rather than even. Optional prayers are also performed during Ramadan, droughts, and solar eclipse.

Prior to prayer


Wudu, wudhu, wudoo` etc. is ritual washing. If you have done one of the folowing things in between prayers, you must perform wudu:

  1. Defecation, passing gas or urination.
  2. Emission of semen.
  3. Sleep.
  4. Passing blood.
  5. Vomiting.
  6. Loss of senses.
  7. Touching a member of the opposite sex

Wudu consists of several parts: Say "Bismillah". Wash your hands completely up to the wrists, three times. (In all steps wash your right side before your left side.) Wash your mouth, up to the back of your throat, three times. Sniff water into your nose, then expel it, three times. Wash your face three times. Wash your beard if you have one. Wash your forearms three times. Wipe hands on your forehead, move down to the nape of your neck, and back to your forehead. Wipe your ears. Wash your feet up to the ankles, three times. Finally, dry yourself off and say . The repetitions are tradition of the Prophet.


After touching a dead body or hayz/hayaz (ending menstruation), one should perform wudu, then ghusl, which consists of either washing every part of the body, or simply immersing oneself in water.

During prayer

Stuff goes here. :)

Shiites place their forehead on a clay tablet (turbah) when prostrating.

If a prayer is missed

If a prayer is missed due to circumstances beyond one's control, a qada may be performed later. Prayers may not be skipped.

If one is constrained by air or sea travel or such, Muslims generally consolidate prayers, a practice known as qasr and jama. But this particular workaround cannot be found in the Qu'ran.

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