How to Pray Salah: Before beginning salat, ensure you are in a clean state physically and spiritually. Qiratul Quran will tell you to Perform wudu (ablution) by washing your hands, mouth, nose, face, arms, head, and feet. This symbolic cleansing helps focus the mind on prayer and leaving worldly activities behind. Face the direction of the Kaaba in Mecca, the most sacred site in Islam. Take a prayer mat to the clean place you’ve designated for prayer and stand on it facing Mecca.
How to Pray Salah, Make your intention (niyyah) silently in your heart before starting the prayer. Intention focuses your mind and affirms the reason for performing salat.
The Standing Position
Stand upright with your eyes looking at the place where your forehead will touch the ground in prostration. Keep feet about shoulder-width apart with hands raised level with shoulders, palms facing forward. This is known as the standing position (qiyam).
The Opening Stance
The Opening Takbir
Raise your hands level with your ears and say “Allahu Akbar”, meaning “God is great” while looking down at the place of prostration. This opening takbir officially starts the ritual prayer.
Recite the opening prayer (du’a al-istiftah) asking for God’s protection from Satan. Next recite the opening chapter of the Quran, Al-Fatiha. Additional recitations from the Quran can also be made at this point, however, Al-Fatiha is required. These recitations are ideally made silently.
The Bowing Position
Bend forward at the waist, placing your hands on your knees while keeping your back straight. Recite the tasbeeh by saying “Subhaana Rabbiyal A’alaa”, meaning “Glory to my Lord, the Highest”, 3 times. This bowing position is called ruku.
Bowing in Ruku
Go down on your knees and prostrate by placing your forehead, nose, hands, knees, and feet on the ground. Keep arms close to sides and abdomen raised off the floor. Recite the tasbeeh by saying “Subhaana Rabbiyal A’laa” 3 times again. Rise briefly to the kneeling position before performing the second prostration in the same way. This completes one full unit (rak’ah) of prayer.
The Second Rak’ah
Stand up to complete the second rak’ah in the same sequence – recite Al-Fatiha, bow for ruku while reciting tasbeeh, then prostrate twice to the ground. Remain sitting after the second prostration to recite the closing prayers.
The Closing Prayers
Sit on the left foot while keeping the right foot upright and say the closing prayers (tasleem), such as “As-salaamu alaykum wa rahmatullah” meaning “Peace and mercy of God be upon you”. Turn the head to the right and say “Assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatullah”. Turn the head to the left and repeat. This completes one full cycle of salat.
Depending on the time of day, this sequence is repeated 2-4 times to complete the full salat. The entire ritual should be carried out mindfully with full presence and submission to God. Over time, salat becomes a transformative practice connecting humanity to the Divine.
How to Pray Salah While Sitting
For those who have difficulty standing or performing prostrations due to illness, injury, or old age, salah can be performed while sitting on a chair.
Sit upright on the edge of the chair with feet flat on the floor. Face towards the qibla (direction of Kaaba in Mecca). Hands rest on thighs with palms down. This is the sitting position for salah.
Raise the hands to shoulder level and say “Allahu Akbar” to begin the prayer.
Recite the opening dua and Surah Al-Fatiha, followed by any additional verses from the Quran if desired. Recite while sitting upright.
Bowhead down in ruku, bringing it close to the knees. Recite tasbeeh 3 times. Those who cannot bow may simply close their eyes and recite tasbeeh.
Go into prostration by lowering the head closer to the lap. Arms can be extended to rest on the chair if able. Recite Tasbeeh 3 times in this position.
Those unable to perform sajdah may simply recite tasbeeh with eyes closed and head slightly lowered.
Sit back up straight and perform the second rakah in the same manner – recite Al-Fatiha, bowing position, then prostration.
After the second prostration, sit back up straight to recite the closing prayers and end with salams (looking right and left).
The key is maintaining khushu (focus) and proper intentions when praying according to ability. With reasonable accommodation, salah can be performed respectfully by all.
How to Pray Salah When Pregnant
Pregnancy can make the physical motions of salah more challenging. However, with some modifications, pregnant women can continue upholding this important pillar of Islam.
Stand with feet wider than shoulder-width apart for increased stability. Place one foot slightly in front of the other or stand sideways to avoid abdominal discomfort.
Lean slightly forward so the belly is not compressed. Rest hands on thighs if needed for support rather than folded across the chest.
Bend from the hips rather than the waist to avoid excessive pressure on the abdomen. Do not flatten the back. Place hands on knees or thighs instead of floor if needed.
Use a cushion or stack of pillows under the chest and abdomen for support during prostration. This takes the pressure off the belly.
Prop forehead up on a pillow to allow easy breathing. Arms can rest at sides rather than fully extended.
Sitting Between Rakahs
Sit comfortably on a chair or use cushions for support. Elevate your legs by sitting on a low stool.
Tashahud (Final Sitting)
Sit on a comfortable chair, or sofa or with cushions for back support. Keeping legs elevated may help with swelling.
Listen to body cues and adjust positions as needed through the stages of pregnancy. The most important thing is maintaining the presence of heart and mind during this blessed time.