Salah, the second pillar of Islam, is a daily obligation upon all Muslims above baligh (mature) age and is the act of offering prayers to Allah SWT.
There are five separate daily prayers which must be performed; they are as follows:
Fajr – this is performed before sunrise
Zohr – this is performed midday
Asr – this is performed between Zohr and sunset
Maghrib – this is performed at sunset
Isha – this is performed between Maghrib and midnight
These are the obligatory prayers only; there are many other prayers that Muslims can perform voluntarily for their own benefit. Many of these voluntary prayers are nominated during the Holy month of Ramadan due to the many rewards and blessings bestowed in this virtuous month.
All prayers are initiated with the recitation of the adhaan which means call to prayer. The act of salah itself is a conversation between you and your Lord and is for nobody else’s benefit but your own.
The prayers are divided into five offerings throughout the day:
Fajr – 2 rakaat (units)
Zohr – 4 rakaat (units)
Asr – 4 rakaat (units)
Maghrib – 3 rakaat (units)
Isha – 4 rakaat (units)
A Muslim can offer voluntary units should he or she wish in the form of nafil prayers.
Many people opt to pray at the local Mosque in the congregation while others prefer to pray at home or at work.
Any form of prayer in Islam is carried out in position towards Mecca, where the Holy Ka’aba resides. This position can be ascertained using a compass.