The Pillars (Rukn) of Prayer (Salaah)

Posted on April 23, 2014


The pillar or essential part (rukn) cannot be omitted deliberately, by mistake or out of ignorance, rather it must be done.

The pillars of prayer, of which there are fourteen, as follows:

(i)              Standing during obligatory prayers if one is able to do so

(ii)             The opening takbeer (saying “Allaahu akbar”)

(iii)            Reciting al-Faatihah

(iv)            Rukoo’ (bowing), the least of which means bending so that the hands can touch the knees, but the most complete form means making the back level and the head parallel with it.

(v)             Rising from bowing

(vi)            Standing up straight

(vii)           Sujood (prostration), the most perfect form of which is placing the forehead, nose, palms, knees and toes firmly on the ground, and the least of which is placing a part of each of these on the ground.

(viii)          Rising from prostration

(ix)            Sitting between the two prostrations.
However one sits is good enough, but the Sunnah is to sit muftarishan, which means sitting on the left foot and holding the right foot upright with the toes pointing towards the qiblah.

(x)             Being at ease in each of these physical pillars

(xi)            The final tashahhud

(xii)           Sitting to recite the final tashahhud and the two salaams

(xiii)          The two salaams.
This means saying twice, “al-salaamu ‘alaykum wa rahmat-Allaah (Peace be upon you and the mercy of Allaah).” In naafil prayers it is sufficient to say one salaam; the same also applies to the funeral prayer.

(xiv)          Doing the pillars in the order mentioned here.
If a person deliberately prostrates before bowing, for example, the prayer is invalidated; if he does that by mistake, he has to go back and bow, and then prostrate.