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This booklet has been prepared particularly for those new Muslims
who cannot read the Holy Quran in Arabic. By uttering "the Shahadah", they
confirm their faith in the Oneness of God and declare their total submission to His
Commandments, as revealed to His last Prophet, Muhammad (Peace be upon him). This is the
first of the five fundamental principles of Islam. Next in importance is the glorious
principle of praying five times a day in a prescribed manner, called the
The five-time prayers become obligatory from the moment a person
embraces Islam. This is an extremely important tenet of Islam and has been enjoined with
great emphasis both in the Holy Quran and the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon
him). According to one of his sayings, it is the borderline between a Muslim and a
non-believer. As a matter of fact, it is a form of worship which establishes the link
between man and his Creator and Benefactor, Allah. Through 'Salat' a person communes with
his Lord, the Creator and the Sustainer of the Universe.
Just as performing 'Salat' is obligatory, learning to perform it in
the prescribed way is also obligatory so that one should know what he is saying to his
Lord, and enjoy the full blessings and benefits of praying. In the performance of Salat
all the prayers have to be said in Arabic besides reciting some verses of the Holy Quran.
Therefore, it becomes essential for a new Muslim to start learning those prayers in Arabic
as well as some short 'Suras' (chapters) of the Holy Quran immediately after embracing
Islam so that he can perform his Salat in the proper manner.
The best way of learning is from a Muslim teacher, which is a
time-honored Islamic tradition. But for those who might find themselves in a non-Muslim
environment where a Muslim teacher is not readily available, this booklet has been
prepared. All the necessary prayers and the verses of the Holy Quran have been put in the
Roman script along with the translation of their meanings into English. Since the Romao
script canoot fully and accurately convey the Arabic sounds, we have prepared an audio
tape to go with it wherein the same prayers have been recorded in Arabic. In order to
learn the prayers with proper Arabic pronunciation, please concentrate more on listening
rather than following the Roman script. It might be a good idea to have your pronunciation
of the prayers checked by a Muslim teacher at the first available opportunity.
This booklet is by no means an elaborate book on 'Salat'. It is only
an attempt to supply the very basic information to a new Muslim to enable him to start
praying in Arabic as early as possible. Further information is necessary to perform 'Salat
' under abnormal conditions i.e. sickness, travel etc. Some concessions have been granted
by Almighty Allah in these conditions Similarly, the manner of a woman's 'Salat' is
slightly different than that of a man.
Before starting the prayer, a person is required to pay due
attention to certain aspects e.g. cleanliness of the body (Ghusal), ablution (Wudu),
cleanliness of clothes and the place of prayer. Further study is recommended in order to
understand all these aspects of salat. Readers might find a book named 'lslam in
Focus" by Dr. Hamouda Abdul A'ati extremely useful.
ABDUL BASIT QURAISHI
6 SAFAR 1408 29 SEPT. 1987