Sep 26

Question – How long are the prayers (time involved)? Do families pray together or are prayers individualistic?

In Islam there are many forms of prayers and supplications. The prayer that Muslims are most often identified with are the obligatory prayers, which are prayed 5 times a day. Prayers are viewed as a direct link between the worshiper and God, without the need for any intermediaries. Each obligatory prayer can take anywhere between 5 to 10 minutes.

The obligatory prayers are to be completed during dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset and nightfall each day. Although it is permissible to pray at home, at work, or even outdoors, it is recommended that Muslims perform their obligatory prayers in congregations at a mosque. The word mosque comes from the Arabic masjid, meaning “a place of prostration.” At home families often pray together. Prayers are obligatory on any person who has reached the age of puberty, both male and female.

There are a few pre-requisites for prayers. 1. Performing of ablution (Wudu), 2. Purity of the body, clothes and ground used for prayer, 3. Dressing properly (modestly and covering the body) 4. Having the intention to pray in order to please God and 5. Facing the Qiblah (the direction of the Kaaba at Mecca).

Friday’s are a special day for prayers. The noon congregational prayer on Friday afternoons is mandated to be a collective and is preceded by a sermon (Khutba). The Imam (prayer leader) need not be an ordained priest. Considerations of scholarship and knowledge of the religion are primary reasons for choosing someone to be the Imam (prayer leader).

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