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A rakaʿah (Arabic: ركعة rakʿah, pronounced [ˈrakʕah]; plural: ركعات rakaʿāt), is a single iteration of prescribed movements and supplications performed by Muslims as part of the prescribed obligatory prayer known as salah. Each of the five daily prayers observed by Muslims consist of a number of raka'at.
After washing for prayer by performing the ritual ablution, a believer must renew their innermost intention, thus purifying their prayer for the sake of Allah. An intention Niyyah is not to be said verbally but rather it's made in the heart. Example: you intended in your heart to pray 4 Units (Rakahs) for you start your prayer.
The raka'ah begins when the worshipper initiates the salah with the words "Allah is The Greatest",(Allah-hu-Akbar) this is known in Arabic as the Takbir (lit. 'the glorification of God').This Takbir must be said at the start of the Salah or the prayer is invalidated. The individual will observe the standing position while reciting the opening chapter of the Qur'an (Al-Faatiha) (Note: reciting the fatiah is a pillar of prayer. If one forgets to say the fatiah or makes a major mistake in it's Tajweed, then they must redo the prayer from the start) followed by a personal selection of chosen verses or chapters which the worshipper is free to choose to recite for themselves.
The second part of the raka'ah involves the worshipper making another Takbir then bowing to a 90 degree angle, placing their hands on their knees with their feet kept shoulder-width apart, eyes are meant to be focused in between you feet or around the area and bowing in humble submission as if awaiting God's command. During this position the words, "Glory be to Allah the most magnificent" are uttered silently as a form of ritual praise.
The third movement of the raka'ah is to return from bowing to the standing position before, with the praise of Allah on your tongue, descending into full prostration on the ground.
In prostration, the worshipper's forehead and nose is flatly placed on the floor with the palm of their hands placed shoulder-width apart to the right and left of their ears. The worshipper's elbows, forearms and chest are then raised off the floor.
During this position the words, "Glory be to Allah the Almighty" are repeated with contemplation as a form of ritual praise. The Islamic prophet Muhammad taught his disciples that "the closest a subject gets to their God is when in prostration".
The fourth movement is for the worshipper to return from prostration into a sitting position with their legs folded flatly under their body. In this position they would invoke Allah for forgiveness of your sins and the sins of their parents and the wider believers before descending into a second prostration.
This concludes one unit of prayer known in Arabic as a raka'ah and would be followed by either standing up for a second raka'ah if the prayer requires it or by proceeding to end the salah with taslim.
Although not part of a single raka'ah, the conclusion of the salah takes place in the sitting position, the worshipper turns their head to the right saying, "Peace be unto you, and Allah's mercy and blessing" before subsequently turning the head to the left and repeating the salutation. This action helps to reminds Muslims of the presence of the recording angels on their right and left who record their deeds.
- Standing in salah
- Supplications or iftitah [note 1]
- Recitation of Sura Al-Fatiha
- Recitation of another sura
- Ruku (bowing)
- Straightening up from ruku
- Sujud (prostration)
- Rising from sujud
- The second sujud
- Sitting in prayers[note 2]
- Salam (salutation)[note 3]
Islamic daily prayers has a different number of Rakah:
- Fajr — The Dawn prayer: 2 Rakat Sunnah (Muakkadah) + 2 Rakat Fard total 4
- Zuhr — The Midday or Afternoon Prayer: 4 Rakat Sunnat (Muakkadah) + 4 Rakat Fard + 2 Rakat Sunnah (Muakkadah) followed by 2 Rakat Nafl total 12
- Asr — The Evening Prayer: 4 Rakat Sunnah (Ghair Muakkadah) + 4 Rakat Fard total 8
- Maghrib — The Dusk Prayer: 3 Rakat Fard + 2 Rakat Sunnah (Muakkadah) + 2 Nafl Rakat total 7
- Isha — The Night Prayer: 4 Rakat Sunnah (Muakkadah) + 4 Rakat Fard + 2 Rakat Sunnah (Muakkadah) + 2 Rakat Nafl + 3 rakat Witr + 2 rakat Nafl total 17
Regarding Jumu'ah (Friday) Prayer.[a] for men only. Dhur is still fard upon women. It consists of 2 Rakat after the Arabic Khutbah and followed by 4 or 2 Rakat Sunnah(Muakkadah)[b] after the 2 Fard Rakat. So it's either 2 Rakat or four Rakat. There are two Eid prayers in a year, Eid-ul-fitr and Eid-ul-adha.
- Only performed in the first rakat of the prayer and only performed by some schools.
- Only first half of the Tashahhud is recited in the second rakat in a 4- or 3-rakat prayer, e.g. the afternoon prayer or the evening prayer, but all of it is recited in the last rakat of any prayer.
- Only performed in the last rakat of a prayer.
- Friday prayer is prayed in ijma‘ only in the mosque on Fridays instead of Zuhur prayer
- Prophet Muhammad used to offer 2 + 2 rakaah in mosque or only 2 rakaah at home