Part 1
Understanding Namaz

Learn about the importance of prayer in Islam. Prayer is a time to get closer to Allah and learn more about your religion. The duties of a believer are listed in something called the Five Pillars of Islam. Adhering to these Pillars of Islam is an important part of being a Muslim. Prayer is the second Pillar of Islam, and Namaz is the name for the formal Muslim prayer, the most important ritual of Islamic worship.[1]
The rite of Namaz only takes a few minutes to perform, and involves the combination of postures and recitations.

2 Join a mosque if you haven't already. Search for mosques near you. Depending on where you live, this may prove difficult. At mosque, every Friday and on the two major Islamic holidays, the Namaz will be performed with the whole local Muslim community. Depending on the rules of the area, this will include either all the male believers or all the male and female believers, [2]
Friday congregation Namaz, also known as Jumu'ah, takes place at noon and is followed by a sermon. Congregational Namaz takes place at mid-morning on the two major Islamic holidays.

Work on learning Arabic. Namaz is the recitation of passages from the Qur'an. Muslims believe the Qur'an should be read and recited in the original Arabic; however, many Imams have said translation and prayer can take place in the native language of the person praying as long as he or she is working to learn Arabic.[3]

Part 2

Performing Namaz

Perform Namaz while following the structured regime required by the Islamic faith. The ritual traditionally includes a cleansing of the body, the use of a sajjada, or prayer mat, and facing the Kaaba, the central shrine in Mecca.[4]
Before praying, ablution, or ritual cleansing, must be completed. This involves washing the hands, feet, and face, with water.
Adherents are to act as though in the presence of God. Therefore, fidgeting, glancing around the room, and talking are all forbidden while performing Namaz.
The direction of the Kaaba is called the qibla. The simplest way to determine how to face the Kaaba while praying is to look at a map and draw a line between your location and Mecca.

Start Namaz by facing Mecca. While standing, lift both hands facing forward to the shoulders or ears and proclaim, "Allahu Akbar", or "God is great". Then place the left hand under the right hand over the navel or on the chests while standing. During this position, the first chapter of the Qur'an is typically recited or read.[5]

Continue to the next position. Bow with both hands placed just below the knee. During this position, one recites the following three times: "Glory be to God, the most Great." Then say, "God listens to the one who praises Him," while standing straight. Once standing, position hands loosely at your sides and say, "To God belongs all praise" three times.
You should aim to keep your back straight at about 90 degrees, but majority of people agree that the body should be relaxed, so don't try to stress your body or muscles by aiming to achieve a perfect bow.

4 Move to the kneeling position. Prostrate and touch your head to the floor with your palms, forehead, nose, knees, and toes only on the floor. Say, "Glory be to God, the most high" 3 times.
Your forearms should not be on the floor.[6]

Move to the sitting position. Say, "God is great" while moving to the sitting position. A short prayer may be recited or a short silence may be observed. Then say, "God is great" while moving back to the kneeling position. Recite "Glory be to God, the most high".

6 Finish the prayer. Return to the sitting position and recite the tashahhud and durood. To end the prayer turn to the right and say, "Peace be upon you, and the mercy and blessings of Allah." Then turn to the left and repeat.[7]
The tashahhud is "Salutations to God and prayers and good deeds. Peace be upon you, O Prophet, and the mercy of God and his blessings. Peace be on us and on the righteous servants of God. I bear witness that there is no god but God, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and His messenger."[8]
The durood is "O Allah, let Your Peace come upon Muhammad and the family of Muhammad, as you have brought peace to Ibrahim and his family. Truly, You are Praiseworthy and Glorious. Allah, bless Muhammad and the family of Muhammad, as you have blessed Ibrahim and his family. Truly, You are Praiseworthy and Glorious".[9]
The complete set of postures may be repeated as necessary depending on the specific prayer being performed.

Following the Schedule

1 Follow the strict schedule by which Namaz is performed. [10]
Fajr is the morning prayer, and it occurs after the break of dawn but before sunrise.
Dhuhr is the noon prayer, and it occurs after noon but prior to afternoon.
Asr is the afternoon prayer, and it occurs between late afternoon but before sunset.
Maghrib is the sunset prayer, and it occurs after sunset but prior to darkness.
Isha is the night prayer, and is offered anytime at night but usually just before going to bed.

2 Get into the habit of performing Namaz at the right times. Namaz is to be performed five times a day, with exemptions made for special situations. The strict following of this schedule is an important part of the Second Pillar of Islam. Nowadays, there are more ways than ever to remember when to pray.
Apps for your smartphone exist that are designed to remind you when to perform the next Namaz. Alternatively, you can use simple alarms on your phone. Be sure to adjust these regularly, though, as sunrise and sunset changes throughout the year.

3 Follow the mu'addhin, who will summon the congregation to prayer when at a mosque. The mu'addhin of the mosque is the person appointed to call the congregation to prayer. In some Muslim communities, the mu'addhin holds the important role of keeping the community on schedule for the Namaz.[11]
Some mu'addhin also perform their duties over the radio, so that one can follow them even at home.

4 Don't expect to follow Namaz perfectly at first. If you are just starting out in Islam, try your hardest. If you have been Muslim for a while, try to pray as much as you can. Allah understands in situations that prayer cannot be done but try to make up prayer. Some work places and schools, however, don't allow people to pray inside them but try to make it up later and read Qu'ran as well to be a great Muslim!


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