6 Pre-Conditions of Salah

The conditions are described below. These are the six conditions that must be met before salah. If any of these conditions remain, the salah will not be performed. Read them carefully and protect your prayers.

1. Taharat (Purity)

The body, clothes, and place of Salah must be pure from all types of impurities. [1]Sharh-ul-Wiqayah, pp. 156, vol. 1

2. Sitr-e-‘Awrat (Veiling)

  1. Men’s body from the navel to the knees [2]including knees must be covered whereas women’s whole body must be covered except the following five parts: Face, both palms, soles of both feet. [3]Dur-re-Mukhtar, pp. 95, vol. 2 However, according to a Mufta bihi Qawl [4]valid verdict, the Salah of a woman will be valid even if her both hands, up to wrist, and feet, up to ankle, are completely uncovered.
  2. If someone wears such thin clothing that exposes such a part of the body which is Fard to be concealed in Salah, or that exposes the color of skin [5]of that part, the Salah will not be valid. [6]Bahar-e-Shariat, pp. 480, vol.1 [7]Fatawa-e-‘Alamgiri, pp. 58, vol. 1
  3. Nowadays, the trend of wearing thin clothing is growing. Wearing such thin clothes that expose any part of thigh or Sitr is Haram even when not offering Salah. [8]Bahar-e-Shariat, pp. 480, vol. 1
  4. Wearing such thick skin-tight clothes that do not expose the color of the body but reveal the shape of Sitr will not invalidate the Salah but it is not permissible for other people to look at that part of the body. [9]Rad-dul-Muhtar, pp. 103, vol. 2 Coming in front of others wearing such skin-tight clothes is prohibited and it is more strictly forbidden for women. [10]Bahar-e-Shariat, pp. 480, vol. 1
  5. Some women wear such thin shawl made of muslin etc. that reveals the blackness of their hair during Salah or wear such dress through which the color of body-parts is visible; the Salah offered wearing such a dress will not be valid.

3. Istiqbal-e-Qiblah

Istiqbal-e-Qiblah means facing towards the Qiblah during Salah.

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  1. If the Musalli [11]the one offering Salah turns his chest deliberately from Qiblah without a valid reason, his Salah will become invalid even if he turns back to Qiblah instantly. However, if his chest urns unintentionally and he turns back to Qiblah within the amount of time in which ‘سُبّحٰنَ اللّٰہ‘ can be uttered thrice, his Salah will not be invalid. [12]Munya-tul-Musalli, pp. 193 [13]Bahr-ur-Raiq, pp. 497, vol. 1
  2. If only face turned from Qiblah, it is Wajib to turn the face back towards Qibalah instantly. Although the Salah will not become invalid in this case, it is Makruh-e-Tahrimi to do so without a valid reason. [14]Al-Marja’-us-Sabiq
  3. If someone is present at such a place where there is neither any means to know the direction of Qiblah nor any such Muslim whom he could ask the direction, so, in this case, he has to do Taharri,e. ponder [15]as to where the direction of Qiblah may be. He should turn towards the direction in which his heart guides him. This is the direction of Qiblah from him. [16]Dur-re-Mukhtar, pp. 143, vol. 2 [17]Rad-dul-Muhtar, pp. 143, vol.2
  4. If someone offered Salah doing Taharri and got to know later on that the direction in which he offered Salah was not the correct direction of Qiblah, his Salah will still be valid; it does not need to be repeated. [18]Tanvir-ul-Absar, pp. 143, vol. 2
  5. If someone is offering Salah doing Taharri, another person sees him and starts offering Salah facing the same direction without doing Taharri, his Salah will not be valid; he will have to do his own Taharri. [19]Rad-dul-Muhtar, pp. 143, vol. 2

4. Waqt (Timings)

It is necessary to offer Salah within its stipulated time. For example, today’s ‘Asr Salah is to be offered, it is necessary that the time for ‘Asr has begun. ‘Asr Salah will not be valid if it is offered before the beginning of its time.

  1. Usually, the time-tables [20]of Salah are displayed in Masajid. The timings of Salah can easily be ascertained with the help of the time-tables compiled by reliable Tawqit Dan [21]Experts in Salah / fasting timings and certified by Ahl-e-Sunnah scholars.
  2. It is Mustahab for Islamic sisters to offer Fajr Salah in its initial time; as for other Salah, it is better for them to wait for men’s Jama’at, and offer Salah after the Jama’at ends. [22]Dur-re-Mukhtar, pp. 30, vol. 2

Three Makruh Times

  1. From the time of sunrise up to the next 20 minutes.
  2. From 20 minutes before sunset to the time of sunset.
  3. Form Nisf-un-Nahar to the time when the sun begins to decline. No Salah, whether it is Fard, Wajib, Nafl or Qada is permissible during these three times.However, if someone has not offered ‘Asr Salah and Makruh time has started, he can still offer it, but delaying Salah to this extent is Haram. [23]Fatawa-e-‘Alamgiri, pp. 52, vol. 1 [24]Dur-re-Mukhtar, pp. 37, vol. 2 [25]Rad-dul-Muhtar, pp. 37, vol. 2 [26]Bahar-e-Shari’at, pp. 454, vol. 1

If the Makruh Time Begins during Salah, then …?

The Salam of ‘Asr Salah should be performed at least 20 minutes before sunset. A’la Hadrat Imam Ahmad Raza Khan عَلَیّہِ رَحّمَۃُ الرَّحّمٰن says, “It is preferable to delay Sala-tul-‘Asr as long as possible, but it should be completed before the Makruh time begins.” [27]Fatawa Radawiyyah (Jad id), pp. 156, vol. 5 “If someone takes precaution and lengthens Salah such that the Makruh time begins during his Salah, even then, he will not be objected to.” [28]ibid, pp. 139

5. Niyyat (Intention)

Niyyat means firm intention in heart. [29]Tanvir-ul-Absar, pp. 111, vol. 2

  1. Although verbal intention is not necessary, it is better; provided the intention is present in heart. [30]Fatawa-e-‘Alamgiri, pp. 65, vol. 1 Further, making intention in Arabic language isn’t necessary; it can be made in any other language. [31]Dur-re-Mukhtar, pp. 113, vol 2
  2. As regards intention, there is no significance of verbal utterance. For example, if the intention of Zuhar Salah was present in heart but he word ‘Asr instead of Zuhar was mistakenly uttered, Zuhar Salah will still be valid. [32]ibid, pp. 112
  3. The least level of intention is that if someone asks as to which Salah is about to be offered, one should reply promptly. If he is in such a state that he has to recall before replying, then his Salah will not be valid. [33]ibid, pp. 113
  4. If the Salah is Fard, the intention of Fard is also necessary. For example, the intention ‘I am offering the Fard of today’s Zuhar’ is to be present in heart. [34]Dur-re-Mukhtar, pp. 117, vol. 2 [35]Rad-dul-Muhtar, pp. 117, vol. 2
  5. Even though it is correct to make just a general intention of Salah for Nafl, Sunnat and Tarawih, but it is safer to make the intention of Tarawih or current Sunnah while offering Tarawih; as for other Sunnah Salah, one should make the intention of Sunnah or that of the following of the Prophet because some Mashaikh [36]scholars consider a general intention insufficient for Sunnah Salah. [37]Munya-tul-Musalli, pp. 225
  6. For Nafl Salah, a general intention of Salh is sufficient even if ‘Nafl’ is not included in intention. [38]Dur-re-Mukhtar, pp. 116, vol. 2 [39]Rad-dul-Muhtar, pp. 116, vol. 2
  7. The intention ‘My face is towards Qiblah’ is not a condition. [40]Dur-re-Mukhtar, pp. 129, vol. 2
  8. While offering Salah following an Imam [41]in Jama’at, a Muqtadi can make the following intention as well: “I intent to offer the same Salah that the Imam is offering”. [42]Fatawa-e-‘Alamgiri, pp. 67, vol. 1
  9. The intention for the funeral Salah is: “This Salah is for Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ and the supplication is for this deceased person.” [43]Dur-re-Mukhtar, pp. 126, vol. 2 [44]Rad-dul-Muhtar, pp. 126, vol. 2
  10. It is necessary to make the intention of Wajid for a Wajid Salah and it has to be specified as well. For example, Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Adha, Nazr [45]votive, the Salah after Tawaf [46]Wajid-ut-Tawaf or the Nafl Salah that was deliberately cancelled, as the Qada of such a Salah is also Wajid. [47]Rad-dul-Muhtar, pp. 119, vol. 2
  11. Though Sajda-e-Shukr is Nafl, its intention is also necessary. For example, the intention ‘I am going to perform Sajda-e-Shukr’ is to be present in heart. [48]ibid
  12. According to the author of ‘Nahr-ul-Faiq’, intention is necessary even for Sajda-e-Sahw, [49]ibid i.e. one has to make intention in his heart that he is performing Sajda-e-Sahw.

6. Takbir-e-Tahrimah

Starting Salah by uttering اَللّٰہُ اَکّبَرّ is compulsory. [50]Bahar-e-Shari’at, pp. 500, vol. 1

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1Sharh-ul-Wiqayah, pp. 156, vol. 1
2including knees
3Dur-re-Mukhtar, pp. 95, vol. 2
4valid verdict
5of that part
6Bahar-e-Shariat, pp. 480, vol.1
7Fatawa-e-‘Alamgiri, pp. 58, vol. 1
8, 10Bahar-e-Shariat, pp. 480, vol. 1
9Rad-dul-Muhtar, pp. 103, vol. 2
11the one offering Salah
12Munya-tul-Musalli, pp. 193
13Bahr-ur-Raiq, pp. 497, vol. 1
15as to where the direction of Qiblah may be
16Dur-re-Mukhtar, pp. 143, vol. 2
17Rad-dul-Muhtar, pp. 143, vol.2
18Tanvir-ul-Absar, pp. 143, vol. 2
19Rad-dul-Muhtar, pp. 143, vol. 2
20of Salah
21Experts in Salah / fasting timings
22Dur-re-Mukhtar, pp. 30, vol. 2
23Fatawa-e-‘Alamgiri, pp. 52, vol. 1
24Dur-re-Mukhtar, pp. 37, vol. 2
25Rad-dul-Muhtar, pp. 37, vol. 2
26Bahar-e-Shari’at, pp. 454, vol. 1
27Fatawa Radawiyyah (Jad id), pp. 156, vol. 5
28ibid, pp. 139
29Tanvir-ul-Absar, pp. 111, vol. 2
30Fatawa-e-‘Alamgiri, pp. 65, vol. 1
31Dur-re-Mukhtar, pp. 113, vol 2
32ibid, pp. 112
33ibid, pp. 113
34Dur-re-Mukhtar, pp. 117, vol. 2
35Rad-dul-Muhtar, pp. 117, vol. 2
37Munya-tul-Musalli, pp. 225
38Dur-re-Mukhtar, pp. 116, vol. 2
39Rad-dul-Muhtar, pp. 116, vol. 2
40Dur-re-Mukhtar, pp. 129, vol. 2
41in Jama’at
42Fatawa-e-‘Alamgiri, pp. 67, vol. 1
43Dur-re-Mukhtar, pp. 126, vol. 2
44Rad-dul-Muhtar, pp. 126, vol. 2
47Rad-dul-Muhtar, pp. 119, vol. 2
48, 49ibid
50Bahar-e-Shari’at, pp. 500, vol. 1