The Five Obligatory Prayers

Allah revealed: { حَافِظُوا عَلَى الصَّلَوَاتِ } It means:

“Perform the [five obligatory] prayers” (al-Baqarah, 238). The Messenger of Allah said:

 ( خَمْسُ صَلَوَاتٍ كَتَبَهُنَّ اللَّهُ عَلَى الْعِبَادِ، مَنْ أَتَى بِهِنَّ لَمْ يُضَيِّع مِنْهُنَّ شَيْئًا اسْتِخْفَافًا بِحَقِّهِنَّ كَانَ لَهُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ عَهْدٌ أَنْ يُدْخِلَهُ الْجَنَّةَ، وَمَنْ لَمْ يَأْتِ بِهِنَّ فَلَيْسَ لَهُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ عَهْدٌ، إنْ شَاءَ عَذَّبَهُ، وَإِنْ شَاءَ غَفَرَ لَهُ ) رواه أحمد

It means: “There are five prayers that Allah obligated the slaves to perform. Whoever performs them properly without belittling their obligation, Allah promised to admit him into Paradise. Whoever leaves them out does not have a promise from Allah to have Paradise without torture before. If He willed, He tortures him, and if He willed, He forgives him”. Narrated by Ahmad in his Musnad.

It is obligatory to perform each of these five prayers in its due time. It is better to perform each prayer early in its time .

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Dhuhr (Noon) Prayer [Four rak^ahs (cycles)]:

Its time begins when the sun has declined westward from the middle of the sky (zenith). The time remains until the length of the shadow of an object becomes equal to that of the object per se, in addition to the length of the shadow of that object when the sun was at its zenith. For example, if the length of your shadow when the sun is at its zenith is 5 feet and you are 6 feet high, then once your shadow becomes 11 feet long the Dhuhr prayer time ends.

^Asr (Mid-afternoon) Prayer [Four rak^ahs]

As soon as the Dhuhr prayer time ends, the ^Asr prayer time starts. Its time remains until sunset.

Maghrib (Sunset) Prayer [Three rak ^ahs]

After the entire disk of the sun has set, then the Maghrib prayer time begins. This prayer time lasts until the redness of the evening twilight has disappeared in the western horizon.

^Isha‘ (Nightfall) Prayer [Four rak ^ahs]

As soon as the Maghrib prayer time is finished the ^Isha’ prayer time begins. You can be certain that this prayer time is in when you can see many small stars in the sky, on a clear night. This prayer time lasts until the true dawn appears.

Subh or Fajr (Dawn) Prayer [Two rak ^ahs]

The true dawn begins when we see light spread at the horizon in the East. When the true dawn appears, the Fajr prayer time has begun, and this prayer time remains until the first glimpse of the disk of the sun appears on the Eastern horizon.