How to Perform the Dhuhr (Noon) Prayer

The Dhuhr Prayer is four rak^ahs (cycles).

1. Facing the Qiblah: It is obligatory to stand directing your chest to the honorable Qiblah. The Qiblah is the Ka^bah in Makkah in Arabia.
2. Intention: It is obligatory to intend in your heart performing the obligatory Dhuhr prayer. Do that while saying اللهُ أكبر Allahu akbar (God is great). An example is to say in your heart “I intend to pray the obligatory Dhuhr prayer”.
3. The Opening Takbir: It is obligatory to say Allahu akbar at least as loud as you can hear yourself, while raising your hands next to your ears. Raising your hands is a recommended part (figure-1-).
4. Standing: It is obligatory to stand in the obligatory prayer when able. It is recommended to hold the wrist of the left hand with the right hand, placing both above the navel.
It is recommended to softly recite the Opening Supplication, then the isti^adhah (see Notes).

figure-1- figure-2-

5. Reciting the Fatihah: It is obligatory to recite the Fatihah (the first chapter of the Qur’an) at least as loud as you can hear yourself. It is an obligation to recite the Fatihah properly, that is, to pronounce all the letters correctly. Learn the recitation of the Fatihah from a qualified teacher
(see Appendix 4).
Whoever cannot recite the Fatihah correctly must recite other parts of the Qur’an, the number of letters of which should be at least equal to that of the Fatihah. If one knows one or more ayahs of the Fatihah, one may repeat them as many times as would render minimally the same number of
letters in the Fatihah. If one cannot recite any ayah of the Fatihah, one recites other ayahs of the Qur’anthe letters of which add up to at least the same number of letters of the  Fatihah. If one cannot recite any part of the Qur’an, one must recite certain words of dhikr, such as

سبحان اللهِ والحمد للهِ ولا إله إلا الله والله أكبر

subhanallah, al-hamdulillah, la ilaha illallah, and Allahu akbar (I declare that Allah is clear of all imperfections, praise and thanks to Allah, no one is God but Allah, and Allah is the Greatest), as many times as would render minimally the same number of letters in the Fatihah (Ibn
Hibban; an-Nawawiyy):

فى صحيح ابن حبان أنَّ رجلا أتى النبىَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال: يا رسول الله إنى لا أستطيع أتعلَّم القرءان َ فعلمني ما يجزيني من القرءان. فقال: ( قل سبحان الله والحمد لله ولا إله إلا الله والله أكبر ولا حول ولا قوة إلا بالله العلي العظيم ). وفي حديث المسىء صلاته: ( فإن كان معك قرءان فاقرأ وإلا فاحمد الله تعالى وهلله وكبره )  قال النووي حسن.

For example, reciting Allahu akbar twenty times is sufficient. In the unusual case of someone being unable to recite the Fatihah, other parts of the Qur’an, or dhikr statements, one stands as long as reciting the Fatihah with moderate speed takes.

It is recommended to say Amin ءامين (O Allah, fulfill my request) after finishing the Fatihah, and to recite at least one verse from another chapter of the Qur’an in the first and second rak^ahs (see Notes).
It is also recommended before reciting the Fatihah in the first cycle to say the Tawajjuh supplication and then the isti^adhah (asking for Allah’s protection from the cursed devil) (see Notes).
6. The Ruku^(Bowing): It is obligatory to bend at the waist until your palms can reach your knees (figure-3-) and stay still in this position for at least the time it takes to say  سبحان الله subhanallah.
It is recommended upon bending to raise your hands next to your ears and say Allahu akbar. Also, it is recommended while in ruku^ to say three times: سبحان ربِي العظيم subhana Rabbiyal-^Adhim (Praise be to my Great Lord).

figure-3a- figure-3b-

7. The I^tidal (Straightening up): It is obligatory to straighten your back and stay still in this position for at least the time it takes to say subhanallah (figure-4-). It is recommended while raising your trunk to raise your hands next to your ears and to say سمع اللهُ لمِن حمِده sami^allahu liman hamidah (Allah hears who praises Him). While your back is straight up, it is recommended to say ربَّنا لك الحَمد Rabbana lakal-hamd (O our Lord, to You the praise is due).
8. The Sujud (Prostration): It is obligatory to go down to the floor and prostrate by pressing your bare forehead, and putting your palms, knees, and toe pads on the floor. Both feet are kept vertical with the heels up and the toe pads down touching the floor. Stay still in this position for at least the time it takes to say subhanallah (figure-5-).

figure-4- figure-5a-

It is recommended upon going down to the floor to say Allahu akbar. Also, it is recommended while in sujud to say three times سبحان ربِي الأعلى subhana Rabbiyal-’a^la (Praise be to my Supreme Lord).
It is also recommended while in sujud to place your hands next to your shoulders, having your fingers together directed towards the Qiblah.
It is recommended for the male to keep his elbows away from his sides in his sujud and in his ruku^, and to keep his abdomen lifted away from his thighs in his sujud (figure- 5a-5b). However, the female keeps her elbows pulled in to her sides in her sujud and ruku^, and keeps her trunk
close to her thighs in her sujud (figure-5c-).

figure-5b- figure-5c-

9. The Sitting between the two Sujuds: It is obligatory to raise your trunk from prostration and sit, staying still in this position for at least the time it takes to say subhanallah (figure-6-).
It is recommended to say Allahu akbar while coming to sitting.
Also, it is recommended while sitting to say:

ربِّ اغفر لى وارحمنِى واجبرنِى وارفعنِى وارزقنِى واهدنِى وعافِنِى

Rabbighfir li warhamni wajburni warfa^ni warzuqni wahdini wa^afini (O my Lord, forgive me, have mercy on me, fulfill my needs, raise me, provide for me, guide me, and protect me from sickness). It is also recommended to do the sitting with the left foot tucked under the buttocks
while the right foot is kept vertical as in sujud (figure-6b-).

figure-6a- figure-6b-

An alternate recommended way of sitting is to rest the buttocks on the heels of both feet which are kept as in sujud (figure-6c-).
It is recommended that the hands be placed on the thighs at the knees with the fingers extended and spread slightly towards the Qiblah.
10 . It is obligatory to perform a second sujud from your sitting position. This sujud is similar to the first sujud. After the second sujud is fulfilled you have completed the first rak^ah (cycle) of the prayer.
11. It is obligatory to stand up for the second rak^ah (figure-7). It is recommended while doing so to say Allahu akbar. Repeat steps 5 to 10. This ends your second rak^ah.

figure-6c- figure-7-

12. It is recommended at this time to sit up from sujud, recite the Tashahhud (see Appendix 5), and say اللهمَّ َ صل على محَمَّد Allahumma salli ^ala Muhammad (see Notes) at least as loud as you can hear yourself.
It is recommended to sit with the feet as in step 9. An alternate way of sitting is to rest the buttocks on both crossed feet (figure-7-). It is also recommended to keep both hands on your thighs. The fingertips of your left hand should be spread towards your knee. In this sitting, the fingers of the right hand are lightly fisted, except for the index finger which is extended slightly down (figure-8a-). The index finger is lifted slightly at saying إِلا الله illallah (in the Tashahhud) and is kept as such until the end of this sitting (figure-8b-).

figure-8a- figure-8b-

13. It is obligatory to stand up and do two more rak^ahs in the same way that you did from steps 5 to 11. It is recommended while rising for the third rak^ah to raise your hands next to your ears and say Allahu akbar. However, raising the hands is not recommended while rising for the
fourth rak^ah.
14. Upon completion of the second sujud of the last rak^ah, it is obligatory to sit up, recite the Tashahhud, and say Allahumma salli ^ala Muhammad (see Appendix 5).
It is recommended to keep the hands as in step 12. However, after the index finger is lifted slightly at saying illallah it is kept as such until the end of the prayer. For this sitting it is also recommended to pass the left foot past the right leg and place the buttocks on the floor, keeping the right foot as in sujud (figure-9-).

figure-9-

Afterwards, it is recommended to say as-Salatul-’Ibrahimiyyah (see Notes). Then it is recommended to say a supplication such as:

ربَّنَا ءاتِنا فى الدُّنيا حسنَة، وفى الآخرة حسنَة، وقنا عذاب النَّار

Rabbana atina fid-dunya hasanah, wa fil-’akhirati hasanah, waqina ^adhaban-nar. It means: “O our Lord, grant us in this life and in the Hereafter good things, and protect us from the
torture of Hellfire”.
15. The Ending Salam: It is obligatory to say السَّلام عليكم as-salamu ^alaykum at least as loud as you can hear yourself. It is recommended to say السلام عليكم ورحمة اللهِ as-salamu ^alaykum wa rahmatullah, first upon turning the head to one’s right and then upon turning it to one’s left
(figure-10-).
By saying this, your Dhuhr prayer is ended.

figure-10a- figure-10b-