Conditions for the validity of Salah
“Guard strictly the (five obligatory) prayers….”[Baqarah 2:238]
“Islam is built upon five pillars….(amongst them the second pillar) Salah…”[Muslim]
“And perform as-Salah (Iqamah-as-Salah) for my remembrance.” [Ta-ha 20:14]
The following conditions must be met before you start praying. If anyone of these is missing or left out, your Salah will be invalid. And Allaah –our Creator and the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth and everything that exists- will not accept it from us.
- The Intention.
Allaah ta’ala says: “We did not send any Messenger before you, O Muhammad, except that We revealed to him that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah, so make all of your worship pure for Him.” [Soorah Ambiyah 21:25]
The Prophet of Allaah (sal’lallaahu’alaihi’wa sallam) said: “Actions are judged by the intention and every man shall have that which he intended…”[Bukhari 1/9] The place of the intention is the heart and not to be pronounced on the tongue as this is an innovation.
He sal’lallaahu’alaihi wa sallam also said: “Verily Allaah does not look towards your bodies nor towards your appearances, but he looks towards your hearts .”[Muslim]
- To be in a state of purity, cleansed from the major and minor impurity Major Impurity is caused by wet dream, sexual relationship with ones wife or menstruation. Minor impurity is caused by urinating, defecating, letting air out from the anus or sleep. Allaah says: “O You who believe! When you intend to offer as-Salah (the prayer), wash your faces and your hands (and arms) up to the elbows, rub (by passing wet hands over) your heads, and (wash) your feet up to the ankles. [Soorah Maa’idah 5:7] The Prophet of Allaah (saul’lallaahu’alaihi wasallam) said: “Allaah will not accept Salah without purification, nor Sadhaqah (charity) from money obtained unlawfully.”[Muslim 1/204]
- Cleanliness of one’s body, clothing and place of prayer. They should be free from faeces, urine, blood from menses.
Allaah says: “And purify your garments” [al-Muddaththir 74:4] A woman asked the Messenger of Allaah (saul’lallaahu’alaihi wa sallam), “O Messenger of Allaah, if one of us were to see blood from their menses upon her clothing, what should she do?” He replied “If blood from the menses of one of you was to come upon their clothing then she should scrape it off, then sprinkle it with water then she may pray in it.” [Bukhari 1/410] And when the bedouin urinated in a part of the Masjid, the Messenger ordered a bucket of water to be brought and poured over it. [Bukhari 1/103]
- Covering the private parts (awrah). The awrah of a man is the navel to the knees. The awrah of a woman is her complete body, other than the face and the hands.
Allaah says: “O Children of Adham! Take your adornment ( by wearing your clean clothes) while praying…[al-Araf 7:31]
Just as the Muslimah is commanded to wear the correct Islamic Hijab when going outside of her home and in front of non-Mahram Men, likewise she is commanded to wear the correct Islamic Hijab when praying, everything has to be covered except her face and hands.
- Knowledge, that the time for a particular Salah has begun. It is sufficient to be reasonably certain.
Allaah says: “Verily, the prayer is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours.”[an-Nisa 4:103]
The Prophet of Allaah (sal’lalllaahu alaihiwasallam) said: “The time of Dhuhr is when the sun passes the meridian (and it continues until) the shade of a man would be equal to his length, as long as Asr does not arrive. The time of Asr is as long as the sun has not become yellow. And the time of Maghrib is as long as the twilight has not disappeard. The time of E’sha is up until half way through the night. The time of the Fajr is from the appearance of the dawn as long as the sun has not risen. When the sun rises abstain from prayer, for indeed it rises between the horns of shaytaan.”[Muslim 1/426]
Any prayer performed intentionally before its prescribed time will not be accepted nor any prayer performed without any excuse after its prescribed time, will not be accepted.
The Messenger (saul’lallaahu’alaihi wa sallam) said: “Whoever sleeps past the prayer or forgets it, then let him pray when he remembers it…[Bukhari 344]
- Facing the Qiblah.
Allaah says: “….So turn your face in the direction of al-Masjid al-Haram (at Makkah). And where ever you people are, turn your faces (in prayer) in that direction.” [al-Baqarah 2:144]
And the Prophet said to the one who prayed badly: “When you stand in prayer, perform Wudhu perfectly, then face the Qiblah and say; “Allaahu Akbar”. [Bukhari 2/276]