Islam teaches that Muslims should pray five times a day. Many people often have questions about the prayer and how it impacts the daily life of Muslims. In this article, we will try to answer some of the common questions about prayer. If you have more questions, feel free to ask us through email or on our 24/7 hour hotline 877-WhyIslam.

How many times do Muslims pray each day?

Islam teaches Muslims to pray five times a day. The prayers are held before daybreak, in the afternoon, late afternoon, sunset, and evening. This may give the impression that Muslims must stop all they are doing and begin praying at a specific time. Each prayer contains a window in which Muslims can perform the prayer. For example, the afternoon prayer window could be between 1:00 and 5:00 p.m. Muslims will have nearly four hours to pray because of this. Each prayer takes about 5-10 minutes to pray.

Can Muslims pray at other times?

The five daily prayers, known as salah, are ritual prayers that are done five times a day. This prayer is different than one talking to God. Talking to God and asking Him can be done at any time of the day or night. Similarly, the salah can be done at any time.

Why do Muslims wash before prayer?

Before starting the prayer, a person is required to perform ablution (wudu). It consists of washing his or her hands, face, arms, head, and feet. It is a condition of the prayer that one’s body, clothing and place of prayer are all clean and free from impurities. Impurities in this context refer mainly to bodily fluids such as urine, feces, blood, etc. The ablution only needs to be done again if one sleeps, uses the bathroom, or releases gas.

Most would consider it important to be clean before they meet someone important, go for a job interview, or stand before an important person. Similarly, Muslims consider it important to be in a state of physical purity when they stand before God in prayer. This washing also creates a culture of cleanliness where everyone in society is in the habit of washing their hands, face, and limbs regularly.

Do Muslims face a specific direction during prayer?

There are 1.5 billion Muslims in the world and they all face the city of Mecca when they perform the prayer. This is meant to instill a sense of unity among Muslims. It also helps orient the heart toward the Kaba, the holiest site in Islam. Muslims do not worship the Kaba it simply serves as a focal point. Although all directions belong to God, people often need a focal point to center their concentration.

One might argue that all directions belong to God and this is accurately stated in the Quran: And to Allah belongs the east and the west. So wherever you [might] turn, there is the Face of Allah . Indeed, Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing (Quran 2:115). However, when Muslims throughout the world face toward Mecca five times a day it creates oneness and unity. Furthermore, it instills a sense of similarity and connection between all Muslims even though they live in different parts of the planet. It unites them in their praise of God and it represents their similar belief in the teachings of Islam despite their geographical, cultural, and linguistic differences.

What is the call to prayer?

The call to prayer is done in mosques throughout the world on loudspeakers. It is done in a very beautiful and melodious tone. Click here to listen to the call to prayer.

Are there cases when Muslims do not have to perform the five daily prayers?

Prayer is a very important part of a Muslim’s daily life. It keeps him or her connected with God throughout the day. However, there are cases when some people are exempt from prayer or the prayer times are flexible. Those who do not have to perform the prayers are women during their menstrual cycle or after childbirth.

Can Muslims combine or shorten prayers?

Islam is a religion that has fixed teachings, these teachings cannot be changed, but they are flexible. Islam is a practical religion that takes rare circumstances into consideration. If one is traveling, taking a long exam, performing a surgery, or ill they may shorten or combine their prayers. The combining and shortening of prayers are done in exceptional circumstances because God does not intend to make things difficult. Allah intends for you ease and does not want to make things difficult for you (Quran 2:185).

Do Muslims have to recite specific things during prayer?

Each prayer consists of certain movements such as standing, bowing, and prostrating. One of the most important parts of the prayer is the recitation of at least the first chapter of the Quran from memory. This allows Muslims to constantly be in touch with the word of God. It is to be recited in a beautiful and melodic manner that appeals to the emotion of the listener. The word “Quran” actually means “The most recited.” It is a fact that the Quran is actually the most recited book on earth. With a significant percentage of the 1.5 billion Muslims praying five times a day, the Quran is constantly being recited all over the world.

What is the prayer mat?

The prayer mat has no religious significance, it is simply used for cultural purposes or comfort. For example, some Muslims might have a prayer mat in their car if they need to pray outdoors, so they do not have to put their face on the dirt or floor.

If someone doesn’t pray, are they no longer Muslim?

Although prayer is one of the most important pillars of Islam, not performing the prayers does not remove one from the fold of Islam. They remain a Muslim, but they are abandoning one of its most important teachings.

Is there a special weekly prayer?

Yes, every Friday afternoon Muslims attend a congregational prayer. Click here to learn more about this prayer.

Want to learn more about prayer? Check out the Top 10 things you didn’t know about the Prayer.