Monday, October 3, 2011

Prayer Types and Times in Riyadh Saudi Arabia

          I noticed since I have been here in Saudi that I hear, several times a day something that sound like chanting over a loud speaker.  So, me being inquisitive, asked the people at work. I was told that the Muslims pray at least five times a day, at a mosque if they can or in private depending on the prayer.

          With the some research, I found out that there with the Pillars of Islam there are five basic acts in Islam, considered obligatory for all believers. The Quran presents them as a framework for worship and a sign of commitment to the faith. They are:

(1) the shahadah (creed), which the believer I professes that there is no god except God and that Muhammad is the Messenger of God

(2) daily prayers (salat), which consists of five daily prayers

(3) Almsgiving (zakah), is the practice of charitable giving by Muslims based on accumulated wealth, and is obligatory for all who are able to do so. It is considered to be a personal responsibility for Muslims to ease economic hardship for others and eliminate inequality

(4) fasting during Ramadan. Participating Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex  during daylight hours and is intended to teach Muslims about patience, spirituality, humility and submissiveness to God

(5) the pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj) at least once in a lifetime. Every able-bodied Muslim is obliged to make the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their lifetime if he or she can afford it

The compulsory prayer is obligatory for those who meet these three conditions:
are Muslim
are of sound mind
are ten years of age or older (beginning at age seven is recommended).

There are five elements that make a prayer valid:
           Confidence of the time of prayer
           Facing the qibla, (direction that should be faced to pray) with the chest facing the direction of the Ka'ba.(the holiest place in Islam)
           Covering the awrah (intimate parts of the body)
           Clean clothes, body, place of prostration.
         · Pure from hadath (impurity)
           Praying in front of a sutrah (barrier between himself and one passing in front of him)

Salat is intended to focus the mind on God, and is seen as a personal communication with him that expresses gratitude and worship.  The prayers are recited in the Arabic language, and consist of verses from the Qur'an.

The five prayers are as follows:

Fajr – dawn prayer, first of the five daily prayers, explained as being God's most-favored prayer since others are asleep. This has made the Fajr daily prayer the most essential and obligatory congregational prayer to be held by Muslims together in groups in mosques.

Dhuhr – Mid-day prayer, second of the five daily prayers

Asr – the afternoon daily prayer. It is the third of the five daily prayers

Maghrib - prayed just after sunset, is the fourth of five formal daily prayers

Isha – night prayer, It is the fifth of the five daily prayers

The times for these prayers are typically posted online or on boards for example:
                        October 16, 2011
4:35 AM
5:51 AM
11:39 AM
2:58 PM
5:26 PM
6:42 PM

For most stores, it is mandatory that they close during prayer or be cited by the mutawwa (religious police).

I found this prayer information very interesting. Didn't you??

All the best,

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