Know the proper prayer times. The five required prayer times for Sunni Muslims include the dhuhr (noon) prayer, asr (mid-afternoon) prayer, maghrib (sunset) prayer, isha (nightfall) prayer and subh or fajr (dawn) prayer. Prayers are performed at some point during each prayer time period. Prayer times are traditionally determined by the position of the sun in the sky.
- The dhuhr (noon) prayer begins after noon when the sun moves down from the middle of the sky and ends when the afternoon shadows lengthen.
- The asr (mid-afternoon) prayer starts when the dhuhr prayer ends and lasts until sunset.
- The maghrib (sunset) prayer begins when the sun sets below the horizon and lasts until the last bit of red disappears from the western horizon.
- The isha’ (nightfall) prayer starts when the maghrib prayer ends until dawn.
- The subh or fajr (dawn) prayer begins with the appearance of light on the Eastern horizon and ends when the sun first appears.
Learn to say prayers in Arabic. Namaz must be performed in the Arabic language because this is the language that the Qur’an is written in. It also allows Muslims outside of Arabic-speaking countries to recite the prayers and understand what is being said. Speaking all prayers in the same language avoids the confusion of translating words into other languages.
Cover yourself. Men and women must both cover themselves with material that conceals the color of the skin throughout the prayer. While women must cover everything but their faces and hands, men must keep the area between their navel and knees covered.
- The material must cover the body during prayer movements. So if, for example, bending causes a piece of material to slip and expose skin on a woman’s neck, she would need to ensure that her clothing is tucked in properly or put more clothing on before she can complete her prayer.
Face the Qiblah. The Qiblah is a sacred mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia which has been used as a place of worship for thousands of years. It is said that Muhammad was born in Mecca and rededicated the existing structure to Allah after conquering the city. No matter where they are in the world, Muslims face the respective direction of the Qiblah while performing Namaz.
- Look on a map and see which direction Mecca is from where you are located. Face that direction during prayer.
- Ask a local Muslim which direction to face during prayer.