Kaydani: Faraid of the Prayer – Pt.3

As for (the obligatory elements) within (the prayer), they are seven:
1- Standing[1]
2- Recitation[2]
3- Bowing[3]
4- Prostration[4]
5- The final sitting[5]
6- Order in the performance of an action which is performed once in each unit or the whole prayer[6]
7- Exiting with an action[7] of the one praying[8]
[1] Standing is obligatory for the one able to stand and make prostration (sajda), i.e. If the person praying can stand but not prostrate then they do not have to stand. This also applies to the obligatory (fard) prayers. In the optional (nafl) prayers the one praying can offer them sitting down. The definition of standing is: that if the one praying was to stretch out his hands they would not reach his knees. This is the minimal extent of standing, the proper method is to stand upright. Al-Tabyin (1/104), al-Hadiyyah al-Alaiyyah (p.62), Dur al-Mukhtar (1/298), al-Maraqi (p.224), Hashiyah al-Tahtawi (p.225)
[2] It is to recite a long verse or a short verse consisting of two words in each of the two units of an obligatory (fard) prayer, and in all of the units of the witr and optional (nafl) prayers. However the one only reciting this amount is sinful due to his leaving a compulsory (wajib) act which is the recitation of the fatihah. The definition of recitation is that the person praying should be able to hear themselves as long as there is nothing preventing them doing so. Fath Bab al-Inayah (1/226-227), al-Hadiyyah al-Alaiyyah (p.62-63), al-Maraqi (p.225)
[3] This is by the lowering of both the head and the back, the minimum amount being that the one praying being closer to the bowing position than the standing position. This is known by if he was to stretch his hands they would reach the knees. The complete method of bowing is such that head is inline with the back. Al-Maraqi (p.228), Hashiyah al-Tahtawi (p.229), al-Hadiyyah al-Alaiyyah (p.63)
[4] The obligatory (fard) aspect of prostration is to place a part of the forehead on the ground, it is compulsory (wajib) to place most of the forehead on the ground as mentioned in Rad al-Muhtar (1/300). The following have also been mentioned as conditions:
i) It is compulsory (wajib) to prostrate on the hard part of the nose and the forehead. It is valid to prostrate on the forehead alone, and according to the strongest opinion one should not prostrate by placing only the nose on the ground except due to an excuse. It is disliked to perform prostration by only placing either the nose or the forehead on the ground. This was reported by al-Shurunbulali in al-Maraqi (p.231). Asad reported from Abu Hanifah that it is valid to prostrate by only placing the nose on the ground even without an excuse. However his two students held the view that it was invalid. See al-Umdah (1/160).
However the apparent meaning of the text of al-Wiqayah (p.144) is that the obligatory (fard) elements of prostration are with the forehead and nose, in al-Nuqayah (1/228) it is mentioned that this is the fatwa position. Therefore this means that if the person praying prostrates by only placing the forehead, or only placing the nose on the ground without an excuse they will not have performed the obligatory (fard) act required of them. Ibn Malak said in Sharh al-Wiqayah: ‘the later scholars gave the ruling that it was not permitted to only prostrate with the nose without an excuse’. See Fath Bab al-Inayah (1/228).
ii) The person praying should prostrate on an area where the forehead can settle. Therefore prostrating on something where the forehead is not settled such that if the person praying pushed their head further down it would descend further is not correct. Examples given mention prostrating on snow and cotton without fully pushing down the head to the point that it cannot be placed any lower. Al-Binayah (2/207), Naf’ al-Mufti (p.252), al-Maraqi (p.231)
iii) The place of prostration should not be raised from the ground level more than half a cubits length, so that the actual prostration can take place. A slight raising from the ground level of the area of prostration is of no consequence. An exception to this is due to crowding and lack of space prostrating on the back of another person offering the same prayer. It should be noted if the person on whose back prostration is made is not praying or is offering a different prayer then it is not valid.
iv) That the person praying perform the bowing (ruku) before the prostration (sujud). Al-Maraqi (p.226-233)

[5] It is the length in which the person praying would be able to recite the tashahhud. Fath Bab al-Inayah (1/230), al-Maraqi (p.235)
[6] It is the preceding of the standing before bowing, bowing before prostrating in that which is obligatory (fard) to perform once in every unit (rakah) and is not repeated. The prostration occurs twice in every unit, and the order between the prostrations is compulsory (wajib) not obligatory (fard). Al-Jawhar, al-Tabyin (1/105), al-Hidayah (1/46),al-Mabsut (1/80)
[7] This is according to Abu Hanifah according to the understanding of al-Burdai. Al-Karkhi understanding was that it was not obligatory (fard). Al-Qari mentioned in Fath Bab al-Inayah (1/230) that al-Karkhi’s was the correct position.
[8] What this means is that the person praying exits the prayer deliberately after completing it with an action, or statement which negates the prayer. It is obligatory (fard) to do so, whether it is by saying: Assalamu Alaikum, eating, drinking or walking. However doing such would be prohibitively disliked because of the leaving out of the compulsory (wajib) act which is the salam. Al-Bahr al-Raiq (1/311), Fath Bab al-Inayah (1/230)

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