Salāh or Salāt Arabic is the name given to the formal prayer of Islam. Its supreme importance for Muslims is indicated by its status as one of the Five Pillars of  and of the Ten Practices of the Religion of Shi'a Islam. Salah is a ritual prayer, having prescribed conditions, a prescribed procedure, and prescribed times.

Performing salah is obligatory for all adult Muslims, with a few dispensations for those for whom it would be difficult. To perform valid salah, Muslims must be in a state of ritual purity, which is mainly achieved by ritual ablution according to prescribed procedures. The place of prayer should be clean. In a few cases where blood is leaving the body, salah is forbidden until a later time.

Salah consists of the repetition of two or more units of a prescribed sequence of actions and words. One complete sequence is known as a rak'ah (pl. rak'āt). The number of obligatory fard rak'at varies according to the time of day or other circumstances (such as Friday congregational prayers). Additions to the fard rak'at can be made, again in different multiples according to the circumstances. These are not required, but are considered meritorious. There are also dispensations from some or all of the prescribed actions for those who are physically unable to complete them. The prescribed words of the prayer remain obligatory.

Salah is prescribed at five periods of the day, which are measured according to the movement of the sun. These are: near dawn fajr, just after the sun's noon dhuhr, in the afternoon asr, just after sunset maghrib and around nightfall isha'a. (The Islamic day begins at sundown.) Under some circumstances prayers can be shortened or combined (according to prescribed procedures). Prayers can be missed in serious cases, but they should be made up later.

Purpose and importance

The chief purpose of prayer in Islam is to act as a person's communication with God. By reciting "The Opening", the first chapter of the Qur'an, as required in all prayer, the worshipper can stand before God, thank and praise Him, and to ask for guidance along the Straight Path.

In addition, the daily prayers remind Muslims to give thanks for Allah's blessings and that Islam takes precedence over all other concerns, thereby revolving their life around Allah and submitting to His will. Prayer also serves as a formal method of remembering Allah, or dhikr.

In the Qur'an, it is written that: "The true believers are those who feel fear in their hearts (of the consequences of violating the commands of God) when God is mentioned. And when His Revelations are recited to them, they find their faith strengthened. They do their best and then put their trust in their Lord.

"To those whose hearts, when God is mentioned, are filled with fear, who show patient perseverance over their afflictions, keep up regular prayer, and spend (in charity) out of what We have bestowed upon them." Qur'an 

Prayer is also cited as a means of restraining a believer from social wrongs and moral deviancy. Qur'an  According to a hadith in the collection Sahih Bukhari, the Prophet Muhammad considered Salah "the best deed".

Articles of prayer

All verbal parts of the prayer, apart from the voluntary personal prayer, must be spoken in properly pronounced Arabic. Not following the correct sequence invalidates the prayer. There are 13 articles:

[1] Having intention for prayer

The person should be conscious and aware of the particular salat that is being offered, whether it is obligatory, if it is a missed (qadha) prayer, individual or jamaat, shortened traveller's prayer etc. The explicitly verbalization of this intention is not required, though can be helpful.
It is done simultaneously with [2] Takbeeratul-Ihram (below).

The person should think his prayer to be the Last Prayer so that he may perform the best he can.

[2] Takbeeratul-Ihram

By rising the hands up to the shoulders , fingers slightly apart Saying الله أَكْبَر (God is The Greatest) is the start of the prayer.

[3] Standing right

For the able-bodied, leaning or not standing upright invalidates prayer. If one is incapable of standing, one may sit, lie on the right side, lie on the left side, lie on one's back or as one is able to do.

[4] Reciting Al-Fatiha

Recitation of Al-Fatiha is obligated for every raka'ah.then With Bismillah Ar Rahman Ar Rahim (In the name of Allah , The Most Gracious the most merciful)
Reading another surah after Al-Fatiha is also obligatory for the first 2 raka'ah for all obligatory prayers, however it is required in all raka'ah of supererogatory

Muslim recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet said,

«مَنْ صَلَى صَلَاةً لَمْ يَقْرَأْ فِيهَا أُمَّ الْقُرْآنِ فَهِيَ خِدَاجٌ ثَلَاثًا غَيْرُ تَمَامٍ»

(Whoever performs any prayer in which he did not read Umm Al-Qur’an, then his prayer is incomplete.) He said it thrice.

Umm Al-Qur'an (literally means the mother of the Qur'an)here refers to Al-Fatihah (The Opening).

When standing behind Imam also one should recite the Fatihah. This is based on the following hadith.

Abu Hurayrah was asked, "[When] we stand behind the Imam He said, "Read it to yourself, for I heard the Messenger of Allah say,

(Allah, the Exalted, said, `I have divided the prayer (Al-Fatihah) into two halves between Myself and My servant, and My servant shall have what he asks for.' If he says, [الْحَمْدُ للَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَـلَمِينَ ] (All praise and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of existence.) Allah says, `My servant has praised Me.' When the servant says, [الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ ] (The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.) Allah says, `My servant has glorified Me.' When he says, [مَـلِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ ] (The Owner of the Day of Recompense.) Allah says, `My servant has glorified Me,' or `My servant has related all matters to Me.' When he says, [إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ ] (You (alone) we worship, and You (alone) we ask for help.) Allah says, `This is between Me and My servant, and My servant shall acquire what he sought.' When he says, [اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ - صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ الضَّآلِّينَ ] (Guide us to the straight path. The way of those on whom You have granted Your grace, not (the way) of those who earned Your anger, nor of those who went astray), Allah says, `This is for My servant, and My servant shall acquire what he asked for.'). These are the words of An-Nasa'i, while both Muslim and An-Nasa'i collected the following wording, "A half of it is for Me and a half for My servant, and My servant shall acquire what he asked for.'

There are many other Hadiths on this subject. Therefore, reciting Al-Fatihah, during the prayer by the Imam and those praying behind him, is required in every prayer, and in every Rak`ah.

As for the reading of Bismillah in the prayer, there are some different views whether this is necessary or not or should it be aloud or silently.

It is also recommended saying Amin (O Allah! Accept our invocation) after recitation of Al-Fatihah.

Imams Ahmad, Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi recorded, that Wa'il bin Hujr said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah recite, [غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ الضَّآلِّينَ] (Not (that) of those who earned Your anger, nor of those who went astray), and he said `Amin' extending it with his voice.

Abu Dawud's narration added, "Raising his voice with it. At-Tirmidhi then commented that this Hadith is Hasan and was also narrated from `Ali and Ibn Mas`ud.

Also, Abu Hurayrah narrated that whenever the Messenger of Allah would recite, [غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ الضَّآلِّينَ] (Not (the way) of those who earned Your anger, nor of those who went astray), He would say Amin until those who were behind him in the first line could hear him.

Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah recorded this Hadith with the addition, "Then the Masjid would shake because of (those behind the Prophet ) reciting Amin. Also, Ad-Daraqutni recorded this Hadith and commented that it is Hasan.

[5] Ruku'

Ruku' is bowing the body until the palms are on the knees. Ruku should be such that when a person is bowing, his back should be erected at an angle at which poured water may not fall from it (means at 0' back w.r.t 270' legs) Stopping means all major body parts including arms, wrists, head, legs stop - as long as saying "sub'han-Allah". If the body still moves, stopping is not done. An additional option is to read 3 times سبحان ربى العظيم و بحمده (Glory to my Lord, the Most Magnificent Most Praiseworthy).

[6] I'tidal and stopping

I'tidal is standing again after ruku'. While the body is raising up, an additional option is to read سمع الله لمن حمده (Allah Listens to him who praises Him). During standing, an additional option is to read ربنا لك الحمد ملء السموات وملء الأرض وملء ما شئت من شئ بعد (Our Lord, to You is due all praise...). The body must stop as long as saying "subhanallah" Then after that say "Allah Akbar" (Allah is the Greatest) and raise hand to the shoulders as person did previously at the start and then go to sajda.

[7] Prostration [Sajdah]

Prostration involves putting the following parts of the body - the bare forehead, both palms, both knees, the base of the toes of both feet - on the place of prostration. The forehead must be bare; a covered forehead invalidates prayer. An additional option is to read 3 times سبحان ربى الأعلى و بحمده (Glory to my Lord, the Most High Most Praiseworthy). There are 2 prostrations, the second is done after sitting between 2 prostrations (as [8] below).

[8] Sitting between two prostrations

During the sitting between the two prostrations, an additional option is to recite: " Allahummaghfirli, warhamnii, wajburnii, warfa'nii, warzuqnii, wahdinii, wa'afinii, wa'fu'annii" Oh Allah Forgive Me, Have mercy on me, ...

[9] Final Tashahhud

At-tahiyyatu lillahi was-salawatu wat-tayyibatu was-salamu 'alayka ayyuha Annabiyyu warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu Assalamu 'alayna wa 'ala `abadillahi assaliheena Ash-hadu anna la ilaha illa Allah Wa Ash-hadu anna Mohammmedan 'abduhu warasuluhu. Shia version: Tashahhud Rule 1109 by Ayatullah Sistani, In the second unit of all obligatory prayers, and in the third unit of Maghrib prayers and in the fourth unit of Zuhr, Asr and Isha prayers, one should sit after the second prostration with a tranquil body, and recite tashahhud thus: "Ash hadu an la ilaha illal lahu wahdahu la sharika lah, wa ash hadu anna Muhammadan 'Abduhu wa Rasuluh, Alla humma salli 'ala Muhammadin wa Ali Muhammad". And it will be sufficient if one recited the tashahhud this way: Ash hadu an la ilaha illal lahu was ash hadu anna Muhammadan Sallal lahu Alayhi Wa Aalihi Abduhu Wa rasuluh. It is also necessary to recite tashahhud while offering Witr (in Namaz-e-Shab) prayers. Salam in the prayers Rule 1114 by Ayatullah Sistani, While a person sits after reciting tashahhud in the last Rak'at, and his body is tranquil, it is Mustahab to say: Assalamu 'alayka ayyuhan Nabiyyu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. Then he should say: Assalamu Alaykum and as a recommended precaution add to it Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh. Alternatively, he can say: Assalamu Alayna Wa Ala Ibadi llahis Salihin. But if he recites this Salam, then as per obligatory precaution, he must follow it up with saying: Assalamu Alaykum. Translation of Tashahhud and Salam Al Hamdu lillah, Ash hadu an la ilaha illal lahu wahdahu la sharika lah (All praise is for Allah, and I testify that there is none worth worshipping except the Almighty Allah, Who is One and has no partner). Wa Ashhadu anna Muhammadan 'abduhu wa Rasuluh (And I testify that Muhammad is His servant and messenger). Alla humma salli 'ala Muhammadin wa Ali Muhammad. (O Allah! Send Your blessings on Muhammad and his progeny). Wa taqqabal shafa'atahu warfa' darajatahu (And accept his intercession, and raise his rank). Assalamu 'alayka ayyuhan Nabiyyu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh (O Prophet! Allah's peace, blessings and grace be upon you!). Assalamu 'alayna wa 'ala 'ibadil lahis salihin (Allah's peace be on us, those offering prayers - and upon all pious servants of Allah). Assalamu 'alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. (Allah's peace, blessings and grace be on you believers!)

[10] Sitting for final Tashahhud

The final Tashahhud must be done while sitting.

[11] Greetings for Prophet Muhammad and for Prophet Abraham

Required portion: At least by saying اللهم صلى على محمدAllaahumma salli 'alaa Muhammadin O Allah, bless our Muhammad Recommended portion: 
اللهم صلى على محمد وعلى آل محمد كما صليت على إبراهيم وعلى آل إبراهيم
وبارك على محمد وعلى آل محمد كما باركت على إبراهيم وعلى آل إبراهيم
فى العالمين إنك حميد مجيد


Allaahumma salli 'alaa Muhammadin wa 'alaa ali Muhammadin Kamaa sallaita 'alaa Ibraaheema wa 'alaa ali Ibraaheema Innaka hameedun Majeed Alaahumma baarik 'ala Muhammadin wa 'alaa ali Muhammadin Kamaa baarakta 'alaa Ibraaheema wa 'alaa ali Ibraaheema Innaka hameedun Majeed

O Allah, bless our Muhammad and the people of Muhammad As you have blessed Abraham and the people of Abraham. O Allah, be gracious unto Muhammad and the people of Muhammad As you were gracious unto Abraham and the people of Abraham. Surely you are the Most Praiseworthy, the Most Glorious.

[12] First greeting

Greeting "peace be upon you" to the right side. At least with السلام عليكم, at best السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

[13] Second greeting

Greeting "peace be upon you" to the left side. At least with السلام عليكم, at best السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته