Islamic Basics for the Common Folk

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The Salah has conditions, pillars, and waajibaat

Posted by islamicbasics on October 21, 2007

The fard (obligatory) prayer has shuroot (conditions), arkaan (pillars), and wajibaat (requirements). It also has things that are sunnah (recommended), and things that are makrooh (disliked). Then there are things that are generally permissible to be done in the salah. I will briefly discuss the conditions, pillars, and waajibaat as these are the things that are necessary for the validation of the salah and for this reason a believer should not remain ignorant about them. If time permits I may briefly mention the other aspects of the salah. However my intention is to help others meet the basic requirements of their worship, so I would like to focus on what is priority.

Conditions: The conditions are prerequisites that have to be met before a person begins their salah. They have to be met in order for the salah to be valid. If a person does not fulfill anyone of these conditions for any reason, whether it be due to ignorance, forgetfulness, or intentionally does not do them, then their salah is invalid. Once a person realises that he/she missed a condition they should repeat that salah, even if a long period passes.

The conditions of Salah are 9. They are:

1.      Al-Islaam (Salah is only accepted from a Muslim)

2.     Al-‘aql (Sanity. The insane is not held accountable for his/her actions)

3.     Al-tamyeez (puberty)

4.     State of purity (having wudu or taking a ghusl to remove ritual impurity)

5.     Removal of filth (clothing should be free from impurities)

6.     Covering the awrah

 7.     Commencement of time (The salah must be prayed in its proper time and not a minute before)

8.    Facing the direction of the qiblah

9.     An-niyah (the intention for the prayer being prayed should be present)

Pillars:      The pillars of the salah are those things that are necessary for the validation of the salah. If any pillar is left out due to ignorance, forgetfulness, or deliberate omission the Salah becomes invalid. The prostration of forgetfulness* cannot compensate for the omission of a pillar. The pillar has to be done or the salah has to be repeated, even if a long time passes.

The arkaan (pillars) of Salah are 14. They are:

1.       Standing (An able person must stand while praying)

2.      Takbiratul Ihraam [ the opening takbeer (i.e. the first Allaahu akbar)]

 3.      The recitation of Al-faatihah

4.      The rukoo’ (the bowing position)

5.      Rising up from the rukoo

6.      Sajuud on the 7 bones (1. forehead & nose, 2&3. both palms, 4&5. both knees,  6&7. both feet – all must touch the floor during prostration)

7.      Coming up from the prostration position

8.     Sitting calmly between the two prostrations

9.      Being tranquil and calm during every pillar position

10.   The pillars should be done in order (e.g. rukoo before sujood etc.) 11.   The last tashahud (at-tahiyaat) [In fajr the last is also the first]

12.   Sitting during the last tashahud

13.   Sending the salaat and salaam upon the nabi salallaahu ‘alayhi wasalam (saying ‘Allaahumma salli ‘ala Muhammad ….) in the last tashahud

14.   The two tasleems (saying ‘assalaamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullaah to the right and then to the left)

* Prostration of forgetfulness (sajuudu as-sahw) is the two prostrations made at the end of the prayer to compensate for mistakes done within the prayer. The mistake of leaving a pillar cannot be made up by simply making these two prostrations.

Waajibaat:    The waajibaat of the salah are those things that must be done within the salah and if they are left out due to ignorance or forgetfulness the salah is still valid. If they are left due to these reasons they can be compensated for with the prostration of forgetfulness. However, if they are deliberately omitted then the salah is invalid.

The waajibaat of the Salah are 8.  They are:

1.       All of the takbiraat except takbiratul ihram [All the sayings of Allaahu akbar except the first one (first one is a pillar)]

2.      Saying: Subhaana rabiyal ‘atheem (at least once) in rukoo/bowing position

3.      Saying: sami Allaahu liman hamidah

4.      Saying: rabbanaa wa lakal hamd

5.      Saying: Subhaana rabbiyal ‘ala (at least once) in sujood

6.      Saying:  rabighfirlee (at least once) while sitting between the two prostrations

7.      The first tashahud (at-tahiyaat) [in fajr the first is a pillar, in the others prayers they are wajibaat]

8.     Sitting down during the first tashahud

If a person remembers that they forgot one of these wajibaat while still praying, then they only have to make the two prostrations for forgetfulness. If they remember a long time after they already completed the prayer then inshallaah they are excused.


Conditions are prerequisites for the salah. A person is not excused from them regardless if he was ignorant of its obligation, or if he forgot, or if he deliberately left it.

Pillars are those things that a person is not excused from due to ignorance, forgetfulness or deliberate omission. The prostrations for forgetfulness cannot compensate for the omission of a pillar.

Wajibaat are those things that if a person omits them due to not knowing of its obligation or forgetting it, then the salah remains valid, and the prostration for forgetfulness can compensate for what was left out. Deliberate omission, however, invalidates the salah.

UPDATE: If a person remembers that they forgot one of the waajibaat before they move on to the next position, then they should return and fulfil what they left, and then they do not have to make sujuudus-sahw at the end. But if they move on to the next position and then remember, it is now FORBIDDEN to return. In this case the person moves on and makes sujuudus-sahw before tasleem.

Example: a person is about to stand after the second raka’a and while they are getting up they remember they forgot to make tashahud, they should sit back down and say the tashahud. If they stand up completely erect and then remember, they should not return. They make sujuudus-sahw at the end before the tasleem.


14 Responses to “The Salah has conditions, pillars, and waajibaat”

  1. Rehan said


    This is a good expaination of Salaah for a person. But it explains clearly when the Sujood-a-sahw should be performed.

  2. […] Comments (RSS) « The Salah has conditions, pillars, and waajibaat […]

  3. Anjum said


    Thank you very much for providing such good material

  4. Yusuf said

    Assalamu ‘Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatu,

    Jazzak Allahu khair for this informative, and concise description of the pillars of salah. Barakallahu fik.

    May Allah, t’ala, make this page a source of guidance for a myriad of Muslims.

    Assalamu ‘Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah

  5. Bilal Syed Hussain (Canada) said

    assalaaamu ‘alaikum
    mashallah it’s good information but there is just on mistake i think they should fix. The mistake is that they firgot the 11th pillar of salaah

  6. Abdullah said

    6. Saying: rabighfirlee (at least once) while sitting between the two prostrations

    What is this?? I am a new Muslim and I have not come across this.

    Email me back at

  7. Assalaamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullaah

    May Allaah keep you steadfast upon the Religion He is pleased with. As a new Muslim, amongst your first obligations is to learn to pray. May Allaah reward for your question, and may He increase you in knowledge of Islam.

    When a person goes down to prostrate, they rise from prostration to a siting position. In this sitting position one says “rabighfirlee” two times.

    Please visit for more explanation on the prayer.

  8. Nice post, great looking blog, added it to my favorites!

  9. said

    Jazakalaahu khayran for this informative post.

    I had a fiqh lessons today at my local Masjid and was really shocked about how little I knew about such basic, but very important aspect of our beautiful deen.

    insha allah, may Allah grant you the ajr of every person that perfects their salah after reading your post, without nothing being away taken from the person you prayed the salah.

    wassalaamu alaykum

    • Wa’alaykumus salaam,

      I’m glad you benefited from it. It’s been a very long time since I updated the blog.

      May Allaah increase us all in beneficial knowledge

      • Hussain said

        salaam brothers and sisters

        i would like to ask, when it says missing surah al-fatiha nullifies the salaah does this mean missing just one? or completely missing it out of the salaah?
        this same question with regards to pillar 6 about sujood.

      • wa’alaykumus salaam wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh

        Missing suratul faatiha nullifies the raka that it was missed in. If you remember while still in prayer that you forgot to recite al-fatiha in one of the raka’aat, then you completely disregard that raka’ah. If you remember shortly after completing the prayer then make up 1 raka’ah and do sajood as-sahw after salam. If you remember a long time after, then repeat the entire salah. The same goes for all pillars of the prayer.

        I hope this was helpful. Barakallahu feek


  10. Adebimpe Hussein said

    Salam aleykum,

    May Almighty Allah continue to increase you in knowledge and understanding.

    I will like you to shed more light on the corrective sujoods, since we have two types of these sujood, one before tasleem for omission in parts of salah and the other one after tasleem for addition to salah i.e qoblee and baadee.

    Please, provide detailed explanation on these.

    May Allah reward you.

    • wa’alaykumus salaam wa rahmatullah

      I’m sorry, but my blog hasnt been active for a very long time.

      I have a post dedicated to sujood as-sahw on this blog. These notes are based on what I learnt from Dr. Saleh. It’s also in line with the opinion of shaykh ibn uthaymeen rahimahullaah. It’s very detailed and actually quite complicating for people to remember.

      Some scholars say that if you make a mistake in salah similar to a mistake made by the prophet in salah (such as when he forgot the 2nd tashahud, or when he prayed 3 raka’at in a 4 raka’ah salah etc.) then you make the sajdatu sahw in the same fashion he (salallaahu ‘alayhi wa salam) did. If it’s any other mistake, then you can choose whether you make the sajda before tasleem or after it.

      wallaahu ‘alam

      I hope this was helpful

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