Customs and Rituals

Is there a standard Islamic group liturgical worship?

Islamic ritual prayer, performed five times daily, is called salat (from a root that means to make holy). Whenever Muslims gather they perform the ritual prayer together. That applies not only to the prescribed Friday midday congregational prayer but to any of the set times at which two or more Muslims come together any day of the week, whether in the mosque or elsewhere. As with all Muslim ritual practice, worshippers preface this prayer with the clearly stated intention (niyya, pronounced NEEyah), saying “I intend to pray the dawn (for example) salat.” From two to four cycles of standing, bowing to place hands on knees (ruku’, pronounced ruKOO), sitting on the heels (jalsa, pronounced JALsah), stretching forward toward prostration (sajda, pronounced SAJdah) to place hands flat on the floor at shoulder width, and touching the forehead to the floor, make up the fundamental salat ritual. The number of cycles (rak’a, pronounced RAK’ah) depends on which prescribed prayer one is performing.


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