How to perform a 2 Rakat prayer
Step 1 :: Preparation
Preparing for prayer includes cleaning yourself, wearing clean clothes, and finding a clean and pure place to pray.
- Perform the , or the Ghusl(Major Ablution), depending on your requirement.
- Wear clean clothes. Men should cover at least the part of their body between the navel and the knees, but it is preferable to wear a (preferably long sleeved) shirt. The lower garment must extend to below the knees, but must the above the ankles.
- Pray in a clean place. The place where you pray must be clean and pure. If you are not sure whether the ground is clean or not, spread a clean cover over it.
- Stand to face the Qibla. The Qibla is the direction towards the Holy Kaaba. You can use to find the right direction to face according to your location throughout the world. You must be looking towards the spot where your head will touch the ground during the Sajdah, and your feet must be evenly spaced and as wide as your shoulders at most.
Step 2 :: Intention & Takbir
- Make the intention to pray. You do not need to say it out loud, but you need to know which prayer of the day you are performing, what will be the type of the rakaat, and the number of rakaats. An example would be to think "I will perform 2 or 4 rakaat farz/sunnat/nafil of the fajr/zuhr/asr/maghrib/isha/ prayer". Intend that you are praying to Allah Almighty and only for His sake. Focus on the nature of the prayer you are making. The clearer you are in your intention, the better your attention and concentration will be.
- Perform the Takbir. This starts the prayer. Raise your hands, palms facing forwards, up till your ear lobes (or to your shoulders if you are a woman), and say .
Step 3 :: Standing Upright
Perform Qiyam. Qiyam is where you stand up and remain alone with Allah, the most beneficient the most merciful.
- Stand up straight, with your hands folded. Your right hand should be over your left, and they should overlap till the wrists only. Men place their folded hands below their navel, and women at chest level. Men grasp their wrist while women do not. They only place right hand on the top of left with fingers intact together. Now recite,
- Then recite silently: and . Recite Surah . Your voice should preferably be audible to yourself, but if it is not, at least your lips need to move. If your lips do not move, and you think the prayer, it will be invalid.
- Recite a short portion of the Qur'an. It is helpful to have memorized small surahs of the Qur'an by heart. The last of the 30 parts of the Qur'an contains many small surahs that are easy to memorize. Commonly recited surahs are Surah , Surah , Surah .
Step 4 :: Ruku Ė Bowing
- Perform Ruk'u. The ruku is basically a bow. You unfold your hands and bow, then placing your hands on your knees. In this bowing posture menís back is horizontal while women suppose to bend their back only far enough to touch their knees. Looking from far it will look like a bow arc. They wonít flatten their back. Say as you perform this step. When you are in ruku, recite thrice.
- Rise up. Rise from the bow, while reciting .
Step 5 :: Prostration & Sitting
- Perform Prostration(Sajdah). Say and prostrate, placing your forehead, palms, and knees on the ground. The bases of both feet's fingers need to touch the ground. In Sajdah, menís back portion is raised from ground and hands apart from body and fingers of feet twisted while women suppose to be gathered in a way so that all their body parts are close together and abdomen placed over her thighs.Both feet and ankles sticking out to the right. Lower portion of back touching the ground. A woman's elbows may touch the ground, but men must keep their elbows raised above the ground. Recite thrice.
- Rise to a sitting position, saying . When you are in this position, you must keep your eyes at your lap. Men turn up the heel, and bend the toes, of the right foot. Women keep both their feet, soles up, under their body.
- Prostrate again, saying . The second prostration is identical to the first one. Say thrice.
- Rise up to proceed to the next Rakat, saying
Step 6 :: Completion
- The second Rakat is identical to the beginning of the first Rakat(as explained in Step 3) but without saying Takbir. This time say only and then recite and one of the commonly recited surahs; Surah , Surah , Surah .
- If you are performing only two Rakats, then this is the last Rakat. After the second prostration, stay in a sitting position and recite the and then the and then complete the prayer with Salaam(peace) by looking over your right shoulder (saluting the angel who records your good deeds) and saying and then looking over your left shoulder (saluting the angel who records your wrongful deeds) and saying the same.
- If you are performing more than two Rakats go to next step.
Step 7 :: More than two Rakat
- If you are performing more than two Rakats, do not say the Salawat or the Salaam, but rise after saying the Tahiyat and Salawat and proceed to the next Rakat. The third Rakat is performed just like the second one except do not recite a surah after Al Fatiha and you rise directly after the second prostration without saying the Tahiyat or Salaam, unless it is your last Rakat. After your last Rakat, complete the prayer after the second prostration by reciting the Tahiyat, Salawat and Salaam, as described in the step above.
Note: In the farz prayers, the first two rak'at are performed as stated above.In any Rakats after that, during the Qiyam, only the Surah Al-Fatiha is recited, and is not followed by a short portion of the Holy Qur'an.
In the three witr Rakat for the Isha' prayer, the first two are performed as stated above. In the third Rakat, after reciting a short portion of the Qur'an in the Qiyam, say and raise your hands to your ears (chest for women), as in the Takbiratul Ihram, and then lower and fold them. Then, say the Dua-e-Qunut. After that, bow and prostrate as usual.