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Essentials of Prayer

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Furu' al-Din

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Essentials of prayer or arkān al-ṣalāt (Arabic: أرْکان الصَلاة) refers to a number of obligatory constituents of the prayer the intentional or unintentional skipping or overdoing of which invalidates the prayer. The majority of Shiite fuqaha (jurisprudents) consider the essentials or "arkan" of the prayer to consist in intention (niyya), takbirat al-ihram, standing (while reciting the takbir and standing before ruku'), ruku', and the two sajdas.

Definition of Rukn

"Rukn" (plural: "arkān") literally means the essence of something. In worships, a rukn is a part thereof the intentional or unintentional skipping or overdoing of which invalidates the worship. Some parts of prayer, hajj and 'umra are essential to them.

Essentials of Prayer

According to the majority of scholars, essentials of prayer consist in: intention, takbirat al-ihram (saying "Allahu Akbar"), standing (while reciting takbir and standing before the ruku'), ruku', and the two sajdas.[1]

The standing (qiyam) in the prayer is of 4 types, two of which are essentials, while the other two are non-essential obligations. Standing while reciting takbirat al-ihram and the one before ruku' are essential to the prayer.[2]

Some scholars believe that it is essential to be directed to the qibla,[3] and some early jurisprudents believed that qira'a (recitation) is also essential.[4]

Rulings

The majority of jurisprudents believe that intentional or unintentional skipping or overdoing of the essentials invalidate the prayer,[5] but others believe that unintentional overdoing of the essentials does not invalidate it.[6]

If the person unintentionally skips an essential, he or she should do it before going to another essential. Otherwise, the prayer will be invalidated.[7]

Notes

  1. Ḥillī, Mukhtalaf al-Shīʿa, vol. 2, p. 139-140.
  2. Yazdī, al-ʿUrwa al-wuthqā, vol. 2, p. 473.
  3. Ibn Ḥamza al-Ṭūsī, al-Wasīla, p. 93.
  4. Ṭūsī, al-Mabsūṭ, vol. 1, p. 105.
  5. Shahīd al-Thānī, al-Rawḍa al-bahīyya, vol, 1. p. 644.
  6. Najafī, Jawāhir al-kalām, vol. 9, p. 239-241.
  7. Najafī, Jawāhir al-kalām, vol. 12, p. 238-239.

References

  • Ḥillī, Ḥasan b. Yūsuf al-. Mukhtalaf al-Shīʿa fī aḥkām al-sharīʿa. Edited by Markaz al-Abḥāth wa l-Dirāsāt al-Islāmīyya. Qom: Daftar-i Tablīghāt-i Islāmī, 1412 AH.
  • Ibn Ḥamza al-Ṭūsī, Muḥammad b. ʿAlī. Al-Wasīla ilā nayl al-faḍīla. Edited by Muḥammad al-Ḥasūn. Qom: Maktabat Ayatollah al-Marʿashī al-Najafī, 1408 AH.
  • Najafī, Sayyid Muḥammad Ḥasan al-. Jawāhir al-kalām fī sharāyiʿ al-Islām. Beirut: Dār Iḥyāʾ al-Turāth al-ʿArabī, 1362 AH.
  • Shahīd al-Thānī, Zayn al-Dīn ʿAlī b. ʾAḥmad al- ʿĀmilī al-. Al-Rawḍa al-bahīyya fī sharḥ al-Lumʿa al-Dimashqīyya. Tehran: Intishārāt al-ʿIlmīyya al-Islāmīyya, n.d.
  • Ṭūsī, Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan al- Al-Mabsūṭ fī fiqh al-Imāmīyya. Edited by Muḥammad Bāqir Bihbūdī. Tehran: Maktabat al-Murteḍawīyya, n.d.
  • Yazdī, Sayyid Muḥammad Kāẓim al-. Al-ʿUrwa al-wuthqā. Qom: Ismāʿīlīyān, 1419 AH.