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Obligatory Prayers

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Obligatory Prayer or Wājib Prayers (Arabic: الصلوات الواجبة) are prayers the performance of which is obligatory and the abandonment of which leads to divine punishment, and when they are not performed in their due time, then it is obligatory to perform their qada's (that is, compensations). Obligatory prayers can be classified into two categories: daily prayers and prayers on specific occasions.

Daily Prayers

Main article: Daily Prayers

Daily prayers consist in seventeen rak'as. When traveling, four-rak'a prayers will be shortened to two-rak'a prayers.

  • Noon Prayer: from the time of the sun's zawal (that is, the movement of the sun from the middle of the sky westwards) to the time before the sunset, four rak'as.
  • Evening Prayer: after evening (maghrib) until the time before midnight, three rak'as.
  • Isha' Prayer: after the Evening Prayer until the time before midnight, four rak'as.

Noon and Afternoon Prayers ought to be recited quietly (ikhfat). However, men ought to recite Morning, Evening, and Isha' Prayers loudly (jahr) and women ought to recite them quietly, unless they are in a place where they are not heard by non-Mahrams in which case they can recite them loudly as well.

Obligatory Prayers on Specific Occasions

  • Ayat Prayer: if the following events take place where one is present, two rak'as with five ruku's in each rak'a becomes obligatory:
Solar or lunar eclipse (partial or full), earthquake, thunderstorms, storms, and other natural disasters if they terrify most people.
  • Qada' Prayer (Compensatory Prayer): it does not have a specific time. It is the same as the original prayer except that it is done with the intention of compensation.
If one does not perform his obligatory prayers in their due time, then one has committed a sin and ought to perform them later with the intention of qada' (compensation).
  • Qada' Prayer for father (and mother): it does not have a specific time. It is the same as the original prayer except that it is done with intention of representing one's father (or mother).
  • Tawaf al-Ziyara Prayer (pilgrimage circumambulation prayer): after the pilgrimage circumambulation in hajj, two rak'as just like the Morning Prayer except that men do not have to recite Sura al-Hamd (Qur'an 1) and another sura loudly.
  • Tawaf al-Nisa' Prayer (women circumambulation prayer): after tawaf al-nisa' in hajj and umra, two rak'as just like the Morning Prayer except that men do not have to recite Sura al-Hamd and another sura loudly.
  • Friday Prayer: on Friday noon, just like the Morning Prayer except that it has two qunuts: the first being before the ruku' in the first rak'a, and the second being after the ruku' in the second rak'a.
During the presence of an Infallible Imam, it is obligatory to perform the Friday Prayer. However, there is a disagreement over its ruling during the Occultation of Imam al-Mahdi (a). The majority of jurists take it to be an disjunctive obligation (wajib al-takhyiri).
  • Prayers that are made obligatory because of nadhr or istijar or promise or oath: due to the relevant conditions of the nadhr and the like.
  • Ihtiyat Prayer (caution prayer): immediately after the original prayer (when doubting the number of rak'as performed), one or two rak'as; depending on the type of doubt, one or two rak'as ought to be performed while standing. One can perform two rak'as while sitting instead of one standing rak'a. In two cases, both two standing and two sitting rak'as ought to be performed.

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