|This section is a general introduction to the rulings of a fiqhi topic.|
Ẓuhr prayer (Arabic: صلاة الظهر) is among daily prayers in four rak'as and it can be performed since the beginning of the time for zuhr prayer until there is left to sunset the time enough for performing 'asr prayer.
Description of Zuhr Prayer
Zuhr prayer is 4 rak'as, on the first rak'a of which after mentioning the intention and saying takbirat al-ihram, Surah al-Fatiha and another surah (not having an obligatory sajda) usually sura al-Ikhlash is recited and then one ruku' and two sajdas are performed. Then, the person stands up for the second rak'a and continues by reciting Surah al-Fatiha and another surah and performing ruku' and sajda. Then, tashahhud is recited in sitting position and in the third and fourth rak'as, tasbihat al-arba'a or Surah al-Ikhlas is recited and one ruku' and two sajdas are performed.
Time of Zuhr Prayer
The time for performing zuhr prayer begins after Adhan of zuhr (which is the beginning of the time for zuhr prayer) until the beginning of the special time for 'Asr prayer (about four minutes to sunset). This time is divided into the special time for Zuhr prayer and the time common between zuhr and 'Asr prayers.
Adhan of zuhr (which is the beginning of the time for zuhr prayer) is when the shadow of a Shakhis (a wooden stick, pole, or anything similar to it, pierced upright in the ground to determine the time of zuhr) either completely goes away and appears again or reaches its shortest length and again begins to grow.
The "special time" for zuhr prayer is from the beginning of the time for zuhr prayer until the end of the time enough for performing a four-rak'a prayer and in this time, 'asr prayer cannot be performed intentionally.
By ending the special time for zuhr prayer, the common time for zuhr and 'asr prayers begin.
Importance of Zuhr Prayer
In the Qur'an, it is ordered to establish and observe daily prayers, and zuhr prayer has been distinctively emphasized, "be watchful of your prayers, and [especially] the middle prayer, and stand in obedience to Allah." (Qur'an 2: 238) Exegetes of the Qur'an, have interpreted "the middle prayer" (Arabic:الصلاة الوسطی) as zuhr prayer according to hadiths.
Nafila of Zuhr Prayer
Nafila of zuhr prayer has 8 rak'as and is recommended to be performed before zuhr prayer and its time is from the beginning adhan zuhr until the length of the shadow of Shakhis reaches two seventh of the lengthe of Shakhis.
Some of the Rulings about Zuhr Prayer
Friday prayer: on Fridays, Friday prayer is performed instead of zuhr prayer.
If someone delays in performance of zuhr prayer until the special time of 'asr prayer, needs to perform zuhr as Qada' out of the time.
If someone unintentionally performs zuhr or 'asr prayer in the special time of the other, his prayer is correct.
It is obligatory to recite Surah al-Ikhlas and the other surah for zuhr prayer in a voiceless manner.