A. OBLIGATORY (FARDH) PRAYERS
Obligatory (fardh) prayers are of three kinds:
1. FIVE DAILY RITUAL PRAYERS
a) Morning Prayer (Dawn Prayer, Salat al-Fajr): The Morning Prayer is composed of four units (rakahs); two sunnah rakahs and two obligatory (fardh) rakahs. First the sunnah rakahs and then the obligatory rakahs are performed.
b) Noon Prayer (Salat al-Zuhr): It is ten rakahs in total. First, four first sunnah rakahs, and then four obligatory rakahs, and at the end, two last sunnah rakahs are performed.
c) Late Afternoon Prayer (Salat al-Asr): It is eight rakahs. First, four sunnah rakahs, and then four obligatory rakahs are performed.
d) Sunset Prayer (Salat al-Maghrib): It is five rakahs in total. First, three obligatory rakahs, and then two sunnah rakahs are performed.
e) Night Prayer (Salat al-‘Isha): It is then rakahs in total. First, the four first sunnah rakahs, then four obligatory rakahs, and then two last sunnah rakahs are performed. After the Night Prayer, three rakahs Odd-Numbered Prayer (Salat al-Witr) is performed. The latter is wajib.
2. THE FRIDAY PRAYER (SALAT AL-JUM’AH): This prayer is performed on Friday instead of the Noon Prayer.
3. FUNERAL PRAYER: It is composed of prayer and invocation for a deceased Muslim. There is no prostration (Sajdah) or bowing down (Ruku). The funeral prayer is a collective obligation, it is obligatory on the community (fardh al-kifayah).
B. REQUIRED (WAJIB) PRAYERS
1) Festival Prayers (Salat-al-Eidain): The two yearly festival prayers consist of two rakahs. They are performed in congregation. Salat of Eid al-Fitr and Salat of Eid al-Adha.
2) Odd-Numbered Prayer (Salat al-Witr): It composed of three rakahs. It is performed daily after the Night Prayer (Salah ‘Isha). If one misses the Odd-Numbered Prayer, it is also wajib to make it up.
C. SUNNAH PRAYERS
Sunnah prayers are those that our Prophet performed regularly other than the obligatory and wajib prayers. They are of two kinds, those that are connected to the obligatory prayers and those that are not:
1. Those that are connected to the obligatory prayers: Those are the sunnah prayers that are performed before or after the obligatory prayers.
a) The sunnahs of the ritual prayers: Those are the sunnah prayers that are performed before and/or after the obligatory rakahs of five daily ritual prayers. (For example the sunnah rakahs of the morning prayer).
b) The sunnahs of the Friday Prayer: Those are the sunnah rakahs that are performed before and after the obligatory rakahs of the Friday Prayer. (The first sunnah rakahs and the last sunnah rakahs of the Friday Prayer).
2. The sunnahs that are not connected to the obligatory prayers: Those prayers are the ones that are neither the first sunnah, nor the last sunnah of any of the obligatory prayers, but rather, they are independent from obligatory prayers. Some such prayers that our Prophet performed include:
a) Tarawih Prayer (Salat-al-Tarawih): It is a twenty-rakah prayer that is performed during the month of Ramadan between the Night Prayer (Salat al-‘Isha) and the Odd-Numbered Prayer (Witr)
b) Salat al-Tahajjud (Night Prayer): It is a two-to-twelve rakahs prayer performed after the Night Prayer (Salat al-‘Isha) and before the time of the Morning Prayer (Salat al-Fajr), that is, before dawn.
c) Salat al-Duha: It is a two-to-eight rakahs prayer that is performed from around one hour after the sunrise and around one hour before the sun is at its highest point.
d) Salat al-Awwabin: It is a two-to-six rakahs prayer that is performed between the Sunset Prayer (Salat al-Magrib) and the Night Prayer (Salat al-‘Isha).
e) Prayer for Respectful Entrance to the Mosque (Tahiyyat al-Masjid): It is a two-rakah prayer that is performed by those who enter before sitting to “greet” the mosque.
f) Prayer for Respectful Entrance into the state of ritual purity (Tahiyyat al-Wudhu’): It is a two-rakah prayer that is performed right after a fresh ablution (wudhu’). One first stands toward the Qiblah, raises the right index finger, utters the shahadah, and says: “O Allah, make me one of those who purify themselves, and make me one of your righteous servants” (Allahumman ij’alni min al-mutatahhirin, wa-ij’alni min ‘ibadi- k a al-salihin). Then one enters prayer.