Answered by Shaykh Sohail Hanif, SunniPath Academy Teacher
The Complete Hanafi Prayer: Using `Ala al-Din Abidin’s Gifts of Guidance & Other works
using `Ala al-Din Abidins Gifts of Guidance & other works
1 Measures to be taken before the prayer
Be in a state of ritual purity
Ensure purity of body, clothing and place of prayer.
Face the direction of prayer.
Ensure that the time of prayer has entered.
Intend the specific prayer that one is praying and intend following the imam if praying in congregation.
7 The beginning of the prayer:
Stand and utter the opening invocation,
…saying ‘Allahu akbar’ and..
…raising the hands (until level with the ears for men and to the shoulders for women) just before uttering the opening invocation, keeping the head upright throughout.
[This invocation is repeated, without raising hands, with each movement of the prayer except when rising from the bowing and the imam utters it aloud whenever it is repeated]
Place the right hand over the left under the navel for men and on the breast for women, and feet four fingers apart.
(Only in the first rakat:) Recite the opening invocation (thana), followed by seeking refuge from the Devil (ta’awwudh) reciting both silently.
Keep one’s gaze on one’s point of prostration
If one is praying behind an imam then one remains silent, even when the imam is reciting quietly. Otherwise one recites at least one verse of the Qur’an [ensuring to be able to hear it oneself].
Recites the Opening Chapter (Fatiha), followed by three short verses or one long one.
Recite quietly in the noon and afternoon prayers, the last two cycles of the evening prayer and the last cycle of the sunset prayer.
Recite the basmala (Bismilla al-Rahman al-Rahim) before the Opening chapter (Fatiha) and say ‘ameen’ after it. Both are said silently.
Bow [at least such that one’s outstretched hands reach one’s knees]
Remain motionless therein, at least for a moment
Men grip their knees with their fingers spread, keeping the legs and back straight and head level with the posterior. Women bend until just able to reach their knees and without spreading the fingers.
Recite the invocation of the bowing three times. (subhana rabbi al-adheem)
Keep one’s gaze on one’s feet
Stand after the bowing and remain motionless for a moment
Say ‘sami’a Allahu li man hamidah’ (Allah hears those who praise him) when rising from bowing.
This is followed by ‘rabbana laka al-Hamd’ which is said silently.
Prostrate by placing at least some of the forehead, one hand, one knee and the tips of one foot on the ground but one should make sure to include…
…most of the forehead, the nose, and the second hand, knee and foot.
Remain motionless therein for at least a moment
Descend knees first, then hands then place the face between the hands. Men separate their stomach from their thighs, elbows from the sides and forearms from the ground. Women do the opposite, keeping as low as possible.
Recite the invocation of the prostration three times. (subhana rabbi al-a’la)
Keep gaze on the tip of the nose
Raise the head from the prostration and…
…sit, remaining motionless for at least a moment
Men sit on their left foot with the right foot propped up on the toes which face the direction of prayer. Women sit on their buttocks with right thigh on the left thigh and both feet coming out from the right. Both place the hands on the thighs.
Keep gaze on thighs
Prostrate a second time [as before].
Raise up from prostration face first then hands then knees..
The subsequent rakats are the same as the first, except:
Sit [after the second prostration of the second cycle] and recite the testification of faith (tashahhud)…
…raising the index finger when negating other deities [‘ashhadu an la ilaha’] and lowering it when affirming Allah [ ‘illa Allah’]
Stand for the third and fourth cycles in the noon, afternoon, and night prayers, and only the third cycle in the sunset prayer
All actions in the third and fourth cycles are the same as the first two in supererogatory prayers.
In obligatory prayers they differ only in that recitation is not obligatory and one merely…
…recites the Fatiha or glorifies Allah (tasbih) thrice…
…though reciting the Fatiha is superior
Sit for the length of the recitation of the Testification of Faith while actually..
…reciting the Testification of Faith…
..raising the finger as before. Then recite the Blessing on the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) followed by a supplication, even if small.
End the prayer by twice saying ‘al-salaam …
… ‘alaykum wa rahm atullah’ -aloud if one is the imam- the first whilst turning the head to the right and the second, in a lower voice, whilst turning to the left and intending greeting the angels and those praying with one if praying in a congregation.
Look at the shoulders each time