Muslims come from many different cultures, socioeconomic backgrounds, education levels and customs and traditions, all of which play, one way or another, a role in their interpretation of Islam. Within Islam itself there are different groups, each of which may have a differing interpretation of the religious text. This post, which is our second installment of a three-part series, will cover common, widely accepted, prayer practices, but this doesn’t mean that every Muslim will necessarily have the same interpretation or practice in the same way. If you haven’t already done so, check out the first installment in this series: holidays.
Prayers are the second pillar of Islam, after declaration of faith. Muslims are required to pray five times a day. The prayer is accompanied by a series of set positions including; bowing with hands on knees, standing, prostrating and sitting in a special position. The Five Prayers are Fajr, Dhuhr, Asr, Maghrrib, and Isha’a. Subsequent to observing the prayers, Muslims are required to perform a ritualistic ablution with water, which is known as Wudu.
The Five Prayers:
- Fajr – the dawn prayer currently around 5 am
- Dhuhr – the noon prayer currently around 1:30 pm
- Asr – the afternoon prayer currently around 5:15 pm
- Maghrib – the sunset prayer currently around 8:30 pm
- Isha’a – the night prayer currently around 10:00 pm
Did you know?
- Each prayer has a specific time window in which it can be performed and prayers cannot be performed before its stipulated time.
- The five daily prayers are obligatory.
- Prayers are performed at times determined essentially by the position of the Sun in the sky. Hence, prayers times vary at different locations on the Earth. The times of the prayers also change with the season as the days lengthen or shorten.
- In a regular 8-5 working day, depending on the season, an employee would only need to pray one or two prayers while at work.
- Each prayer should take between 10 to 15 minutes.
- It is recommended religiously to pray, if possible, in groups rather than individually. In some multi-offices building, some of the Muslims workers may gather to pray together. If this is not possible, an employee may pray alone.
- Islamic teaches state that all the land is clean and suitable for praying unless proven otherwise.
- Muslims are required to face Mecca when they pray. Nowadays, Muslims use phone apps to figure out the direction of Mecca.
Friday Prayer. The Friday prayer replaces the dhuhr prayer performed the other six days of the week. The precise time for this congregational prayer varies with the mosque, but in all cases, it must be performed after dhuhr and before asr time. If one is unable to join the congregation, then they must pray the dhuhr prayer instead. This prayer is compulsory upon men to be done in a group setting. Women have the option to perform the Friday prayers in the mosque or to pray zuhr individually.
Open, respectful dialogue is important in navigating cultural diversity. Please feel free to reach out to our associate attorney Mohamed at Mohamed@davismeansbusiness.com with any questions about the practice of Islam at work.