Salah ;(“Muslim prayer”, صلاة; informally pronounced as ṣalāt; pl. صلوات ṣalawāt), called namāz (Persian: نَماز) in some languages; is one of the Five Pillars in the faith of Islam and an obligatory religious duty for every Muslim. It is a physical, mental, and spiritual act of worship that is observed five times every day at prescribed times. In this ritual, the worshiper starts standing, bows, prostrates themself, and concludes while sitting on the ground. During each posture, the worshiper recites or reads certain verses, phrases and prayers. The word salah is commonly translated as “prayer” but this definition might be confusing. Muslims use the words “dua” or “supplication” when referring to the common definition of prayers which is “reverent petitions made to God”.
Salah is preceded by ritual ablution. Salah consists of the repetition of a unit called a rakʿah (pl. rakaʿāt) consisting of prescribed actions and words. The number of obligatory (fard) rakaʿāt varies from two to four according to the time of day or other circumstances (such as Friday congregational worship, which has two rakats). Prayer is obligatory for all Muslims except those who are prepubescent, are menstruating, or are experiencing bleeding in the 40 days after childbirth. Every movement in the salah is accompanied by the takbir except the standing between the ruku and sujud, and the ending which has a derivation of the Muslim greeting As-salamu alaykum.
Salah (ṣalāt) is an Arabic word whose basic meaning is “bowing, homage, worship, prayer”. In its English usage, the reference of the word is almost always confined to the Muslim formal, obligatory worship described in this article.
Translating salah as “prayer” is not usually considered precise enough, as “prayer” can indicate several different ways of relating to God; personal prayer or supplication is called duʿāʾ (Arabic: دُعَاء, literally “invocation”) in Islamic usage.
Muslims themselves use several terms to refer to salah depending on their language or culture. In many parts of the world, including many non-Arab countries, the Arabic term salat or salah is used. The other major term is the Persian word namāz (نماز), used by speakers of the Indo-Iranian languages (e.g., the Kurdish languages, Urdu, Balochi, Hindi), as well as Turkish, Russian, Chinese, Bosnian and Albanian. In North Caucasian languages, the term is lamaz (ламаз) in Chechen, chak (чак) in Lak and kak in Avar (как). In Indonesia, the term salat is officially used, as well as a local term sembahyang (means: praying, literally from the word sembah – worship and hyang – god or deity) is used too.