Are There Different Rituals for Each of the Islamic Prayer Times?


Quick Answer

In Islam, there are slightly different rituals required for each obligatory prayer. The required prayers are Fajr (said at dawn or just before sunrise); Zuhr (said just after mid-day); Asr (said approximately halfway between noon and sunset); Maghrib (said just after sundown) and Isha (said an one and a half hours after Maghrib but before Fajr). The rakat are prescribed movements that Muslims follow and words they recite while praying. The number of required rakat is different for each prayer.

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Full Answer

The number of rakats for obligatory prayers are as follows: 2 at Fajr; 4 at Zuhr; 4 at Asr; 3 at Maghrib; and 4 at Isha. The first two rakats of the Fajr and Maghrib prayers are recited aloud.

In addition to the obligatory prayers, adherents often perform optional (supererogatory) prayers involving extra rakats. These prayers are the Sunnah, the Nafil and the Witr. The Sunnah follow the tradition of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and they are recited individually, not with the congregation.

The third rakat of the Witr prayer must include the Fatiha (The Opening prayer). This is followed by the recitation of a portion of the Qur’an. Then, the Qunut prayer is recited last.

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