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How do Muslims pray?

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Quick Answer

A Muslim prayer is done after a series of preparations, including cleansing and preparing a clean place to pray. Prayers are done five times daily while facing the direction called the qiblah, which represents the location of the Ka'aba in the Saudi Arabian town of Mecca.

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Full Answer

A mosque is designed and constructed so that one side of the building faces the qiblah, making it easier to organize daily prayers so that worshippers are able to pray in rows. Typically, the side of the mosque that faces the qiblah is marked with an ornament called the mihrab. Muslim prayer is not done to worship the Ka'aba, but the Ka'aba serves as the focal point and spiritual capital. Muslim prayer worships Allah.

Before beginning prayers, a Muslim must ensure that his body is clean by performing ablutions, washing certain body parts with water as necessary. The Muslim prayer incorporates multiple prostrations and standing positions, all done while reciting the prayer in Arabic.

Muslim tradition defines five separate prayer times throughout the day. Formal prayers are performed during a period of time between the start of one prayer time and the start of the following prayer time. While a prayer rug is often used during Muslim prayers, it is not mandatory.

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