Iqamah and Fard and Sunnah Salah

Iqamah is another call to prayer that is said just before the actual start of Salah.  Iqamah is exactly like the Adhan, except that after Hayya alal Falah” the following is added:


“Qad qamatis Salah      This means:               قد قامت الصلاة

(The prayer has begun)

Qad qamatis Salah”      This means:               قد قامت الصلاة

(The prayer has begun)


Iqamah is said in a lower voice and much faster than the Adhan. It is also directed to the group that is already present for the prayer.


Fard (compulsory) Salah

A Muslim must pray five times a day.  The compulsory prayers are called Fard in Arabic.  Each unit of a prayer is called a Rak’ah. The Fard prayers are:

Fajr                   2 Rak’ahs

Dhuhr                4 Rak’ahs

Asr                     Rak’ahs

Maghrib           3 Rak’ahs

Isha’                   4 Rak’ahs

*Jumu’ah          2 Rak’ahs (in place of Dhuhr on Fridays)




Shortening Prayers:

If you are traveling, then you should shorten the 4 Rak’ah prayer to a 2 Rak’ah prayer (Dhuhr, Asr, and Isha’).  Also Dhuhr and Asr can be prayed right after each other, as well as, Maghrib and Isha‘.


Sunnah (optional) Salah:

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) performed extra prayers voluntarily in addition to Fard prayers.  These prayers are called Sunnah prayers.  Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) always prayed two Rak’ahs before the Fard of Fajr and three Rak’ahs after the Fard of Isha even when on a journey.  The one, three, five, seven, or nine Rak’ahs after Isha are called Witr (odd number).


The Sunnah prayers are as follows:


Fajr      2 Rak’ahs before Fard.

Dhuhr   4 Rak’ahs before Fard and 2 Rak’ahs after.

Asr        4 Rak’ahs (less recommended) before Fard.

Maghrib Rak’ahs after Fard.

Isha’      4 Rak’ahs (less recommended) before Fard

Rak’ahs after Fard.

              1, 3,5,7, or 9 Rak’ahs of Witr.


The Sunnah prayers are normally offered individually and no Adhan or Iqamah is needed for those extra prayers.

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