The offering of prayer is obligatory upon every Muslim, male or female, who is:
1. Sane and responsible;
2. Relatively mature and in the age of puberty, normally about fourteen. (Children should be advised by parents to start practice at the age of seven and strongly urged by the age of ten);
3. A Muslim is required to pray even in a state of sickness in a manner he is capable. However, women are exempted from performing prayers during their menstruation period and post-childbirth the minimum of which is 40 days. In these circumstances women are exempt from prayers completely.
Prayer is not valid unless the following requirements are fulfilled:
1. Performing the ablution (Wudu’), which will be explained later;
2. Purity of the whole body, the clothes worn on it, and the ground used for prayer from all kinds of dirt and impurity;
3. Dressing properly in such a way as to meet the moral regulations aimed at covering the private parts. For the male, the body should be covered at least from the navel to the knees. For the female the whole body should be covered except the face and the hands, feet should also be covered in prayer. For both, transparent clothes must be avoided in prayer;
4. Having the intention of prayer (Niyyah) by heart; Reason: the intention emanates from the heart and is not essential to declare verbally according to sunnah.
5. Facing the right direction of “Qiblah”, the direction of the Ka’bah at Mecca. There are many ways to decide the right direction. If a person has no means of telling, he would follow his best judgement.
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