Conditions for the validity of prayer

source :Osoul Global Center


Prayers are the duties of every Muslim with the following conditions: sanity, attaining puberty, purification, appropriate time, covering Awrah (private parts), facing Qiblah, and forming the intention.

Conditions for the validity of prayer

Linguistically speaking, the word shart, which is translated as ‘condition’, means ‘mark’, but in Islamic contexts it means ‘what is necessary for something to exist but does not form part of it.’[1] The following nine conditions must be met for the prayer to be valid:

1-Islam: Prayer is not valid if performed by an unbeliever.

2-Sanity: Prayer is not valid if performed by an insane person, because it is not required of the insane.

3-Puberty: Praying is not required of a child until he or she attains puberty. However, a child should be instructed to perform the prayer when it is seven years of age. The order may be coupled with gentle beating if the child does not pray after reaching 10 years of age.

:The Prophet (peace be upon him) said

‘Order your children to pray when they are seven, and beat them gently for not praying after they are ten.’

4- Purification: This includes both types of purity; purity from najasah (impurities) on one’s body, clothes and the prayer area and it also includes uplifiting the ritual state of impurity through wudhu or dry ablution.

5-Appropriate time: Each prayer has its appointed time range and for a prayer to be valid, it has to be offered within that time range.

:Allah says

‘Indeed, prayer has been decreed upon the believers a decree of specified times.’


 A hadith mentions that the angel Gabriel led the Prophet (peace be upon him) in offering all five prayers on two consecutive days, choosing the beginning of the time of every prayer on the first day, and the end of its time range on the second day.

:He then told the Prophet (peace be upon him)

‘Prayer is valid between these two times.’

Related by Ahmad, hadith No. 3,081; Abu Dawud, hadith No. 393; al-Tirmidhi, hadith No. 149; al-Nassa’i, hadith No. 526

 This means that prayer is invalid before its time is due, or after it had lapsed, except for a valid reason.

6- Covering the Awrah, The Awrah of a man in prayer is the area from his navel to his knees. The woman’s awrah in prayer is her full body except her face and hands. The cover must not be transparent.

:Allah says

‘Children of Adam, dress well when you attend any place of worship.’


:The Prophet (peace be upon him) said

‘Allah does not accept the prayer of any woman who has attained puberty unless she has a head cover.’

7-Facing the qiblah (i.e. the direction towards the Ka[bah) when one is able to do so.

:Allah says

‘Turn your face, then, towards the Sacred Mosque.’


:The Prophet (peace be upon him) said

‘When you want to pray, do the ablution well, then face the qiblah.’

Related by al-Bukhari, hadith No. 6,251; Muslim, hadith No. 397

8-Intention: This is a condition that cannot be omitted in any situation. A hadith reported by Umar quotes the Prophet  (peace be upon him) as saying:

‘Actions are but by intention.’ The intention is a mental process and need not be vocalized.’


  1. Al-Zuhaili, Al-Fiqh al-Islami, vol. 1, p. 722.



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