Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat
Question: Assalamu ‘Alaykum, I just converted to Islam. Is It Permissible to Just Read the Qur’an During the Prayer Time until I Learn how to pray?
Answer: Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.
I pray you are well. Congratulations! I pray Allah makes your faith thrive and that He makes you embody the beauty of this religion such that you are pleasing to Him.
You should pray the five daily prayers in their time. This is quite simple as you only need to do the bare minimum of actions for the obligatory prayers (2 units for fajr, 4 for Zuhr, 4 for ‘Asr, 3 for Maghrib, 4 for ‘Isha, 3 for witr). This can be learned in five minutes.
You should get someone who prays to help you with the following, but it is fairly straight forward. Start a minimal wudu: wash you face, arms up to the elbows, and feet unto the ankles once; and wipe a moist hand over a 1/4 of your head,
Then, face the Qibla, intend the prayer you are praying, and say ‘Allahu Akbar’. If you do not know the Arabic pronunciation you can say ‘God is the greatest.’
Then recite just one verse in Arabic – which shouldn’t be difficult to learn (try ‘Allah-us-Samad’). Then bow (ruku’) and stay there for a couple of seconds, stand for a second, and go down in to the prostration (sujud). Sit up, and then do another sujud.
This is one unit complete. Stand for the next. For fajr, sit for about 30 seconds after the second unit, then look at your shoulders and say ‘salam’ to end the prayer.
For the rest of the prayers, you will sit after the second unit and then stand for the third or the last unit. Repeat what you did earlier to end when the number of units for the prayer are done.
One last thing – in the witr prayer, in the third unit, after reciting a verse, raise your hands and say ‘Allahu Akbar’ once more before bowing.
Doing the above will give mean that your prayers are valid, and as you learn the elements of the prayer you can add to the above formula as you go. Learning the above is not difficult, and you’ll find it very easy with the help of another.
The prayer is a great source of benefit for a believer, and a means of showing gratitude to Allah for what He gives us. Getting it going will aid you in strengthening your faith – but take it easy. Learning about the details of the religion can be overwhelming, and sometimes adding new practices is very tempting too.
Please take our course on the Absolute Essentials of Islam. It will help you build your practice in a balanced way.
May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.