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five daily prayers

The second pillar of Islam is the religious duty to perform five prescribed daily prayers or salat. All adult Muslims are supposed to perform five prayers, preceded by ritual cleansing or purification of the body at different intervals of the day. The Qur’anic references also mention the acts of standing, bowing, and prostrating during prayers and facing a set direction, known as qibla. The Muslims were first required to face Jerusalem during prayer, but already during Muhammad’s lifetime they were commanded to face the Kaaba, an ancient shrine in the city of Mecca. The Qur’an also refers to the recitation of parts of the Qur’an as a form of prayer. However, even with its numerous references, the Qur’an alone does not give exact instructions for this central ritual of prayer.

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