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same tone he cries, "Come to prayer, come to prayer! come to the Refuge, come to the1 Refuge! God is most great, God is most great! There is no God but GOD!" In the morning call to prayer, before the two last takbirs or celebrations of the greatness of GOD, there is added twice over the declaration, "Prayer is better than sleep." The five times of prayer2

Five times
of Prayer.

observed by the Muhammadans are: (1) In the morning before sunrise; (2) at noon; (3) before the sun sets; (4) during the twilight after sunset; (5) when night has commenced.

At these specified times3 the Muslim, wherever he may be, in the street, in his own house, in a mosque, spreads on the ground his sajjadah or "prayer-carpet," turns his face towards Mecca, his qiblah, and recites the set form of prayer in Arabic, the language of Paradise. At the conclusion of this prescribed form, with its many prostrations and

1 That is, 'to God'; but some render 'to good works.'
2 In the time fixed for each prayer a slight variation is allowed. Tradition (recorded by Abu Daud and At-Tirmidhi on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas) relates that Muhammad said that Gabriel prayed with him and taught him the proper hours of worship (Mishkat, Babu'l Mawaqit, sect. ii., p. 51).
3 Two other times of prayer are observed daily by very pious persons, but they are not obligatory. These are the Ishraf at sunrise and the Tahajjud late at night. There are, moreover, special seasons for devotion, as during the Feasts, &c.


genuflexions, the worshipper is permitted 1 to ask GOD, in his own language and in words chosen by himself, for anything he needs. But the formal and prescribed prayers must always be in Arabic, just as Latin is used for a similar purpose in the public worship of the Roman Catholics. In neither instance is it deemed necessary to the efficacy of the petition that the worshipper should be able to understand it himself. Prayer in a mosque is much more efficacious than if offered elsewhere, because there the 2 angels pray with and for the worshipper. Fatimah, the


"Prophet's" great-granddaughter, relates on the authority of her grandmother his daughter, who bore the same name, that whenever Muhammad entered the Mosque he 3 used to pray, "O my Lord, forgive me my offences and open to me the gates of Thy mercy," and on leaving the building he would say, "O my Lord, forgive me my offences and open to me the gates of Thy 4 grace."

1 Stobart, "Islam," p. 118.
2 Mishkat, Babu'l Masajid, sect. i. p. 6o. 
Mishkat, ibid., sect. ii. p. 62:
عن فاطمة بنت الحسين عن جدتها فاطمة البكرى قالت كان النبى صلعم اذا دخل المسجد صلى على محمد وسلم وقال رَبِّ اغفر لي ذنوبي وافتح لي ابواب رحمتك واذا خرج صلّى على محمّد وسلّم وقال رَبِّ اغفر لي ذنوبي وافتح لي ابواب فضلك ـ رواه الترمذه واحمر وابن ماجة‫.
4 Yet most orthodox Muhammadans think it almost blasphemous to say that Muhammad ever sinned, deeming him and all the prophets sinless. Some, however, argue that they are sinless because, if they committed sin, it was forgiven them!

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