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A rakat, or rakʿah (Arabic: ركعة rakʿah, pronounced [ˈrakaʕa(t)]; plural: ركعات rakaʿāt), consists of the prescribed movements and words followed by Muslims while offering prayers to God. It also refers to a single unit of Islamic prayers.
After performing the ablution, and evoking the intention to pray for the sake of God, the worshipper will stand quietly while reciting verses of the Qur'an . The second part of the rakat involves bowing low with hands on knees, as if waiting for God's orders. The third movement is to prostrate oneself on the ground, with forehead and nose on the floor and elbows raised, in a posture of submission to God. The fourth movement is to sit with the feet folded under the body. In the concluding portion of the prayers, the worshiper recites "Peace be upon you, and God's blessing" once while facing the right, and once while the face is turned to the left. This action reminds Muslims of the importance of others around them, both in the mosque (if the prayer is being offered at mosque), and in the rest of the world.
Each daily prayer has a different number of obligatory rakats:
- Fajr — The dawn prayer: 2 rakats Sunnah, 2 rakats Fard
- Dhuhr — The midday or afternoon prayer: 4 rakats sunnah, 4 rakats fard, 2 rakats sunnah, 2 rakats nafl
- Asr — The late afternoon prayer: 4 rakats sunnah, 4 rakats fard
- Maghrib — The evening prayer: 3 rakats fard, 2 rakats sunnah, 2 rakats nafl
- Isha — The night prayer: 4 rakats sunnah, 4 rakats fard, 2 rakats sunnah, 2 rakats nafl, 3 rakats witr, 2 rakats nafl
The Friday prayer consists of 4 sunnah rakats, 2 fard rakats, 4 sunnah rakats, 2 sunnah rakats, 2 nafl rakats and after first 4 sunnah, there are 2 fard khutbaa(s) (Address) which are essential to listen,the Friday prayer is offered in congregation in place of the afternoon prayer on Friday.
- Only performed in the first rakat of the prayer and only performed by some schools.
- Only first half of the Tashahhud is recited in the second rakat in a 4- or 3-rakat prayer, e.g. the afternoon prayer or the evening prayer, but all of it is recited in the last rakat of any prayer.
- Only performed in the last rakat of a prayer.
- "Quran-Islam.org - True Islam". www.quran-islam.org. Retrieved 2016-02-20.