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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. The worshipper will also do it to the recording angels on his left and right as a greeting to them.[circular reference]
Each daily prayer has a different number of rakats per prayer:
- Fajr — The dawn prayer: 2 rakat sunnah + 2 rakat fardh
- Dhuhr — The midday or afternoon prayer: 4 rakat sunnah then + 4 rakat fardh + 2 rakat sunnah (followed by optional 2 rakat nufl)
- Asr — The late afternoon prayer: 4 rakats fardh (Optional 4 rakat sunnah before this)
- Maghrib — The dusk prayer: 3 rakat fardh + 2 rakat sunnah (followed by optional 2 rakat nufl)
- Isha — The night prayer: 4 rakat fardh + 2 rakat sunnah then 3 rakat witr (Optional: 4 rakat sunnah prior to the 4 rakat fardh and 2 rakat nafl before and after the witr)
Regarding Jumu'ah (Friday) prayers, this consists of 2 rakats after the Imam delivers the khutbah (followed by +4 rakat sunnah then +2 rakat sunnah). Then Eid namaz, prayed two times a year, Eid-ul-fitr and Eid-ul-adha.
- 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.