No Picture, no idols, no symbols, then what do Muslims pray to?

No burning incense or paper money, no joss sticks, no flowers, then what do Muslims use for prayer?

No priests, than who guides the Muslims in their prayer?

Is the Imam an intermediary between God and man?

No holy water, no peacock feathers, then how are Muslims blessed?

No chairs in mosques, then where do Muslims sit when they pray?

They don’t speak in Arabic here, then why do Muslims here pray in Arabic?

A big prayer hall, but why are only a few Muslims praying here?


The Unseen Creator

Muslims pray to The Unseen Creator Who created everything.

His power to create is limitless.

All He has to say is “Be” and it comes into existence.

Everything came from Him and will return to Him.

He does not have a son, and was not fathered by anyone.

He has no partners, and is unlike anything that the human mind can imagine.

The Unseen Creator calls Himself by the personal name of “Allah” in The Noble Qur’an.

Some say that when we drink water, we must remember the person who dug the well.

The aim of a Muslim’s prayer are to remember and be grateful to Allah who created everything, including the water and the person who dug the well!


Environment-friendly prayer

Prayer in Islam is a simple activity that consists of a series of body postures and recitation of The Noble Qur’an.

It is an environment-friendly prayer in that it does not require the burning of paper or other substances.

The practice of making “offerings” to God is unacceptable in Islam.

God is self-sufficient and has no needs.


No Priests

The person who leads the prayer is called Imam in Arabic.

A person who has good knowledge of Islam and is able to recite The Qur’an well and lecture to the gathering during the Friday noon prayer is appointed as the Imam of a Mosque.

The Imam is not a priest in that he is not an intermediary between God and man. Muslims seek the Mercy of God directly.


Reason and logic

Islam calls on the Believers to base their faith on reason and logic and not on blind beliefs such as believing that sprinkling holy water on the body or stroking the body with peacock feathers will drive away bad luck and bring prosperity.

To receive the Mercy and blessings of God, Muslims are commanded to base their life on what is permitted, and keep away from the things prohibited such as intoxicants, gambling and adultery, in The Noble Qur’an and the traditions of the Prophet [pbuh].



The Muslim prayer position consist of standing, bowing, sitting and placing the forehead on the floor.

It is not possible to do these while sitting on a chair. Thus all Muslim prayer places are furniture-free.

There are no reserved places in the Mosque.

All Muslims pray as equals.


Prayer in Arabic

Muslims use the words of God when praying to Him.

They recite from The Noble Qur’an which is in Arabic.

Praying in the language of The Noble Qur’an ensures uniformity.

A Muslim can go to any Mosque in the world and join the prayer without any difficulty.

Praying in the language of The Noble Qur’an ensures accuracy.

Translations of the meaning of the verses in The Noble Qur’an are not used in prayer.

At the end of the formal prayer, Muslims can seek the forgiveness and blessings of God in their own languages.

This is called du’s or supplication.


Prayer in any clean place

Muslims can perform their prayers in Mosques, homes or in any clean place.

In some places, only a small number pray in Mosques, and they are usually those staying near the mosque and visitors.

Muslims are required to perform the Friday noon prayer in the Mosque.

The Mosque is packed during this prayer and in some places, Muslims pray in the compound of the Mosque due to lack of space inside.

By Dr Y Mansoor Marican, Ph. D