ayat Prayer | Islamic Laws by The Leader Ayatullah Ali Khamenei
Q 707: What is an ayat prayer and what makes it obligatory according to Islamic law?
A: It is comprised of two rakahs, with five rukus and two prostrations in each rakah. According to Islamic law, it becomes obligatory due to solar and lunar eclipses, even partial ones; an earthquake; and any abnormal phenomenon which scares most people, such as an unusual black, red, or yellow storm, an intense darkness, landslide, a cry (from the heavens), and the fire which sometimes appears in the sky. ayat prayer is not made obligatory by that which does not frighten most people, excepting eclipses and earthquakes, or by things which scare exceptions among people.
Q 708: How is an ayat prayer performed?
A: ayat prayer has several forms:
i. After making intention and saying the takbirah al-iHram, one recites the FatiHah and another one, and then performs ruku. After rising from the ruku, one recites the FatiHah and a chapter, and again performs ruku. One keeps on doing so until he performs five rukus, each preceded by the FatiHah and another one. After that, he rises up and performs two prostrations, then stands up and performs the second rakah in the same manner as the first one, completing with two prostrations, followed by tashahhud and salam.
ii. After making intention and saying takbir, one recites the FatiHah and one verse (of course, considering Bismillah as one verse is not valid) of a chapter, then performs ruku. Then rising from the ruku, one recites another verse of that chapter followed by a ruku. Then raising his head, he recites another verse of the same chapter, and continues this procedure until the fifth ruku, by then he should have completed the chapter. Then after the fifth ruku, he performs two prostrations, then stands up and recites the FatiHah and a part of a chapter, followed by ruku, and continues in the same manner as in the first rakah, finishing with tashahhud and salam. If one wants to suffice with one verse of the chapter before every ruku, he may not recite the FatiHah more than once at the beginning of the rakah. Of course, when dividing a chapter, it is not necessary to recite one complete verse before each ruku, rather he may divide one verse - other than Bismillah - into two parts.
iii. One performs one of the two rakahs in one of the above two forms and the other rakah in the other form.
iv. One completes the chapter, of which he recited a verse in the first standing state, in the second, third, or the fourth standing state, for instance. Then it will be obligatory for him, after raising his head from the ruku, to repeat the FatiHah in the following standing state, and to recite with it a chapter or a verse of a chapter if he is before the third or fourth ruku. In this case, he must complete that chapter before the fifth ruku.
Q 709: Is the obligation of ayat prayer limited to those who are in the city of occurrence of the phenomenon, or does it apply to any mukallaf who comes to know about it without being in that city?
A: It is obligatory for those who are in the phenomenons city, and this rule also applies to those who are in the adjacent city if both are considered as one city.
Q 710: If someone is unconscious when an earthquake occurs, and becomes conscious after its occurrence, will the ayat prayer be obligatory for him?
A: If he does not come to know that an earthquake occurred until the adjacent time has finished, it is not obligatory for him to perform the ayat prayer, but it is of caution to do so.
Q 711: After an earthquake in an area it is often observed that dozens of tremors occurs there in a short period of time. What is the rule with respect to ayat prayer in such cases?
A: Each quake, whether violent or mild, requires its own ayat prayer provided that it is considered as an independent quake.
Q 712: The center of seismography reports the occurrence of several mild earthquakes in the area we live, mentioning their number, though we felt none of them. Is ayat prayer obligatory for us in such a case?
A: If it happens in a way that no one feels its occurrence and it is only understood by using an instrument, the ayat prayer will not be obligatory.