Here is how to pray like Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) based on Authentic Hadith. It is written by Dr. Salih Al-Fawzan, who is a notable Islamic scholar and has been a member of several high religious bodies in Saudi Arabia. He was the head of Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court of Justice. He was also a member of the Council of Senior Scholars, Saudi Arabia’s highest religious body, which advises the king on religious matters. He is a member of the Permanent Committee for Islamic Research and Issuing Fatwas, a committee of the Council of Senior Scholars. The Council issues rulings in Islamic jurisprudence and prepares research papers for the Council of Senior Scholars.

There were no references mentioned in the original text. All the hadith in this text are researched and compiled by Raiyan Foundation for the reader’s convenience.

Allah says in the Glorious Qur’an,

“O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is the best [way] and best in result.” – Qur’an 4:59

“Whatever the Messenger gives you, take it; and whatever he forbids you, leave it.” – Qur’an 59:7

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said,

“Allah blesses any man who hears a saying of mine, memorizes it and understands it, then conveys just as he heard it; for perhaps one who is informed has more understanding than the one who heard it. Whoever lies on me will find his seat in the Hellfire!” – Sunan Abu Dawud, Volume 3, Hadith 3652, and Volume 2, Hadith 3108. Grade: Sahih.

“Pray as you have seen me praying…”- Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 11, Hadith 604.

Pray like Prophet Muhammad (pbuh):

The Intention (an-Niyyah)

The person who is going to pray must have in his heart the intention to pray that particular Prayer, be it the Obligatory Zuhr or ‘Asr Prayer, or the Sunnah Prayers for them, for example. As for expressing that upon the tongue, then it is an innovation (bid’ah), contrary to the Sunnah.

Facing Qiblah, Saying Takbir

Whenever the Prophet (PBUH) stood for prayer, he faced the qiblah (towards the Ka’bah), raised his hands up to the shoulders making the palms face the qiblah, saying the takbir, “Allahu Akbar” i.e. “Allah is the Greatest.”

Narrated Abdullah bin ‘Umar: I saw that whenever Allah’s Apostle stood for the prayer, he used to raise both his hands up to the shoulders, and used to do the same on saying the Takbir for bowing and on raising his head from it and used to say, “Sami a-l-lahu Liman hamida”. But he did not do that (i.e. raising his hands) in prostrations.” – Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 12, Number 703.

Narrated Nafi: Whenever Ibn ‘Umar started the prayer with Takbir, he used to raise his hands: whenever he bowed, he used to raise his hands (before bowing) and also used to raise his hands on saying, “Sami a-l-lahu Liman hamida”, and he used to do the same on rising from the second Rak’a (for the 3rd Rak’a). Ibn ‘Umar said: “The Prophet used to do the same.” – Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 12, Number 706.

Placing the Hands

He (PBUH) then holds his left hand with his right hand, putting it on his chest or he (PBUH) holds his left forearm with his right hand, putting it on his chest.

Narrated Tawus: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) used to place his right hand on his left hand, then he folded them strictly on his chest in prayer. – Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 3, Hadith 758. Grade: Sahih

Narrated Sahl bin Sa`d: The people were ordered to place the right hand on the left forearm in the prayer. Abu Hazim said, “I knew that the order was from the Prophet (ﷺ).” – Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 12, Hadith 707.

Opening Invocation

Then, he (PBUH) says the opening invocation; he (PBUH) did not observe a certain opening invocations regularly, so it is permissible to say any of the opening invocation reported to have been said by the Prophet (PBUH). Among these invocations is:

In Arabic, “Subhanakallahumma, wa bihamdika tabarakasmuka wa ta’ala jadduka wa la ilaha ghairuk.”

Which means, “Glory be to You, O Allah, and to You be all praise, and Blessed is Your Name, and Exalted is Your Majesty, and there is no deity (worthy of worship) but You.”

It was narrated that Abu Sa’eed said: “When the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) started to pray, he would say: ‘Subhanakallahumma, wa bihamdika tabarakasmuka wa ta’ala jadduka wa la ilaha ghairuk.’ (Glory and praise be to You, O Allah. Blessed be Your name and exalted be Your majesty, there is none worthy of worship except You.)” – Sunan An-Nasa’I, Vol. 2, Book 11, Hadith 901. Grade: Hasan.

Aishah narrated: “When the Prophet opened the Salat he would say: ‘Subhanaka Allahumma wa bihamdika wa tabarakasmuka, wa ta’ala jadduka wa la ilaha ghairuk.’ (Glorious You are O Allah, and with Your praise, and blessed is Your Name, and exalted is Your majesty, and none has the right to be worshipped but You.)”- Jami At-Tirmidhi, Vol. 1, Book 2, Hadith 243. Grade: Hasan.

The Prophet (PBUH) then says:

In Arabic, “A’uzu billahi minashaitanir rajim.”

Which means, “I seek refuge with Allah from Satan, the expelled (from the mercy of Allah).”

Reciting Surah Al-Fatihah

Then, he (PBUH) recites Al-Fatihah in Arabic (the Opening Chapter of the Qur’an), following it with saying “Amin”.

In Arabic, “Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem. Alhamdu lillaahi Rabbil ‘aalameen. Ar-Rahmaanir-Raheem. Maaliki Yawmid-Deen. Iyyaaka na’budu wa lyyaaka nasta’een. Ihdinas-Siraatal-Mustaqeem. Siraatal-lazeena an’amta ‘alaihim ghayril-maghdoobi ‘alaihim wa lad-daaalleen. Amin.” – Qur’an 1:1-7

Which means, “In the name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful. [All] praise is [due] to Allah, Lord of the worlds. The Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful, Sovereign of the Day of Recompense. It is You we worship and You we ask for help. Guide us to the straight path. The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor, not of those who have evoked [Your] anger or of those who are astray.”

Narrated Abu Huraira: “Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Say Amen when the Imam says ‘Ghairi l-maghdubi `alaihim wala d-daalleen’ (not the path of those who earn Your Anger (such as Jews) nor of those who go astray (such as Christians)); all the past sins of the person whose saying (of Amin) coincides with that of the angels, will be forgiven”. – Sahih Al Bukhari, Vol. 1, Book 12, Hadith 749.

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “If any one of you says, “Amin” and the angels in the heavens say “Amin” and the former coincides with the latter, all his past sins will be forgiven.” – Sahih Al Bukhari, Vol. 1, Book 12, Hadith 748.

Abu Hurairah reported the Messenger of Allah (May peace be upon him) as saying; When the Imam says Amin, say Amin, for if anyone’s utterance of Amin synchronizes with that of the angels, he will be forgiven his past sins. Ibn shihab (al Zuhrl) said; The Messenger of Allah (May peace be upon him) used to say Amin (At the end of the Fatihah). – Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 2, Hadith 936. Grade: Sahih.

Reciting a Supporting Surah

After that, he (PBUH) recites a surah from the Qur’an (a long, a short or a medium one). It is narrated that he (PBUH) used to prolong reciting the Qur’an in the Fajr (Dawn) Prayer in particular. The Prophet also used to recite publicly in the first two rak’ahs of the Fajr (Dawn), the Maghrib (Sunset), the Isha (Night) Prayers, and recite quietly to himself in any other rak’ahs. Moreover, he (PBUH) used to make the recitation of the first rak’ah longer than that of the second one in every prayer.

In Arabic, “Qul huwallahu ahad, Allahussamad. Lam yalid walam yoolad, Walam ya kullahu kufuwan ahad.” – Qur’an 112:1-4

Which means, “Say, ‘He is Allah, [who is] One, Allah, the Eternal Refuge. He neither begets nor is born, Nor is there to Him any equivalent.’”

Bowing Down (Ruku)

He (PBUH) then raises his hands in the same way he does while saying the opening takbir of prayer, “Allahu Akbar” (i.e. “Allah is the Greatest”). He then bows putting his hands on his knees firmly, parting between his fingers, and stretching his back, making his head aligned with his back, neither raising nor lowering it, and says, “Subhana Rabbiyal Azim” (i.e. “Glory be to my Lord, the Most Great”).

Narrated `Aisha: The Prophet (ﷺ) used to say in his bowing and prostrations, “Subhanaka l-lahumma Rabbana wa bihamdika; Allahumma ghfir li. (Exalted [from unbecoming attributes] Are you O Allah our Lord, and by Your praise [do I exalt you]. O Allah! Forgive me).” –  Sahih Al Bukhari, Vol. 1, Book 12, Hadith 760.

Raising from Bowing Down

Then, he (PBUH) raises his head saying, “Sami’ Allahu liman hamidah” i.e. “Allah listens to the one who praises Him” raising both his hands in the same way he does upon bowing.

After that, he (PBUH) stands up straight saying, “Rabbana lakal Hamd” i.e. “Our Lord, to You be (all) the praise.”

It is important to point out that the Prophet (PBUH) used to prolong standing following bowing.

Narrated Al-Bara’: The bowing, the prostrations, the period of standing after bowing and the interval between the two prostrations of the Prophet (ﷺ) used to be equal in duration. – Sahih Al Bukhari, Vol. 1, Book 12, Hadith 766, 783.

Prostration (Sujud or Sajdah)

He (PBUH) then says takbir “Allahu Akbar” (without raising his hands this time) then prostrates. In prostration, he (PBUH) used to settle his forehead, nose, hands, knees, and the bottom of his toes on the ground (or the place of prayer), making his fingers and toes face the qiblah. He (PBUH) used to lean on the palms of his hands during prostration, keeping his upper arms apart from his sides, his abdomen apart from his thighs, and his thighs apart from his legs, saying, “Subhana Rabbiyal Ala” (i.e. “Glory be to my Lord the Most High”); he (PBUH) used to make his prostration neither long nor short.

Abu Hurairah reported the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) as saying: “When one of you prostrates himself he must not kneel in the manner of camel, but should put down his hands before his knees.” – Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 2, Hadith 839. Grade: Sahih.

Narrated Ibn `Abbas: The Prophet (ﷺ) was ordered (by Allah) to prostrate on seven parts and not to tuck up the clothes or hair (while praying). Those parts are: the forehead (along with the tip of nose), both hands, both knees, and (toes of) both feet. – Sahih Al Bukhari, Vol. 1, Book 12, Hadith 773, Sahih Muslim Book 4, Hadith 995.

Narrated Anas bin Malik: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Be straight in the prostrations and none of you should put his forearms on the ground (in the prostration) like a dog.” – Sahih Al Bukhari, Vol. 1, Book 12, Hadith 785.

Narrated `Aisha: The Prophet (ﷺ) used to say in his bowing and prostrations, “Subhanaka l-lahumma Rabbana wa bihamdika; Allahumma ghfir li. (Exalted [from unbecoming attributes] Are you O Allah our Lord, and by Your praise [do I exalt you]. O Allah! Forgive me).” –  Sahih Al Bukhari, Vol. 1, Book 12, Hadith 760.

Raising from Prostration

Following the first prostration, he (PBUH) raises his head saying takbir “Allahu Akbar”, placing his left foot on its side and sitting on it, keeping the right foot as it was since prostration (i.e. resting on the bottom of its toes while the heel is up). He (PBUH) also places his hands on his thighs and says:

In Arabic, “Allahummaghfir li, warhamni, wajburni, wahdini, warzuqni.”

Which means, “O Allah! Forgive me, have mercy on me, set me right, guide me, and sustain me.”

Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas: The Prophet (ﷺ) used to say between the two prostrations: “O Allah, forgive me, have mercy on me, guide me, heal me, and provide for me.” – Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 3, Hadith 849. Grade: Hasan.

Narrated Al-Bara’: The bowing, the prostrations, the period of standing after bowing and the interval between the two prostrations of the Prophet (ﷺ) used to be equal in duration. – Sahih Al Bukhari, Vol. 1, Book 12, Hadith 766, 783.

Second Prostration

He (PBUH) then says takbir “Allahu Akbar” and prostrates, doing in the second prostration the same as he did in the first.

Raising from Second Prostration

After that, he (PBUH) raises his head saying takbir “Allahu Akbar”, and sits down straight, then stands upright leaning on his knees and thighs.

Abu Qilabah said: Abu Sulaiman Malik b. al-Huwairth came to our mosque, and said: “By Allah, I Shall offer prayer, though I do not intend to pray; I only intend to show you how I saw the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) praying.” The narrator said: “He then prayed and he sat at the end of the first rak’ah when he raised his head after the last prostration.” – Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 2, Hadith 842. Grade: Sahih.

Abu Qilabah said: “Malik b. al-Huwairith saw that the prophet (may peace by upon him) would not stand at the end of the first or the third rak’ah until he sat down straight.” – Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 2, Hadith 843. Grade: Sahih.

Second Rak’ah

When he (PBUH) stands upright, he starts recitation, performing the second rak’ah in the same way he did in the first.

First Tashahhud (the testimony of faith)

At the end of the second rak’ah, the Prophet (PBUH) sits for the First Tashahhud, placing his left foot on its side and sitting on it just as he does while sitting between the two prostrations. Then he (PBUH) places his right hand on his right thigh and his left hand on his left thigh. He (PBUH) also places the thumb of his right hand on his middle finger making them like a ring, leaving the index finger extended forward as if pointing, and keeps looking at it, reciting the First Tashahhud, saying:

In Arabic, “At-tahiyyatu lillahi, wa-s-salawatu wa-t-tayyibatu. As-salamu ‘alayka ayyuha n-nabiyyu wa-rahmatu llahi wa-barakatuh. As-salamu ‘alayna wa-‘ala ‘ibadi llahis-saliḥin. Ashadu alla ilaha illa llahu wa-ashadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa-rasuluh.”

Which means, “(All) compliments, prayers and good things are due to Allah; peace be upon you, O Prophet, and the Mercy of Allah and His blessings (be upon you). Peace be upon us and upon the pious servants of Allah. I testify that there is no deity (worthy of worship) but Allah, Alone, with no partner, and 1 testify that Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger”

Narrated Shaqiq bin Salama: `Abdullah said, “Whenever we prayed behind the Prophet (ﷺ) we used to recite (in sitting) ‘Peace be on Gabriel, Michael, peace be on so and so. Once Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) looked back at us and said, ‘Allah Himself is As-Salam (Peace), and if anyone of you prays then he should say, at-Tahiyatu li l-lahi wa ssalawatu wa t-taiyibat. As-salamu `alalika aiyuha n-Nabiyu wa rahmatu l-lahi wa barakatuh. Assalamu `alaina wa `ala `ibadi l-lahi s-salihin. (All the compliments, prayers and good things are due to Allah; peace be on you, O Prophet, and Allah’s mercy and blessings [be on you]. Peace be on us an on the pious subjects of Allah). (If you say that, it will reach all the subjects in the heaven and the earth). Ash-hadu al-la ilaha illa l-lah, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan `Abduhu wa Rasuluh. (I testify that there is no Deity [worthy of worship] but Allah, and I testify that Muhammad is His slave and His Apostle).” – Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol. 1, Book 12, Hadith 794.

It was narrated that Wa’il bin Hujr said: “I saw the Prophet (ﷺ) making a circle with his thumb and middle finger, and raising the one next to it (the index finger), supplicating with it during the Tashahhud.” – Sunan Ibn Majah, Vol. 1, Book 5, Hadith 912. Grade: Sahih.

Yahya related to me from Malik from Muslim ibn Abi Maryam that AIi ibn Abd ar-Rahman al-Muawi said, “Abdullah ibn Umar saw me playing with some small pebbles in the prayer. When I finished he forbade me, saying, ‘Do as the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, did.’ I said, ‘What did the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, do?’ He said, ‘When he sat in the prayer, he placed his right hand on his right thigh and he closed his fist and pointed his index finger, and he placed his left hand on his left thigh. That is what he used to do.’ ” – Muwatta Malik, Book 3, Hadith 51.

It was narrated from ‘Amir bin Abdullah bin Az-Zubair, from his father, that: When the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) sat to say the tashahhud, he placed his left hand on his left thigh and pointed with his forefinger, and his gaze did not go beyond the finger with which he was pointing. – Sunan An Nasa’I, Vol. 2, Book 13, Hadith 1276. Grade: Sahih.

Third & Fourth Rak’ah

After this, he stands upright saying takbir “Allahu Akbar” while raising his hands up to the shoulders, performing both the third and the fourth rak’ahs just like the first two, but making them shorter.

Narrated Abu Qilabah: Once Malik bin Huwairith said to his friends, “Shall I show you how Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) used to offer his prayers?” And it was not the time for any of the compulsory congregational prayers. So he stood up (for the prayer) bowed and said the Takbir, then he raised his head and remained standing for a while and then prostrated and raised his head for a while (sat up for a while). He prayed like our Sheikh `Amr Ibn Salama. (Aiyub said, “The latter used to do a thing which I did not see the people doing i.e. he used to sit between the third and the fourth rak`ah).” – Sahih Al Bukhari, Vol. 1, Book 12, Hadith 782.

Final Tashahhud (the testimony of faith)

He (PBUH) sits for the Final Tashahhud, placing his left foot on its side and sitting on it, keeping the right foot as it was since prostration (i.e., resting on the bottom of its toes while the heel is up), or putting his left calf under his right one, keeping his right foot vertical, and sitting on the ground or the place of prayer instead.

Then, he (PBUH) recites the Final Tashahhud, which is the same as the First Tashahhud followed by an addition.

In Arabic, “At-tahiyyatu lillahi, wa-s-salawatu wa-t-tayyibatu. As-salamu ‘alayka ayyuha n-nabiyyu wa-rahmatu llahi wa-barakatuh. As-salamu ‘alayna wa-‘ala ‘ibadi llahis-saliḥin. Ashadu alla ilaha illa llahu wa-ashadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa-rasuluh.”

Which means, “(All) compliments, prayers and good things are due to Allah; peace be upon you, O Prophet, and the Mercy of Allah and His blessings (be upon you). Peace be upon us and upon the pious servants of Allah. I testify that there is no deity (worthy of worship) but Allah, Alone, with no partner, and 1 testify that Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger”

Here is the addition:

In Arabic, “Allaahumma salli ‘ala Muhammad wa ‘ala aali Muhammad kama salayta ‘ala Ibraaheem wa ‘ala aali Ibraaheem, innaka hameedun majeed. Allaahumma baarik ‘ala Muhammad wa ‘ala aali Muhammad kama baarakta ‘ala Ibraaheem wa ‘ala aali Ibraaheem, innaka hameedun majeed.”

Which means, “O Allah! Confer Your blessings upon Muhammad and the family of Muhammad as You conferred Your blessings upon Ibrahim (Abraham) and the family of Ibrahim. Verily, You are Praiseworthy and Honorable. And bless Muhammad and the family of Muhammad as You blessed Ibrahim and the family of Ibrahim. Verily, You are Praiseworthy and Honorable.”

It was narrated that Hakam said: “I heard Ibn Abi Laila say: ‘Ka’b bin ‘Ujrah met me and said: “Shall I not give you a gift? The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) came out to us and we said: ‘We know what it means to send greetings on you, but what does it mean to send peace and blessings upon you?’ He said: ‘Say: Allahumma salli ‘ala Muhammadin wa ‘ala ali Muhammadin, kama sallayta ‘ala Ibrahima, innaka Hamidun Majid; Allahumma barik ‘ala Muhammadin wa ‘ala ali Muhammadin, kama barakta ‘ala Ibrahima, innaka Hamidun Majid (O Allah, send your grace, honour and mercy upon Muhammad and upon the family of Muhammad, as You sent Your grace, honour and mercy upon Ibrahim, You are indeed Praiseworthy, Most Glorious. O Allah, send Your blessings upon Muhammad and the family of Muhammad, as You sent Your blessings upon Ibrahim, You are indeed Praiseworthy, Most Glorious).’” – Sunan Ibn Majah, Vol. 1, Book 5, Hadith 904.

Ibn Abi Laila reported: Ka’b b. ‘Ujra met me and said: Should I not offer you a present (and added): The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) came to us and we said: We have learnt how to invoke peace upon you; (kindly tell us) how we should bless you. He (the Holy Prophet) said: Say: “O Allah! Confer Your blessings upon Muhammad and the family of Muhammad as You conferred Your blessings upon Ibrahim (Abraham) and the family of Ibrahim. Verily, You are Praiseworthy and Honorable. And bless Muhammad and the family of Muhammad as You blessed Ibrahim and the family of Ibrahim. Verily, You are Praiseworthy and Honorable.” – Sahih Muslim, Book 4, Hadith 804.

After Final Tashahud

Following the Final Tashahhud, still in the sitting position, he (PBUH) seeks refuge with Allah from the torture of the Fire, from the torture in the grave, from the trial of life and death, and from the evil of the trial of Antichrist.

Abu Hurairah reported the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) as saying: “When one of you finishes the last tashahhud, he should seek refuge in Allah from four things: the punishment in Hell, the punishment in the grave, the trail of life and death, and the evil of Antichrist.” – Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 2, Hadith 978. Grade: Sahih.

In Arabic, “Allaahumma inni ‘aoodhu bika min ‘adhaab Jahannam wa min ‘adhaab al-qabri wa min fitnat il-mahyaa wa’l-mamaat wa min sharri fitnat il-maseekh id-dajjaal.”

Which means, “O Allah! I seek refuge with You from the torment of the Hell, from the torment of the grave, from the trial of life and death and from the evil of the trial of Masih al-Dajjal (Antichrist).”

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: “When any one of you utters tashahhud (in prayer) he must seek refuge with Allah from four (trials) and should thus say:” O Allah! I seek refuge with Thee from the torment of the Hell, from the torment of the grave, from the trial of life and death and from the evil of the trial of Masih al-Dajjal” (Antichrist).” – Sahih Muslim, Book 4, Hadith 1217.

Narrated `Aisha: (the wife of the Prophet) Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) used to invoke Allah in the prayer saying “Allahumma inni a`udhu bika min `adhabi l-qabr, wa a`udhu bika min fitnati l-masihi d-dajjal, wa a`udhu bika min fitnati l-mahya wa fitnati l-mamat. Allahumma inni a`udhu bika mina l-ma’thami wa l-maghram. (O Allah, I seek refuge with You from the punishment of the grave, from the afflictions of the imposter- Messiah, and from the afflictions of life and death. O Allah, I seek refuge with You from sins and from debt).” Somebody said to him, “Why do you so frequently seek refuge with Allah from being in debt?” The Prophet (ﷺ) replied, “A person in debt tells lies whenever he speaks, and breaks promises whenever he makes (them).” `Aisha also narrated: I heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) in his prayer seeking refuge with Allah from the afflictions of Ad-Dajjal.” – Sahih Al Bukhari, Vol. 1, Book 12, Hadith 795.

A Muslim may then invoke Allah with invocations mentioned in the Qur’an and Sunnah.

In Arabic, “Allahumma inni zalumtu nafsi zulman kathiran, Wala yaghfirudh-dhunuba illa anta, faghfir li maghfiratan min ‘indika, war-hamni, innaka antal-ghafurur-rahim.”

Which means, “O Allah! I have done great injustice to myself and none except You forgives sins, so bestow on me a forgiveness from You, and Have Mercy on me, You are the Forgiver, the Merciful.”

Narrated `Abdullah: When we prayed with the Prophet (ﷺ) we used to say, “Peace be on Allah from His slaves and peace be on so and so.” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Don’t say As-Salam be on Allah, for He Himself is As-Salam, but say, at-tahiyatu li l-lahi wa s-salawatu wa t-taiyibat. As-salamu `alaika aiyuha n-Nabiyu wa rahmatu l-lahi wa barakatuh. As-salamu `alaina wa `ala `ibadi l-lahi s-salihin. (If you say this then it will reach all the slaves in heaven or between heaven and earth). Ash-hadu al la-ilaha illa l-lah, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan `Abduhu wa Rasuluh.’ Then select the invocation you like best and recite it.” – Sahih Al Bukhari, Vol. 1, Book 12, Hadith 797.

Narrated Abu Bakr As-Siddiq: I asked Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) to teach me an invocation so that I may invoke Allah with it in my prayer. He told me to say, “Allahumma inni zalumtu nafsi zulman kathiran, Wala yaghfiru dh-dhunuba illa anta, fa ghfir li maghfiratan min `indika, wa r-hamni, innaka anta l-ghafuru r-rahim (O Allah! I have done great injustice to myself and none except You forgives sins, so bestow on me a forgiveness from You, and Have Mercy on me, You are the Forgiver, the Merciful).” – Sahih Al Bukhari, Vol. 1, Book 12, Hadith 796.

Taslim

Finally, he (PBUH) closes prayer with taslim, turning his head to the right saying, ” As-salamu ‘alaikum wa raḥmatullah” (i.e. “Peace and Mercy of Allah be upon you”), then turning to the left saying the same. He (PBUH) used to start uttering taslim while facing the qiblah and finish it when he completed turning his head to the right or the left.

Narrated `Itban bin Malik: We prayed with the Prophet (ﷺ) and used to finish our prayer with the Taslim along with him. – Sahih Al Bukhari, Vol. 1, Book 12, Hadith 800.

Invocation after Finishing the Prayer:

When the Prophet finishes taslim, he says,

In Arabic, “Astaghfirullah” three times, and once “Allahumma anta al-salam wa minka al-salam tabarakta ya dhal-jalali wa’l-ikram.”

Which means, “O Allah! I seek Your forgiveness. O Allah! You are the Perfection and You are the One Who grants perfection; Blessed are You, O Owner of Majesty and Honor.”

Thauban reported: When the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) finished his prayer. He begged forgiveness three times and said: “O Allah! Thou art Peace, and peace comes from Thee; Blessed art Thou, O Possessor of Glory and Honour.” Walid reported: I said to Auza’i: How is the seeking of forgiveness? He replied: You should say: “I beg forgiveness from Allah, I beg forgiveness from Allah.” – Sahih Muslim, Book 4, Hadith 1226.

Then, he (PBUH) used to remember Allah with the invocations reported to have been observed by him.

In Arabic, “La ilaha ill-Allah wahdahu la shareeka lah, lahu’l-mulk wa lahu’l-hamd wa huwa ‘ala kulli shay’in qadeer. La hawla wa la quwwata illa Billah wa la na’budu illa iyyah. Lahu’l-ni’mah wa lahu’l-fadl wa lahu’l-thana al-hasan. La ilaha ill-Allah mukhliseena lahu’l-deena wa law kariha’l-kafiroon. Allahumma la mani’a lima a’tayta wa la mu’tiya lima mana’ta wa la yanfa’u dha’l-jaddi minka al-jadd.”

Which means, “There is no god but Allah Alone, with no partner or associate His is the sovereignty and to Him be praise, and He is Able to do all things. There is no power and no strength except with Allah, and we worship none but Him.  From Him (alone) come all blessings and favours, and all good praise is due to Him. There is no god but Allah and we make our worship purely for Him (alone) however much the disbelievers may hate that. O Allah, none can withhold what You give and none can give what You withhold, and no wealth or majesty can benefit anyone for from You is all wealth and majesty.”

Then after that he (pbuh) used to say,

In Arabic, “SubhanAllah”, “Alhamdulillah”, “Allahu Akbar” each thirty-three times, and once “La ilaha ill-Allah wahdahu la shareeka lah, lahu’l-mulku wa lahu’l-hamd, wa huwa ‘ala kulli shayin qadeer.”

Which means, “Glory be to Allah, praise be to Allah and Allah is most great. There is no god but Allah Alone, with no partner or associate His is the sovereignty and to Him be praise, and He is Able to do all things.”

Narrated Abu Huraira: Some poor people came to the Prophet (ﷺ) and said, “The wealthy people will get higher grades and will have permanent enjoyment and they pray like us and fast as we do. They have more money by which they perform the Hajj, and `Umra; fight and struggle in Allah’s Cause and give in charity.” The Prophet said, “Shall I not tell you a thing upon which if you acted you would catch up with those who have surpassed you? Nobody would overtake you and you would be better than the people amongst whom you live except those who would do the same. Say “Subhana l-lah”, “Al hamdu li l-lah” and “Allahu Akbar” thirty-three times each after every (compulsory) prayer.” We differed and some of us said that we should say, “Subhan-al-lah” thirty-three times and “Al hamdu li l-lah” thirty-three times and “Allahu Akbar” thirty-four times. I went to the Prophet (ﷺ) who said, “Say, “Subhan-al-lah” and “Al hamdu li l-lah” and “Allahu Akbar” all thirty-three times.” – Sahih Al Bukhari, Vol. 1, Book 12, Hadith 804.

Yahya related to me from Malik from Abu Ubayd, the mawla of Sulayman ibn Abd al-Malik, from Ata ibn Yazid al-Laythi that Abu Hurayra said, “Whoever says ‘Glory be to Allah’ (Subhana’llah) thirty-three times and ‘Allah is Greater’ (Allahu akbar) thirty-three times and ‘Praise be to Allah’ (al-hamdu lillah) thirty-three times, and seals the hundred with ‘There is no god but Allah, alone without any partner. The Kingdom and praise belong to Him and He has power over everything’ (La ilaha illa’llah, wahdahu la sharika lah, lahu’l mulku wa lahu’l hamd, wa huwa ala kulli shay’in qadir) after every prayer will have his wrong actions forgiven him even if they are abundant as the foam on the sea.” – Muwatta Malik, Book 15, Hadith 22.

This is a brief description of the way the Prophet (PBUH) used to perform prayer according to the authentic hadiths mentioned in this regard. Therefore, you should take an interest in your prayer, trying your best to perform it perfectly, following in the Prophet’s footsteps as much as possible; Allah, Exalted be He, says:

“There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the last day and [who} remembers Allah often.” – Qur’an 33:21

May Allah grant us all success and acceptance of our good deeds.

To understand the importance of Prayer, read – “Obligation of the Five Prayers”.