Recommended acts of prayer:
They are the postures and statements other than what previously mentioned. The negligence of any of them neither affects the validity of the prayer nor makes it incomplete.
They are divided into two types:
1-Recommended verbal acts: They are many. Amongst them are the opening invocation of prayer, seeking refuge with Allaah from Satan, saying Basmalah(1), saying it sometimes loudly, Ta’meen(2), and reciting some of the Quran following reciting Al-Faatihah (Opening Chapter of the Quran) in Fajr Prayer, Maghrib Prayer, ‘Ishaa’ Prayer, Thuhr Prayer, and ‘Asr Prayer as it will be explained later on in the description of the Prayer.
2-Recommended physical acts:Such as Raising one’s hands (so that the thumbs be near the ears) when saying the opening Takbeer, the same is to be observed before bowing, and also when standing upright after bowing and when standing from the first Tashahud. It is also a recommended act to put one’s right hand on the left one, putting the latter either on the chest when rising form bowing. Moreover, it is a recommended act to keep looking at the position of prostrating during prayer. Also, one is to put one’s hands on one’s knees while bowing, straightening one’s back (as if forming a right angle), and making one’s head in alignment with one’s back without lowering or raising the head.
During prostration, it is a recommended act to keep one’s abdomen apart from one’s thighs, and one’s thighs apart from one’s legs, keeping the elbows away from the sides, making one’s forehead, nose and the rest of the aforesaid seven parts of prostration well settled on the ground (of the place of the prayer) and so on.
(1) Basmalah: Saying, “Bismillaahi’r-Rahmaani’r-Raheem” (In the Name of Allaah, then Most Gracious, the Most Merciful). (Translator)
(2)Ta‘meen: Saying, Ameen i.e. “Amen” after the recitation of Al-Faatihah in prayer. (Translator).