All Muslims are required to pray five times a day. Businesses close for prayers and people stop whatever they are doing to ready themselves for prayer. We were stopped at a red light when I looked over and noticed this lone man praying by himself in a parking outside a business center. Many times I will see a group of men praying together out in the open outside businesses. Frequently there are prayer rugs available or large carpets that are rolled out for groups to pray on. This man may have been a little late to pray with the group that usually prays together here, so he is performing the prayer alone.
Prior to praying, Muslims must perform the ritual of cleansing whereby parts of the body are washed with water in a very specific manner. Prayers are also recited and performed in a very specific manner as well. There are several positions used during prayers from standing, to bowing, to sitting, to prostrating. The movements are similar to yoga exercises. Muslims must face Makkah when performing the prayers.
The hands and the forehead are touched to the ground during prayer and this is one of the reasons why most people prefer to use prayer rugs. Another reason for prayer rugs is to ensure that prayer is performed on a clean surface. Obviously prayer rugs make praying when sitting down on one’s knees more comfortable as well. Muslims are totally focused when they pray and are not distracted by noises, movements, or other people. Total time involved for each of the prayers is approximately ten minutes.