Shalat is an Arabic word, which is better understood as ‘ritual prayers’. Muslims pray five times a day. The formal prayers are in a rigid form at fixed times during the day. Muslims can pray anywhere as long as the place is clean. The formal prayers can be carried out at home or in mosques or schools and can be prayed either alone or in a group with an Imam. Muslims are first required to perform wudhu or ritual ablution. Then they pray facing the city of Mecca, or as close to the exact direction as possible.Prayer compasses are available that allow Muslims to find the approximate direction of Mecca from different parts of the world, by aligning the north-finding compass needle with a numbered point on the circumference of the compass corresponding to the nearest major city, and then praying in the direction of a fixed arrow on the compass face. The five formal prayer times are at dawn, mid-day, mid-afternoon, sunset and nightfall. Although some Muslims try to pray at the precise time of the call to prayer, this is not always possible. It is permitted to perform any of the prayers between the call to prayer for that particular prayer and the call to prayer for the following prayer (except the dawn prayer which should be performed before sunrise). Where a person’s professional or other important responsibilities or commitments do not allow him or her to pray at the appointed time (in extreme cases) it is permitted to perform missed prayers together with later prayers. Muslims can also offer supplications (du’a) to God; this can be done anywhere and anytime. The formal prayers include standing, bowing, prostration and sitting, while reciting sections from the Qur’an and praising and glorifying God. Although many people may imagine that five formal prayers are a burden, as part of a daily routine they do not take a great deal of time. Most practising Muslims see Salat as a way to get closer to God and to keep God in mind in their daily lives.