Source picture from View Iran.
For compulsory salat, we must meet these conditions which are:
Those who believes in the six articles of the pillars of faith are bound to five articles of the pillars of the law of life.
Possess sound mind and aware of what he or she is up to. A drunk person can not perform salat because his or her mind is not sound. He or she does not know what is she talking about when communicating with the God in salat.
Meet the Age Requirement
A person who reached 10 years old are bound to this article of the law of life (salat). Seven years old age is a good time to teach children to perform salat.
Confidence on the Time
We must have confidence that we meet the prayer time for five times daily prayers. We may check the shadows under the sun for Dzuhr and 'Asr prayer services. Nowadays we have announcements in TV and radio for those who live in majority Muslim countries like in Malaysia while for those who live in the country administrated by non-Muslims like in Thailand or any other place, they could get the information or taqwim (calender) from their associations, centers and councils. No confidence although the time is correct, our salat will be invalid.
Turning our face and chest facing the direction of Ka'aba in the city of Mecca. Those who are unable to perform this because of troubles are given leniency to face any direction since East and West belongs to Him.
It is compulsory for a men to cover from his belly-button down to his knees. For women, covering according to what is prescribed in the scripture for example wearing reasonably loose-fitting garment. It is a common sense. We are summoning the God and not flirting around looking for a date, taking part in miss universe, or playing snooker while performing salat. I had talked about this with my Muslim European teacher in her room too, it is regarding fashion. I am a moderate person, I don't judge people based on their looks or attire but when we perform salat or prayer it is not a sin to follow the prescription of scripture. When we perform salat, we are communicating and summoning the God. So, we must make sure that we are in proper attire. When we meet royalties, or VIPs, or in formal occasions or to Halloween parties for example, we perhaps wear proper attire according to their dress code or theme. But when we summon Him who has the Dominion over the Universe, should we just wear skimpy, stinky, and filthy clothes without any dress code? Summoning Him is not like when we go for the Cannes Film Festival. He is more than that.
Pure from feces and physically clean. It means clean clothes, clean body, and the place to prostrate is clean from ritual impurity mentioned in scripture. There are jurists who summarized these into their kitab (books) for practices as to make it easy for laymen who have no time to revise, studying the branches of religious science or analyze the scripture. For Hanbali jurisprudence, the impurity at the cloth is still tolerated but I don't recommend it to others if we are able to make sure that everything is clean. A woman who are in menstrual state are given the leniency not to perform salat or entering prayer hall. It is called as holiday for women here. Personally I don't like to be close to women in menstrual state, hormones imbalance and they are quite moody. I can sense that from far without having to ask them, lol.
There are three kind of ritual washing. The first one is ma'amad or ghusl. Ghusl means shower or ma'amad means we dip ourselves into the river if there is a river or pond. Ghusl is a major cleansing. Then we have tayammum, for those who can't find water such as when the area is in drought or in desert. The most common one is wudhu' or ablution which is minor cleansing. We always see people perform this at mosque too before performing salat or contact prayer with the God. After we perform this, it is the state of pure from hadath.
What is this? It means barrier from people passing by in front of us while we perform salat. It is best to have a barrier when we perform salat alone. It could be a wall or simply blocking the way of passers with hands. It is forbidden to walk in front of a person who perform salat, or walking between the barrier and the person who perform salat. A person may pass in front of person who perform salat in congregational row, usually in the mosque.
I guess this is it for our note regarding pre-conditions to perform salat. May it benefits brothers and sisters. I apologize for false words if it happens to pop out in here. We are just ordinary human-being and no perfect but we try to do as best as we can, His Will. Thank you for passing by, may everyone be blessed.
Sealed with prayers for peace, mercy, and love, amin!