Oophorectomy is the surgical removal of the ovaries of a female animal. In the case of non-human animals, this is also called spaying. It is a form of sterilization.

The removal of the ovaries together with the Fallopian tubes is called salpingo-oophorectomy. Oophorectomy and salpingo-oophorectomy are not common forms of birth control in humans; more usual is tubal ligation, in which the Fallopian tubes are blocked but the ovaries remain intact.

In humans, oophorectomy is most usually performed together with a hysterectomy - the removal of the uterus. Its use in a hysterectomy when there are no other health problems is somewhat controversial.

In animals, spaying involves an invasive removal of the ovaries, but rarely has major complications; the superstition that it causes weight gain is not based on fact. Spaying is especially important for certain animals that require the ovum to be released at a certain interval (called estrus or "heat"), such as cats and dogs. If the cell is not released during these animal's heat, it can cause severe medical problems that can be averted by spaying or partnering the animal with a male.

Oophorectomy is sometimes referred to as castration, but that term is most often used to mean the removal of a male animal's testicles.

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This article forms part of the series
Vocabulary of Islam
Five Pillars
Profession of faith
Prayer · Alms · Fasting
Pilgrimage to Mecca
Prophets of Islam
Caliphs · Shia Imams
Companions of Muhammad
Holy Cities
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Hijra · Islamic calendar · Eid ul-Fitr
Eid ul-Adha · Aashura · Arba'in
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Islamic architecture
Functional Religious Roles
Muezzin · Imam · Mullah
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Shi'a: Ithna Asharia · Ismailiyah · Zaiddiyah
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Related Faiths
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Salah (other terms and spellings exist) (Arabic: صلاه , Old (Qur'an) Arabic: صلوة ) is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. It refers to the five daily prayers that Muslims offer to Allah (God). Being a Pillar of Islam, it is compulsory for every Muslim.

The five daily prayers are considered fard (believer's duty, akin to fasting on Ramadan).

Under some circumstances, Muslim males are obliged to perform Salah in congregation, behind an Imam. At other times it may be performed individually. Outside of the daily salaat there are special prayers offered on Fridays (Al-Jumah الجمعه), Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha.

The five prescribed daily prayers are:

  1. Fajr (dawn prayer)
  2. Dhuhr (mid-day)
  3. Asr (afternoon)
  4. Maghrib (sunset)
  5. Isha'a (night)

The precise times for each prayer vary daily as they are determined by the position of the sun in the sky.

Prayer can only be conducted after the Muslim has a valid Wuduu (a ritual ablution). In wuduu, the Muslim washes his face, teeth, nose, arms and feet three times in a particular order.

It is essential that all prayers be conducted at their precise times. This is especially so for the Asr prayer, since there is a chapter in the Qur'an Al-Kareem called Al-Asr.

However, the prayer can be said later if needed; for example, if the time for night prayer has arrived, one can still comply with, say, the afternoon and sunset prayers.

The prayer starts by stating which prayer one is currently praying, and by reciting the first sura of the Qur'an (Al-Fatiha, or The Opening), followed by a few short verses. Then, the Muslim kneels and says something, stands upright again, only to reach the prayer mat and sit on his legs. He places their hands and face on the mat, and sits up, and repeats this once more, before standing up and repeating the entire sequence. Each such action is called a raka; there are two in Fajr, four for Duhr and Asr, three for Maghrib, and again four for Isha. In each position, something is being said.

Then, the Muslim greets his right angel by saying "Peace be upon you", and then his left angel. Muslims believe there is one angel on each shoulder, the one on the left noting every sin you commit, and the one on the right noting every good deed. Prayer removes a sin.

Apart from the five daily prayers, there is also the prayers of Sunneh, which is between the other prayers' times and an early prayer (between midnight and Fajr) where two or more rakahs may be performed.

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Last updated: 02-08-2005 16:11:27