Prayers, or salat as it is called in Arabic, is the first pillar of Islam that the Prophet (peace be upon him) mentioned after mentioning the testimony of faith, by which one becomes a Muslim. It was made obligatory upon all the prophets and for all peoples. Allah has declared its obligatory status in many places in the Quran. For example, when Allah spoke directly to Moses, He said,
“And I have chosen you, so listen to that which is inspired to you. Verily, I am Allah! There is none worthy of worship but I, so worship Me and offer prayer perfectly for My remembrance.” [Surah Taha 13-14]
Allah also says in the Quran,
“Recite (O Muhammad SAW) what has been revealed to you of the Book (the Quran), and perform As-Salat (the prayer). Verily, As-Salat (the prayer) prevents from Al-Fahesha (i.e. great sins of every kind, unlawful sexual intercourse, etc.) and Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief, polytheism, and every kind of evil wicked deed, etc.) and the remembering (praising, etc.) of (you by) Allah (in front of the angels) is greater indeed (than your remembering (praising, etc.) Allah in prayers, etc.). And Allah knows what you do.” (Surah al-Ankaboot 45).
Here are additional facts about prayers (salat) that show its significance in Islam: (Click here to get popular 100+ Du’as from Quran and Hadith)
- The prayers were made fard (obligatory) upon the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) during his ascension to heaven.
- When Allah praises the believers, such as in the beginning of surah al-Muminoon, one of the first descriptions He states is their adherence to the prayers.
- Once a man asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) about the most virtuous deed. The Prophet (peace be upon him) stated that the most virtuous deed is the prayer and he repeated this three times. [This is form a hadith recorded by Ahmad and ibn Hibban. According to al-Albani, the hadith is hasan. Muhammad Nasir al-Din al-Albani, Sahih al-Targheeb wa al-Tarheeb (Beirut: al-Maktab al-Islami, 1982), vol. 1, p. 150]
- The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The first matter that the slave will be brought to account for on the Day of Judgment is the prayer. If it is sound, then the rest of his deeds will be sound. And if it is bad, then the rest of his deeds will be bad.” [Recorded by al-Tabarani. According to al-Albani, it is sahih. Al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami, vol.1, p. 503.]
- Prayers help in establishing one’s relationship with Allah. Therefore, if the prayers are sound and proper, the rest of the deeds will be sound and proper; and if the prayers are not sound and proper, then the rest of the deeds will not be sound and proper, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) himself stated.
- Nadwi has described this effect in the following eloquent way. “Its aim is to generate within the subliminal self of man such spiritual power, light of faith and awareness of God (Allah) as can enable him to strive successfully against all kinds of evils and temptations and remain steadfast at times of trial and adversity and protect himself against the weakness of the flesh and the mischief of immoderate appetites. [Nadwi, p. 24]”
- As for the Hereafter, Allah’s forgiveness and pleasure is closely related to the prayers. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Allah has obligated five prayers. Whoever excellently performs their ablutions, prays them in their proper times, completes their bows, prostrations and khushu (complete sincerity) has a promise from Allah that He will forgive him. And whoever does not do that has no promise from Allah. He may either forgive him or punish him.” [Recorded by Malik, Ahmad, Abu Dawud, al-Nasa’I and others. According to al-Albani, it is sahih. Al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami, vol. 1, p. 616.]
- The Prophet (peace be upon him): “If a person had a stream outside his door and he bathed in it five times a day, do you think he would have any filth left on him?” The people said, “No filth would remain on him whatsoever.” The Prophet (peace be upon him) then said, “That is like the five daily prayers: Allah wipes away the sins by them.” (Recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim.)
- In another hadith, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The five daily prayers and the Friday Prayer until the Friday prayer are expiation for what is between them.” (Recorded by Muslim.)
To be a complete Muslim one needs to show complete faith in Allah and practice all the teachings of Islam in daily life.
- Every Muslim will harvest the fruit of the adherence, submission and the hard work in the world in the form of peace and in the later life the gift of heaven will be waiting for him.
- There will be a day of judgment when all the people will have to be accountable for their deeds in the world. As a Muslim, belief in the judgment day is a compulsion.
- What should matter to a Muslim is the Goodwill of Allah (God) and how much near he or she is to Him.
- A Muslim should be judged by the character he possesses and not by the amount of wealth or luxuries he carries because nothing will last forever but the faith will remain intact.
- As the body of a Muslim needs food and nutrition to keep the life going on; the soul of a Muslim also needs nourishment. This nourishment comes from the power of the religion Islam and the practices of Islam that a Muslim follows like offering prayer, paying zakat and doing other noble deeds.
- The Satan will constantly seduce a Muslim to the wrong path but Muslims should have strong faith to overcome the false wiles of Satan.
- God will always be with you but to get mercy of Allah you need to make the effort and please God through performing all the fundamental practices of Islam.
- Praying five times in a day is a necessary practice that all Muslims should follow. It is the basis of all noble deeds as it connects a Muslim to his God who is Benevolent and Merciful. Praying five times a day will keep a Muslim away from many other sins and he will not fall prey to evil deeds.
- Islam is a religion of peace and it cannot be forced as a religion on somebody. Muslim should present themselves as ideal human beings toward others.
Other Islamic Sources
- Read the Power of Dua
- Healing and Shifa using the Quran and Dua from Hadith
- Stories from the Quran
- Noble Lessons – Wisdom of the Islam and Quran