Salaat (Prayer) is one of the main obligations which Allah (subhanahu
wa ta'ala) has ordained on His servants. It is the first act of worship
decreed on the Muslim Nation (Ummah) by Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) and
was ordained on the night of the Prophet's (peace be upon him)
ascension to the seven heavens. It is the second of the five pillars of
Islam after the proclamation of the "Shahada" (the words of witness).
is enjoined on the Muslims as an obligatory act by Allah (subhanahu wa
ta'ala) as can be noted from the following verses of the Holy Qur'an:“
Establish regular prayers at the sun's decline till the darkness of the
night, and the morning prayer” (Qur'an 17:78). In another verse
Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) says:“ And establish regular prayers
at the two ends of the day and at the approaches of the night”
(Qur'an 11:1 14).
importance of the Salaat has also been explicitly expressed by Allah's
Messenger (peace be upon him), as can be noted from the following
sayings:“ What lies between a perfect man and disbelief is the
leaving of prayer” (Related by Imams Ahmed and Muslim).
Prophet (peace be upon him) also said:“ The obligation which
separates us from them (the non-believers) is the prayer and he who
renounces it becomes a disbeliever” (Related by Imams Ahmed and
above quoted Qur'anic commands by Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) and the
honored sayings of the Prophet (peace be upon him) clearly indicate the
importance of Salaat such that it is unanimously agreed by all Muslim
scholars that renouncing it is regarded an act of disbelief (Kufr).
Salaat (Prayer) performed genuinely with humility and submission to
Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) has unlimited virtues and benefits. It is
the noblest expression of faith and the surest way of thanking Allah
(subhanahu wa ta'ala) for His unlimited favors. It is the way to
obtaining Allah's mercy, generosity, kindness, blessings and a sure way
to paradise. Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) says in the Holy Qur'an:“
Prosperous indeed are the believers who are humble in their prayers”
is a deliverance on the Day of Judgement for those who used to observe
it well. The Prophet (peace be upon him) says:“ The first thing
that the servant of Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) will be called to
account for on the Day of Judgement will be the prayer; and if it was
good the person's deeds will have been good, but if it was bad, the
person's deeds will have been bad” (Reported by Imam Bukhari).
Prayer purifies the soul, refines the character and inculcates in man
the excellent virtues of truthfulness, honesty and modesty. It keeps
one who performs it from falsehood and from all forbidden actions as is
categorically confirmed by the following verse of the Holy Qur'an:“
Verily, prayer refrains from indecency and evil” (Qur'an 29:45).