Salah or prayer is such an important aspect of Deen that he who leaves it becomes of those who have left Allah’s word behind. Its importance can be understood from that fact that while all other religious commandments were sent down to the earth as revelations, the commandment to PRAY didn’t come down. Rather, it was the Prophet (peace be upon him) was called to the heavens to receive it. Do you realize how powerful that is?
The command initially was to pray 50 times a day. However, that would have been a burden to the Ummah. Hence, Allah – the Merciful, reduced it to five. What is most amazing about prayer is that it keeps us close and connected to Allah. It is an experience, rather than a ritual. Now many of us don’t get to feel the experience. The prayer does not seep into our hearts and it does not penetrate our souls. Why? Because we come to our prayers completely occupied with our worldly issues when we should be approaching it with an empty and fresh mind. Once we develop true Khushu in our prayers, we’ll have attained much more meaning and peace in our lives.
Needless to say, Salah is a means for us to show a commitment to Allah. Everytime we pray, we renew our commitment to Islam and relieve ourselves from the stress of daily life. The importance of salah was emphasized in the Quran about 500 times, so all Muslims should be aware of how central salah is to our faith.
Besides it holds a special significance because:
- It is a practical act of submission to Allah. When you pray, you make a conscious decision to stand in reverence of the Lord, praise Him, glorify Him and bow down your head before Him.
- It is the only distinction between a believer and a disbeliever. It stands as a protection for the believer and shields him/her from acts of sin and wrongdoing.
- It reminds you of Allah. Think about it, when you are lying in comfort, there’s Fajr. When you’re busy at work, there’s Zuhr and Asr. When you are tired, there are Maghrib and Esha. Each prayer is timed in such a way that it reminds you to need to detach from this world and place yourself in the hands of your Creator.
- Salah is your private time with the Creator. It is a time when you speak directly to Him. You, this tiny speck of a human being, stand before The Majestic Lord of the heavens and the earth and He hears and honors your prayer.
- It was one of the last advices the Prophet (peace be upon him) gave us.
- It is the first thing we’ll be questioned about on the Day of Judgement (imagine having a deficit at the very first stage). If the Salah is good, rest of the deeds will be good.
- It gifts us the beauty of Sujood – a position which brings us the closest to Allah. A chance to submit and surrender before HIM.