We are often asked why it is important to offer the Salah on time, why we cannot delay it or make it up later.
“Between a man and shirk [associating others with Allah] and kufr there stands his giving up prayer.”
Narrated by Imam Muslim in his Saheeh, 82.
The importance of offering your Salah on time is reiterated over and over in the Qur’an. The biggest incident which reflects its significance is the incident of Mi’raj. While all the commandments to be followed by Muslims were sent to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) through the angel Gabriel, the command of Salah was so important and sacred that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was called to the highest levels of heavens to receive it. The prayers were initially 500 in number but were reduced at the Prophet’s request and the permission of Allah to 5.
Despite understanding the significance of Salah in our day to day lives, many of us fail to offer it on time. Most of us conveniently skip our prayers due to lethargy (which in actual are whisperings from Satan) or our busy schedules, thinking we will “pray later”.
But how do we know that we will live to see the “later”? So many people have slept at night and not woken up from that sleep ever. Who has guaranteed life in its very next second?
Al-Hasan Al-Basri (may Allāh be pleased with him) said:
“When salah is the least of your concerns, then what is your most important concern? As much as you fix your salah, your life will be fixed. Did you not know that salah was equated with Success: ‘Come to Prayer, Come to Success.’ How can you ask Allah (glorified and exalted be He) for success when you are not responding to His right upon you?”
Why pray your salah on time?
- Your children will learn from you
Actions speak louder than words. You may be lecturing your child about the pillars of Islam and asking him/her to pray, thinking that you are fulfilling the duty of being a parent. But let’s get this clear – your children will follow what they SEE you doing, rather than what you ask them to do. If they see you lazing around at Salah time, they will inevitably do that. If they see you making Salah your first priority, they will make it theirs.
- You might keep procrastinating till the time of death
Procrastination is a bad bad habit. You could be making plans to pray later but that later never comes. Many have died while they were still procrastinating over their prayers. Don’t be one among them.
- Salah is success
If you ponder over the call to prayer, Adhan, you will observe a beautiful message lying underneath. Salah equates with success. If you perfect your Salah, Allah will improve your life. You will witness that success while you are still alive. And you will also witness it in the hereafter.
- You realign yourself with the true purpose of life
Sometimes we are so caught up in our daily schedules that we forget the true purpose of our life – to worship Allah. However, Salah helps us remember that focus – 5 times a day.