بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
والحمدلله رب العالمين والصلاة والسلام على أشرف الأنبياء والمرسلين
In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful the Most Compassionate
All praise be to Allah, and may peace and blessings be upon the most noble of the Prophets and Messengers
1- The Prophet pbuh says that: Salaat is the pillar of deen and the foundation of Islam. He who upholds salah has upheld Islam and he who leaves salah has left behind religion. (al-baihaqi)
2 – Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said “The person that observes prayer properly, the prayer itself, blesses him with good wishes.”
The importance of salah
Salah (prayer) is one of the five pillars of Islam. Such is that importance of salah that unlike any other commandment, Allah called the Prophet (pbuh) to the heavens to proscribe him with the five daily prayers. Initially, the commandment was for fifty prayers a day, but fearing that this would become a burden to the Ummah, the Prophet (pbuh) requested for it to be brought down to just five. Despite this, the rewards for keeping the prayers are as if we had prayed all fifty.
The daily prayers are a way for us to keep a close connection to our Creator. It is through salah that we can get our suplications answered and our needs fulfilled. When the companions of the Prophet (pbuh) were in need, they would turn to Allah in prayer. Salah is a way for us to show a commitment to our faith. Everytime we pray salah, we renew our commitment to Allah and relieve ourselves from the pressures of our daily lives.
Once Prophet (pbuh) once shook a dry branch of a tree so that all of the leaves of the branch fell off. Then the Prophet (pbuh) said “The sins of those who pray salah, drop off as the leaves of this branch fell off.” Salah is thus the main path towards spiritual purification. It is through salah that we can gain self-discipline and good qualities. For example, in prostration (sajda) we submit our will to Allah in all humbleness. We also purify our hearts. The prophet (pbuh) once asked his companions “Tell me if there was a river at the door step of one of you in which you washed 5 times a day would any of your dirt remain?” When he received the reply that none of it would remain he then said “That is like the 5 daily prayers, with which Allah wipes out our sins.” (agreed upon)
The last thing that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh.) emphasized at his deathbed was salah. He also said the first thing we will have to answer about on the day of judgement is salah. If our record on salah is good then insha Allah the rest of our reckoning will be made easier. 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. Indeed, the Prophet (pbuh) said that “Salah is the only distinction between a believer and a non-believer.” (Muslim) So imagine of the status of that person who misses his prayer? What distinction does that person has from the non-believers?
A companion of Prophet (pbuh) came to him one day and asked him “What is the thing that Allah loves most?” Muhammad (pbuh) replied “The thing that Allah loves most is when his people pray salah on time.” (bukhari)
Despite this, so many of us miss salah completely or do not make salah on time. There is no excuse for this. Alhamdulillah, we even have prayer rooms at our universities. Imagine how Allah, the most merciful, appreciates when his servant turns to Him in prayer, interrupting all worldly duties. Whoever does salah, Allah makes his day easier and facilitates his needs in this world and also in the hereafter.
Another habit Muslims should have is to make salah wherever they are. So even at work, or when we are out, we should not miss the salah. The ground in which we pray salah, even if in the streets, will be a witness for us in the day of judgement. The Prophet (pbuh) used to say that the salah was the light of his eyes. Once salah becomes regular in our lives we begin to understand the meaning of this saying of the Prophet (pbuh). Salah becomes such a basic part of our lives that we feel empty without praying to the extent that we find relief in salah.
Finally, some of us may have missed salah in the past and may have not recovered those prayers thinking that missed prayers do not really matter. Salah becomes obligatory to all Muslims once they reach puberty. Therefore it is important that we calculate those prayers that we have missed and make up for them. We will be accountable in the day of judgement for every prayer that we miss and there is a severe punishment for missing the salah. Unfortunately, many fail to pray particularly the night and morning prayers (Fajr and Isha). Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, “And if they only knew what was in the prayers of ‘Isha’ and Subh [fajr], they would come to them even if they had to crawl.” (Bukhari/Muslim)
May Allah strenghten our determination and steadfasteness in performing our salah and may we grow closer to our Creator through salah. Ameen.