Salah or namaz is one of the Five Pillars of Islam and an obligatory religious duty for every Muslim (Male & Female, with certain exemptions based on Taqwa.
Salat [prayer] is a great act of worship, which brings those who observe it closer to their Creator.
It is a unique spiritual experience where every muscle of the body joins the soul and the mind in the worship and glorification of Allah. It inculcates sincerity and total devotion in the hearts of those who perform it. It makes them stand before Allah in humility, exalting Him and invoking Him. They begin it by saying “Allahu Akbar”, acknowledging that Allah is the Greatest, Who Alone deserves to be exalted and worshipped. They then engage in praising Him in a manner suiting His Majesty. They devote themselves completely to Him and totally submit to His Will, seeking His help to keep them on the straight path that of the devout and the pious and to guard them against the path of those who have gone astray and have thus earned His wrath. When they reach the climax of worship during Salat, and their hearts are deeply imbued with awe and reverence, they prostrate before Him, placing the most honored part of the body on the floor, showing great submission and humility.
The excellence of Salat [prayer] is matchless and its virtues are boundless. Those who observe it in the prescribed manner acknowledge the Greatness of Allah and their hearts experience a singular feeling of awe and fear of Him that helps them in shunning all sinful acts by providing them a chance of direct communion with their Creator five times a day.
It is no wonder then that the Qur’an says:
“Observe Salat [prayer]. Surely, Salat restrains [one] from indecency and manifest evil; and remembrance of Allah indeed is the greatest virtue.” (29:45)
It is also an abundant source of courage and patience and
“And seek help in patience and Salat.” (2:45)
It teaches them to observe punctuality as it is prescribed at stated times:
“Verily, Salat is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours.” (4: 103)
When they observe it regularly, they develop a strong desire to do righteous deeds, anticipating Allah’s reward in the Hereafter. When they perform it in congregation, they establish strong social relationships with others and they strengthen these brotherly ties with such qualities as love, tenderness, respect and cooperation.
Importance of Salah in the Quran
There are many verses in the Holy Quran that describe the importance of Salah some of them below:
“And establish prayer and give Zakah and bow with those who bow [in worship and obedience].” — Qur’an 2:43
“And offer communication and pay Zakah and obey Messenger so that you may receive mercy.”(Al-Quran 24:56)
“Guard your communication and middle communication, and stand before God devoutly obedient. Then if you fear on foot or riding; then when you become secure remember God as he has taught you that which you did not know previously.” (Al-Quran 2:238-239)
“O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.” (2:153)
“Indeed, those who believe and do righteous deeds and establish prayer and give zakah will have their reward with their Lord, and there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve.” (2:277)
“And offer communication at the two ends of the day and at the approach of night; indeed good deeds remove bad deeds; this is a reminder for those who remember.” (Al-Quran 11:114)
“Offer communication at the decline of the day until the darkness of night; and Quran at dawn; indeed Quran at dawn ever is a witness. And at night pray Tahajjud an extra for thee; it is expected that your lord raises you to praised station.” (Al-Quran 17:78-79)
Importance of Salah in Hadith
Importance of Salah can also be emphasized by different hadiths of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) some of them are discussed below:
The Prophet (SAW) said:
“The key to Paradise is prayer; the key to prayer is wudu (ablution).” (Musnad Ahmad)
Abu Huraira reported that the messenger of Allah said:
”The nearest a servant comes to his Lord is when he is prostrating himself, so make supplication (in this state).” (Sahih Bukhari)
In another hadith, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said,
“Between faith and unbelief is abandoning the prayer.” (Muslim)
These were some Quranic verses and Hadiths about the importance of the Salah, the second pillar of Islam. That’s why Salah is central to a Muslim’s life.