Importance of Salah according to the Quran and Hadith

Salah is the second pillar of Islam and also the major form of worship. Salah is obligatory on every Muslim and should offer it five times a day with no excuse for its specific time. Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said in one of His hadith about the compensating nature of prayer in these words: “The five daily prayers and the Friday Prayer until the Friday prayer is an expiation for what is between them” (Sahih Muslim). The purpose of Salah is to put ourselves in touch with Allah Almighty; to strengthen our relationship with Him; to be grateful for all His blessings, and to remind ourselves of His Greatness. Just like a person’s body requires physical needs such as food and water, the soul has spiritual needs.  The needs of the soul are provided by acts of worship, the most important of which is Salah. Allah Almighty says in the Noble Quran: “O you who believe! Respond to (the call of) Allah and His Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life.” (Quran, 8:24)

Salah is the source of direct communication with Allah Almighty. The Messenger of Allah Holy Prophet (PBUH) said: “When any one of you stands to pray, he is communicating with his Lord, so let him pay attention to how he speaks to Him.” When Muslims pray no matter alone or in the congregation, they are standing in front of Allah Almighty without any discrimination.  When Muslims offer Salah in the congregation they all stand together and at that time all are equal no matter how rich or poor is the one.

The prayer should perform properly with true remembrance of Almighty Allah and turning to Him for forgiveness.  After a person finishes the prayer, his heart will be filled with the remembrance of Lord. When someone offers Salah regularly he/she strain away from sins. Allah Almighty stated in the Holy Quran: “Verily, the prayer keeps one from the great sins and evil deeds” (Quran 29:45). Muslims start their day by standing before their Lord Allah Almighty in prayer. The Salah consists of recitations from the Quran in Arabic and a sequence of movements like standing, bowing, prostrating, and sitting. All recitations and movements express submission, humility, and loyalty to Allah Almighty.

Allah Almighty says in the Holy Quran: “Recite what is sent of the Book by inspiration to thee, and establish Regular Prayer: for Prayer restrains from shameful and unjust deeds; and remembrance of Allah is the greatest (thing in life) without the doubt. And Allah knows the (deeds) that ye do.” (Quran, 29:45)

Muslims should steadfast in their prayers as Allah Almighty says in the Holy Quran: “And be steadfast in prayer; practice regular charity; and bow down your heads with those who bow down (in worship)” (Quran, 2:43). In another verse of the Holy Quran Allah Almighty stated about praying during the night: “They are not all the same; among the followers of the scripture, there are those who are righteous. They recite God’s revelations through the night while prostrating.” (Quran, 3:113)

Salah is the key to paradise for Muslims as stated in the hadith of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH): “The key to Paradise is prayer; the key to prayer is wudu (ablution)” (Musnad Ahmad). In another hadith, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “Between faith and unbelief is abandoning the prayer.” (Muslim)

In a nutshell, Muslims should offer salah on time in order to earn Allah Almighty’s countless blessings. Salah is the one ritual in Islam that is performed on a daily basis. Salah is central to a Muslim’s life. May Almighty Allah guide us all to offer salah five times a day! Ameen