The Islamic prayer is unlike any prayer or form of worship from the other world religions. It is beautiful in its own right because it is designed to worship our Creator, without a partner. Salah is obligatory on every Muslim five times a day. 5 times prayers in Islam are Fajr, Dhuhr, Asr, Maghrib, and Isha. There is great significance in offering salah daily because prayer creates a link between a man and the Creator of this universe. Prayers that we perform have many benefits to our body, soul, and social life. Allah says:
وَإِذَا ضَرَبْتُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ فَلَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ أَن تَقْصُرُوا مِنَ الصَّلَاةِ إِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَن يَفْتِنَكُمُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا إِنَّ الْكَافِرِينَ كَانُوا لَكُمْ عَدُوًّا مُّبِينًا
“When ye travel through the earth, there is no blame on you if ye shorten your prayers, for fear the Unbelievers May attack you: For the Unbelievers are unto you, open enemies.” (Surah An-Nisa, 101)
However, it is also favourable to the body and each aspect of it carries with it healthful benefits that nourish the human spirit. For Muslims, praying is not a regulation instead it is a gift from Allah Almighty. In prayer, we can put all things in perspective and see what is really important in life. Prayer reminds us that all things come from Allah (SWT) and it is to Allah that all will return. For Muslims, praying is not a regulation. It is a gift. Allah says:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتَوُا الزَّكَاةَ لَهُمْ أَجْرُهُمْ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ وَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ
“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.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:277 )
Prayer constitutes one pillar of Islam and is considered the foundation of religion. A Muslim is one who bows down in submission to Allah, so this image of a Muslim at prayer is the strongest image we can have of what it really means to be Muslim. The benefits of Salah do not end with the spiritual domain but in fact, encompass the physical domain as well. Allah says:
أَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ لِدُلُوكِ الشَّمْسِ إِلَىٰ غَسَقِ اللَّيْلِ وَقُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ إِنَّ قُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ كَانَ مَشْهُودًا
“Establish regular prayers – at the sun’s decline till the darkness of the night, and the morning prayer and reading: for the prayer and reading in the morning carry their testimony.” (Surah Al-Isra, 17:78)
Prayer time is the time of meeting with our Creator. As we pray, we know that we are in front of our Almighty Creator. If we contemplated committing a sin, we would change our minds by thinking of praying and being in front of God. By this, we would purify our hearts from evil feelings and thoughts and other parts of our body such as our hands and tongues from wrongdoings.
Following are some of the benefits that praying brings us:
- Prayer ensures that we remember God in the best way
- Prayer is mercy and blessing from God Almighty
- Prayer is a prescription for the body and soul
- Prayer gives us the habit of being clean
- Prayer refreshes the mind and the soul
- Prayer enlivens belief in practical life
- Prayer utter his name with pure love
- Prayer feels the bond with your Lord
- Prayer purifies us from sins
- Prayer is a gift of God
- Prayer visualize the veil
- Prayer is the best medicine
- Prayer is the best way to live
- Praying improves our characters
- Prayer transmits belief of man’s heart
- Prayer fight laziness and procrastination
- Prayer makes our day more fruitful and blessed
- Prayer strengthens the belief and goodness of God
- Praying five times a day is like that. Allah forgives our sins
- Praying reminds us of the Day of Judgment and the hereafter
When we make ablution in order to perform the prayer, we clean parts of our body that get dirty the most in our daily life. We pay attention to our bodies, our clothes, and the place we perform the prayer to make sure they are clean. By making ablution a few times daily, we clean our hands, face, and feet. We gain the habit of remaining clean. Allah says:
وَاسْتَعِينُوا بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلَاةِ وَإِنَّهَا لَكَبِيرَةٌ إِلَّا عَلَى الْخَاشِعِينَ
“And seek help through patience and the prayer; and indeed, it (is) surely difficult except on the humble ones.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:45)
The best way to remember God is to perform a ritual prayer. Each prayer that we perform reminds us of our Lord. Thus, praying is a valuable gift that God had offered us. Our beloved Prophet knew the value of this gift and seized every opportunity to pray. He expressed the happiness and peace that he experienced in praying, saying: “My happiness is in the prayers.” Allah says:
إِنَّنِي أَنَا اللَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا أَنَا فَاعْبُدْنِي وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ لِذِكْرِي
“Indeed, I am Allah. There is no deity except Me, so worship Me and establish prayer for My remembrance.” (Surah Ta Ha 20:14 )
Praying is a good chance for us to realize our wrongdoings and sins and ask for God’s forgiveness by repenting from them. By means of praying, we ask our Creator’s pardon and forgiveness. We stand in front of God five times a day, mindful that He knows of everything that we have done, and we pay more attention to our acts. As such, we become well-behaved human beings.
Allah Almighty says in the Holy Quran:
- “And they who carefully maintain their prayers.” (Al-Mu’minun23:9)
- “And be steadfast in prayer and regular in charity: And whatever good ye send forth for your souls before you, ye shall find it with Allah. for Allah sees Well all that ye do.” (Surah Al-Baqara, 110)
- “When ye proclaim your call to prayer they take it (but) as mockery and sport; that is because they are a people without understanding. (Surah Al-Maida, 58)
- “As to those who hold fast by the Book and establish regular prayer,- never shall We suffer the reward of the righteous to perish.” (Surah Al-Araf, 170)
- “Nay, seek ((Allah)’s) help with patient perseverance and prayer: It is indeed hard, except to those who bring a lowly spirit.” (Surah Al-Baqara, 45)
- “Guard strictly your (habit of) prayers, especially the Middle Prayer; and stand before Allah in a devout (frame of mind).” (Surah Al-Baqara, 238)
- “O ye who believe! seek help with patient perseverance and prayer; for Allah is with those who patiently persevere.” (Surah Al-Baqara, 153)
- “And be steadfast in prayer; practise regular charity, and bow down your heads with those who bow down (in worship).” (Surah Al-Baqara, 43)
- “Truly, my prayer and my service of sacrifice, my life, and my death, are (all) for Allah, the Cherisher of the Worlds.” (Surah Al-Anam, 162)
- “To establish regular prayers and to fear Allah. for it is to Him that we shall be gathered together.” (Surah Al-Anam, 72)
Prayers that are performed consciously and carefully remind us of God, the hereafter, and the Day of Judgment five times a day. As we remember the hereafter and the Day of Judgment, we stay away from evil. We would not harm anyone or their property, and would not be unfair to anyone.
Below we will discuss the blessings and benefits of each prayer:
Fajr prayer is the first prayer that starts with the day. The time for this prayer starts with the beginning of dawn and remains till the sun rises. It is a blessed time, and one need not worry about losing sleep, for, with proper spiritual practise, the human body and mind become energized with life energy and force for the rest of the day. In the Holy Quran, Allah Almighty says about the importance of Fajr prayer in a way that: Allah says:
أَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ لِدُلُوكِ الشَّمْسِ إِلَىٰ غَسَقِ اللَّيْلِ وَقُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ إِنَّ قُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ كَانَ مَشْهُودًا
“Establish the prayer, at the decline (of) the sun till (the) darkness (of) the night and Quran at dawn, indeed, the Quran (at) the dawn is ever witnessed..” (Surah Al-Isra` 17:78)
- If you start your day with prayers, then Allah Almighty protects you all day. In the hadith, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: “Whoever offers the Morning Prayer, he is under the protection of Allah, the Mighty and Sublime”(Ibn Majah).
- Fajr prayer ensures that we begin the day with light and with life. Early morning sets the tone and energy for the whole day, and by beginning the day in the best possible way.
- Our beloved Prophet (SAW) said: “Whoever prays the morning prayer in the congregation then sits remembering Allah until the sun rises, then prays two units of prayer has the reward like that of Hajj and `Umrah.”(Tirmidhi)
- It is important to offer Fajr prayer as it saves from hell.
- It is important to offer the Fajr prayer. Allah Almighty sent the angels who witness the Muslims who are offering the Fajr prayer, so try to offer prayers daily.
Zuhr (Dhuhr) Prayer
Zuhr (Dhuhr) prayer is the second prayer that Muslims have to offer in a day its time starts when the sun declines towards the west from the middle of the sky.
- Zuhr prayer is the time when the gates of Heaven are opened for the Muslims. During the Zuhr hour, the gates of heaven are opened. So, it is important to do good deeds at this time and offering Salah is the most important at that time.
- Allah Almighty showers His blessings on those who offer Zuhr prayers at the time.
- Allah Almighty will shield those from Hellfire on the Day of Judgment who offer Zuhr prayer.
After the Zuhr prayer, Muslims perform Asr prayer the third obligatory prayer. It’s time that starts in the afternoon. There is so much importance on offering Asr prayer in hadith Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:
“He who performs Salat (prayers) before the rising of the sun and before its setting, will not enter the Hell.” (Muslim)
- One of the greatest blessings for every Muslim is to enter into Paradise. Whoever offers the Fajr and Asr prayers enters the Jannah.
- Asr prayer saves from Hell and opens the door of Jannah.
- Those who offer Asr prayer will give you success in life as well as in the Hereafter.
Maghrib prayer is the fourth obligatory prayer its time starts with the sunset. If one does not offer the Maghrib Salah purposely, it is supposed to be punished by Allah Almighty.
- Allah Almighty showers all His blessings and rewards on those who offer Maghrib prayer.
- Allah (SWT) will fulfil all your wishes and Duas.
- Allah Almighty will give you success in wealth and family.
The last prayer of the day is the Isha prayer its time starts when the time of Maghrib prayer ends and remains until midnight. Isha prayer is hard to execute so it also follows with vast rewards from the Almighty Allah. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:
“Whoever offers Isha salah in jama’ah it is as though he spent half the night in worship. And whoever offers fajr salah in jama’ah it is as though he spent the entire night in worship.” (Muslim)
- If you offer Isha prayer, Allah will reward you to worship Allah for the half night. It is a great blessing for you. So, make sure to never miss the Isha prayer.
- Try to make more dua’s after the Isha prayer, Allah listens to dua’s and will shower His blessings on you.
- If you offer the prayer before going to sleep, you have a more peaceful night. So, try to offer Isha prayer regularly.
It is an instinct of man to be inclined to adore the great beings and to aspire to lofty goals. The greatest being and the loftiest goal of all are God. The best way to cultivate in man a sound personality and actualize his aspirations in a mature course of development is the Islamic prayer. Allah says:
إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ الشَّيْطَانُ أَن يُوقِعَ بَيْنَكُمُ الْعَدَاوَةَ وَالْبَغْضَاءَ فِي الْخَمْرِ وَالْمَيْسِرِ وَيَصُدَّكُمْ عَن ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ وَعَنِ الصَّلَاةِ فَهَلْ أَنتُم مُّنتَهُونَ
“Only the Shaitaan intends to cause between you [the] enmity and [the] hatred through intoxicants and gambling and hinders you from (the) remembrance (of) Allah and from the prayer. So will you be the ones who abstain?” (Surah Al-Ma`idah 5:91)
When we analyze the Islamic prayer and study its unique nature, it will reveal to us that it is not merely a physical motion or avoid recital of the Holy Book; the Qur’an. It is a matchless and unprecedented formula of intellectual meditation and spiritual devotion, of moral elevation and physical exercise, all combined. It is an exclusively Islamic experience where every muscle of the body joins the soul and the mind in the worship and glory of God.
It is difficult for anyone to impart in words the full meaning of the Islamic prayer that it is:
- A lesson in discipline and willpower
- A course of inner peace and stability
- A guide to the most upright way of life
- A seed of spiritual cultivation and moral soundness
- A practice in devotion to God and all worthy objectives
- A demonstration of true equality, solid unity, and brotherhood
- An expression of thankfulness to God and appreciation of Him
- A vigilant reminder of God and constant revelation of His Goodness
- An abundant source of patience and courage, of hope and confidence
- A safeguard against indecency and evil, against wrong deviation and stray
This is the Islamic prayer, and that is what it can do for a man. The best testimony to this statement is to experience the prayer and avail oneself of its spiritual joys. Then one will know what it really means. Allah says:
وَيَدْعُ الْإِنسَانُ بِالشَّرِّ دُعَاءَهُ بِالْخَيْرِ وَكَانَ الْإِنسَانُ عَجُولًا
“And prays the man for evil (as) he prays for the good. And is the man ever hasty.” (Surah Al-Isra, 17:11)
Prayer alone is not the key to a completely sound spiritual state or understanding, just as food alone is not the only component to maintain a healthy body. However, through developing a focused, centred, and meaningful habit of maintaining the five daily prayers, a person will, God willing, experience incredible benefits in this life and undoubtedly the next. Allah says:
وَإِذْ تَأَذَّنَ رَبُّكُمْ لَئِن شَكَرْتُمْ لَأَزِيدَنَّكُمْ وَلَئِن كَفَرْتُمْ إِنَّ عَذَابِي لَشَدِيدٌ
“And when proclaimed your Lord, “If you are thankful, surely I will increase you; but if you are ungrateful indeed, My punishment (is) surely severe.” (Surah Ibrahim 14:7)
Prayer helps man to realize his natural and instinctive aspirations to greatness and high morality, to excellence and virtuous growth. Prayer purifies the heart and develops the mind, cultivates the conscience and comforts the soul. Prayer fosters the good and decent elements in man and suppresses the evil and indecent inclinations. A Muslim has to perform Prayer five times a day. Each prayer is equally important. Offer prayers regularly then Allah will shower His blessings on you.