The Importance of Prayer
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The Importance of Prayer
We start in the name of Allah, Most Merciful and Forgiving of all those who show mercy and forgive, All praise is due to Allah, whom everything in the earth and the heavens glorifies, and all signs in the universe testify to His existence subhanahu wa-ta^ala.
We bear testimony that there is no God except Allah. He is alone and has no partner. And we bear testimony that our Leader and Master Muhammad sallallahu ^alayhi wasallam is His servant and Messenger, whose efforts succeeded in raising the banner of Islam, and who strived to wipe out disastrous misguidance and infidelity. May Allah shower His peace and blessings on him, and his kind relatives and companions and protect his nation from that which he feared for them.
Allah ta^ala said:
﴿يَمُنُّونَ عَلَيْكَ أَنْ أَسْلَمُوا قُلْ لَا تَمُنُّوا عَلَىَّ إسْلَامَكُم بَلِ اللهُ يَمُنُّ عَلَيْكُم أَنْ هَدَاكُمْ لِلْإيمَانِ إِنْ كَنْتُمْ صَادِقِينَ﴾ سورة الحجرات/17
This Ayah means: They deem their outwardly submission to Allah a favour unto you (Muhammad). Say: Deem it not a favour unto me and know, if you are sincere and truthful, that Allah did bestow a great favour of guiding some of you to the true Faith.
So thank Allah, dear brothers, for He has bestowed great endowments upon you and guided you to the right path, and the greatest endowment of all is the endowment of Islam. Moreover, Allah has made you the best nation brought to people and ordained upon you clear and great acts of worship.
The five prayers are among the best acts of worship that Muslims perform. Performing them is the best deed after having the correct belief in Allah and His Messenger. Prophet Muhammad, may Allah raise his rank, was asked what is the best deed and he replied: it is performing the obligatory prayers at the beginning of their setting times (al-Bayhaqiyy):
When we say “prayers” we are referring to an act of worship with a specific format that God revealed to Prophet Muhammad, may Allah raise his rank. All prophets from Adam to Muhammad, may Allah raise their rank, ordered their followers to pray as per God’s orders.
Since the prayer is the most important matter of Islam after having the correct belief in God and His Messenger, one must plan his life around the prayer. It would be a great sin to neglect praying when at work if a prayer was required at that time. If a believer is shopping or waiting at the airport and there is no way to get home or to a mosque, he is still obligated to perform the prayer within its due time instead of purposely leaving it out or delaying it. This indicates the importance of the obligatory prayer. Performing the obligatory prayer on time takes priority over other non-obligatory matters.
Allah ta^ala said:
حَافِظُوا عَلَى الصَّلَوَاتِ﴾ سورة البقرة/238﴿
which means: “Keep steadfast to Performing the [five obligatory] prayers” (al-Baqarah, 238).
Also The Messenger of Allah said: “There are five prayers that Allah ordained as an obligation upon the slaves to perform. Allah promised whoever performs them properly without belittling their obligation, to be admitted into Paradise without prior torture. Whoever leaves them out does not have that promise and in accordance with Allah’s Will, that person may be tortured or forgiven”. Narrated by Ahmad in his Musnad.
It is obligatory to perform each of these five prayers in its due time. However, it is better and more rewardable to perform each prayer straight after its setting time.
Brothers in Islam,
Prayer is one of the greatest means of securing piece of mind and of eradicating crime. It is also the most effective means of teaching chastity and virtue. Allah said in Surat-ul-^Ankabut:
﴿وَأَقِمِ الصَّلاةَ إِنَّ الصَّلاةَ تَنْهَى عَنِ الفَحْشَآءِ وَالمُنْكَرِ﴾ سورة العنكبوت/45
Which means: And perform the prayer regularly for prayer restrains from unlawful and unjust deeds.
Prayer is the gateway to success and prosperity, it is among the first of deeds one is questioned about on the Day of Judgment. Performing the prayer consistently symbolises honesty and truthfulness and maintaining it leads to victory, forgiveness and enlightenment on the Day of Judgement. On the other hand, neglecting the prayer is a sign of humiliation, for the one who neglects it will be assembled with Qarun, Pharoah, Haman and Ubayy Ibn Khalaf because of the magnitude of one’s sin.
Prayer is full of blessings, mercies, and merits; it also raises one’s rank and increases one’s reward. Prophet Muhammad said: "If one is dwelling next to a running river where one is bathing five times a day, would one have any dirt left on his body?" the Companions said: “He wouldn’t”, then the Prophet said: "That is the example of the five obligatory prayers, whoever performs them wins Allah’s forgiveness of minor sins ".
In the end, we ask Allah to make us among those who properly and regularly perform the five obligatory prayers in their due time with complete devotion, concentration and humbleness. Ameen.