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Prayer (Salah)

And be constant in praying at the beginning and the end of the day,
as well as during the early watches of the night:
for, verily, good deeds drive away evil deeds:
this is a reminder to all who bear [Almighty God] in mind. (Qur'an 11:114)

Prayer (salah) is the second Pillar of Islam and together with the Shahada is considered the foundations of Islamic Faith. Prayer is performed five times every day and represents the most visible and most outward expression of the believer's attachment to his faith.

The importance of prayer may be judged from the following facts:

  • that it was the first duty enjoined on the Holy Prophet;
  • that, although prayer and zakat are often mentioned together in the Holy Qur'an, prayer always takes precedence; and
  • that the keeping up of prayer is the most frequently repeated injunction of the Holy Qur'an. It is therefore recognized as the first and foremost duty of a Muslim.

The prayer makes a Muslim remember God every moment of the day and helps him to keep away from committing faults intentionally or unintentionally. It must also be said that it becomes increasingly difficult to harbor unkind thoughts or perform ill-deeds when you keep Almighty God in the forefront of your conscience.

In a sense, salah is food for one's own soul. As such, no Muslim can ask another to do the salah for him, just as no hungry person can ask another to eat for him. Just as we eat a few specific times a day to keep our physical body nourished, a Muslim does the salah five times a day to keep his soul nourished.

The Prophet said (which means): The covenant between us and them is prayer, so if anyone abandons it he has become a disbeliever. [Ahmad, Tirmidhee, Nasaa'ee] [Ahmad, Tirmidhee, Nasaa'ee]