In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SOLAT-THE FIVE DAILY PRAYER
All praise is for Allah, the Lord and Cherisher of the Universe. We praise Him and seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evil of ourselves and the wickedness of our own deeds. Whomever Allah guides, cannot be lead astray and whomever Allah does not guide, none can guide him. I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah, alone without associate, and I bear witness that Muhammad (PBUH) is His Messenger. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, his household, his companions and all those who follow them in righteousness till the Day of Judgment.
Allah the Exalted says, “Recite what is sent of the Book (Qur’an) by inspiration to thee (Muhammad) and establish Regular Prayer: for Prayer restrains from shameful and unjust deeds; and remembrance of Allah is the greatest (thing in life) without doubt. And Allah knows the (deeds) that you do”.” Q29:45
“Men who celebrate the praises of (remember) Allah standing, sitting and lying down on their sides and contemplate the (wonders of) creation in the heavens and the earth (with the thought): "Our Lord! You have not created (all) this without purpose! Glory to thee! Give us salvation from the penalty of the fire.” Q3:191
"Those who believe and whose hearts find satisfaction in the remembrance of Allah: for without doubt in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction.”Q13:28
“So woe to the worshippers. Who are neglectful of their Prayers (Solat). Those who (want but) to be seen (of men). But refuse (to supply) (even) neighborly needs.” Q107:4-7
Despite the fact that Islam emphasizes that faith, righteous deeds and Allah’s Grace are needed for salvation, many Muslims have completely forgotten about righteous deeds. “If any do deeds of righteousness be they male or female and have faith they will enter heaven and not the least injustice will be done to them.” Q4:124. Allah says in Q29:45 that solat (five daily prayer) is a form of remembrance of Him, also it is to prevent us from shameful deeds. Let us examine ourselves. Is our solat doing these purposes in our life? Can someone who is conscious of Allah engages in sin again and again? Let us be careful, we should not reduce our solat and other acts of worship to mere routine activities rather we should be conscious of the goals of these acts of worship. Allah warns us in Q107:4-7.
Solat is very important in Islam. Our beloved prophet (PBUH) was reported to have said that the first righteous deed that will be examined on the Day of Judgment is the solat. And whoever fails in this will fail in other things. Solat is to be observed at prescribed periods “When you pass (congregational) prayers celebrate Allah's praises standing, sitting down or lying down on your sides; but when you are free from danger set up regular prayers: for such prayers are enjoined on believers at stated times.” (Q4:103). Do we fulfil this requirement?
We should note that remembrance of Allah is not limited to sitting down in the mosque and chanting Allahu akbar, Lailaha ila Allah, etc. It includes reading and pondering on the meaning of verses of the Holy Qur’an in the language we understand (Q3:191). Our beloved prophet (PBUH) and his companions demonstrated this. It is narrated in a hadith that the prophet (PBUH) requested one of his companions to recite verses of the Qur’an for him. The companion was reciting until he recited a verse something like, “One day We shall raise from all peoples a witness against them from amongst themselves: and We shall bring thee (Muhammad) as a witness against these (Muslims): and We have sent down to thee the Book explaining all things a guide a Mercy and glad tidings to Muslims.” (Q16:89). Our beloved prophet started crying and asked the companion to stop. Our beloved Prophet (PBUH) knew that he will give account of his leadership to Allah, this made him cry because it a great responsibility.
I urge those of us who have not read “INNER DIMENSIONS OF WORSHIP” by Imam Al-Ghazali to please get and read this book. The book explains the goals of each Islamic act of worship and how we can achieve them using the Qur’an, ahadith and sound logic. May Allah accept our acts of worship and have mercy on us.
“And We have indeed made the Qur'an easy to understand and remember: then is there any that will receive admonition?” (Q54:17)
Peace be on you.