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The Importance of Salah
As highlighted by hadith
“Verily, I am Allah! There is none worthy of worship but I, so worship Me and offer establish prayer for My remembrance.”
(Surah Taha 20:13-24)
“Recite, [O Prophet Muhammad], what has been revealed to you of the Book and establish prayer. Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing, and the remembrance of Allah is greater. And Allah knows that which you do.”
(Surah al-Ankabut 29:45)
Abu Hurayrah said. “I heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ say: ‘If there was a river at the door of anyone of you and he took a bath in it five times a day would you notice any dirt on him?’ They said, ‘Not a trace of dirt would be left.’ The Prophet ﷺ added, ‘That is the example of the five prayers with which Allah removes (forgives) evil deeds.’”
(Al-Bukhari, al-Sahih, 506)
The Prophet ﷺ also said, “The first matter that the slave will be brought to account for on the Day of Judgment is the prayer. If it is sound, he will be successful, and if it is deficient, he will be distressed and at a (great) loss. If his obligatory prayers are lacking, Allah will say: ‘Look and see whether My slave has any voluntary prayers which may be used to make up what is lacking in his obligatory prayers.’ Then all his deeds will be examined and dealt with in the same way.”
(Al-Tirmidhi, al-Jami, 413)
In another hadith, it is mentioned: “The key to Paradise is prayer; the key to prayer is wudu.” (Al-Tirmidhi, al-Jami, Chapter 1 Hadith 4)
How did Salat (ritual prayer) become an integral part of Islam?
The first prayer was the night prayer (tahajjud) which was obligatory.
“O you who wraps himself [in clothing], arise [to pray] the night, except for a little. Half of it, or subtract from it a little or add to it. And recite the Qur'an with a measured recitation.” (Quran 73:1-4)
It is reported that the Muslims prayed the tahajjud prayer for a year until it was abrogated and made optional.
The books of seerah (prophetic biography) mention that the Muslims used to pray 2 units of ritual prayer at dawn and 2 units just before sunset. Opinions differ whether these 2 prayers were obligatory or optional.
Then the Miraculous Night Journey and Ascension (al-Isra wa al-Mi'rāj) occurred around 2 years before the migration to Madinah. The 5 daily prayers were made obligatory during this supernatural event. Each prayer was 2 units each and Maghrib was 3 units.
The final stage was an increase in the units.
‘Aisha RA narrates, “Ritual prayer was made obligatory as 2 units. The Prophet then migrated to Madinah where it became 4 obligatory units, but while travelling prayer remained as it had originally been.”
Al-Bukhari, al-Sahih, 3935 & Muslim, al-Sahih 685)
How to Pray Salah
Download the file below for a complete step-by-step guide for Muslim men and women on how to perform the daily salah.
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