The Religion of Islam  
 

 
Video Categories
 
 


Intro E-Books

Guest Book

Recommend Us
| More
 

The Importance of Prayer

  
Description: Prayer is a unique training and developmental program which, if well and devotedly performed, can achieve for a Muslim many valuable spiritual, physical, and ethical gains.
By Jamaal al-Din Zarabozo
Published on 23 Nov 2009 - Last modified on 10 Nov 2013
Viewed: 59627 (daily average: 34) - Rating: 4.6 out of 5 - Rated by: 34
Printed: 550 - Emailed: 18 - Commented on: 0

Category: Articles > Worship and Practice > The Five Pillars of Islam and Other Acts of Worship

The importance of the prayer in Islam cannot be understated.  It is the first pillar of Islam that the Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, mentioned after mentioning the Testimony of Faith, by which one becomes a Muslim.  It was made obligatory upon all the prophets and for all peoples.  God has declared its obligatory status under majestic circumstances.  For example, when God spoke directly to Moses, He said,

“And I have chosen you, so listen to that which is inspired to you.  Verily, I am God! There is none worthy of worship but I, so worship Me and offer prayer perfectly for My remembrance.” (Quran 20:13-14)

Similarly, the prayers were made obligatory upon the Prophet Muhammad during his ascension to heaven.  Furthermore, when God praises the believers, such as in the beginning of the chapter entitled ‘al-Muminoon’ (the Believers), one of the first descriptions He states is their adherence to the prayers. 

Once a man asked the Prophet about the most virtuous deed.  The Prophet stated that the most virtuous deed is the prayer.  The man asked again and again and for the first three times, the Prophet answered, “The prayer,” then on the fourth occasion he stated, “Jihad in the way of God.”[1]

The importance of prayer is demonstrated in many of the Prophet’s statements.  For example, the Prophet 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, then the rest of his deeds will be sound.  And if it is incomplete, then the rest of his deeds will be incomplete.”[2]

The importance of the prayers lies in the fact that no matter what actions one performs in his life, the most important aspect is one’s relationship to God, that is, one’s faith (imaan), God-consciousness (taqwa), sincerity (ikhlas) and worship of God (ibaadah).  This relationship with God is both demonstrated and put into practice, as well as improved and increased, by the prayer.  Therefore, if the prayers are sound and proper, the rest of the deeds will be sound and proper; and if the prayers are not sound and proper, then the rest of the deeds will not be sound and proper, as the Prophet himself stated. 

In reality, the prayer is performed properly – with true remembrance of God and turning to Him for forgiveness – it will have a lasting effect on the person.  After he finishes the prayer, his heart will be filled with the remembrance of God.  He will be fearful as well as hopeful of God.  After that experience, he will not want to move from that lofty position to one wherein he disobeys God.  God has mentioned this aspect of the prayer when He has said,

“Verily, the prayer keeps one from the great sins and evil deeds” (Quran 29:45)

Nadwi has described this effect in the following eloquent way,

Its aim is to generate within the subliminal self of man such spiritual power, light of faith and awareness of God as can enable him to strive successfully against all kinds of evils and temptations and remain steadfast at times of trial and adversity and protect himself against the weakness of the flesh and the mischief of immoderate appetites.[3]

The overall affect that the properly performed prayers should have upon humans is described in other verses in the Quran:

“Verily, man was created impatient, irritable when evil touches him and ungenerous when good touches him.  Except for those devoted to prayer those who remain constant in their prayers…” (Quran 70:19-23)

As for the Hereafter, God’s forgiveness and pleasure is closely related to the prayers.  The Messenger of God said,

“God has obligated five prayers.  Whoever excellently performs their ablutions, prays them in their proper times, completes their bows, prostrations and khushu[4], has a promise from God that He will forgive him.  And whoever does not do that has no promise from God.  He may either forgive him or punish him.”

The prayers are a type of purification for a human being.  He turns and meets with his Lord five times a day.  As alluded to above, this repeated standing in front of God should keep the person from doing sinful acts during the day.  Furthermore, it should also be a time of remorse and repentance, such that he earnestly asks God for forgiveness for those sins that he committed.  In addition, the prayer in itself is a good deed that wipes away some of the evil deeds that he performed.  These points can be noted in the following hadith of the Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him:

“If a person had a stream outside his door and he bathed in it five times a day, do you think he would have any filth left on him?” The people said, “No filth would remain on him whatsoever.” The Prophet then said, “That is like the five daily prayers: God wipes away the sins by them.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim)

In another hadith, the Prophet said,

“The five daily prayers and the Friday Prayer until the Friday prayer are expiation for what is between them.” (Saheeh Muslim)



Footnotes:

[1] This is form a hadith recorded by Ahmad and ibn Hibban.  According to al-Albani, the hadith is hasan.  Muhammad Nasir al-Din al-Albani, Sahih al-Targheeb wa al-Tarheeb (Beirut: al-Maktab al-Islami, 1982), vol.  1, p.  150

[2] Recorded by al-Tabarani.  According to al-Albani, it is Sahih.  Al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami, vol.1, p.  503.

[3] Nadwi, p. 24

[4] Khushu` in the prayer is where the person’s heart is attuned to the prayer.  This feeling in the heart is then reflected on the body.  The person remains still and calm.  His gaze is also lowered.  Even his voice is affected by this feeling in the heart.  For more details on this concept (as well as the difference between it and khudhu`), see Muhammad al-Shaayi, al-Furooq al-Laughawiyyah wa Atharahaa fi Tafseer al-Quran al-Kareem (Riyadh: Maktabah al-Ubaikaan, 1993), pp.  249-254.  

Article Tools
PoorBest  Rate this article Rate it
Back to top Back to top
Print Print Save this article Save E-mail this article to a friend E-mail PDF Format PDF Format
Add a comment on this article Add a comment View or hide comments on this article View comments (No comments) Add this article to your favorites on this site Site favorites Add this article to Explorer favorites Explorer favorites
| More
Other Articles in the Same Category
Category: Articles > Worship and Practice > The Five Pillars of Islam and Other Acts of Worship
The First Pillar of Islam: The Muslim Profession of Faith
The Second Pillar of Islam: The Prayer
The Third Pillar of Islam: Compulsory Charity
The Fourth Pillar of Islam: The Fast of Ramadan
The Fifth Pillar of Islam: The Pilgrimage (Hajj)
Hajj - The Journey of a Lifetime (part 1 of 2): The Day of Arafah and its Preparation
Hajj - The Journey of a Lifetime (part 2 of 2): The Rites of Abraham
Worship in Islam (part 1 of 3): The Meaning of Worship
Worship in Islam (part 2 of 3): The Outer Forms of Worship
Worship in Islam (part 3 of 3): The Comprehensiveness of Worship
A Day and a Night in Ramadan (part 1 of 2): The Fast of the Day
A Day and a Night in Ramadan (part 2 of 2): Worship of the Night
Malcolm X’s Letter from Mecca
Ramadan and Fasting (part 2 of 2): Night Prayer and Other Acts of Worship
Why Do Muslims Fast? (part 1 of 2)
Why Do Muslims Fast? (part 2 of 2)
A History of the Hajj
Grace, Faith and Works (part 1 of 4): The Components of Faith
Grace, Faith and Works (part 2 of 4): Speech, Deeds, and the Love of God
Grace, Faith and Works (part 3 of 4): The Grace of God
Grace, Faith and Works (part 4 of 4): “Faith Alone” and the Bible
The Prophet in Ramadan
The Spirit and Ramadan
Why Muslims Love the Month of Ramadan
Ramadan Concludes..What happens now?
The Hajj - The Pilgrimage (part 1 of 2)
The Hajj - The Pilgrimage (part 2 of 2)
Prayer in Islam
One Direction, One people, One God
The Kaba – the Sacred House of God
What is a Mosque?
Hajj: A Celebration of Peace
Dua (Supplication) (part 1 of 4): What is Dua?
Dua (Supplication) (part 2 of 4): Praise God in the way He deserves to be praised
Dua (Supplication) (part 3 of 4): Why dua remains unanswered
Dua (Supplication) (part 4 of 4): Even Prophets feel distress and turn to God
What is Eid ul Adha?
The Wisdom behind the Postures and Phrases of Prayer (part 1 of 2): Can certain positions really bring a person closer to God?
The Wisdom behind the Postures and Phrases of Prayer (part 2 of 2): Perfect the postures and seek aid from your tongue
A Month of Blessings
Friday – The Best Day of the Week
Zakat – Obligatory Charity: Purifying Wealth
Ramadan and Fasting (part 1 of 2): Fasting
Hajj in the Bible
The Mosque (part 1 of 2): More than a Place of Prayer
The Mosque (part 2 of 2): The Role of the Mosque in the 21st Century
Videos in the Same Category
Category: Videos > Worship and Practice > The Five Pillars of Islam and Other Acts of Worship
The Islamic Call to Prayer
Pilgrimage (Hajj) with TheDeenShow
Pilgrimage (Hajj): The Fifth Pillar of Islam
Virtues of Ramadan (Month of Fasting)
   

The Religion of Islam Home Page Home Page

Contact Us Contact Us

EnglishEspañol
FrançaisDeutsch
РусскийPortuguês
中文日本語
Italian

  Live Help by Chat  
Online daily:
From  to 
(according to your computer time)

  Login  
Username
Password
Remember me
Forgot your password?
No account? Register & Why?

  Most Popular  

  List Articles  

  Your Favorites

Your favorites list is empty.  You may add articles to this list using the article tools.


  Your History

Your history list is empty.

Disable recording my history