The Importance of Prayers
“(The people in hell will be asked:) ‘What has caused you to enter Hell?’ They will say: ‘We were not among those who used to pray.’”
(Holy Quran: 74: 42-43)
This blog highlights the importance of daily prayers, the 2nd pillar of Islam, from verses in the Holy Quran, Ahadith (Sayings of the Holy Prophet PBUH), his companions (RA) and other references from ulema and scholars.
Importance of Prayers in the Holy Quran
A. Order for Offering Prayers
1. Iqamas-Salah (Establishment of Prayers) has been mentioned many times in the Holy Quran:
“And establish prayer and give zakah and bow with those who bow [in worship and obedience].”
Allah has said repeatedly in lots of Surahs of Quran, “Aqeemus Salat”. It means establishing salat (prayers) in our life regularly five times a day without missing salat and in CONGREGATION.
Aqeemus Salat also includes purity of our heart, outfits, purity of our language and total sincerity during our performance of salat. This also means never using vulgar language, speaking truth and asking help of Allah.
2. Not to only pray oneself, but also enjoin others to pray including ones family as well:
“And enjoin prayer upon your family [and people] and be steadfast therein. We ask you not for provision; We provide for you, and the [best] outcome is for [those of] righteousness.”
B. Benefits of Praying
1. Ones who pray regularly are the true Believers who will achieve success:
Certainly will the believers have succeeded; And they who carefully maintain their prayers
(23: 1, 2, 9)
They strictly guard/maintain their Prayers”: they strictly adhere to the prescribed times of the Prayers: they perform them with due regard for their pre-requisites, conditions and articles with clean body and dress and necessary ablutions: they do not regard their Prayers as an unnecessary burden, which has to be cast off somehow: they do not recite mechanically but understand what they recite and are conscious that they are supplicating their Lord like humble servants.
2. Leads to attainment of Taqwa (piety; righteousness):
“This is the Book in which there is no doubt, a guidance for those who have Taqwa: who believe in the unseen, and who establish Salah, and spend out of what we have provided for them.”
Piety or righteousness is the prime objective which a Muslim has to achieve in this life. All the instructions, constraints, freedom, rights and education provided by Islam are with the objective that a Muslim becomes pious and moves on the righteous path. In this regard, prayer has a great role to play as it promotes Taqwa or piety in the follower.
3. Prayers help to commemorate/remember God:
“You shall recite what is revealed to you of the book and observe the Prayers, for the Prayers prohibits vice and evil and the remembrance of God is the most important. God knows what you do.”
“Indeed, I am Allah . There is no deity except Me, so worship Me and establish prayer for My remembrance.”
Surely, the most important objective of the prayers is to commemorate God.
4. Prayer help in staying connected to Allah:
“And when you have completed the prayer, remember Allah standing, sitting, or [lying] on your sides. But when you become secure, re-establish [regular] prayer. Indeed, prayer has been decreed upon the believers a decree of specified times.”
Muslims who realize that Allah Almighty is their Lord and the Giver of everything, they try to develop a relation with Him and wish to stay connected with Him as much as possible so that their relation grows strong. Prayers can effectively help in achieving so.
5. Person achieves peace, inner satisfaction and tranquility by Praying:
“Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured”
For Allah also says in another place in the Holy Quran:
“Establish prayer for My remembrance” (20: 14)
The peace and tranquility of remembering Allah, especially after prayers, is unmatched.
6. Seeking help through Prayers (by invoking Allah):
“O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.”
Although there is no constraint upon a Muslim on how to invoke Allah Almighty, however, prayer is the preferred means of doing so, as when a person worships Allah he or she develops a connection with Allah and any invocation within that or after that connection is bound to be accepted by Allah more compared to invocation done in any other circumstance.
7. The Prayers (along with charity) are the best investment for the hereafter:
“Those who recite God’s book, observe the Prayers and spend secretly and publicly from what We have provided for them, are seeking a trade that can never lose. He will grant them their reward and increase them out of His generosity. He is Forgiving, Appreciative.”
8. Prayers prevent a person from committing evil deeds and Fahsha (unlawful sexual practice/behavior)
“Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing”
9. Prayers protect from Satan:
“Satan only wants to cause between you animosity and hatred through intoxicants and gambling and to avert you from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer. So will you not desist?”
Satan is an open enemy of believers and all what he tries is to make people go stray from the path of righteousness and go down in the path of oblivion and darkness. Satan tries to tempt a person in all the possible ways and when a person once listens to him, he gradually lures him or her down further into the pit of darkness. Therefore, seeking protection from Satan is also imperative for a Muslim.
Therefore, not offering prayer is actually falling into the prey of Satan, whereas those who try to offer and establish prayer are actually resisting his temptation and when these temptations are resisted for long the result is one not falling prey to Satan ever again on any forefront.
10. Primary Order of a Muslim Ruler:
“[And they are] those who, if We give them authority in the land, establish prayer and give zakah and enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong. And to Allah belongs the outcome of [all] matters.”
The real aim of the Islamic State and the characteristics of those who conduct its affairs have been stated concisely but comprehensively. Those who help Allah and deserve His succour behave righteously, establish Salat, make arrangements for the collection of Zakat and use their power and authority to propagate good and eradicate evil.
11. Reward in the Hereafter:
“Indeed, those who believe and do righteous deeds and establish prayer and give zakah will have their reward with their Lord, and there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve.”
Every deed, whether good or bad, that a Muslim undertakes in this life, will be answerable in the afterlife. Although all the deeds get rewarded in the afterlife, however, the actual reward of Prayers will truly be realized in the afterlife when Allah Almighty will shower special blessings on that person.
12. Leave people alone (among whom you have doubts) if they establish prayers:
“But if they should repent, establish prayer, and give zakah, let them [go] on their way. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.”
13. Prayers strengthen our belief and make us attain certainty:
“Therefore, you shall glorify your Lord singing His praise, and be among the prostrators and worship your Lord until you attain certainty.”
B. Harms of NOT Praying
1. Those who do not pray will be in hell:
“(The people in hell will be asked 🙂 ‘What has caused you to enter Hell?’ They will say: ‘We were not among those who used to pray.’”
This implication is towards Muslims, who claim belief in Allah, His Messenger and His book. It is understood here that unless a person has believed (is a Muslim), he cannot offer the Islamic Prayers. Thus it has been made very clear that one cannot escape Hell even after having believed (even if one is a Muslim), if one does not perform one’s Prayers regularly.
2. No Intercession will be allowed for those who do not pray:
In continuation from the verse above:
“So no Intercession of intercessors will benefit them”
Intercession has been explained here as well as many other places of the Holy Quran. No one can have any difficulty in knowing and understanding as to who can intercede and who cannot, when one can intercede and when one cannot, for whom one can intercede and for whom one cannot, and for whom intercession is beneficial and for whom it is not.
3. Woe to those who are neglectful of their prayers:
“So woe to the worshippers who are neglectful of their Prayers”
This implies whether they perform the Prayer, or do not perform it, it is of little importance to them. They are not regular in their Prayers.
When they perform it, they do not observe the prescribed times, but offer it carelessly at the eleventh hour.
Hazrat Mus’ab bin Sa`d has related from his father, Hadrat Sa`d bin Abi Waqqas: “When I asked the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) about the people who are neglectful of their Prayer, he said: “These are the people who perform their Prayers when the prescribed time for it has passed.” (Ibn Jarir, Abu Ya’la, Ibn al-Mundhir etc)
Scholars also have implied here that it means wasting the prescribed time of the Prayer and performing it when its time has elapsed.
They also imply that it includes people who pray one, 2 or three or 4 prayer but NOT ALL daily prayers.
Imagine if these are harsh words for those who pray irregularly or pray late after the time has passed, then imagine what would be the fate of those who do not pray at all?
4. Sign of a Hypocrite: Coming to Prayers reluctantly:
“They come to offer their Prayer but reluctantly, and they expend in the way of Allah with unwilling hearts.”
The Holy Messenger of Allah has said: “This is the Prayer of the hypocrite; this is the Prayer of the hypocrite; this is the Prayer of the hypocrite! He watches the sun at the `Asr time until when it reaches between the two horns of Satan (i.e. when the time of sunset ‘approaches), he gets up and performs the Prayer carelessly, in which he remembers Allah but little.” (Bukhari, Muslim, Musnad Ahmad)
When you are always late for salah, it says a lot about you and your character.*
It shows that you lack discipline, internal strength, and integrity to be where you are supposed to be ‘on time’ for your most important appointments of the day, and you are not dependable.
No one likes to say about themselves that they are not dependable or lack discipline, but actions speak louder than words, and being late for salah is the first warning that you are on a slippery slope towards being chronically late in everything else in your life.
If you are wondering why there is a delay in your sustenance, in your marriage, in your work, in your health, look into your salah: are you delaying it?
If we truly have faith in the unseen and have faith in the Messenger of Allah telling us that Allah wants us to meet Him 5 times every day in our salah, then we should take salah more seriously.
5. People who did not prostrate (perform Prayers) will be humiliated; put to shame):
“Their eyes humbled, humiliation will cover them. And they used to be invited to prostration while they were sound.”
Those people who refused to bow down and prostrate when they had no excuse whatsoever, will be humbled and humiliated before all on the day of Judgment.
6. Those who do not pray are in continuous denial; they are not true Muslims:
“But he did not verify the Truth, nor did he observe Prayer”
The first and necessary demand of acknowledging the truth about Allah and His Messenger and Book is that one should perform the Prayer. The occasion and time to carry out the other injunctions of the Divine Shari ‘ah come later but the Prayer time approaches soon after one has affirmed the faith, and then it becomes known whether what one has affirmed with the tongue was really the voice of one’s heart, or it was only a puff of the wind which one sent out from one’s mouth in the form of words.
7. Abandonment of Prayers leads to Destruction of a Nation:
“Then there came after them those degenerate people, who lost their prayers and followed their lusts: so they shall soon encounter the consequences of their deviation.”
It appears that the degenerate people totally discarded the prayers, or they had become neglectful and careless in its observance. This is the first evil that is committed by a degenerate people; for, after this there remains no connection whatever between them and God. Here it has been stated as a universal principle that the degeneration of the people of all the former Prophets started with the abandonment of prayers by them.
Following of one’s desires is the inevitable result of the loss of the connection with Allah. As they became more and more neglectful of their prayers, their lusts took complete hold of them and they fell to the lowest depths of moral depravity and began to follow their whims instead of the Divine Commands.
8. Those who do not remember God (pray) will be the losers:
“O you who have believed, let not your wealth and your children divert you from remembrance of Allah . And whoever does that – then those are the losers.”
By Time, Indeed, mankind is in loss,
Except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience.
9. Those who turn away from Allah’s remembrance (prayers etc) will have a depressed life and will be punished in the Hereafter by being raised blind:
“And whoever turns away from My remembrance – indeed, he will have a depressed life, and We will gather him on the Day of Resurrection blind.” (20: 124)
Importance of Prayers in the Ahadith
1. “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 added, “That is the example of the five prayers with which Allah blots out (annuls) evil deeds.”
2. “The first thing which will be judged among a man’s deeds on the Day of Resurrection is the Prayer. If this is in good order then he will succeed and prosper but if it is defective then he will fail and will be a loser.”
[Nasaa’ee, Tirmidhee, Ibn Maajah]
3. As for the Hereafter, Allah’s forgiveness and pleasureis closely related to the prayers. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Allah has obligated five prayers. Whoever excellently performs their ablutions, prays them in their proper times, completes their bows, prostrations and khushu (complete sincerity) has a promise from Allah that He will forgive him. And whoever does not do that has no promise from Allah. He may either forgive him or punish him.” (Malik, Ahmad, Abu Dawud, al-Nisai)
4. “What lies between a man and disbelief is the abandonment of prayer.”[Muslim, Aboo Dawood, Nasaa’ee]
5. “The covenant between us (i,e. the prophet (PBUH) and the other Muslims) is As-Salah. Whoever leaves it, he has committed disbelief.”[Musnad Imam Ahmad ]
6.“The difference between disbelief and Iman is the Abandonment of Salah.”
7. “Do not leave the prayer intentionally because the one who leaves the prayer intentionally, he is free of the protection of Allah (swt) and His prophet.”[Musnad Imam Ahmad also in Sahih Targheeb hadith no- 569 ]
8. “If anyone abandons prayer deliberately then he has no claim upon Allah.”[Ibn Maajah, ADAB-AL-MUFRAD of Bukhaari, Tabaraani]
9. “I have been ordered to fight against the people until they testify that there is no one worthy of worship but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah and until they perform the Prayers and pay the Zakaah, and if they do so they will have gained protection from me for their lives and property, unless [they do acts that are punishable] in accordance with Islam, and their reckoning will be with Allah Most High.”[Bukhaari, Muslim]
10. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) mentioning the prayer, said (which means):If anyone keeps to it, it will be light, evidence and salvation for him on the Day of Resurrection. But if anyone does not keep to it, it will not be light, evidence and salvation for him on the Day of Resurrection, and on that Day he will be associated with Qaroon, Pharaoh, Namaan and Ubayy bin Khalaf (an enemy of Islaam from among the Quraysh). [Ahmad, Tabaraanee, Ibn Hibbaan]
11. “(Nothing stands) between a man and kufr and shirk, except prayer: (whoever neglects it becomes a kaafir and a mushrik).” (Reported by Imaam Muslim)
12. “Whoever leaves prayer intentionally, has disbelieved/has left the folds of Islam” (Millah)
13. “Prayer is the key to heaven” (Mishkaat)
14. “Prayer is better than any other deed” (Bukhari)
15. “Prayer is the key to all pious deeds” (Abu Dawood)
Importance of Prayers in the Eyes of the Companions (RA)
1. Hazrat Umar Bin Al Khattab (Ra) said: “There is no fortune for a persons Islam who abandons his Salat.”
e. The person who does not pray for him there is no fortune, no benefit from his Islam, it will not help him at all.
2. Hazrat Umar bin Khattab (RA): “Hold on to your Salah, because if you lose that, you will lose everything else”
3. Hazrat Umar bin Khattab (RA): There can be no Islam in the person who does not perform Salah:
4. Hazrat Ibn Mas’ud (Ra) said: ` The person who abandons his prayer, he has no Deen. “
5. Hazrat Abu Darrda (Ra) said: “ There is no belief (Iman) for the person who does not pray and there is no prayer for the person who does not have wudu. “
6. Hazrat Ali (Ra) said: “ The one who never prayed, he is a Kaafir (Disbeliever). “
7. Hazrat Jabir Bin Abdullah (Ra) said: “ Whoever does not pray he is a Disbeliever. “
8. Hazrat Hammaad Bin Jayd who reported from Hazrat Ayyub who said: “ The one who Abandons the Prayer is a Disbeliever and there is no disagreement about that.
9. Ibn Hazm (RA) in his book Muhalla, he said:
“It is reported from Hazrat Omar Bin Al Khattab, from Hazrat Abdur Rahman Bin Auf, Hazrat Muaz Bin Zabal, Hazrat Abu Huraira (RA), from amongst others from the companions (RA), that the one who abandons one single obligatory prayer intentionally and he abandons it, leave it until its time is gone, he is a disbeliever and Murtad (Apostate) and we have not found a single companion who opposes this. The companions (RA) had a Ijmah on that issue.”
So it is clear from the understanding of the Sahabah that the person who abandons his five daily prayers is not a Muslim. We should prefer their views over everyone else because they are the ones who accompanied prophet (sws) and we have to believe like they believed in order to become successful.
Importance of Prayers in the Eyes of the Ulema & Scholars
1. Ibn Al-Qayyim explained: The person who abandons prayer will be raised with such a foursome because his neglect of player may be due to his involvement with his property, his country, his administrative work or his trade. Therefore, if he was involved with his property he will be ressurected with Qaroon; if with his country, then with Pharaoh; if with his administrative work, then with Hamaan; and if with his trade then with Ubayy bin Khalaf, the trader among the disbelievers of Makkah.
2. Imam Ibn Taimiyyah (RA) in his Fatawa vol-28, page-308, he said:
The majority of the Salaf, they say that the one who abandons the Salah, he should be killed as a disbeliever, this is even if he believes and admits that we must pray Salah.”
3. Imam 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 (Allah)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. [Nadwi, p. 24]”
4. Imam Al-Hasan Al-Basri said: “When salah is the least of your concerns, then what is your most important concern? As much as you fix your salah, your life will be fixed. Did you not know that salah was equated with Success: ‘Come to Prayer, Come to Success.’ How can you ask Allah for success when you are not responding to His right upon you?”
All of this evidences force us to say that the one who abandons the prayer is a Disbeliever.
Importance of Praying in the Mosque
1. “And bow your head with those who bow (in worship)”
(Surah Baqarah 43)
2. “The mosques of Allaah shall be maintained only by those who believe in Allaah and the Last Day; perform As-Salaah (Iqaamat-as-Salaah), and give Zakaah and fear none but Allaah. It is they who are on true guidance”
3. “Prayer in congregation is twenty seven times better than prayer prayed individually.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim]
The Holy Prophet (PBUH) has also stated: “It better to join another person and pray than to pray alone and it is more superior in the company of two men and the bigger the congregation the more liked it is by Allah.”
4. Once the Holy Prophet was constrained to say: “I intend to tell the Muazzin (person who calls the Azaan) to call out the takbir and ask someone to lead the prayer and I myself set the house of that person on fire who did not attended the congregational prayer.”
(Bukhari & Muslim)
The merciful Prophet proposes a punishment for those who do not attend the congregational prayer at the mosque, even though they perform them at home. One should ponder and be warned as regards to those who do not attend the congregational prayer at the mosque.
5. Hazrat Abu Hurayrah said: A blind man came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said, “O Messenger of Allaah, I do not have anyone to lead me to the mosque,” and he asked the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to grant him a concession allowing him to pray in his house. He granted him that concession, then when he turned to leave he called him back and said, “Can you hear the call to prayer?” He said, “Yes.” He said, ‘Then answer it.” (Muslim)
6. The Holy Prophet says in another tradition: “He who attended the congregation for Isha prayer, he received the reward of half the nights worship and he who attended both Isha and Fajr prayer with the congregation he received the reward of the whole nights worship.”
7. The Holy Prophet states in the Hadith: “If you were to know the reward in performing the prayer in the first row, you would fight amongst yourselves to stand in the first row.”
8. “Whoever hears the call to prayer and does not respond, his prayer is not valid, except the one who has an excuse.” (Ibn Majah)
9. “Whoever would like to meet Allaah tomorrow as a Muslim, let him offer these prayers regularly when the call to prayer is given, for what Allaah has prescribed for your Prophet is guidance and this is part of that guidance. If you were to pray in your houses as this man who stayed home did, you would have given up one of the Sunnahs of your Prophet, and if you give up a Sunnah of your Prophet you will go astray. There is no man who does wudoo’ and does it well, then goes to one of these mosques, but for every step he takes Allaah will record one hasanah (good deed) for him, and erase one bad deed. There was a time when no one stayed away from the prayer but a hypocrite whose hypocrisy was well known, and a man would come supported by two others so that he could stand in the row.” (Narrated by Muslim)
10. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The prayer of a man with another man is better than his praying alone, and the prayer of a man with two other men is better than his praying alone or with only one other man, and the more people there are, the more beloved it is to Allah.” [Sunan al-Nasâ’î (843) and Sunan Abî Dâwûd]
Prayer According to a Famous Scientist
An eminent American Sociologist and Physiologist, Mr Denison has written in his book ‘Emotion as the basis of civilization’, “Historians have wondered at the phenomenal success of Islam in conquering the world and have attributed it to the unity and solidity Islam has engaged among its adherents, but no historian he says could solve the riddle as to how this came to pass.”
Mr Denison says that he has no the least doubt that a great and very effective means of this is the congregational prayer.
Spiritual Benefits of Prayers
- Salat is a source to talk to Allah Almighty. Bu offering Salat a person comes closer to Allah Almighty. It is a direct connection to Allah Almighty.
- Salat has the power to keep us away from bad
- It is a way to pure our heart and soul form all the sins.
- It is the happiness of Allah Almighty.
- It is the satisfaction of the heart.
- It is the satisfaction of the soul in this world and after this world too.
- It is a companion of the grave where we will be alone.
- It is the source of the blessings.
- It is the source to improve our income.
- It is an assurance key toward heaven.
- It is a source to save us from the fire of the hell.
- It will be heavy weighted in our good deeds.
- It gives the proper shape to our body.
Physical benefits of offering Salat
There are many physical benefits of offering Prayers
- Salat is a best exercise. In morning with empty stomach we offer four rakat namaz. To exercise in morning is very much important. But with empty stomach we offer some rakats. After having lunch we have to offer more rakats. And after dinner we offer some more rakats because after his we go to sleep. To digest the food it is important to do exercise and namaz is a best way.
- When we offer Takbir and move our hands the flow of the blood increases toward torso.
- When we go down for prostration our brain gets the fresh blood.
- Our whole body moves that’s why it is the best exercise. Our heart supplies fresh blood to the entire body when we move in prayers. The heart works in best condition. It is said by Holy Prophet (PBUH) that:-
“There is an organ in the body, when it is healthy, the whole body is healthy, and when this is sick, the entire body becomes sick”. It is the heart.
- Salat is an exercise that reduces cholesterol in the body that causes heart failures, strokes, diabetes and many other ailments.
- Our body feels relaxation when we sit in tashah’hud and the tension releases.
So keep in mind these benefits and offer prayers regularly.
Many people don’t pray probably because they say or believe ‘we shall see’ out of laziness, indifference etc
They are forgetting that three companions (RA) of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) could not make it to the Battle of Tabuk due to laziness. They were given a social boycott for around 40 days as a punishment until Allah forgave them as mentioned in the Holy Quran.
This was about participating in Holy war, a war that never occurred because the enemy retreated; even then they received such a harsh punishment fully described in Ahadith and Quran commentaries.
What can we say about our similar attitude towards prayers? What punishment awaits us?
Even the hypocrites used to pray in the Mosque at the time of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).
DON’T DELAY OR MISS PRAYERS
And especially with Malhama, Armageddon or World War 3 approaching, prayers should take on the most importance and priority in our lives:
Wa ma alaina illal balagh ul mubeen