Saturday, October 24, 2009
Ṣalāt (Arabic: صلاة; pl. ṣalawāt) is the name given to the formal prayer of Islam. The prayer is one of the obligatory rites of the religion, to be performed five times a day. Its supreme importance is indicated by its status as one of the Five Pillars.
The Two Sahihs (Bukhari and Muslim) recorded that Ibn `Umar said that the Messenger of Allah said, «بُنِيَ الْإِسْلَامُ عَلَى خَمْسٍ: شَهَادَةِ أَنْ لَا إِلهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا رَسُولُ اللهِ، وَإِقَامِ الصَّلَاةِ، وَإِيتَاءِ الزَّكَاةِ، وَصَوْمِ رَمَضَانَ، وَحَجِّ الْبَيْت» (Islam is built upon five (pillars): Testifying that there is no deity worthy of worship except God and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establishing the prayer, giving Zakat, fasting Ramadan and Hajj to the House.)
Prayer is performed five times a day: at dawn (fajr), noon (dhuhr), in the afternoon (asr), at sunset (maghrib) and nightfall (isha'a)
The Islamic day begins at dawn (fajr).
The chief purpose of prayer in Islam is to act as a person's communication with God. By reciting "The Opening", the first chapter of the Qur'an, as required in all prayer, the worshipper can stand before God, thank and praise Him, and to ask for guidance along the Straight Path.
In addition, the daily prayers remind Muslims to give thanks for God's blessings and that Islam takes precedence over all other concerns, thereby revolving their life around Allah and submitting to His will. Prayer also serves as a formal method of remembering God, or dhikr.
In the Qur'an, it is written that: "The true believers are those who feel fear in their hearts when God is mentioned. And when His Revelations are recited to them, they find their faith strengthened. They do their best and then put their trust in their Lord." [Qur'an 8:2]
"To those whose hearts, when God is mentioned, are filled with fear, who show patient perseverance over their afflictions, keep up regular prayer, and spend (in charity) out of what We have bestowed upon them." [Qur'an 22:35]