Salat is one of the five pillars of Islam, it is a most important constituent of the faith. It is prayer of a very high level.
The Holy Quran repeatedly enjoins the offering of salat and indeed declares it to be a fundamental trait of a believer. The benefits of salat are countless. The Holy Quran says:
“And enjoin Prayer on thy people, and be constant therein. We ask thee not for provision; it is We that provide for thee. And the end is for the righteous”.
Salat strengthens man’s spiritual faculties. It is the best way to form a relationship with one’s Creator. It purifies one’s spirit, and through it, constant remembrance of Allah delivers one of the self that incites to evil.
God created man to worship Him and salat is the most excellent kind of worship. The Holy Quran also says:
“Recite that which has been revealed to thee of the Book, and observe Prayer. Surely, Prayer restrains one from indecency and manifest evil, and remembrance of Allah indeed is the greatest virtue. And Allah knows
what you do.” (29:46)
Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, relates that he heard the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings be
on him, say: “Tell me if one of you had a stream running at his door and he should take a bath in it five times every day would any dirt be left upon him? He was answered: No dirt would be left on him. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be on him) observed: This is the case of the five prayers. Allah wipes out all faults in
consequence of them.” (Bukhari)
As for the punishment of not observing the salat, all matters of reward and punishment rest solely with Allah.
Jabir, may Allah be pleased with him, relates that he heard the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah
be upon him, say: “Giving up prayer is tantamount to disbelief and associating partners with Allah.” (Muslim)
Five Daily Prayers
Salat, the obligatory Muslim prayer, is said at appointed time fixed in relation to the sun’s position. The time of Fajr, the morning prayer begins at dawn and ends just before sunrise. The time of Zuhr, the midday prayer, begins after the sun has crossed the zenith point and has begun to decline. The Asr prayer is said when the sun has further advanced in decline, in the late afternoon. The time of the Maghrib prayer begins immediately after sunset. It lasts till dusk. The Isha prayer can be said after dusk has finally disappeared, giving way to darkness of the night.