In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
The importance of Salaah (obligatory 5 times prayers) in a Muslim’s life is undeniable, unquestionable, and undisputable. Every Muslim would agree that acts such as recitation of the Qur’an (qirat), giving charity to the poor (zakaat), pilgrimage (Hajj), fasting during Ramadan (fasting), respecting elders, loving the younger ones, abstaining from watching hearing and doing the haraam, and practices such as taqwa, kindness, prostrations (sajda), and supplications (dua) hold extreme importance in a Muslim’s life.
Our Beloved Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wassallum commanded the Muslims to practice and teach all of the above mentioned devotions to themselves, others, and especially the children. But never has the Prophet stressed so much on any other element, as He has stressed on Salaat. The Prophet has emphasized Salaat so much that a child is to be disciplined from an early tender age and be put into the practice of offering his prayers. If the child does not recite the Qur’an, that’s ok. If he does not fast, that’s ok. But it is not ok for the child to not offer his prayers. The Prophet commanded the believers to condition their children in such a way that Salaat becomes part of his daily activity from as early of an age as 7 and 10 years.
Salaat is to be offered 5 times a day irrespective of any excuses, whether in a standing position, in a sitting posture, or even while lying down (if a person is sick), but it can not be ignored. The question arises to mind that what is it about Salaat that makes it so different from other pious activities? Why has the Salaat been emphasized so much that it
is one of the only few things that are actually commanded for even a child.Why???
Allah says in the Qur”an, “Seek help from Salaat.” Whenever the Prophet happened to face any difficulty, he would immediately resort to Salaat. When a Muslim offers his Salaat to please Allah, his sins are shed away from him just as leaves drop from trees in Autumn. Just as dirt can not remain on a person’s body who bathes five times, exactly similar is the effect of Salaat offered five times a day with the Grace of Allah it washes away all the dirt of the mind and spirit. Accountability of Salaat will be one of the only three questions asked in the grave, and will be the first and the foremost thing to be accounted for on the Day of Judgement. Salaat is the key to Paradise, the pillar of Islam, the light and mai’raaj of a Momin, and disgraces the Devil. The Mercy of Allah descends upon a person so long as he is engaged in Salaat. Of all the practices, Salaat made at fixed hours is most loved by Allah.
The place of Salaat in Islam is like the head in a body. Fire of Hell is forbidden and Paradise becomes due to a person who performs his ‘Wudhu’ properly and says his Salaat keenly and according to its regulations. Salaat encourages promptness in a person’s life and allows him to appreciate the value of time when he promptly offers his prayers 5 times everyday at their respective times.
Salaat strengthens faith and Eemaan because it makes a believer feel close to his Creator and makes him realize that even if he can not see Allah, Allah can surely see him. Salaat promotes unity and discipline for, in the mosque, when the call for prayer is sounded and worshippers are gathered together, the democracy of Islam is embodied five times a day when the peasant and king kneel side by side, and it is this subconscious indivisible unity of Islam that makes a man instinctively into a brother.
With these points in mind, one begins to understand the importance of Salaat on an individual’s life, and only now can we begin to understand why Allah and His Messenger emphasized so much on Salaat and wished to embed Salaat as part of every believer?s life, children and adults alike.