The Importance of Prayer (Salâh)

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Guard strictly (five obligatory) As-Salawât (the prayers) especially the middle Salâh (i.e. the best prayer – ‘Asr). And stand before Allâh with obedience [Surah Al-Baqarah 2:238].
  • The 5 daily prayers were made obligatory during the Prophets Miraculous Night Journey (Al-Isrâ wa Al-Mi’râj)

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

فَأَوْحَى اللَّهُ إِلَىَّ مَا أَوْحَى فَفَرَضَ عَلَىَّ خَمْسِينَ صَلاَةً فِي كُلِّ يَوْمٍ وَلَيْلَةٍ فَنَزَلْتُ إِلَى مُوسَى صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَالَ مَا فَرَضَ رَبُّكَ عَلَى أُمَّتِكَ قُلْتُ خَمْسِينَ صَلاَةً قَالَ ارْجِعْ إِلَى رَبِّكَ فَاسْأَلْهُ التَّخْفِيفَ فَإِنَّ أُمَّتَكَ لاَ يُطِيقُونَ ذَلِكَ فَإِنِّي قَدْ بَلَوْتُ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ وَخَبَرْتُهُمْ ‏.‏ قَالَ فَرَجَعْتُ إِلَى رَبِّي فَقُلْتُ يَا رَبِّ خَفِّفْ عَلَى أُمَّتِي ‏.‏ فَحَطَّ عَنِّي خَمْسًا فَرَجَعْتُ إِلَى مُوسَى فَقُلْتُ حَطَّ عَنِّي خَمْسًا ‏.‏ قَالَ إِنَّ أُمَّتَكَ لاَ يُطِيقُونَ ذَلِكَ فَارْجِعْ إِلَى رَبِّكَ فَاسْأَلْهُ التَّخْفِيفَ ‏.‏ – قَالَ – فَلَمْ أَزَلْ أَرْجِعُ بَيْنَ رَبِّي تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى وَبَيْنَ مُوسَى – عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ – حَتَّى قَالَ يَا مُحَمَّدُ إِنَّهُنَّ خَمْسُ صَلَوَاتٍ كُلَّ يَوْمٍ وَلَيْلَةٍ لِكُلِّ صَلاَةٍ عَشْرٌ فَذَلِكَ خَمْسُونَ صَلاَةً

Then Allâh revealed to me a revelation and He made obligatory for me fifty prayers every day and night. Then I went down to Mûsâ (peace be upon him) and he said: What has your Lord enjoined upon your Ummah? I said: Fifty prayers. He said: Return to Your Lord and beg for reduction (in the number of prayers), for your community shall not be able to bear this burden. as I have put to test the children of Isra’îl and tried them (and found them too weak to bear such a heavy burden). He (the Prophet) said: I went back to my Lord and said: My Lord, make things lighter for my Ummah. (The Lord) reduced five prayers for me. I went down to Musa and said. (The Lord) reduced five (prayers) for me, He said: Verily your Ummah shall not be able to bear this burden; return to Your Lord and ask Him to make things lighter. I then kept going back and forth between my Lord Blessed and Exalted and Mûsâ, till He said: There are five prayers every day and night. (Sahîh Muslim 162)


  • The first thing that one will be reckoned with on The Day of Judgement is Salâh

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

إِنَّ أَوَّلَ مَا يُحَاسَبُ بِهِ الْعَبْدُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ مِنْ عَمَلِهِ صَلاَتُهُ فَإِنْ صَلُحَتْ فَقَدْ أَفْلَحَ وَأَنْجَحَ وَإِنْ فَسَدَتْ فَقَدْ خَابَ وَخَسِرَ فَإِنِ انْتَقَصَ مِنْ فَرِيضَتِهِ شَيْءٌ قَالَ الرَّبُّ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ انْظُرُوا هَلْ لِعَبْدِي مِنْ تَطَوُّعٍ فَيُكَمَّلَ بِهَا مَا انْتَقَصَ مِنَ الْفَرِيضَةِ ثُمَّ يَكُونُ سَائِرُ عَمَلِهِ عَلَى ذَلِكَ

Indeed the first deed by which a servant will be called to account on the Day of Resurrection is his Salâh. If it is sound, he is successful and saved, but if it is defective, he has failed and lost. So if something is deficient in his obligatory (prayers) then the Lord, Mighty and Sublime says: ‘Look! Are there any voluntary (prayers) for my worshipper?’ So with them, what was deficient in his obligatory (prayers) will be completed. Then the rest of his deeds will be treated like that. (At-Tirmidhî 413. Declared Sahîh by Al-Albânî)


  • The Salâh is from the best of deeds

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ مِنْ أَفْضَلِ أَعْمَالِكُمُ الصَّلاَةَ

Know that among the best of your deeds is Salâh. (Ibn Mâjah 278. Declared Sahîh by Al-Albânî)


  • The Salâh expiates (minor) sins

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

الصَّلَوَاتُ الْخَمْسُ وَالْجُمُعَةُ إِلَى الْجُمُعَةِ وَرَمَضَانُ إِلَى رَمَضَانَ مُكَفِّرَاتٌ مَا بَيْنَهُنَّ إِذَا اجْتَنَبَ الْكَبَائِرَ ‏

The five (daily) prayers and from one Friday prayer to the (next) Friday prayer, and from Ramadân to Ramadân are expiations for the (sins) committed in between (their intervals) provided one shuns the major sins. (Sahîh Muslim 233)

He صلى الله عليه وسلم also said:

أَرَأَيْتُمْ لَوْ أَنَّ نَهَرًا بِبَابِ أَحَدِكُمْ، يَغْتَسِلُ فِيهِ كُلَّ يَوْمٍ خَمْسًا، مَا تَقُولُ ذَلِكَ يُبْقِي مِنْ دَرَنِهِ ‏”‏‏.‏ قَالُوا لاَ يُبْقِي مِنْ دَرَنِهِ شَيْئًا‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ فَذَلِكَ مِثْلُ الصَّلَوَاتِ الْخَمْسِ، يَمْحُو اللَّهُ بِهَا الْخَطَايَا

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 (ﷺ) added, “That is the example of the five prayers with which Allâh blots out (annuls) evil deeds. (Sahîh Bukhârî 528)


  • Sins fall away during bowing & prostrating

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

إِنَّ الْعَبْدَ إِذَا قَامَ يُصَلِّي أُتِيَ بِذُنُوبِهِ فَوَضَعَتْ عَلَى رَأْسِهِ أَوْ عَاتِقِهِ فَكُلَّمَا رَكَعَ أَوْ سَجَدَ تَسَاقَطَتْ عَنْهُ

Verily, when a servant stands to pray, his sins are placed on top of his head and shoulders. Every time he bows or prostrates, they fall away from him. (Ibn Hibbân 1734. Declared Sahîh by Al-Albânî, Sahîh Al-Jâmi’ 1671)


  • For every prostration, Allâh erases 1 sin, records 1 good deed & raises him by 1 degree (in status)

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

مَا مِنْ عَبْدٍ يَسْجُدُ لِلَّهِ سَجْدَةً إِلاَّ كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَهُ بِهَا حَسَنَةً وَمَحَا عَنْهُ بِهَا سَيِّئَةً وَرَفَعَ لَهُ بِهَا دَرَجَةً فَاسْتَكْثِرُوا مِنَ السُّجُودِ

No one prostrates to Allâh but Allâh will record one Hasanah (good reward) for him, and will erase thereby one bad deed and raise him in status one degree. So prostrate a great deal. (Ibn Mâjah 1424. Declared Sahîh by Al-Albânî)


  • They (Salâh al-Fajr & al-‘Asr) are a means to entering Paradise & a means of avoiding the Hellfire

He صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

مَنْ صَلَّى الْبَرْدَيْنِ دَخَلَ الْجَنَّةَ

Whoever prays the two cool prayers (`Asr and Fajr) will go to Paradise. (Sahîh Bukhârî 574)

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

لَنْ يَلِجَ النَّارَ أَحَدٌ صَلَّى قَبْلَ طُلُوعِ الشَّمْسِ وَقَبْلَ غُرُوبِهَا

He who observes prayer before the rising of the sun and its setting, i.e. the dawn prayer and the afternoon prayer, would not enter the (Hell) fire. (Sahîh Muslim 634)


  • Hellfire is forbidden from touching the marks of prostration

The prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

أَمَرَ الْمَلاَئِكَةَ أَنْ يُخْرِجُوا مِنَ النَّارِ مَنْ كَانَ لاَ يُشْرِكُ بِاللَّهِ شَيْئًا، مِمَّنْ أَرَادَ اللَّهُ أَنْ يَرْحَمَهُ مِمَّنْ يَشْهَدُ أَنْ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ، فَيَعْرِفُونَهُمْ فِي النَّارِ بِأَثَرِ السُّجُودِ، تَأْكُلُ النَّارُ ابْنَ آدَمَ إِلاَّ أَثَرَ السُّجُودِ، حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ عَلَى النَّارِ أَنْ تَأْكُلَ أَثَرَ السُّجُودِ

He (Allâh) will then order the angels to take out of the Fire all those who used to worship none but Allâh from among those whom Allâh wanted to be merciful to and those who testified (in the world) that none has the right to be worshipped but Allâh. The angels will recognise them in the Fire by the marks of prostration, for the Fire will eat up all the human body except the marks of prostration as Allâh has forbidden the Fire to eat the marks of prostration. (Sahîh Bukhârî 7437)


  • Not performing Salah is a major sin & an act of disbelief (kufr)

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

الْعَهْدُ الَّذِي بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَهُمُ الصَّلاَةُ فَمَنْ تَرَكَهَا فَقَدْ كَفَرَ

The covenant that distinguishes between us and them is prayer; so whoever leaves it, he has committed disbelief (Kufr). (At-Tirmidhî 1079. Declared Sahîh by Al-Albânî)

He صلى الله عليه وسلم also said:

بَيْن الرَّجل وَبَيْن الشِّرْكِ وَالكُفر ترْكُ الصَّلاةِ

Between a man and shirk and kufr there stands his neglect of the prayer. (Sahîh Muslim 82)

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ شَقِيقٍ الْعُقَيْلِيِّ، قَالَ كَانَ أَصْحَابُ مُحَمَّدٍ صلى الله عليه وسلم لاَ يَرَوْنَ شَيْئًا مِنَ الأَعْمَالِ تَرْكُهُ كُفْرٌ غَيْرَ الصَّلاَةِ

Narrated by ‘Abdullâh ibn Shaqîq Al-‘Uqayli:The Companions of Muhammad (ﷺ) didn’t consider leaving anything to be disblief except for the Salah. (At-Tirmidhî 2622. Declared Sahîh by Al-Albânî)


  • The dangers of missing Salâh al-‘Asr

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

Whoever misses the `Asr prayer then it is as if he lost his family and property. (Sahîh Bukhârî 552)

He صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

مَنْ تَرَكَ صَلاَةَ الْعَصْرِ فَقَدْ حَبِطَ عَمَلُهُ

Whoever leaves the ‘Asr prayer, all his (good) deeds will be nullified. (Sahîh Bukhârî 553)

Published by أبو زكريا عيسى الألباني

BSc (Hons) Microbiology | Qur'ān | Sunnah |

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