Importance Of Salat

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Originating from the Arabic language the word salat has various meanings such as connection, prayer, and invocation. However, Salat mostly refers to the five obligatory prayers performed by Muslims during specific times of the day which are: pre-dawn (fajr), noon (dhuhr), mid-afternoon (‘asr), sunset (maghrib), and early night or evening (‘Isha). Salat is the second pillar of Islam and the second most important act after the declaration of faith (shahada) where Muslims bear witness that there is no deity that is worthy to be worshipped except Allah and that Muhammad is the servant and the messenger of Allah. Five times a day millions of Muslims pray facing towards the direction (qibla) of the Ka’aba located in Masjid-Al Haram,
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Why is it so fundamental for Muslims to pray five times a day? In a religious context, the word Islam means ‘submission’ to the will of Allah or God and the Muslim is the one who submits and humbles himself in front of his Lord. The Qur’an revealed that God “…did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship [him]” (51:56) (Ali). If the purpose of life is to worship Allah then there must be a way for them to express their humility and acceptance of God’s commands. Salat is how Muslims show both their physical and spiritual submission to Allah. Just like the other acts of worship such as Sawm (Fasting), Hajj (Pilgrimage to Makkah), and Zakat (alms-giving), the goal of Salat is to bring the Muslims closer to Allah and also build the character of members of Islamic community. This investigation focuses on the early origins of Salat, the role it plays in Islam, and its significance both in this life and the hereafter using as evidence the Holy book of Islam and the sunnah of Prophet…show more content…
Origins of Salat
The most significant misconception about the origin of salat is that it was established and first introduced by Prophet Muhammad. However, it is believed that the emergence of Salat dates back to the time of previous prophets such as Ibrahim and Isma’il . One commonality between all the messengers and prophets of Islam is that they were all sent by Allah to restore Tawheed in the heart of people, make them submit to Allah, and establish regular prayer. It was Prophet Ibrahim who established the concept of salat and gave this religion the name of Islam. This is proven in the Qur’an when Allah says: “…it is the cult of your father Abraham. It is He Who has named you Muslims, both before and in this (Revelation); that the Messenger may be a witness for you, and ye be witnesses for mankind! So establish regular Prayer, give regular Charity, and hold fast to Allah!” (22:78) (Ali)
All prophets and messengers, from Adam to Muhammad, conveyed the same message which was to worship Allah only through salat. Prophet Ibrahim used to pray regularly and invoked his Lord to make his descendants establish salat as it’s stated in the Qur’an:
O my Lord! Make me one who establishes regular Prayer, and also (raise such) among my offspring O our Lord! And accept Thou my Prayer. (14:40)
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