We were all created by Allah for a purpose, and Allah explicitly reveals this purpose in the below verse.

And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.

Quran chapter 51 verse 56

There are many kinds of worships, from removing a stone from the road to performing Hajj. However, out of all the best form of worship is to offer salah or prayer. The priority Islam has given for salah supersedes for all the other kinds of worship. Alright, what are the importance of salah?

Salah is one of the Pillars of Islam

Islam is based on five pillars. The pillar after Kalima is the establishment of salah.

he Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “(The structure of) Islam is built on five (pillars): Testification of ‘La ilaha illallah’ (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah), that Muhammad (ﷺ) is his slave and Messenger, the establishment of Salat, the payment of Zakat, the pilgrimage to the House of Allah (Ka’bah), and Saum during the month of Ramadan.”

Al-Bukhari and Muslim Book 9, Hadith 216

Whenever someone utters the Kalima (the testification that none is worthy of worship, except Allah and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is the slave and Messenger of Allah), he enters into the fold of Islam. Immediately salah becomes obligatory upon that person. Salah is the difference between a Muslim and a Non-Muslim.

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Between a man and disbelief and paganism is the abandonment of Salat (prayer).”

Muslim Book 9, Hadith 88

The person who neglects prayer is compared to a non-believer (Kaafir). There’s no place in Islam if one doesn’t offer salah. Some scholars even go to an extent to say if someone who doesn’t offer salah, are not permitted to be buried in Muslim burial grounds.

It is obligatory to offer salah

Salah is mandatory on all Muslims and should be performed at specified times by men and women.

Indeed, prayer has been decreed upon the believers a decree of specified times

Quran Chapter 4 Verse 103

he Prophet has told to encourage the children to pray when they reach the age seven and to use force at the age of ten if they don’t offer salah.

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: Command your children to pray when they become seven years old, and beat them for it (prayer) when they become ten years old; and arrange their beds (to sleep) separately.

Sunan Abi Dawud 495

Allah in his last and final testament mentions in Chapter 2 Verse 238

Maintain with care the [obligatory] prayers and [in particular] the middle prayer and stand before Allah, devoutly obedient.

Not Permissible to Miss One’s Salah

As mentioned earlier, salah is the best form of worship. It is evident that even in the most challenging circumstances, salah has been made compulsory. Sickness, physical weakness, travelling or lack of time are not an excuse to miss ones salah. Even if a person is on the battlefield, salah is mandatory.

And when you are among them and lead them in prayer, let a group of them stand [in prayer] with you and let them carry their arms. And when they have prostrated, let them be [in position] behind you and have the other group come forward which has not [yet] prayed and let themcarry their arms. And when they have prostrated, let them be [in position] behind you and have the other group come forward which has not [yet] prayed and let them pray with you, taking precaution and carrying their arms. Those who disbelieve wish that you would neglect your weapons and your baggage so they could come down upon you in one [single] attack. But there is no blame upon you, if you are troubled by rain or are ill, for putting down your arms, but take precaution. Indeed, Allah has prepared for the disbelievers a humiliating punishment.

Quran chapter 4 verse 102

Allah, in the above verse, teaches how one should offer salah while on the battlefield. Even though there might be risks involved with one’s life, Allah teaches them how to take precaution but doesn’t give any concession to miss their prayer. This verse shows the importance of salah in Islam.

Even at the hardest time, Islam teaches how one should fulfil the obligation of salah. If one cannot pray while standing, then let him pray white seated, if he cannot do that, then let him offer salah while lying and so on.

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said: “Pray standing and if you are unable, pray sitting and if you cannot, pray lying on your side, [otherwise pray by signs].”

al-Bukhari Book 2, Hadith 223

If there’s no water to take ablution (wudhu), Islam teaches to perform tayammum. If you are travelling, then it is allowed to shorten and join the prayer (Qasr and Jammu). If you doesn’t know the Qibla, then you can pray the direction which you think is the closest to the correct direction (Ijthihad). Therefore even at these difficult times, Islam prescribes alternate ways to offer salah but doesn’t allow one to skip it. Again, this is the importance of salah in Islam.

Warning for those who miss their salah

In the hereafter, there will be some in hell (Jahannam). When asked to these people, why were you put to hell? They will reply we were not among those who performed salah, and this made our residing place hell.

[And asking them], “What put you into Saqar?” They will say, “We were not of those who prayed,

Quran chapter 74 verse 42 – 43

Also Allah says

So woe to those who pray, [But] who are heedless of their prayer -Those who make show [of their deeds]

quran chapter 107 verse 4 – 6

The warning in the above verse is not for one who misses his prayer, but for the one prays carelessly and for the one who prays to show off to others. When, Allah warns someone who prays carelessly, imagine the situation of a person who neglects prayer completely.

More Facts About Salah According to Some Scholars.

  • If anyone doesn’t pray because he believes salah is NOT obligatory, even though he knows Allah’s commandments, then he is considered as a Kaafir (the one who rejects the truth)
  • If someone misses their prayer due to carelessness, then he is committing a major sin.
  • If you miss a prayer due to laziness, then you are considered to be a munafiq (hypocrite). Allah mentions the punishment munafiq gets in the Quran chapter 4 verse 145

Indeed, the hypocrites will be in the lowest depths of the Fire – and never will you find for them a helper

Why does Allah warns with severe punishment for those who miss salah?

The grave punishments for missing salah shows how important it is to offer our prayers. If salah is a normal thing, we wouldn’t have been warned to be put in hell, nor will they be considered Kaafir for the ones who misses it. These statements show prayer is not something we can take it lightly.

The First Question in the Hereafter

All Muslims believe in the hereafter; it is one of the pillars of eemaan. Without any doubt, we all will be resurrected on the day of judgement. We all will be questioned and depending on our deeds we will either be reward with paradise (Jannah) or punished with hell (Jahannam).

Out of all the questions that will be asked on the day of judgement, the first question will be on our salah.

Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “The first of man’s deeds for which he will be called to account on the Day of Resurrection will be Salat. If it is found to be perfect, he will be safe and successful; but if it is incomplete, he will be unfortunate and a loser. If any shortcoming is found in the obligatory Salat, the Glorious and Exalted Rubb will command to see whether His slave has offered any voluntary Salat so that the obligatory Salat may be made up by it. Then the rest of his actions will be treated in the same manner.

At- Tirmidhi Book 9, Hadith 91

A person who doesn’t offer salah, will not even be able to smell the fragrance of the paradise unless Allah has mercy on him. He will stand as a loser in front of Allah. Prayer is one of the routes to paradise. Also, the above Quranic verses & hadiths are just a few out of the many to signify the importance of salah.

All other forms of worship were made compulsory through wahi (revelation from Allah to Prophet Muhammad PBUH). But, for salah, Allah took the Prophet above the seven heavens, in a journey called Mihraj and made it compulsory. This too proves the significance of salah.

Even when the Prophet PBUH was sick he went to pray with the support of two men with his feet making lines along the ground Sunan Ibn Majah Vol. 1, Book 5, Hadith 1232

When our beloved Prophet PBUH was on his death bed, he advised the people to hold on to the prayer. And it was reported by Ali (rali) that these were the last words of our beloved Prophet. Therefore, in our lives, let us be steadfast on prayer. And use salah as a means to enter paradise – Aameen

FAQ

What are the importance of prayer in Islam?

We were all created by Allah for a purpose, and Allah explicitly says in Quran “And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me“. There are many kinds of worships. However, the best form of worship is to offer salah or prayer. The priority Islam has given for salah supersedes for any other kinds of worship.

At what age should Children offer Salah?

Prophet has told to encourage the children to pray when they reach the age seven and to use force at the age of ten if they don’t offer salah.

Can we miss the obligatory Salah

Even at the most challenging circumstances, salah is made compulsory. Sickness, physical weakness, travelling or lack of time are not an excuse to miss ones salah. Even if a person is on the battlefield, salah is mandatory.

What are the Punishment for Missing Salah?

In the hereafter, there will be some in hell (Jahannam). When asked to these people, why were you put to hell? They will reply we were not among those who performed salah, and this made our residing place hell.

And Allah Knows Best

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