I pray five times a day.
Prayer is the second pillar in Islam. It is more appropriately called Salat. There is a distinction between this and supplication. The latter involves putting forward requests to Allah (S.W.T.) and can be done at any time. The rest of this post is about the former.
Salat is observed at fixed times. Muslims pray in the same way at the same period all around the world.The rak’at (units) of each prayer are universal
At daybreak, I observe Fajr (2 rak’at)
Noon is the time for Dhuhr (4 rak’at)
Asr comes along in the afternoon (4 rak’at)
Maghrib is at sunset (3 rak’at)
I end the day with Isha’ at night (4 rak’at)
Daily, we are preoccupied with worldly pursuits but Salat provides a direct means of communicating with our Creator. It is really a test of faith as only a sincere believer will leave daily activities to observe Salat at the right time.
Muslims pray in congregation in the mosque. It is wonderful to watch this unique form of devotion in which hearts worship in unity.
Before Muslims pray, they must fulfill some conditions. These are :
~ablution which entails washing the hands, mouth, nostrils, face, forearms and feet in addition to wiping the head with wt hands and cleaning the ears (with clean water)
~wearing clean and modest clothes
~praying in a clean mosque or praying area
~humility and concentration
Salat starts by the Adhaan (call to prayer). This is followed by recitation from the Qur’an, bowing and prostrating; all the while glorifying Allah. The intricacies of Salat are well-known by Muslims irrespective of geographical location. Thus, if I travel to a country where my language is not spoken, I can join the Muslims in prayer without missing out any part.
It is amazing that Muslims pray in exactly the same way that Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) prayed more than fourteen hundred years ago. They face the same direction that he faced then- the Ka’aba in Makkah, Saudi Arabia.
Personally, I plan my day around each prayer. This has made me time-conscious. Salat makes me remember my Lord constantly and reminds me to be thankful to Him always. It fosters brotherhood and equality. It also ensures cleanliness, concentration and humility.
Finally, it is of utmost importance in the life of a Muslim for it is the way to attaining peace.