Introduction—Philosophy Of Prayer:
This word as used in the Holy Quran is formed from the word ‘Salat’ and ‘Tasliat’ and in the Arabic dictionary it means “To pray.” But in Islamic terminology it conveys the way of expressing worship by man to his real Creator and object of worship in the special manner taught by God to the people by His Apostles.
Prayer is the first and foremost duty of every Muslim and Quran Majeed repeatedly urges that every Muslim should perform this duty. Ti is obligatory for five time a day. Salat id the practical proof of our faith in Allah and Islam.
Importance of Prayer In the Light Of Quran And Hadith.
Prayer is vital in Islam. Quran has repeatedly emphasized this point.
“And keep up the prayer: It restrains from indecency and evil.”
“And keep up the prayer………….”
“Keep up the prayer; give the stated alms: hold strongly to the cord of faith in Allah.”
“And seek help (of God) with perseverance and prayer.”
“O’ ye who believe! Strengthen yourselves with perseverance and prayer.”
“He all of you attentive toward Allah (Him) and reverence Him; And keep up the prayer.”
Unless a man performs his prayer regularly, he cannot be a true Muslim. According to Dr. Hakim Islam considers prayer to be the dividing line between belief and unbelief. Islamic prayer is purified of all low and irrational elements and prescribed as a great help in building up of character by remembering God. Prayer is remembrance of God by man. It is a communion between God and man—an interaction between the Divinity within and the Divinity overhead. Prayer is a means of spiritual illumination and its aim is to know God and seek His help in man’s attempt.
The Holy Prophet says:
Holy Prophet (PBUH) regarded prayer as the noblest of all devotions. It has been rightly said ‘prayer is an index to ethical culture.’ The Holy Quran says:
Benefits Of Salat:
i) Prayers keep this observation fresh in the minds of individuals that a man is not sovereign but sub-ordinate to the creator of the universe.
ii) Prayer develops a sense of responsibility in man.
iii) Prayers are the means of distinguishing between those who have a sense of responsibility or who have not.
iv) It creates a complete system of though by which a virtuous character is developed.
v) Prayers develop a practical sense enabling a person to take decision on a course of action with firm belief.
vi) Prayers bring a man nearer to God. There is no better means of achieving bliss about which it has been said,
vii) Prayers are the means of purifying heart and developing the soul.
i) Social Organization And Social Discipline:
Prayers not only help in building individual character but also in establishing a community structure and spirit. Daily Prayers keep the flame of this spirit going. This is why prayer in congregation is made obligatory. The gathering of believers in mosque five time is the basis of community organization of the Millat-i-Islamia. Prayer is discipline more strict than he army but without any coercion. It is a voluntary discipline imposed to win the pleasure of God.
ii) Mosque As Community Centre:
When Muslims meet together in mosque for prayer, they feel and share one another’s’ problems and sufferings. They get the opportunity to know their brethren more closely and acquaint them of their needs and problems. This fraternity promotes sincerity, brotherhood, honesty, willingness to hep and piety amongst them.
iii) Mutual Cooperation And Help:
This regular assembly for daily prayer also provides opportunities for cooperation. People of different social and economic status meet one another in the mosque and learn eachother’s problems. In Islamic tradition, they will learn and cater for the needs of those in difficulty and suffering.
iv) Equity And Brotherhood:
Prayers in the congregation are the training in brotherhood, equality and fraternity. During prayer, all Muslims stand in prayer their God as equals. There is no distinction between the rich and the poor, the white and the black, the Arab and the non-Arab, they all stand in rows to offer their prayer to God.
v) Training in Jihad (Holy War):
There seems to be a close relationship between prayer and jihad. Any army must possess discipline to achieve any marked battle success. For without discipline the army spirit will disintegrate. Islam offers prayer as a training for discipline even in Holy War.
vi) Respect For The Rights Of Others:
Prayer also teaches respect for other people and their rights. The believers go to the mosque regularly five times daily and meet all types of people who gather there for prayers. They stand together shoulder to shoulder like a solid cemented structure and present a striking example of discipline, cohesion and affection. This develops in them love and respect for other people and their rights.
True believers also become tolerant through the daily routine of prayer. They have to prepare for prayer, perform ablution and then join other believers in the mosque for prayer. It needs a lot of endurance to stick to this rigorous discipline everyday all the year round. It also enables an individual to endure and tolerate the hardship and sufferings he has to undergo in his life.
Prayer is the strength behind unity. The establishment of unity is the greatest social ideal of Islam. It unites men of different languages, ethnic groups, colours, and nationalities. When they hear the call of the Muezzin, they all gather together as brothers for prayer. It is, in fact, the most vital and effective way of uniting believers into one solid block.