Salah(Daily Ritual Prayer)
Salat is something amazing in Islam and it is the way Muslims ‘converse’ with “Allah“. Muslims make ‘salat’ (some people incorrectly call this ‘prayer’) every day, five times a day. Salat is a form of worship previously reserved only for prophets, but during the life of Muhammad, peace be upon him, Allah included any of the followers of the last prophet (Muhamad, peace be upon him) in this most distinguished and honorable group.
Salat is the second most important act of worship in Islam, after the shahadah (declaration of faith) and is often referred to as the second pillar of Islam.
Salat is obligatory worship and must be performed five times a day at prescribed times. These five times are dawn (Fajr), immediately after noon (Dhuhr), mid-afternoon (‘Asr), sunset (Maghrib), and early night (Isha’).
Ritual cleanliness and ablution are required before salat, as are clean clothes and location, and the removal of shoes. One may pray individually or communally, at home, outside, virtually any clean place, as well as in a mosque, though the latter is preferred. Special is the Friday noon prayer, called Jum’ah. It, too, is obligatory and is to be done in a mosque, in congregation. It is accompanied by a sermon (Khutbah), and it replaces the normal Dhuhr salat.
There is no hierarchical clerical authority in Islam, no priests or ministers. salats are led by any learned person who knows the Qur’an and is chosen by the congregation. He (or she, if the congregation is all women) is called the imam. There is also no minimum number of congregants required to hold communal salats. salat consists of verses from the Qur’an and other salats, accompanied by various bodily postures – standing, bowing, prostrating and sitting. They are said in Arabic, the language of the revelation, though personal supplications (Du’ah) can be offered in one’s own language. Worshippers face the Qiblah, the direction of the Ka’bah in the city of Makkah.
The significance of salat lies in one’s maintaining a continuous link to God five times a day, which helps the worshipper avoid misdeeds if he/she performs the salat sincerely. In addition it promotes discipline, God-consciousness and placing one’s trust in Allah alone, and the importance of striving for the Hereafter. When performed in congregation it also provides a strong sense of community, equality and brotherhood/sisterhood.