The five daily prayers, also known as salah or salat, are obligatory (fard) for Muslim ummah. These prayers are among the most important duties of the Islamic Faith and provide a direct means of communication with Allah (SWT). For Muslims, prayer is not a mere regulation but a gift from Allah (SWT). The ritual of prayer was taught by Hazrat Muhammad (SAW), and it involves facing the direction of the Holy Kaaba in Makkah al Mukarrama.
Prayer is one of the Five Pillars of Islam and is an important guiding principle that all Muslims must follow. It includes different body positions such as standing, bowing, kneeling, and sitting. These actions demonstrate humility and surrender to Allah (SWT). Prayer is a means to ask for forgiveness, seek guidance, and request blessings from Allah Almighty. It is not just about personal benefits; when people pray in congregation, it brings the Muslim community closer and strengthens it.
Quranic Ayahs about The Five Daily Prayers
The Quran, the most sacred book of Islam, emphasizes the importance of the five obligatory prayers in many places. It contains several verses that explicitly mention prayers and their significance. The commands of praying are mentioned 700 times in the Holy Quran. The word Salat appears 67 times in the Quran. Prayer and Zakat are collectively mentioned 32 times in the Quran. Some of the verses from the Quran that talk about five daily prayers are as follows:
The above ayah urges Muslims to recite what has been revealed to them in the Quran and establish prayer. This verse also highlights that genuine prayer should prevent individuals from indecency and evil, while the remembrance of Allah (SWT) is an even greater obstruction. Allah Almighty, the all-knowing, knows all the actions of humans.
The above verse highlights that Allah (SWT) is with those who are patient and pray to Him regularly. Therefore, Muslims must be patient and steadfast in their daily prayers to seek Allah’s blessings and guidance.
If you want to develop tawakkul, read our blog 9 Practical Steps to Practice Tawakkul in Daily Life.
Hadith about The Five Daily Prayers
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) taught us the importance and virtues of these prayers through his words and actions. Here are some of the authentic hadiths that highlight the significance of the five daily prayers:
Narrated Hazrat Abu Huraira (R.A):
I heard Allah’s Almighty Messenger (SAW) saying, “If a river were to flow at your door and you bathed in it five times a day, would any dirt be left on you?” The people replied, “No, not a trace of dirt would be left.” The Prophet (SAW) then said, “This is similar to the five daily prayers, with which Allah blots out (annuls) evil deeds.”[Sahih al-Bukhari 528]
Hazrat Abu Huraira (R.A) reported:
Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) said: “Five prayers and from one Friday prayer to (the next) Friday prayer is an expiation (of the sins committed in between their intervals) if major sins are not committed.”[Sahih Muslim 233a]
Narrated Hazrat Jabir (R.A):
The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: “Between disbelief and faith is abandoning the Salat.”[Jami at-Tirmidhi 2618]
These hadiths show us how the five daily prayers are a means of attaining Allah’s forgiveness, mercy, and reward. They also emphasize the importance of performing noble deeds, such as honouring one’s parents and striving for Allah’s (SWT) cause. We should cherish the five daily prayers as a gift from Allah Almighty to His servants and perform them with utmost sincerity and devotion.
Read more about the Salah: The second pillar of Islam.
The Five Daily Prayers and Their Times
Muslims perform five daily prayers at their fixed times, which are determined by the sun’s position in the sky. The timing of these prayers varies from place to place on earth. The five daily prayers and their appropriate times are as explained below:
The first prayer of the day begins at dawn and lasts until sunrise. It is recommended to pray Fajr when the sky starts to brighten before the sun rises.
2. Zuhr (Dhuhr)
The second prayer of the day starts when the sun moves from the middle of the sky to the west. It is valid until the shadow of every object becomes twice its size.
The third obligatory prayer is performed in the late afternoon after the Zuhr prayer. It is valid until the actual sphere of the sun disappears below the horizon. It is disliked to delay it until the sun’s rays weaken.
The fourth obligatory prayer begins with sunset. It is valid until the twilight (the redness of the sky) disappears. It is disliked to delay it until the stars become visible.
The last prayer of the day begins after the Maghrib prayer and lasts until midnight. Before sleeping, Muslims take time to remember Allah’s (SWT) presence, guidance, and mercy, and seek forgiveness by Doing Istighfar. It is disliked to delay it until past half-night.
We never know when our soul will leave our body and life after death is eternal. Therefore, we should offer our prayers on time, and our best effort should be in the direction of offering the prayers in the early hours.
To find out the exact times of each prayer for your location, you can use online tools such as IslamicFinder, which provides other helpful information such as Qibla directions and the Hijri calendar.
Method of Performing The Five Daily Prayers?
Physical Cleaning (Ghusl & Wudu)
We, as Muslims, perform five daily prayers as part of our religious rituals. Before praying, we must clean our hands, face, arms, and feet by performing Wudu. This helps us feel physically and spiritually clean before we begin praying.
If you want to know more about how to perform Wudu according to Sunnah, you can read our blog.
However, sometimes, Wudu is not enough to purify ourselves. If we have been in a state of major impurity, such as after sexual intercourse or menstruation, we must perform Ghusl before doing Wudu. Ghusl is a full-body washing that involves rinsing the mouth, nose, ears, and hair and then washing the entire body from head to toe. By performing Ghusl, we remove any traces of impurity from our bodies and prepare ourselves for the sacred act of prayer.
Praying our Salah
We will now explain how to perform the five daily prayers in Islam. The prayers consist of Takbir, Qiyaam, Ruku, Sujud, and Tashahhud, followed by Tasleem. During each prayer, Muslims recite verses from the Quran and make various physical movements, including standing, bowing, kneeling, and sitting. The prayer ends with turning our heads to the right and left, saying, “As-salaam ‘alaykum wa rahmatullah.” Our five daily prayers are a means of offering our devotion to Allah (SWT) and seeking forgiveness and mercy.
Importance of Five Daily Prayers
The five daily prayers in Islam are incredibly significant because they allow Muslims to connect directly with Allah (SWT). By performing these prayers, we, as Muslims, demonstrate our submission, discipline, and devotion to Allah (SWT), which constantly reminds us of His presence. Performing these prayers in congregation brings discipline, unity, and humility among us, regardless of our cultural or ethnic backgrounds.
Praying is not just a physical act but also helps to achieve calmness in the mind, spiritual growth, and personal development. Our daily five prayers form a strong foundation for spirituality in Islam, creating a special and intimate bond between the person praying and Allah (SWT).
Benefits of The Five Daily Prayers
There are many benefits of maintaining your five obligatory prayers on a daily basis, some of them are;
1. Unity and Equality in Prayer
When Muslims pray together in congregation, it creates a sense of brotherhood, equality, and humility. Worshippers stand shoulder to shoulder without any distinction of caste, nationality, colour, wealth, family, or rank. This act of union helps to break down all the barriers that stand between people.
2. Way to Jannah
Performing the five daily prayers is considered a key element in preparing for the Hereafter and attaining Jannah, or Paradise. The greatest blessing and benefit for every Muslim is to enter Paradise. It is believed that whoever prays Fajr and Asr will enter Paradise.
If you want to learn more about Jannah and its blessings, we invite you to read our blog post “Jannah – The Reward for True Muslims.” In this post, you will find out what Jannah looks like, what its levels are, who its residents are, and how to attain it.
3. Enriches the Soul
Humans are forgetful, especially with busy lifestyles. Prayer fulfils our spiritual need to be in touch with Allah Almighty. It gives peace and satisfaction to the soul.
Praying five times a day can help us develop a greater sense of self-control, punctuality, and structure in our lives. Engaging in prayer provides a moment of peace and reflection, which can be especially helpful in reducing the pressures of everyday life. By remembering Allah (SWT) through prayer, we can give our minds a much-needed break and find inner peace, as it helps us take full control of our nafs.
You can read our blog, How to Control Nafs in Islam.
5. Gives Way to Light In Dark Times
Praying five times a day also reminds us that we can always turn to Allah (SWT) in times of trouble and that He always hears our sincere and heartfelt prayers.
How to Perform Missing Prayers?
The term used in Islam to describe missed prayers is Qada. Islam stresses that Muslims must maintain their five daily prayers. Subsequently, missing a prayer is something that Muslims should avoid, but sometimes, it may happen due to circumstances beyond our control. In such cases, it is important to make up for the missed prayer as soon as possible or to combine it with the next regular prayer.
Performing missed prayers doesn’t have a set time. You can do them whenever it’s convenient for you, as long as you get the chance. An easy way to perform missing prayers is to include a similar missed prayer after each of our obligatory daily prayers.
This is a brief summary of how to perform missing prayers, but for more details and guidance, please refer to our blog on how to make up for missed prayers. There, you will find the conditions, rulings, and methods of performing missing prayers according to the Quran and Sunnah.
Conclusion: Maintaining Our Obligatory Prayers
The Holy Quran repeatedly mentions the importance and benefits of performing five daily prayers. These prayers are a duty of every Muslim, and they help us to connect with Allah Almighty and seek His guidance and mercy. The five daily prayers reflect our different emotional states in life, such as fear, gratitude, hope, and submission. Through the prayers, we acknowledge that Allah (SWT) is the only source of relief and solution for our problems.