The Importance and Meaning of Salah.Part1

The Importance and Meaning of Salah.Part1

Prayer is the most important type of worship, for it displays a person’s sincerity and loyalty to God. In the words of God’s Messenger(S.A.W.), it is the pillar or main support of religious life (Daylami, al-Firdaws, 2:404).

There are several kinds of prayers, as follows:

  • Obligatory; The five daily prescribed prayers and the Jumu’a (Friday) prayer. The latter is not obligatory for women, but they can pray it if they wish. The funeral prayer is obligatory, but not upon every individual. If some people perform it, others do not have to.
  • Necessary (wajib); The ‘Iyd (religious festive days) prayers and the witr prayer (performed after the late evening or night prayer until dawn).
  • Sunna (those performed or advised by the Prophet(S.A.W.); Those performed before or after the daily prescribed prayers, tahajjud (performed after the late evening prayer and before the witr prayer), tarawih (performed after the late evening prayer during Ramadan), khusuf and kusuf (performed during solar and lunar eclipses), and the prayer for rain (salat al-istisqa).
  • Supererogatory and rewarded; Salat al-ishraq (performed some three quarters after sunrise), salat al-duha (forenoon or broad daylight prayer, performed until some three quarters before the noon prayer), and salat al-awwabin (performed between the evening and late evening prayers). There are some other supererogatory prayers, such as salat al-tawba (performed before asking God to forgive us),salat al-istikhara (performed to ask God to make something good for us), salat al-tasbih (the prayer of glorifying God), the prayer performed when leaving on a journey, and the prayer per-formed when returning from a journey.

The servants leave. One spends only a little money before reaching the station. He uses his money so wisely that his master increases it a thousandfold. The other servant gambles away 23 of the 24 coins before reaching the station. The first servant advises the second one: 

“Use this coin to buy your ticket, or else you’ll have to walk and suffer hunger. Our master is generous. Maybe he’ll forgive you. Maybe you can take a plane, so we can reach the farm in a day. If not, you’ll have to go on foot and endure 2 months of hunger while crossing the desert.”

If he ignores his friend’s advice, anyone can see what will happen.

Now listen to the explanation, those of you who do not pray, as well as you, my soul that is not inclined toward prayer. 

The ruler is our Creator. One servant represents religious people who pray with fervor; the other represents people who do not like to pray. The 24 coins are the 24 hours of a day. The farm is heaven, the transit station is the grave, and the journey is from the grave to eternal life. People cover that journey at different times according to their deeds and conduct. Some of the truly devout pass in a day 1,000 years like lightning, while others pass 50,000 years with the speed of imagination. The Qur’an alludes to this truth in 22:47 and 70:4.The ticket is the prescribed prayers, all of which can be prayed in an hour. If you spend 23 hours a day in worldly affairs and do not reserve the remaining hour for the prescribed prayers, you are a foolish loser. You may be tempted to use half of your money for a lottery being played by 1,000 people. Your possibility of winning is 1:1,000, while those who pray have a 99 percent chance of winning. If you do not use at least one coin to gain an inexhaustible treasure, something is obviously wrong with you.

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