Salah is the second pillar of Islam, and the most important physical act of worship. For anybody who wishes to improve their spirituality, begin with establishing Salah. This is the primary command in the Qur’an after believing in Tawheed. Salah is our direct connection with Allah. Salah is our foundation. Salah is, in many ways, an essential part of believing in Islam.
Multiple times in the Qur’an, Allah instructs us to “Establish the Salah”. The commandment isn’t just to pray but to establish the Salah. Establishing Salah means praying properly on time consistently with pure intentions and clear objectives. Salah is not meant to be a mechanic ritual, it is an active means of communication, reflection and self-improvement.
When Salah is prayed properly and established properly, there are many benefits including the following:
1. A Regular Break from Dunya
The daily Salah are purposely set at five intervals throughout our day which include being the first things we do when we wake up, a priority during our lunch breaks, and one of the last things we do at night before sleeping. There is a clear reason for this.
We live busy lives trying to work hard, provide for our families and enjoy the Halal of this world. However, in doing so it can be easy to forget Allah, get caught up in materialism and lose sight of the purpose of life. Salah stops all of this from happening.
By taking regular breaks five times a day to worship our Creator properly, we remind ourselves to prioritize Allah over the world. We remind ourselves of the purpose of life. We remind ourselves to stay focused on building what truly matters, our Afterlife. Establishing Salah keeps us focused on what matters.
2. A Structured Life
Salah on time creates structure and regular timetable. By praying on time every day, we create a schedule around which to plan the rest of our day. People who pray on time are more punctual and live more structured lives. This is one of the most obvious benefits of praying five times a day, creating a structure around which to shape the rest of our day.
3. Maintained Spirituality
Spirituality and faith are constantly fluctuating. Our faith is always going up and down. One of the key methods to prevent our faith from crashing is to establish the five daily prayer. The more we pray, the stronger our spirituality will be.
Many people complain about decreasing Imaan levels. This can be avoided by establishing the Salah, and praying regularly with purpose and clear intentions. A conscious purposely Salah can do wonders to boost your Imaan. Established as a regular practice, it becomes your daily savior from your own Nafs.
4. Inner Peace
Inner Peace cannot be found in new age ideas, man-made ideas or worldly pleasures. True inner peace comes from having a close relation with your Creator. This can only be established through regular Salah.
Salah is the key to inner peace. This isn’t easy to achieve but regular practice at praying with concentration and understanding can help us reach a level in which we experience this.
Once that level is reached, the level of inner peace you will experience in the recitation and Sajdah is unexplainable. It needs to be experienced to be understood.
5. A Divine Connection
The final and most important benefit of praying five times a day is establishing a connection with our Creator. Allah has promised that if we remember Him and worship Him in times of ease, He will be there for us in times of difficulty.
This means if we establish our Salah during times of ease, we can expect Allah’s help during the hard times. We all need Allah’s Help. We all need a direct means of communication with Him. We all need to connect with Allah. This alone should be reason enough to motivate us to pray on time.
May Allah grant us all the strength and consistency to establish the Salah and remain steadfast on it for the rest of our lives.
Shaykh Ismail Kamdar is the Founder of Islamic Self Help and the author of multiple books including Getting The Barakah: An Islamic Guide to Time Management and Best Of Creation: An Islamic Guide to Self-Confidence.