What is the Salah Prayer?

Before we go over how to pray, we must go over the Salah Prayer and why we perform it. The second Pillar of Islam is the mandatory round of ritual prayers that every Muslim must perform five times daily. The Islamic method of Prayer is a ritualized form of worship, which involves the recitation of Verses from the Holy Quran and supplications to God, all while standing, bowing, and prostrating. This mandatory act of worship is called Salah in Arabic and differs from merely praying or supplicating to God in an impulsive act, just speaking one’s mind. Instead, the Salah prayers demand a formalized structure in which one prays a certain way at specific times, as demonstrated to us by Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, drawing direct inspiration from Angel Gabriel, who learned from God Himself.

The Arabic word ‘Salah,’ generally translated as Prayer in English, is linguistically derived from the Arabic word meaning ‘connection’; this mode of Prayer connects the servant with his Creator. Salah is a Muslim’s way of establishing direct contact with God the Almighty. Salah represents a Muslim’s affirmation of servanthood and submission to his Creator’s Will. In Salah, a Muslim acknowledges his weakness and neediness by seeking and begging for God’s guidance, mercy, grace, and forgiveness.

Salah, or this Islamic ritualized Prayer, is one form of worship amongst many in this beautiful faith. However, Salah holds a special status in Islam because Prayer builds a relationship between a servant and his Creator. Salah is considered the center pole of the Religion of Islam; whoever demolishes or denies this practice in their life demolishes their religion. According to Islamic Scholars, this is the only form of worship that — if neglected — would exclude the disobedient from the folds of Islam.

When prayer time arrives, one is expected to discontinue their current activity and pray to connect with God, the All-Merciful, refreshing their faith for their benefit. Prayer helps remind one why they are here and for what purpose. Prayers help direct a person’s thoughts and actions away from sin, from that which is not beneficial. Prayers redirect a believer’s thoughts to the remembrance of God.

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