Salat or the prescribed Prayer, has been mentioned in the Holy Quran as
an essential characteristic of a true believer. The Holy Quran states:
This is the perfect Book, there is no doubt in it. It is a guidance for
the righteous, who believe in the Unseen, observe Prayer, and spend out
of what we have provided for them. (2:3-4)
Prayer, Salat helps us to get rid of sins; inclines us more and more towards
God and goodly things and so gradually purifies us. But this is not the
end. Prayer does much more than this. It brings man closer to his Creator.
The worshipper tries to imitate God in His most excellent attributes and
is constantly transformed from a lowly and worldly person to a highly
noble and sublime servant of God. The Holy Quran mentions this distinctive
quality of Salat by saying:
Recite that which has been revealed to you of the Book and observe Prayer.
Surely Prayer restrains one from indecency and manifest evil. Verily,
the remembrance of Allah possesses the highest beneficence. And Allah
knows what you do. (29:46)
Prayer is indeed a sure and well-tried prescription for purity of the
heart and the soul. It is through Salat alone that we are able to establish
a living communion with Allah. The Quran says:
Surely those who follow the Book of Allah and observe Prayer and spend
out of that which we have provided for them, secretly and openly, are
pursuing a commerce that suffers no loss, for Allah will give them their
full reward, and will add to them out of His bounty. He is surely, Most
Forgiving, Most Appreciating. (35:30-31)
According to the Holy Prophet, on whom be peace and blessings of Allah, Salat
is the pinnacle of the spiritual life of the believer. It is the highest
form of Divine worship. The Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah
be upon him, is further reported to have observed:
Prayer brings the believer into communion with his Lord.
It must be realised that sincere prayer never goes in vain. Sometimes,
the deep spiritual experience of the intense love of God brings tears
to the eyes. Sometimes, a milder pleasure of love fills the heart with
sublime happiness. These experiences are signs of the Prayer being alive,
meaningful and fruitful. Otherwise, just a performance of formality is
not enough to benefit man. That would be obeying an order without one's
heart being in it. That is why it is highly essential that every beginner
should keep this noble objective before him and always try to make his
Prayers come alive.
The Salat combines all forms and degrees expressive of humility and submission.
The worshippers stand in rows and respectfully behind the Imam.
All the worshippers who line up behind the Imam must follow his movements
at his call. The call for every movement is Allahu Akbar except when the
Imam straightens himself from the position of Ruku, i.e; the bowing position,
when instead of saying Allahu Akbar, he says Same Allahu Liman Hamidah
which means most certainly God listens to those who praise Him. At this
call, all the followers also straighten up with arms by their sides, saying
Rabbana Wa Lakal Hamd Hamdan Katheeran Tayyiban Mubarakan Feehe.
Sincerity and humility are the essence of prayer. Allah enjoins believers:
Successful indeed are the believers, who are humble in their Prayers.
The Holy Prophet, on whom be the peace and blessings of Allah, has said:
No servant of Allah humbles himself for the sake of Allah, but Allah thereby
brings about his Raf'a. Raf'a is an Arabic word meaning 'to raise'. It
does not mean that Allah will lift him bodily to heaven. Obviously it
means that Allah will exalt his status before Him.
True humility can only be achieved by mentally concentrating on the attributes
of Allah. When His immense greatness dawns on someone, one has no choice
but to be humbled