Muslim must pray five times a day. This is one of the five "pillars" —that is, one of the five central practices — of Islam. Within an Islamic state, this practice is enforced by law. Every Muslim must pray five times a day. The practice helps Islam dominate a Muslim's life, filling his daily rhythm with Islam.
Prayer –Salah A Pillar of Islam:
Prayer is converse with God; the interaction of the soul with God, not in contemplation or meditation, but in direct address to him. Prayer may be oral or mental, occasional or constant, ejaculatory or formal. Prayer presupposes a belief in the Supreme All Mighty Allah, his ability and willingness to hold communication with us, his personal control of all things and of all his creatures and all their actions. Acceptable prayer must be sincere, offered with reverence and godly fear, with a humble sense of our own insignificance as creatures and of our own unworthiness as sinners, with earnest importunity, and with unhesitating submission to the divine will. Prayer must also be offered in the faith that God is, and is the hearer and answerer of prayer, and that he will fulfill his word:
“Bring your Lord to remembrance deep in your soul with humility and in reverence without raising your voice, both in the mornings and in the evenings; and be not of those who are heedless. Surely those who are close to your Sustainer do not feel too proud to worship Him; they declare His glory and prostrate themselves before Him."(Qur’an;7:205-206).
“When my servants question you about Me, tell them that I am very close to them. I answer the prayer of every suppliant when he calls Me; therefore, they should respond to Me and put their trust in Me, so that they may be rightly guided.”(Qur’an;2:186)
“And your Lord says: "Call on Me, I will answer your prayers. Surely those who are too arrogant to worship Me shall soon enter hell in humiliation."(Qur’an;40:60).
Similarly in Bible:
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened.”(Matthew;7:7-8)
Muslims are required to offer five times the daily prayers (salah) a form of worship of Allah. Prayer is the physical, spiritual and social form of worship in congregation. It is general misconception that the five prayers in a day are only practiced in the present day Islam which is the revived faith of Prophet Abraham [pbuh]. Prayers have been part of those ‘Surrender to Will of God’ right from the beginning, Qur’an refers them at: , , , 11:87, , , 3:113. The Prayer of a Muslim is not complete without recitation of The Opening Chapter (Surah Fateha) of (Qur’an; 1:1-7). Some what like Surah Fateha prayer is mentioned at Exodus; 34:6-7, Mathew;6:9-13, also in Psalms; 7:1-17 and 8:1-9.
Offering the prayers (Salah) has been repeatedly mentioned in Bible:
“And Abram fell on his face:”(Genesis; 17:3-5)
“And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshiped”[Exodus;34:8].
“Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called
“Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour”.(Acts; 3:1)
Prayer also mentioned at Genesis; 18:22, 22:5, 26:25, 12:8, Exodus; 4:31, 5:3, 5:7, 5:8 & 34:8-9, Psalms;86:9, 95:5, 5:7, 55:16, 55:17, 95:6, 138:2, 1 Kings; 8:33, 34, Jeremiah;7:2, Daniel; 6:10, 9:3, Joshua;7:6, Mathew;14:23 & 17:21. Also at Acts:10:9, 12:12, 16:13, 16:25, 20:36, Luke; 22: 44-46, Mark; 1:35 & 9:29.
Prayer is frequently enjoined in previous scripture [Ex 22:23,27; 1Ki 3:5; 2Ch 7:14; Ps 37:4; Isa 55:6; Joe 2:32; Eze 36:37] and many testimonies that it has been answered [Ps 3:4; 4:1; 6:8; 18:6; 28:6; 30:2; 34:4; 118:5; Jas 5:16-18]
Ablution: Cleanliness, purity and ablution has always been obligatory for prayer for Muslims. Ablution before prayer is also mentioned in Bible:
“And Moses and Aaron and his sons washed their hands and their feet there at:”(Exodus;40:31).
“Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them”.(Acts;).
Although Du’a is part of Slaha in itself, however normally prayer is followed by supplications [Du’a]. There are many Qur’anic Du’a and those offered by Prophet [pbuh]. A comprehensive Qur’anic Du’a:
"Our Lord! Give unto us in the world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and guard us from the doom of Fire."(Qur’an;2:201).
Adam and Eve prayed for forgiveness:
“They said: "Our Lord! we have wronged Our own souls: if Thou forgive us not and bestow not upon us Thy Mercy, we shall certainly be lost." ."(Qur’an;).
The prayer [Salah] of Muslims includes following postures also mentioned in Bible:
1) Standing (1Sa ; 1Ki ,55; 2Ch 20:9; ; Lu ,13).
2) Bowing and falling prostrate (Ge 24:26,52; Ex 4:31; ; Mt 26:39; )
3) Kneeling in prayer (1Ki ; 2Ch ; Ps 95:6; Isa 45:23; Lu ; Ac 7:60;)
4) Spreading out the hands (1Ki ,38,54; Ps 28:2; 63:4; 88:9; 1Ti 2:8)[in Du’a]
The Christians do not follow any special form of prayer in general except the "Lord's Prayer" (Mt 6:9-13), which is, however, rather a model or pattern of prayer than a set prayer to be offered up.
The supplications which apparently remain unfulfilled, are accepted by Allah, but due to His foreknowledge or Will not considered for time being here, are added in the record of good virtues for reward in hereafter. Prayer is like the dove that Noah sent forth, which blessed him not only when it returned with an olive-leaf in its mouth, but when it never returned at all.
[Allah knows the best]
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