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The Status Of Prayer In Islam. by Taamas111 (m): 3:06am on January 11
Rufai Oladimeji
Lagos State University
100Level, Nigeria.
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I hope that you can explain to us
the status of prayer in Islam.


Praise be to Allaah.
Prayer occupies a great status in
Islam that is not shared by any
other act of worship. This is
indicated by the following:
1 – It is the pillar of the religion,
which cannot stand without it.
According to a hadeeth narrated by
Mu’aadh ibn Jabal (may Allaah be
pleased with him), the Messenger of
Allaah (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) said: “Shall I
not tell you of the head of the
whole matter and its pillar and top?”
I [Mu’aadh] said, “Yes, O Messenger
of Allaah.” He said, “The head of the
matter is Islam, its pillar is prayer
and its top is jihad.” Narrated by al-
Tirmidhi, 2616; classed as saheeh by
al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi,
2 – It is second in status to the
Shahaadatayn (twin testimony of
faith) as further proof of the
soundness of a person’s belief and
as visible evidence of the beliefs
that reside in the heart.
The Messenger of Allaah (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him)
said: “Islam is built on five [pillars]:
the testimony that there is no god
but Allaah and that Muhammad is
His slave and Messenger,
establishing prayer, paying zakaah,
performing pilgrimage to the House,
and fasting Ramadaan.” Narrated by
al-Bukhaari, 8; Muslim, 16.
Establishing prayer means
performing prayer in full with all its
words and actions, at the appointed
times, as it says in the Qur’aan
(interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, As-Salaah (the prayer) is
enjoined on the believers at fixed
[al-Nisa’ 4:103]
i.e., at defined times.
3 – Prayer occupies a special
position among other acts of
worship because of the way in
which it was enjoined.
It was not brought down to earth by
an angel, rather Allaah wanted to
bless His Messenger Muhammad
(peace and blessings of Allaah be
upon him) by taking him up to
heaven and addressing him directly
concerning the obligation of prayer.
This is something that is unique to
prayer among all the rituals of
Prayer was enjoined on the night of
the Mi’raaj [Prophet’s ascent to
heaven], approximately three years
before the Hijrah.
Fifty prayers (per day) were
enjoined at first, then the number
was reduced to five, but the reward
of fifty remains. This is indicative of
Allaah’s love of prayer and its great
4 – Allaah erases sins by means of
Al-Bukhaari (528) and Muslim (667)
narrated from Abu Hurayrah that
the Messenger of Allaah (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him)
said – and in the hadeeth of Bakr it
is narrated that he heard the
Messenger of Allaah (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) say
– “What do you think if there was a
river by the door of any one of you
and he bathed in it five times a day,
would there be any trace of dirt left
on him?” They said, “No trace of dirt
would be left on him.” He said,
“That is like the five daily prayers,
by means of which Allaah erases
5 – Prayer is the last part of religion
to be lost, and if it is lost the whole
religion is lost.
It was narrated that Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-
Allaah (may Allaah be pleased with
him) said: The Messenger of Allaah
(peace and blessings of Allaah be
upon him) said: “Between a man
and shirk [associating others with
Allaah] and kufr [disbelief] there
stands his giving up prayer.”
Narrated by Muslim, 82.
Hence the Muslim should be keen to
perform the prayers on time, and
not be lazy or take the matter
lightly. Allaah says (interpretation
of the meaning):
“So woe unto those performers of
Salaah (prayers) (hypocrites),
Those who delay their Salaah
(prayer from their stated fixed
[al-Maa’oon 107:4-5]
And Allaah warns those who cause
their prayers to be lost by saying
(interpretation of the meaning):
“Then, there has succeeded them a
posterity who have given up As-
Salaat (the prayers) [i.e. made their
Salaat (prayers) to be lost, either by
not offering them or by not offering
them perfectly or by not offering
them in their proper fixed times]
and have followed lusts. So they will
be thrown in Hell”
[Maryam 19:59]
6 – Prayer is the first thing for
which a person will be brought to
account on the Day of
It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah
(may Allaah be pleased with him)
said: I heard the Messenger of
Allaah (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) say: “The first
deed for which a person will be
brought to account on the Day of
Resurrection will be his prayer. If it
is good then he will have prospered
and succeeded, but if it is bad then
he will be doomed and have lost. If
anything is lacking from his
obligatory prayers, the Lord will say,
‘Look and see whether My slave did
any voluntary prayers, and make up
the shortfall in his obligatory
prayers from that.’ Then all his
deeds will be dealt with likewise.”
Narrated by al-Nasaa’i, 465; al-
Tirmidhi, 413. Classed as saheeh by
al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’,
We ask Allaah to help us to
remember Him, give thanks to Him
and to worship Him properly.
Reference: al-Salaah by Dr. al-
Tayyaar, p. 16; Tawdeeh al-Ahkaam
by al-Bassaam, 1/371; Taareekh
Mashroo’iyyat al-Salaah by al-
Balooshi, p. 31.


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