The most important part of being a Muslim is performing the daily prayers. The entire day consists of five prayers that are performed at different parts of the day. The structure for prayers during the day serves for an individual to stay connected to their Creator. It serves as a way to thank God for the countless blessings He has bestowed upon us, and to revere Him for the simple fact that He created us and given us life.
What do the prayers consist of?
Fajr- The Morning Prayers , which is performed before sunrise
Duhur- The Afternoon Prayers, which is performed when the sun is midway into the sky
Asr- The Evening Prayers, which is performed when the sun is close to its set tim
Maghrib- The Sunset Prayer, which is performed right before the sun sets
Isha- The Nightly Prayer, which is performed when night falls
What is the reason behind the prayers?
Muslims pray in order to show love and gratitude to God. The daily life of a practicing Muslim revolves around these prayers. Whether you are a student, a doctor, a mother, father, engineer, businessman these daily acts of devotion are prioritized around the life of a Muslim as it is one of the most important commands given to man from God Almighty. Prayer provides a sense of nourishment to the soul. Living in a superficial world where outer beauty weighs more than the essence of a persons character; the daily prayers helps reconnect a person back to the source of their existence. That they are from God and they will one day return to Him. Thus, it shows the importance of remembering the One you will one day return to and stand before on the Day of Judgement. It is so that man can rely on no man, but their Creator. That if they are in need of anything in their lives, they put their trust in God through the prayers and leave it all up to Him.
Did the special men mentioned in the previous books revealed and the Quran pray also?
Since the first human Adam (peace be upon him) prayers were always a part of a believers life. Through the different messengers and prophets that were sent to mankind it was always the most important aspect of being a believer in the most Sovereign. Moses, Jesus, David, Solomon, Abraham and many of the special men that God sent to different nations aforetime, all performed the daily prayers and encouraged believers in God to do the same.
Since each of these messengers to mankind received a message from the Creator of the universe as a means of guidance and salvation, many of the passages of prayers are still contained within these scriptures. Such as the Bible (Injeel) and the Talmud (Torah). Although both books have many editions and were subject to man made alteration, there is still some truth in them that are eerliy similar to the teachings of final revelation of God, the Quran.
God mentions His earlier revelations to us ( the Torah and the Bible) in the His final revelation, the Quran;
“And in their footsteps We sent Jesus the son of Mary, confirming the Law that had come before him: We sent him the Gospel: therein was guidance and light, and confirmation of the Law that had come before him: a guidance and an admonition to those who guard against evil.” Quran 5:46
“And We have revealed to you, [O Múhammad], the Book in truth, confirming that which preceded it of the Scripture and as a criterion over it. So judge between them by what Allah has revealed and do not follow their inclinations away from what has come to you of the truth. To each of you We prescribed a law and a method. Had Allah willed, He would have made you one nation [united in religion], but [He intended] to test you in what He has given you; so race to [all that is] good. To Allah is your return all together, and He will [then] inform you concerning that over which you used to differ.”
“Those who follow the Messenger (Muhammad), the Prophet who can neither read nor write, whom they will find described in the Torah and the Gospel (which are) with them.” 7:157 Quran
O ye who believe! Believe in Allah and His Apostle, and the scripture which He hath sent to His Apostle and the scripture which He sent to those before (him). Any who denieth Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Apostles, and the Day of Judgement, hath gone far, far astray. Quran 4:136
To thee We sent the scripture in truth, confirming the scripture that came before it, and guarding it in safety. Quran 5:48
So as you can see by the above verses the Quran was sent as a correction to the previous revelations and as a confirmation to the true message of the Oneness of God. Because the previous scriptures that were a means of guidance to mankind was revealed by God Almighty, there are some elements of truth in them that were not altered. This makes sense because many of the passages in both he Injeel and Torah contain verses that are very similar to the way a true believer in God should pray for example;
In the Psalms of David;
“As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me. evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice” Psalms 55:16-17.
It is interesting to note that the times of these three prayers are identical to the times of the three prayers in the Quran.
– The ‘ISHA’ prayer in the Quran corresponds to the EVENING prayer in the Bible. The Isha prayer is observed from sunset till the last ray of light dissappears from the sky. The word EVENING speaks of the early hours of the night.
– The ‘WUSTA’ (Middle) prayer in the Quran is due exactly at NOON like the Bible prayer.
– The ‘FAJR’ prayer in the Quran corresponds to the MORNING prayer in the Bible.
More verses on prayer similar to the way God ordained in the Quran include;
When a Muslim prays, the Prayer consists of bowing down to God by touching the forehead, hands, knees and feet to the ground. Each of the special men and messengers that God sent to previous nations prayed exactly the same way. The same way that the Quran confirmed from previous scriptures. And this is the way that Muslims perform the prayers as the was revealed to the last of all messengers Muhammad (peace be upon him)
“Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime” Daniel 6:10
“And he (Jesus) went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed…” (Matthew 26:39)
“And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship…” (Joshua 5:14)
“And Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they fell upon their faces…” (Numbers 20:6)
“And Abraham fell on his face…” (Genesis 17:3)
“…and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God.” (Revelation 7:11)
“…then they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.” (Nehemiah 8:6)
“…Then David and the elders of Israel, who were clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces.” (1 Chronicles 21:16)
Muslims are required to wash before beginning the prayers; this is because we are getting ready to stand before God. Just like in the Quran there are many verses in the Bible that are similar to the way a Muslim (a believer in God) should wash;
He set the basin between the tent of meeting and the altar, and put water in it for washing,
O ye who believe! when ye prepare for prayer, wash your faces, and your hands (and arms) to the elbows; Rub your heads (with water); and (wash) your feet to the ankles. If ye are in a state of ceremonial impurity, bathe your whole body. But if ye are ill, or on a journey, or one of you cometh from offices of nature, or ye have been incontact with women, and ye find no water, then take for yourselves clean sand or earth, and rub therewith your faces and hands, Allah doth not wish to place you in a difficulty, but to make you clean, and to complete his favour to you, that ye may be grateful. [Quran 5:6]
The importance of prayer is stressed in many verses in the Quran; the following are some of the verses on prayer — : )
[2:3-5] who believe in the unseen, observe the Contact Prayers (Salat), and from our provisions to them, they give to charity.And they believe in what was revealed to you, and in what was revealed before you, and with regard to the Hereafter, they are absolutely certain. These are guided by their Lord; these are the winners.
[2:43] You shall observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) and give the obligatory charity (Zakat), and bow down with those who bow down.
[2:45] You shall seek help through steadfastness and the Contact Prayers (Salat). This is difficult indeed, but not so for the reverent.
[2:153] O you who believe, seek help through steadfastness and the Contact Prayers (salat). Allah is with those who steadfastly persevere.
[29:45] “Observe the Salat (Contact Prayers) for it prohibits evil and vice.”
[15:98-99] “You shall glorify and praise your Lord and be with the prostrators, and worship your Lord until you attain certainty.”
Praying to God, itself is a beautiful thing and for those who attained a level of connection with God where they perform each prayer on time that is something to be truly happy about. May Allah (God) make us among those who always remember Him in our daily lives, and thank Him for the blessings and love He bestows upon us everyday. – Ameen