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The Five Pillars of Islam: Salah

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Prayer is an essential part of most world religions and is one of the core beliefs of Islam. There are five basic pillars upon which the religion of Islam is built and prayer, or Salah in Arabic, is one of them. These five pillars, Shahadah, Salah, Zakat, Sawm and Hajj, provide a foundation of religious practices for Muslims and are observed universally across cultures, ethnicities, schools of thought and nations. The second pillar, Salah, is the observance of the five daily obligatory prayers that all Muslims are responsible for performing.

The prayers are to be executed according to the sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and are to be offered at specific times during the day. Fajr, the first prayer of the day, is offered in the early morning before dawn. Zuhr, the second prayer, is to be offered in the early afternoon when the sun is at its zenith while Asr, the third prayer is offered later in the afternoon. Maghrib, the fourth prayer is offered immediately after sunset and Isha, the final required prayer, is offered during the night.

The Holy Qur’an provides a wealth of instructions and guidance concerning prayer. To reveal a few of the directives concerning prayer, Surah 11:114 says:

Establish Salah at the two ends of the day and in the early part of the night. Indeed virtues remove evils. This is a reminder for the mindful.

In Surah 2:153 it reads:

O You who believe! Seek my help with patience and prayer: surely, Allah is with those who are patient.

Surah 29:45 states:

Recite from this Book which has been revealed to you and establish Salah. Surely Salah keeps one away from shameful evil deeds; and surely the remembrance of Allah is the greatest indeed, Allah knows what you do.

And Surah 20:132 relates:

Enjoin Salah on your people and be diligent in its observance. We demand nothing of you; instead We provide you sustenance. Blessed shall be the end of the Righteous.

Prayer is both propelled by faith and a result of faith, the first pillar of Islam, and is therefore a bountiful resource for the believers. Making prayer is a pillar of the religion and for the lives of the Muslims because it provides a direct connection to the Creator and therefore sustains the hearts of the Muslims as they seek to lives their lives according to God’s commandments. The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, has provided detailed instructions for preparing for and performing the obligatory prayers within the various collections of hadith and some of his sayings can be accessed online here: http://www.searchtruth.com/searchHadith.php.

For more information about how to pray the Islamic prayers please see the links below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9kTd7q1zjE

http://www.islamicacademy.org/html/Learn_Now/English/Salah_In_Audio.htm

http://understand-islam.net/salat/04.html

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