The Five Daily Prayers (Salah, Salawat Khams, Namaz)

(Keywords: The Prayer, the Obligatory Prayer, the Five Daily Prayers, the Second Pillar, importance of the Prayer, Significance of the Five Daily Prayers, Status of the Prayer, Purpose of the Five Daily Prayers, Attention in the Prayer, the parts of the prayer, Khushoo’, Khushu’, Secrets of the Prayer, Salah, Salawat Khams, Fard Prayer)



قال الله عز وجل: { قَدْ أَفْلَحَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ. الَّذِينَ هُمْ فِي صَلَاتِهِمْ خَاشِعُونَ}، { وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَلَى صَلَوَاتِهِمْ يُحَافِظُونَ}  سورة المؤمنون 1-2، 9. ـ

       God -the Exalted- says: {Successful indeed are the believers. Those who are during their prayer humbly submissive}, {And those who maintain their (five daily obligatory) prayers} (Surah 23, verse 1-2, 9).

قال الله عز وجل: { إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ كَانَتْ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ كِتَابًا مَوْقُوتًا}  سورة النساء 103.  ـ

     God – the Exalted- also says: { Indeed, prayer has been decreed upon the believers a decree of fixed times} (surah 4, verse 103).



God -the Exalted- describes the obligation of the five daily prayers during their specific times in the verse above.  The Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- mentioned that there are five pillars of Islam; the second pillar or rukn is the Prayer, that is the Five daily prayers, as narrated in the following hadith:

عن عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عُمَرَ قَالَ: إِنِّي سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ: « إِنَّ الإِسْلاَمَ بُنِيَ عَلَى خَمْسٍ شَهَادَةِ أَنْ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ، وَإِقَامِ الصَّلاَةِ، وَإِيتَاءِ الزَّكَاةِ، وَصِيَامِ رَمَضَانَ، وَحَجِّ الْبَيْتِ» .  رواه البخاري ومسلم.  ـ

         Narrated Abdul-Allah Ibn Omar that he heard Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- say: “Verily, Islam is founded on five pillars (principles): Testimony that there is none worthy of worship except God, establishing the Five Daily Prayers, Giving Zakah (obligatory charity), Fasting the month of Ramadan, and Pilgrimage to Makkah.”  Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

Thus, the Prayer is the most important pillar of Islam after the Testimony, and other deeds are accounted for and judged based on the completion and perfection of the Prayer.

     Islam has put great emphasis on the five daily prayers and explained the importance and need of these five prayers for the Muslim in his daily life.  The five daily prayers have been accorded such great significance because they are a fresh and constant reminder for the Muslim of his Lord and the soon-to-come Hereafter.  Indeed, the Five daily prayers are spaced throughout the day so that the Muslim is always in remembrance of his Lord.

The Five daily prayers are a great blessing and honor for the Muslim.  This nation has been favored with this great worship, only five times a day, but it is equal in reward to fifty prayers. 

The Five Daily Prayers are prescribed five times a day, but their reward and benefit encompass the whole day and night. 

And while some angels are always standing, some always kneeling, and some always prostrating, the Prayer combines all of those forms of worship. 

Moreover, the prayer includes all limbs used to worship God; the tongue, the face, hands and feet, and most importantly the heart.   

And last but not least, the Prayer has all  forms of Dhikr like Qur’an, glorification, praise, thanking God, prayer upon the Prophet, and Du’a or supplication.

      Thus, one simple act is a treasure of reward, and a mine of things that bring the slave closer to his Lord if he fulfilled the Five Daily Prayer as should be.



There are five general areas where some Muslims are careless about the Prayer:

1) Carelessness about Ablution (Taharah and Wudu’):

    The Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- said that Muslims of this nation would be recognized on the Day of Judgment by the light in their faces.  That light comes from wudu’ or ablution.  Whoever performs wudu’ fully, then his light would show on his face and limbs, as mentioned in the following hadith:

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رضي الله عنه:  ( أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَتَى الْمَقْبُرَةَ فَقَالَ: « السَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ دَارَ قَوْمٍ مُؤْمِنِينَ وَإِنَّا إِنْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ بِكُمْ لَاحِقُونَ، وَدِدْتُ أَنَّا قَدْ رَأَيْنَا إِخْوَانَنَا»، قَالُوا: أَوَلَسْنَا إِخْوَانَكَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ، قَالَ: « أَنْتُمْ أَصْحَابِي، وَإِخْوَانُنَا الَّذِينَ لَمْ يَأْتُوا بَعْدُ»، فَقَالُوا: كَيْفَ تَعْرِفُ مَنْ لَمْ يَأْتِ بَعْدُ مِنْ أُمَّتِكَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ؟ فَقَالَ: « أَرَأَيْتَ لَوْ أَنَّ رَجُلًا لَهُ خَيْلٌ غُرٌّ مُحَجَّلَةٌ بَيْنَ ظَهْرَيْ خَيْلٍ دُهْمٍ بُهْمٍ أَلَا يَعْرِفُ خَيْلَهُ؟» قَالُوا: بَلَى يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ، قَالَ: « فَإِنَّهُمْ يَأْتُونَ غُرًّا مُحَجَّلِينَ مِنْ الْوُضُوءِ وَأَنَا فَرَطُهُمْ عَلَى الْحَوْضِ، أَلَا لَيُذَادَنَّ رِجَالٌ عَنْ حَوْضِي كَمَا يُذَادُ الْبَعِيرُ الضَّالُّ؛ أُنَادِيهِمْ: أَلَا هَلُمَّ. فَيُقَالُ: إِنَّهُمْ قَدْ بَدَّلُوا بَعْدَكَ. فَأَقُولُ: سُحْقًا سُحْقًا») .  رواه مسلم وابن ماجه ومالك.   ـ

       English translation:

Narrated Abu Hurairah -may God be pleased with him- said: “The Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him- once went to the graveyard and said: ‘Peace be upon you, O abode of the believing people and we -if God so wills- shall join you soon. I would love to see our brothers.’  The Companions asked: ‘Are we not your brothers, O Messenger of God?’

He said: ‘You are my Companions, but our brothers are those who have not come into the world yet.’  The Companions asked: ‘O Messenger of God, how would you recognize those of your nation who are not born yet?’ 

Prophet Muhammad replied: ‘If a man has white-footed horses with white foreheads among totally black horses, will he not recognize his own horses?’  They said: ‘Certainly, O Messenger of God.’  Prophet Muhammad said: ‘Then they (my followers) would come (on the Day of Judgment) with bright faces and radiant white hands and feet owing to ablution.’

He continued: ‘I will reach the Hawd (Cistern or watering place) ahead of them.  Beware, some people would be driven away from my Hawd (Cistern) just as the stray camel is driven away. I would call out to them: Come, come. But it would be said (to me): ‘They changed after you were gone, and they kept turning on their heels!’  So I would say: Be off with you, be off with you.’ ”  Related by Muslim, Ibn Majah, and Malik.


Some Muslims perform wudu’ in half a minute, not caring to wash all limbs fully.  This is considered incomplete ablution, and it renders the prayer incomplete too.  The Muslim should pay equal attention to his wudu’ and should spend time washing every organ and thinking that sins are being washed away too as mentioned in the hadith.



2) Carelessness about the Prayer Time:

The greatest reward of the prayer is attained when it is performed at its earlier time.  The later one gets, the more Satan tries to delay it.

قال الله عز وجل: { فَوَيْلٌ لِلْمُصَلِّينَ. الَّذِينَ هُمْ عَنْ صَلَاتِهِمْ سَاهُونَ}  سورة الماعون 4-5.  ـ

عن سعد بن أبي وقاص، قال: ( سألت النبيّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم عن {الَّذِينَ هُمْ عَنْ صَلاتِهِمْ سَاهُونَ} قال: هم الذين يؤخِّرون الصلاة عن وقتها). رواه البزار.  ـ

     God the Exalted says: {So woe (Wail) to those performers of prayer (hypocrites). Those who are heedless of their prayer} (surah 107, verse 4-5).

Sa’d Ibn Abi Waqqas reported that he asked the Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- about this verse, so he replied: “They are the ones who delay the prayers beyond their appointed times.” Related by Al-Bazzar.

In another hadith, the Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- described the one who misses the Asr (late afternoon) prayer as someone who has suffered a great loss in his family and money as a physical representation and comparison for the loss of this great obligation and the subsequent loss of its great reward.

وعن ابن عمر رضي الله عنه عن النبي صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم قال : « من فاتته العصر فكأنما وتر أهله وماله».  رواه الشيخان.   ـ

Narrated Ibn Omar -may Allah be pleased with them- that the Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- said: “For the one who misses the Asr prayer, it is as if he has lost his relatives and money.”  Related by Al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim.


Thus, the Muslim must be careful about the timing of the prayer, and should perform it as soon as possible.  The Muslim should be extra careful about Fajr (Dawn) prayer and may need to use two alarms to wake up and pray on time.


3) Carelessness about the Great Obligation and Important Status of the Prayer:

عَنْ حُرَيْثِ بْنِ قَبِيصَةَ، قَالَ: ( قَدِمْتُ الْمَدِينَةَ، فَقُلْتُ: اللَّهُمَّ يَسِّرْ لِي جَلِيسًا صَالِحًا‏.‏ قَالَ فَجَلَسْتُ إِلَى أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ فَقُلْتُ: إِنِّي سَأَلْتُ اللَّهَ أَنْ يَرْزُقَنِي جَلِيسًا صَالِحًا فَحَدِّثْنِي بِحَدِيثٍ سَمِعْتَهُ مِنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم لَعَلَّ اللَّهَ أَنْ يَنْفَعَنِي بِهِ، فَقَالَ سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ: « إِنَّ أَوَّلَ مَا يُحَاسَبُ بِهِ الْعَبْدُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ مِنْ عَمَلِهِ صَلاَتُهُ؛ فَإِنْ صَلُحَتْ فَقَدْ أَفْلَحَ وَأَنْجَحَ، وَإِنْ فَسَدَتْ فَقَدْ خَابَ وَخَسِرَ، فَإِنِ انْتَقَصَ مِنْ فَرِيضَتِهِ شَيْءٌ، قَالَ الرَّبُّ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: انْظُرُوا هَلْ لِعَبْدِي مِنْ تَطَوُّعٍ، فَيُكَمَّلَ بِهَا مَا انْتَقَصَ مِنَ الْفَرِيضَةِ، ثُمَّ يَكُونُ سَائِرُ عَمَلِهِ عَلَى ذَلِكَ») . رواه الترمذي، والحديث رواه أبو داود والنسائي وابن ماجة وأحمد بإسناد صحيح.   ـ

فَإِنْ صَلُحَتْ: قَالَ ابن الْمَلَكِ: صَلَاحُهَا بِأَدَائِهَا صَحِيحَةً- يعني في قيامها وركوعها وسجودها وخشوعها وطمأنينتها، ومن ذلك المحافظة على طهورها، والمحافظة عليها في أوقاتها.   ـ

وَإِنْ فَسَدَتْ): بِأَنْ لَمْ تُؤَدَّ، أَوْ أُدِّيَتْ غَيْرَ صَحِيحَةٍ، أَوْ غَيْرَ مَقْبُولَةٍ.   ـ)

        Narrated Huraith Ibn Qabieesah said:

“I went to Al-Madinah and prayed: ‘O God, bless me with a righteous companion today.’  Then I sat with Abu Hurairah and said to him: ‘I prayed God to bless me with a righteous companion today, so tell me a Hadith that you heard directly from the Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him- so that God may make it of benefit to me.’ 

Abu Hurairah -may God be pleased with him- said: “I heard the Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him- say:

The first of man’s deeds for which he will be called to account for, on the Day of Judgment is his prayer (the five daily prayers).  If it is complete, then he has succeeded and passed.  But if it is incomplete, then he has failed and lost.  And if his obligatory prayer has some deficit, the Lord says: ‘See if My slave has any voluntary prayer.’ And it makes up for the deficit. Then the rest of his deeds will be reckoned similarly.’   Related by Al-Tirmidhi, also related by Abu Dawood, Al-Nasa’i, Ibn Majah and Ahmad with authentic narration.

‘If it was complete’: The scholar Ibn Al-Malik said: “The prayer is considered complete when it is performed in a right manner, which is done by perfecting its kneeling, its prostration, its presence and tranquility, its ablution, and its specific timing.”

‘If it was incomplete’: The prayer is considered incomplete if it is missed, or not performed well, or not accepted.

As mentioned in the hadith above, after the Muslim dies the first thing and the Most important thing that is considered is the Prayer.  If the Five Daily Prayers are complete, then other things are considered lightly.  But if the Prayer is incomplete or missing, the the reckoning and accounting for deeds will be hard.

Indeed, a prayer that is performed carelessly or missed altogether can be a cause for punishment and torment.  This punishment can manifest as problems and calamities in this life, and as torment in the Fire in the Hereafter.

Thus the Muslim must understand the great responsibility of performing the Five Daily Prayers on time and as best as possible.  The Muslim should consider the Prayer as a trust, a bond between him and His Lord.  And the Muslim will be asked about this trust as soon as he dies.


4) Carelessness about the Proper and Correct Manner of Performing the Prayer:

عنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم دَخَلَ الْمَسْجِدَ، فَدَخَلَ رَجُلٌ فَصَلَّى ثُمَّ جَاءَ فَسَلَّمَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم، فَرَدَّ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمَ فَقَالَ: « ارْجِعْ فَصَلِّ فَإِنَّكَ لَمْ تُصَلِّ»،‏ فَصَلَّى، ثُمَّ جَاءَ فَسَلَّمَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَالَ: «‏ ارْجِعْ فَصَلِّ فَإِنَّكَ لَمْ تُصَلِّ»‏‏.‏ ثَلاَثًا‏.‏ فَقَالَ: وَالَّذِي بَعَثَكَ بِالْحَقِّ فَمَا أُحْسِنُ غَيْرَهُ فَعَلِّمْنِي‏،‏ قَالَ: « ‏إِذَا قُمْتَ إِلَى الصَّلاَةِ فَكَبِّرْ، ثُمَّ اقْرَأْ مَا تَيَسَّرَ مَعَكَ مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ، ثُمَّ ارْكَعْ حَتَّى تَطْمَئِنَّ رَاكِعًا، ثُمَّ ارْفَعْ حَتَّى تَعْتَدِلَ قَائِمًا، ثُمَّ اسْجُدْ حَتَّى تَطْمَئِنَّ سَاجِدًا، ثُمَّ ارْفَعْ حَتَّى تَطْمَئِنَّ جَالِسًا، ثُمَّ اسْجُدْ حَتَّى تَطْمَئِنَّ سَاجِدًا، ثُمَّ افْعَلْ ذَلِكَ فِي صَلاَتِكَ كُلِّهَا». رواه البخاري ومسلم.   ـ

       Narrated Abu Hurairah said: “Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- once entered the mosque.  A man came in, offered the prayer and then went to the Prophet and greeted him.  Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- returned the greeting and said to him: ‘Go back and pray again, for you have not prayed.’ 

The man went back and prayed in the same way as before, and then returned and greeted the Prophet who said: ‘Go back and pray, for you have not prayed.’ This happened thrice. 

After the third time, the man said: ‘By the One Who sent you with the Truth (God), I do not know a better way of performing the prayer. Then teach me how to pray.’  Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said:

When you stand for the Prayer, start with Takbir (saying Allahu Akbar) and then recite from the Holy Qur’an what you know by heart.  Then kneel till you feel at rest (calmly with no hurry). Then raise your head and stand up straight. Then prostrate till you feel at rest in prostration. Then sit down till you feel at rest.  Then prostrate again till you feel at rest in prostration.  And do the same in all your prayers.’” Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.


      As the hadith explains the Prayer has certain conditions that must be met before it is considered complete.  One of these conditions is to perform each part of the Prayer with calmness, tranquility, and enough time.  The Prayer must not be rushed or performed hastily with no time or tranquility in each part. 

The Muslim should ponder upon this great worship and pray with the utmost level of reverence and respect.  Let’s consider ourselves how we prepare before we go in the presence of a king or a president; how we dress up, how we are on our best behavior, then what about the attending the King of kings, the Almighty God.


5) Carelessness about Paying Attention during the Prayer (khushoo’):

God -the Exalted- pays attention to the slave during the prayer as long he pays attention to his Lord, but as soon as the slave looks away, God the Exalted- looks away too.

The Muslim should stop worldly thoughts during the prayer and try to focus on the Great deed he is involved in.  Indeed, the Five Daily Prayers have such great reward that had the Muslim fully understood it, he would have abandoned everything else!  God described the true believers as those who do not let worldly matters distract them from the Prayer:

قال الله عز وجل: { رِجَالٌ لَا تُلْهِيهِمْ تِجَارَةٌ وَلَا بَيْعٌ عَنْ ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ وَإِقَامِ الصَّلَاةِ وَإِيتَاءِ الزَّكَاةِ يَخَافُونَ يَوْمًا تَتَقَلَّبُ فِيهِ الْقُلُوبُ وَالْأَبْصَارُ * لِيَجْزِيَهُمُ اللَّهُ أَحْسَنَ مَا عَمِلُوا وَيَزِيدَهُمْ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ وَاللَّهُ يَرْزُقُ مَنْ يَشَاءُ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ}، سورة النور 37-38.   ـ

       God -the Exalted- says: { Men whom neither trade nor business diverts from the remembrance of God, nor from performance of the Prayer, nor from giving of Zakah. They fear a Day when hearts and eyes will be overturned (i.e., the Day of Judgment).     

38. That God may reward them according to the best of their deeds, and add even more for them out of His grace.  And God provides without measure to whom He wills} (Surah 34, verses 37-38).

Indeed, the Five Daily Prayers are a time-out from our busy worlds, and a chance to remember the real world or the Hereafter.  When we get too involved in worldly affairs and start getting preoccupied with the complexities of the worldly life, the Five Daily Prayers remind us of the world to come and bring our attention back to religion.

When we are overcome with the problems and troubles of the world, the Five Daily Prayers act as a soothing medicine that soon makes us forget those troubles and focus on more important things to come.

When we are sad, depressed and overwhelmed by the trials and tribulations of the world, the Five Daily Prayers offer us a direct means of communication with our Lord, and a chance to supplicate God to grant us relief, find us solutions for our problems and deliver us from our difficulties.

Therefore, Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- used to say to Bilal: “O Bilal, call for the Prayer, and give us comfort with it.” (Abu Dawood and Ahmad).  So the Five Daily Prayers offer an anti-dote for the anxieties, concerns, burdens and difficulties of the worldly life, and instead provide a peaceful, relaxing and blissful time with the Lord.


Yet despite all of that, some are careless about this great worship.  Some perform the Five Daily Prayers only because it is an obligation, with no attention, no reverence, no care, and no love.  Some may neglect the Five Daily Prayers, by delaying it, missing it, or forgetting altogether about it.  But according to the hadith, the Five Daily Prayers are either a source of comfort and reward, or a source punishment.  For those who fulfill the obligation of the prayer and perform it with devotion and reverence, the Prayer is a source of comfort and a great reward.  But for those who neglect the prayer, then it is a source of punishment, both in this world and the Hereafter.



       Then, these are some general areas where some Muslims are negligent and careless about the Prayer.  The Muslim must pay special attention to five areas: 1) Wudu’ or ablution, 2) Praying on time, 3) Understanding the great importance of the Five Daily Prayers, 4) Understanding the proper and correct manner of performing the Prayer, and 5) Praying with full attention and devotion (khushoo’) to God.  

Know that the five daily prayers are the second most important pillar of Islam and are equal to 50 prayers in reward.  Know that when the Muslim dies, the measure of his success is the Prayer, if it is complete then everything else will be easy, but if the prayer is deficient or missing, then everything is considered the same.  And God and His Messenger know best.