It’s told that Karun was so rich, that he needed seventy camels to carry only the keys to his vaults. Can you imagine the amount of keys? But still he died without the most precious key in this world. If you still don’t know what I’m talking about, here you go:
Jabir ibn Abdullah (r.a.a.) narrates that the Prophet (s.a.w.) said: “The key of Jannah is Salat and the key of Salat is Islamic cleanliness.” (Musnad Ahmad)
Allah Ta’ala has made it obligatory for every believer to regularly worship him in form of the five daily prayers. Iblis has been cursed by Allah Ta’ala, because he refused to prostrate to a Makhluq (creation) – so, I should ask myself what will be my destination, if I refuse to prostrate to the Khaliq (creator)? May Allah Ta’ala give me and you the tawfeeq to never miss a single Salat again.
A Gift, Not A Burden
Our beloved Prophet (s.a.w.) personally had been given the Salat by Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala at the night of Miraj. This fact alone should make us realize that the five obligatory prayers hadn’t been given as a burden to the believers, but rather as a present. Otherwise Allah Ta’ala could’ve as well just sent Jibraeel (a.s.) with His order of prayers to Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.).
The Sahabah (r.a.a.) understood the worth of Salat. And they saw Salat as a chance to get in direct contact with Allah Ta’ala, to directly ask from Allah Ta’ala, to solve their problems through Salat and get all their minor sins forgiven by Allah Ta’ala. If you look at the Ummahs before, you should notice the difference here: The Ummatis of Musa (a.s.) had to ask their Prophet to supplicate to Allah Ta’ala for them.
Not only reminded Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w.) his Ummah of Salat at the time of his death, but in many other traditions the virtues ascribed to the right performance of Salat had been highlighted by our beloved Prophet (s.a.w.), too.
How To Perform Salat
Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) told his whole Ummah to pray exactly like he did and when someone took the Shahadah Salat was the first thing he taught the person. But what attributes did his prayers carry? He definitly was devoted and concentrated and would weep so much, that once even the ground around him became soaked, while engaged in Salat. If we could establish Salat like Abu Bakr (r.a.a.) or Umar (r.a.a.) we would be successful in this life and the hereafter without a doubt.
Hadhrat Sahl bin Sa’d says that Hadhrat Abu Bakr (r.a.a.) could not be distracted when performing salaah.
Hadhrat Mujaahid says, “Hadhrat Abdullah bin Zubayr (r.a.a.) would stand still like a stick in salaah, which was exactly as Hadhrat Abu Bakr (r.a.a.) used to do. That is what devotion in salaah means.”
Hadhrat Abdullaah bin Shaddad bin Al Haad says, “I was standing in one of the last rows during the Fajr salaah and I could hear Hadhrat Umar (r.a.a.) cry aloud as he recited Surah Yusuf and reached the verse: “I complain of my sorrow and my grief only to Allah.” (Surah Yusuf: 86)
Importance The Sahabah Gave To Salat
Hadhrat Miswar (r.a.a.) narrates that after Hadhrat Umar (r.a.a.) was stabbed, he fell into coma. Someone said, “If he is still alive, you will not be able to rouse him with anything more effective in jolting him than with salaah.” Someone then said, “Salaah, O Ameerul Mu’mineen! The time for salaah has already set in!” Hadhrat Umar (r.a.a.) regained consciousness and said, “What! Salaah?! By Allah! I will then have have to perform it. There is no part in Islaam for the person who does not perform his salaah.”
Hadhrat Muhammad bin Miskeen narrates that when the rebels surrounded the house of Hadhrat Uthman (r.a.a.), his wife said to them, “You wish to assassinate him?! Whether you kill him or leave him, he spends the whole night reciting the entire Qur’aan in a single Rakaah of salaah.”
We struggle to stand up for Fajr prayers, but Hadhrat Umar ibn al-Khattab (r.a.a.) even regained consciousness from coma after hearing the call. We complain that our Imams pray so long Raka’ats and struggle to listen to the entireQur’an during a whole month, but Hadhrat Uthman (r.a.a.) recited the entire Qur’an in one Raka’at. Is there anyone among us, who gives such an importance to Salat like the noble companions of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) did? I doubt it.