1. Prayer (Salàt) preserves man from sins and brings him closer to Allah
Says Allah the Most High: «Recite what has been revealed to you of the Book and perform the Prayer (Salàt). Indeed the Prayer preserves (prevents) from what is shameful and from what is reprehensible. And the remembrance of Allah is certainly the greatest. Allah knows exactly what you are doing.”
Recitation of the Koran, Prayer (Salàt), and Remembrance (dhikr) of Allah, are the tools for approaching Allah; knowing how to use them correctly is very important for the believer who, in the obligatory and supererogatory ritual practice, pursues an objective of preservation from evil and sins and inner purification.
In the five daily prayers, the believer detaches himself, for a short time, from the lower world (dunyà) and remains with Allah, and this gives him Peace. Furthermore, in these moments, the believer’s spiritual energy (himma) increases and the negative attraction for the lower world (dunyà) ceases.
Shaykh Anwar briefly explains the Qur’anic verse quoted above by explaining that in man there are two desires, being made of spirit (ruh) but also of matter. A desire is for high, spiritual, and noble things, such as Angels have, including praying to God and following his commandments, helping others, and doing good; and a desire for the low, material and less noble or even ignoble things of this low world, disobeying divine commandments and seeking self-satisfaction only of oneself. Prayer (Salàt) favors the development of spiritual desire and preserves man from his basest and most filthy desires.
2. The Prayer (Salàt) is the work (‘amal) most loved by Allah
It is handed down from Abu ‘Amr Ash-Shaybànì: «The owner of this house, and he made a sign towards the house of ‘Abd Allah (ben Masìùd), told me that one day he asked the Prophet (about him the prayer and the divine peace): ‘What is the work (‘amal) most loved by Allah?’ He replied: ‘Prayer (salàt) performed in its prescribed time.’ ‘Then which one?’ ‘Pity towards parents,’ He answered. ‘Then which one?’ ‘Holy combat (jihad) in the Way of Allah.’ Allah’s Messenger (said Ibn Mas’ud) told me these things, and if I had asked him again, he would have continued.”
The most excellent work (‘amal) is to do what Allah has established as ‘obligatory’ (fard). ‘Prayer at the prescribed time’ is considered in this hadith to be more loved by Allah than what follows, as in this other well-known hadith qudsiyy in which Allah says: «The thing that I love most among those with which My servant approaches me is made up of what I imposed on him made obligatory”»
3. Prayer (Salàt) helps to blot out (minor) sins
Islam distinguishes sins into two types:
– Great/grave sins (al-kabà’ir)
– Small/light sins (sagàir), these small sins Allah forgives them thanks to prayer and the fulfillment of other religious precepts.
Allah the Most High says: “If you avoid the gravest sins (kabà’ir) that have been forbidden to you, we will erase the other faults evil deeds, and we will let you enter with honor [in Paradise]. »
And again: «To Allah belongs what is in Heaven and what is on Earth, so that the wicked have retribution for what they do, and those who do good have the most beautiful thing as retribution, those who keep away from sins. more serious (al-kabà’ir) and from scandalous things, with the exception of slight sin: and truly your Lord is Most Lavish in forgiveness (Wàsi’u l-maghfira)».