By: Dr. Mohammad Suleiman al-Ashqer
Why We Pray?
1. The Muslim observes his Prayers to show devotion and obedience to Allah, because Prayer is one of the greatest forms of worship that Allah likes His servants to offer.
2. To thank Him for creating us in the best form of creation.
3. Because He has guided us to the Deen (Religion) of Islam.
4. Prayer is a chance for the Muslim to express to his Lord whatever he feels and needs through Divine Words of Allah i.e. Al-Qur'an.
5. To remember his Lord and not forget His commands amid life pre-occupations.
6. To ask Allah (Exalted) to give him aid and continuous guidance in the darkness of life.
7. To strengthen love and fear of Allah in the Muslim’s heart so that he might remain sticking to the Right Path of Islam, and its laws and manners.
8. Gaining good rewards from Allah and having our sins forgiven.
9. To rejoice when he finds himself on the Last Day pleased with the great reward allotted to him in the Gardens of Bliss.
10. Prayer is a unique training and developmental program which, if well and devotedly performed, can achieve for Muslims many valuable physical, ethical and spiritual gains such as cleanliness, health, order, punctuality, brotherhood, equality, social consolidation… etc.
We pray five times every day:
The Fajr (dawn) prayer. Two Rak‘ahs (Units). Its time starts just after dawn and ends at sunrise.
The Dhuhr (noon) prayer. Four Rak‘ahs. Time starts just after sun moves down from its zenith and ends at the midpoint between zenith and sunset.
The Asr (Late afternoon) prayer: Four Rak‘ahs. Time starts after the end of the Dhuhr prayer and ends at sunset.
The Maghrib (Sunset) prayer: Three Rak‘ahs. Time starts just after sunset.
The Isha’ (Evening) prayer: Four Rak‘ahs. Preferable time starts when twilight disappears and ends at midnight. (al-Ashqer)[i]