Second Pillar: Salat - Prayer and Inner Cultivation
Salat is the principle of inner cultivation. Al-Islam requires that the believers perform Salat, which means Prayer, at least five times per day. The Qur’an instructs the Muslim to pray in the early morning (Fajr Prayer), a little after high noon (Zuhr Prayer), in the afternoon; midway between noon and sunset (Asr Prayer), a little after sunset (Maghrib Prayer), and at night time (Isha Prayer).
Prophet Muhammad has taught us that if a person prays at these regular intervals throughout the waking hours, his or her soul will be cleansed, heart will be purified and character made pleasing to oneself, one’s neighbor, and to Almighty Allah.
The Muslim practice of prayer ritual, practice, tradition has been designed by Allah to help cultivate the inner self of the one who believes. Thus, the submission of one’s will to the Will and Guidance of Allah is actually a benefit to the self.
Allah tells us that if everyone on earth were to suddenly begin worshipping HIM, it would not add a single thing to HIM or if everyone were to suddenly turn away from HIM; it would not take away a single thing from HIM. Hence, our prayers do not magnify Allah, nor do they stroke HIS ego (for HE has no ego). Indeed, our giving of spirit and action to HIS guidance is a requirement of the nature in which HE made us in order for us to find and grow into a state of Peace, Wholeness, and Security, which is Al-Islam.
The Muslim prayer (Salat) requires use of the mind, heart, and the body. This teaches the Muslim that to serve Allah, one must do so with mind, body, and soul. This is our whole self.
There are many other types of prayers that Muslims make; such as Sunnah prayers, Eid prayers, Funeral prayers, and more. Al-Islam is a way of life that contains practices, such as prayer, which cultivate the inner soul, which results in Muslims, as a whole, being among the best people to have in society.