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 Rewards for Observing Prayer And Warnings Against Abandoning it

Allah The Exalted said:

1. {And those who guard their Salat (prayers) well, such shall dwell in the gardens (i.e., Paradise) honored} (V.70:34,35}
2. { and perform As-Salat (i.e. Iqamat-as-Salat). Verily, As-Salat (the prayer) prevents from Al-Fahsha (great sins of every kind, unlawful sexual intercourse, etc.) and Al-Munkar (disbelief, polytheism, and every kind of evil wicked deed.)} (V.29:45)
3. {So woe unto those performers of Salat (prayers) (hypocrites). Those who delay their Salat (prayer) from their stated fixed time.}. (V.107:4,5)
4. {Successful indeed are the believers. Those who offer their Salat (prayers) with all solemnity and full submissiveness.} (V.23:1,2)
5. {Then, there has succeeded them a posterity who have given up As-Salat (prayers) (i.e. made their Salat (the prayers) to be lost, either by not offering them, or by not offering them perfectly or by not offering them in their proper fixed times,) and have followed lusts. So they will be thrown in Hell.}.(V.19:59)

The Prophet (pbuh) said:

1. “What do you think if one of you had a river running past his door and he bathed in it five times a day. Would any dirt remain on him?” They said, “No dirt would remain on him.” He said, “Likewise is the similitude of the five daily prayers, Allah obliterates thereby the sins.” (Agreed upon)
2. “ The covenant (which distinguished) between us and them is prayer, so whoever abandoned it became a kafir.”
3. “Between a man and kufr and shirk is the abandonment of prayer.” (Muslim)

Obligatory or Prescribed Prayers

Prayer (salat) must be performed five times a day. The first is Fajr prayer, with two rak’aat, or units, which may be performed between dawn and sunrise. The second, Dhuhr, with four rak’aat, is performed in the afternoon. The third Asr, with four rak’aat, is in the later afternoon. The fourth, Maghrib, with three rak’aat, is immediately after sunset. The fifth, Isha, with four rak’aat, is after the sun’s redness disappears from the horizon.

Other prayers are optional devotions carried out according to Sunna (saying, deeds and precepts of the Prophet.) The Prophet (pbuh) enjoins us to observe the prescribed prayers and gives us the pledge of Allah to introduce us into His garden.

Times of the Five Stated Prayers

From the Prophet’s Hadith and other sources it is stated that the times of Prayer are as follows: Dhuhr starts right after the sun passes the zenith, and continues until the shadow of an object equals the same length as the object. Asr starts as soon as the shadow of the object becomes equal to the object after deducting the length of the shadow at noon. It lasts until the sun sets (although it should not be postponed until the sun’s rays turn yellowish without a valid excuse.) Maghrib starts when the sun disappears below the horizon, and extends until the last trace of redness disappears from the sky. Isha starts when the last trace of redness has disappeared from the sky, and lasts until the middle of the night. Fajr starts with the appearance of the “true dawn” until the sun starts to crest the horizon.