Revised By Magdy Abd Al-Shafy
The second pillar of Islam is salat, the requirement to pray five times a day at fixed times.  Each salat is performed facing towards the Kaba in Mecca.
 However, in the early days of Islam prior to the hijra and until the beginning of the seventh month after hijra Muslims offered salat facing towards Jerusalem.  Salat is intended to focus the mind on God; it is a personal communication with God, expressing gratitude and worship. According to the Qur'an (29:40) the benefit of prayer "restrains [one] from shameful and evil deeds". Salat is compulsory but there are flexibilities under certain circumstances.  For example in the case of sickness or lack of space, a worshipper can offer salat while sitting or even lying, and the prayer can be shortened when travelling. 
The salat must be performed in the Arabic language to the best of each worshipper's ability (although the du'a afterwards need not be in Arabic), and the lines are to be recited by heart, although beginners may use written aids. The worshipper's body and clothing, as well as the place of prayer, must be cleansed.  All salat should be conducted within the prescribed time period or waqt and with the appropriate number of raka'ah. While prayers may be made at any point within the waqt, it is considered best to begin them as soon as possible after the call to prayer is heard. When a worshipper is too far from a mosque to hear a call to prayer, the time may be inferred from the position of the sun in the sky.
Verses from the Holy Quran
[13:15] To GOD prostrates everyone in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly, and so do their shadows in the mornings and the evenings.
[16:49] To GOD prostrates everything in the heavens and everything on earth - every creature - and so do the angels; without the least arrogance.
[22:18] Do you not realize that to GOD prostrates everyone in the heavens and the earth, and the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the mountains, and the trees, and the animals, and many people? Many others among the people are committed to doom. Whomever GOD shames, none will honor him. Everything is in accordance with GOD's will.
The importance of prayer
Prayer in Islam has a great importance, this can proved by the following:
1- It is the second element of Islam.
2- It is the first thing to be asked about on the day of resurrection , if prayer is accepted then all man’s work will be accepted and if it is not accepted all his work will not be accepted either.
3- It is a distinguishing sign for pious (devoted) believers as Allah says: “and perform prayer “( surat Al-Bakkara/ verse 3).
4- This who preserves prayer preserves his religion, and this who abandons it loses his religion.
5- Islam is in man’s heart as far as prayer is in his heart and his share in Islam equals his share of prayer.
6- It is a sign of loving Allah and appreciating His Blessings.
7- Allah The Almighty ordered us to preserve it whether we are traveling or staying, during war and peace and whether we are ill or healthy.
8- Texts declare that who abandons prayer is a disbeliever (an atheist). Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said “what lies between a man and atheism is abandoning prayer “(Musli
“(Muslim accounts) and said “prayer is the commitment between us, who abandons it disbelieves - becomes a disbeliever or becomes an atheist – (Ahmad and people of norms “sunan” account). When this who abandons prayer dies he is considered an atheist, he is not washed nor enshrouded, no one prays for him, he is not buried in Muslims’ graves, his relatives do not inherit from him and his money goes to beit al-mal (where the money of Muslim states is kept) in addition to other similar provisions that apply to those who abandon prayer.
yes , even high over the clouds moslems do the prayer ; they seek the pleasure of Allah and the peace of mind
God says in the Holy Quran what means " Men whom neither merchandise nor sale beguileth from remembrance of Allah and constancy in prayer and paying to the poor their due; who fear a day when hearts and eyeballs will be overturned"(24:37.)
Even children like to do it , prophet Mohummed ordered that children should be learnt how to pray .
No matter where they are , they like it . It brings them close to God
Nothing beguiles them .They never forget their connection with God . The spiritual feeling in their heart search for a way to materialize and the best is the Moslem prayer
yes , they are at war ; they may have been angry , they may have been thirsty , they may have missed their family ; they may have been at feart of the horrible distructive weapons and nothing can relieve these pains but Salat . It is true , when you do the Moslem prayer you feel you entity close to God - it is something that beggers description
perhaps , they were about to travel ; perhaps they had short time but what could quench the love of Allah but the Moslem prayer ?!!!
Wait , wait -where are they ? though it is not incumbent in such a situation , but they refuse to miss the contact with God . How lovely
One of the merits Islam that God vouchsafed on us is that He made the earth a place suitable to prayer , prophet Mohummed says " wherever the time for the prayer comes upon you , perform the prayer ; for all the earth is a place of worshipping for you.
They fear none but God . What on earth could prevent a true believer from doing prayer ? They should understand what Islam is ; how could be a person who is in complete submission to God be a terrorist ?!!
See how long the row is , see how much they adhere to God's injunctions ; think what made those people to stop their cars to do the prayer . Though they could deter the prayer till they go home , they wish nothing but the contact of God , in their daily life they aspire for nothing but God's pleasure . yes , to them life should stop and their love and sbmission to God go -How beautiful this life is!! how beautiful is the land where they prostrate themselves - Those are the Moslems who never forget their Creator.
The mosque is completely filled , those Moslem take a place around the mosque to do their prayers . Prostration is a symbole of the complete submission and humilityto God , In moslem 's humility a declaration of no greatness but to Allah , self-conceit and self-importance die away .
When things are down
When your life is in darkness
They pray while another soldier defends their back - In such an extreme cold , they never forget to pray , they need the prayer that relieve thier pains .with hearts filled with love and wormth , they have prostrated themselves to God on the icy land .
Sajdah is a unique position or stance in the regular prayers, which a Muslim is supposed to offer at least five times a day. Although the basic purpose of obligatory prayers is not to provide an exercise for people yet it is being increasingly recognized that it has plenty of medical advantages for the human body. Here it is worth mentioning that Holy Prophet Muhammad has mentioned in a hadith in Ibn Majah that prayer is a cure for many diseases. The fact is that a person who offers his prayers regularly that too in the mosque is protected from many diseases which he many not even know.
They are not playing , look at their face ; with eyes downwards , with heads bowing they submit themselves to God - Kids but with hearts of men
Man can be closest to God only when prostrating himself
Prayer is not the compilation of long words or flowery lingo. It's not the language of the 'holy people'! It's not some sophisticated language of regular church goers! No! It's such a pity most of us fail to realize what true prayer is! Most of us think it's something we have to do to be good, while others do it because it's something our family, church or culture says we ought to do. Then again, some feel prayer is like an ATM card; you use it when you need something or when you fall into horrendous situations. The problem today is that our misconceptions about prayer have clouded the image of true prayer. Then what is true prayer and what is the importance of prayer in daily life?
What is Prayer
Prayer is the utterance from your spirit to God. In simple terms, talking to God is called prayer. It's the simple opening of one's heart to our Father in Heaven. It's coming to Him and telling Him everything in your heart. Then, why do we find praying so complicated? Those of us who say, 'I don't pray because I don't know how to pray', haven't understood that prayer is just being yourself and talking to God with honesty and sincerity.
When I was growing up, I found prayer very boring. It's because it just seemed like an endless stream of meaningless words to me. However, when I truly understood what prayer meant (that it's speaking to God with complete honesty, without any kind of masks or worrying about how and what you talk), my whole perspective about prayer changed. Prayer today is not a burdensome task that I have to complete everyday, but a joyful time I spend with my Lord. It's such a privilege to be able to talk to the King of Kings; to share my innermost thoughts, my deepest desires! However, this privilege came at a price. Jesus Christ died on the cross for me, for my sins, just so that I could enter the throne of God's grace with confidence. So is it for you!
What is the Importance of Prayer
Drawing Nearer to God...
Men and women who opt for arranged marriages are often told to talk to the person and learn more about each other. They are told to communicate and understand each other's personalities and temperaments. Why are they told this? Why is communication a very crucial part of marriage? Because if you do not communicate you will never be able to know the person. Similarly, if you do not pray, if you do not talk to God, you can never learn more about who He is. To understand the Father heart of God, we need to pray. To lead a life of intimacy with God, we need to pray. In John 15:15, Jesus says He no longer calls us his servants, but calls us His friends. Moreover, in 1 Corinthians 3:9, God calls us His fellow workers. But, how can we be His fellow workers if we refuse to talk to Him?
Tool to Bind Powers of Darkness...
Prayer is powerful and you need to remember, the words uttered in prayer have wonder-working power. Ephesians 6:12 says, "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Do not underestimate the power of prayer. The Devil is constantly trying to discourage us, demoralize us and weaken our faith in God. When tempted to fall into sin, pray. Prayer gives us the power to overcome. Pray gives us the strength and the faith to finish the race marked before us in this life.
Prayer Changes You...
Why are parents so worried about the company their children are in? It's because they know the company you are in, can influence you. The influence may be positive or negative, but there sure is an influence. The more time you spend with God, the more your face will shine with the radiance of God. The more your nature will resemble the loving nature of God. Our habits and lifestyles change. We no longer live selfish lives, but love others with a pure and sincere heart. Prayer changes us from the inside, which soon gets reflected on the outside.
It is important to pray for God's protection on your family everyday. Pray for your parents, spouse, children every single day. Moreover, as parents, the responsibility lies with us to make kids aware of the importance of prayer. For children are extremely vulnerable and the choices they make during their growing up years will shape their future. Pray for God's protection upon their young lives. My father-in-law always makes sure he says a short word of prayer everyday before each of us goes to work, school or out to the mall. Before traveling he always prays for God's protection to be upon each one of us. And we do the same. It's just a two minute prayer, but very powerful and fills our hearts with peace.
Sets Captives Free...
Another important aspect of prayer is intercession. Intercession is standing in the gap and praying for others in need. Pray fervently for those around you. There is a lot of heartache in this world, scores of people are suffering from the bondage of sin. Pray in the name of Jesus, that these captives will be set free. Pray for a breakthrough in their lives.
Jesus healed the sick while He was on Earth. He also gave authority to His disciples to heal. Jesus Christ has also given each one of us who believes in Him, the authority to heal. James 5: 14-16, talks about how the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Pray for emotional, spiritual and physical healing for yourself and for those around you. So many people go through physical, mental and sexual abuse. The blood of Jesus heals every wound. Walk towards Him and you will be healed.
Prayer Brings About Breakthroughs...
Are you struggling with an issue in life? Are you desperately seeking a breakthrough? There's no point fretting or getting frustrated. It is my appeal you fast and pray. There is power in fasting and praying. It may sound very spiritual and something you have never done before. But, fasting and prayer is powerful. Fast and pray on a regular basis (weekly or more frequently if possible). Select a time when you have the house to yourself, so you will be free to sing and pray aloud. Start by singing a few choruses, then begin reading the Bible. After that pour your heart out to God and share your burdens openly. Then read some more from the Bible. Even if the breakthrough doesn't happen that day, you will receive the strength and the grace to carry on. Don't stop fasting and praying even if you feel the breakthrough is taking too long. Continue fasting and praying. You will receive the answers to your prayers.
Do not let the jet speed pace of this world eat away your prayer life. Begin your day with 'quiet time', then pray constantly during the day. Pray on your way to work, during idle time, pray when you're anxious, etc. Strive for a 24*7 walking-talking relationship with God. There are different Bible verses on the importance of prayer. Delve into the Word and find out for yourself the beauty of this communication tool. You won't believe it till you experience it!