The Salat, or prayer is a special time between you and the Creator of everything; Allah, The God. A core element in Islam, Salat is an essential part of a Muslim's life in thanking and worshipping none other than one's One True Master.
It's a time when you can communicate directly to Him - when you can acknowledge His existence and recognise that He made everything from the Heavens and the Earth [along with all the stars and galaxies that lie in between and around them], to all the creatures and beings that inhabit them. All is from Him, and to Him will all be returned. The Prayer is also the best opportunity we have in asking God to protect us from evil and forgive us for carrying out sinful acts, and to instead love one another and do good good deeds in this life.
The Prayers are as follows:
- Salat al-Fajr --------------- Morning Prayer
- Salat al-Asr ---------------- Noon Prayer
- Salat al-Zuhr -------------- Afternoon Prayer
- Salat al-Maghrib -------- Evening Prayer
- Salat al-Isha --------------- Nightly Prayer
"So glorify Allah [above all that (evil) they associate with Him (O believers)], when you come up to the evening [i.e. offer the (Maghrib) sunset and ('Isha') night prayers], and when you enter the morning [i.e offer the (Fajr) morning prayer].
And His is all the praises and thanks in the heavens and the earth, and (glorify Him) in the afternoon (i.e. offer 'Asr prayer) and when you come up to the time, when the day begins to decline (i.e offer Zuhr prayer). (Ibn 'Abbas said: "These are the five compulsory congregational prayers mentioned in the Quran)."
(Surah 30: Ar-Rum (The Romans); verses 17-8)
Whilst nowhere near as important as the Salat, one can just take a little time out to just stop, pause and "get in touch" with God. You can talk about your day so far, about recent situations that's going on in your life, or just to say hi - whether you speak out aloud or in your mind, He's always there to hear you out. By coming forth to God with sincerity and with clean intentions will He make your heart stronger and galvanise your faith in Him in all sorts of ways.
(For information about how to perform the Salat, please check out our earlier post "Teach Me How To Pray" or alternatively IslamCity has a detailed explanation on how to Pray)