The virtues of Salaat, the third pillar of Islam, are plentiful. AwliyaullahAS have said, “Every being has a face by which it is identified; the face of your Deen is Salaat”. “Of the deeds of man, Allah will first look at Salaat; if a man has prayed only then will Allah judge his other deeds.” It is related that a man approached RasulullahSA asking him to pray for a place in heaven. RasulullahSA replied, “Help me with plenty of sujud.” Syedna Qadin NoámanRA begins the chapter by encouraging mumineen to be mindful of Salaat, and by admonishing those who do not pray. He then goes on to explain the principles of Salaat.
It is related that the biggest cheat is the one who steals in his Salaat i.e. he who is heedless of Salaat. The Salaat of AwliyaullahAS is exemplary and unparalleled. When Imam Zain ul AabideenAS prayed, his face changed color. On being asked, he replied that when I pray I am standing in the presence of a Great Emperor. It is a mumin’s duty to follow this example, to pray with absolute focus and dedication. Any imperfections in a mumin’s Salaat, which are inevitable, are covered by sunnat and naafelat.
The rewards of Salaat multiply by praying Imamat: 12 times in any assembly, 25 times in a masjid, 100 times in a Jame Masjid, 1000 times in Bait ul Muqaddas, 10,000 times in al Masjid un Nabawi in Medina Munawwarah, and 100,000 times in Baitullah. It has been related that a person who lives in the neighborhood of a masjid, he who hears the sound of the azaan, should indeed pray in the masjid.
Allah has said, “A mumin is in the shadow of Allah’s rehmat as long as he remains in Salaat.”