For most practicing Muslims, salah, or prayer, serves as the foundation for their faith. Nearly all Muslims agree that five daily prayers are prescribed by God, representing the second pillar of Islam. The cleansing of the soul through one’s submission to God is the underlying concept embodied through salah, but there are a number of aspects of the practice that facilitate this love for God (and subsequent reflection of that love that allows Muslims to love those around them) that are rarely discussed. Salah can provide physical, emotional, and other benefits that assist Muslims to become balanced in their lives and allow them to more readily embrace their true selves.
The second pillar of Islam after the shahadah, or the proclamation of faith, is salah, prayer. This ritual is probably the most well known to non-Muslims. Stories on Islam and Muslims many times include a picture of Muslims praying. Salah is so conspicuous because it includes many physical motions, the culmination of which is complete prostration with the face touching the ground.
Muslims are required to pray 5 times daily. The prayers are spread out throughout the day at dawn, around noon, afternoon, sunset, and in the evening. The daily prayers are suppose to establish the believer’s direct relationship with God. When a Muslim prays, even if the prayer is done in congregation, they are standing in front of God as an individual without any intercession. Continue reading