"The nearest a servant comes to his Lord is when he is prostrating himself, so make abundant supplication (in this state)." The Prophet, (Sahih Muslim)
For Muslims, prayers are the second pillar of Islam and it’s pursued as a religious obligation to obey and The Eternal Lord, Allah S.W.T. But more than this, there are many layers and beneficial aspects to praying that we might take for granted - or not notice at all! Our daily prayers are a gift, a small window every five times a day for us that puts everything into perspective, reminding us of our purpose in this life.
THERE IS MUCH MORE TO PRAYER
It’s been scientifically proven, and also personally experienced by millions of Muslim, that the spiritual experience of praying can help us in many different ways. We can learn a thing or two about self-gratitude and the purpose of our existence. And while prayer is the best time for us to ask from The Most Merciful, there’s so much more to prayers! Allah S.W.T. mentions in the Quran:
وَٱسْتَعِينُوا۟ بِٱلصَّبْرِ وَٱلصَّلَوٰةِ ۚ وَإِنَّهَا لَكَبِيرَةٌ إِلَّا عَلَى ٱلْخَـٰشِعِينَ
“And seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, it is a burden except for the humble.” (Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:45)
PRAYER IS NOURISHMENT TO THE SOUL
For most of us, there’s just so many things on our plate that we tend to get distracted, even when we’re praying! We sometimes forget that divine aid and intervention is what we truly need. Allah S.W.T. reminds the believer in the verse above to seek help through patience and prayer, as these are the keys to solve any problem that they have in life.
When we ensure that our days are planned around our prayers, we will get the barakah in our day in everything that we carry out.
IT DRAWS ONE CLOSE TO AR-RAHMAAN (THE MOST MERCIFUL)
When we carry out our daily prayers, we get closer to Allah S.W.T. by doing what is commanded. Allah bestows His love upon us, as reflected in:
وَمَا تَقَرَّبَ إِلَىَّ عَبْدِي بِشَىْءٍ أَحَبَّ إِلَىَّ مِمَّا افْتَرَضْتُ عَلَيْهِ، وَمَا يَزَالُ عَبْدِي يَتَقَرَّبُ إِلَىَّ بِالنَّوَافِلِ حَتَّى أُحِبَّهُ
“And the most beloved thing with which My servant comes nearer to Me is what I have enjoined upon him (obligatory acts - Fardhu); and My servant keeps on coming closer to Me through performing the Nawafil (supererogatory acts – Sunnah) till I love him.”
PRAYER REDUCES OUR STRESS LEVELS
When we’re too distracted by work or other commitments, we tend to forget that everything within our lives is planned by The All-Knowing One. When we engage in prayer, it provides a temporary break from our daily stressors and allows us to detach from worldly troubles. Our spiritual connection with Allah S.W.T. helps us to reduce stress, especially during the middle of the day!
PRAYER IMPROVES YOUR HEALTH & FITNESS
Lastly, besides the spiritual benefits of praying five times a day, it also promotes many physical benefits as well. Prayers require us to move through several distinct bodily postures, where our body goes through a unique exercise during the Salah. According to studies, it has shown that when performed correctly and with the right postures - along with the spiritual well-being - it helps improve muscle strength, joint mobility and blood circulation.
Those with illnesses such as headaches, migraines and hypertension can also feel some form of relief just by praying. These diseases can be tied to internal stress and hence, prayers can help to alleviate a little bit of the pain due to the positive feeling that praying gives to the worshipper.
As a Muslim, understanding the wisdom and benefits that we can get from praying is truly uplifting. It helps us to get closer to our Creator out of His love and mercy for prescribing these acts of worship upon us.
May Allah S.W.T. bring us closer to Him, connecting to Him at a deeper level and reap the maximum rewards and blessings from our sincere worship.