Salat is the best among all acts of worship. If it is accepted by the Almighty Allah, the other acts of worship are also accepted. And, if prayer is not accepted, other acts are also not accepted.
Offering of prayers five times during the day and night purify us of sins in the same manner as bathing five times during the day and night makes our body clean.
It is deserving that one should offer prayer punctually. A person who considers prayer to be something unimportant is just like one who does not offer prayer at all. The holy prophet has said that a person who does not attach any importance to prayer and considers it to be something insignificant, deserves chastiment in the hereafter.
It is deserving that one should avoid acts which diminish the reward for prayers such as when one is drowsy and while offering prayer she/she should not look up towards the sky. But one should perform such acts which increase the reward such as, wearing clean clothes, using perfume, brushing the teeth and combing the hair.
The kinds of Prayer
In order to be familiarized with the issues (rules) and Islamic law of prayer (Salat), firstly we should remember that Salat is either obligatory or recommended.
Obligatory Salat (prayers) are one of two groups, some of these are a daily religious obligation which one should perform day and night on specific times and some others are sometimes obligated on special occassions and are not part of the daily program.
Time for daily Salat
151 - The daily prayers are five prayers and the total is seventeen Rak-ats.
Dawn prayers (Fajr): 2 Rak-ats
Midday prayers (zuhr): 4 Rak-ats
Afternoon prayers (Asr): 4 Rak-ats
Dusk Prayers (Maghrib): 3 Rak-ats
Night prayers (Isha): 4 Rak-ats
152 - The time for Fajr prayer is from dawn Fajr to sunrise, one should offer prayer at this time and the closer prayer is to dawn Fajr, the better.
The time for Zuhr and Asr prayer is from the official time of Zuhr up to the time of Maghrib.
The amount of time needed to pray four Rak-ats at the beginning of this time period is specific to Zuhr prayer and when that same amount of time is left before maghrib it is specific only for Asr prayer.
- The time of maghrib and Asha prayer is from the time of Maghrib to midnight. The amount of time necessary to pray one three Rak-at prayer at Maghrib is specific for Maghrib prayer and when the time left until midnight is enough only to make a four Rak-at prayer that time is specific for isha prayer.