Every creature in existence prays and praises God in its own way. Praying is a verbal type of worship that combines elements from the worship and praises of all creatures. Since praying is the most important worship (ibadah) in Islam, our Prophet said “It is the backbone of the religion.”
Performing a prayer, which means to pray to God for goodness, is the Ascension of the believer to the Heavens. (Translator’s note: Prayer is likened to the Ascension of the Messenger of Allah (Al Meraj).) It is the meeting of a believer with the Creator. By performing the ritual prayer, we are in the presence of Allah five times a day. We sincerely show our submission to Him and remember that we are always in need of Him. Praying shows that we are thankful to God. By praying, we thank God for all of His gifts and show our love and respect to Him. That is because praying is the most magnificent way of showing respect.
To perform prayer is to petition God, ask for His help and beg Him to forgive our sins.
In short, praying is the backbone of the religion and a divine light for the heart. It is the lifeblood of our spiritual world. As it purifies us physically, it is a high worship that also keeps us spiritually aware.
Our beloved Prophet says: “Praying is a divine light to one’s heart. Those among you who wish, have divine light with it and try to increase the light in your hearts.” (Tirmizî, Deavât 85)