Source: Ain-al-Hayat, By: Allama Muhammad Baqir Majlisi
The most important of the physical and practical tenets is Salat/Namaz or mandatory and optional prayers. Therefore in the call for prayer, the Adhan, it is announced ‘Hai aala khairil aml.’- come and join the best of acts! But there is one group that chose to avoid using this expression in their Adhan!
Salat, as announced in every call for the prayer, is the most important aspect of the practice of the Muslim Faith. This doesn’t mean that having performed the most important act, there isn’t need for practicing the other tenets.
In His Perfect Wisdom, Allah has devised the most beneficial norms of action for the human race. For example, one might say that the meat is the best of foods. But this doesn’t mean that the other foods are not good! Can we imagine someone eating the meat to his satisfaction and not drinking the water! This proves that everything is necessary and has to be used judiciously. It is quite another matter that there are degrees of importance of various things.
Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (as) has said, that among the tenets of practice in Islam, the best is the Salat. When a person has taken the bath of purification, has done his ablutions and goes to a corner to offer his Salat, the Satan pleads that the progeny of Adam (as) is prostrating to Allah while he has himself refused to accept Allah’s Command and did not prostrate!
The Prophet of Islam (S) says that the Salat in Islam can be compared to the perpendicular pillar of a tent on which the entire structure of the tent rests. If the pillar is removed, nothing else in the tent will be of any use.
Imam Musa al-Kadhim (as) says, “An old person’s account of deeds will be considered on the Day of Reckoning, and when it will be noted that his good deeds are less than his bad deeds, Allah will say, ‘This old man used to offer prayers and I feel sorry to consign him to the Hell!’ Then Allah will order the angels to take the man to the Heaven!”
The Prophet of Allah (S) has said that on the Day of Reckoning, Salat will be the first thing about which the people will be questioned. If a person was regular in offering his Salat, the way to Heaven will be smooth for him. Otherwise, the person will be consigned to the Hell.
Amir’ul-Mu’mineen ‘Ali (as) says that if a person visualizes about the Greatness of Allah during his Salat, he will remain in prostration the rest of his life.