Islamic prayers like faiths are better and superior than prayers of other faiths. The prayers of other faiths are simply for spiritual solace and salutation but Islamic prayers, besides solace and salutation, have direct influence on worldly actions and activities and become a source of mending our mundane life and carving a noble character.
Those who do not believe in prayers often say: “What is the need of our prayers to God?” Yes, tell them that God does not need our prayers or any other thing as He is free from everything of the world. He does not even bother whether the whole world worships Him or denies Him altogether. The meaning of prayer is allegiance, devotion and obedience and these are the corner-stone of faith. Therefore to do what has been allowed in the Holy Quran and not to do what has not been allowed in the Holy Quran is counted as prayers. But according to common law what have been called as prayer are six in number (1) Purity, (2) Prayer, (3) Fast, (4) Hajj, (5) Giving Alms and (6) Jihad.
Cleanliness is so much important in Islam that without it even prayers cannot be performed. The meaning of cleanliness is purity and neatness. Allah also loves those who are clean. Hence He tells in Chapter Tauba:”Allah loves those who are neat and clean” Cleanliness includes purity of body and cloth; there should be no sign of impurity of any kind. Taking bath after intercourse is compulsory. No prayers can be performed without it. Besides this daily bath specially on Friday is essential. It is our misfortune that mostly poor and pauper Muslims go to mosques. Most of the rich people do not pray at all and those who do so do it at their homes. Poor people who are seen in the mosque are usually not very clean and tidy. Non-Muslims seeing these poor Muslims in dirty clothes have formed the opinion that Islam does not teach cleanliness and purity. Therefore those who do not go to mosque in neat and clean cloth bring disgrace to Islam. They should go to mosque in nice clothes so that people of other faith may have respect for our religion.This is also a practical way of preaching Islam.
Prayer is the most obligatory form of worship. In the Holy Quran Allah has laid stress upon prayer more than anything else. Prayers have countless benefits. But I shall confine only to important benefits accruing from it. These benefits are two-fold: that is, the prayer not only leads to our spiritual elevation but also helps in mundane prosperity and success both individually and collectively.
1- Prayer leads to perfect human conduct: While dealing with beliefs I have already said that the fountain-head of Islamic belief is faith in Oneness of Allah and if faith is inculcated in perfect form in even twenty-five per cent of our people, our nation cannot stoop to degradation at all. What is prayer? It is nothing but humility and sense of wretchedness in its entirety—to stand like slaves, to bow like animals in prayer and press the forehead and nose on the ground like insects. These are nothing but humility. In this way the fearless and selfless conduct of Mo min which generates roughness and harshness becomes moderate through the practice of five time prayers and brings forth such an equilibrium in conduct which can be only of a perfect man. Group prayer helps more and more in the reconstruction of his conduct and behavior.
It should be uderstood like this that Tauhid is poison and prayer is such a means which moderates by removing all its evils. And who does not know that when poison is moderated there is no better medicine than this or you may take like this that many lion-like people educate and train themselves in the art of love and affectin and humility by gathering together and they develop such a character which becomes the perfect explanation of ” hardness in their behaviour with infidels and kindness among themselves”. The prowess and elasticity of character of such persons cannot by gauged by even the greates psychologist of today. And what to talk of such a group character.These are the people who cannot accept slavery of annybody on one side and can never oppress anybody any time on the other side. (for detail pls read book)
1- In all the divine worships of Islam only fast is a kind of prayer in which man imitates one of the attributes of Allah, that is, as Allah is free from eating and drinking similarly during Ramazan those who fast do not take anything from morning to sunset. This means that he acts upon one of the attributes of Allah for sometime. If those who fast remember this point, they will remember Allah throughout the day. And it is the highest type of prayer to remember Allah.
2-Purity and Cleanliness are essential during fast. While fasting not only physical cleanliness is essential but spiritual purity is also imperative. By keeping the soul free from thoughts and pure it generates boundless bliss and boldness which cannot be achieved in years.
3-Patience and perseverance and strength of toleration can be practised during fast which is essential to bring forth supreme contrary……(for detail pls read book)
Now the question arises that among Muslamans those who fast are in larger number then those who offer regular prayers. Even most corrupt rather thieves and dacoits fast during Ramzan and become pious. But the moment Ramzan is over, they are again with their evil pursuits. Why is it so? Why there is no improvement in their character and conduct? The answer is that in reality they do not have perfect faith in Allah, that is, the foundation of belief is weak. Then how can the super-structure be strong? During fast rather during Ramzan perhaps only few have the feelings of presence of Allah and feel that He is seeing them. This is the reason that instead of patience, will to control and perseverance generally those who fast display confusion and anger. Hence during Ramzan we hear such tings, “do not talk to him, he is under the spell of fast” or fast has overtaken him”. etc ect. (for detail pls read the book)
Among Islamic prayers Hajj also is an unique and most beneficial prayer. Hajj is not simply to go Makkah, circle round the Kaabah and after performing other related rites come back with the conviction that all his sins have been washed away and he has received the passport to the heaven rather by performing Hajj the following benefits can be gained:-
1- For performing the Hajj a long and arduous journey has to be completed. It develops coverage, intellect and experience and shyness is set aside and it also increases knowldge.
2- The troubles and tribulations that one meets during the journey are tolerated without any murmur considering the habit of tolerating privations which lead to the attainment of power of toleration.
3- As generally the journey is performed alone and all the work has to be done personally it leads to self-confidence which is essential for the development of quality of a supreme character.
4- The House of Allah is the center of the Islamic world. North and South, East and West, Muslims from every corner of the world pray while keeping their face towards it. Hence the respect and honor Kaabah enjoys does not need narration. Rich or poor, pious and chaste, sinners and wicked can equally sacrifice their lives and treasures and progeny without any hesitation for the protection and defense of Kaabah. Thousands and thousands of Muslims collect to gether every year for turning round and round the Kaabah. If our religious and political leaders can work with a little labor and sincerity we can set up such a center which can bring about unity and coordination among Muslims and weld them into s world organization. This is not at all a difficult task. It will be done one day. But it is to be seen who has the luck to do it. (for detail read book)
Like other prayers alms is such a beneficial kind of prayer whose likeness cannot be found in any other religion. The peculiarity with alms is that its collective benefits are much more than individual benefits.
1- Those who give alms develop the spirit of sympathy with charity which has been ordained in the Holy Quran at places, then the division of wealth may take a pattern that neither one can become so rich as in America or Europe or Indian capitalists nor any one can be so poor that he has no bread to eat, no cloth to wear and no house for his shelter. The division of wealth in Communism though apparently very attractive is neither natural nor practical. This can only be maintained for sometime under state dominance. But who does not know that anything whose foundation is laid upon sheer strength is not everlasting and permanent. As opposed to this whatever is imposed upon people with their consent and desire are always permanent. The masses will naturally and habitually will not like to hand over to the Government whatever they earn through the sweat of their brow so that high officials may live in luxury and pleasures and they live on simple bread. (for detail read book)
Jihad is also an unique form of prayer of Islam. It is not possible to measure its strength and value. Whatever is gained and achieved through other forms of prayers Jihad is their test and trial. If other forms of prayers are for individual and collective reconstruction then Jihad is to keep them up and sustain them. Other prayers are performed while alive but Jihad is performed by sacrificing life. As long as the spirit of Jihad was alive among Muslims its enemies were terror stricken. The moment its spirit was gone the nation also died. How this spirit dwindled? It is due to weakness of faith, negligence in prayers, forgetting the Holy Quran and love of mundane life and pleasures. The other reason was the negligence of the teaching of religion and the Quran and lack of knowledge of the day to day affairs of the world. The followers of Islam also fell a prey to the persistent teaching against Islam specially Jihad by European and specially the British. The propaganda against Jihad was that Muslims convert non-muslims at the point of bayonets and whoever refuses to accept Islam is done to death. This is called Jihad. And it is the worst type of barbarism bereft of humanity. The beauty of this propaganda is that the Europeans and the British who were after this campaign were themselves engaged in crusades with Muslims. The real purpose of this propaganda was to unite the Christians against Musalmans. But when Muslims themselves lost the religious spirit in later centuries they themselves fell a prey to this propaganda. And instead of replying to the charges leveled against jihad by the Christians began to suspect the benefit accuring from Jihad. Not only this many began to find fault with Jihad and many denied its timely benefit altogether.
If Muslims have to survive as Muslims they have no alternative but to revive the spirit of Jihad once again. But at the same time they should understand and keep in their mind and also tell the world tha Jihad is not to conquer non-muslim lands and to loot and collect booty or to gain other material benefits. According ot the teaching of Islam and the Holy Quran those who resort to Jihad with a view to mundane gains and gifts do not gain the status of a Mujahid. Jihad from any angle is never an offensive rather it is a pure defensive step. All the wars and expeditions that were carried out during the period of the Holy Prophet were all defensive. In brief, Jihad is a defensive battle which is fought when any non-muslim power attacks any Muslim State or carries on preparations which may endanger the very survival of Muslim States. There are Muslims who utter that as long as there is even a single Muslim in the world Islam cannot be eliminated. Almighty Allah will convert any other nation to Islam. In reality such utterances are not with any evil intention rather it is to emphases the universal truth if Islam. But men of inner vision know that what is hidden in the depth and inner recesses of their heart which compels them to utter such things.
Now remains the arguments of non-Muslims against Jihad. It has been answered above that Jihad is never offensive rather it is a defensive war. The other answer is that under what plea the Christians continued their crusades for two centuries against Muslims? The third answer is that in the name of religion or for its defense. war is barbarism and wild action then why at all they are uniting against irreligious Communism?