In the adhan we say Hayyaa alal falaah.  Translated, it means come to success.  What does success this imply?  And how can observing the salaat (pray) lead to success? 

We know salaat to be an institution and one of the pillars of Islam.  Salaat is very important to a believer because Prophet Muhammad (s) is reported to have said ‘the difference between us and them (the hypocrites) is prayer’.

Allah  says in surah Ankabut;

and establish regular prayer: for prayer restrains from shameful and unjust deeds; and remembrance of Allah is the greatest (thing in life) without doubt.  (29:45)

If you pray your salaat properly, you will get that internal guidance to become a better person.  For example when the first prohibition alcohol was revealed Allah said;

O you who believe! Approach not prayers with a mind befogged, until you can understand all that you say.  (4:43)

If a person is intoxicated it will take some time for him to get sober.  Thus at the time when this ayat was revealed if the believers wanted to pray salaat they would have had to stay away from alcohol.  And this is just one impact which salaat had in moulding and culturing the lives of believers.

And because the institution of salaat has this impact on us Satan would always try to take the people away from salaat.  For example once it was brought to Prophet Muhammad’s attention that a man had slept the night till morning (after sunrise).  Prophet said, “He is a man in whose ears (or ear) Satan had urinated”.

Allah says about the successful ones;

By the soul, and the proportion and order given to it; and its Enlightenment As to its wrong and its right; - truly he succeeds that purifies it; (91:7-9)

In order to attain success we must strive for Tazkiyah nafs; purification our nafs.  Culture it to the point where our thoughts and action would not bring about any black sports on our soul.  And salaat helps in keeping away black spots and at the same time polishes the soul to keep it bright and shinning.

The successful ones are those who strive to keep the light of the ruh (soul) shining and bright so that it can permeate throughout the entire personality.  If you stay firm on your daily salaat you will definitely see a change on your life.

If you want to beautify your faith make sure you have the fundamentals down.  And everyone can perform salaat.  You don’t need to be a scholar and there are no restrictions in terms of place.  The whole earth is a musala, except the unclean place. 

Give importance to and be steadfast in performing it.  Allah made it convenient for us.  A lot of people can’t understand why they have problems in their lives.  Salaat is an institution where we can meet our Lord and talk to Him and beg of Him. 

And we must understand how fortunate we truly are because we are the only ummah to uphold salaat even though all the Messengers use to pray.  Make use of it and do not treat it as a burden.  You think if you set aside time during the day and night to praise and beg your Lord that He would forsake you and let you down? 

Resolve to yourself that you won’t miss any of the fard (compulsory) salaat.  Some people criticize others who just concentrate and pray the fard rakaats alone.  The important thing is that at least they are praying.

Humble yourself and do not be like Satan who refused to submit to Allah’s command. May Allah bless us and guide us and always enable us to uphold this blessed institution of salaat, insha Allah (God willing).