When we die, Salah is the first responsibility we will be judged for, if it is sound (accepted), then all our deeds after it will be sound (accepted) and if it is corrupt (unaccepted), then all our deeds after it will be corrupt (unaccepted). The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wassallam said, “whoever abandons it (prayer), has disbelieved!”
It is not only Salah’s obligatory aspect, however, that should compel us to tend to it. This would be an incomplete intention. Go to it because you love it and because you yearn for the pleasure you find in it! Prepare ahead for it. Just as a nice meal starts out with a tasty appetizer before the scrumptious main course, start your preparation for Salah with the sounding of the Adhan. Wash up again even if you still have your wudu’- give yourself more light! Start asking yourself, “What am I about to do now? Who am I about to meet?”, and don’t just cover up your ‘awra with any old clothes, but make extra effort to beautify yourself for The King- change into something beautiful and presentable. Turn off your phone, choose an undecorated prayer rug, face the qibla, straighten your lines if in congregation, and aim to pray in the first row for better concentration. This is Salah the most beautiful way to worship! An act that brings such a satisfying comfort, a true quenching of that spiritual thirst!
Salah is Allah’s greatest gift to us. In it is the peace and true happiness that we all yearn and search for. This life is full of hardship, trials, and aches. We need to rid ourselves of these aches. We need relief from it all and who possesses this ultimate relief? No one but Allah. And this relief we will find in Salah.
“O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient” (2:153).