The Fruits and Virtues of Prayer
1- It was prescribed in the heavens the night the Prophet (peace be upon him) ascended to the heavens, while the commands for the remaining acts of worship were revealed to the Prophet (peace be upon him) on earth. This indicates its great importance, sacredness and status.
2- It is the only pillar which is repeated five times each day, and it is never waved except for a woman experiencing her menstrual period or post partum bleeding.
3- It is the one of the most virtuous and most beloved of deeds to Allah as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “…know that the best of your deeds is the prayer, and only a true believer maintains the state of ablution.” (Ahmad)
4- It is the backbone of Islam, and brings pleasure to the eyes of pious. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The most important of all matters is Islam, its backbone is the prayer, and its highest level is Jihad for the sake of Allah.” (Ahmad)
5- It is a proof of one’s Islam, a sign of belief, and it preserves a person’s blood from being shed. Allah says what means “But if they repent [by rejecting Shirk (polytheism) and accept Islamic Monotheism], perform Prayer (Iqamat-as- Salat) and give Zakat, then they are your brethren in religion.” (At-Tawbah: 2)
6- It is a sign of honesty and frees a person from hypocrisy. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Whosoever prays forty days with the congregation, attending the initial (Allahu Akbar) of the prayer will be free of two things: Hellfire and hypocrisy.” (Ahmad)
7- It is the best issue to be occupied with, the most profitable business, and the most likely amongst all acts of worship to cause a person to become humble and submissive. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Prayer is the best thing to be occupied with, so whoever is able to perform much of it then let him do so.” (Ahmad)
8- It is a command from Allah, an advice of the Prophet (peace be upon him), and a feature which distinguishes the people of Islam and faith. Allah Almighty says what means, “Guard strictly (five obligatory) As- Salawat (the prayers) and stand before Allah with obedience.” (Al-Baqarah: 238)
9- It elevates the ranks and expiates sins, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Tell me, if there were a river in front of one’s house in which he would bath five times a day, would any dirt remain on him? They said: “No dirt will remain on him.” He then said, “That is the example of the five daily obligatory prayers, for through them Allah erases sins.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
10- It secures one from the Hellfire, protects against danger, and makes a person win Paradise. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The one who prays before sunrise (Fajr prayer) and before sunset (`Asr prayer) will not enter the Hellfire.” (Muslim)
11- It is a sign for success and victory and an indication of being accepted. Allah Almighty says, “Successful indeed are the believers. Those who offer their Salat (prayers) with all solemnity and full submissiveness,” (Al- Mu’minun: l-2) and also, “…and those who strictly guard their (five compulsory congregational) Salawat (prayers) (at their fixed stated hours). These are indeed the inheritors. Who shall inherit the Firdaus (Paradise). They shall dwell therein forever.” (Al-Mu’minun: 9-11)
12- It is the first thing for which the slave will be held accountable. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The first thing for which the slave will be held accountable for on the day of Resurrection is his prayer; if it is good (by performing it properly and on time), then the rest of his deeds will be good, and if it is ruined (by neglecting it), then the rest of his deeds will be ruined.” (At-Tabarani)
13- It is a provision for the way, a comfort for the soul and body, a light for the heart, purification for the soul and a sign for salvation. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “O Bilal! Call the Iqamah! Bring us comfort by it!” (Ahmad and Abu Dawud)
14- It frustrates Satan and the disbelievers. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “When the son of Adam recites a verse which recommends him to prostrate and he does, Satan starts crying and says, ‘Woe to me, the son of Adam followed what he was commanded and he will get Paradise as a reward, while I was commanded to prostrate and refused and will enter Hell.” (Muslim)
15- It is a form of expressing appreciation and gratitude, as well as being a treasure full of magnification of Allah glorification and praise of Him. When the Prophet (peace be upon him) was asked about the reason behind his excessive prayer, he (peace be upon him) said, “Shouldn’t I be a thankful slave?!” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
16- It protects against following desires, evil sins and cures from sicknesses, as Allah says, “Verily, As-Salat (the prayer) prevents from Al-Fahsha‘ (i.e. great sins of every kind, unlawful sexual intercourse) and Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief, polytheism, and every kind of evil wicked deed)” (Al-`Ankabut: 45).
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Pray the optional night prayer, for it is the way of righteous before you; it brings you close to your Lord, prevents you from committing sins, expiates your sins and cures you from sicknesses.” (At-Tirmithi)
Source: Respond to the Call for Prayer’s book.