Prayer has a great standing, elevated above the other actions of worship; indeed, it has a great position in Islam, a pillar of the religion, without which the religion itself cannot be established,
“Indeed prayer has been prescribed upon the believers at fixed times” [an-Nisaa (4):103]
Prayer is the pillar of every religion. It takes precedence over other acts of worship since it arises as one of the necessary implications of faith. Every messenger and Prophet has enjoined its practice and encouraged its performance. This is due to its having a great effect in nurturing the souls and in drawing one close to Allah. There is nothing that can correct the soul, strengthen it and make it desire the virtuous actions and noble manners more than prayer.
There occurs in the words of Abraham (peace be upon him) while supplicating to his Lord.
“My Lord, make me an establisher of prayer, and [many] from my descendants.” [Ibraheem (14):40]
Allah said with regards to Isma’eel (peace be upon him)
“He used to enjoin on his people prayer and zakah and was to his Lord pleasing” [Maryam (19:55)]
Allah said while addressing His Prophet Moses (peace be upon him).
“Indeed I am Allah, there is none worthy of worship save Me; so worship Me and establish the prayer for my remembrance”
[Taa Haa (20):14]
The angels called to the mother of Jesus (peace be upon him), as is stated in the Quran
“O Maryam, stand devoutly before your Lord, prostrate and bow along with all those who bow” [Ali Imraan (3):42].
Jesus mentioned the favours bestowed by Allah saying,
“He made me blessed wherever I may be and enjoined upon me prayer and zakaah for as long as I live” [Maryam (19):31]
Allah took the covenant from the Children of Isra’eel. Among the most important aspects of that covenant was the prayer,
And [recall] when We took the covenant from the Children of Israel, [enjoining upon them], “Do not worship except Allah ; and to parents do good and to relatives, orphans, and the needy. And speak to people good [words] and establish prayer and give zakah.” Then you turned away, except a few of you, and you were refusing. [2:83]
Allah, the Exalted, said while addressing our Prophet (peace be upon him),
“Command your family to perform the prayer and be constant in doing so. We do not ask sustenance of you; rather We provide you with sustenance and the end is for the Godfearing” [20:132]
Definitely, prayer is the peak and pillar of Islam. It is the connection between the servant, who acknowledges his position as servant who is sincere to himself, and his Lord Who nurutures him – the One who nurtures the whole of creation by His grace and beneficence. The prayer is the sign of the servant’s love for his Lord, his acknowledging of Allah’s favours and his giving thanks for his beneficence.