There are Five Obligatory Prayers that we should perform every day and they each have a period of time, in which The prayer has more value or Thawab. We call that period “The Time of Merit”.
At the beginning let me mention a verse from the holy Quran, Allah said in chapter Bagharah verse 238:
حَافِظُواْ عَلَى الصَّلَوَاتِ والصَّلاَةِ الْوُسْطَى
“Preserve the prayers and the middle prayer”
It is obvious that preserving the Prayer does not have just one dimension, but rather some things can be included in this meaning like: performing the Prayer in its Time of Merit or being in the state of remembering Allah and consideration while performing Prayer, etc.
There are some benefits and philosophies behind this recommendation that have been mentioned in the narrations, and we mention some of them:
1) Imam Sadiq peace be upon him:
Performing Prayer in its first time brings the satisfaction of Allah.
2) It is a cause for removing the sorrow, the holy Prophet of Islam peace be upon him said:
If a servant of Allah gives importance to the times of the Prayer and the places of the sun (which shows the times of Prayer), I guarantee for him/her three things:
– removing the sorrows and problems.
– calmness and happiness at the time of Death.
– being released from the fire (of hell).
3) It is a way that shows how much the orders of Allah is important to us, you know we are the servants of Allah and He is our Master, and it is obvious that when a master orders his/her servant, he/she wants to see the servant to be obedient and Submissive to his/her commands, and the servant who is more obedient to the orders, is more beloved to the master than the servant who is not so much eager to obey the commands of the master.
Imagine a businessman who has two apprentices, one is lazy and the second is active, at the end, it might be that both of them, follow the orders of their boss, but one always delays them, and the other always follows ASAP, the difference between them is obvious.
Let me mention a very interesting and really practical tradition, as I heard from one of the Islamic moral scholars, a lot or let’s say most of the problems that we have, are related to this Narration, so let’s read it very deeply. Imam Sadiq peace be upon him said:
The one who performs his/her Prayer in its early time and performs it correctly, an angel brings it to the sky in a state of purity and light and that Prayer calls out: May Allah protect you just like you protected me. And if the servant, delays his/her Prayer without any excuse, and performs it carelessly, an angel brings it to the sky in the state of darkness and that Prayer calls out: May Allah ruin you, just like you ruined me.
And we know that the Doa and curse of angels and the deeds (that they are manifested in a face) are accepted, so it is a very important key point.
Let me mention very interesting story, a young man came to Ayatullah Nokhodaki Isfahani (one of the greatest Islamic scholars in the field of morality) and asked him of a way in which his three problems gets solved. His wishes were as following:
He said: I want to get married and I cannot do that. Second, I want to have a blessing job and the third I want to have a good ending at the time of death.
That great scholar said to him, for the first wish, perform your Prayer in its early time, for your second wish perform your Prayer in its early time and for your third wish perform your Prayer in its early time.
The young man asked the scholar: One key for three locks? And that scholar replied: yes, because performing the Prayer in its early time is the Master key.
At the end let me mention very briefly some reasons for being indifferent and reluctant to the performance of Prayer in its early time:
– Being ignorant of the benefits and blessings of the Prayer in the early time.
– Committing sins. because it is a way that makes us reluctant to worshiping Allah.
– Being extremely attached to the material world and its attractions.
– Having a weak willpower and getting disappointed quickly. (for example because of not seeing the effects of that after a few days)