Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu❤️ Now that the final ten days of Ramadan are upon us, I wanted to write a reminder to extol not of the virtues of fasting (as there are many people who already have in this month), but of the importance of salah. I have discovered that a number of Muslims fast during Ramadan without praying, and this is extremely alarming. Unfortunately, I’m pressed on time to write this, but I think that now begin the most momentous moments of Ramadan and I simply must touch upon this topic.
A Very Brief Overview of Why Salah is Crucial
Salah is the second pillar of Islam right after the Shahadah. The obligation of salah is deeply tied to the very essence of our iman. The main criterion to even be a Muslim is to declare one’s faith in Allah SWT, and the next obligation is prayer. It is so important, so essential to our religion, that the Prophet SAW said: “Between a man and shirk and kufr stands his giving up prayer” [Narrated by Muslim, 82]. Leaving prayer can lead to, if not directly cause, disbelief.
I don’t want to delve into the controversial discussion about whether not praying makes one a kafir, but I do want to emphasize that it is the first thing you will be asked about on the Day when you stand before your Lord. If your prayers are sound, all your other deeds with be sound… But if they are not, likewise the rest of your deeds will not be sound. How can one neglect the second pillar and observe the fourth?
Fast is Invalid without Salah
The Prophet SAW said: “Whoever does not pray ‘Asr, his good deeds will be annulled.” [Narrated by Al-Bukhari, 520]. The majority of scholars agree that without salah, the fast is both incorrect and invalid. Neglecting salah is a major sin, and when fasting, one must refrain from major sins for the fast to be valid, and even minor sins in order to gain benefits.
Aside from the validity of your fast, from a purely logical standpoint, you simply cannot reap the vast spiritual benefits of Ramadan without performing salah. Abstaining from food and drink for the sake of your Creator isn’t of much use if you’re not even communicating with Him and simultaneously committing one of the most serious sins. Fasting without praying is just undergoing an extreme diet for a month. I promise I am not saying this to discourage anybody. Quite the opposite- I just want to urge my brothers and sisters to pray.
It’s Not Too Late
There are so many things that can be said about the absolute indispensability of salah in a Muslim’s life, but I don’t have time to review this broad topic tonight. If you weren’t praying before, now is the time to start, not the time to languish about invalid fasts.
Regardless of what you have or haven’t done during Ramadan, turn towards Allah SWT during these last ten days in search of Laylatul Qadr and make these days the best. Seek His forgiveness and maximize your worship with a sincere heart. May Allah accept our fasts this Ramadan and enable us to find the blessed Laylatul Qadr. Ameen!