Prayers are of such great significance that some leading scholars of the religion describe them as the backbone of Islam.
Each Muslim is required to pray five times daily, in a prescribed manner. The first prayer (Salat al-Fajr) is at dawn; the next (Salat al-Zuhr) is at high noon; then in the afternoon (Salat al-Asr); after sunset (Salat al-Maghrib); and finally at night (Salat al-Isha').
The regular sequence of prayers every day sets the rhythm of the Muslim's life. It forms a bond between all fellow Muslims around the world today and all the generations of Muslims who have lived and prayed since the time of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.
When praying, it is important that Muslim's mind is clear of all trivial and ephemeral thoughts, so that he or she can give God his undivided attention. As the Holy Qur'an (107: 4-6) says: "Woe to those who pray but are unmindful of their prayer, or who pray only to be seen by people".
The formalized prayer consists of a sequence of obeisances made first from a standing position and then from a kneeling one. Muslims may pray in any place, alone or in the company of others. It is especially good to pray in the company of others in the mosque. When praying, the Muslim faces in the direction of the Kaaba in the Holy City of Makkah.
Inseparable from prayers in Islam is the Tahara, that is, the complete cleanliness of clothes, body and place. Without the Tahara, a Muslim's prayers will be rendered null. It is the Muslim's obligation, therefore, to be clean at the time of each prayer before facing his Creator. When Muslims pray, it is as though they are standing in the presence of God.