“He who created death and life to test you as to which of you is the best in deed- and he is the exalted in might, the forgiving”
[Surah Mulk(67): 2]
“And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion”
[Surah Ale’ Imran(3): 185]
To understand why we need to pray, we must first understand why we are here, the world, our body and our wealth is given to us as a trust to see what we will do with it, for a short span of time that will determine an upcoming forever.
However, we are not given this world to solely pray and dedicate ourselves to religion, hence for our enjoyment and luxury we owe thanks and praise to our Lord. Which is why we are entitled to pray.
To further understand why we pray, we need to look at what we pray for, most of us unfortunately pray without knowing what we are even praying- because it is in Arabic.
i) Surah Fatihah:
The Surah (chapter) recited in the beginning of every rakat (unit), but do you know what it means, have you gone through the Tafsir (explanation) of it?
If not, then now’s the time to do so.
https://quran.com/1 (Under the verses, you can also click the ‘Watch lecture by Bayyinah for about 5mins or so explanations for each verse)
(Feel free to use any other credible Tafsir source as well, the simplest one is provided above)
In depth explanation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gja_tG3Rp88
ii) Following Surah:
The Surah recited after Fatihah depends on you, but if you do recite, start getting to know the meanings of what you recite as well. Start off with the small Surahs and keep things simple and then progress forward.
iii) Transitory Phrases:
What do the phrases said when moving on into different parts of the prayer mean?
Allahuakbar: Allah is the greatest.
Sami’a Allaahu liman hamidah: Allah listens to the one who praises him.
Rabanna wa lakal hamd: Our lord, to you be all Praise.
Subhana rabiyyal azeem: How perfect is my lord, the supreme.
Subhana rabiyyal A’ala: Glory be to my lord, the most high.
At-Tahiy-yatu lil-lahi was-salawatu wat-tay yibatu, As-Salamy ‘alika ay-yuhan-nabiy-yu wa rahma tullahi wa barakatu, As salamu ‘alayna wa ‘ala ‘ibadil-la his-saliheen , Ash hadu al la ilaha illal lahu, wa ash hadu an-na Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa rasuluh
The translation is as follows:
All compliments, all physical prayer , and all monetary worship are for Allah. Peace be upon you, O Prophet, and Allah’s mercy and blessings. Peace be on us and on all righteous slaves of Allah . I bear witness that no one is worthy of worship except Allah. I bear witness that Muhammad (peace be upon him ) is his slave and Messenger
Since there are different duroods that people recite in prayer, Look up the one you recite and learn its translation.
Once you’ve gone through and understood the translations of everything that you say in prayer, you will understand why we are praying and what we are praying for in a better way.