Question: A hadith-i sharif says, “Whoever performs the five daily salats properly will receive the reward of a thousand martyrs for each day.” What should we do to perform them properly?
You should meet the following conditions so that you may be considered to have offered salats properly:
1. You must be upon the aqeedah (creed, faith) of Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l Jama’ah. The salat of an ahl al-bid’at (exponent of innovation and heresy) is not acceptable, even if it may be valid and may be offered properly. That is, it cannot be a proper salat, but such a person is counted as having fulfilled the obligatory duty. It is declared in a hadith-i sharif :
(An ahl al-bid’at’s salat, fast, hajj, umrah, jihad, repentance, obligatory and voluntary acts of worship, and good deeds are unacceptable.) [Ibn Majah]
Then you should adopt the aqeedah of Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l Jama’ah and strictly avoid committing bid’at.
2. You must abstain from forbidden (haram) actions, which may be committed in many ways, e.g., with the hands, with the tongue, with the ears, with the feet, with the heart, with the stomach, and with clothes.
With the hands: If they are stretched out to haram,
With the tongue: If it commits such sins as lying and backbiting,
With the eyes: If they look at haram and if they do not look at the universe with the intention of learning a lesson,
With the ears: If they listen to musical instruments and backbiting,
With the feet: If one goes to places where sins are committed,
With the heart: If there are such vices as hatred, jealousy, arrogance, and hypocrisy in the heart,
With the stomach: If one nourishes on haram food, [It is stated in a hadith-i sharif, “If a person eats a single morsel of haram, his good deeds will not be accepted for forty days” Tabarani.]
With clothes: If a single button or thread of a garment is from haram, the salat one performs in it will not be acceptable.
3. You must perform salat with the sole purpose of gaining the pleasure of Allahu ta’ala in a manner that you are free from ostentation (riya’).
4. You must fulfill fard, wajib, sunnah, mustahab, and recommended elements of salat.
5. In order for a salat to be proper, your ghusl and wudu’, too, must be proper. To that end, you must pay attention to fard, wajib, sunnah, mustahab, and recommended elements of ghusl and those of wudu’.
If you satisfy the abovementioned five conditions, your salats will be proper.