Salah is the name for the obligatory prayers, which are performed five times a day, and are a direct link between the worshipper and God. There is no hierarchical authority in Islam, and no priests, so a learned person who knows the Quran, chosen by the congregation, leads the prayers. These five prayers contain verses from the Qur’an, and are said in Arabic, the language of the Revelation, but personal supplication can be offered in one’s own language.
Prayers are said at dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset and nightfall, and thus determine the rhythm of the entire day. Although it is preferable to worship together in a mosque, a Muslim may pray almost anywhere, such as in fields, offices, factories and universities. Visitors to the Muslim world are struck by the centrality of prayers in daily life.
A translation of the Call to Prayer is: