As soon as I enter salat/canonical prayer in Islam, I immediately am transformed from a state of anxiety, irritation, restlessness, and confusion, lack of concentration to a state of utter calmness, inner silence, flow, peace, and harmony. The greatest blessing is that I can’t sin anymore. I’m from the worldliness of ghaflah. I no more am in a state of dreaming or vulnerable to ‘create a dream around my world’ and forget really what my purpose is. People are safe from the bitterness and harmfulness of my tongue and hands.
In fact, whole society, whole world transforms beyond our imagination due to congregational act of salah. Because. As Islamic scholar Mahmoud Ayuob states in his book on Islam that when a believer enters salah ‘time and space are sanctified … whole world is purified [for her/him]’.
Hazrat Umer, second people’s caliph/servant of Islam – and I repeatedly use this example – wrote to all of his governors a letter. And in that letter he started off with what was most essential of him that all his governors must protect and establish – Salah! Sacred rituals revealed to mankind in this final, universal revelation* [listen to Abdal Hakim Murad on 'Islam and West' part 3-4] of Islam are greatest gifts to humanity. Unfortunately, the ‘native Orientalists’ (Shahid Alam’s article, Native Orientalists at the Daily Times) and those whose intellect has been atrophied fail to appreciate the Treasure salah and other rituals are.
* Christianity, first of all, a religion that has historically claimed and to a far degree succeeded to be a universal one, was never meant to be Christianity by its founder Sayyidina Isa (A.S.). He came as a Prophet to Jews. Modern biblical scholarship has proven that beyond doubt. First time I came to know of this apparently less known fact to many Christians was in, What Islam did for Us?, by Tim-Wallace Murphy. Then in works of Karen Armstrong, who even made a TV-documentary, The First Christian, on St. Paul, exposing using historical data how St. Paul made a new religion out of the message of Prophet Jesus.