A number of acts of worship are required from Muslims at certain times. Yet one must take care not to turn them into rituals that are performed mindlessly. On the contrary, awareness that worship is done purely to attain Allah’s acceptance and approval inspires zeal and excitement in a believer. Regular prayer is one of these acts which is meticulously performed five times a day. In the Qur’an, Allah states that true believers are humble in their prayers:
It is the believers who are successful. [Believers are] those who are humble in their prayer. (Surat al-Muminun; 1-2)
Humility is recognition of Allah’s grandeur and perfection with“fear and respect of Allah.” This is the state of mind that a believer must ideally experience during prayers.
It is of little worth in the Sight of Allah when acts of worship are performed without sincerity, contemplation and conscientiousness. One may hope for acceptance when his act of worship draws him closer to Almighty Allah, inspires fear and love of Him, improves his understanding and character and hinders him from committing evil. This is what our Prophet (saas) said about the punctiliousness required regarding prayer:
Narrated from Sa'd b. Ebi Vakkas. Sa'd says: "I asked Allah’s Messenger about those who were heedless of their prayers.” He told: “They are those who fail to pray in due time.” Abu Berze says: Allah’s Messenger said the following when the verse "who are neglectful of their prayers." was revealed: "Glory to Allah, prayer is better than blessings as much as this world. A person who is heedless of his prayer is the one who does not expect any good from his prayer and who does not fear his Lord because of not praying.” (Tafsir al-Tabari, 9/238239)
A believer who has a true understanding of the life in this world and who seeks life in the Hereafter, sees every act as a way of attaining the approval of Allah. He does not miss opportunities to perform good deeds and tries to pay the utmost attention to these.