During the Mi`râj, Allâh originally ordered 50 daily prayers, but after the Prophet Mûsâ (whom Rasûlullâh met in heaven) told Rasûlullâh (sallallâhu `alayhi wa sallam) to bargain with Allâh with the reason that Rasûlullâh's followers would not be able to handle it, it was reduced to 40. Mûsâ again told Rasûlullâh to go back and bargain. Rasûlullâh did so, and it was reduced to 30. This kept going on, from 30 to 20 to 10, then to 5. When Rasûlullâh returned to Mûsâ with the command of five daily prayers, Mûsâ still insisted that Rasûlullâh return to Allâh to bargain again. However, out of his shyness, Rasûlullâh refused this time. And so the number of prayers remained at five.
Unfortunately however, many Muslims today are too lazy to pray even five times a day! Some are so lazy, they don't pray at all!
If these people knew the rewards of Salâh, they would quit everything just to make sure that they would have enough time to pray.
Allâh says in the Qur'ân:
وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَلَىٰ صَلَوَاتِهِمْ يُحَافِظُونَ. أُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْوَارِثُونَ.الَّذِينَ يَرِثُونَ الْفِرْدَوْسَ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ
"And they who carefully maintain their prayers - They are those [who are] the inheritors. Who shall inherit the Firdaus (Paradise). They shall dwell therein forever." (TMQ al-Mu'minûn 23:9-11)
In Surah al-Mâ`ûn, Allâh condemns those who are careless with their prayers:
فَوَيْلٌ لِّلْمُصَلِّينَ. الَّذِينَ هُمْ عَن صَلَاتِهِمْ سَاهُونَ. الَّذِينَ هُمْ يُرَاءُونَ
"So woe to those who pray [But] who are heedless of their prayer - Those who make show [of their deeds]" (TMQ al-Mâ`ûn 107:4-6)
Abu Hurayrah (radiyallâhu `anhu) narrated that Rasûlullâh (sallallâhu `alayhi wa sallam) said [to his companions], "Do you think if there was a river at the door of one of you and he bathed in it five times a day…[that] any dirt would remain upon him? They (those who were with him) said, "No dirt would remain upon him. He (sallallâhu `alayhi wa sallam) said, "That is how it is with the five daily prayers, through them Allâh washes away the sins." (Bukhari and Muslim)
Note that the sins washed away by the prayer are only the minor sins.
Salât is our chance to directly communicate with our Creator five times a day. So why do many Muslims still not grab this opportunity?
Indeed, the one who is careless in his prayer is careless in other matters of religion. Whereas the one who is strict with his prayers is strict with other matters of religion.
It is also known that the man who hears the mu'adhdhin call the Adhân must respond to the mu'adhdhin by attending the congregational prayer. And why shouldn't we? The mu'adhdhin is calling us to success; do we not want success? Also, we get 27 times more reward praying in congregation than praying alone.
We should also be keen in performing the Sunnah prayers as they will make up for the defeciencies in our obligatory prayer. This is important, considering that the prayer is the first thing we will be asked about on the Day of Judgement, as stated by the following hadîth:
It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (radiyallâhu `anhu) said: I heard the Messenger of Allâh (sallallâhu `alayhi wa sallam) say: “The first deed for which a person will be brought to account on the Day of Resurrection will be his prayer. If it is good then he will have prospered and succeeded, but if it is bad then he will be doomed and have lost. If anything is lacking from his obligatory prayers, the Lord will say, ‘Look and see whether My slave did any voluntary prayers, and make up the shortfall in his obligatory prayers from that.’ Then all his deeds will be dealt with likewise.” (Narrated by al-Nasâ’i & al-Tirmidhi)
And Allâh Knows Best