Comprehensive Guide to Shalat Wajib & Sunat - Understanding Salat

A. Understanding Shalat In Arabic, the word prayer comes from the word; صَلَّى - يُصَلِّى - صَلَاةً Lafadz shalla - yushalli - shalatan has the meaning of connecting, inserting, straightening and meaningful prayer.
Comprehensive Guide to Shalat Wajib & Sunat - Understanding Salat

A. Understanding Shalat
In Arabic, the word prayer comes from the word;
صَلَّى - يُصَلِّى - صَلَاةً
Lafadz shalla - yushalli - shalatan has the meaning of connecting, inserting, straightening and meaningful prayer.
Shalat which means prayer for example is contained in QS At-Taubah verse 103:
وَصَلِّ عَلَيْهِمْ اِنَّ صَلَاتَكَ سَكَنٌ لَّهُمْ وَاللهُ سَمِيْعٌ عَلِيْمٌ
..and invoke [ Allah 's blessing ] upon them. Indeed, your invocations are reassurance for them. And Allah is hearing and knowing.
As for the shalat according to the term 
الصَّلَاةُ عِبَادَةٌ تَتَضَمَّنُ أقْوَالًا مَخْصُوْصَهً مُفْتَتَحَةً بِتَكْبِيْرِ اللهِ تَعَالَى مُخْتَتَمَةً بالتَّسْلِيْمِ
Shalat is a worship that contains special sayings and practices beginning with glorifying Allah Swt (takbir) and ending with greetings.

B. The Purpose of Shalat
    In accordance with the meaning of prayers it self, which means binding or prayer, then every movement and reading in prayer worship from the beginning of thaharah to wiridan is inseparable from prayer with the hope that we are protected and preserved in three aspect:
  1. The Insaniyah (Spiritual) Aspect
    In the Al-Qur'an the human being is revealed with lafadz Al-Insan 65 times. The 65 verses talk about the uniqueness of the believer as a caliph on earth and the bearer of the trust, the creation of man and negative character of the unbeliever as in QS At-Tin verse 5, Al-Ahzab:72, Al-Alaq:4-5, Ar-Rahman:3, Qs Yunus:12-13, Qs Hud:9-10, and Qs Al-Fajr 15 verse.
    The protection of the Insaniyah aspect begins with a sincere intention because of Allah and understands both every reading and the symbols of movement in prayer.
  2. Aspect of Basyariah (physical)
    Basyar is contained in Al-Qur'an 36 times and all lafadz al-basyar are more likely to speak of humans from biological aspect such as Qs Yusuf 31 verse or Al-Kahf 110 verse.
    The maintenance of this aspect of basyariah should ideally begins with cleaning our bodies, our clothes, our prayer places, and the water used for ablution or bathing must be absolutely clean, then it is not appropriate for people who look shabby, dirty, littering, open defecation, and living in a mess. Doesn't the Prophet declare that Cleanliness is a feature of the faithful.
  3. Nasiyah Aspect (Sociological)
    An-Nas in the Al-Qur'an contains 240 verses. The 240 verses talk about various human characters in relation to their relationship with the Creator, with the others and their environment. As in Qs Al-Baqarah verse 8, 204, 243.
    In congregational Shalat there are lessons of harmony, affection for parents, wives, husbands, children, neighbors, communities, and the surrounding environment. A good priest is a priest who cares for his ma'mum who always reminds his priest in a good way.
In a hadits narrated by Ahmad and Ibnu Hibban Abu Huraerah's friend told that there was a friend of the Prophet who reported a diligent mother who prayed at night, shaum sunnat, during the day but her mouth often hurt her neighbors. So the Prophet Muhammad answered: "She is a resident of Hell!" Then the friend of the Prophet also reported another mother whose Shalat were not visible or her shaum but instead she often gave food to her neighbors kindly, the Prophet Muhammad SAW replied: "She is a resident of Heaven!".
Furthermore, there are several verses in the Al-Qur'an and the hadits that explain the position of Shalat in relation to life including:
  1. Shalat is characteristic of pious people, it can be seen in Qs Al-Baqarah verse 1 to 4.
  2. Correct Shalat will be a stronghold of self from abominable behavior that harms us or others. Can be seen in Qs Al-Ankabut verse 45.
  3. People who shalat solemly will get true happiness as in Qs Al-Mu'minun verse 1 to 9.
  4. People who believe make shalat as superior charity because shalat is the first charity that is judged and as a determinent of the merits of other charities as explained in the hadits narration of At-Tirmidzi from Qobishah::
    انَّ أَوَّلَ مَا يُحَاسَبُ بِهِ الْعَبْدُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ مِنْ عَمَلِهِ صَلَاتُهُ، فَإِنْ صَلُحَتْ فَقَدْ أَفْلَهَ وَأَنْجَحَ، وَإِنْ فَسَدَتْ فَقَدْ خَابَ وَخَسِرَ
    Indeed, the first servant's charity is reckoned on the Day of Judgement is his shalat and if his shalat is good and right then will be happy and succesful and if his shalat is damaged then he regrets for life and losers.