Diligent Performance of Salat
Salat was such a daily and nightly routine of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) as if it was a source of sustenance for his soul. Even though for the sake of convenience he had given permission to his companions, that if food is served, they should eat first and then go for salat. But with regards to himself, once when he was eating and Bilal (ra) called for salat, he said ‘May Allah do good to him.’ Meaning that it would have been better if he had allowed us to finish our food before calling us for salat. He put the food aside and the knife with which the meat was being carved, and went for salat.
Hazrat A’ishah (ra) informs us that as soon as the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) heard Bilal’s (ra) call for salat, he would stand up promptly and go for salat.
Even in illness he did not neglect salat. Once he fell off a horse, and received a serious injury on his right side and could not lead salat standing up. He led the salat while sitting down and still did not miss congregational prayer.
He was particular about the arrangements for salat while travelling. It is in the traditions that only on two occasions did a companion of his have to lead salat in his absence.
One such occasion was when he went for reconciliation amongst Bani ‘Amr bin ‘Auf. According to his instructions, in case of delay, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) started to lead the salat, at the request of Hazrat Bilal (ra). In the meanwhile the Holy Prophet (sa) arrived, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) stepped back and the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) led the prayer.
The second occasion was when he lagged behind the caravan that he was travelling with and it went ahead without him. Hazrat ‘Abdur Rahman bin ‘Auf (ra) started to lead salat in order to avoid the risk of expiry time for salat. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) later joined them and appreciated that the companions had offered the salat on time.
Hafiz Muzaffar Ahmad, Muhammad (sa) – The Perfect Man (Qadian, India: Nazarat Isha‘at, 2015), 69-70.