Why performing Salaat on time is so important?

SHAFAQNA – When Imam Ali (AS) was fighting in Seffayn War, he was watching the position of the sun to see when it reaches the middle of the sky so that he could perform his noon Salaat on time. Ibn Abbas asked: O’ Amiral Momeneen (Leader of the believers), what are you doing? Imam Ali (AS) replied: I am waiting for the right time to perform Salaat. Ibn Abbas asked: Is it really the time for Salaat when we are engaged in fighting (with the enemy)? Imam Ali (AS) asked: What is the reason for the war between us and them?  And then Imam Ali (AS) replied: It is only for the sake of Salaat that we are fighting them [1].

[1] Safinatul Behar, Vol. 2, page 43.

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