Sheikh ‘Abd al-Razzaq al-Badr (hafidhahullah) writes in his book “ta’dheem al-salaah”, in the chapter titled “the connection between salaah and seeing Allah ﷻ”:
Indeed the most complete of all favors and the most perfect of bliss the people of Jannah will experience is seeing their Lord, the Mighty, the Glorious, delighting their hearts cooling their eyes, granting them the greatest of happiness and enjoyment in paradise, the abode of delight.
Imaam Muslim record in his sahih, Suhaib (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “When the inhabitants of Jannah enter Jannah, Allah, the Glorious and Exalted, will say to them: ‘Do you wish me to give you anything more?’ They will reply: ‘Have You not made our faces bright? Have You not brought us into Jannah and delivered us from the Hell?’ And then Allah will remove the Veil. They will feel that they have not been awarded anything dearer to them than looking at their Rabb.”
There is a connection between salaah and seeing Allah; whoever is from the people of salaah, then he is deserving of this great favor. And whoever is neglectful of salaah, then he is deserves to be devoid of this blessing and is from the losers.
And the evidence for this connection is found in the Qur’an and Sunnah.
As for the evidence from the Qur’an, [Some] faces, that Day, will be radiant, Looking at their Lord. And [some] faces, that Day, will be contorted,Expecting that there will be done to them [something] backbreaking. No! When the soul has reached the collar bones. And it is said, “Who will cure [him]?” And the dying one is certain that it is the [time of] separation. And the leg is wound about the leg, To your Lord, that Day, will be the procession. And the disbeliever had not believed, nor had he prayed.But [instead], he denied and turned away. (Surah al-Qiyamah: 22-32)
ِThus Allah ﷻ says, “(some) faces that day will be radiant” and also, “looking at their Lord”. Al-hasan al-basri commented this and said, “and it is only right that the faces are radiant as it is looking at the Creator”
Then Allah ﷻ mentions, the second group of people, those people whose faces are contorted, and mentions from among the things they used to do was being neglectful of salaah, “and the disbeliever had not believed, nor had he prayed”. Thus this proves that the people who belong to the first group, the ones whose faces will be radiant, looking at their Lord, are the people of salaah.
As for the evidence from the sunnah, to show the connection between seeing Allah and salaah, is what is recorded in the sahihayn, in the hadith of Jarir ibn ‘Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) where he said, We were sitting with the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) that he looked at the full moon and observed: You shall see your Lord as you are seeing this moon, and you will not be harmed by seeing Him. So if you can, do not let -yourselves be overpowered in case of prayer observed before the rising of the sun and its setting, i. e. the ‘Asr prayer and the morning prayer. Jarir then recited it:” Celebrate the praise of thy Lord before the rising of the sun and before Its setting”
In this hadith is an indication of the connection between salaah and seeing Allahﷻ. Ibn Rajab (rahimahullah) says, “and it is said the command of safeguarding these two prayers immediately after mentioning the seeing of Allahﷻ is to show us that the greatest reward in Jannah is seeing Allah, and the most honoured of actions in this dunya are these two prayers. Thus by being observant of these two, it is hoped that one will enter into Jannah and see Allah therein”
There is no doubt that when the sahabah heard the saying of the Prophet ﷺ “You shall see your Lord as you are seeing this moon, and you will not be harmed by seeing Him”, they would have felt within their innermost selves a deep yearning to know which of the deeds would have made them obtain such an honourable position. And from the excellence of the Prophet’s ﷺ advice and clarification, he responded to them without them even asking and said, “So if you can, do not let -yourselves be overpowered in case of prayer observed before the rising of the sun and its setting, i. e. the ‘Asr prayer and the morning prayer.”
This also proves that the honour of seeing Allah ﷻ on the Day of Judgment will not be obtained by mere wishful thinking, as Allah ﷻ says, “Paradise is not [obtained] by your wishful thinking nor by that of the People of the Scripture.” (surah Al-nisa: 123). Rather, persistence and hard work is a must. This is why the Prophet ﷺ showed the path to achieve this great reward of seeing Allah, which is through these two great prayers – salaat al-fajr and salaat al-asr.
And there are many clear-cut textual evidences which show the status of these two prayers. And these two prayers were specified because of the great reward promised for those who are steadfast in offering them and because of the great difficulty many people find in performing these two prayers. Thus the one who is highly concerned (to perform it) and is helped and is made successful by Allah in safeguarding these two prayers, then he will be more steadfast in the other prayers.
The fajr prayer specifically is the key to the day. Whoever Allah honors it by making it his utmost concern and gives importance to it, then he will be helped with regards to the other prayers during the rest of the day, as some of the salaf said, “your day is like you camel. If you take hold of the reins in the front, the rest will follow you.”
And in the Prophet’s statement “do not let yourselves be overpowered” is an indication that there are many things in this dunya which which will make one get distracted from safeguarding these two prayers. And how many are the distractions nowadays? Some men get distracted from salah which is a coolness for the eye (by something as simple as) drinking tea, while some get distracted due to useless talk, shameless chatting at night, worthless entertainment, viewing filthy stuff etc., then there are those who are overcome by sleep and laziness and so on and so forth.
And in the hadith is evidence that correct and upright beliefs have an effect on deeds of the slave and his conduct. Thus every time he increases in eeman and strengthens his yaqeen (certainty), he increases in steadfastness, perseverance, actions, effort, and consistency in being obedient to Allah.
And it is because of this link between salah and seeing Allah on the Day of Judgement, that our Prophet ﷺ used to ask Allah towards the end of his salaah before giving salaam this great pleasure and huge reward (of seeing Allah).
Al-Nasai’ reported in the sunan that ‘Ata ibn al-saaib said that his father said, “Ammar bin Yasir led us in prayer and he made it brief. Some of the people said to him: ‘You made the prayer short (or brief).’ He said: ‘Nevertheless I still recited supplications that I heard from the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ).’ When he got up and left, a man- he was my father but he did not name himself- followed him and asked him about that supplication, then he came and told the people (O Allah, by Your knowledge of the unseen and Your power over creation, keep me alive so long as You know that living is good for me and cause me to die when You know that death is better for me. O Allah, cause me to fear You in secret and in public. I ask You to make me true in speech in times of pleasure and of anger. I ask You to make me moderate in times of wealth and poverty. And I ask You for everlasting delight and joy that will never cease. I ask You to make me pleased with that which You have decreed and for an easy life after death. I ask You for the sweetness of looking upon Your face and a longing to meet You in a manner that does not entail a calamity that will bring about harm or a trial that will cause deviation. O Allah, beautify us with the adornment of faith and make us among those who guide and are rightly guided.”
May Allah favor us all in being steadfast upon the prayers. We ask Allah, Glory be to Him, the sweetness of looking at His face and a yearning to meet him without any calamity or trial that will cause deviation.