hadith - 4(a)
abu hurairah (may allah be pleased with him) narrates that once the prophet (pbuh) asked his companions, 'do you believe that dirt can remain on a person bathing five times a day in a brook running in front of his door?' 'no', replied the companions, 'no dirt can remain on his body.' the prophet ( pbuh) remarked: so, exactly similar is the effect of salaat offered five times a day. with the grace of allah, it washes away all the sins'."
hadith - 4(b)
jaabir (may allah be pleased with him) narrates that he heard the prophet (pbuh) saying: "the likeness of five times daily salaat is as the likeness of a deep brook running in front of the door of a person who bathes therein five times a day."
running water is generally free from dirt, and the deeper it runs the cleaner and purer it is. a bath in such water surely removes dirt from the body and makes it clean. salaat offered with due regard for its essentials likewise cleanses the soul of all sins. there are several ahaadith of the same meaning, though with slight variations in expression, narrated by different companions of the prophet (pbuh).
abu sa'eed khudri (may allah be pleased with him] narrates that he heard the prophet (pbuh) saying:
'each of the five salaats expiates the sins committed since the salaat preceding it. to explain, let us take the case of a person working in a factory. his job is such that his body gets covered with dust. but there are five streams of running water in between the factory and his house and, on his return from the job, he takes a bath in each stream. the effect of five times daily salaat is quite similar. any sins of omission and commission between two salaats are forgiven on account of 'istighfaar and taubah in each salaat.'
the prophet (pbuh) through such parables, aims at impressing that salaat has the wonderful power of removing the sins. if we fail to avail of allah's mercy, surely we ourselves are the losers.
to err is human. we are likely to commit innumerable acts of displeasing allah and deserve thereby. his wrath and punishment, but look how relenting our dear allah is! he has most graciously shown us the way to earn his mercy and forgiveness. it is a great pity if we do not avail of this great favour. our allah is always eager to show us his mercy on very small grounds. it is said in a hadith, that if a person goes to bed with the intention of getting up for ta-hajjud and perchance does not wake up, he receives the full reward for tahajjud, although he has been enjoying his sleep at the time of tahajjud. how boundless is the grace of allah and what a tremendous loss and deprivation if we do not receive blessings from such a giver.