Q: Is Salah obligatory at all times? What is the ruling if a person gives up Salah because of the mere thought that their Salah is not accepted by Allah or that though they pray, they do not refrain from what Allah has declared prohibited? Should they continue to pray during all circumstances?
Salah is obligatory upon every Mukallaf (person meeting the conditions to be held legally accountable for their actions) either man or woman, five times a day. This view is based on the texts of the Shari`ah and the general consensus of the Muslim Ummah (nation). Salah is the backbone of Islam and the second greatest pillar after the Shahadah (Testimony of Faith). A person should observe it regularly whether they are known to have committed sins or not. Those who commit sins are in dire need of having their sins forgiven by Allah through following any bad deed with a good one like Salah, Sawm (fast), giving charity and other righteous deeds. Allah (Exalted be He) says:
And perform As-Salât (Iqâmat-as-Salât ), at the two ends of the day and in some hours of the night [i.e. the five compulsory Salât (prayers)]. Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds (i.e. small sins). That is a reminder (an advice) for the mindful (those who accept advice).
A Muslim should fortify themselves with Dhikr (Remembrance of Allah) and should always be mindful of Allah. They should recite (Part No. 6; Page No. 8) the Noble Qur'an regularly. They should also hold high hopes that Allah will pardon them and forgive their sins, so that no despair knows its way to their hearts. The sins they commit cannot be seen as evidence that their Salah, Sawm, Zakah, or any other act of worship is invalid. Both the faith a person holds and the righteous deeds they perform may be associated with committing prohibited acts other than Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship). We pray to Allah that perhaps He will grant us all a better understanding of religion and make us hold steadfastly to it. Allah Alone is One Whose help is to be sought.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.