According to the Soofia, salaat is in fact a supplication to and speech with Allah, and therefore needs thorough concentration. In case of other observances, we need not be so attentive. For example, the essence of Zakaat is to spend money for the pleasure of Allah. Spending in itself is so hard on a person that even if he does. it inattentively he would feel the pinch of it. Similarly, fasting requires giving up eating and drinking and sexual satisfaction. All these restrictions are really very hard even if not observed by proper attention and devotion.
On the other hand, Zikr and recitation of the Qur'an are the chief constituents of Salaat. If these are not done intelligently and attentively, they can make neither supplication nor speech. They are just like the ravings of a person in high fever, which do not require any conscious effort nor carry any meaning for the listener. It is therefore necessary that we should be completely at tentive when in salaat, otherwise our salaat will be like the talk of a person in his Sleep, which carries no meaning for the listeners. nor any benefit accrues from it.
In the same way, Allah pays no heed to a salaat that is offered inattentively and without concentration. But even if our salaat is not up to the mark. as compared with that of the eminent people in the past, we should not give up the practice. It is absolutely incorrect to think that there is no use offering a salaat unless it is perfect. To offer an imperfect salaat is far better than to give it up completely, as this shall result in punishments of a very drastic nature in the Hereafter. A school of Ulama have declared that person to be a kaafir who intentionally discards salaat.
It is therefore imperative on all of us to make sincere and genuine efforts to do justice to our salaat and pray to Allah to grant us the ability to offer salaat similar to that of the eminent people in the past, so that we may have at least one salaat of that nature to our credit for presentation before Allah.
Extracted from Faza'il Salaat by Hazrat Sheikh Zakariyya (Rahmatullah Alayhi)