Muslims observe five formal prayers each day. The timings of these prayers are spaced fairly evenly throughout the day, so that one is constantly reminded of God and given opportunities to seek His guidance and forgiveness.
Muslims observe the formal prayers at the following times:
Fajr (pre-dawn): This prayer starts off the day with the remembrance of God; it is performed before sunrise.
Dhuhr (noon): After the day's work has begun, one breaks shortly after noon to again remember God and seek His guidance.
Asr (afternoon): In the late afternoon, people are usually busy wrapping up the day's work, getting kids home from school, etc. It is an important time to take a few minutes to remember God and the greater meaning of our lives.
Maghrib (sunset): Just after the sun goes down, Muslims remember God again as the day begins to come to a close.
Isha (evening): Before retiring for the night, Muslims again take time to remember God's presence, guidance, mercy, and forgiveness.
In Muslim communities, people are reminded of the daily prayer times through the calling of the adhan. For those in Muslim-minority communities, computerized adhan programs are available.
In ancient times, one merely looked at the sun to determine the various times of day for prayer. In more modern times, daily prayer schedules are often printed which precisely pinpoint the beginning of each prayer time.