Is Rejecting Rituals While Maintaining Spirit Okay ?
The problem is that Salah or worshiping and praising God is the basic ideology of Islam, but its specific method is a ritual. So I want to know that if we remember Allah in every moment of our life, thank him for his bounties upon us, ask for his help in crisis, be good with people and do good deeds, but yet remain neglectful of the 5 times Namaaz, can we work our way through to paradise?
The problem you have mentioned is not that of praying or not praying. It is a problem of accepting a man as a messenger of God or not. Muhammad, Allah’s mercy be on him, is the messenger of Allah. If you accept this reality, you accept what he has brought as the decree of God. It is he who has informed us that prayer in the formal, ritualistic way is God’s expectation from us. If you accept this fact, then you will seek the true spirit of remembrance in it. However, if you have a convincing reason to believe that the prophet didn’t give prayer as a necessary requirement to be followed, then you will remember God the way you like.
The reason why formal prayers are a part of the shari’ah requirement is that the wordings and the postures in it are the best form of remembering God; the timings of the prayers are the most opportune occasions for the purpose; and prayers help in maintaining regularity in remembering Him like no other system can do.