(Salat) refers particularly to the ritual prayer. It is a connection between the slave and his Lord. The ritual ablution which precedes the salat symbolizes the separation from the self. The salat itself symbolizes the joining to Allah. The seven bodily postures of the ritual prayer are symbols of the stages on the Spiritual Journey of Return to the Source and also the seven levels of knowledge through which the traveller (salik) passes on his ascent. As 'the one who performs the prayer' (musalli) approaches closer to Allah, the more profound and intense is his salat. The Holy Prophet Muhammad said, "The prayer without you is better than seventy". As his heart is purified through spiritual struggle and the Remembrance of Allah, and as he journeys along the Path of Return, the traveller leaves his lower-self behind. Initially the Divine Light radiates into the heart of the musalli-salik. Gradually this Light increases and spreads, and eventually, through the Infinite Grace of Allah, it infuses and permeates every atom of his being. Then does he pray a prayer which is without himself, because 'None worships Allah but Allah'.
Islam means peace and the person who follows this peace is called the Muslim. From another root meaning of the word, Islam means complete submission and surrender, and the person who submits and surrenders himself to the will of his Lord is the person who has accepted Allah as his Creator, Sustainer, Lord and the Master of the Day of Judgement.
So from both the definitions Islam means a way of life for people who have opted to follow peace as opposed to chaos, order as opposed to disorder, discipline as opposed to indiscipline, submission as opposed to refusal, surrender as opposed to insolence, obedience as opposed to disobedience etc. All these things combined together to define Islam as away of life by which a person becomes a follower of peace and not a follower of chaos. And the followers of peace are the Muslims whose duty it is: "to establish peace and what is good, and to prevent chaos and what is evil, and they are the best people." (Al-Qur'an 3:110)